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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.30 | 3094 ratings

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3 stars There seems to be little or no middle-ground when it comes to this DT album. The spectacular list of ratings for this album can be roughly divided between loads of 4-5 stars and the occasional 1-2 star ratings from non-believers, of which some went to great lengths to state their point in the most respectable way. Going through both these points of view feels like watching a tennis game between two opponents where I can't take sides.

So let's try to walk the middle-ground here. First of all, this is a long Dream Theater album with everything you expect from the band: lots of metal, lots of technical playing, interesting instrumental parts, vocals of varying quality, and tons - really tons - of cheese. The songwriting, or should that be riff-sequencing, is of good quality, the band is in fine form, the production is great, and the guys' sweaty long hairs will fly you around the ears. This is at least a good album in its style!

But it's nothing more then just good for me, and the best way to argument why I feel so is by going through each band member and dissect their contribution to this musical artifact.

Let's start with Labrie, the singer that always eats a lot of dirt when DT critics have their way. I can't find much fault with his performance here, but he's just too much of a classical metal singer for me, high-pitched, technical and too clean, studied and lacking real emotion and balls. Instead he's got lots of cheese indeed.

On the keyboards we have one Jordan Rudess about whom I don't have an opinion. It's something that doesn't happen a lot and frankly, it's not a good sign. Mr. Rudess just 'is', nothing what he does makes him remarkable. The same goes for John Myung, who - as with most metal bands - is hard to hear under the layers of guitars. Probably a live context is a better place to spot him.

I like drums, I really like them a lot, and mr Mike Portnoy has lots of drums, rooms full of them I guess. As I've stated somewhere before the man probably even drums in his sleep, he's a drum animal, a true busy-body, hitting at least three toms if one would have sufficed. But I enjoy listening to him, and he provides at least half of the fun here. Petrucci is another matter. He's the guy that swings much DT music in the wrong direction for me. I find him stellar as a rhythm guitar player, but I rarely enjoy his solos. Too many notes sir, just too many notes. But he's very well-behaved here, playing a very functional role throughout this album.

If you like DT you will adore this album. If you like 90s prog-metal you will be in awe. If you like technical symphonic Prog like Yes and ELP mixed with metal you'll have the thumbs up. So the 4 and 5 stars here are perfectly logical. But if you can't stand the cheese that comes with this sort of melodic metal it's just 3, and that's where I stand.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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