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Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons  CD (album) cover

A CHANGE OF SEASONS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.64 | 528 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Starhammer
Prog Reviewer
4 stars She looked me in the eye, she said "I love you, goodbye..."

This EP is split into two distinct parts, a 23 minute title track which was originally devised during the Awake sessions, and a selection of cover tracks performed live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London.

The Good: The main event of this release is of course the epic opener, a fantastic composition and a more than worthy predecessor to the likes of Octavarium and The Count of Tuscany. Outstanding instrumentation is here as standard, as are the strong vocals from James Labrie, possibly his last. But what catches my attention the most is that it also has great lyrics, something I rarely single out for praise when it comes to Mike Portnoy's contribution to the band. They were written shortly after the passing of his mother and puts an emphasis on living in the moment, a moving tribute and a far cry from the cheesefest that would later plague The Best of Times.

Whilst Dream Theater are renown for their extended instrumental passages and intricate musicianship, what they really excel at is the way they fit it all together. Ranging from bombastic drum fills to subtle time signature changes, Dream Theater turn these pivotal moments between set pieces into a fluid art-form. A Change of Seasons is a prime example of this as the screaming siren which cuts through part. VI is perhaps, the perfect segue, and sends a shiver down my backbone every time.

The rest of the tracks are probably the reason this release doesn't achieve a particularly high rating on Prog Archives, although I happen to really enjoy them, especially when compared to Dream Theater's later live covers. My particular favourite is the Led Zeppelin medley of The Rover/Achilles Last Stand/The Song Remains the Same. Great track selection and a great performance.

The Bad: I've never been a huge fan of Elton John so Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding doesn't do much for me. In addition the vocals of The Big Medley don't quite keep up with the high standard of instrumentation.

The Verdict: Massively underrated.

Starhammer | 4/5 |

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