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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.30 | 3095 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Complete with an interesting plot, lots of catchy melodies, and piles of outstanding musicianship, Metropolis II is the best Dream Theater album (although you could argue that they have better musical moments on other albums, depending on your perspective).

There are a number of pieces where I've had to rewind multiple times simply because I hadn't heard anything quite like it before. For example, the frenetic unison ending to Fatal Tragedy, the Indian-influenced close of Home (in double-time, no less!), and the part in Dance of Eternity which apparently was written to simulate what it feels like to be in a particle accelerator (you'll know it when you hear it--I don't quite how to properly describe it). You know it's good prog when you get impressions like this!

Sure, Portnoy totally goes over the top on the double bass, but isn't that part of the experience? And to focus entirely on that would ignore the fantastic cymbal work he provides. Petrucci is solid throughout, and Rudess for the most part adds great variety (I just love his piano intro to One Last Time. And Myung? Well, he's solid as always, at least when I can hear him (such as in Home or Dance of Eternity).

On the other hand, this is not a masterpiece due to the extended filler in places (Exhibit A: Beyond this Life) and the not-unexpected Dream Theater cheese (Through Her Eyes). Also, Labrie's vocals often detract, particularly when he goes into ultra slow motion mode. In some places, such as in Home, it sounds like the band is doing double time while he's literally doing one word per meter. Needless to say, it's not optimal, and it's a shame, because there is so much to capture your attention beyond the vocals. To be fair, I must admit that LaBrie sound great to my ears in places, such as in Strange Deja Vu.

Altogether, a great effort from the Dream. I didn't like this for a long time because I didn't like metal, but once I made the conversion, I've been hooked for good. I think there is enough material on here to be a masterpiece, but the execution and length bring it down a tad.

Still, I would classify Metropolis II as a must-have.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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