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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Very good stuff. CD1 is experimental, whereas CD2 is classic DT. CD1 : -'glass prison' is a blend of prog and thrash metal, close to Metallica. -'blind faith' is mainstream metal but it presents an interesting bridge -'misunderstood' is the most intriguing tune, beginning as a ballad and followed by a dark mood with Marilyn Manson influence and crimsonesque guitar work. -'the great debate' features excellent drumming and bass playing, and many rhythm changes in the bridge. -'disappear' is a melancholic ballad with pop accents à la Radiohead. CD2 : concept-album -'Overture' is a pompous instrumental that presents all of the following themes. -'About to crash' is a magnificent prog tune. -'War inside my head' is a darker track. -'the test' has a faster pace and is more aggressive, with an amazing instrumental ending -'Goodnight kiss' is a sweet ballad -'Solitary shell' is a Yes-influenced tune, very light and ending with a superb instrumental part including a latine section. -'Reprise' is 'About to crash' with a faster pace and ends with a briliant keyboards' fireworks. -'Losing time' has a very sentimental atmosphere with grand vocals. Overall, these two CDs are as good as earlier DT CDs and I don't understand people who disapprove of them.
Report this review (#10928)
Posted Saturday, November 22, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hello all

This is a DT masterpiece. Seriously...the music on this CD is out of this world. First CD is heavy,fast,irreverent and touches social issues of today's world in an intelligent manner. The music is just like a "mixed salad" for every taste, there's something in there.

Second CD is a truly brilliant masterpiece. Touching the issue of mental health and pain in a touching, yet almost symphonical manner is no easy task. The lyrics and the plot behind this one is truly for the thinking men...hey, the music even matches the different situations and illnesess they are singing about.

After SFAM...this. An honorable succesor.

Report this review (#10955)
Posted Saturday, November 29, 2003 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
5 stars After initially listening to this album with the expectation of another "Awake" or even "Scenes from a Memory", I came away disappointed in the first part. It seemed that Dream Theater was slowly but surely starting to move away from the epic tendencies that previously defined them. However, I recently took it upon myself to get rid of any prejudices, and simply listen to this as if it were from a different band. My, how that paid off. I came to the realization that this album is definitely strengthened by the power of its individual songs (well, the first disc at least), and that the pretentiousness of trying to create another conceptual masterpiece was left out for a good reason.

While certainly integrating different aspects of music into their sound, nothing sounds like it clashes or forces a sense of uneasiness onto the listener. The band's technical proficiency is up to par as always. James Labrie seems to stick to a style of singing that doesn't rely on high notes, which may be attributed to his slowly deteriorating voice. No worry, as he doesn't take the spotlight nearly as much as in the past, and avoiding over the top performances is a good thing. Jordan Rudess is undoubtedly cementing his place in the band, with a display that could easily rival that of "SFAM". The first disc displays the experimental side of the band more so than the second, which contains an epic in the style of "A Change of Seasons". This easily rekindles fond memories of the DT of past years, but not so much as to seem unoriginal or lacking in ideas.

Track-by-track guide:

Disc 1:

Track 1, "The Glass Prison" starts off where Scenes from a Memory left off - with what sounds like it's meant to be a downpour of rain, but could equally just be radio static. A bell tolls, and a catchy yet haunting riff builds up, instrument by instrument, steadily growing heavier, until the kickdrums come in, and you can tell the track's gonna be a rocker. And that's pretty much what it is - a solid, heavy track. Makes for a pretty hard-hitting opener. James LaBrie's vocals are great and well varied throughout the track, there's some impressive bass work, the drumming is excellent - the keyboards are the only instrument which don't particularly shine as much in this song, but that's okay, Rudess gets a lot of time to show off later on in the album. The lyrics are great, too: Mike Portnoy's went from the guy who didn't write any lyrics whatsoever for the first two albums, to probably the best lyricist in the band for heavy songs. This is the first of his songs on the subject of the Alcoholics Anonymous twelve-step program, which continues through "This Dying Soul" in Train of Thought onwards.

Then, we move onto something very different. James LaBrie provides the lyrics to "Blind Faith", a moody attack on religious zealotry. From the first few seconds of the fade in, you can guess this isn't going to be anything like The Glass Prison. It begins quite mellow, with a lot more keyboard influence than TGP had, and far less guitar - that's a distorted six-string bass you can hear Petrucci playing, there. Eventually, it builds up to a more heavy (but still keyboard-focal (and still awesome)) sound, as the chorus comes in, which it maintains in varying degrees until the outro. Around the five minute mark, James LaBrie stops singing, and you're treated to quite possibly the best instrumental section in any Dream Theater song, featuring Petrucci and Rudess taking it in turns to outsolo each other. This is definition kickass, and probably the high point of a great album. A brilliant song, one of Dream Theater's best.

As Blind Faith fades back out, the acoustic-sounding, heart-felt introduction to the pseudo-ballad "Misunderstood" begins. It continues in much the same vain for a while: soothing and melodic, before building up to a contrastingly heavy chorus, and ditches the soothing feeling for a haunting feel to it. Anyone who thought they were in for a mellow track after three minutes of the song should have learnt their lesson better from Blind Faith: Misunderstood is probably the darkest song on the album. Unfortunately, two minutes from the end, it spoils what was a great song with some horrible... noise. There's no real way to describe it, other than noise, it's dreadful. They'd have done better leaving it out, but at least the rest of the song is a masterpiece.

Moving on, "The Great Debate" also builds up to its main contingent pretty slowly, but not in the same mellow yet listenable way as Blind Faith or Misunderstood does. Instead, it begins with an overly stretched-out section of modern keyboardy sounds upon a bass line, with samples over the top presenting both sides of the argument against stem-cell research, making great use of the pan. It's extremely dull, so if you want to listen to it all the way through, I advise listening to at least the intro with headphones, as that's the only way this intro is going to be even vaguely interesting. However, once it does build up, this is, musically, exceptional. It's well-orchestrated, melodic, heavy to a certain degree, interesting, and generally extremely listenable - the keyboard and guitar taking equally dominating roles. The lyrics leave a little to be desired, but they're not as cheesy as some make out. The vocals aren't nearly as good as LaBrie is capable of, and the first few lines would have been much better without the robotic vocal effects. The drumming compensates for that severalfold, however. I'll say it straight out: the drumming in this song is unmatched by anything else on this album. Apparently, there's a lot of Tool influence in them as well. Eventually, it goes into a pretty kickass keyboard solo, followed by a less kickass guitar solo, and closes with what may as well be the intro played backwards. This song probably should have been only nine minutes long, but hey, the bits which aren't unyielding torrents of samples make it an enjoyable track. It's my least favourite song of this double album though.

"Disappear" is a song which I always tend to group with Misunderstood in terms of general feel. It took me far too long before I began to appreciate it, however. It starts out with some creepy-sounding effects, followed by a haunting keyboard line, before progressing - quite suddenly - into an acoustic ballad. Unlike Misunderstood, however, this song won't turn around three minutes in and become a heavy track. Which, I must say, I appreciate - this song is absolutely beautiful. I didn't appreciate it at all, originally, but now that I've got used to it, it's the perfect closer to the first disc.

Disc 2:

Disc 2 is all a single song, though it doesn't really feel like one. In spite of the often less-than-subtle transitions, however, it's a pretty progressive disc.

"Overture" is just what it says on the package, an overture. It's slightly... odd for an overture, though. As opposed to the traditional approach, in which the riffs are almost identical to how they're presented in the song, they've designed it to sound extremely orchestral and classical in nature - and they did it quite well, too. It's a majestic opening to the CD, and fits quite well. Eventually, it builds up to a climax, and the beautiful piano intro to "About To Crash" enters. And, About to Crash is a great song, it was one of my favourites for a very long time; Rudess' piano ability fits in perfectly, and it's harmonious all the way through. It begins with quite an optimistic feeling to it, but gradually becomes more sinister, fitting in perfectly with the subject matter of the lyrics - a bipolar girl.

"War Inside My Head" is a song about a man mentally scarred by war, and sounds the part, too. It launches with an intimidating, guitar-driven intro, before LaBrie sings a short verse, followed by a great call and return chorus, between Portnoy and LaBrie. Followed by another short verse, followed by another short chorus, followed by "The Test That Stumped Them All". It's a catchy song, and near impossible not to headbang to, but... where's the length? Totals two minutes, about a minute of which consists of intro. Still, the guitar's awesome, the drumming's top notch, and it flows well - I love this song. I'd love it even more if they wrote an extended version of it, however.

"The Test That Stumped Them All" has a slightly hysterical feeling to it. It's fast and heavy, but the vocals at the "We can't seem to find the answers...," etc. verses are kinda irritating. That said, the instrumentation is good, and it's a damned good song, all in all. The instrumental section at the end sounds excellent; it fits the rest of the song far better than that at the end of, About to Crash, say.

The first half of "Goodnight Kiss" drags on a bit. The intro takes a little too long, but once you get into it it's got a lot of feeling to it, and it's not exactly dull. The first solo is quite heartfelt, and then, a little over halfway through, the pace changes for the instrumental section, to an extremely darker, faster section. The drum sets a good, foot-tappin' (:P) pulse through it, which flows perfectly into Solitary Shell.

"Solitary Shell" is a pretty damn cool song, with a good mood, and makes for a more calm, collected interlude. The instrumental break at the end has something of a latin vibe to it in places, and doesn't quite fit with the rest of the song. It's probably the one part of the epic piece I'm least familiar with, it sort of becomes background noise until the intro to About to Crash Reprise comes up.

...which, might I add, rocks. The guitar intro sounds great, the keyboard roll sounds great, and it's got a great feel to it - far more optimistic and fastpaced than ATC was even at the start. A bit shorter, but that's excusable. The instrumental section towards the end almost unravels the overture from the start; you can hear sections of War Inside My Head in it, and it's in much the same style. It only lasts two minutes, however, before making the final transition between songs.

"Losing Time" is just plain beautiful. It's a mellow, touching close to the disc. The lyrics are stunning, the best on the disc, and the instrumentation is majestic, tying back to Overture extremely well. The lyrics to the "Grand Finale" are slightly cheesy, but it builds up great, and the gong is the perfect climax to mark the end of an stunning album.

Well, that's it folks. At the end of this album, it is clearly the end. It's not like Scenes From a Memory where it has this little symphonic reprisal with some dude on the news talking or anything like that. After the last word of the song, there's nothing left to look forward to. Anyway, this isn't my favorite DT release, but I feel inclined to give it a high recommendation to any one out of my deep respect for it.

album rating: 9/10 points = 89 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Report this review (#10937)
Posted Monday, December 22, 2003 | Review Permalink
1 stars Ok, first let me get something clear. This album is not bad, in fact it is better than average, but after Metropolis Pt. 2, everyone was expecting something better. Until now, every DT album was better than the last, which is really an accomplishment for a band with 9 albums until then. But Six Degrees was a step back for DT (maybe two or three, actually). The first track of each disc is amazing, but then it all just falls apart. I mourned Dream Theatre for many months, already anticipating their débacle (according to the 2 lame rule, two lame consecutive albums = dead band), but fortunately, their latest album Train of Thought brings back Metropolis standards with a heavy twist I much enjoy. Many people recommend this for beginners as a "mixed salad" of Dream Theatre songs, but if you look at the rest of their albums, where everything is so well planned and every track is there for a reason, you will agree this "mixed salad" thing is totally un-DT. Like I read in another of these reviews, The Glass Prison alone is worth your money. But other Dream Theater albums give you so much more for your money...
Report this review (#10956)
Posted Sunday, January 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can't understand people that don't like this album (i.e. Ian). In comparison to DT's astoundingly brilliant fifth album Scenes From a Memory, Six Degrees isn't maybe up to the same standard, but is in it's own right an excellent album. There are some incredibly heavy riffs (esp. in Glass Prison) mixed with beautiful piano parts, mixed with catchy lighter melodies - this album has it all. The length of the album overall (about 1hr 40mins) is very easy to take; this album doesn't get boring or repetative. In comparison to Train of Thought (which I found disappointing) Six Degrees meshes together better, has catchier riffs, and more original sounding heavier parts (no Metallica-esque riffing and vocals here).
Report this review (#10940)
Posted Monday, January 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The album of the year 2002 in metal progressive. My opinion fits in the energy of the band`s members to trip from the hard songs as Glass Prison to the softer and shiny Goodnight kiss. They show to the fans club the roots of the progressive... really there many sounds like King Crimson as in Misunderstood, Genesis as Goodnight kiss, and another bands from the seventies that make or develop a great influence in this Norteamerican Band. Nothing more to say with the conceptual 42 minutes in the second CD. A masterpece of art rock. Congratulations to Dream Theater.
Report this review (#10945)
Posted Sunday, March 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album that got me hooked to Dream Theater. The Glass Prision is one of their best songs, they need to play it live more often. The sweep arpeggio solo in the intro is godly. Misunderstood is another one of my favorite songs by DT and SDOIT is the coolest fourty minute song ever. Before I listened to Dream Theater I was into Megadeth, Metallica, and Iron Maiden and thought that was as good as it got. This album definitly prooved me wrong.
Report this review (#10947)
Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Steve Hegede
5 stars The first major prog-related release for 2002 is DREAM THEATER's "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence". By now, the immediate question that comes to mind after a new DT album release, is whether they managed to surpass their previous work. Aside from "Falling into Infinity", a failed attempt at a commercial album, this well-loved 5-piece band has consistantly gone up in quality with each new set of songs. But after 1999's masterpiece, "Scene from a Memory", most fans realized that the boys would have a hard time outdoing themselves with the follow-up album. So, has DREAM THEATER managed to beat "Scenes from a Memory"?

Well, first, let me give you some info on the new album. "Six Degress of Inner Turbulence" is a 2-CD, 6 song, album. CD 1 consists of 5 songs, while CD 2 consists of one, 40-minute, track (made-up of 8 sections). CD 1 starts off with a bang with the METALLICA (And Justice for All-era) drenched monster, "The Glass Prison". This 14-minute track ranks as one of the band's best compositions. Besides the obvious METALLICA influence, which begins to get you wondering why the band decided to copy instead of inventing, the listener is assaulted by gigantic metal grooves, and intense playing by Petrucci and Rudess. After a great start, the question about whether DT managed to surpass "Scenes..." is quickly answered. The next 3 tracks, frankly, have their moments, but fail to really shine. "Blind Faith" starts off with a rather bland vocal melody, and only begins to gain momentum 5-minutes later. "Misunderstood", a catcy yet so-so track, has a noticeable modern-metal touch of "cool", while offering DT's brand of symphonic grandeur. "The Great Debate" features some great instrumental work, but the realistic lyrics about stem-cell research tends to turn me off alot (I like listening to DT to get away from everyday stories on the news). Overall, tracks 2-4 leave you feeling underwhelmed. The final track on CD 1 entitled "Disappear", on the other hand, is among DT's finest work.

The band claims that they were trying to write a "ballad", yet went for a more experimental approach. What we hear is a mixture of RADIOHEAD, Ennio Morricone's prettiest, yet minimalist, melodies, added with drama that can rival the melodic approach of some of the modern Italian prog bands. My only complaint with this track is that at 7-minutes, it's too short! Overall, CD 1 features the highest of highs, plenty of bland moments, and countless sections that will remind you of METALLICA, MEGADETH, TOOL, and RADIOHEAD instead of DREAM THEATER. I think with music editing software, most listeners could chop off several minutes from tracks 2-4 and come up with a kick-ass CDR of CD 1. CD 2, on the other hand, is an absolute shocker! The first thing that came to mind as "Overture" started playing, was whether the band got a hold of a few CAST albums (including Al Vidales's classical-sounding work). According to Portnoy he's been listening to alot of MARILLION.

Yet the modern style of prog during some of the first few sections of the 40-minute epic, to my ears, sounds closer to some of CAST's newest albums. As "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" unfolds, many sections go on to sound like mini-tributes to early GENESIS, Rick WAKEMAN of YES, SLAYER, and a variety of other classic prog/rock bands (Bruce Hornsby included!). The melodies throughout are excellent, but listeners can still expect a few cheesy sections (mostly from the lyrics, and James's macho-less moments) which are part of every DREAM THEATER album. Overall, as good as the music is on CD 2, you're mostly left wondering why DREAM THEATER decided to sound like other bands rather than continue to push their unique sound forward. I'm sure after "Scenes from a Memory" the band wanted to have fun this time around. But most listeners will also begin to wonder if DREAM THEATER reached the limits of their sound.

The next album will probably feature less excess, and hopefully a return to a more original style. As fun as it is to hear DREAM THEATER sound like TOOL, I would rather hear DREAM THEATER sound like themselves. Overall, with 90-minutes of new music, most fans will find plenty to enjoy here. Prog fans will enjoy CD 2, while metal/prog metal fans will enjoy CD 1.

Report this review (#10938)
Posted Monday, March 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars With this record DT returns to a more complex writing, filled with stories and doubts, this record shows the tight bond in between the instrumental part, from here the band experiences a wider and more free exposure of playing, mixing new sounds like "scratching" with the keys or very deep sounds with the bass; but the weak point is that James Labrie losses his contact with the music (if he ever was in contact with it) in the credits, and appearing only as a collaborator with the lyrics. Any way, the record is excellent and very well mixed, trying to follow a sequence of sounds from beginning to end, and exploring with the lyrics with more important topics like cloning or alcoholism. thumbs up to a band that has survived the time test.
Report this review (#10939)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Dream Theater's follow up to their masterpiece "Scenes From a Memory" was pretty much impossible to improve on, but this album does deliver incredible pieces. Turbulence sees the bands first double studio album and includes strong progressive classics.

The opening track, "The Glass Prison" is incredible throughout with its dizzying guitar effects, thundering guitar and keyboard syncrinization, strong vocals and brilliant lengthy progression. I love the way the intro builds up into the rushing guitar riff with the cool effects. This piece is almost has a concept of its own and is excellent. "Blind Faith" has an incredible fade in intro and is a brilliant piece to listen to because it carries on labries astonishing vocals and petrucci has an unstoppable array of guitar pieces. Dream Theater are back in and as good as ever. "Misunderstood" is a beautiful ballad like piece that begins with a dreamlike chord structure and then builds up into an epic distorted outro. This isn't Dream Theater's everyday piece of music, which is why i love hearing it. "The Great Debate" is an odd one. Never before have i heard a discussion on some sort of medical treatment (IVF? i didn't quite follow) against a thundering force of guitars, drums and keyboards. The use of voice is kind of similar to space dye vest but this one is rather stretchy and confusing. Its a good piece but it can tag along a bit and it's one of those tracks where sometimes you want to skip it and sometimes you like to hear it out. The album closes with a great piece called "disappear" and it seems this album would be worth buying for disc one alone!

Disc One is a solid dream theater piece, but there's more. The second disc contains a daring 42 minute suite which is very dramatic and contains many different style and sections within it. This is actually a marvellous piece but it can be a challenge to listen to. This album is definetly worth buying just for one of the discs but the fact that it is a double album makes this a masterpiece.

Report this review (#10957)
Posted Sunday, July 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars For some reason, I am torn on this album. I really like it and I have listened to it extensively, yet for some reason, it just doesn't give me the same "WOW" feeling as Images And Words, Awake, or Scenes From A Memory did. The album sounds "experimental" to me, which isn't a bad thing, it just doesn't wow me as much as some of the bands other recordings. The musicianship is outstanding and is what I have come to expect from such a great band. I still recommend this CD to any and every fan of Dream Theater, but I also recommend the above 3 albums first. Still worthy of 4 Stars though!!
Report this review (#10961)
Posted Monday, August 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The progmet pioneer goes SYMPHONIC?? Probably. Well, at least this album offers the symphonic part while maintaining the original flavor of Dream Theater's music as you will find it on disc ONE of this album. This band is really interesting to observe as their music has been much more mature recently. I was told that if we wanna enjoy DT music we should like Metallica first. But, it's not the case with me. I did try to like Metallica many times, even with their best album (according to my metal friends) " .. And Justice for All" . I just could not get it. But, I love Dream Theater! These guys have always produced great stuffs with excellent technical delivery.

"Glass Prison" is a head-banging metal music with powerful melody and harmony where all musicians contribute their skills at their fullest. I even heard my friend who really loves the band told me that - especially for this track, the guitarist (J Petrucci) has designed a special guitar to play. What a worth effort! For those who like metal music, this is definitely your track! Fabulous and heart breaking! I am not able to rate this track as whenever you supply me the maximum scale, say 5, I would tend to give it more than 5. Am I problematic? Probably. 'Cos I really admire the efforts that these guys have made to fine art of this wonderful track. I never imagine that any human being can create and, most importantly, deliver (with excellence) this track. Well, f I may associate with a business or corporate world, these guys have created a high level of vision and have put actions to achieve the vision with an operational excellence!

"Blind Faith" is not as hard as first track - it's opened with an ambient sound and followed by a typical DT melody (similar to "Images and Words" music). It's good enough to clam down after being bombarded with dazzling "Glass Prison". Yes, there are some guitar riffs here and there but it's that heavy. But . hold on . !!! That's happened only at the first half of the track. When it flows to the second half, the beat is increasing into more heavy rhythm and speedier tempo. The inclusion of piano in the middle has made this track seems like a symphonic music with classical touch. I find the keyboard solo by Jordan Rudess during interlude is amazing. It then flows to lead guitar solo by John Petrucci. The music then returns to the original tagline melody but it still maintain the high tempo and slowly moves to original tempo.

"Misunderstood" is a mellow track with nice guitar rhythm and vocal line. The music moves in stages to more upbeat tempo. This track demonstrates many sound effects from guitar as well as keyboard. It flows smoothly to "The Great Debate" which is opened by a narration / dialog that really accentuate the song. I find that the drumming during long intro to support the narration / dialogue is really uplifting. This track is my favorite. The guitar riffs remind me to RUSH music but performed dynamically. Just before LaBrie sings at beginning, there is a terrific drumming by Portnoy. Really cool! Well, this track is not complex because it maintains the same tagline melody throughout the track. But the guitar riffs and drumming style are really stunning. Even though this track is relatively long, I used to play it loud and repeat the track. Disc One is concluded with a mellow track "Disappear".

Disc TWO represents the band's first exploration with an symphonic orchestra. Musically, it's totally different with Disc one. For DT's fans it's probably strange hearing DT music with an orchestra. I don't think that I need to elaborate track by track as overall, the music presented in Disc 2 is excellent. You may want to enjoy this track in high volume as the orchestration is really exciting. I myself really enjoy the opening track "Overture". It's an uplifting composition. It continues to track 2 with a nice and classical piano play. All tracks are connected one to another with smooth transitions. "The Test That Stumped Them All" is probably the best track that you may find in this set. I enjoy all tracks in disc two in its entirety. Hey, even with heavy orchestration of this set, you still will find all details of typical DT music; especially Portnoy's drumming style. Great work!

So, I definitely rate this album as 5/5 because it has everything: strong songwriting, tight composition, excellent melody and skillful musicianship. Overall, it ends up with a masterpiece album that you MUST HAVE it. - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Report this review (#10962)
Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars CD1 deserves 4 stars, there sure are astonishing songs like the heavy The Glass Prison (which is, by the way, the first part of This Dying Soul from Train of Thought) or Misunderstood... also Blind Faith and The Great Debate (which reminds of the style of OSI, Portnoy's side project) are great songs but not at the level of both previous songs... and Disappear is also a good soft song with nice keyboards. None of the songs in CD1 reaches what they did in Scenes from a Memory but they're still awesome songs. Now, what this album is about and what really deserves 5 (or more) stars is CD2, the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence suite is amazing and not one single part from it deserves less, as a whole i would say it's totally at the same level of Scenes from a Memory or Images & Words. It couldn't be better assembled and it fuses both the heavy and the prog side of DT that have always been their presentation card. I couldn't come talking about each part of the suite as they are all amazing, what i could add here is that Solitary Shell (what a song!) has the Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill base but with a DT's touch. OK then, go buy the album, at least for CD2!! one word for that = MASTERPIECE... surely a MUST.
Report this review (#10965)
Posted Friday, December 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this album may even be better than 'Scenes From A Memory'. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE SFAM, but with Six Degrees the song writing seems to have matured. With this album DT has been able to perfectly combine their virtuostic play with an artistic and emotional element that surpasses that of all their previous work.

