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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.84 | 1665 ratings

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5 stars Wow, what a positive surprise this album is! Seriously when Mike Portnoy left the band i felt it's all over for Dream Theater. Because although DT is, and always was, made up of 5 people, i always felt that it was Portnoy and Petrucci who always 'ran' the band, in terms of writing and managing. I wondered how will they be able still to create valuable music without Portnoy's contribution, not only as a great drummer (which was probably not such big problem to replace his in that aspect) but mainly as a composer and songwriter. Fortunately, it turned out that Petrucci and Rudess (and to lesser extent Myung) still have enough talent left to write great riffs, melodies and instrumental section, as well as pen not so bad lyrics...

In a way there is one positive thing about Portnoy's departure. Lately, he was pushing the band in a more 'heavy' direction, constantly contributing ideas such as growling vocals, blistering drumming and almost death-metal passages. It never was my favorite aspect of DT's music, i always preferred the softer side of their music and there is plenty of this on the latest record. The album is very melodically driven with a lot of piano and acoustic guitar, some string arrangements and haunting vocals by James LaBrie. Hard riffs and speed metal sections are also there. but even these moments have somewhat softer feel to them, mainly because of the production, in which the drums are much more buried in the mix, they are still highly technical but not 'in your face' kind of way anymore...

Back to songwriting... it seems that band consciously decided to go 'back to basics' while recording this new album and many of the songs pay homage to some of the band's classics from their groundbreaking album "Images and Words" as well as some other acclaimed songs from different records.... I guess its already been pointed out hundreds of times in previous reviews, but lets just make it clear once again. The following songs are similar in structure to these old 'classics':

"One The Backs of Angels" - "Pull Me Under" "Build Me Up, Break Me Down" - "Caught in a Web" / "Burning my Soul" "Lost Not Forgotten" - "Under a Glass Moon" "This is The Life" - "Another Day" / "The Spirit Carries On" "Far from Heaven" - "Wait for Sleep" "Breaking All Illusions" - "Learning To Live" / "Lines in the Sand"

I can understand those who accuse the band of 'self-plagiarism' or rehashing old ideas, but let's make one thing clear - we're living in the second decade of 21st century, how can 25 year old band come up with something that is entirely new and fresh and not similar to anything that has been done by this band before? Its impossible, and even if it is possible, i highly doubt its the thing the fans would ever accept - they love this band for what they've are and always been in the past.

I guess that in every band's history there is a point, in which after years of experimenting, pushing forward and trying to keep up with the fashion, the band decided that the best thing to do is just to get back to basics and start doing just that, what made them famous in the first place. That was the case with most of the bands which have been together for 20 years and more, Rolling Stones, Queen, Rush, Pink Floyd... Hell, even The Beatles got back to basics with "Let It Be" (though it was only 7 years after bands debut, but notice that in the 60's rock music developed twice or thrice as fast as nowadays). I think that Dream Theater reached that stage just now. With Mike Portnoy no longer on the board they had no pressure to try to remain hip and modern by all costs and simply returned to sound like classic DT. And they did in the best style possible!

nuncjusz | 5/5 |


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