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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.66 | 1995 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars A really good album, close to great. One of DT's best.

The "Root of all evil" kicks it off, and a great, energetic start. Then we need a ballad to cool things off, but "The answer lies within" fail badly. What a shame.

"These walls" and "I walk beside you" brings the album back in the game. Then comes "Panic attack", which is Lloyd Webber in metal. Progressive! Weird that very few reviewers catch this influence.

"Never enough" is another, good, energetic piece. And then comes the two-part "Sacrificed Sons", which is beautiful and respectful and mighty, before the instrumental middle part rocks your pants off. This theme of pure power is further explored on the next album "Systematic Chaos" (the very start), so here is interest on many levels. Then Petrucci is to be adored for his magic guitar, and the song finishes off with the beautyparts. Respect!

And last but not least the masterpiece. "Octavarium" (24:00). This song really sums up what the band is about, and it is f? amazing. The start is pure "Wish You Were Here", close to plagiarism if you read the chords. But never mind. That is part of the plot. Then comes the 70s-flute and the next five parts. Each part has different writers (lyrics) and themes, but somehow they all build up to the grand finale where Petrucci's warm guitar finishes off this symphonic concerto better than Rachmaninov ever did (had he played guitar). Goosebumps!

Very few reviewers actually catch all the historic references in this song, but here are a few hints: This is studioalbum number eight (octo) from DT. They have explored new ground, and yet they are back to where they started. (They "Move in circles" and the story "Ends where it began"). Therefore they are "Trapped inside this Octavarium", as LaBrie screams.

The song is so packed (in both lyrics and music) with bits and pieces from former DT and other bands that it is almost too obvious, but nevertheless: There is more PF ("Careful With that Axe, Eugene"), Beatles ("Lucy in the Sky"), Genesis ("Supper's ready", "Cinema Show"), Yes ("Machine Messiah"), Ramones ("Gabba Gabba hey"), The Who ("My Generation"), The Doors ("Light My Fire"), Queen (Brian Mays signature guitar, no lyrics required!), Neil Young ("Hey Hey My My"), Marillion (theme from "Forgotten Sons"), and others (including OMD!?)

"A perfect sphere / Colliding with our fate"

But the band is aware of it, and the end of "Octavarium" is not shameful, but so ... majestic! So Great! It is not so bad to move in progressive circles after all, when you stand on the shoulders of giants. To refer so clearly to those giants brings even more respect to this band. Very well done!

stig | 4/5 |


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