The first disc contains 5 pieces, all extremely well orchestrated and each with its own identity and feel. The disc begins with 'The Glass Prison', a 14min metal 'monster' that's in your face from beginning to end and is the most persistantly intense piece DT has ever written. The abrupt end to this tune is imediately followed by a fade-in keyboard intro to 'Blind Faith', containing what I might consider to be the most well written instrumental section on the whole CD.

The second disc contains the title track 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence'. This is a 42min song with 8 parts and is a progressive MASTERPIECE. With clever riffs, beautiful melodies, powerful lyrics, and capturing guitar and keyboard solos, Six Degrees is an emotional labyrinth encompasssing musical styles from the classic symphonic prog rock sound of Yes to the elevated prog metal that only DT can deliver.

Though SDOIT is lyricly not a concept album the music has a very conceptual feel. There is no recycling of ideas or repeated riffs, but the songs flow in such a way that you tend to be pulled into the next track without ever feeling the need to skip. I highly recomend this album; lyricly strong and musically brilliant. An essential part of any prog library.

Report this review (#10966)
Posted Tuesday, January 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Probably my favourite Dream Theater album together with "A change of season". After the acclaimed masterpiece "Scenes from a memory" it was very difficult to remain on such high levels and in the same time to avoid repeating themselves, but DT in my opinion perfectly achieved the challenge with this release. Although maintaining the usual DT style, SDOIT offers new solutions and a new extraordinary sound. Each track of cd 1 has his own identity and shows a different aspect of the songwriting and executing ability of the band; the great suite on cd 2 is an amazing masterpiece that blends in a perfect way tecnique, musical beauty and feeling. In my opinion this album could be the manifesto for prog metal. Suggestion: buy it and listen to it at least 5-6 times before judging! I bet that after the third listen it will become a drug like it is for me!
Report this review (#10970)
Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My first Dream Theater album acquired, and another big step in their "new" direction that started with "Scenes From a Memory". This album is dominated by the 42-minute title track which takes up the entire 2nd disc of this 2-disc set, but to me the really good stuff is hidden on Disc 1. There you can find some of their best material ever, in my opinion, with "The Glass Prison" and "The Great Debate" being the best tracks. A very good starting point if you are new to DT. I'll rate the first disc 5 stars and 2nd disc 4 stars.

4.5/5 in overall. Highly recommended!!

Report this review (#10981)
Posted Saturday, April 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can a band do after recording such a mastrpiece as "Scenes from a memory"? To be honest I didn`t thought they could`ve written something better than their previous album - now I konow I was very wrong. "Glass prison" is a very dramatic and beautiful song but also quite heavy. "Blind Faith" starts like a ballad but then the energy bursts out, very good song. This two songs are very nu metal, I don`t like bands like korn or Limp Bizkit, but isn`t this what prog rock suppose to be? Bursting the barriers beetween genres? Next song is "Misundrestood", very clam, it could be a radio hit if it was a couple of minutes shorter, but I find it one of the best tracks on this CD. But the best is still before us - "The Great Debate" I love this song, a very dramatic lyric (the song is about embrion cells therapy) and a piece of grat metal music, really great yob. And last but not least of the first CD "Dissapear" another ballad I like but it`s not one of my favorite songs. Just a fill up for the CD. Now let`s see what the second disc holds. Only one song but 42 minutes says for it self (Symphony X reached only 24 minutes :-)). What can I say about it? It`s a real masterpiece of metal music. I can`t remember ever hearing enythins so great and packed with emotions. My favourite parts of this music trip are "War inside my head", "The test that stumped them all", "Goodnight Kiss" (listen to that JP`s solo in the end!), "Solitary Shell" (of course) and "Losing time". Thats five of eight parts! If you consider yourself as a prog fan you have to hear it. I`m sure that in a couple of years "6doit" will be as popular as "The Wall" or "In The Court of Crimson King". It`s a must-have. That`s all I have to say
Report this review (#10983)
Posted Saturday, April 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Easily my favorite DT album to date. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence came out after the hugely successful "Scenes From a Memory", and DT was going to have a hard time making a better album. Well, in my opinion, they did it with this record. A 2 CD album featuring one album of regular studio tracks, and one CD long suite "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence".

The 1st CD opens with one of my favorite songs, "The Glass Prison". A rocking 7-String epic that shreds and tears with the best of 'em. The song displays DT's strong Metallica influence. The next track "Blind Faith", is a good track, not great, but good. It's one of those songs where you could get rid of at least an extra 4 minutes. Never the less, it is a good track. "Misunderstood" is the first song I can recall of DT using a guitar tuned down 2 steps in. It starts out slow and melodic, and rounds up to be a metalhead's delight as you near the middle of the song. The Great Debate is the political anthem of the album, discussing Stem-Cell research. I can listen to it, but I really don't prefer it. The final track, Disappear, I a Labrie penned ballad, which has a slight Radiohead-esque sound. The 2nd disc is a 40 minute suite that has it's highs and lows, stand out tracks are the War Inside My head, The Test that Stumped them All, Goodnight Kiss, and Solitary Shell.

A masterpiece of progressive metal in my mind, 5/5.

Report this review (#10985)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is Dream Theater's... *counts*...I believe seventh album, and if you thought they couldn't improve on Scenes From a Memory, boy, you were wrong. This is by far dream Theater's proggiest album, sometimes experimental like on The Great Debate, and very much so symphonic like in the 42-minute MASTERPIECE (yes, it truly is) Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence. Wait, what? Dream Theater, experimental? Symphonic? What? Last time I checked they played straight Prog metal. This is true, they did, up until this album. And boy, I hope Octavarium is up to par with this album with more symphonic cause it turned out GOOD. For example, the transition from Goodnight Kiss to Solitary Shell is some of Dream Theater's best. It basically flows from dark and desperate to simple acoustic, beautiful and flowing with somethign that sounds like a flute or something playing a great theme in the background. Greatest tune, I can't stop listening to it. In contrast, Overture is where a lot of symphonic undertones come in, while About To Crash is much like Solitary Shell in the symphonic feel. In fact, the whole song is symphonic besides possibly The War Inside My Head, which sounds a lot more like Images and Words with a darker tone. God, it's impossible to describe, it changes so quick. Sometiems it's prog metal, sometimes Symphonic Prog, sometimes it even sounds experimental like I said. I'm not even gonna try, it will just come out convoluted. Quick attempt: it's proggy, experimental, power metal, symphonic, metal, all meshed into one, and the end result is a damn fine album. God, I'm listening to SDOIT the song right now and it just flowed into a nice salsa-like part with some great acoustic and piano work going on, and it was AAA!

What about flaws? They all come in the first disc. "The Glass Prison" while good, gets repetitive and stale after about eight minutes, but is otherwise good. "The Great Debate", I have no complaints other than it dragging as well. "Misunderstood" is the album's only weak point, with forgettable lyrics and weak chords and transitions. The other two, Blind Faith and Dissappear aren't excellent like the second disk, but they are definitely good songs.


Report this review (#10994)
Posted Sunday, May 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perfect is the word. Absolutely perfect. From begining to end. The first disc: heavier; the second: "proger". The result: Perfection. I need no more words. Just listen to The Glass Prison, The Great Debate or the awesome 42 minutes suite with the title of the album. An imprescindible masterpice, one of my favourite albums of all the times.
Report this review (#10996)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars ok the album that made me to curse DT. like every fan i always expect the best from my fave bands. they reached their highest levels of creativeness with SFAM and i was wondering how able they were to offer us another masterpiece. unfortunately my expectations were killed by this album. not that the album doesn't have its good moments, but it is not DT!!!! they tried to sound heaver....why????? in order to approach new fans??? where are the DT melodies of the previous albums?? where is the beautiful voice of labrie?? where is the emotional playing of petrucci? where is....EVERYTHING??? it was a fast-made album, maybe it needed more time to be made, i don't know if the company pushed them to this direction in order to gain more fans, something that they achieved according to the huge sales of the album. one thing is for sure... that they lost all their fans who had been supporting them since 1992 (and me ofcourse). sorry guys fates did it better with PSOG.
Report this review (#36306)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not a Dream Theater 'fanboy' by any stretch,but this is impressive stuff.Prog of this quality and stretched over 2 CD's is very rare.Sound and performance wise this is gripping from start to finish.All the players go for it and there is barely a boring moment.The music has enough twists and turns and technical brilliance to keep most prog fans entralled I reckon.Its not comparable to classic seventies bands though,but that is not a bad thing.Its modern state of the art prog that ploughs its own furrow.But you can always go back to blowing the dust off those old Genesis albums.Or maybe have an open mind and enjoy both..shock horror!
Report this review (#38322)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What respects to six this album we have everything...the first cd..with a lot of metal parts (don´t forgive that we are talking about progressive metal, ok people? ) and some interesting points and instrumentals parts. And the second cd..its fantastic.. a conceptual song, that is divided into 8 sub-songs. This second cd is really prog, so if you make a balance, you will see..that the first cd (with very interesting points) + the second cd..which is perfect..makes an amazing cd. I realise that "Scenes from a memory" is better.However, this is an album that no one must not hear.
Report this review (#38408)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The end is near. After this album DT died, just like that.

This album shows us why DT died: to much solos and no "group" job.

As everybody knows this album has 2 cds, the first one stars with The Glass Prison, a power full and fast song, not much feeling, but a lot of power, then came good slow songs, except from The Great Debate, which, i thing, us too long and hasn't enough ideas to be that long; the rest, goo melodic songs, great sound, and a lot of solos, but still in the place were they should be.

Cd 2 has 8 parts, i like this cd more than the first one, because some songs are really great. The first song is an instrumental introduction, remember me a ballet introduction, i don't know why, but it does that, the next song is really great, the voice catch me, and the music also does, the other 2 songs aren't so good as the previous, i wouldn't keep them in the final version of the album, aren't bad, but the rest are much better; then another good song, but just good, after that a really great song, joining more complexity than the others, but still has the feeling of the album, then a reprise of the second song, faster than that, and much more exciting, great song, the last song is really great, slow, but with a lot of passion, LaBrie touches me, a really good one, a great end for a great album.

Report this review (#38605)
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Maybe one of the best Dream Theater album ever, "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", with the exception of few songs, is really a good work. The comparing with the previous album, "Scenes from a Memory" is 10-0 for "Scenes...", because in this work there is the base for "Train of Tought" that I've found really a bad record.

The songs are more simply than in the past and it sounds good: Petrucci (the one I like in DT, because I hate the others of the band... Only Petrucci have musical taste, Portnoy is only a clown, Myung plays by memory, with no passion, Ruddes is good but too much metal than prog and last Labrie, the worst voice in the world) never mistakes a solo or a riff, Ruddes plays quite good, with jazzy passages in the overture of the second CD. Labrie sings like a dying dog. But after all I have to say that this is a good album, with great moments, but with that annoying metal line that is the ruin of this band.

Dream Theater are not considered in progressive world like veterans or deity, so they're good musicians (Petrucci is the best of the band even in musical taste than in tecnics) but not the genious that guys who loves metal or heavy metal want to make you trust.

Report this review (#41299)
Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I dont understand why so many diehard fans of DT do not have this double cd among their favs DT albums. After their magnificent work "Scenes from a memory", they were in inmersed in an alomst impossible task, creating a disc that were good enough to stand shoulder by shoulder with their major masterpiece.

Well, here the band understood quite well that it was time to make a change in his musical direction, with this new double cd they become symphonyc, experimental, trashy, mellow, but always with their classic sound.

The first cd has 5 songs,

The Glass Prison: This track begins where "Scenes from a memory" lefts us, but takes an opposite direction, this is pure trash metal but with the great technical ability of a prog band, the prelude of ToT. This track is technically amazing, but fails a bit to drag listeners attention, because sometimes Petrucci´s solos are to long and Ruddes keyboards are too damn fast!.Howewer this track seems to recover fast when its start to get lost, a quite amazing Prog Thrash metal track! 9/10

Blind Faith: A quite good track, almost hard rock, with great show of from Ruddess and Petrucci again, but for me its the weakest track on this album. Its fails to much in draging your attention. 7/10

Misunderstood: A great vocal work of Labrie, a very mellow track in the begining, but then turn into a Crimson-esque track. Fantastic Very nice ending also. 8/10

The Great Debate: The best track on this cd, ist about Stem Cell Research, but i dont care too much about that, the best is the music. OUTSTANDING drumming from Portnoy, very well balanced and supported by the almost perfect bass lines, a lot of great ideas can be found in this track. Besides, it has wonderful start and ending also.10/10

Disappear: Wow, when I first heard this track, I said this can not be DT!! Amazing musicianship, very dark and doomy at times, yet very beatiful, but its too short!! Hear the band seems Radiohead, (remember karma police).Overall 9/10

Second cd has 1 song, divided in eight pieces.

Six Dregrees of inner turbulence: This amazing title track is among dt bests, 42 minutes!! A quite long piece for a Metal band don´t you think. This track is almost perfect, it has lots of influences, like Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, etc. Goodnight kiss and Solitary Shell are awesome, the song reaches his peak here. Here the band shows that they can be Symphonic and they do it well!!

Not the best DT track but one of those that would became classic in the future: 10/10

Conclusion: For those who dont like DT because they lack the magic of the old Symphonic bands, like Genesis, Yes, Elp, well, here is the proof that Dream Theater must be considered one those few bands that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the great bands of prog rock. A must have for true prog rock lovers!!!

Report this review (#43119)
Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Disc one: Two songs stand out, the glass prison, and blind faith. The rest are all decent songs, but this first disc really has a badd flow, and a very strange sound that is difficult to pick a certain word to descibe. Its very hardcore, but not metal. Thats the only way I can put it. This fisrt disc is sadly the reason why this album is not their best. Disc two: now this is an album! A great flow, great music, diverse sounds, and an interesting concept. This second disc is an unbelivable work of art, that no progger should be without. Each song by itself is decent, but when put together...WOJWAOHAWOINHB!
Report this review (#46038)
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars DT is my favorite band in the world, but SDOIT is my least favorite album of theirs. Overall, I do not like disc 1. It is simply hyperextended and unfocused. The Glass Prison is great for maybe 5 minutes but then it goes downhill fast. Misunderstood is pretty boring and has about 5 minutes of noise at the end for no real reason. The Great Debate is basically a Tool song that drags on for way too long.

Disappear and Blind Faith are terrific. They almost save disc 1 for me.

But disc 2... WOW. Amazing stuff. I enjoy every second of this CD. It is classic melodic DT at their best. Musically, it seems to start off right where Scenes from a Memory left off. I love it. If the entire double CD had sounded like this it would probably be my favorite DT album.

Report this review (#48549)
Posted Monday, September 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is the best album of the Rudess-era. It is quite a diverse and experimental piece of work , it brought some fresh ideas in the music of DT. It is not the recyclement of old themes , like some parts of their other outputs since 1994. The Glass Prison is a blistering prog/ thrash track , it's among my favourites altough I do not like that sort of musicso much.Blind Faith is a calmer song with great keyboard work. The remaining 3 tracks are also very exciting , they are influenced by Led Zepp, Crimson, Tool , Rush, Radiohead.But this is real DT music experimenting with other styles and not stolen tracks(Never Enough for example).The second CD with the title track is their most ambitious work. It is a great musical flow. 6DOIT is a higly recommended for all open minded music lovers.
Report this review (#50339)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dream Theater's 2002 release "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" is quite overlooked. This maybe because of the big sucess Dream Theater had with it's 1999 "Metropolis Part II: Scenes From a Memory". Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence combines the best of Dream Theater's new expermental and technical side with the old melodies that touched us so much.

The first disc is decidedly more experimental. Starting off with "The Glass Prison", Dream Theater opens up with a short bass melody from Myung to set up the tune. Later the whole band kicks in. This song for the most part is more insturmental. One thing that i really liked on this track was the use of Mike Portnoy's vocal skills. Throughout the first and second movements of the tune, Portnoy and LaBrie give great contrast to each others vocals. This is something that i find to be particularly unique throughout this entire album. For once Dream Theater has been more experimental with vocals. There isn't much else to say about the insturmentals on this track other than they are nothing short of the typical Dream Theater brilliance. Some of the traded solos before the third movement are some of the finest works I've heard from Petrucci and Rudess.

There isn't too much to say about the albums second track "Blind Faith". The song has an interesting flow to it, and the solos are quite technical in a more subtle way than most Dream Theater fans are used to. Myung really makes this track special with the numerous bass fills he does throughout the tune. This song is also a really good mix of hard and soft, i see more elements of the old rather than the new Dream Theater in this tune.

The third track "Misunderstood" is something to write home about. This track is highly creative considering it's simplicity. The orchestral synths used by Jordan Rudess here are quite something. I've searched the album credits and i'm shocked to see that there are no credits for an orchestra or at least a cellist. Rudess has his orchestral synths sounding top quality all throughout this album. The chord changes are quite moving here as well. I don't want to sound all power metal by saying they are nothing short of epic, but i find these chord changes to be nothing but epic, powerful, inspiring, and grandiose. Solos are not a highlight here, but the effects used at the end are quite different from anything Dream Theater has done in the past as they continue to put more and more creativity into this album.

The fourth track "The Great Debate" will be a future staple in Dream Theater's discography. The track opens and closes will sound samples over one of the world's great debates (if that lingo is appropriate here), the stem cell issue. The song is masterful lyrically because it never takes a deliberate side. The issue is properly presented and any user can decide their own opinion on the issue. There is no preaching at all here. The insturmentals are spectacular here. This song blends the amazing musical execution of Dream Theater with the rythmic creativity of Tool. Once again we have more experimentation from Dream Theater. John Myung does an excellent job holding the tune togethor throughout fourteen minutes of tacets from all members of the band. He is the only member who plays constantly throughout the song.

The fifth track "Disappear" showcases yet another side from the band. This track is dark. Dream Theater is a band that can showcase many moods and emotion, but i must say this is the darkest sounding track I've heard from them. The tune is entirely soft with the overtones of eerie keyboards from Jordan Rudess. James LaBrie does a plausible performance on this tracks where he sounds as dark as he ever will. LaBrie is never a singer that I thought of as one who sung too much, but here his vocals are perfectly placed, something that rarely happens anymore. This track is another winnner.

At last we come to the forty-two minute epic "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence". This song is the definition of a masterpiece. The overture intro has excellent orchestration performed by Jordan Rudess on his Kurzweil. About to Crash is LaBrie's first appearence on the second disc, and what a way he entered. This is one of the better performances by James LaBrie on this album. His vocals are clear and clean. War Inside My Head is an average tune on it's own, but it sets up The Test That Stumpted Them All great. This forty- two minute epic is really one song, not a collection of eight. The Test That Stumpted Them All is one hell of a chop buster for any musician. The skill rythmically and soloistically is seldomly surpassed by Dream Theater. Goodnight Kiss is not much of a song, but the solo at the end by Petrucci is briliant. The flow is incredibly relaxed and controlled. This solo sounds much more improvised than composed because of Petrucci's excellent articulations. Solitary Shell is more a throwback to the prog rock roots of Dream Theater. The biggest influence here is Yes. At the end of the tune we have to tracks (About To Crash (Reprise) and Losing Time), which fit perfectly. Not that the other tunes don't have an excellent flow, but the link is unusually strong here. About To Crash (Reprise) features more tempo changes than previous songs on the album, and Losing Time loses some of the authenticity of earlier tracks, but makes the tune sound nothing short of grandiose. This will always be my favorite Dream Theater song. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is perfection from the opening note of the Overture to the final chord of Losing Time.

The production on this album is typical for Dream Theater. The drums are powerful and deep. The guitars are thick and distorted while still retaing great clarity. The bass is boomy but not overpowering. The vocals are clearly harmonized. The keyboards are something to write home about. Rudess stays away from the typical analog sounds of so many progressive keyboardists today in favor of the two extreme of digital and of more authentic sounding insturments that mix will with his great orchestral synths. Production is great, but not unique.

Report this review (#53981)
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars When I click the rating of 5 stars and the warning came up, i sat for a second and really thought about my decision to rate this album a masterpiece. After considering for a little while i clicked the ok button and changed my rating to a four. Now, to back myself up. I first got into dream theater a few years ago when a friend introduced me to "awake". It was love at first listen and the CD became a regular visitor to my cd player. Well i didnt want it to be lonely so i bought a few more DT discs to keep it company and my apreciation for these guys talent deepend. I eventually got around to buying Six Degrees of Inner Turbulance just a little while ago, although i had downloaded 3 of the songs before, and let me say, blown away.... by the second disc (ill get back to disc 1) Simply amazing. Every track flows perfectly into the next and the further i delved into the disc, the more impressed and wowed i was. I particuarly loved " Overture" and "Solitary Shell". From the blisteringly fast and heavy "The Test That Stumped Them All" (do i hear pantera?) to the mellow songs that follow to the superb closure, pure majesty. And now back to disc one.

one word can some this one up.. Dissapointing. Dont get me wrong its defiatly not bad, standouts include "misunderstood" and "the Glass Prison", but as i said, dissapointing especially as a follow up to Scenes from a Memory. What were they thinking with "the great debate"? i usualy skip the song and thats never happend to me and any dream theater song. its just not up to par with any other of their song, except for a few on "octavarium" but ill leave that for another review. again, not horrible, just not very good. Most everything else however, very nicly done aside from a few minor annoyances. Overall, disc one gets a whopping 7/10.

FINAL REVEIW: well, not a masterpiece.. but pretty close despite a few flaws with the first half. dont blow off the first half just based on my review.. its still good... but not up to par. 4.5 stars, and a halleluja for SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULANCE!!! blown away.

Report this review (#56213)
Posted Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars i've neve heard of ANY band having a 2-c.d. album, but only 6 songs in it. This album is probably second only to scenes from a memory.

The album starts off with an amzing heavy metal song "glass prison" this song was one of the first dream theater songs i ever heard, and it remains one of my favorite. The 14-minute song is divided into 3 parts, all having amazing music from all intruments. The second track, blind faith, is a great song. it starts out pretty slow, but it gets faster and harder. The vocals in the chorus are amazing. The solo in the middle is great, like most of petrucci's. After that, the song changes to a a bit heavier music, with a great piano part in it. all in all, the song is pretty good

Misunderstood, the third "degree" is awesome. it starts off slow, but with great lyrics that keep you listening until the good part. The lyrics are awesome, especially where he's like "from a god to god save me" If you listen to nothing else on this song listen to that. THen about halfway through it turns to a darker, heavier type. Its amazing, ok.

track four of cd one is the great debate. It starts off with some people talking about stuff like stem cell research. Then it goes into an awesome fast guitar riff, with some really wierd vocals. I think that however heavy this song is, it did get sort of boring.

the last song of the first cd is disappear. its slower and softer than all the other songs, so i got sort of bored of it, but it is pretty good, good music on all parts

the second cd is all one 42 minute song. but it is split up into different parts. The first part is an overture, played by an orchestra. the second part, about to crash, is pretty good, not really hard at all. but great nonetheless. War inside my head is much heavier, and is one of the best parts of the song. In the test that stumped them all, its got some great lyrics, including singing, and like, an... argument between doctors or something. that was what i like the best about the test. Then it takes a huge transition to a sweet song, with an awesome solo at the end. THe next part, solitary shell, is the part i think of when i think of this song. Its about a person wit some sort of mental illness. Its got some pop influences, and also has a great solo at the end of it. This part, for some reason, is my favorite part of the song. The next section of the song, about to crash(reprise) is a revisit to about to crash, but a little faster and with an awesome guitar riff in it. i personally like this one better than the first one. the last part, the grand finale is great. My absolute favorite part of the song is the very last words sung. Inspiring...well ok. thats it

so... This album is one of DT's best, and its amazing

Report this review (#59354)
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is undeniably a good album. However, it had the poor misfortune of following in the footsteps of the highly-acclaimed album "Scenes from a Memory". Personally, I think that grading an album in comparison to another album is not really the whole idea of reviewing. If something is good (which this album is indeed), then rate it according to itself and not something else. Just getting that out of the way early since there are a bunch of 1 star ratings here.

Six Degrees kicks off with a bang called "The Glass Prison". This is one of Dream Theater's finest right here; it encompasses every aspect of the band that we've come to know and love. It is a very heavy song, and for the first couple of listens some people may not really get into it. However, the song only gets better the more times it is heard. Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci have a nice solo section in which each trades off with the other on solos. James LaBrie does a nice job with the singing of this peice, and overall it is a great listen.

