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Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.32 | 1454 ratings

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4 stars Two days ago I received a short message from my progmate, Adjie, in Surabaya - approx 1000 miles away from Jakarta - informing that there is a confirmed date for Dream Theater concert in Jakarta 29 January 2006. Wow! What a great news for me after all the whole last year I had been waiting for their planned concert in Singapore that finally was cancelled. Hope the news will become reality and we wanna see DT rocks Jakarta. Yeah .!!! Well, after that short message, the news spread around our community like a bullet, everybody is now aware that DT will finally come to Jakarta, Indonesia. Rock on! That news ignited me to spin all of DT albums starting from "Octavarium", "Train Of Thought", "Live at Budokan" etc. Having reviewed most of DT albums I come to realize that I have not reviewed "Falling Into Infinity". So I spin this album more and more. I have insofar underrated this album so I seldom spin the CD which I purchased dated back 1998. I have been wrong so far because this album is an excellent one; I especially love the sounds of snare 10 played by Mike Portnoy.

The album kicks off with "New Millennium" which begins with Petrucci and Sherinian works on guitar and keyboard in ambient up tempo beat. "A single star behind me ." that's how LaBrie enters the music. What follow is an excellent music typical DT style and emphasis on inventive drum, dynamic bass guitar and soaring guitar work. I like especially the bass and drum sounds at approx 5:45. Cool. It flows with guitar and keyboard solos played together and sometime in alternate. The track continues with a pop rock symphonic song "You Not Me" with a combination of guitar riffs (played softly) and bass; augmented with excellent drumming. Petrucci demonstrates his short solo during interlude. The song is quite straight forward with Sherinian provides long sustain keyboard sound at background which gives symphonic flavor.

"Peruvian Skies" is a melodic mellow track [opening part] with relatively simple structure; LaBrie sings perfectly throughout this track. The song moves into hard one with increasing voice line followed with guitar solo work and heavy riffs featuring keyboard solo. I personally enjoy this track because it moves from mellow to heavy part energetically. The song is based on an article that Petrucci read about an abused girl in Peru, which is where the title came from. Next is a ballad "Hollow Years" that has become a favorite of mine since I watched the "Live at Budokan" where the band extended this track into a 9-minue one. It's basically a simple ballad but it has a powerful melody and composition. The opening part where the music rhythm is an acoustic guitar, bass and drum accompanying LaBrie's voice reminds me to the music of Sting. "Carry me to the shoreline. Bury me in the sand ." uh .what a great melody!

"Burning My Soul" starts with bass guitar solo followed with a heavy rhythm music comprising heavy guitar riffs ala Images and Words album. The song is very energetic as this was originally a live track before it became a CD version of this album where 4 minutes instrumental section was lifted for this audio record but recorded separately under "Hell's Kitchen" (next track). This instrumental piece is really cool, I do enjoy it very much. Nuance-wise it reminds me to Rush' "La Villa Strangiato". I especially like how Petrucci demonstrates his stunning electric guitar solo augmented with dynamic Portnoy drumwork. Sherinian plays two keyboard roles: as background with long sustain notes and solo in alternate with guitar work. Powerful track! Hell's Kitchen is the neighborhood in New York City where you can find Avatar Studios, the site of the recording of Falling Into Infinity.

"Lines In the Sand" is another great song with relatively long duration (12 minutes) comprising styles and tempo changes. What I mean with style here is the way the song is composed because I can hear parts with blues-based influence but also parts with heavy riffs like metal music. And this song offers the styles brilliantly that does not sound boring at all. Petrucci, Myung, Sherinian, Portnoy and LaBrie perform their individual part excellently. This is one of favorite tracks of this album. It flows to next track that is very personal to Petrucci "Take Away My Pain" which basically was written by him in memory of his late father who died of cancer in 1996. It's an excellent ballad.

"Just Let Me Breathe" is truly a rocker! I love it very much. It takes relatively short duration (5 minutes) but it contains chock full of great guitar, keyboard, drum, bass and voice line in energetic beat. It starts with a howling guitar sound followed with snare drum and later with bass guitar and keyboard in fast tempo with high energy. "Open your eyes and turn off your mind ." that's how LaBrie brings his voice up to the music. The interlude part right after "Now they're dead and buried .." is the peak of the song as it demonstrates dazzling fast speed keyboard, stunning guitar, inventive bass and drums at its best! It's an adrenalin exploder, really .!!!!

"Anna Lee" brings the music down with a mellow music about a fictional character that LaBrie invented after being "deeply moved" by some articles he had read about child abuse and incest. It's a cool one. The album concludes with another excellent composition "Trial of Tears", an epic that comprises three parts. Structure-wise this mini epic has inspired the band's eighth album epic "Octavarium" as it starts with an ambient sounds of guitar, keyboard in relatively long period, approx more than one and a half minutes. The music moves in relatively slow tempo with the entrance of drum and bass followed with voice line. The song gradually moves into heavier part at approx minute 6 with great drum work followed with solid basslines featuring guitar solo in the vein of Allan Holdsworth. Yep, it reminds me to Holdsworth in UK style of guitar playing. It's really stunning and adrenalin-exploding! This interlude part takes relatively long period followed with a change of style in drumming at approx minute 8 which remarks the entrance of Sherinian's keyboard solo. Wow! It's really wonderful.

I think this album has been underrated as people compare this album with Images and Words that made the band name sky-rocketted. It's highly recommended.

Welcome to Jakarta, DT! We will mobilize thousand of rockers all over the country to Gelora Bung Karno Stadium for Dream Theater concert in Jakarta, 29 Jan 06! Keep on proggin' , keep on rockin' ..!

Gatot | 4/5 |


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