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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.31 | 3110 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Ambitious Intentions with Mixed Execution

SCENES FROM A MEMORY was the first Dream Theater album with their most long-lived lineup, featuring technical keyboard wiz Jordan Rudess. This lengthy concept album was meant to be a sequel to the popular track Metropolis from their seminal IMAGES AND WORDS. The album tells the story of man going through regression therapy to look into a past life. This moderately interesting setting in fact leads us only to a half baked and extremely poorly written murder mystery whose lyrics are sometimes comically bad. Further, how the music contributes or aligns itself with the story is anyone's guess. It is obvious the music was written without the lyrics in many places and so we often get awkwardly sung lines struggling to keep up with the band.

However, I think almost all DT fans had learned to at least partially tune out James Labrie's generic cheese metal vocals long before SfaM came out. Paying attention only to the music and excluding the vocals, there is in fact some very strong prog metal material on this album. My favorite is "Home," which despite it's obvious Alice in Chains / grunge allusions has some great riffs, nice instrumental sections, and a little sitar / oriental flavor. Labrie actually follows a few melodic themes that add to the music on that song. Or maybe it's the orgasmic moans that left an impression.

Rudess plays enthusiastically, and this is the first album where we get what became the DT signature of Pertucci guitar and Rudess keys trading and interweaving shred solos. They're both very good, if unoriginal, players, and it's a joy to listen just in appreciation of their sheer craft. The only real songwriter to ever play in DT, Kevin Moore, is long gone by now, and like all of the later albums, the point of listening is the experience of "Wow that sounds cool." It happens enough on this album for a reasonably enjoyable listen.

Good, but non-essential. There are MANY better prog metal albums out there, and a few of them are by this band. Don't believe the hype and start here. Get one of the Kevin Moore albums and if you really like what you hear branch from there.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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