The next track, "Blind Faith", takes a softer approach at the beginning, providing a nice cool-down from "The Glass Prison". Once again I have to praise the vocals by LaBrie, and this song really shows how versatile his voice can be. On "The Glass Prison" he is harsh, powerful, and gets pretty high up in his range. However, in "Blind Faith", he tones things down and really puts the finishing touch on a nice mood set by the music. The song eventually builds into a more Dream Theater style of music, and there is even an amazing piano solo around 6:30 in the song. This is easily my favorite solo of Jordan Rudess'. John Petrucci has a nice solo after Rudess', and after a little bit LaBrie comes back in and the song is over.

"Misunderstood" is a very different sound for Dream Theater. If I had to describe it, I would say it is more mainstream than their usual style, but not so far into mainstream as "I Walk Beside You" of "Octavarium" is. "Misunderstood" kicks off with soft LaBrie vocals as well as a clean riff by Petrucci. Once again though, the song grows into much more and actually ends up pretty heavy before all is said and done. The only really evident problem with "Misunderstood" is that it seems somewhat repetitive at times and a little drawn out at the end. It probably could've been a couple minutes shorter, but the way it is works very well too.

"The Great Debate" is definitely an interesting song to hear for the first time. The actual song doesn't really start until quite a way's in. The beginning of the song is all spoken dialogue by different voices with moving background music to accompany. The song's focus is the stem cell research debate, and I must admit that the song is very well done from both a musical as well as political/moral standpoint. Dream Theater does a good job of presenting both sides of the issue as well as staying pretty unbiased towards it. The song can't really be described well, you'll just have to hear it for yourself to really have a good understanding of it.

The final song of Disc 1, "Disappear", is in my opinion very similar to "Misunderstood" but less entertaining and not as good. This is easily the worst song on Disc 1, but you also have to take into consideration that all of the previous songs could easily be listed among some of Dream Theater's finest.

Disc 2 is where things get really interesting. The title track is a 42-minute concept piece that is just flat-out entertaining and amazing to listen to thoroughly. The amount of musicianship in this work is just staggering, and while a few movements of the song are a bit mainstream sounding, they all combine to make a wonderful muscial experience. This is actually my favorite Dream Theater song to date, and there is no reason why it shouldn't be in the Top 10 of every fan's list. The musical contrast is amazing, moving from symphonic to somewhat mainstream to sluggish heavy metal to almost speed metal to "unplugged" ballad to sort of concept mainstream to good ol' rock and finally to a grand finale that has the final chord held out way too long. I'd be here for an hour if I tried to break down everything that this song contains. It is quite simply a musical masterpeice.

So here's why you shouldn't overlook this album even though there are a bunch of 1 Star ratings here. This album is a refreshing experience from all of the Dream Theater albums before it. Some people might say "don't mess with success", but I say have some guts and try something new. This album certainly does that, and even with that said, it is still gushing with Dream Theater ideas and styles. I highly recommend this album to every fan of Dream Theater who is willing to give something a little new a chance. If this album had any other band's name on it, it would be much more well-embraced and would probably be more well liked. However, the music is good and I don't see why something as simple as a band's name can have it being criticized for not being as good as some fans' enormous expectations. Most people wanted a "Scenes from a Memory II", but that's definitely not what they got with "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence".

Report this review (#61331)
Posted Friday, December 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars For a long time I held off on buying this album given my loathing for Scenes from a Memory and JORDAN RUDESS in particular. But one day I finally got curious and sampled these songs at the local Barnes and Noble, and realized there might be something to this album. Sure enough, it turned out to be pretty good. However, I much prefer the first disc to the second, and overall on the entire album I think there are some poor production choices--DREAM THEATER simply should not self-produce.

Anyway, on to Disc 1. First we have "The Glass Prison". This song probably suffers the worst from poor production--the opening static noise was not a good legacy of Scenes at all, the guitars and drums are extremely muddy, and JAMES LaBRIE's voice is distorted too far at times (though at other times he's wonderfully clear). However, I love the riffs in this song andI absolutely adore the lyrics of the entire AA series (this, "This Dying Soul," and "The Root of All Evil" so far). While some of the time signature changes are clunky, and the monotone vocals in one section are not the best, this song definitely has some treasures. Great work from MYUNG at 9:50 introduces a section that, while sometimes it's too much soloing, does have some great riffs--particularly at 11:00 where RUDESS actually manages to find a cool effect on his synth. The very end is touching to me. I think this is a great song that could've been better executed, and tightened up for length in order to use the good stuff to its advantage.

On "Blind Faith", the production seems improved, perhaps because of the absence of the distorted guitar. The drums are still messed-up, but it's not so obvious. It's really hard to tell what to make of LaBRIE's lyrics, but the best way to explain what I think of them is to say they sound like the words of a "doubting Thomas" in the purest sense-someone who wouldn't mind believing, but would genuinely like some evidence. I don't think this is the hateful stuff found later on his solo album Elements of Persuasion. Don't be put off by the "mainstream" aspect of it--the tune is great and actually has some beautiful sections ("Come Messiah, show us how.") RUDESS" piano and choir stuff around 6:00 shines as well. He's actually not as clunky and out-of-place on this album as I expected, based on Scenes and ToT, but I still maintain that Octavarium is the first time he fit in fully with the band.

"Misunderstood" is my of this disc--and the entire album, no contest. PETRUCCI does a fantastic job lyrics-wise. In fact, the lyrics fit one of my favorite story characters to a T and shows where some of the really "hard", restrained types come from), and LaBRIE handles the delivery of them so well.I don't care what anyone says about him. I'm not sure why, but I particularly love the low note he sings on the first "misunderstood". At first that additional chord during the chorus irritated me, but now I love it. I'd prefer a less mechanical approach to the drum riff to go with RUDESS' more organic synth...JASON RULLO of SYMPHONY X or MARTIN LOPEZ of OPETH would have handled that much better. However, I like being able to hear MYUNG so well. The echoes on the drums and vox are great, and here the Mellotron is a smart it the mood of OPETH's Damnation. But the moment when that chorus hits at full volume is nothing short of amazing! If you're going to snub this as pop, I don't care.I'd rather hear good pop than botched prog. My contention is that DT tends to be at their best when they're more focused on making a good song (prog or not) than when they're trying too hard to be prog. Now I'm going to commit serious prog blasphemy and call that interlude with the lumbering, distorted guitar Marilyn Manson-like, especially at the end where it really resembles the MM song "Man That You Fear". Whatever it is, though, I like it. This is the song I keep coming back to over and over.

"The Great Debate" is very close runner-up to "Misunderstood" because I like the way this one presents both sides of the stem-cell research controversy instead of preaching on which side they think has to be right and any sane person has to agree with. It probably helps that PETRUCCI is at the lyrical helm again, which is generally a good sign with DT. The news clips, the riffs, everything is very well executed. The song invites one to research the issue instead of making snap judgments about what's right, and points out the flaws and pitfalls of both sides. RUDESS and PORTNOY handle the opening extremely well, creating some haunting, catchy riffs. The news clips help keep you engaged through the intro instead of tuning out. I noticed a left/right dichotomy in the clips except for one at the center that asks, "What is the cost? We don't know where we're going." This may seem cheesy, but to me that's good attention to detail. I adore the buildup into the main guitar riff. Again, as LaBRIE sings in a wonderfully distorted way, there is a left/right division as the views are presented, then a return to the middle to present the question. There even seem to be two different choruses: "Turn to the light" of scientific advancement and "Are you justified?" in taking life to save life. Normally I don't give a whole lot of credit to DT for song-structuring in this way, but this one's an amazing surprise as you start to notice the attention to detail. The way this one holds my attention is superb.I didn't even look to see how long had gone by until 7 minutes, and even then it was just for reference in the review.

"Disappear" is an odd, haunting closing.I think LaBRIE tends to do his best writing in soft songs like "Vacant" on ToT or "Smashed" on Elements of Persuasion, not the loud, angry songs. Is it wrong to say this song ought to be in a movie? There's just a simple acoustic guitar and piano, very toned down for both PETRUCCI and RUDESS, and in this there's real strength. Even the chords are simple, and so is LaBRIE's singing. And the lyrics are simple yet touching-about the hope of meeting a lost lover in Heaven? While it seems a little bit PETER GABRIEL-like, it's still obviously its own song. I'm also reminded of "Amsterdam" by Coldplay or something off of RADIOHEAD's Kid A or OK Computer. Again, it's better for DT not to try too hard to be proggy. Oddly enough, the intro sounds a bit like some of the stuff I later heard on Graveyard Mountain Home by former DT keyboardist KEVIN MOORE. This provides a good closer to the first disc, which can stand very well on its own as a separate album, and I often listen to it that way, because 6DoIT itself is almost like a whole other album entirely.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" proper is extremely similar to SYMPHONY X's The Odyssey.I hate to admit this, but maybe SYMPHONY X took a page out of their book-and then one-upped them in some respects. Compositionally and conceptually this one is not as strong as "The Odyssey", but is stronger in sound-quality terms.RUDESS' synths here are better than PINNELLA's, meaning that they can actually do all they want with synths rather than having to sample as SYMPHONY X did. There is a very 70's/Broadway in flavor compared to SYMPHONY X, though, something like what we hear on "Octavarium". There is a theme about mental differences similar to PINK FLOYD keyboardist RICK WRIGHT's solo album Broken China (although I'll contend that Broken China has much more feeling to it). The Vietnam post-traumatic stress disorder section is a bit awkward with LaBRIE's introduction on the "napalm" line. A bit too much melodrama-overall, while The Odyssey may be the copy, it's also the refinement. It's a shame this track drags down the first disc, because it's O.K., but only O.K.. To its credit, there is a very nice dramatic moment around 4:00 in part 5, the one part that really gives me the chills. At the end, though there's not really a sense of resolution or plot.more of a collage. This wasn't a bad song, but for its running time, it really could've been a lot more.

Overall, I still give this album a 4, but it's certainly not a 4.5 by any means.

Report this review (#62599)
Posted Saturday, December 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say that hasn't already been said ten times over? Spanning two disks and stretching to nearly 100 minutes, [I]Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence[/I] is a true progressive masterpiece which tantalisingly sits on the very boundary of rock and metal whilst exploring the now classic Dream Theatre style and depth. It has to be said that the opening track on the first disk, [I]The Glass Prison[/I] has always been a big disappointment to me and to this day I can't see why it is so popular amongst the DT faithful. Personally, I have always enjoyed Dream Theatre for the symphony and melody and that track is far too heavy to encompass either of these strengths and just comes off as a heavy mess to me. Delving deeper into the album, the opening track becomes even more of a mystery and the remainder of the first disk is slightly less aggressive, more focused and more in the mould of what I consider to be the best direction for the band to explore. For the most part of the first half of the album, the formula is fairly constant with the louder more metal side of the band on display, combined with some more familiar progressive traits. This is true of course until we hit the very last track, [I]Disappear[/I] which is the essential 'power ballad' in which acoustic guitars and James LaBrie himself take over for the very first time and the barrage of heavy guitars are put to bed. Bar far the most beautiful aspect of this track; the best of the first disk, is the harp and keyboard work which is both piercing and menacing along side LaBrie's strong vocal contribution. All of this and were only half way through. It's only at this point you realise just how phenomenal this double album is.

The second half of the record is by far a more concept-oriented approach, which essentially is one long piece divided up into eight separately names sub sections for easy navigation. The first instrumental track, [I]I. Overture[/I] alone explores all sorts of fantasies, dreams and moods. From gently piano ripples to crescendos that opener is a perfect induction to the rest of the stunning concept. It doesn't take long for the vocals to kick in and it is probably the best I've heard James sing, changing his vocal style to more gentle and appropriate pitch a speed, amongst the keyboards and quiet yet un-intrusive guitar solos. The middle of the second disk is a tug of war between piano driven melodic material and slightly heavier guitar driven rock material until the fifth segment, [I]V. Goodnight Kiss[/I]. This comes of as a lovely goodnight and introduces the ending melodic passages of the entire album. It introduces perhaps Dream Theatres most recognisable tracks in the hit [I] VI. Solitary Shell[/I] which combines a melodic backing to catch lyrics to create an instant hit which is by far a more regular pop track and stands up well on it's own removed from the context of the album. By far the best track of the entire journey is the very last, [I]VIII. Loosing Time - Grand Finale[/I] which is an explosion of keyboards and does exactly what was needed; finish of a stunning album in spectacular fashion, and just like the rest of the album it does keeps coming back at you and seemingly takes an eternity to fade away. Need I say more?

Report this review (#67482)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Where does one start, "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery." It was Aristotle who said that. I would rather, "I never borrow from anybody, I steal." Stravinsky said that. What he meant was that he never took from other composers without making something new out of it, making it his own. Metropolis was an interesting experiment but while listening to it I find myself saying, oh, this sounds like Floyd, oh this sounds like Metallica, oh, this sounds like Queen, Yes, ELP. They had not quite made the style their own.

The praise I can give to the album is that it is very musical. The lines are more lyrical than I have come to expect from post-Metallica heavy metal. The band does offer some hard heavy metal ditties on CD 1, notablyThe Glass Prison.

With Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence I think that the band came into its own. The Great Debate, which samples news clips of stem cell research debates, its quite interesting and one of the most unique things I have heard in a while.

It is the second cd that makes the purchase worthwhile. I still find myself saying, now where have a heard that before but am now less likely to realize what the reference is. I know the opening comes out of Gentle Giant, the Power and the Glory, of About to Crash is reminiscent of Gabriel's In Your Eyes, and Solitary Shell of Solisbury Hill. War Inside my Head is Metallica; the chorus of The Test the Stamped them All, hmm . . I can't figure it out but I know where it comes from. In fairness I would say that the references do not detract from the over all enjoyment of the album as they do on Metropolis. They have made the music their own.

This is an album that is a good introduction to the band for old school prog heads like me. It is very symphonic while holding to the heavy metal style for which the band is known. There is more keyboard, piano synthesizer solos, the works, an interesting story line and a very dramatic vocal line and story that keeps the listener interested.

Report this review (#67522)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Quite worthy of 5 stars for progressive metal.

A great metalish 1st disc- with touches of beauty sprinkled throughout. ("Blind Faith" is an AMAZING song- on the softer side)

The musicianship is first rate- Jordan Rudess is simply astounding on this CD. His 2nd album with the band- and brilliant stuff on the keys!

The 2nd disc is UNREAL- great transistions from song to song make a VERY progressive disc- one that im not even sure how Dream Theater haters could not like.

Great Stuff from DT- only wish Train of Thought has an ounce of this album.......

9/10 A-

Report this review (#69202)
Posted Monday, February 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hard for me to believe that this was my second Dream Theater album purchase becaue once i got TRAIN OF THOUGHT i had to buy more of Dream Theater just to familize their sound. so a friend told to buy this and dude let me tell ya THIS CD IS AMAZING how can you not love the fact that 6 Degrees is one of DT's shining album in their discography. I mean i love IMAGES & WORDS, AWAKE, & MPT. 2 SFAM becuase i have them but i wanna give the under dog cds a chance like this one. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence offers a great deal of prog metal of suchs songs as THE GLASS PRISON and THE GREAT DEBATE, to some mellow passages as BLIND FAITH and DISSAPPEAR, and to some hard rockin but techincally weird soloing of MISUNDERSTOOD. CD 1 is definitely full of music greatness however my favorite part of this album is CD 2 the 42 minute grand opus 6 DEGRESS OF INNER TURBULENCE now i'll admit first spin i was kinda bewildered but i gave it more time than ever and I LOVE THIS SONG from beginning to end its always a grand musically journey for me. The part that really bugs me is the fact that some people say its a semi-concept album dude its no where close to a concept album because disc two is one song GET IT RIGHT GAH.. lol anyway i love the fact that each member of the band does his part well but still no matter how great this cd is i still have to give a 4 1/2 out of 5 stars because well DISSAPPEAR sound a little too depressing for me and the spacey solo in misunderstood is just way too weird. EITHER WAY great cd its a must have in any prog metal collection.

Report this review (#69993)
Posted Monday, February 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I could give this album a really long review, but it's late and I'm tired, so I won't. All I'm going to do is give each song a rating.

Disc One: -The Glass Prison: 10/10 -Blind Faith: 10/10 -Misunderstood: 8/10 -The Great Debate: 10/10 -Disappear: 6/10

Overall (Disc One): 9/10

Disc Two: (I realize that technically it's all one song, but since it IS split-up, I will rate each part separately.) -SDOIT: I. Overture [Instrumental]: 8.5/10 -SDOIT: II. About to Crash: 8.5/10 -SDOIT: III. War Inside My Head: 9.5/10 -SDOIT: IV. The Test That Stumped Them All: 9.5/10 -SDOIT: V. Goodnight Kiss: 7/10 -SDOIT: VI. Solitary Shell: 10/10 -SDOIT: VII. About to Crash (Reprise): 9/10 -SDOIT: VIII. Losing Time/Grand Finale: 9/10

Overall (Disc Two): 9/10

Overall for "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" by Dream Theater: 9/10 (4.5/5)

So... I'm giving it the 5/5.

Report this review (#74673)
Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars As far as Progressive Metal is concerned, no one can doubt that DREAM THEATER have cemented themselves a position at the very top of this musical sub-genre. However, as in many cases, with great power comes great responsibility, and in DREAM THEATER's case, this is no different. After releasing one of the most astonishing works this genre has ever seen in the form of 1999's "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory", the quintet of Petrucci, Portnoy, LaBrie, Myung and Rudess were faced with a daunting task of creating a worthy successor that would hopefully meet the incredibly high expectations of fans and critics alike. Well, after three years in hiding, the band has responded with a follow-up album of epic proportions that should without a doubt please any who claim themselves to be Progressive Metal Fans.

Just as "Metropolis Pt. 2" ended, "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" begins with the sound of a needle on vinyl, but before long, the song takes an aggressive turn and continues on this path for its duration. Dealing with alcoholism, "The Glass Prison" is told in three parts (Reflection, Restoration, Revelation) and is quite simply a stunning work from beginning to end. Whether it's the undeniable level of heaviness, or the stunning performances of each individual member, this song quickly casts aside any doubts regarding this album's brilliance. After "The Glass Prison" reaches its crashing conclusion, "Blind Faith" follows in a more subdued manner, without losing any of the prior emotion and intensity apparent on the opening track. Dealing with the issue of the (blind) faith many have in God, this track lyrically tackles the questions that we have all asked ourselves (in one form or another) regarding the existence of such a being. Musically, this is another gem, with the highlight coming in the form of a captivating solo halfway through from none other than Mr. Jordan Rudess. The mood and atmosphere of this track contrasts very nicely with that of "The Glass Prison" to display to the listener the versatility so obviously apparent in this band.

"Misunderstood" then continues where "Blind Faith" left off with another, less aggressive, more ballad-like track that deals with the feelings of alienation that we have all felt at one point or another in our lives. The way that this song slowly builds itself up until reaching its crescendo once again prevents it from ever seeming boring, or uninteresting (though I am sure that was never a worry). The band then displays their awareness regarding political, and social matters as "The Great Debate" lyrically deals with the issue of whether or not embryonic stem cells should be used for scientific research. Complete with sound clips covering both sides of the argument, this incredibly intricate song once again turns the heaviness up a notch, with the end result being a piece of music that does what Progressive Metal is meant to do: make the listener think. While some may find this track either stunning and captivating, or just plain boring, I proudly place myself in the former. Disc 1 then ends on an incredibly sombre note with "Disappear", a relatively short track (by DREAM THEATER standards) that is quite soft, yet at the some time incredibly moving. Dealing with the emotions felt by a man who has just lost his wife, this song once again displays the versatility possessed by these four gifted individuals. While there is easily an album's worth of stellar material to be found on Disc 1, the band decided to (once again) prove that they are not afraid of a challenge; a fact that is more than apparent on Disc 2.

Clocking in at over forty minutes long, it comes as no surprise that "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is a song that is nothing short of epic. Divided into eight parts (including an intro and an outro), this song deals with six different cases of psychological disorder and trauma. Though an explanation of each individual part of this song would no doubt be helpful to those too lazy to actually listen to the song itself, I will refrain from giving any such explanation, for part of the brilliance that is "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is the fact that only by listening with the lyrics in hand will you be able to fully comprehend this song's content and complexity. Suffice it to say that over the course of the song, the band succeeds at covering a wide-range of musical styles beyond just Metal (though there is plenty of Metal to be found). This sort of unpredictability is just what fans of Progressive Rock/Metal are (or should be) looking for, which is why those who have frowned upon this type of music in the past will (unfortunately) continue to do so, while genre fans will embrace this ambitious work in all of its progressive glory.

If you loved "Metropolis Pt. 2", you should not have any difficulty finding a place in your heart for "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence". Now one might ask: is this album better than it's predecessor? Well to be honest, I have neither the time, nor the energy to accurately research and answer such a question, but if you find yourself stuck on this same question, you have unfortunately missed the point. However, if you perceive both albums as monumental testaments to DREAM THEATER's unquestionable brilliance, you are in for an experience that you will not soon forget. If you consider yourself to be an open-minded music fan in search of a challenge, the choice could not be any simpler. "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" was my first encounter with DREAM THEATER, and I have been grateful ever since. (Online August 7, 2003)

Report this review (#75000)
Posted Saturday, April 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that this album has received such high ratings. As an avid Dream Theater fan, I see this as the band's weakest work (yes, weaker than FALLING INTO INFINITY!). I will admit that the experimentalism of the first disk works pretty well, especially with tracks like "Blind Faith" and "Misunderstood." Although "The Glass Prison" will undoubtedly rock your socks off at times, its repetitiveness takes away from the power it could have had. "The Great Debate" is definitely the low point of the disk. Although it tries to rock hard, I don't think I've ever gotten anything from its staticness and almost childish lyrics. Just because embryonic stem cell research sounds like it could be a great topic for a metal song doesn't necessarily mean that it is......or even should be.

Despite the first disk's shortcomings, it is still a pretty decent stand alone disk, especially when removed from a Dream Theater context. But this context is precisely the problem with the second disk, even more so than the first. To me, the entire 42- minute song on this CD (if you consider it a coherent song) sounds like more of an attempt by the band to sound like themselves rather than an original Dream Theater recording. Several reviewers on this site have labeled the first disk as "experimental" Dream Theater and the second disk as "classic" Dream Theater. I couldn't disagree more. "Classic" Dream Theater is progressive and always progressing; the second disk is anything but. The first two tracks, "Overture" and "About to Crash" are some of the cheesiest that the band has put out. For once I can actually say that the brilliant keyboardist Jordan Rudess sounds corny here. Not only do the four instrumentalists fail in trying to produce a classical sound in "Overture," but Rudess' synth lines border on juvenile at times. If you want to hear a real overture, look no further than the one that introduces Dream Theater's SCENES FROM A MEMORY. As for the second disk's high points, "The Test that Stumped Them All" pulls no punches as a great straight-up riffer, and "Solitary Shell" is an emotional track with some fantastic classical guitar work by John Petrucci. Overall, though, this album comes off as the least authentic and powerful of the band's prolific catalogue. There are very few moving sections (especially in the second CD), and Rudess' motifs are some of his least impressive. In a sense, I will agree with the reviewers who call the second disk "classic" Dream Theater, but only if by "classic" they mean a sound that comes off as a reproduction of what the band believes it should sound like. Dream Theater is above such self-gratification.

Report this review (#76491)
Posted Thursday, April 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is my absolute most favorite album of Dream Theater. It has some of the coolest songs such as "The Glass Prison", "The Great Debate", "Solitary Shell", and "The Test that Stumped them All". When people ask about Dream Theater this has always been the album that I suggest just cause it's that good. Here's my song ratings:

Disc 1: 5/5 The Glass Prison: 5/5, this song is one of my all time favorite Dream Theater songs that has been released. When I first got the CD I didn't know any better an thought that the beginning static was the CD being all screwy and scratched till it broke out. Then I just loved the song from then on out. Blind Faith: 5/5, this song is a more religious one but still freakin' good. I love the short piano solo that just begins halfway through the solo. This song is a lovable one and very, very good. Misunderstood: 5/5, with a wierd psychedelic ending the song really is put in its place. The begining three minutes is really good, but when it breaks out into the chorus the song's to die for. The Great Debate: 5/5, their one political song that they've made, the Great Debate. A really awsome song that really puts the veiw on Stem Cell Research. This song too is one of my all time favorites and I love it. It's so good. Disapear: 4/5, a good slow ballet, but has good quality to it and is very calming though depressing. I like the song, it's good.

