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Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.13 | 1993 ratings

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The Progmatist
4 stars Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that this album has received such high ratings. As an avid Dream Theater fan, I see this as the band's weakest work (yes, weaker than FALLING INTO INFINITY!). I will admit that the experimentalism of the first disk works pretty well, especially with tracks like "Blind Faith" and "Misunderstood." Although "The Glass Prison" will undoubtedly rock your socks off at times, its repetitiveness takes away from the power it could have had. "The Great Debate" is definitely the low point of the disk. Although it tries to rock hard, I don't think I've ever gotten anything from its staticness and almost childish lyrics. Just because embryonic stem cell research sounds like it could be a great topic for a metal song doesn't necessarily mean that it is......or even should be.

Despite the first disk's shortcomings, it is still a pretty decent stand alone disk, especially when removed from a Dream Theater context. But this context is precisely the problem with the second disk, even more so than the first. To me, the entire 42- minute song on this CD (if you consider it a coherent song) sounds like more of an attempt by the band to sound like themselves rather than an original Dream Theater recording. Several reviewers on this site have labeled the first disk as "experimental" Dream Theater and the second disk as "classic" Dream Theater. I couldn't disagree more. "Classic" Dream Theater is progressive and always progressing; the second disk is anything but. The first two tracks, "Overture" and "About to Crash" are some of the cheesiest that the band has put out. For once I can actually say that the brilliant keyboardist Jordan Rudess sounds corny here. Not only do the four instrumentalists fail in trying to produce a classical sound in "Overture," but Rudess' synth lines border on juvenile at times. If you want to hear a real overture, look no further than the one that introduces Dream Theater's SCENES FROM A MEMORY. As for the second disk's high points, "The Test that Stumped Them All" pulls no punches as a great straight-up riffer, and "Solitary Shell" is an emotional track with some fantastic classical guitar work by John Petrucci. Overall, though, this album comes off as the least authentic and powerful of the band's prolific catalogue. There are very few moving sections (especially in the second CD), and Rudess' motifs are some of his least impressive. In a sense, I will agree with the reviewers who call the second disk "classic" Dream Theater, but only if by "classic" they mean a sound that comes off as a reproduction of what the band believes it should sound like. Dream Theater is above such self-gratification.

The Progmatist | 4/5 |


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