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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.84 | 1537 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars It's that time of the year again.

I've been a regular fan of Dream Theater for quite some time now and like most of the fans out there I like the old Dream Theater better. Having that said, this album is, in my opinion, their best work since "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence". It's not that I didn't enjoy previous works such as "Black Clouds and Silver Linnings", it's just that this is the most consistent and solid album they've made in a while.

It seemed that with previous records there was one or a couple of mind-blowing tracks within an otherwise mediocre track-list. I am glad to say that ADTOE is the other way around completely. Depending on your musical taste you will find one or two mediocre tracks within an absolutely mind-blowing track-list. Its a sort of back-to-basics mixed with the modern metal edge that has defined DT as band over the past few years and it is sure to please both old and new fans.

The album kicks off with the single "On The Back of Angels" which I'm not so fond of. However it is a mayor improvement when compared when previous singles such as "A rite of Passage" and "Constant Motion". It has a similar structure to that of "Pull me Under" and it does work as the opening of the album. Still, this, along with "Build me up, Break me down" are without a doubt the two weak spots of the album, so if you found yourself in love with the released single than you should definetly buy the Album as the best is yet to come. On the other hand, if "On The Back of Angels" gave you a hard time and maybe dissapointment don't be discouraged and listen to other tracks as they will most likely make you end up purchasing the record.

A common discussion that has arised within the DT fan base and community is the similarity in the structures of the songs reminiscent to those in Images and Words and Awake. I have not done an extended detailed analysis of the musical structures to know if it true or not because I simply don't care. It is evident that there are musical similarities in tracks here with those of the past, just a after a first listen to "Build me up, Break me down" took me back to "Caught in a Web" and the solo in "Lost Not Forgotten" to "Under a Glass Moon"; but I couldn't care less if the structures are 100% similar because the sounds, emotions evoked and the soul of the songs and the entire album are noticeably different and unique, so my suggestion is that you don't lead your decision based on the structure rather than the actual musical composition and sound.

Epic tracks in this record involve the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th and are according to order: "Lost Not Forgotten", "Bridges in the Sky", "Outcry" and the amazing "Breaking all Illusions". The placement on the album of this epic tracks is perfect as they make the record move between heavy metal passages and crazy experimentation to soft melodic moments and beautiful soft ballads.

The musicianship here is top notch as usual, Petrucci, Rudess, Myung, Mangini really excel as one would hope they do. Even La Brie who has a love/hate situation with the fan base is absolutely amazing on this record, marking whats probably his best vocal effort in a long time and is sure to please even those, unfortunates, who cant stand his singing.

Another point of interest is the experimental sections of the record. In previous but recent ones (From, I would dare say, "A train of thought" forward) the band has had us used to listen to the crazy musical exchange between Rudess and Petrucci that sometimes...manytimes, sounded like a simple attempt to wow and maybe showoff their incredible abilities. This time however, the complex time signatures, the crazy note exchanges, the..."showing off" if you will, all serve the sole purpose of the music and song in general resulting in much more pleasant, amazing and even more complex instrumental sections that incorporate not only their modern metal edge but the classical quality that made them as a band back in the day. It seems that in this record they have achieved a true balance between their virtuosity and musical quality, a trademark that defined them back in days of I&W and Awake.

The ballads are also a high point in this album, having three of them spread out to bring us back to reality through out the record and give those who need a chance to catch their breaths a break.

I've tried through out the review of the album not to focus on the whole Portnoy situation and however I find my self in the need to do so in order to conclude it. Mike Portnoy was without a doubt a mayor influence in DT and I was, as every other fan out there, DEVASTATED by his departure. However, parts of the musical direction that previous records such as "Systematic Chaos" and "Black Clouds and Silver Linings" had adopted were at least questionable. With his departure from the band we can now forget about the growling and growing comercial trades that the band had started to exhibit. It's, as I said, a sort of back to basics and hopefully a simple taste of whats to come in the future.

In the fewest words possible:

The metal riffs are awesome, the instrumental sections are better than ever incorporating all of their influences (From ELP to Riverside to Rush to Classic DT), the solos and skills are better than ever aging the same way only the finest wines age, the vocals are spot on and the lyrics are the best in quite some time and last but not least we can finally hear Mr. Myung.

For all that and surely a lot of other things I've ommited and skipped this album deserves 4.5 stars; Lets just make it an even 5 shall we?

olastrax | 5/5 |


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