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Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.68 | 677 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A Change of Seasons is Dream Theater's first 20+ minute epic and also the first recording to feature Derek Sherinian on keyboards, replacing the now departed Kevin Moore. The recording also includes four covers/medleys, performed and recorded live at Ronny Scots Jazz Club, of such luminaries as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Elton John. A Change of Seasons was originally written by Mike Portnoy in '89 along with Metropolis Part1: The Miracle and The Sleeper and was intended to go on the bands second album Images And Words, but failed to make it, most likely due to timing constraints. Sections of the song were played live, in one form or another, throughout the bands early years. With the departure of Moore, recording A Change of Seasons would be the perfect way to introduce Sherinian to the fans that hadn't seen him perform live with the band on the Awake tour as a fill in.

Put simply, A Change of Seasons is a candidate for the best Dream Theater song. At 23 minutes it uses the full length to use dynamic changes in and between each section brilliantly. This is quite simply one of their most inspired records, filled with some of Petrucci's best and most expressive riffs and solo's. John Myung's solid, technical and very interesting bass lines pervade throughout without having to be too flashy whilst still doing everything needed. LaBrie actually gives a really good performance on this record as he lets rip with that excellent voice of his, and even his higher register vocals, witch so marred Awake, are done in moderation and in the right place so that they actually work very well with the song.

Derek Sherinian's performance on this album shows that technically he was up to the challenge of matching Kevin Moore. Though his parts are expressive and very well made I do wonder how much of it was already written by Moore in the five years that the band were working on it and how much is Sherinian's? I guess his skill isn't in question after this but we had to wait for Falling Into Infinity to find out just how good he is.

Mike Portnoy's powerful drumming is in full flow on this album, but it doesn't seem to be quite as forthright as usual, but works with what's there just as well. Full credit to him as well for being the writer of this great song, quite possibly his best work in this regard.

The live songs added after the main piece are very much a case of hit and miss. First up they perform a medley of Elton John's Funeral For A Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding, a well performed song and quite obviously a EJ song, but if you don't like him you are not likely to like this either. This is followed by a cover of Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers, with a typical Petrucci solo added in the middle. I rather like this song and is in fact the only one of the four that really stands out for me. The same applies to the Led Zeppelin medley as to the Elton John medley so I wont bother repeating it. The last song is a medley of multiple songs from different artists like Genesis, Pink Floyd, Kansas, etc. and is quite simply awful. So many changes of song, doesn't work well here as the songs are all completely different, from different people. I always end the disk before this final as its not worth listening to.

Overall this album is recommended for the big title epic, and the live performances are only their as extra's IMO. A Change of Seasons is a song I recommend all to here but really this record is only worth buying if you're a DT fan, 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 as it really is for fans only, even if everyone should here the title track.

sleeper | 2/5 |


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