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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover

AWAKE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.11 | 1556 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aranarth
4 stars "Awake" is DT's last album with Kevin Moore and it shows how important he was to their sound. Moore gets one solo writing credit for the dramatic closer "Space dye vest". His keyboards also open the album, after Portnoy's drum intro in the rocking "6:00". He gets more playing time than Rudess or Sherinian did and in some songs he is the dominant instrumentalist. This is probably the only time it has happened and it has a positive effect on the album, although Petrucci himself adds some fine solos to the mix, notably in "Lie", where his heavy crunched guitar drives the song.

The best song here is unquestionably "The Mirror". It sounds like it is four songs put together as the tempo and the melody changes all the time. La Brie's screaming vocals are too much of the good, but he redeems himself eventually. Overall, a fine improvement for DT and one of their ultimate classics. "Innocence faded" is an attempt to cross over to the more mellow, mainstream pop/rock music and it almost succeeds. "Caught in a web", "Voices" and "Scarred" are all semi-successful and they switch from highs to lows all the time. The biggest flaw here are La Brie's too high pitched screams and they really ruin the pleasure. The instrumental "Erotomania" starts off well for so to turn tedious and uninspired. "Lifting shadows off a dream" is a nice ballad, but after a while one tires of it. Petrucci's solo takes the cake in sounding out of place and out of tune. "The silent man" is another nice ballad on acoustic guitar and annoying backing vocals (presumably by Petrucci,the author).

So, I wouldn't say that DT peaked with this album, but it was certainly a step forward in the musical sense from the too overplayed and oversung "Images and words", which bordered on pop too many times. One thing that may have marred this album is the dominant heavy metal sound mastered by Petrucci as well as Le Brie's tasteless vocals. Overall, it is an album every prog metal fan should listen to at least once, but in the length it doesn't always hold up.

Aranarth | 4/5 |

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