Disc 2: 5/5 (Rated by the 8 Parts of the song) Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence I: Overture: 5/5 one of my more favorite instrumentals that I've heard, it's up there with Rush's YYZ and Dream Theater's other song Dance of Eternity. I love this intro, send you right into the mood of the song. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence II: About to Crash: 5/5 good song that's happy and frolicy till the instrumental when it really gets intense and sweet. Kind of depressing lyrics, but hey, it's Inner Turbulence she's dealing with. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence III: War Inside My Head: 5/5 sweet and to the point! A nice vietnam song that rocks and is really good. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence IV: The Test that Stumped them All: 5/5 really freakin sweet song, with a heavy beat and good song. Love this one alot suggest very much. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence V: Goodnight Kiss: 5/5 good soft song that picks up at then end Goodnight Kiss is a sweet song and is one of my more favorite ballets that they have made. Good part of the song. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence VI: Solitary Shell: 5/5 one of my favorite songs this very happy song reminds me of a couple of people that I know who are actually very much like this. The song has one of my more favorite choruses as well, and I love the song so much. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence VII: About to Crash (Reprise): 4/5 good song to recap on the About to Crash agenda. I like it and it's very good to the closing part of the album. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence VIII: Losing Time / Grand Finale: 4/5 the last song with a long, long outro in ends with the gong and fades out much like the fade in of As I Am on Train of Thought! Very cool I would have to think. It's a good song wiht a good Grand Finale to the touch of the song.

This album is awsome and the best of all the albums that I own. It's really good and I suggest getting it if you dont' know what to get into Dream Theater with. That and Scenes from a Memory.

Report this review (#76678)
Posted Saturday, April 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence

This album is Dream Theater's sixth album, contains six songs in it and has the word "six" in the title of the album, what a coincidence : ) . The album was divided into two CD, which has five songs in the first CD; the track varies from 6 - 14 minutes. The second CD however, contains one song length 42 minutes which divided into eight.

This album is the first part of the giant part, called "meta album", which will be continued in the next album. There are two keys why this album is just a beginning of a very long story. The first key is from the musical composition, notice that in the last track of Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, the key notes is used in the first track in Train Of Thought. Moreover, the key in the last track in Train Of Thought was used in the first track of Octavarium, then it creates a continuous album. The second key is in each album, there is a song which contains Mike Portnoy's non-alcoholic program, called the 12 steps program (this is not an ad!!). Anyway, in Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, in the first song, Glass Prison, there are Reflection, Restoration and Revelation. In Train Of Thought's This Dying Soul, there are Reflection Of Reality (Revisited) and Release. Octavarium's The Root Of All Evil has Ready and Remove. The names are very similar to the 12 steps that I have mentioned above. These parts then will create and reflect step one to eight. Maybe you now think, what about the step 9 to 12? Well, I never stop pray that in the next album, this concept will be continued. Also, Mike Portnoy said in one interview that he wanted to release all the 12 steps of his non-alcoholic program. However, by looking at the first key, about the continuous album, the last track in Octavarium, which is Octavarium, has a obvious ends so I am not sure how the next album will be started.

Back to Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence; I think this CD is pretty much has the same style as Scenes From A Memory, a combination of metal songs and a bit of mellow elements. Now let's take a look at each song.

Glass Prison - As I said before, this is the first song that has the first three steps of the non-alcoholic program. The song itself is very metal, started with a clean intro and harmonic line on bass. The atmosphere increases when the drum line starts. Notice that the guitar sound is very heavy and metal. When the vocal begins, the song is more like Metallica's songs, very fast. The solo sections are very progressive and very dark.

Blind Faith - The introduction (keyboard part) is pretty much like the Octavarium intro, with the addition of soft bass and guitar line. The overall song is not as metal as Glass Prison and the coolest part is the guitar solo, just like usual, very progressive metal with a great technique. After that the song stops for a while to give Jordan Rudess a bit of time to have a clean keyboard section, but then followed by an amazing keyboard solo.

Misunderstood - My second favorite song after Glass Prison. Misunderstood is considered as a not-so- metal song. The song begins with an acoustic guitar riffs and LaBrie sings very nice with help from Mike Portnoy. Jordan Rudess also take part by adding some background elements to the song with John Myung. When the chorus hits, the atmosphere increases, started from the harmonics on guitar line, the style changes drastically. I really like the lyric by the way, "how can I feel abandoned, even when the world surrounds me."

The Great Debate - The song is about the controversy of stem cell, "taking life to save life". The song begins in the same way as Sacrificed Sons, a lot of people talking about the theme of the song. However, Sacrificed Sons is about the 9/11 tragedy, while this song is about stem cell. As the people talking, the energy of the song increases slowly through the music behind it, which increased step by step. The keyboard and guitar solo with bass and drum backup at the end of the song is mind boggling, real great.

Disappear - Very mellow song, not very different with Through Her Eyes or The Answer Lies Within. This is probably the best song to be introduced to a newbie, since its not really progressive.

Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence - Well now I am confused how to review this song, because the section of the song varies very differently. The song begins with an instrumental part with, believe it or not, ORCHESTRA!! This is really different with another Dream Theater songs, because this is the first song (sub-song actually) which contains 100% orchestra. The song followed with About To Crash, where the atmosphere started to increase, the song becoming more metal. The guitar solo in the end of the song is really great and slows down the song a bit, very beautiful, which continued with War Inside My Head. Heavy drum and keyboard at the beginning, continued with also heavy guitar and bass line. "napalm showers, showed the coward, we weren't there to mess around." The best part is when Pornoy started to sing with LaBrie to create a darker style. The next sub-song, The Test That Stump Them All, is even heavier, with sick keyboard and guitar line, creates a very dark song. My mom who likes Overture, stops the CD player when this song starts. For me, this song is really great, especially how all the instruments can follow the lyrics, so they are like singing as well! After a metal song, its time to rest a little bit, with Mike Portnoy's beautiful lyric, in Goodnight Kiss. Here, LaBrie sings very beautifully with calm guitar and drum line. The coolest and most beautiful part is the guitar solo, whoa!!!! Really beautiful, just a simple solo, but very nice. The song is then continued with Solitary Shell, a more rock-pop song, but then it changes after the lyric has finished, odd time signatures and great solos are started. After that, another metal song, About To Crash (Reprise) starts, maybe is a wake up song for us after Goodnight Kiss. Now here it is, my favorite song in the second CD, Losing Time/Grand Finale, which has very beautiful and meaningful lyric. "A journey to find the answers inside our illusive mind." A really great ending of the album, Grand Finale is more like a conclusion of the album with not much guitar and keyboard solos.

For me, it's a really great album and I give 5 stars because of the musical composition and the feeling behind each song. Truly a masterpiece.

Timur Imam Nugroho - Indonesia

Report this review (#78539)
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Progressive Metal at its absolute worst. Actually let me rephrase that, metal at its absolute worst, the only hint of progressive tendencies here come in the form of clichés, repeated ideas, and technicality. Every criticism assigned to Dream Theater rings painfully true on this album.

LaBrie sings horribly from trying to be James Hetfield on "The Glass Prison" to trying to be Maynard Keenan on "The Great Debate. In both cases and in-between he fails miserably.

Instrumental "wankery" is in full effect here especially on the album's title track with is devoid of even a single note with any meaning. They can play their instruments and they pound that fact into your face with bombastic, excessive solos, but they also pound into your face the fact that they can no longer write good music.

The lyrics are terrible and cheesy. The music is a cold, technical, and emotionless rehashing of what countless bands have already done. The only saving grace here is "Disappear" which is a very interesting ballad that reminds me of the soul Dream Theater has shown on prior albums.

Don't let this be the album you judge Dream Theater by as they have some truly inspired work. Check out something from when Kevin Moore was still in the band if you want some jaw dropping prog-metal.

Report this review (#79128)
Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ah, Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence.. what could I say? Well, lets start with the fact that this is without a doubt one of Dream Theater's finest works, even though it is (for some reason I can't understand) very underrated. The album kicks off with the mindblowing masterpiece, a 13 minute long song called 'The Glass Prison'. This song is one of my favorite DT tracks. Actually it is bit of a shame that the album starts with a song of this quality, because after this, you will only get dissapointed ;) But still there is nothing to worry about, beacause the remaining tracks on CD1 are also excellent. The following song, Blind Faith, is also an epic, massive song, that I find very good also. Then there is Misunderstood and The Great Debate, both absolutely fantastic musically and lyrically. The first CD ends with a very emotional track called Disappear. This is (for me) the best track on CD1, after The Glass Prison, of course. And BTW, if you like this song also, you should see (and hear) the Live at Budokan - version of it. It still gives me chills.

Ok, let's move to CD2. The second CD is actually one 42- minute long masterpiece cut to eight different pieces. It's very melodic, and contains very dramatic, emotional and simply mindblowing stuff. It begins very dramatic, like an opera or something like that, and then flawlessly moves into another sections that change from beautiful and emotional parts to heavy progressive metal. To sum up, SDOIT's both CD's are excellent, almost perfect stuff. If I would have to name my favorite, I would turn to CD2, because it's simply so epic and a stunning musical experience. But CD1 is absolutely amazing also. I'd suggest that you who don't own this album yet, should just go to a store and buy this. In case you like good music, of course :)

Report this review (#79341)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the great Scenes from a Memory, Dream Theater needed to do something that would challange what is often thought as their best work. They did that exactly. Six Dregrees is a great blend of very proggy elements with pure metal. In this album DT takes on a great symphonic sound that I wish they would do more often.

1. The Glass Prison- This is a great opener and, up until Train of thought, the heaviest Dream Theater song ever made. It is the first of Mike Portnoy's AA series in which he tells about his alcohol addiction. The lyrics are some of Portnot's best, using a Glass Prison as a great metephor for his addiction. While not as proggy as other songs on this album, it is a great 13 minute speed metal song with incredible guitar and drum parts. 5/5

2. Blind Faith- A very nice song clocking in at about 10 minutes and is a nice lighter change to the Glass Prison. The Lyrics are nicely done by singer James LaBrie. This song shows what a great symphonic and piano soloist Jordan Rudess is. 4/5

3. Misunderstood- a nice oddball track with cool guitar work and great lyrics by John Petrucci. It has a dark feel and is filled with ambient sound-effects and sounds. 4/5

4. The Great Debate- A Great Song about stem cell research. The melodies are great, but takes a while to get with the very long beginning with lots of quotes. Overall quite good. 4/5

5. Disappear- a nice ballad with touching lyrics by James LaBrie. 4/5

6. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence- Here is the Masterpiece of the Album. The 8 Part 42 minute epic. This song is in my opinion possibly the best Dt song. I. Overtue- A great opening with all of the themes played by an orchestra, along with some electric guitar. II. About to Crash- A wonderful opening ot the entire band with a great piano intro. Essentially my favorite part of this epic. III. War inside my Head- a good 2 minute section. Not much else to say. IV. The Test that Stumped them All- a very good heavy section with great instrumental parts. V. Goodnight Kiss- A nice ballad with a great guitar solo at the end. VI. Solitary shell- A wonderful melancholic (Sp?) section with great acoustic guitar and synths. One of my favorites. VII. About to Crash (reprise)- a nice short section that equals the first about to crash VIII. Losing Time/ Grand Finale- The wonderful ending of the song. It is very climatic and there is some great and quite high singing by Labrie.

This song is definately 5/5.

Overall, I think is possibly Dt's best album, and is essential to any Dt fans. Masterpiece- 5 stars

Report this review (#81829)
Posted Friday, June 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a great double-CD album that doesn't manage to feel like it has a lot of filler. It has excellent musicianship and while it does not really progress from the excellent conceptual album that came before this, it is very fun to listen to. Criticisms from Zitro include lack of originality, heavy influences from other bands, bad vocals, and a somewhat poor-constructed huge epic that had lots of potential. So, what you got is unoriginal amazing music.

Glass Prison begins with a song about battling Alcohol and influences include Metallica with the amazing riffing and horrible vocals that try to hard to be like Metalica's. The guitar playing is sooo good that you will forget that. 8/10

Blind Faith is instrumentally great and has a great instrumental part with some of the best moments Ruddess had in his band, but the vocals are really bad. IF you don't believe me, hear a chorus and cringe. 6.5/10

Misunderstood is almost psychedelic and something new for Dream Theater. The song is really dark, something odd from the band. The vocals aren't that bad here and are redeemed by the hypnotic outro. 8/10

The Great Debate: Is this really Dream Theater? It sounds like a Tool tribute. It is so unoriginal that they really don't use their sound and instead go playing rhythmic guitar riffs in the style off Adam, and Maynard-wanna be vocals in parts. The pre-chorusese and choruses are so tool-like that it sounds like a rip-off. However, this song is so amazing that you'll forgive their unoriginality. 9/10

Disappear is a great accessible tune that is also very dark, yet also depressing. The vocals are at their best here as he doesn't scream and I love the keyboard theme. 8/10

Six Degrees Under Turbulence: Overall, it has very good songs, but it just doesn't feel very coherent. It sounds more like actual songs connected together. The best part is easily the overture and is one if my favourite instrumentals from them. It features an orchestra ... and Electric guitars!!!. The rest are ballads, pop songs and heavy parts switching back and forth. They are pretty solid songs with good melodies (except for the unpleasant "Test that stumped") and the song ends with reprises and explorations from earlier themes while finishing with the orchestra. Highlights here are Overture, Goodnight Kiss, and Solitary Shell. 7/10

So, I'll instert a cliched conclusion that says what I already said: A great set of derivative songs where mediocre vocals can get in the way.

My Grade: B-

Report this review (#82342)
Posted Saturday, July 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Of their studio albums after Awake, this is their best, but that's not saying too much, considering the poor and uncreative songwriting that has become more or less a style of the band after Kevin Moore's departure.

Six degrees gives us one of Dream Theater's better tracks in The Glass Prison. The best part about this song is that despite its technicality, they seem to just let everything flow and put it all out there without trying to be pretentious or forced. It is more or less wankery, but at least its somewhat coherent and structured, and gives us an entertaining track. Blind Faith has promise at the beginning, but falls apart at about the 4 minute mark where it turns into a jam session.

Misunderstood is very suprising for the band at this stage, you would have thought they would have grown past these ideas. Great Debate is a message song, and there is nothing wrong about that, but the music doesn't seem to fit.

Disappear is a surprisingly good and interesting song. It is probably the best song they've done over the last few years because it is so unlike their writing style, a very unique and worthy song.

The 2nd cd is more or less a wash. Anyone who really thinks it is one long song is fooling themeselves. These songs have no connection to each other, with the exception of the reprise. More or less some pop metal here.

An acceptable and enjoybale album in some parts, but not quite all there. Probably the last decent/good album of the bands career.

Report this review (#84344)
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars First of all I am a Dream Theater fan, but I consider this to be their worst release ever. I was really looking forward to listening to this, but what a dissapointment. The opening number "The Glass Prison" is such a long, boring and repititive song. That is the best way to describe it. It just drones on and on. "Blind Faith" is an OK slow number (Second best song after Solitary Shell) and "Misunderstood" is another slow and boring number. "The Great Debate" would be good if it weren´t so long. "Disappear" is a slight improvement.

CD 2 begins with "Overture" which also carries on too long. It´s not even a pleasant orchestral arrangement. "Solitary Shell" is the only good song on this CD, the rest is just such a mixed bag that the album lacks a certain flow.

Don´t be fooled by the nice album cover, this is the worst album they could have released.

Report this review (#84402)
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars While not being a very big fan of Dream Theater, I must say this album was a revelation for me. Preciesly because of the title track. Frankly, the first CD is a bit too much of the heavy, mindless type of music I outgrew after High School, with the possible exception of the last song which is pretty good. But the 2nd CD is a fantastic prog rock/prog metal epic that flows very well and has the best thing I've ever heard by Dream Theater, Overture. I suppose there are some Metallica rip offs in the middle (Test that stumped them all, especially), but I still enjoy it (after all, Metallica were one of the first prog metal bands if you ask me).

Overall, not a must have album by any means, but CD2 is certainly worth hearing for prog fans that are not terribly fond of other Dream Theater albums. 3 solid stars for the second CD alone.

Report this review (#84403)
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Originally posted February 20, 2002 My initial reaction to SDOIT is it's not very good. Sounds like the band ripped through the song-writing as if in a hurry to get on with something else. And while the songs are ridiculously long they're short on imagination and creativity. The lyrics are especially lacking and pale in comparison to those from Awake and Falling Into Infinity. In fact, the disc is so underwhelming I haven't even listened to it in the last week and a half or so. In total, I think I've only listened to it 8 or 10 times.

Don't get me doesn't just sounds a little hurried to me and, thus far, isn't a compelling listen. I do intend to spend some time digesting it (there is, after all, almost 100 minutes of music here) and will give a full review after I've learned a bit more of the disc.

November 7, 2002

Well, the fact it's taken me nine months to finally write my review of this disc should tell you something. If I'd been truly excited by SDOIT you know I'd have posted my thoughts months ago. I wanted my site to be thorough so here we go. Six Degrees is not without its high points, most of which are found on disc two, the 42-minute title track. While DT's best works are usually found in grand concepts this effort fails to reach their lofty standards. Listeners will enjoy many usual DT elements such as outstanding musicianship and a wide-ranging mix of musical vibes. The "song" begins with a significant departure from the standard DT sound with a piece that could easily be a movie soundtrack. From there the band covers progressive rock (About to Crash), thrash (War Inside my Head) and mellow 70's jazz-rock (Goodnight Kiss). Along the way you're treated to the usual solos and extended musical sections. All are performed flawlessly and are all solid efforts. The problems though, are many. The most glaring weakness is that, unlike clasics such as A Change of Seasons or Scenes From A Memory the whole is less than the sum of the individual parts. THe six-minute opening Overture, while interesting, plays no role in the overall story. The song can be completely skipped over and have no impact on the total listening experience; it also plays no role as far as musical themes, story-lines or character revelations. This is true throughout the piece as each section seems separate from the others, with little connecting them together. The transitions, while good, pale compared to those found on truly great concept pieces.

This could all have been salvaged with a strong finisher. Instead, Grand Finale represents the least compelling portion of the work; slow, lacking passion or intensity and dragging on far too long. These are not the elements you want to leave the listener with but that's what you get with SDOIT. Thus, the centerpiece of the two-disc release ends up being a LONG exercise in self-indulgence for the band members. Interesting and entertaining at times but overall disappointing and a bit disillusioning.

Disc one fares even worse. The five songs share many traits: all have solid moments, all last WAY too long and all suffer from weak lyrics. The opening Glass Prison shows tremendous promise with a classic progressive DT opening. Unfortunately, the song needed to last about six minutes instead of 14. Much the same could be said of the four remaining songs....each has parts that live up to the DT legacy and each suffers from self-indulgent musical masturbation. Worse, the songs all lack originality with all of them openly ripping off artists such as Genesis and Tool. While DT is great in many ways they should leave Tool to Maynard; we're better off with one Tool and one DT as opposed to one Tool and one Tool wannabe. With all of the problems the absence of solid lyrics if the proverbial final straw. The songs truly sound as if they were written in a few weeks (as they in fact were) as opposed to the mind-expanding works found on previous DT releases.

In sum, SDOIT lacks originality, solid song-writing and cohesion. In my mind it is easily the weakest effort from the band since James LaBrie joined back in 1991. Really, all you need to know about SDOIT is that the conclusion of the title track is a single "climatic" note that last for a full minute and forty-five seconds. The not could have lasted only 15 seconds and achieved the same purpose but in true SDOIT fashion it excruciatingly carried it out 7 times longer simply for the amusement of the band itself.

Report this review (#85136)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is IMHO Dream Theater's most clever work. It's mature yet fresh, complex yet melodic, diverse yet coherent.

Even the recurrent drawback of the band, I mean their inclination to write never ending songs, doesn't bother me at all here. Actually, this record makes such an impression on me that I have come to the point where I might be able to appreciate the last two minutes of "Misunderstood" : those who know this song will understand ...

As the ice on the cake, SDOIT is also the proggiest effort by the band. So all the prog fans who fear the metal label that has been given to Dream Theater should push their luck, at least with the second CD. It's worth the try. The same advice could be given to those who found Images and Words too naïve.

It's a feat to have nothing but good songs on one album. Dream Theater manages to achieve it with a double album. Simply amazing. Oh, by the way, did I mention that the art cover is brilliant too ? Five stars without the shadow of a doubt.

Report this review (#86037)
Posted Monday, August 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Whether Dream Theater realised it at the time or not, 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' would become the start of a new era for the progressive metal band, a turbulent but highly creative period that so far consists of three entirely different sounding albums. This double-disc release remains, perhaps, the strongest of the band's releases this millennium, but for every plaudit there's a downside; for every successful experiment, a turkey. That's prog rock for ya.

1999's highly ambitious and intricate concept album 'Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory' ranks as one of the band's most acclaimed releases, and was going to be a difficult album to follow. Many artists in similar dilemmas opt to change their style somewhat between releases to avoid repetition: Slayer's 'South of Heaven' was a consciously slower and more technical affair in contrast to their intensely brutal 'Reign in Blood,' while Pink Floyd's sound altered massively in the six years between their two big sellers. Dream Theater's sound is always driven by progression, but 'Six Degrees' is a somewhat confused album, trying to be innovative in places, but attempting to connect with an earlier sound in others. This sound is sometimes the band's own, but more often leads to imitations of other artists.

The double-disc format is important in understanding the album's intention. The first disc features five long songs, none lasting for less than six minutes and several in excess of ten. These five songs experiment with a heavier sound that the band introduced almost a decade earlier with 'Awake,' but never really followed through until now. The second disc consists of an epic forty-three minute suite, helpfully divided up into eight distinct tracks. This disc aims to satisfy long-time Dream Theater fans, but doesn't come close to reaching the heights of 1992's 'Images and Words,' still their most popular release.

Having produced a modern masterpiece with 'Scenes from a Memory,' and toured and performed the album worldwide in its entirety for over a year, it's clear that the band was itching to attempt something grand once again. The 'Six Degrees' suite is the result, but it's really nothing to get excited about. The first disc is far more interesting, despite some real low points, and more progressive in the true sense.

Disc One

The incredible 'The Glass Prison' is Dream Theater's heaviest song up to this point, and holds together for its thirteen minute duration. Written by drummer Mike Portnoy, the song in fact represents the first part of a musical saga that's still continuing, dealing with his struggle with alcoholism. The three movements of the song correspond, lyrically and musically, to the first three steps in Bill Wilson's Alcoholics Anonymous program. This epic continues in the subsequent albums 'Train of Thought' and 'Octavarium,' and will reportedly be concluded in the band's next album in 2007. The song's crushing riffs, thundering bass drums and frantic guitars from John Petrucci mark it out as something special and distinctive in the Dream Theater discography and the greatest song on the album, owing more than a small debt to Metallica. 'Blind Faith' lets some of the heaviness go, but still remains quite hard and powerful, despite feeling overlong this time at ten minutes. Singer James LaBrie doesn't really excel himself here, despite penning the lyrics to this second song about struggle, dealing with religion.

The album takes a chill pill for the slower 'Misunderstood,' the first song from Petrucci, who wrote most of the second disc. The 'Scenes from a Memory' album demonstrated that Petrucci was the softer yin to Portnoy's metallic yang (despite the entire band contributing pretty much evenly on all songs), and the trend continues here. 'Misunderstood' works really well in the centre of the disc, and LaBrie's vocals come to the fore in the high octave chorus. The drawback of the song is that, like most others, it's far too stretched out and loses its impact in the second half, however much Petrucci and the others try to impress the listeners with solos. It's still one of the best songs here.

