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Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.68 | 677 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The first Dream Theater studio effort to feature Derek Sherinian was A Change of Seasons. And this album isn't even all studio. It's half studio, half cover tracks. Petrucci, Myung, Portnoy, and Sherinian offer up a musical onslaught of technicality and shredding power. LaBrie offers some nice, though sometimes annoying, vocal performances and delivers Portnoy's lyrics with precision and emotion. The Rony Scott's covers are varied and they add a more home-grown feel to the album. There are some real gems that they pull out here (but they decided to leave out Easter w/ Steve Hogarth and Steve Rothery).

A Change of Seasons is the alpha-studio song on the album. It began life in the late 80's as a song the group was working on and tried to get on Images & Words, but that failed. The lyrics and themes depicted in the song give a feeling of carpe diem, or seize the day, and live life to the fullest with no regrets. The 7-string arpeggios in the beginning are inventive and give light to later sections of the album. The heavy breakdown before the vocals arrive is one of the best Dream Theater has ever concocted. Petrucci's riffing on this album is very similar to that of Alex Lifeson and Steve Rothery, with odd phrasing and chordal techniques. The instrumental sections in the middle are inventive and keep the listener on edge with solos from essentially everybody. Overall, this is an okay song studio-wise, but live it is a whole other monster that totally surpasses everything in this song.

The other half of the album is cover songs, the best of which is The Big Medley, which contains excerpts from such artists as Pink Floyd, Kansas, Queen, Genesis, The Dixie Dregs, and Journey. The playing on these songs are superb and give a DT edge to old classics. It's a shame though that they didn't include the Steve Howe Yes medley or Easter (with Steve Hogarth and Steve Rothery of Marillion), these songs are a lot stronger than the other songs represented on the album.

Overall, I feel that this, along with When Dream and Day Unite, are the weakest Dream Theater albums to date. There are some great ideas and performances on this album, but it feels too rushed and the whole thing could have been done a lot better. 2.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 2/5 |


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