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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover

OCTAVARIUM

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.66 | 1537 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Equality 7-2521
3 stars Dream Theater have always been a band that wears their influences on their sleeves, but never to the blatant degree of "Octavarium". They almost sound like a band just beginning, trying to sort out their own sound from their influences. This is something I expect on a band's debut, but on their eighth album it comes off a bit ridiculous. Obvious Nods to U2 and Muse dominate the music, and the album's epic runs the gamut of prog clichés. However, they still manage to make some of the material enjoyable.

The whole album, including the epic, seems to have a bit of a mainstream feel to it, especially obvious in U2 inspired I Walk Beside You and The Answer Lies Within. Some truly heartfelt moments shine through the muck and are what make this album worth your money. The Root Of All Evil, the best of Portnoy's AA installments, shows James finally giving a acceptable vocal performance for the first time since "Scenes From A Memory" and contains a hauntingly beautiful chorus. The powerful Sacrifice Sons is hands downed the most inspired, genuine, piece of art that Dream Theater have done since "Awake". Unlike many Dream Theater songs, the piece starts somewhere and progresses to its climactic finish.

Some restrain is finally shown by the band on "Octavarium". There are almost no points that seem to be needless showcases of talent, indulgence, etc. If Dream Theater had taken the time to establish their own sound avoided obvious clichés that they almost seemed to embrace, this could have been another masterpiece in the Dream Theater catalogue.

Equality 7-2521 | 3/5 |

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