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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover

OCTAVARIUM

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.65 | 1557 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Dream Theater's eight studio album is a big surprise. After the great "6 Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", where the band seemed to have reached a new type of sound, and "Train Of Thought", where the sound is even more diverse but a little less successful, Dream Theater return with an outstanding album. I must say, I really didn't expect it to be this good.

The style is the typical 00' DT sound: heavy guitars, virtuous keyboards, fast rhythms, nice catchy melodies and choruses: the same characteristics as their previous album, Train Of Thought, although "Octavarium" is much more original, creative, and fun to listen to.

"The Root Of All Evil" has now become one of my favorite DT songs. Catchy riff, great chorus, and a repetition of the chorus of the song "This Dying Soul", from their previous album, even though the lyrics are different. Fantastic, one of the best of the album.

"The Answer Lies Within" isn't as nice as the previous track, but it still has it's moments. It's mostly a ballad, with a nice melody, but the chorus doesn't seem to be at the same level as the verse. It would have been a nicer song otherwise.

"These Walls" is a great, heavy song, with a nice verse, chorus, nice everything. Mike Portnoy does a brilliant performance for this song, in my opinion.

"I Walk Beside You" is another really good song, kind of a weird verse, but a lovely chorus, very catchy and moving. Even the pre chorus has something special. But my favorite part is after the second chorus, where all the band joins for the backing vocals, and the melody is fantastic. Excellent.

"Panic Attack" is maybe the most technical and heavy song of the album. Personally It isn't one of my favorites, but there are some great passages. The verse is OK, the chorus is better but not as catchy as others. A little overrated song.

"Never Enough" has an awesome intro, but everything seems to go downhill from there. The verse is a little irritating, the chorus as well. The only thing that saves this song is the intro, which is also repeated after each chorus.

"Sacrificed Sons" is the second longest song of the album. The intro is just some different people, one of them sounds like Portnoy, talking about different stuff, but shortly after the song starts, with a pretty nice verse. The chorus, which arrives after a few minutes, is great, and really puts the song onto a new higher level. From there, the song is a little more brightened up. A fabulous, fast part arrives after the chorus. Very catchy. A short keyboard solo follows, then a guitar one. The melody then get's slower, then again fast. Then Labrie starts singing again, and it goes on until the end. A great song, one of the best of the album.

"Octavarium" can easily be the best Dream Theater song. It starts with a very Pink Floydish atmosphere: a slow, atmospheric keyboard, accompanied by an excellent Gilmour like guitar. The mood is quite mysterious, making it most definitely a progressive rock song, more than metal. Ahead, the mood gets more epic sounding (think Lord Of The Rings), even though the atmosphere is the same. All the band comes in in about 4'00'', immediately followed by a beautiful acoustic guitar part, accompanied with a flute, instrument that I've never heard in a DT song. Soon Labrie starts singing, and the music sounds more like a ballad now. There is an increasing, climax, until the part that seems to be the chorus arrives. And what a chorus, one of those choruses that makes you understand that it's just a start of an epic journey. Then a new verse comes, with a very crunchy bass riff, and an awesome rhythm section. A new chorus arrives, but it isn't as good as the first one. The verse is repeated, and when it ends, a new part of the song starts. The keyboards give an awesome and essential contribute to this grand opening: they sound very Symphonic Proggish. Another part starts, more aggressive and quite catchy. The verse is awesome, the chorus is even better, with Portnoy's backing vocals. After this whole part, there is an awesome, mind blowing, keyboard riff/solo, soon to be alternated with guitar and bass. After this, we find a lightning fast guitar solo, possibly my favorite Petrucci solo. Another awesome keyboard part comes in, immediately alternated with a great guitar part. When the new part comes in, everything is calmer, but the atmosphere gets more tense and tense, thanks to Labrie's increasing climax of aggressiveness. Until he's yelling like never before: "Trapped Inside This Octavarium". The part closes and a new part, which has the same melody as the one that was presented earlier, around the first six minutes, starts. A slower guitar solo is followed. Around 23'00'', the grand finale arrives. And the song ends, as well as this terrific album.

There are some truly great moments here, and I say to give this album a try.

EatThatPhonebook | 3/5 |

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