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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1748 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars After being somewhat disappointed in Octavarium I still had hopes that Dream Theater would bounce back and produce more quality material, if not masterpieces like Images and Words then at least the enjoyable-but-flawed kind of albums like Train of Thought. I wasn't counting days to the release of the album but happened to walk into a record store the morning this was released, so I got it and put it into my cd player right away. Oh those days before the Ipod took the last bit of uncomfort out of my on-the-road music listening. My first thought when putting the album on was "haven't I heard this riff on an In Flames album?"

After that thought went by I remember I listened to the album with at least some pleasure, but repeated listens over the years have shown me that while most of these songs have solid, enjoyable parts here and there, the songs as a whole fall flat at some point, the highlight parts being too few and far between. Constant Motion is the one exception with its good riffs and a brilliant hyperactive instrumental section. Forsaken comes pretty close, I particularly enjoy the way James LaBrie delivers some of the lines. The ultra heavy metal caricature of The Dark Eternal Night and the Muse-like Prophets of War are my least favourite tracks of the album, no good parts to remember on those. No member here gives a particularly good performance, some fine moments here and there like the LaBrie ones on Forsaken, but more often I find myself annoyed by some overused Mike Portnoy trademark fills or Jordan Rudess noodlings.

Lyrics haven't always been their forte, really, but on this album they hit a new bottom particularly with the fantasy fluff of In the Presence of the Enemies. This impression isn't helped one bit by the fact that I've succesfully misheard the word "Heretic" in the part 2 as "hairy dick" every single time.

Despite my absolute disappointment in this one I still occasionally give it a spin to see if that something would click with me. I'm about to give up as nothing seems to happen. One star for the sole great song Constant Motion and a half one for the fine tidbits in the other songs. Luckily they'd step up on the next one.


Pekka | 2/5 |


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