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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory CD (album) cover

METROPOLIS PART 2: SCENES FROM A MEMORY

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2090 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Deadwing12
5 stars I recently gave this album a thorough listen after owning it for a year or so, and I can safely say it is worthy of masterpiece status, and is one of Dream Theater's 5 star opuses (along with Images and Words).

What is there left ot say about this amazing band? I have rediscovered thier outstanding back catalogue, and its easy to see why Dream Theater is heads and tails above the competition in the prog-metal music realm (with only Pain of Salvation, Tool, and Opeth coming close to them in terms of quality output).

You can debate their compostional skills. You can debate their level of progginess. What you can't debate, however, is their musical prowess: the five members of Dream Theater are among the top musical virtuosos in the world, all classically trained (with three members attending the esteemed Berklee College of Music, to which I applied as well:)). Thewir live shows are also out of this world, and any fans of DT are recommended to see them live as it is a blast to watch.

Anyways, onto the album... kind of silly to do a track by track with some many reviews, so I'll spare the reader some time. The concept is interesting if not ground-breaking, but it hepls give the band something to say, both musically and lyrically. Speaking of lyrically, Dream Theater does not sound as corny on this album as they do on others (much of Falling Into Infinity and Octavarium conain cringeworthy lyrics); James Labrie's easy delivery and tone helps make the album a joy to listen to, and he is in top form for sure. Whether soft and smooth ('The Spirit Carries On') or rough and rousing ('Beyond This Life'), Labrie does not disappoint.

The musicians themselves are the ones churning out the music, and the remaining four members of Dream Theater are all in top form on this album. Guitarist John Petrucci has some really staggering guitar solos and extremely interesting lead lines throughout the album (which he has, sadly, not been able to top). What makes Petrucci's playing so magnificent is that, even when he is shredding like a madman and playing 64th note runs, one can still hear ever single note he's playing, a true feat, and a testament to his musicality. John Myung on bass plays very typically on this album: in the back, with a 'business as usual' attitude, but still playing some of the most complex bass runs I've ever heard.

Jorden Rudess, the new addition to Dream Theater,is a welcome breath of fresh air from the slightly subdued and prissy Derek Sherinian who I've never been a fan of. Rudess, a Juliard alum, is quite an amazing keyboardist, as he can swith through a variety of styles (classical, metal, ragtime, jazzy, rock) instantly. His keyboard runs perfectly compliment Petrucci's playing at some times, and other times he just lays down the ambience and foundation of the song to come.

Mike Portnoy doesn't really need to be discussed; he puts in a jaw-dropping drum performance, and as usual plays with a mix of Neil Peart-ian fills and 'big rock show!' time patterns. 'Finally Free' is outstanding and showcases Mike's outstanding musical ability.

The album itself is the most unified and album-oriented of DT's catalogue. It possesses in itself a contradiction: it works best when heard all together, yet the songs themselves are quite capable of being held on their own terms (for further eargasms, I suggest the reader to listen to 'Beyond This Life' from Live in Budokan...it's been stretched to 20 minutes!). My favorite songs are of course the big ones: 'Beyond This Life' contains the best jam session on the album, and 'Home' has some lovely throwbacks to the orginal Metropolis. That's another fun thing about this album: fans of Images and Words will have a ball picking out the different allusions and riffs from the original Metropolis throughout this album.

I am not a Dream Theater fanboy or a metalhead. I am a musician and a proghead, and as such, i recognize the need for both emotional and smart compostional ability as well as techincal prowess (for what I will be attending 4 years of college for!). Noweher does Dream Theater exemplify these traits than on Scenes From A Memory. A definate masterpiece of progressive rock and worthy of its praise.

Deadwing12 | 5/5 |

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