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Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.46 | 515 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars "Score" is a 3-CD recording of Dream Theater's concert with the Octavarium Symphony Orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York during their 20th Anniversary tour. Dream Theater are not the first "metal" band to perform with an orchestra but, to my knowledge, they are the most recent.

I do not pretend to be an authority on Dream Theater, having picked up on them only three or four years ago. Whilst I've not yet researched the band's history in full, I have collected 5 of their studio albums in the time since I first heard them. I enjoy their brand of melodic "metal" which is often interspersed with lengthy passages of pure symphonic- rock invention. This is normally aided purely by synthesizers but they recently released the album "Octavarium" where they also deployed an orchestra.

Whilst I am not a huge fan of "live" albums, I bought this one because It was reasonably priced and I was intrigued at how the band would sound live with the orchestra.

This is a very good "live" album. The sound quality is excellent and the band have managed to capture the excited atmosphere of the crowd well on the recording.

Disc 1 shows Dream Theater, playing without the orchestra, in their purest high- energy "metal" mode. For me, they are better than this but even so there are a couple of songs where the melody is developed that really appeal: the catchy "I Walk Beside You" and the amazing "The Spirit Carries On". The latter is actually the high point of the album for me; a beautiful, moving song that had the audience singing along with the chorus - it sends shivers all down my spine! A great moment!

The music on discs 2 and 3 has the band showing their more melodious and inventive side. The orchestra is particularly effective during the excellent, 40-minute long "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence". Other high points include "Octavarium" and "The Answer Lies Within".

This would be a good first album to buy if you are new to Dream Theater and tempted to try them out. The band showcase the whole range of their music and the sound quality is as good as in the studio albums: take that together with the pricing and you have a very good value CD.

If you are interested in rock bands playing "live" with orchestras then I would suggest you check out Barclay James Harvest's CD "BBC In Concert". This is a recording taken back from as long ago as 1972 and whilst it does not have the sound quality or error- free playing of the Dream Theater disc you cannot beat it for pure invention and excitement!

alextorres | 4/5 |


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