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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.30 | 3109 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory is the fifth album by US Prog-metal band Dream Theater and the bands first, and so far only, concept album. It is also the album that saw the debut of new keyboard player Jordan Rudess, having poached him from the Dixie Dregs to replace Derek Sherinian. This album elaborates on the story we were introduced to on the album Images and Words in Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper.

This is quite simply the best album the band have produced yet, and remains that way almost 10 years later (though not for lack of trying). The album starts off with the introduction Regression that sets the scene for this story but it's the opening of Overture 1928 that really grabs you and from then on it never lets go. This album takes you through the raucous blasts of Strange Déjà Vu, Beyond This Life (and others), through the quiet emotion of Through my Words and the almost soulful Through Her Eyes. The big strength of this album is that it flows so well from song to song, just like you would expect from a concept album and as a result this is probably the most emotionally diverse album that DT have produced so far.

Individual performances from the band members is superb, possibly the best that each has ever given in the studio on any of their albums. Petrucci's guitar playing on this album gives everything that you could want from him, the catchy little riffs that you usually find from him, the neat bridges and the impressive solo's, and not just the supper fast ones that he's famous for but a couple of really soulful, slow solo's that catch the attention as well. John Myung adds some real stand out performances, most notably on the instrumental Dance of Eternity were he opens with one of the simplest, but most effective bass intro's I've ever heard and adds a rather impressive solo into the middle of the song as well. His role in general is the usual blend of strong bass lines and inventive rhythmic playing that compliments the guitar and keyboards without trying to overshadow, or being overshadowed by them.

Mike Portnoy gives the usual stunning performances here were he expands on the drummers usual rhythmic playing whilst still holding the back beat perfectly. This all culminates in the stunning solo that he gives to finish of the album, a particularly memorable way to finish it at that. Jordan Rudess was the unknown factor in this album as he had just joined the band. His style of play conveys nearly as much emotion as Kevin Moore's (but just a bit short of that) whilst being better technically. His style also fits in with the band perfectly as you will find on Scenes From a Memory, which was exactly the problem with Sherinian, he didn't quite fit with the group. Rudess's playing on this album is brilliant, conveying the emotion needed and matching Petrucci for technical excellence. On this album James LaBrie makes a subtle change to the way he singes and almost completely gives up trying to do the high pitched screams that marred his performance on Awake. For those that don't like LaBrie, its unlikely you will find anything here to convince you otherwise but for the rest his performance matches that of his band mates.

Its not often that I find an album that I cant find anything wrong with it, even on 5 star albums I will find a small niggling problem, but nothing worth getting hung up over. Here I can find no fault, in my opinion this is the best album that Dream Theater have ever produced and I don't think they will ever beat it, and I'll go so far as to say that it's in my top 5 of all time favourite albums, simply perfect, 5 stars.

sleeper | 5/5 |


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