'The Great Debate' is, right from the start, a Tool rip-off. LaBrie's voice imitates Maynard James Keenan and the whole modern prog atmosphere seems almost lifted from the other band's 'Lateralus' release, an album that could hardly have escaped the band's attention as one of the biggest selling rock albums of the previous year. The eponymous debate itself concerns, of all things, stem cell research. Genuine news interview clips play during the song's introductory sequence, and recur at several points. The intention was for the listener's stereo to embody the left- and right-wing speakers by literally piping them through the appropriate speaker, which would give the added advantage of a dedicated stem cell activist switching off one of the speakers and blissing out for fourteen minutes. It's an interesting song, but certainly sub-Tool, even if Dream Theater are superior musicians.

The final song on disc one is the least impressive of all. 'Disappear' sounds like an attempt, once again, to deviate from the band's trademark, expected sound by becoming a sound-alike for popular artists. This time it's somewhere between the Beatles and Radiohead, a poppy ballad that retains the gloomy atmosphere but doesn't convince me that it was worth the wait.

Disc Two

Grand, bombastic, cinematic, orchestral. 'Six Degrees of' etc. etc. is here, so open up your sound-holes. The 'Overture' is actually a little deceptive, as the full orchestra sound that's achieved here doesn't continue to the rest of the song, and overall this sounds more like a Michael Kamen score than anything from the first disc (I can't escape the mental image of the helicopter escaping the island at the end of Jurassic Park). 'About to Crash' is where the song begins in earnest, although in fairness these segments are all individual songs. just don't tell that to the band. A catchy piano melody from Jordan Rudess is picked up by Petrucci's wailing guitars, and the ominous lyrics of impending doom make this a fun and interesting fast-paced song in the vein of the previous album.

'War Inside My Head' is a short, two-minute affair featuring weird synthesisers and a heavy rhythm that leads seamlessly into the hardest rocking song on this side of the album, the Pantera-influenced 'The Test That Stumped Them All.' This song sees LaBrie's vocals veering all over the place, from squeaks deep yells, to the extent that it almost sounds like Korn. Portnoy and Petrucci deliver the most effective drum and guitar attack since 'The Glass Prison,' and although the neat guitar style is lifted from the late Dimebag Darrell, it makes for a great song in the vein of 1994's 'Awake' album.

As can be deduced from the title, 'Goodnight Kiss' is a slow, soft song, led by piano and soft singing and reminiscent of 1992's 'Wait for Sleep' (I'll stop referring back to past songs as soon as the band stops making me!), but is more drawn out and expanded than a simple interlude. 'Solitary Shell' is the catchiest song on the CD, but I'm unsure whether this is a good or bad thing. The vocals and melody seem more upbeat, despite the 'Dark Side of the Moon'-style lyrics, and remind me of Green Day more than anything, although obviously a Green Day who have learned to play instruments. The chorus is the most notable part, and LaBrie really reaches for the high notes, although it's a shame his voice hasn't really moved on in the ten years with the band.

The reprise of 'About to Crash' is well-timed and even better executed, the band proving that they are the masters in the field of concept albums and call-backs, as if there was ever any doubt. There's a riff that sounds somewhat familiar, like a voice from the past you can't quite place, and then. oh, it's just that piano thing from track two again isn't it? Still, it's very nice, and the song does move on to differ from the earlier instalment. The finale returns to the grand scope of the 'Overture,' and our journey into the human psyche is complete. We haven't really learned anything, but when do we ever?

With 'Six Degrees,' Dream Theater enters the new millennium, and has something of an anxiety of influence. Tool, Radiohead and Metallica are all given a nod of inspiration, but at least the stand-out tracks prove that the band still have what it takes as the driving force of progressive metal music. Beginning here, the band launch into several epic strokes of creativity: first is Portnoy's alcoholic odyssey, second is the band's deliberate experimentation with existing genres - which would continue with the unashamedly nu-metal 'Train of Thought' - and finally, an interesting technique of linking albums together in a sort of daisy chain, or, more accurately and less fluffily, a regular train. The vinyl fuzz that ended 'Scenes from a Memory' is brought in to begin 'The Glass Prison' here, although it's not something you'd notice on first listen. Similarly, 'Losing Time / Grand Finale' ends with an extended string chord that would soon open 'Train of Thought.' This technique will reportedly end at the next album, as will Portnoy's personal magnum opus, ushering in another era for the progressive New Yorkers.

Dream Theater's music is always unpredictable, and consistently defies my expectations even as a long-time fan. 'Six Degrees' lies somewhere in the middle of the road for the band, roughly half a disc too long and lacking in inspiration but still full of energy and technical skill to appeal to a wide spectrum of listeners. The title song is for the stubborn fans of old; 'The Glass Prison' is for the metalheads; 'Goodnight Kiss' is for their mums.

Report this review (#87398)
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album has it all. It leaves nothing left to be desired when the final keyboard note is being held out. I'll admit that the first cd in this two disc set leaves a lot to be desired. The glass prison is excellent, but other than that it doesn't really go anywhere. The melodies are few and far between (and very mediocre) Being a dream theater fan, it pains me to say this about them, i say what i hear. But all of that is more than made up for on disc two. It goes through six degrees of inner turbulence in humans:

About To Crash-Spiraling Down War Inside My Head-Vengance of war The Test That Stumped Them All-Deception of fame Goodnight Kiss-Lives Torn Apart Solitary Shell-Feeling The Walls Closing In Losing Time-Losing Ones

These are all brilliantly portraited by the lyrics and the music. This CD (song) contains everything you could ever want from music. Metal, chill, time signatures, harmony, shred, and some good old fashioned rock and roll! This song is the reason for the 5 star ratings, which i RARELY give out, and that is with 4 mediocre songs on it. That alone says something about this work of art. Buy it.

ps, on Score, a live dt dvd/ cd coming out in a little over a week, they play six degrees the song in its entirety. Have you pre-ordered yet?

Report this review (#87661)
Posted Saturday, August 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is the 6th album by US prog-metal legends Dream Theater, and the follow up to the masterpiece Metropolis Part 1: Scenes From a Memory. This album is notable as a detachment from the previous style of song writing that the band used and focuses more on the downside of life. This album is quite possibly the bands most experimental as it takes in a wide range of styles and tones in the album, whilst maintaining a more heavy metal sound than in previous albums.

The album opens up with its best song, The Glass Prison. This song is a heavy metal song on first appearance but beneath the surface it comprises of many twists and turns that make this a very interesting song. Of the first four tracks on the album it's the only one that doesn't sound too long and drawn out. As the song is split into three sections but is also parts 2,3 and 4 in Mike Portnoy's AA series that was started in The Mirror on Awake. Lyrically this is one of Portnoy's strongest songs, it's a shame that the series starts going down hill from here in subsequent albums.

From here on Blind Faith, Misunderstood and The Great Debate all give off their own unique character to the album but I feel that from each I think they could have cut a minute or two to make them really good songs. I was particularly impressed with the lyrics to The Great Debate. This song deals with stem cell research, and while the band make their opinion known, the background voices and the lyrics themselves make sure that its leaving it up to you to decide on where you lie in this debate. The first disc of the album closes off with the ballad Disappear. This song has a really great opening that I will never forget as it goes right through me every time I hear it, very spooky. It gets even spookier when the same passage appears in the middle of the song backed up by Petrucci's guitar. A great song.

The second disc is just one song, the title track Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence lasting a grand total of 42 minutes making it DT's longest song and an album in its own right! However, it doesn't actually work as a complete entity, each indavidual section is more of a song in its own right making this work more like a concept album than an epic. Unfortunately I find the way it goes from the all out heavy metal of The Test That Stumped Them All to the much softer Goodbye Kiss to be very abrupt and detrimental to the feel of the whole piece. Lyrically most of this disc is very week as well and this is unfortunate as it could have been so much better with were they were tacking this.

The only song on the second disc that really gets to me is Solitary Shell, the way it changes from 12 string acoustic to 7 string electric is..well electric. The lyrics also hold up better on this song than the rest and as a consequence Solitary Shell has stayed in my mind were the others have got nearly totally forgotten.

Musically there are times when this album is brilliant, like on The Glass Prison, Disappear and Solitary Shell and others were the band is a little lackluster, such as a the middle sections of Misunderstood and Blind Faith. I don't know how the writing style/ method of the band changed but its immediately noticeable that they are missing the input of John Myung. He's written some of their best songs like Learning To Live and Trial Of Tears but here has nothing. Thankfully his bass lines generally keep up to the usual standards that you expect of him, and the opening to The Glass Prison is really memorable. Its also quite clear on this album that Jordan Rudess is fitting in with the band perfectly, shown best by his interplay with Petrucci throughout. James LaBrie maintains the high standard of singing that he set on Scenes From A Memory and carry's high and low notes brilliantly without having to wail/scream as he did in Awake.

Overall its an interesting album by Dream Theater but not one of their best, some of the tracks are just a bit too long for there own good and the title track is very inconsistent musically, and barely a single track at all. I give this album 3.5 stars, as there is a lot to enjoy still but some parts that could be skipped, rounded down to 3 as its not great.

Report this review (#88049)
Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars At the time of this review, the album's rating is 4.07/5. Seriously. This, by definition, is a crying shame. Six Degrees is one of the most cohesive, excellent Progressive Metal albums I've ever heard. This is one of the few albums in my book, and the only double album(!) that pulls off the difficult feat of having no weak songs. Red, by King Crimson, Thick as a Brick, by Jethro Tull, and Hemispheres, by Rush, are the only others to do this, in all of my listening. So, let's begin.

Track 1: The Glass Prison (13:52)

The long tracklength at first made me think that I was in for a typical Dream Theater mini-epic, perhaps another "Home", or "Metropolis I". Wrong. Glass Prison is thrashy, and angry. The entire band is top notch. LaBrie's vocals even work well, which hardly happens in DT's hard edged songs. I don't think I even have to mention how good Petrucci is here, he has two amazing solos in this piece. Brilliant opener.

Track 2: Blind Faith (10:21)

The opening here couldn't be any more different than The Glass Prison. The song is soft for the first few minutes; a slightly cynical edge to LaBrie's vocals being the only clue to what lies ahead. What's ahead is a heavier section, which leads to a breathtaking solo section with Rudess and Petrucci. Another winner.

Track 3: Misunderstood (9:32)

Not a typical DT song. Damn, damn good, though. It's sounds a bit poppish in parts, but poppish does not equal bad, though some may argue otherwise. The leadup to the final refrain is one of my favorite sections of the album.

Track 4: The Great Debate (13:45)

This track is weakened slightly by a boring opening. I usually fast forward the first 3 minutes, which is fun, because it sounds like the music to a James Bond movie. :P The rest of the song is solid, though not as exceptional as the first three tracks. The weak point of disc 1, but that's really a meaningless title, seeing as this is still a great song.

Track 5: Disappear (6:47)

At 6:47, Disappear is the shortest song on Six Degrees. Very prog, or whatever. This song is, to put it bluntly, amazing. It's not heavy, there are no guitar solos, but there's just this feeling of melancholy surrounding this song that just makes it... work. This song took a bit to *click* with me, but when it did, I found myself replaying it over and over.

And, so, disc 1 ends. If the first disc had been released as an album, I still would have given it 5 stars. But no. Here comes Disc 2.

"Track" 6: Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (42:04)

Six Degrees seems alot shorter than most double albums do, and the title track seems much shorter than other ultra-long songs do. The CD gives each part of the suite a track, to ease navigation, but this generally is considered one track.

Overture begins the suite, and is awesome. It's an orchestra playing some wonderful, majestic sounding melodies and riffs, that will occur later in guitar form.

About to Crash isn't the best part of the suite. I have found myself skipping it at times. However, it isn't a weak song by any means, and the mood change near the end is well done.

Despite the track listing, I've always grouped War Inside my Head and Test that Stumped Them All together. They both are heavier than anything played so far in the suite, and both feature similar vocal styles. Test, however, contains some odd falsetto vocals on the refrain, and this serves well to back up the hysterical atmosphere that permeates this section. Then, we segue into...

Goodnight Kiss. Woah! What happened to the heavy? This is a soft ballad, that is a tad uninteresting until the Floyd-knockoff guitar solo. If it's a Pink Floyd rip off, it's an excellent one, though, and it remains one of my favorite Petrucci solos ever. It segues nicely into Solsbury Hill.

Uh, Solitary Shell. Soz. This song is rather similar to Solsbury Hill in structure, and even in title, and is likely a tribute to it. Despite it's lighter, poppy feel, this is one of my favorite parts of the entire album. There's pop, then there's good pop. This is some damn fine pop.

About To Crash (Reprise) kicks in, and I mean, it KICKS in. The guitar at the start is a hell of an entrance, and it only gets better. The vocals are almost meaningless, because after them is the best part of the album. Some amazing buildups, great melodies, and riffs are here. We move all too soon to:

Losing Time / Grand Finale: I actually found the end to be slightly dissapointing. Losing Time is a fine ballad-like song, but GF is just a tad on the boring side. It's not bad, or weak, though. The song, and the album ends on a gong that stretches to the end of the CD, and cuts off. However, I really wanted something on the lines of the reprise to About to Crash. You can't win them all, I guess.

Overall, this is amazing. This is the most underrated album in DT's discography by far, and deserves much better than a low 4. Easly 5/5.

Report this review (#93535)
Posted Thursday, October 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is, for me, DT's worst album... in fact, were it not for the second disc, I would rarely, almost never hear it.

The problem I have with this record is not that DT changed, or tried to change, but HOW they did it. Yes, we all know change is good, we all know stale, the-same-album- over-and-over-again bands are not really talented and should not be considered prog...but one thing is trying to change, another thing is doing so by EMULATING LESSER BANDS....take MArillion, a good example: they were great, then they changed a little bit (in fact they got a new singer) and they were still great; then they were getting stale and tried to change, so they went in another direction, sounding like radiohead, popbrit, and we all know what they became after this....the same thing happens here with dream theater: they try to change by emulating less talented bands' sound, and the results are not good.

The first song, The Glass prison (5/10) for instance, is a sort of hommage to Metallica...Now, there was a time when that band was, if not really great, at least good, the time of MAster of Puppets, And Justice for all and even the Black Album....the problem is, DT chose to take influence not from those albums but from load, reload, I Dissapear (the song), and, probably it was not out yet, but somehow they managed to hear that awful, purenoise st. anger...and this is the result: noise, a vulgar, old thrash metal riff, non-stop, annoying double bass drums, distorted vocals (we all know not-melodious vocals are not LaBrie's strong point), and, at some point, they even have a nu-metal kind of bass line going on! Now, I can take even the metallica references, but nu-metal...that most despicable, mtv friendly, bastardized form of "music" God, the masters copying the ignorant ones....this song is really too much for me...I have to stop...and man is this song long!! (A change of seasons lasts 23 minutes but for me it goes by in a minute, this one l;asts 13 minutes but sounds like three hours!!) And a final point: Jordan rudess? You have such a genius keyboardist and give him THIS for him to play?!?!

Blind Faith (8/10) is a lot better and actually pretty decent even compared with songs in better DT albums. It has melody, it has a dreamy ambience... it's not overly complex but it's musical, La brie SINGS, at times sounding like he does in his band or in mullmuzzler....good track, but it could be better

Misunderstood (8/10), best track in the first half, melodic, mellow at times, good chorus, the ending is too long for me, long and not interesting, but it doesn't damage the song...

The great debate (7/10) is not that bad of a song, actually is decent enough, hard, complicated, dealing with an interesting subject...the problem is, well, two: i don't like those voice overs ala news broadcast, and above all, that it sounds a little bit like if DT were trying to mix their own sound with that of megadeth and tool. Tool is a good band, Megadeth, for metal, is pretty acceptable. But hey, they do exist already! And DT is better than those two, so why trying to lower yourself instead of taking sounds of bands in their same level like, say, progrockers like flower kings, or classics?

dissappear (7/10), a mellow song, I don't like the effect in the vocals too much, makes it sound radiohead-esque, and that particual band I just can not bear (especially when I see their name here in

That's what makes this album the lesser from DT. For, in a nutshell, the second disc is marvelous.

Six degrees of inner turbulence (9/10) is a symphonic effort by dream theater. It has everything we love about this band: virtuosism, technique, melody, great vocal parts (the Goodnight Kiss section has Labrie at his best EVER...he surpasses himself here in meloy singing, with heart, with emotion, with pure musical notes, pure tones, great), an introduction that returns near the end (much ala change of seasons), a sense of development, tension, building of that tension, resolution to that tension, complex structure but COHERENT structure, outstanding drumming, brilliant keyboards....moments of extreme peace, of love, moments of terror.... really a great track...if I don't give it a ten is because maybe I feel it's a few minutes too long... tracks CAN BE too long, you know? Because for me, this is a single song, not a kind of concept album within the whole album... and as a single song, it could be a couple of minutes shorter, for the final part is a little bit too repetitive....

So, that's my take on this album....I think is a decent one but not up to par with DT's best, specially considering that the album that came before this one (Scenes froma memory) is my all time favorite and probably their best. But there are some good moments here, and we can appreciate the effort to change directions, what we don't agree with is the direction they chose.

Recommended. But not essential. (Only to DT completionists, which we all should be, so, in the end: RECOMMENDED).

Report this review (#95294)
Posted Friday, October 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars To me this album shows why Jordan Rudess should be considered in the same company as keyboard contemporaries such as Rick Wakeman and Tony Banks. His composing and performance skills on the 42 minute opus that is "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" is nothing short of magnificent. Many attempts to truly combine rock music with orchestral scores have come and gone over the years with great artists such as Lord and Emerson giving it a go but, in the end, drowning in a morass of conflicting instrumentation and styles. But the minute I first heard the overture to this epic I knew that I was listening to something very unique and utterly enjoyable. I found myself smiling in amazement often. Jason's piano work alone is truly stunning and adds an important dynamic to the proceedings just exactly at the spots where it is most needed. Everyone in the group is at the top of their game throughout with Petrucci's incredible lead break at the end of "About to Crash" being a high point. It is Dream Theater doing what they do best and that is reaching for the stars and bringing them down to us intact. They do things in a big, big way and I, for one, love them for it. "Six Degrees" is one of their very best undertakings and well worth the price of this 2-cd set.

However, there is another disc included and it has to be addressed properly and with an understanding perspective. DT had just come off the high that was "Scenes from a Memory," an obvious landmark of progressive rock that will identify them as a major player in modern rock music for centuries to come. To just duplicate the same feel and atmosphere of that achievement would be redundant and stagnating. So they set out to do something different and take some serious risks. There are five songs on disc one and I have to say that 2 of them are terrific, 2 of them are iffy and one is a failure. I admire the chutzpah of an attempt to take on a topic as controversial as stem cell research in "The Great Debate" but, despite the excellence of the musicianship involved, it just doesn't work for me at all and goes on far too long. "Glass Prison" and "Disappear" have their moments but I can really take them or leave them when all is said and done. "Blind Faith" is great. And once again it is Rudess' percussive piano break that lifts the song into extraordinary status. And "Misunderstood" is fantastic with its shifting moods and fascinating changes of direction.

Overall this is a good effort from the boys that established the path they had chosen to take after "Scenes" and eventually led them to where they are now which, IMHO, is at the forefront of the progressive rock movement in the 21st century. Everyone knows how incredible Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci are but, with this release, Jason Rudess now has to be mentioned in the same breath as them. He really shines brightly throughout "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence."

Report this review (#96071)
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" seems to have a mixed opinion among Dream Theater fans and proggers in general. This album in some ways determines how far your dedication to this band goes. I guess that any hardcore Dream Theater fan would absolutely love "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" others, however may not.

I guess there are many in the same boat as me on this one. I'd just like to say that the second disc containing the 40 minute epic is fantastic and is some of my favourite prog metal material. The first disc, on the other hand is less that amazing and can really get on my nerves, particularly "The Great Debate" - but there are a few interesting passages thought the first disc but they cannot live up to the grandeur of the second part of the album. I sense a very strong passion throughout the second part of the album and the entire band seems to use all their creative powers to make something special. John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy in particular are highly active in the composition of the album (perhaps because they produced the album.)

(1st Degree) "The Glass Prison" is the heaviest song on "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" and it is a prime example of when metal and prog are mixed together. It has a classic Dream Theater concept with the guy trapped in a foreign realm and stuff. While these concepts may be extremely cheesy they can be quite entertaining. The song its self isn't half bad there is an unnecessary amount of doodling through the piece and I reckon a few minutes could've been knocked off it and it would have had more or less the same effect.

(2nd Degree) "Blind Faith" is somewhat of an interesting song and the lyrics to it can have some imaginative qualities. Once again there is a bit of doodling which can be kind of unnecessary, not as much as "The Glass Prison" though. I'd have liked to see this track with a little more solid material but that's being a bit too adventurous I suppose.

(3rd Degree) The thing that annoys me about "Misunderstood" is that the last three minutes or so of the song is incredibly repetitive and unnecessary. But the strong and extremely melodic guitar work from Petrucci makes up for this, but the last part of the song is defiantly miss-able.

(4th Degree) "The Great Debate" is perhaps one of my most dis-liked songs in prog, not because of the instrumentation but mostly due to the issue the song addresses. I usually don't mind political issues being spoken about in music but when it comes to stem-cell research forget about it. I don't think that it is an appropriate issue to be addressed in a song by Dream Theater. I just can't listen to it, end of story.

(5th Degree) "Disappear" borrows a melody from a song I once heard, I can't remember what the song is called but I remember I heard it in a movie set during World War 2 starring Anthony Hopkins. "Disappear" is rather apocalyptic in concept and a listen would defiantly confirm my belief. The instrumentation suites the vocals and concept well and makes for an interesting listen.

(6th Degree, hey what a surprise!) "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" is apparently about an autistic dude who is appropriately described most accurately in part VI (six (sex!! in Latin)) "Solitary Shell." The epic is not as one song but it is around 42 minutes of music divided into even movements. The overture, the first song of the epic is probably the best and it displays all the skills of the band amazingly well. "Solitary Shell" and "Losing Time" are the two other major highlights of the piece. Others like "Goodnight Kiss" and "The Test That Stumped Them All" are also splendid to behold. This piece is what makes the album worth buying, great song.

1. The Glass Prison (3/5) 2. Blind Faith (4/5) 3. Misunderstood (3/5) 4. The Great Debate (1/5) 5. Disappear (4/5) CD 2: (42:02) 6. Degrees of Inner Turbulence (5/5) (counted as one) TOTAL = 20 divided by 6 = 3.333 = 3 stars! Good, but non-essential

In Summary, "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" is quite a good album but various sections of the album degrades the quality of the album. It is worth having and it is defiantly a must have for all Dream Theater fans. In summary I'd recommend this album to prog metal fans.

Report this review (#99013)
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence came three years after the magnum opus Scenes From a Memory, so it had a lot to live up to. The band, chiefly Mike Portnoy, began the somewhat irritating trend of assigning the same number of tracks as the number of studio album. For example, this is the sixth studio album, it has six in the title, and there are six songs. The band decided to hit hard, releasing a double CD, one with individual songs and one with one song divided into movements.

"The Glass Prison" is opens the album with extreme heaviness. I love this track, but I'm a metalhead so I can understand more classical-mided people to be turned off by the bludgeon. This song contains the first three parts of Portnoy's Alcoholics Anonymous suite. This is a riff monster; the band is paying obvious homage to Metallica (they later covered the seminal Master of Puppets). One of my favorite DT metal numbers, though the distorted vox at the first part wear on me after a while.

"Blind Faith" eases up on the volume, and DT plays its first song dealing with religion (the next album's "In the Name of God" is the second, superior song). The solo section is impressive, but it smacks of reptition of the band's old tricks. Good lyrics from LaBrie, who doesn't write a whole lot for the band.

"Misunderstood" is where things really mellow and this is a fairly enjoyable track, though it lasts too long.

"The Great Debate" is DT's only political song so far. The song deals with the debate over the ethics of stem cell research. It opens with audio clips of politicans arguing over the pros and cons of stem cell research. Instrumentally, this is strong like every DT song. However, the lyrics are infuriating. The band refuses to take a side on the issue. LaBrie sings about how stem cell research could cure the uncureable diseases, then the chorus asks "Are you justified in taking life to save life?" Why bother? I guess they didn't choose a side in order not to anger fans, but if that's the case they shouldn't have made the song if they cared what people thought about them.

