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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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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I've always held admiration to this wonderful concept album.

But there's just something about the production of it that just....didn't feel right.

Out with Eastwest records, out with Sherinian. In with Elektra, in with Rudess. This massive overhaul was to be completed with a concept album that defied all odds, rejected every concept album released before. This was a record that was supposed to shatter the possibilities for progressive metal. And it did.

Jordan Rudess, a Julliard grad, is obviously the more classically trained of the three keyboardists, which opened up numerous possibilities to expand the band's overall sound, a sound that would develop further and further to today's sound.

"Regression" is a very unique and interesting way to start the album, and the story. It's basically a mental prediction of the story that will follow, a man from the 21st century witnessing a killing of a young girl in the 1920's. "Overture 1928" is the culmination of this new formula the band developed after the commercial folly that was "Falling Into Infinity", and the success of this album would lead to "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", one of my favorite albums of all time. As a classical enthusiast as well, I've always been a fan of the overture, as it summarizes the entire story to follow in a few short minutes, and it's the way it's done that will be repeated and echoed throughout the band's next albums.

"Strange Deja Vu" continues this suite, slowly opening the curtains on the actual story that LaBrie slowly brings to life. The songwriting and compositions from this album is absolutely phenomenal. Movie ready. No doubt about it. "Through My Words" is just a nice little segue to "Fatal Tragedy", where the story truly unfolds, and the album becomes more than just music. It becomes a story, a movie through the human ears.

"Beyond This Life" breaks up the suite, which kind upset me a bit, as I would've preferred the entire album to segue through each other, just like a movie continues scene by scene and doesn't stop for a commercial break in between scenes. Even so, this song is absolutely phenomenal. Storywise, this is after "Victoria" is killed, which sort of unleashes the anger experienced by the main character here. Not to mention this is where Rudess shines over all others, which is unusual compared to most new members in the past. It's a great song that's even better live, before it segues into "Through Her Eyes" which is a truly touching ballad.

Then the mood changes again in "Home". My favorite track of the disc, the song is filled with numerous Middle Eastern elements and chord progressions, and it's nice and heavy too. This, coupled with "The Dance Of Eternity" makes this the best section in the entire album. An emotional track like "Home" followed by this great instrumental....there's absolutely nothing better from this outfit.

"One Last Time" sort of ties the story together, followed by a wonderful ballad in "The Spirit Carries On", one of the best Dream Theater has ever made. Finally, the album concludes with "Finally Free", which concludes the story in epic fashion, except the very end with the record, the main character sitting down, "Open your eyes, Nicholas" and the static ended the record.

It's a wonderful album, but I feel that the production just takes away the true magic of it, and the way the album could've been better. That's why it's a better album in "Live Scenes In New York", where that static is replaced by "Overture 2000" and continues quite possibly one of the greatest live albums of all time. I just wish it was truly seamless and just better produced, but other than that, this is a phenomenal album and the best concept album I've heard in a long time.

Wicket | 5/5 |


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