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Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.84 | 1536 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Dream Theater-Mike Portnoy=Dream Theater

Sometimes it seems as though the prog world is divided into Dream Theater lovers and Dream Theater haters. Every time an album is announced, arguments begin, and the album receives both glowing and panning reviews long before it is released. This one was no different, although this time the discussions were more about Portnoy's absence than the band's merits themselves.

I, for one, enjoy Dream Theater's music. On CD, I find they have a good blend of bombastic and unbelievably technical music. And Portnoy was a big part of it. In concert I found they lacked dynamics, everything played at full speed and full volume. And Portnoy's constant mugging on the big screen behind the band was goofy at best, annoying at worst.

New drummer Mike Mangini proves to be up to task of playing with John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess and John Myung. I hear that Petrucci wrote out his parts, and that is probably so, as he often seems to be imitating the guitar on his drums. And there are less fills than Portnoy would have played. Nonetheless, this turned out to be a very good Dream Theater album.

At times, some of the songs settle into metal cliches, but every time it gets to the point where I notice this, there is a sharp turn into a break where Petrucci, Rudess and Myung just amaze me. Rudess in particular sounds rejuvenated on this album. His keyboard work is as good here as I've ever heard him. And Myung benefits greatly from finally being brought up to an audible level in the mix.

As for James LaBrie, he sounds good here. I don't know whether it was a conscious decision, or just his voice mellowing with age, but he doesn't go into that shrill area that sometimes makes him hard to listen to.

This is another great album for Dream Theater. I just hope that they can patch things up with Portnoy. Not necessarily so he can rejoin the band. Just so the distracting melodrama can end on both sides. They all deserve better.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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