The title track encompasses all of CD 2. It is DT's longest epic to date. Rudess' compostion and his arrangement for orchestrea and choir is one of the highlights of DT's career. He would later be at least partly responsible for the positive aspects of the Octavarium album and the amazing Score live album. The Overture is stunning. About to Crash is a great mid tempo piece. War Inside My Head and The Test That Stumped Them All are heavy with Petrucci and Portnoy pounding ahead. Goodnight Kiss has great vox and a beautiful solo from Petrucci. Solitary Shell is light and poppy, though not in the horrible DT way, it's actually quite good. The reprise, Losing Time, and finale end the song fantastically.

6 Degrees is a strong album, though it has its weak moments. The Great Debate is lyrically twisted, while Misunderstood and Blind Faith don't have lasting appeal. I'll give it 3 stars, though it's almost a four.

Report this review (#103021)
Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This Cd is my Dream of a Dream Theater Album..really..the first cd is incredible,mixing trash metal,crossover,industrial,rap scratches and police sirens :-)..the glass prison probably will become my favorite track of DT.Instead the highlight of the album,the six degrees of inner turbulence suite (the 2 cd),is surely the apotheosis of dream's prog metal..Old Skool Prog metal ,Kids..Learn and try...
Report this review (#104244)
Posted Saturday, December 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I came prepared to slag this off. I hadn't listened to it for a while (which tells you something). My memories were of superb musicianship but with too much virtuosity for its own sake.

However in the spirit of fairness I put it on the CD player again. And found my blood pumping hard with the sheer energy.

I'm not a fan of shredding guitarists but I have to admire Petrucci. And Portnoy is of course stunning on drums (though part of me suspects that with that many drums in front of me even I could hit 'em in time).

Pretty good all round. However I really cannot abide La Brie as a singer. He sounds like a pastiche of the worst of the 80's style of singer. The long drawn out wails and an almost total inability to find a memorable melody do my head in. He spoils this album and indeed this band as far as I'm concerned.

Report this review (#104322)
Posted Sunday, December 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The addition of Jordan Rudess on keys proved to be a rebirth of the band with 1999's masterpiece Scenes from a Memory. The jams and unisons we first saw in Liquid Tension Experiment were now a part of Dream Theater's musical palette, and humor even found it's place in their music: the ragtime section in "The Dance of Eternity" most notably, and then there were even just nutty sunding riffs and solos like the ending portion of "Beyond This Life" showed a new approach and outcome of their writing, which was obviously a by-product of Rudess collaborating with them. About three years later, Dream Theater unveiled their next project, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. From the second you pop this one in, you're going to notice a familair static. Yes, that is from the last album! Here is another innovation since this rebirth: connecting albums - you will notice this on every album since Scenes from a Memory. I find it brilliant. Dream Theater never cease to amaze me, and they never will.

Onto the music. This, first off, is the band's first double-disc attempt. The second disc is one 42-minute opus, but before we get to see what that is all about, we have a preceeding disc to hear out. There are a total of six songs, or degrees for the title's sake The first disc contains the first five. As the first track begins, we hear bells a-ringing, these sounds are also among new things the band is implimenting. After a nifty bassline, Dream Theater have returned to the uber-heavy style that we have not heard since Awake, and it's even heavier! While I generally don't like that type of heavy, which is almsot like nu-metal, Dream Theater actually do it well, making it complicated and consequently appreciatable. This song is 13 minutes of relentless rocking. It is also to be made note of that this piece is part of a new series Portnoy started as a tribute to Alcoholics Anonymous. Each part is named after each step of the program; this one has the first three. The song starts to get boring, but is mixed up a bit just enough to let you enjoy or tolerate it (depending on your preferences), and then they explode into an amzing jam section at a little after nine minutes in. They then bring it to a close and move on to "Blind Faith," which starts off softer and quite nice, and then goes into a heavy chorus. Not so pounding as the previous song, but it still has more thick tone than I've ever heard come from them. Petrucci uses a baritone guitar one this one, which may be part of the reason, or most. This one has a great jam too. Overall a very good song also. It seems though, at this point, that it will just be a good, heavy album, but it will not reach the heights of Scenes. This inference proves true through the end of disc one. We have a decent heavy-metal piece in "Misunderstood," another long, heavy, complex piece profiling stem cell research in "The Great Debate" which retains a more melodic chorus, and is interesting because it presents both sides of the arguement. "Disappear" is a great ballad, and is a good way to go out. Now it is time to listen to the second disc, and you a surely rewarded with this one. Throw all that you may have thought about this group out the window for this one. Whether it be from enduring the first disc, or from any album before this. You'll put this one in and go "An orchestra?" Yes, an orchestrated piece is this! Again, contributed by Rudess is an orchestra arrangement. The band always come up with new ways to present their work. This disc is a real gem, which traverses through everything they've done before, adding an orchestra and a few more things to mix. It is brilliant!

If you don't mind heavy, you will get something out of the first disc, though it surely is not a masterpiece by any means, nor is it among their top recordings, save for a huge handful of stellar jams and what not. However, disc two makes up for any disappointment from earlier. I give this 4.5 stars. You must get this, if only for the incredible second disc.

Report this review (#104590)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dream Theater is one of those bands that anything they do they do great and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is no exception. A great concept when you put together the whole deal explaining different types of problems. This album consists of a two disc where the first one explores a very diversity of progressive styles with other styles and the second one consists of a 42:02 minutes of length masterpiece.


The album immediately kicks of with The Glass Prison a pure prog trash metal song narrating how Mike Portnoy got to deal with the problem. This song is truly amazing and it really shows what DT can do. The song is fast, it's heavy and it's good.

Blind Faith on the other hand starts of softly but immediately gets all pumped up in the solo. Great, but not very impressive.

In Misunderstood you can find many mood changes in the song and the solo and the ending it's very King Crimson like. Good song but there's not much point in listening the ending so you just might change the song to the next..

Now The Great Debate it's totally amazing. The song it's completely a DT hit and I must say this my favorite song in SDOIT. It's good and very impressive. The musician effort goes way beyond normal in DT with this song.

Disappear must be the most emotional song after Space Dye Vest on Awake. This song relates the experience of losing someone you love. In terms of hard working music it's not but you don't really care in the end cause it's really well done.

Disc 2:

The longest song ever recorded in DT history. Though the song it's long it's divided in 8 parts: Overture, About to crash, War Inside my Head, The Test that stumped them all, Goodnight Kiss, Solitary Shell, About to Crash (reprise) and Grand Finale/ Losing Time. The song in all tries to explain all the different kinds of mental problems of the human all in one song. The song in overall it's great.

The album overall is a truthfully masterpiece in the DT archives! Highly recommended to all you prog metal fans.

Report this review (#111533)
Posted Saturday, February 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars At first glance, I couldn't believe what I was listening to. I was shocked that they had come out with such a sub-par release. I mean, I could understand that following "Scenes from A Memory" would be hard, but really, this was a joke! So, time went by and it just sat on my shelf without a second thought. Then, one day I got bored and pulled it out just to see if there was anything I missed. Once again, I was shocked! I couldn't believe that I had rejected it at first. It's an amazing album, words I don't throw around very lightly. It starts out with "The Glass Prison", an excellent show of Dream Theater's metallic background, and the start of a great series of songs by Portnoy based on the 12 Step-program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Next, is "Blind Faith", which shows a different side of DT's musical genius. James LaBrie's lyrics are excellently (and very intelligently) written, and the instrumentation is amazing! It's become one of my favorite songs by DT. "Blind Faith" fades out into "Misunderstood", an excellent "power" ballad, but somewhat tarnished by it's odd, "noisy" ending. After is "The Great Debate", which has great instrumentation, but terrible lyrics. It was a good attempt with a decent topic, but Petrucci could have made it a little more,...well, lyrical. The first cd ends with "Disappear", a dark, slow ballad that takes a little more than one, even two listens to really appreciate. An excellent end to the first half.

The second cd is taken up by the 42 minute title track, "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", divided into 8 separate smaller "passages" for those with little time to listen to the epic in it's entirety. The song is a work of art! It goes through a couple of different afflictions of the mind, wrapped up in an amazing array of musical talent and diversity. It opens with an orchestrated overture. Not the greatest orchestration, but a very good representation of what's to come. "About to Crash" comes in with Rudess' keyboard line, which is sort of remenicent of "Biaxident" with Liquid Tension Experiment. Then, it gets a lot heavier with "War Inside My Head" and "Test that Stumped Them All". Not exactly the smoothest transition from ATC, but still good. Excellent use of odd time signature changes and different scale patterns here. After, it smoothly transitions into "Goodnight Kiss", another that takes a second took to really appreciate. Here, Petrucci shows off one of his best solos to date. Next, we get to "Solitary Shell". I'm not a fan of the lyrics, but the musical aspect of the song was great, starting with a 7/4 passage, the chorus, then an excellent, almost Latin, type groove towards the end. Another transition, and we're brought to the "About to Crash Reprise", which brings back the ATC lyrics and melodic structure and ties up everything heard through the song (SDOIT, that is). The journey ends with "Losing Time/Grand Finale", a somewhat somber song that pulls all the common themes together to make for a great ending.

All in all, SDOIT turned out to be an amazing album. It's not exactly the style they've developed in the past, but the experimentation really paid off. The result: An AMAZING (but very diverse) album that anyone who appreciates any type of progressive music should go out and get. Even if it takes the second or third time around to really understand it, it's all worth it!

Report this review (#113878)
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars By far the heaviest of DREAM THEATER'S albums up to this point, though it was to be outdone by its successor, 'Train Of Thought'. 'Six Degrees' does what 'A Change of Seasons' should have done: backed up an epic with a solid album of original songs. However, for me at least, the album of original songs outshines the epic, which in this case I find unconvincing.

The five songs on Disc 1 are all spectacular. They are a world removed from the gentle metal of 'Images and Words', instead offering a genuinely heavy sound that can compete with anything out there for brutality. This is signalled from the start of 'Glass Prison'. I particularly appreciate 'The Great Debate' - I admire the band for trying to tackle such a subject using this medium. I'd like to see them try this sort of thing again - and they did, with 'Sacrificed Sons' on Octavarium.

I'm less convinced with the 40-minute song cycle on Disc 2. I do find it hard to listen to: overly elaborate preludes and outros mean there is less meat in the sandwich than I expected. The psychological theme is too similar to that in SFAM for my liking. And the tracks themselves see far less development than on the first disc.

Metallers will enjoy Disc 1, I suspect, while symphonic proggers may get something out of Disc 2.

Report this review (#115037)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is really quite an enjoyable listen, and I like both sides a lot. Not my favorite Dream Theater, but not far from it.

In addition to being, I believe, a fairly accurate representation of the progression of Dream Theater's sound, it provides a logical transition point between two very different Dream Theater works. The Glass Prison and other parts of the first disc are a foreshadowing of the metal sounds of Train of Thought, and the title track is evidently drawing more from the progressive stylings of Metropolis Part II.

I like both sides, and wouldn't really pick a favorite song. The Glass Prison provides the sounds of heavy metal whenever I'm in the mood, The Great Debate is an intense and aggressive song without the extreme sounds of Glass Prison, and most movements of Six Degrees I can really get into.

Good thing to pick up any day you're in the mood for some variety.

Report this review (#117743)
Posted Monday, April 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars Two discs worth of exceptional, complex music from the leaders of the genre with more instrumental awesomeness than ever before. "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" rocks hard from start to finish with well composed, mature writing and blisters with technical flourish.

Jordan Ruddess brings even more to the table in terms of writing and playing; his keyboarding is a perfect counterpart to Petrucci's dazzling guitar, and the two engage in some outstanding lead and solo moments. The rhythm section outshines itself here as well, with Mike and John cranking out some huge assaults on the senses. This is Dream Theater's most mature album up to this point, and the group sounds tighter and more cohesive here than on all previous albums.

The songs themselves are all first class, giving us lots of variety and moods, "Blind Faith" standing out as my favorite. The center piece and conceptual piece which fills the entire second album is a well composed, orchestrated epic, and shows the group's collective talents for composition nicely.

Realistically, this one is as good as "Scenes From a Memory", but I submit that the songs are not quite as iconic, or grandiose as those on former, but is absolutely worth the money.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#119288)
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. So we get a double concept album and i know i've related many times how i'm just not that into concept albums because the lyrics usually take priority over the music. Now the first disc is a very solid 4 stars but man for me things go down-hill on disc two with the orchestration and ballad-like stuff.

The first disc starts off with one of my favourite DREAM THEATER songs in "The Glass Prison". And this really is a taste of what is to come on the next album "Train Of Thought". This song is apparently about an alcoholic(Portnoy) trying to beat his addiction. It is by the way quite heavy. And I really like the way the synths are used in this one especially after 5 1/2 minutes.The bass and drums are booming before 10 minutes then Pertucci and Rudess trade solos. "Blind Faith" is a song I really like as well, especially the melodic guitar solo after 5 minutes. Portnoy is sounding great as Pertucci lays down a more passionate solo 8 minutes in. "Misunderstood" actually reminded me of LED ZEPPELIN the way the acoustic guitar intro plays out. The song really kicks in after 3 1/2 minutes including some frantic guitar playing 5 minutes in. Great tune. "The Great Debate" is a debate about stem cell research. There is a lot of spoken words in this very imformative song that could be summed up by the statement "Are you justified to take life to save life." Myung shines in this one. "Disappear" is a melancholic ballad that is a little experimental for them. It recalls somewhat the song "Space Dye Vest" that Kevin Moore composed and sang on. There are some eerie sounds, mellotron waves and sampling.This is the shortest song on the first disc and the one I like the least.

The second disc is really one long song divided into 8 parts. Six different mental illnesses are dealt with. It all starts with an overture which is an epic piece that blends the styles of orchestral and rock together. Just not a fan. "About To Crash" is apparently about being "Bipolar". It opens with piano and the vocals are great ! This is a straight forward song that sounds incredible.There is some crunch later. "War Inside My Head" is apparently about "Gulf War Syndrome" and I love the intro especially the drumming. "The Test That Stumped Them All" is apparently about "Schizophrenia". This is an uptempo song that smokes. "Goodnight Kiss" is about losing a child and is heart breaking. Check out Pertucci's playing as his guitar cries in anguish. "Solitary Shell" is apparently about "Autism". The drumming continues from the previuos song into this one. It sounds like flute and Spanish guitar in this one. The drumming of Portnoy is the highlight though. "About To Crash (Reprise)" opens with some powerful guitar and i love the vocal parts. "Losing Time / Grand Finale" closes out the album on a weak note in my opinion. Just like disc one the weakest song is the last song. It is supposed to be about a condition where the person mentally seperates themselves from the world.

A good recording but i'll be sticking with disc one in the future.

Report this review (#127492)
Posted Wednesday, July 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album wins the price for being the worst produced album in the Dream Theater history, but despite this the band was on some kind of a high, reassured by the success of their rock opera. They took a decidedly heavier approach, for the first time pandering to the ever-growing nu-metal and metalcore audiences. "The Glass Prison" documents this change in style well, being their first "\M/ tr00 metal \M/" track ever and their best in my opinion. Besides trying to attract the metalheads they also went for the intellectual Tool fans with "The Great Debate" and Radiohead fans with "Disappear". The whole second cd is basically neoprog of some sort, similar in style to Spock's Beard, so this album has something for everyone and it's not stirred that much so most people will like at least one whole track from here. We are still not at the stage where Rudess will play 20 notes while pulling the pitch modulator up and down, and Petrucci then taking over with his vibrating right hand.
Report this review (#132607)
Posted Saturday, August 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars When got it in 2002, I already read a review, where only 4 stars from 5 were given. Blasphemy I thought; this is DREAM THEATER, they live next to God!!! Now I give it solid 3 stars without a single sign of hesitation, and there are reasons, believe me!

First of all, two CDs – it’s too much. The “suite” sounds forced, IMHO, and not worthy of 42 minutes. To be short, these are just 7 songs, and only 4 from them are somewhat nice (from “War inside my Head” to “Solitary Shell”). First CD is pretty good – it has “The Glass Prison”, the first chapter of Portnoy’s saga, excellent both musically and lyrically “The Great Debate” and gentle and moody “Disappear”, which sound exactly like lost PORCUPINE TREE classic! I like such experiments! But as a whole it’s too long and unnatural sometimes – like “Blind Faith”, which is utterly useless track…dunno, why they’ve thrown it in there.

Best tracks: “The Glass Prison”, “The Great Debate”, “Misunderstood”, “Disappear”

Best moments: 7/8 theme in “The Great Debate”, “Disappear” ending, the riff in “War inside my Head”, 13/16 rumbling in “The Test…”

Report this review (#134150)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A three years break between "Scenes" and this album. Of course the band did not sit in a corner for all this time. The promotional world tour for "Scenes" left them completely exhausted and some rest was needed to release "Turbulence".

When you listen to "The Glass Prison" you get a condensed version of most of their work : some nice melodic vocals, some keys work but not too prominent, strong rhythms, very heavy breaks, powerful drumming as well as bass playing and a rageous guitar solo. Did you say "Dream Theater" ? Of course, prog moments are very scarce (to non-existing) during these forteen minutes. So, if you can digest this number, there are good chances that "DT" might pleases you. If not, well I guess you wouldn't read this review anyway.

"Blind Faith" is a typical "DT" song mixing mellow atmosphere and heavy music. I think the one side perfectly balance the other one. There will be more keyboards than usual in this song and drumming is just wonderful. The melodic aspect is not forgotten either; so this song is rather pleasant and multiple.

"Misunderstood" sounds almost as a prog song. Soft and acoustic start, very catchy vocals and good guitar. This mood applies for five minutes; moment from which the beat is catching up to offer a great rock ballad. The great feeling ends during the last minute which sounds just chaotic and directionless. Not a great idea to ruin a song like this.

A long and not very interesting intro for "The Great Debate" will build crescendo and open on a brilliant song. Obsessional bass line, desperate guitar and a damned inspired percussions / vocals interplay in the second half. It might not be "DT" 's best song but it is very effective. Again, there will be more keyboards than usual (maybe Jordan's influence).

The closing number is another rock ballad, but a very good one I have to say. From start to finish. A very pleasant way to close this good disc one.

Now, the mother of all "DT" epic.

It starts almost as a Barclay James Harvest song ("Suicide" but harder. Well actually not that much harder) : flamboyant keyboards, very much ELP oriented later on. It osunds as if there is a full orchestra inthere. This "Overture" is the first full true prog piece of music from "Dream theater". Almost classical. Extremely pleasant. And a great launch for "Degrees Of Turbulence". Because when you have heard this, you know that something special will follow.

There will be A LOT of true prog moments during this eight pieces suite. Actually, if there is one group of songs which can hold the prog label in "Dream Thetar" so far; it is this one.

The epic switches to a more pop sound during "About To Crach" but we remain in the good territory (there won't be any weak moments here). It will also be Petrucci's turn to drop a great and inpired solo to close this part. No transition and we are throwned into the most metal part. It lasts for two minutes and flows easily into the whole.

"The Test That Stumped Them All" is also on the hard edge; wild guitar riff, devastating drumming (but Portnoy is really gifted IMO). Some weird interchange of vocals : lead / backing, and Eastern influences during the guitar break. Almost heavy to be honest and more in-line with the band 's traditional music.

One of my fave section is "Good night Kiss". Ambiant guitar and keys to start, peaceful and delicate vocals, some touching piano in the background. Absolutely brilliant : sublime and wonderfull emotive guitar. I guess that when some of you will read these lines (if anyone reads them though...) you might think I am crazy, but it is just the truth. This is a "Dream Theater" song. And what a song ! Again, some "Suicide" flavour here and there (and believe me, I know this BJH song). The beat catches up towards the end to add some rockier atmosphere. Wunderbar. Magnífico. Bello. Uitstekend. Passionnant. Gorgeous.

"Solitary Shell" sounds amazingly like "Solsbury Hill" (PG). Again, the keys are very performant and really on the foreground. A good pop / prog moment.

Little by little, the listener is brought to end of this epic piece. Time to go back to the earlier "About To Crash" and repeat some of the theme (but this is an epic, right) ?

And you will be absolutely charmed when you will listen to the intro part of the closing number (well, this sounds a bit complicated, sorry...). Wonderful keys again, and vocals are so polished, so convincing, so sweet and gentle (yes, believe me). This is a passionate and great finale. The magnificent closing of a prog epic. And I'm not kidding (and I do promise, I have not been drinking the whole day).

I really recommend to any proghead to listen to this masterpiece of prog music. Of course, it is not "Supper's Ready" or "CTTE". It is DIFFERENT. But have a try, like I did and you might well share my opinion. This is mainly the reason why I started to be interesting into this band. So many people praising it; there was surely something to watch out there.

This raised my interest even more and I in May, I bought my ticket to go and attend their concert in Antwerp next week. I just wish that they play the whole of this track as an encore. What a brilliant moment this will be.

"Dream Theater" will never be my favourite band but they have demonstrated in the past that they had something special and with "Turbulence" they just confirm that they are one much more than just a prog metal band but that they are much more than that.

I will rate this album with four stars. It is my preferred "DT" album so far and is the best "DT" entry for progheads.

Report this review (#140666)
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An epic so epic it needed it's own disc!

The second of many Dream Theater albums I would come to own, this one is one of the hardest of their discography to fully appreciate, but one of the most rewarding once you do. Being that this double album houses six songs I've always thought of them (as maybe they were meant to) as the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. This was also the album that kickstarted the infamous "AA" series with the increadable opener THE GLASS PRISON, a song in which Petrucci's dominating guitars are obviously the driving point and main standout. After that there's some mixed reactions from me, MISUNDERSTOOD is a good track, one that I (and I'm sure many others) can well relate to, but definately not the band's best at that tempo, I always find that other slows such as "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream" better keep my interest. THE GREAT DEBATE is intesting and has good instumental work and a catchy chorus that's well sung, with an also interesting topic of abortion, but this song has never been my favorite on the album or in Dream Theater history, for that matter. Perhaps it is the awkward pacing that DT usually does so well that in this track seems to fizzle and leave not much to listen to over the course of the 14 minute song, a bit repetative perhaps. DISAPPEAR is a much better, very experimental track that is very nice from start to finish, especially the keyboard and guitar work at the beginning that contributes to a very dark sound which codas this half of the album quite well. One track from this disc that I have managed to avoid do far, however, is the fantastic BLIND FAITH, a song where everything comes together, and makes the first disc a very solid piece. They keyborads, the guitar, the drums, the bass, the magnificent vocals! What a track, to this day it remains my favorite DT song, even after hearing all their material countless times.

The first disc being more an exploratory montage of sorts for the band, let's move on to the main course, shall we?

The title track, SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULANCE, may be divided into eight tracks, but as a song it is a standout amung so much music that it makes my head hurt. From the wonderful OVERTURE we're brought into a fantastic soundscape that's lush and full, the band bringing us through moments of darkness, lightness and all around good-ness as we head into the first parts. Apperently this concept song was based off real people, but only based, they're not true (as far as I know). Each track is a different part, and a different story. All the tracks work well together, contributing to a very well done song all around, standout parts here would include (obviously) the OVERTURE, the fast ABOUT TO CRASH, the calm accoustic of SOLITARY SHELL (another DT fave of mine) and the GRAND FINALE. While many people may have complaints of some kind there is no doubt that this is an essential track to any discography, it almost seems as though this song is the album, and the other disc is simply bonus tracks.

This album may not be a masterpiece, the first disc having it's flaws, but there's no doubt that this album should be labeled as "excellent" for all it's creativity and storytelling. 4 stars, no less. This is a great follow-up to Scenes From A Memory, something that was likely tough to do. Good job boys.

Report this review (#144376)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first double album by the band, and second album with their keyboard player, Jordan Rudess. Mainly, this album was heavy. Almost all tracks were lengthy. The shortest track was clocked at 6:45 while the longest one at 42:00.

The album starts with static sounds that appear in the very closing scene from previous album. Then, the bell's ringing and the band starts rocking. "Glass Prison" -is the opening act for Mike Portnoy's so-called "The AA Saga", a tale about an alcoholic who wanted to regret his habit- was magnificent! It divided into 3 parts, and the whole things rock! What a great metal song. The song continues directly to "Blind Faith", for me, this was the weakest point of this album. But, it does still have a good arrangement as a metal song. Then, came the powerful degree, called "Misunderstood", the calming one, but very strong in feelings. The song fades to "The Great Debate", a rage lyrics seems written in this song. The music's heard as rage as the words spoken. The last track of disc 1 would be one of my all-time favourite DT's song, "Disappear". For me, this was the strongest track in disc 1. The arrangement's pretty weird and the words seem touching.

