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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover

AWAKE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.11 | 1477 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After a successful run with Images & Words, Dream Theater returned to the studio and created what is known as Awake. Some revere it as their crowning achievement. Me? I think it's okay, but nowhere near their best. There are some very inventive tracks (A Mind Beside Itself/The Mirror/Space-Dye Vest), but they are marred by some weaker songs (Innocence Faded/6:00/Scarred). Petrucci, Myung, Portnoy, and Moore sound as tight as ever, and the music they created on the album is superb. LaBrie gives this album his all, but during some songs he really lets go and just wails and wails away.

6:00 opens the album, and it is one of the weaker songs on the album. I like the samples and the drum patterns in this song, but the lyrics are a tad too overdone and the vocals are a little too overblown for my taste. Caught in a Web is the first song on a Dream Theater record to feature Petrucci and his 7-string guitar antics. This song is really strong, with some nice keyboard touches by Moore. My only complaint with the song is the section towards the end where LaBrie is just screaming and not trying to sing melodically. The worst song on the album is Innocence Faded, it doesn't even feel like Dream Theater, but more like some 80's hair metal fiasco of a band.

A Mind Beside itself is the first Dream Theater multi-piece epic. The distorted organ intro to Erotomania only gives a warning of whats to come. This is power metal to the max. The reason this song was created was because they wanted to make one of those "instrumentals to end all instrumentals" and pull out all the stops. It segues into Voices, which is one of the strongest tracks on the album. Strong lyrics, strong vocals, and strong musicianship only prove the great things that Dream Theater would create in the future. The Silent Man is the acoustic finale to A Mind Beside Itself. It's a strong acoustic track, but it's better represented on Live Scenes From New York.

The Mirror/Lie is another two parter that show Petrucci's musical prowess on the 7- string. The Mirror is essentially a prequel to the "Glass Prison/This Dying Soul/The Root of All Evil" series with lyrics in regard to Portnoy's problems and struggles with alcohol. It segues into Lie, which is one of the singles on the album. It's has a nice riff and some very cool lyrics from Moore. Lifting Shadows Off a Dream is Myung's lyrical contribution of the album, it's a nice mellow piece that has some soothing vocals from LaBrie. Scarred is the epic of the album, and it's probably the weakest epic Dream Theater has done (next to Honor Thy Father), a pretty bland rhythm and melody is augmented with pretty weak lyrics and vocals. Space-Dye Vest is Moore's final lyrical contribution with Dream Theater, and he really leaves with a high note. This dreary and very industrial sounding song is one of my favorites. Some simple piano followed by a very restrained approach from Petrucci and Portnoy and some more soothing vocal from Labrie finish out this album.

Overall, this is the one of the last Dream Theater albums I recommend you check out. A Change of Seasons is the follower, and it's a tad weaker than this (because I think the song is better represented live). Anyway, I like this album, but not a whole lot, it's one I always listen to reluctantly, but some Dream Theater fans will say otherwise. 3/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |

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