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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 3024 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Dream Theater "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" 9/10

This incredible composition of the art that is arguably one of Dream Theater's best is my entry into the world of progressive metal. It was the summer of 2004, and my father put it on saying a buddy of his recommended it. This awesome album dragged me into the undeniably fantastic world of prog metal, and did not let go; The incredible riffs and technical aspects accompanied by a gospel section and truly excellent storyline. Yes, this play-in- music concept album had me hooked. There is little I have a problem with on this release, as it is expertly delivered by prog metal gods John Petrucci (guitar), John Myung (bass), Mike Portnoy (drums and percussion), Jorden Rudess (keyboard) and James LaBrie (lead vocals). The instruments are all played with extreme finesse, professionalism, and soul- lifting talent. It it quite evident these boys really clicked on this LP.

The storyline on this concept album is simply based on a man finding out about his past life and the tragic love-life and end it beheld, and how it affects his current life. Simple, yet the delivery of the story carries the listener over and intense ride of simply genius prog riffs and melodies, leaving them baffled. At my discovery of the album I had not heard of a concept album before, and I thought it was an incredible and awesome thing to do, especially how Dream Theater set it up, i.e. Act I Scene I, II, III etc. Very creative track listing technique. Throughout the album, the "voice" of LaBrie switches from the modern character "Nicolas" and past life regression "Victoria" which is a creative idea, and helps carry the concept.

Scenes From A Memory is ripe with the incredible technical aspects found in prog, drawing specific attention to the album's second instrumental, "Dance Of Eternity" I stumbled upon a video of drummer Portnoy going over a chart he made up that was used in the song's recording. The chart is used to detail what the time signature is for each bar towards the ending of the song, and the changes are intense. The time signatures change almost every bar, with examples such as 5/4, 9/8, 7/8, 3/16 etc. The complexity is astonishing and the performance is incredibly immaculate. If you have not been convinced of this band's talent yet, this song is sure to convince you at least, if not blow your mind.

With the attention drawn towards technical ability, we bring in Portnoy again. He has mastered the progessive metal drumming found on this album. Thinking of the track "Home", at roughly the halfway point of the song, he puts out an incredible amount of technicality into his playing, which ends up sounding like he has at least three arms. Portnoy is not the blast-beat death-metal style technical drummer, nor does he need to. He easily accomplishes an astounding amount of awesome through his style, and does an excellent job displaying his ability on this album. Even with the more simple beats and rhythms he does, I find myself incredibly interested; His delivery is fantastic. Additionally, found on the final track "Finally Free" is small drum solo played very well with the music. It involves both simple and technical aspects Portnoy possesses, and displays very well his ability to throw even more talent at this album. Played over a menacingly heavy riff, the drum solo adds the metaphorical cherry to this piece of art; The solo is perfectly placed, and compliments the mood quite well.

To help accent the technical parts of the album, we find light and/or acoustic and/or piano sections filling the gaps. The beautiful tracks "Through My Words", "Through Her Eyes", "One Last Time" and "The Spirit Carries On" hold on to some impressive sounds proving Dream Theater's ability to play both heavy and technical, as well as light and simple, and to do it well. The songs "Through Her Eyes" and "The Spirit Carries On" contain some incredibly beautiful and definitely enjoyable gospel sounds, featuring the astonighing voice of Theresa Thomason. Her delivery, assisted by the gorgeous sounds of Petrucci's guitar, is beyond awesome. Truly among some of the great moments of Dream Theater, especially when listening to/viewing live versions.

The songs final track begins with the concept album's hypnotherapist, played by Terry Brown, speaking to Nicholas, and ending the session of regression. The song begins a dark atmosphere, transitioning into a desperate sounding piano section with LaBrie singing over top. The song's lyrics seem to summarise the events from Nicolas' past life throughout each section. Following the lyrical section is the dark, heavy and menacing section I mentioned containing Portnoy's solo. This continues till the music fades to left side, before cutting out. A fantastic way to end the musical section of the album. The album continues, with the sounds of a man, Nicholas, getting out of his car and entering his home. He proceeds to listen to the news, which is taken from an actual news report from the JFK assassination. He pours himself a drink, sits back, and enjoys a piece of music on vinyl. "Open you eyes Nicolas" cuts in, and the sound of static takes over, which very likely is intended to be the transition to their next album, "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" (2002)

This album easily nets a 5 star rating, as it delivers the progessive metal genre incredibly well. Dream Theater did a fantastic job when writing\recording\producing this album. I am thankful for this release leading me into the real world and leaving me feel helpless and in need of an adult.

IcedPorcupine | 5/5 |


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