Disc 2 consists of one single song, the title track was the band's longest composition to this time, probably one of the most beautiful songs by the band. Part 1: "Overture" was an overture played by an orchestra, accompanied with the band. Part 2: "About to Crash" starts with beautiful tune of keyboard by Jordan. Part 3: "War Inside My Head" was rocker, a standard DT's metals. The next part "The Test That Stumped Them All" was not so differ than part 3, but still poignant. Part 5: "Goodnight Kiss" is a beautiful calmer song. The song sung excellently by James and escorted by the orchestra, and it was beautiful. In part 6: "Solitary Shell", the feeling's seems like getting a bit higher. This part opens with beautiful chord and keyboard fills by John and Jordan. Part 7: "About to Crash (reprise)" was similar to part 2, but this one arranged rocker and rager. Part 8: "Losing Time" is a superb closing scene. One of the beautiest chord ever written by a man. Very emotional and, uh, great! And in the end, I assume that part 9: "Grand Finale" was the long fade that, later, linked to the band's next album.

So, this was a prog essential. This would never be too hard for common prog listener. Trust me, this album was beautiful (especially in degree 6). No doubt, 5 stars!

Report this review (#145694)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dream Theater and loudness do not walk hand in hard to well: check Octavarium and Systematic Chaos for that. However, Sex Degrees of Inner Turbulence manages to combine euphonically both loudness and melody. Definitely, this album marks Dream Theater's pass to the third millennium. Unlike Scenes from a Memory, it has a drum sound that "brakes" harder instead of a classical percussion production with light blasts, harder guitars and riffs with more groove and alternative influences unlike the light sounded, heavy metal style one used on the predecessor and most important, the keyboards are distorsed and focus more on psychedelic atmosphere, while the previous album had more classical piano moments. At first, i didn't consider Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence a masterpiece. But when i encountered the song that had the album title's name, i was more than shocked. The first five tracks are good and creative, especially the ballads that, as mentioned before, contain more than acoustic guitars and classical pianos and are, in my opinion, the best ballads Dream Theater has to offer. Yet it wasn't enough for me to give this album a five star rating. When the 6th track began, something out of this world happened to music: the overture is a symphonic intro that runs deep within the history of music being at the same time bombastic, soft and clean. It features some excellent baroque parts (as far as i see things) and a epic finale, a battle hymn similar to the ones heard on tracks by Rhapsody of Fire. The oscillation between soft and dark is typical for the entire song but i have to mention the way it relaxes the listener. I've never heard such a joyful metal being played on any record. I don't particularly enjoy "happy metal" because metal is usually dark, but this time everything is done perfectly:it's progressive metal all the way. I cannot finish this review without remarking James LaBrie's vocals of which I generally am skeptical. The rhythm is nice and at a level typical for Dream Theater, yet high for other bands even from the progressive rock scene. Dream Theater must be congratulated for not having repeated Scenes from a Memory and having the courage to explore a new sound and style in spite of the success they had in 1999.
Report this review (#147886)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of Dream Theater's main masterpieces in their wave of modern progressive metal (after scenes from a memory their music changed radically and this album is the first of those). And that is one of the reasons why you can't really compare it to their elder albums, even if it derives from them.

I'm not going to comment so much on LaBrie's singing as I tend to look more for the instrumental parts of music. However there is nothing wrong with the lyrics, it, as in every other album they've made, is in itself a masterpiece and shows what true progressive metal is about. Intelligent songwriting. You just got to love it. And there is no doubt that I many times feel moved by what they sing about, this album touches your very soul.

What I noticed first in 6 degrees were drum and guitar performance. How Portnoy and Petrucci plays is really the epitomy of progressive metal. And the first tune called The Glass Prison is the masterpiece of the first CD, it's a really progressive piece of work, both lyrics and music. A quite long instrumental end (3 minutes), now That is what makes Glass Prison so darn good.

Blind Faith is where Jordan Rudess gets to show off his skills, and there's no doubt that this is a big part of what Dream Theater music is about, he really has influenced the band and introduced it to the new millennium and beside Portnoy I think he is the most positive force of the band (I would know as I have met him).

Misunderstood is quite a calm track, many pauses and "slow downs", however my head aches after the ending :p, that's quite experimental.

And then there's The Great Debate, it's quite good, lots of time for Portnoy to show off which I like, and very progressive, tempo changes etc. , and finally Disappear which I myself find a little too slow.

Well, the first CD is good, really, but the second CD is what 6 degree is all about. The lyrics are about a mental disorder called "bi- polar disorder" and all the eight tracks explain different phases of it and events surrounding.

The CD kicks of with the orchestra, Portnoy and Rudess. This is a really good opening (very relaxing) and it's quite a contrast to what comes after; About To Crash. Here you will find a lot of piano playing by Rudess and some really cool pauses and tempo changes.

After About To Crash comes War Inside My Head, a really progressive piece and quite heavy too. It's a prelude to The Test That Stumped Them All. Now that track is one of the tracks that makes this album so darn good, if you like the heavy parts of course (if one tend not to like the heavy parts of DT is usally helps to look at the documentaries that they have). Petrucci's work on this track is extreme.

Now Goodnight Kiss is of course a little slow, but the lyrics and the singing is so well performed that you just can't say no, this is a pause in the CD saga and well needed.

Solitary Shell, well some people say they find the lyrics to correspond to autism/asperger, but then they are very much like bi- polar disorder in some ways. Petrucci and Rudess really kicks ass on this track. Classic feeling sort of. Even if you could say that about the whole CD.

About To Crash (Reprise) and the first About To Crash are my absolute favourites on the whole album. They are the real masterpieces. They feel very energetic and when you listen to them you know that the band spent some time on these tracks.

The whole album finishes of with Losing Time / Grand Final. I myself think that the orchestra and LaBrie epitomize on this final track.

The feeling after the last track has played... Wow, euphoria (as sung in About To Crash). This is good. This is a masterpiece. No contest, no questioning.

Report this review (#148040)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This CD is where the build up is concerned funny enough quite similar to Flower Power by TFK. I rated that one 5 stars because of the huge superepic despite of the fact that the other CD was not half as good really. But I believed that you should reward the true heroics in history always with 5 stars.

With this CD by DT it's exactly the same story actually. The second CD Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is one of progs all time masterpieces and one of the best works of musical art I know. I had the privilege to witness the live performance of the whole 42 minutes several years ago and I will never forget it. It's a pity DT never did something like this ever again although I am overall pleased with what they release. SDoIT starts with a classical opening, highly original just a slight bit resembling Generation 13 by Saga (which is not a minus !). Next three parts set the epic into more modern action before the Goodnight kiss ballad part sets in. This part ends with the most beautiful (yes he can do that too) guitar solo ever by Petrucci. Solitary shell and About to crash make this thing continue very nicely before a stunning grand finale rounds it off. I believe there's not much better around in their nor anybody elses history.

And then there is the other disk. And in fact this isn't bad either but is left pale by the other one. Short review of this one.

1. Glass prison. Terrific opener, very metal-like and inspired by the real heavy metal bands. 4,5 stars.

2. Blind faith. A lot easier but that is no surprise. 4 stars.

3. Misunderstood. A highly original track never doen before by this band. DT is versatile. Gorgeous. 4,25 stars.

4. The great debate. A politically loaded song, very impressive to me. 4,5 stars.

5. Disappear. Least song to me. But not even bad. 3,75 stars.

Added to the 5+++ of the other disk I think it's fair to say that this doubler deserves 5.

Report this review (#152349)
Posted Friday, November 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great album by DT overall, the first disc is in my opinion much more solid than the second. The epic title track only has a few good moments, the fantastic highlight of it being the catchy About to Crash. The highlights of the first disc are Blind Faith and Misunderstood in my opinion, but The Great Debate has it's moments too. The Glass Prison isn't that great of a song in my opinion, but it's alright. This album is where they started to get alot heavier and more modern, but it is classic DT and highly recomended.
Report this review (#153053)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence 4.0 stars

This is quite the excellent record. The album is composed of some awesome tracks but there is a single terrible one and a few flawed ones, which is not surprising though since it is a double-album. The first disc is a bit of an experimental one for Dream Theater. The second disc is a typical Dream Theater classic and a very good one at that.

'The Glass Prison' starts off the album. This is probably the first 'true' prog-metal song I have ever heard and still remains one of the best. The song was just awesome, a powerful metal song with some heavy riffs and extremely demanding guitar solo's. Portnoy begins to do some backing vocals.whoa!

'Blind Faith' is one of Dream Theater's very unique tracks.just something they would not do. Extremely melodic song that builds up into a fulfilling chorus. The guitar solo is nicely done and Rudess has a very nice acoustic grand piano fill that sends chills down my spine every time. This was another awesome track.

'Misunderstood' is probably my most hated Dream Theater song. Such a slow build-up into one of the worst choruses they have ever produced. The guitar solo is also surprisingly quite painful to the ears.

'The Great Debate' is really bombastic song. Unlike most people, I think this is one of the best tracks on the album. The song is about stem-cell research, which is a rather unique topic to handle in song form. The standout in the song is the build-up to the solo section, which is wonderfully done and served as a prelude of what was to come through 'Train of Thought'. The piano solo on this song is one of my favorites of all time. This track was a masterpiece of progressive music.

'Disappear' is one of the most haunting of songs in Dream Theater's library. The piano line gives a very eerie feeling to the listener. The vocal work is some of LaBrie's best; this soft piece was expressed beautifully.

'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence', the title track, is nothing short of amazing. This is a 42-minute epic split up into eight tracks. Sadly I think the beginning and end are not that great. Although the first track was an overture, it was too boring and gave me a bad sense of what was to come but fortunately I was mislead. The 'About to Crash' song and the reprisal were both great ways to start and end the raw parts of the track. They really provided a sense of opening and closing to the intensity held within. The next two tracks were very heavy and weren't too shabby. Following that there is a bit of a rest as the next two tracks are slow and really contribute to the diversity. The album ends with the track 'Losing Time/Grand Finale' which is really a terrible track. The vocal work in it nearly puts me to sleep and I get the feeling Petrucci was going to fall over recording this from sheer boredom. Quite the turn off, but this 42-minute track altogether was freaking awesome.

Great album for a prog-metal fan to check out. 'The Glass Prison' is a prog-metal classic and this is a pretty superb double album we have here.a rare occurrence in the genre. It's just a little lesser then the previous solid effort, but you should be ultimately satisfied.

Report this review (#154819)
Posted Sunday, December 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars To complete my Dream Theater discography, I bought this album, and I had relatively high hopes on it (being SFAM a masterpiece and TOT an excellent album, IMO). At first (as usual), it took a while to grow on me, specially the first CD, but then it's all enjoyment. It's not a real sound change from what the band has been doing in recent years, but it is certainly well done, and we get all the usual virtuosity from the members.

The first CD is very good, and the standouts are the mid tempo Blind Faith and Misunderstood, which is extremely catchy. I don't like very much the opener, The Glass Prison, it's a bit noisy and not all the riffs are that great, and the middle part is the best on the song. The Great Debate is a grower, it seemed to me the weakest part of the album and I found the spoken parts to be boring, but I was wrong! It progresses incredibly well! Disappear is the obligatory ballad, not a standout but decently good. The real thing is the second disc, which contains a monstrous 42 minute epic with the name of the album. That epic was love at first sight! The Overture is the most neo classical Dream Theater have got. Then it goes mid speed with The Glass Prison, and just when you're asking for more metal, more agressive music it turns to great Trash Metal (War Inside My Head and The Test That Stumped Them All). I can't resist to headbang right there. Then it goes slow and incredibly emotional, with my favorite part on the epic, Goodnight Kiss. I have shivers when I listen to this, and it has an amazing guitar solo, which may be among the most emotional Petrucci has played. Absolutely awesome! The mid tempo Solitary Shell is particularily catchy, and then it rocks it out with the reprise of The Glass Prison, and the big ending is specially emotional because of the awesome vocal lines, some of Labrie's best! Also, the whole song doesn't seem forced, and it flows naturally, despite the drastic intensity changes. This epic is a masterpiece itself, and I wouldn't make justice if I give 4 stars to the album. So, 5 stars. This is among Dream Theater's best works.

Rating: 4.5/5

Report this review (#159738)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Now that's what I call a solid Dream Theater-release!

Granted that it followed the masterpiece that was Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory the band managed to touch on just enough new ground to impress both the fan base and make a lot more recruits into the Dream Theater army with this release. I know it for a fact since I'm one of those recruits.

I was completely blown away when a local radio DJ decided to play the entire Degrees Of Inner Turbulence-composition on commercial radio. Listening to this monster of a performance it sounded like the band knew exactly what they wanted to achieve with this epic track and they definitely succeed. It was safe to say that I didn't waste much time and bought this 2-CD release within the same week.

Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence has a great flow and not a single weak or even weaker track. The band really have a passion for the music and don't hesitate to show it whenever a possible occasion arises. It's pretty weird to listen to these early 2000-releases and compare them to the direction that the band took on after being signed to Roadrunner Records. Dream Theater should really go back in their catalog, listen to these albums and figure out what the new releases lack and why.

Anything below the excellent addition to any prog rock music collection would be considered ludicrous on my part.

***** songs: The Glass Prison (13:52) Overture (6:50) Solitary Shell (5:48)

**** songs: Blind Faith (10:21) Misunderstood (9:34) The Great Debate (13:43) Disappear (6:46) About To Crash (5:51) War Inside My Head (2:08) The Test That Stumped Them All (5:03) Goodnight Kiss (6:17) About To Crash (Reprise) (4:05) Losing Time / Grand Finale (6:01)

Total Rating: 4,28

Report this review (#161691)
Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm agree with Prog-jester, who said that the suite is kinda force and the rest of the tracks are little to mediocre to give more than 3 stars, because the rest of 7 pieces are nice balanced but 2 of them are mediocre: Blind Faith and Misunderstood, totaly forgetable tracks. Not very much to add just a pleasent album to listen from time to time or in the car, but for sure not a masterpiece or something near. 3 stars for this one, is a good one with strong parts like the middle of the suite and The Great Debate, the best from here. All in all still good, and going down from this one to mediocrity in present days.
Report this review (#161824)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The sixth studio album from Dream Theater called Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is a major piece of music. Spanning over two discs and over 95 minutes of music this one takes some time to swallow. The whole of disc 2 is one long epic track which doesn´t help to make the challenge smaller. Dream Theater has always pushed the boundaries in prog rock/ Metal and continues to do so on this release.

The music has changed a bit since Scenes From a Memory, as the melodies don´t seem as strong as on that one. Given some time the melodies does become more memorable though. The album starts with the very heavy The Glass Prison which is a favorite of mine on the album. John Petrucci really plays some nice inticate metal riffs on that one. Some insanely fast soloing is also done by Petrucci. The songs on disc 1 are generally very long but as usual when it comes to Dream Theater they never get boring. Blind Faith and Misunderstood are good Dream Theater songs but it´s with the fourth song on disc 1 that I get impressed. The Great Debate has in addition to some great music also some clever lyrics about stem cell research and the different opinions about it. Disappear is a mellow song. Personally I find it a bit boring but I guess some people enjoy it and that justefies it´s inclusion here.

Disc 2 is as mentioned one long epic song called Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. It´s a concept story but even though it´s one long song there are different sub-tracks. These tracks all seque into each other to make a whole. Personally I think this is a typical epic build from lots of small songs and I must admit I like the REAL epic songs better. Those were you feel like the song was written in succesion. I don´t find Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence very exciting as a whole but some of the parts are really great. Most significant are the very heavy War Inside My Head which might be the most heavy song ever by Dream Theater. I find that one crushing. The Overture is even though it is competently composed not to my liking in style and mood. Symphony X also released and album in 2002 called the Odyssey which has a much better Overture IMO called Part I: Odysseus Theme / Overture.

Dream Theater are all outstanding musicians and they prove it again on Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. There are many fantastic instrumental parts throughout the album and they are played with great conviction. Once again I have to mention that I miss Kevin Moore´s more melodic and simple keyboard style as I feel Jordan Rudess uses many sounds that are experimental and not nice to my ears. There is no doubt that Jordan Rudess is a great musician I´m just not that fond of his style.

The production is good even though I miss the old more clinical productions on Images and Words and Awake. The mix is much better than on Scenes from a Memory though.

All in all this is another excellent prog rock/ Metal album from Dream Theater and even though this is not one of my favorites from the band it´s still outstanding and unique. 4 stars from me and a warm recommendation.

Report this review (#165061)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars For over a year I have been happy with owning two Dream Theater albums, but now I think it is time to widen my view of this amazing band. And this album certainly is amazing. It doesn't amaze me as much as Images and Words, but is up there with Scenes From a Memory in terms of songwriting and technical skill. I think the keys are a little underdone though, and that seems to be the case with very DT song I've heard from this album or later.

The album kicks off to a great start... the static noise, the bell, and the guitar fades in to become the masterpiece that is 'The Glass Prison'. This song is great and takes many twists and turns. Very Heavy, good for headbanging, but meaningful as well. There's some good bass in parts too. 'Blind faith' is not as good, but is stilla great DT song. There's an unusual churchy piano solo around the six minute mark, which adds atmosphere to the song. 'Misunderstood' reminds me very much of a song called 'Wonderboy' by Tenacious D. Musically they are nothing like each other, but they share the same epic, distant atmosphere, and a similar guitar tone. 'Misunderstood' is simply wonderful, and ends exerimentally with what I believe to be a guitar solo played backwards... a little harsh on the ears, but a nice idea. 'The Great Debate' documents from a (mostly) neutral point of view, the debate about stem cell research. This song drags on a bit, but stays quite interesting mostly. I just really don't like James's electronic voice in the first couple of verses.

Now for disc 2: the epic title track. 'Overture' is a nice piece of orchestral/metal music which works(! eat your hearts out Metallica). About to Crash is a track that changes a lot to reflect the lyrics about manic depression: heavy in parts, and light and airy in others. 'The War Inside My Head' is a heavier track with a real bite to it. 'The Test that Stumped them All' is brilliant, and James does some funky stuff with his voice that's kinda experimental. This section really works. 'Goodnight Kiss' is beautiful and haunting as James sings from the point of view of a woman who has lost her baby, and puts a lot of feeling in his voice without going over the top. I must admit I love it when Dream Theater go over the top a la 'Take the Time' from I&W, but a bit of refinement here is a refreshing change. 'Solitary Shell' is a brilliant piece of music styled on early symphonic rock, and this reminds me of Genesis or Yes. 'About to Crash (Reprise)' is like the first occurence of this theme but more energetic and, dare I say, schizophrenic. 'Losing Time/Grand Finale' rounds things off nicely with another nice refined song and a conclusion. Very well done.

Overall I think this album is very great. There's a lot of feeling and interesting ideas, but not quite consistent enough for a masterpiece rating.

Report this review (#165706)
Posted Friday, April 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars What a great album. This one impressed me, after I had been burnt out on Systematic Chaos. The first disc is filled with plenty of great tracks, some of them quite different by even Dream Theater standards.

The Glass Prison is my idea of a perfect metal song. Normally metal gets old after a while, but even after continuously listening to the CD, you'll be putting it in again and again just to blast this track. It's such a heavy song for Dream Theater to create.

The next song, Blind Faith is very interesting. It opens up with an almost atmospheric intro. The verses are great. Then it goes into a bridge section similar in mood to Under a Glass Moon. It also has a great piano bit for a few measures with a couple changing measures of 5/4 and then a 4/4. Very good.

Misunderstood is awesome. The buildup is quite possibly one of the best I can think of. The beginning is very meditative, and it gathers heaviness until the distorted guitar drops a pinch in and starts riffing it up. Possibly the only bad part of this album is the weak outro on this song, but even that goes into the next track quite well.

The Great Debate is quite interesting. The keyboards give a nice background atmosphere of what many call a very Tool-like song. Although it doesn't sound like a good Tool song, it sounds like a good Dream Theater song. It doesn't ever get boring, and the lyrics are thought provoking.

Dissapear is one of those gems of Dream Theater ballads. It's very emotional and fully illustrates the pains of losing someone through death. I love the different array of instruments that are layered through this track like the harp (and is that a didgeridoo?).

The second CD is absolutely fantastic as well. Many consider Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence all one song. Although all the tracks flow into each other and share themes, I don't consider it all one song. I consider it a suite. And a very good suite at that one.

The Overture section is exceptionally good. I would love to play this in my symphony that I play in somehow, though it may be too complex for me or the other players. It illustrates all the major themes found in the rest of the CD.

About to Crash is great. It's a great rocking song, and although they use a lot of odd rhythms, this is one of the few songs where the rhythms seem to compliment the music almost perfectly. I give DT props for this one.

War inside my head Instantly reminds me of a lot of Megadeth tracks, except with a symphony backing it up. It's short, so there's not much to say about it.

The Test that Stumped them all is another one of those killer tracks that Dream Theater makes. Great time signature alternations of 7/8 and 6/8. Possibly the heaviest track in the 2nd CD of SDOIT.

After all the chaos drops out of Test it goes into Goodnight Kiss. This is a very relaxing track. And the guitar solo is fantastic. It is a very restrained solo, and part of it includes the main theme for Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. After that, it gets a bit heavy, and there's a steady bass drum pound, as the music gets more uncomfortable, then the pounding continues into the next track.

The next track is Solitary Shell The moog-ish synthesizers for this track are great. I absolutely love singing along to this song, even though James Labrie's range is far superior to mine. After the vocals leave, it turns more symphonic, and as the theme continues, it quickly changes into an almost latin guitar solo/piano solo. The symphonics pick up again, and then drop out.

That leads into the reprise of About to Crash. This definetely sounds like a classic rock and roll song with modern production. Like the first one, the instrumental section goes quickly from upbeat and happy to depressing or fearful. This compliments the subject matter of the song, Bipolar Disorder.

Finally, it wraps up with Losing time. This is a rather simple part of the suite. I love the singing on this one. After this, it goes into Grand Finale, which again contains a variation of the overall theme heard in the Overture section. It finally builds and builds until everything holds the final note, giving the listener a nice patient closing.

This is an essential prog CD. All the pieces of music here are interesting. I would definetely reccomend it to a person getting into Dream Theater, and any general prog fan, even those who don't like metal, because a lot of the CD falls into the rock category. This is all some great stuff.

Report this review (#180654)
Posted Saturday, August 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dream Theater at their best!

Well, at first I want to make an introduction of how I met Dream theater, and apologize to everyone for any mistake on my English, you'll probably notice that English is not my native language, hehe...

When I was 14, I was a metalhead (you know: Slayer, Metallica, Testament, and many others...). The first song I heard was Pull Me Under, but I didn't like it. Octavarium was the very first DT album I heard, and then Train of Thought. Being a metal kid, I kind of loved those two albums. Then I heard Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, and at first I hated it! Found it too soft for my taste, but it eventually grew up on me. Now I am 16 (well... my 16th birthday will be on October 16th) and I love progressive music. Genesis, Anglagard, Gentle Giant and King Crimson are my favorite bands. I certainly don't hear a lot of Dream Theater since I'm more into the symphonic vein, but Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence will always be a special album for me.

So, what is basically Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence?

Lyrically: Of all of their records, this album is lyrically their best. It is more mature, and every single song has a HUGE meaning on me (I tend to read a lot, and I always appreciate good lyrics). Disc 1 is more a personal side (excepting The Great Debate of course). Disappear is the saddest farewell lyric I've ever read. Songs like Blind Faith and Missunderstood are more into the religious theme. Disc 2 is a conceptual one, about mental disorders.

Musically: Dream Theater haters always say that Dream Theater just focus on speed solos, technical stuff and many other negative things. This album prove that they're wrong. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is a beautifully crafted album, more focused in composition than anything else. I want to start to talk about the disc 1.

Disc 1. The experimental one

As the title says, disc 1 shows the experimental side of Dream Theater. This disc has the heaviest DT song 'til date, The Glass Prison. And don't be frightened because of its heaviness, it is a really good Prog-metal tune. And then we have an amazing prog-rock tune, Blind Faith. The song starts with a floydish melody and then turns to a straight rock song, and the long interlude is more progressive, with a lot of odd time signatures and great solos, just classic. Missunderstood is a straight-forward metal song, with an interlude sounding like Pink Floyd meets King Crimson, and the last 2 minutes for me are completely unnecesary. It is the weakest song here, though is a good one. The Great Debate is the epic prog metal tune, and for me one of the highlights here. Thirteen minutes of the Dream Theater we know. And the final song on this disc, Dissappear is one of the saddest songs I've ever read in my life. Is in the vein of Space-Dye Vest from Awake, and even from Chroma Key's Dead Air For Radios. A highlight.

