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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.84 | 1539 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars So, I bought this album on release day, and have listened to it close to 40 times as of this review. Why did I take so long to review this album, being such a big fan of the band as I am?

Well, for one, I almost always give new Dream Theater albums 5 stars when they come out. Ive since adjusted my ratings for their older albums. This album, I wanted to take my time, and see if this one was truly 5 stars worth, considering the back story surrounding this album; what with Mike Portnoy's unexpected departure and new drummer Mike Mangini coming on board. I think Portnoy's departure may have been the most upsetting and controversial lineup shift of a drummer since... well.... Bill Bruford leaving Yes. Most people aren't too concerned when a drummer leaves a band, as much as they are when a guitarist or singer leaves. Portnoy left much of his musical stamp on much of Dream Theater's music, so it was going to be interesting to see how the band's sound would change without him.

Another reason I took so long to write this review, is that I could not wrap my head around all the music in 4-5 listens. It literally took over 10 or so listens to really get an idea of what this album was all about. The music is some of the most complex and technical stuff Dream Theater has ever written, but also some of the most thought-provoking. Some of the passages are really deep, and contain many subtleties.

What I like most about the album, is the flow. Dream Theater's albums in the past decade have more or less suffered from album flow, NOT the quality of the songs themselves. This album however, goes by in a breeze. It may take up most of the CD it's on, but it flows so well, that I'm not looking at my watch every couple of songs.

And what of the music itself? It is classic Dream Theater, but really let loose, and not in the Train of Thought-type of let loose without regard for musicality. I mean, they took all the best elements of 2000s Dream Theater, and mixed it with a few aspects of their older, 90s sound, and added some more modern twists (such as some electronic beats on "Build Me Up, Break Me Down" and "Outcry"). James LaBrie has been given more free reign, and a noticeable difference on this album is that he multi-tracked some of his vocals, giving them a slightly different depth than before.

Everyone else in the band is very audible (Yes even John Myung on bass), though the drums could have been mixed a tad louder, but it's ok. This is the most clear Ive heard the band since Scenes From A Memory, maybe Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Speaking of Six Degrees... this is easily the best album since that 2002 masterpiece. Every song is good, and is very powerful.

For the casual Dream Theater fan, this album IS a must. If you're favorite albums are Images & Words, Scenes From A Memory, or Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, you will want this album badly. Dream Theater have (yet again) returned. Really looking forward to the next album to see what they'll come up with with Mike Mangini hopefully contributing to the music.

darkshade | 5/5 |


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