Disc 2. The epic

Now, disc two is not only the best thing Dream Theater have ever done, this disc alone (and obviously the song itself) can be the best album by Dream Theater (no disrespect to disc 1, which is wonderful). Overture is basically that, an overture. But what makes this overture special is because it has a classic music feel, contrary to other prog metal overtures like Overture 1928 from Scenes From a Memory (You should hear (and see) its Score DVD version... It's freakin' AWESOME!). Then we have About to Crash which is a beautiful prog-rocker tune, and then comes the heavy War Inside My Head, next the only one technical spot, The Test That Stumped Them All, and seriously, this song is not so easy to play on the guitar (I'm a guitarist hehe...). Goodnight Kiss is an stunning ballad, having one of the most moving solos by Petrucci, just beautiful. Solitary Shell is mor of a pop tune, and the last minutes having an excelent prog theme, with an Steve Howe-like solo by John Petrucci, and a beautiful piano solo by Jordan Rudess. Excelent track. Then we have the About to Crash reprise, this time being a more rocker one, but having basically the same theme. Losing Time/Grand Finale is one of the best endings I have ever heard in my life. It is a power ballad having its climax when James Labrie says the final words: A journey to find the answers inside - our illusive mind. Perfect ending for a pefect song, period.

Simply a masterpiece of Progressive Metal. 5 stars.

Report this review (#181996)
Posted Sunday, September 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 50% Decency + 50% Masterpiece = 6 Degrees

That equation is exactly how I can describe this album. The first disc is passable, and not really recommendable. The second disc is a pure masterpiece without any flaws or kinks. The result is a mixed bag, but it is essential because of disc two alone. The style of music that is played here is varied as well. The first disc is similar to the type of music that is played in their following album, Train of Thought. Disc two is a symphonic concept piece in the vein of Scenes From a Memory.


"The Glass Prison"- The opening song is also the first song in Mike Portnoy's 12 Step Suite. This is one of the heaviest songs in the Dream Theater discography. After a really cool opening with a classic Jordan Rudess solo, a crushing metal riff enters. John Petrucci delivers an impressive shred-guitar solo, and distorted vocals soon enter. This song is very complex and is filled with switches between sections. As one of the heaviest songs Dream Theater has available, it does its job. Overall, this is an okay way to open an album, even though it has some sections I don't really love.

"Blind Faith"- After the very thrash-sounding previous song, this opens with an alternative-rock sounding beginning. The chorus is excellent on this song, and is surely the highlight. I love the instrumental section as well. I think Jordan Rudess does a great job, especially during the organ solo.

"Misunderstood"- This is probably my second favorite from disc one of this album. I absolutely love the melodies of this song, and I think almost everything is perfectly executed. James Labrie does a great job vocally, mostly because of the strong melodies that weren't really present on the previous songs. This song is much more inspired than the previous two songs. However, I think some sections do not fit in with the rest of the song, and it sometimes feels a little disjointed. Still, it's a fairly enjoyable piece.

"The Great Debate"- This song is very dark, and is focused on the controversial issue of stem cell research. Featuring eerie melodies, heavy metal riffing, and wonderful builds, this is another highlight from disc one. It has moments that remind me of Porcupine Tree, and some classic DT moments. The songwriting is excellent, and the drumming from Mike Portnoy really shows his chops. Probably my favorite off of disc one.

"Disappear"- Most of the songs prior to this were very heavy, but this is a lighthearted song that is fairly enjoyable. It has some parts that really don't fit, but it is a decent composition. Very dark and melodic sounding.


"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Overture"- I consider this opening to be one of the finest in progressive rock & metal. From the beautiful orchestral melodies to some heavy metal riffing, this is a perfect opening in my opinion. I love the use of the orchestra, and I really think it adds another layer to the music. Absolutely wonderful.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash"- After the epic opening, this section opens up with a light piano melody. When the whole band soon enters, Jordan Rudess delivers a great synth line. This is exceptionally melodic, and is one of my favorite sections in this epic song. The guitar solo near the end is noteworthy.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: War Inside My Head"- After the two rather lighthearted tracks, this song is a heavy prog metal song filled with an excellent riff. The keyboards are excellent in contrast from the heavy metal riffing. Another excellent section!

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: The Test That Stumped Them All"- The previous song was rather heavy, and this continues the pattern. One of the finest metal riffs I've ever heard with a rock solid drum beat, filled with prog complexities. The keyboards are excellent, as is the rest of the musicianship. The short jam near the end fits the song perfectly, and it shows what a talented band Dream Theater is.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Goodnight Kiss"- After the previous 7 minutes that were more on the metal side, this is a beautiful ballad-like song. The vocal melodies are perfect, and it shows what a great vocalist James LaBrie is. The guitar solo near the end is fantastic.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Solitary Shell"- This is intended to be like Peter Gabriel's "Solitary Shell". It opens up with acoustic guitar and a synth line. The melody during the chorus is excellent, as is the rest of the song. The instrumental section near the end is excellent. It has a latin sounding guitar and piano solo, and some really cool keyboards before and after this section.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash (Reprise)"- This is supposed to be a reprise of the second song in the suite. It has an upbeat opening, using some of the main themes to the album. When the vocals enter it continues on a guitar riff, and then uses the chorus of the original song. The instrumental section near the end is excellent.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Losing Time / Grand Finale"- This has a symphonic opening using some of the themes to the song. Pure symphonic bliss is how I can describe this section. An absolutely perfect end to this epic song. The melodies, arrangements, and chord progressions are all wonderful. What a great way to end this album!


Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is a great album. I think Disc 1 is mediocre, but Disc 2 is a pure masterpiece. I would rate disc one with a 2.5 star rating, and disc two with a 5+ star rating. The natural rating is easily a four. I consider disc two to be some of the best work Dream Theater has ever done, and disc one is still average. If only for the title track alone, this album is essential for any prog metal fan.

4 stars.

Report this review (#182619)
Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Question: How do you follow up on a masterpiece such as 'Scenes From a Memory'?

Answer: Present a heavier album that emphasises symphonic prog and insert a 42 minute track that takes up an entire CD.

The CD2 track is a multimovement suite that moves from heavy to soft tones at intervals and blends in a series of tracks to form one masterpiece. The 8 tracks blend seamlessly and Dream Theater often play this in its entirety in their live shows, and a good example is the version on the DVD 'Score'. The wall of sound that Dream Theater create and the way in which it builds to a crescendo makes this epic track stand out as not only one of the greatest Dream Theater tracks of all time, but prog in general. The 'Overture' begins majestically and then builds headlong into the crunching break neck speed of 'About to Crash'. The piece realzes into a soothing acoustic blend with 'Solitary Shell' sung brillaintly with depth of feeling from La Brie. The Grand Finale ends the track on a high note - all comes full circle and the story ends with that ray of hope and optimism that is akin to Dream Theater's tracks.

It is worth buying this CD for the epic alone, but there is so much more to this than some fans give credit.

CD1 begins with a bone crunching killer guitar riff in 'The Glass Prison' which is a 14 minute classic. The pace continues to bhuld throughout and awesome guitar lead work permeates the track from Petrucci as well as Portnoy's relentless drum patterns.

'Blind Faith' settles into a driving rhythm that shifts into various time signatures. Not my favourite track but still has some merit for its musical virtuoso performances from the band. I love the vocal performance from LaBrie too, as always he really manages to belt out the lyrics with total conviction. 'Misunderstood' is the weaker track perhaps due to the monotony of the melody. It has some interesting moments. 'The Great Debate' is a wonderful interplay of lead guitar and drumming as LaBrie sings about the deep matters of a contentious issue that we are all aware of, but what can be done? There are no answers supplied, only food of thought about the debatable topic that I won't go into here. Suffice it to say the music alone is worth a listen.

'Disappear' ends CD1 and for some reason has disappeared from my memory but I recall at least that it was a nice tune and featured some awesome bass and drums throughout. There was experimental work with the keyboards, but I cant recall what the song was about for some reason.

So there you have it. A much maligned piece from Dream Theater - at times moving and innovative with brilliant musical virtuosity - at other times not so inspired and a bit tame. However, there is no denying the work on CD2 is as about as good as it gets for Dream Theater. If you havent heard CD2 at least, you haven't heard the best of Dream Theater.

Report this review (#184921)
Posted Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album can be one of the most or one of the least satisfying Dream Theater records, depending on what you are looking for here.

First off, if you are interested in highly skilled and fast drumming, this is the album. Mike Portnoy beats his drums like they owe him half a city. It's absolutely mesmerizing. Or, if you are into really fast guitars, this is a great place to look. John Petrucci plays some of his fiercest and fastest solos and riffs on this album. If you like keyboards that can outpace even the guitarist, Jordan Rudess has got plenty to offer you here. James's voice sounds fantastic. If you love bass guitar, Myung's got a couple of moments where he gets to stand out and shine, like the beginnings of the first two songs. However, if you are looking for a band chemistry that puts five musicians in a song together and ever comes up with a whole that's greater than it's parts, you will have difficulty. Also, like most Dream Theater albums, it's very focused on a single line at a time. There is very little harmony ever, and very little atmosphere in most of the songs. The noodling is at full force on Six Degrees (well, maybe not quite full, as they get even fuller-forced on the next album).

It all begins with The Glass Prison. This thing is huge. Fourteen minutes of shred and chunk and crazy metal and unhappy vocals. Beginning a multi-album suite about Alcoholics Anonymous that includes to date This Dying Soul, The Root of All Evil, and Repentance, this track kicks in with a cool heavy riff after a bass-based intro. A long sweep-picked solo by Petrucci then segues the song into singing, but the singing is merely a cover for more really fast instrumentation. An extended solo sequence continues the noodling. In short, if high-powered and high-speed musical playing is your thing, this song will likely kick your nose pretty fiercely. Blind Faith starts off more atmospheric, culminating in a few weak choruses. And, yes, there's a wild instrumental section in the middle which focuses on the ivory noodling of Jordan Rudess, which is neat, but doesn't really fit the song very well. Misunderstood, oddly enough, is the first song that really works as a whole. A moody buildup kicks into a catchy and well-written chorus. The post-chorus, though, is an experimental sort of section with heavily modified instruments and backward noises. This bothers a number of people, but is actually a step in the right direction for Dream Theater.

Only, they don't keep that up. In the vein of the rest of the songs on the album, The Great Debate builds up from quietness on the outset, featuring increasingly complicated drumming until the full band kicks it together. All about the stem cell research debate, this song features a unique dual-chorus system that makes it neat. However, and big surprise, there is a good noodling bit of keyboards towards the end that does not fit the general feel and flow of the song. Without this, it all would have been much more impressive and effective. Disappear seems to be Jordan Rudess's answer to Kevin Moore's Space-Dye Vest. Some computerized sounds and some neat piano patches bring an impassioned vocal performance to a head. There are a lot of Beatles vibes on this track, I must add, which is not surprising but still strange for Dream Theater. Incidentally, this is about the only case of the band using harmonies effectively, so kudos to them for that.

The second disc is one song--that's how the band wrote it, that's how the band recorded it, so that's how I listen to it. It opens with a slightly overlong orchestral bit that is neat but plays a bit too long. From there, the song turns really into more of a suite of different parts that are linked only thematically and segue into each other. There are some really heavy parts, there are some really mellow parts, some neat guitar solos and some neat piano parts. Nothing very surprising, really. A fun long track, but not a great song or epic like the band made with A Change of Seasons or Octavarium.

All in all, a musically impressive album with enough experimentation on it to merit four stars. Still, the band's decline into perpetual noodling is getting severe, and after this release, they do fall into that trap of speed and technicality equaling progression. But this one is a good release, the last great album from the band, after a pretty solid ten year run.

Report this review (#185276)
Posted Friday, October 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes yes, I know to be careful about rating an album 5 or 1 stars... but this one truly deserves 5 stars in my opinion.

This was my second album that I got from Dream Theater. My first was Octavarium, and I liked Octavarium a lot, so I bought this without any fear of wasting my money.

2 things about this album attracted me. 1. That it had 2 disks, and 2. that the second disk was an epic 42 minute composition that I couldn't wait to hear. I love long songs, so for me that was a must-have.

The first disk was quite experimental and progressive and sometimes heavy. The second disk is a classical rock opera type of song. In fact, back in the days of Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, The entire song Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence could have been released as an album itself. They were attempting to make Falling into Infinity 2 disks, with the second having lots more material, including a 20 minute embryonic version of Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. So this represented something that they really were ambitious to do.

The first song I heard was the glass prison. 13 minutes long, impressed me alone, and when I listened to it, it had the perfect blend of heavy metal, and progressiveness. Once again, I was amazed by the instrumental ability of Dream Theater's musicians, especially during a guitar/keyboard battle.

As I listened to this in the car with my father after buying it on impulse, we were easily able to pick out Dream Theater's influences. Oh, that sounds like Pink Floyd, and that sounds like yes... oh, and that part's like Metallica, oh and that bassline reminds me of Black Sabbath... Yet it's all blended together in an original form that is Dream Theater. It really showed me that Dream Theater is one of the future generations of progressive rock that will carry on the torch after their idols are gone.

Six Degrees is a concept album, and each song has a mini story to it. The shortest song on the album is nearly 7 minutes. The rest are around 10-13 minutes, and the 2nd disk is 42.

I was excited to listen to the second disk and was pleasantly surprised just by how GOOD it was. The song takes the listener through the stories of six individuals suffering from mental illnesses, and is quite in the same style as the previous Scenes From a Memory, which I believe is tied with Images and Words to be their Greatest album ever.

I believe that Dream Theater is a very skilled and creative band, blending all the elements from all their different influences. The album is EXTREMELY progressive, and a Masterpiece of the progressive rock genre, so I give it 5 stars. Only one thing: if you don't like metal, you might want to stay away from it, but then again, Dream Theater is so diverse that even people who don't like metal may like them for their progressiveness. But if you really don't like metal, stay away from Train of Thought.

In all, 6DoiT amazed me, and I think it will amaze you too. If you love prog and are ok with metal, go out and buy it. You don't even have to listen to it before hand. Just go out and buy it, satisfaction guarenteed!

Report this review (#196953)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence' - Dream Theater (8/10)

While both discs may be great, let me start by saying the second disc of this album (the side with the 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence') is one of the best Progressive CDs I own. If considered as a single song, then it would be my favourite Dream Theater song of all time. The band uses the perfect blend of metal, rock, and prog to forge a really memorable epic, dealing with mental disorders (a common lyrical theme for Dream Theater.) Musically, it's one of the most consistent (in terms of quality) discs I have, and it's been listened to alot. The second disc alone would grant 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence' a masterpiece ranking of it's own.

But there are two discs, right? So what about the first disc?

It's quite a treat as well. Mind you, not up to par with the second, but it's still great (at the very least, four stars) Although there are only two songs on the first disc I really love ('The Great Debate' and the ballad 'Disappear') all of the songs have merits of their own. From the heavy crowd-pleaser 'The Glass Prison' to the comparitively slow songs 'Blind Faith' and 'Misunderstood,' there's a good dose of greatness to be experienced here. 'Blind Faith' and 'Misunderstood' are usually paired in my mind as being similar, and while they're both good, they've never truly hit me as being outstanding. However, they hold songwriting over virtuosic prowess, which is always a plus in Dream Theater's case. 'The Great Debate' is one of my favourite Dream Theater songs, and deals with the controversial topic of stem cell research. It's a very Metallica-influenced song, but theres a great deal of progressive nature in it. 'Disappear' is Dream Theater's most underrated song, and is arguably their most beautiful ballad, second only to the Kevin Moore piano tracks.

The second disc is where things really kick in. Despite a rather repetitive Overture, the rest of the tracks really compensate and flow together perfectly. Songs like 'About To Crash,' 'Goodnight Kiss' and 'Solitary Shell' consist as the highlights of the epic, although the entire thing is very enjoyable to listen to. The majority of it (besides 'War Inside My Head' and 'The Test That Stumped Them All') doesn't use metal, but instead uses a blend of the Dream Theater sound with progressive rock forging into a modern prog sound that should please most of those viewing this site.

While 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence' may not match up to Dream Theater's best works such as 'Images And Words' or 'Scenes From A Memory,' it's still a fantastic album, and certainly worth the price of a double album. A very ambitious work, and a solid reminder that Dream Theater isn't exhausted of their creativity just yet.

Report this review (#205553)
Posted Thursday, March 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars First a was very pleased with the second cd of Six degrees of Inner Turbulence. I really liked the music on the second cd. But after listening more and more to the first cd I was really impressed by this songs. With The great debate as real masterpiece, first the music catched me. The voices wich where mixed in this song give it an extra load. Especially when you understand the text and the massage of the song. This song is incredible powerful in every way. Very well mixed, incredible lyrics and hypnotising music. With Misunderstood and Blind faith it is again the same story. Maybe this is the most underrated album of Dream Theater.
Report this review (#205569)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best album from Dream Theater, right here. There are no absolute stand out, ultimate genre defining tracks (except possibly the title track), but the collection of songs is utterly amazing. Ranging from the very heavy indeed, to lighter songs, with an epic range of moods, great solos and brilliant ideas.

1. The Glass Prison (13:52) - A very dark, heavy song, the perfect opening to the album. My favourite part of the AA suite. There's some fantastic bass parts as well as some addictive vocal sections. The ending is very cool - ...The door was wiiiiide open *SMASH*!

2. Blind Faith (10:21) - More progressive than Prison, this track has a broader range of moods. A mellow opening into a great chorus driven beast of a track, finishing with a mellow fade out again. Highlights are the awesome chorus, a brilliant pre-solo section, and a great, sudden piano section.

3. Misunderstood (9:32) - The rock ballad from hell. It opens as a slightly ominous acoustic track, with a great riff. It opens slowly into a ballad, until the chords come in and tear it right open. The ending section is really strange, with some cool distortion noises. There's even a guitar solo, played backwards.

4. The Great Debate (13:45) - The intro to this features some interview samples with different opinions on stem cell research. The vocal sections on this track are excellent, on par with Blind Faith's and Misunterstood's. There's two great solos, guitar and keyboard, towards the end.

5. Disappear (6:45) - A true ballad, a classic LaBrie written song. With an odd animal noise at the start, it kicks into excellent piano and vocal parts. The ending is highly emtional. Great finish to this disc.

So the first disc would be acceptable as a stand alone studio album from Dream Theater. They could have stopped there and gone out on tour with it. But no, they had to continue.

6. Degrees of Inner Turbulence (42:02) - I'll review each bit as a part, but remember it's best listened to in one shot. It's an amazing song.

i) Overture - Perhaps the albums only weak point, this opening is dull. There's a few guitars and drums along with the orchestra, but otherwise it's just trumpets and strings. Often I skip it, straight into...

ii) About to Crash - Less metal, more relaxed hard rock. There's qutie a few moods here, not only the upbeat opening sections but also a slow down towards the end. This one is reprised later.

iii) War Inside My Head - A short, dark track. Great drums in the opening, and a chatly little chorus.

iv) The Test That Stumped Them All - Longer than War Inside, with a great opening, it spreads its wings out into a very heavy beast of a track, with great, almost Peter G inspired vocals. The ending is very strong.

v) Goodnight Kiss - The most peaceful melodic track. This offers some respite from the previosu two tracks. Reminicent of Disappear, it's got a nice little chorus. Later on in the song there's a dark guitar solo, with a great opening guitar part.

vi) Solitary Shell - One of the album's singles - the other being an edit of Misunterstood - Solitary Shell reminds me strongly of And You And I, however, with a chorus stucture - and a good one at that. Acoustic for most of it, the instrumental section at the end is pretty good.

vii) About to Crash (Reprise) - Not a straight reprise, it goes back to the old riffs and lyrical subjects, with a neat instrumental part. From the sound of it, you can tell a darker part is fourthcoming, which is a very cool, subtle effect. This is delivered with the finale...

viii) Losing Time / Grand Finale - Highly emotional, soaring finish to the album. The pace changes quite a bit, but the highest point of the entire album can be found here, right at the end. Mainly vocal, the keybaords at the back really help this one up, supporting LaBrie's excellent performance. The final note is a long, sustained shot, which holds for the last minute or so.

So, weak points? The overture, of course. Otherwise there's not a lot to criticise. The structures of songs could be pointed out to be too linear - too many choruses - but there isn't a single vocal bart which isn't worthwhile on here. I guess there aren't many mindblowing solo parts, but there are strong ones around the album which compensate.

Not only the sheer volume of music on here makes this album their best, but also the creativitly behind some of it. Ever heard a guitar solo officially played backwards? Probably not. I can't really fault this album properly. Whilst there are many good DT albums, this one just beats the others and claims the top position for greatest DT album ever.

That is, unless Black Clouds & Silver Linings delivers even better...

Report this review (#207303)
Posted Sunday, March 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although I did not own this album until about 3 years ago, I was introduced to Dream Theater in 2002 on the Six Degrees tour (with Joe Satriani and King's X). I went to the show for Satriani, but left the venue with far more excitement over Dream Theater. Their show, which consisted of many of the songs off SDOIT, converted me to a Dream Theater fan. When I finally purchased this album 4 years later, the great concert memories came back.

Anyways, about the album itself: This is Dream Theater's sixth studio album (with an appropriately numbered title) and consists of two CDs. The first consists of 5 separate songs, and the second disc contains a single 42 minute song, although this song is divided among 8 different tracks. My personal favorites on disc one are The Glass Prison, Blind Faith, and Misunderstood. Each of these 3 songs are all over 9 minutes long, but they all seem to flow rather smoothly and have the feel of tracks that are 3 or 4 minutes shorter. The Glass Prison is a very heavy start to the album and has a very catchy keyboard riff played by Jordan Rudess that appears several times in the song. Both Blind Faith and Misunderstood are rather mellow songs which suit James Labrie's vocal range rather well. I like the riff by Petrucci underneath the chorus of Misunterstood as well as the various solos in the song. However, the last 2 tracks on the disc, The Great Debate and Disappear, don't seem to have the flow of the first 3 tracks nor do they keep my attention as long. I feel the first 3 tracks more than make up for it though.

I have a hard time referring to the second disc as an entire song because if it was intended to be so, wouldn't they have kept in as a single track (like A Change of Seasons) instead of dividing it? Maybe it was for fans to navigate through the song with more ease or a label decision, but it's just a minor detail. There is a little bit of everything on this disc. It starts with the Overture, which from the title you can probably guess it is a classically themed instrumental, with many of the themes within later coming back at later stages of the song. About to Crash is one of the less interesting moments on the second disc, definitely the section of the song I have the hardest time remembering. The song is reprised later on in About to Crash (Reprise), which oddly enough, I prefer to the first occurrence. War Inside My Head is a brief but memorable and heavy song. Not always a fan when Labrie tries to gruff up his voice, but it's tolerable on this song. The track transitions rather nicely to another metal-inspired song, The Test That Stumped Them All, with a few curveballs in there to keep it from being a full on metal track. The next two tracks, Goodnight Kiss and Solitary Shell (with one of my favorite Rudess moments on the album), are more along the lines of ballads. Not to say that ballads are a bad thing (and you can't exactly call it a traditional ballad if there is an extended solo section, can you?). Both are beautiful songs. I've heard the comparisons between Solitary Shell and Peter Gabriel's Solisbury Hill, but I think it stands fine on it's own despite the similarity. Losing Time/Grand Finale winds down the album in an appropriate fashion.

Though not quite an essential listen, an overall great album by Dream Theater!

Report this review (#210944)
Posted Friday, April 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars It is sometimes difficult to decide if this double-decker surpasses the brilliance of Scenes from a Memory: Metrpolis Part II or not. It definitely vies for the title of my favorite Dream Theater album. This is partly because it is so rare to find a two-CD album that is completely devoid of filler, so musically solvent and lyrically challenging. Variety also abounds here, not just in traces, but in downright rich eclecticism. Present are the obligatory heavy metal, gentle acoustic passages, catchy pop tunes, and full-blown symphonic rock all in one unique package.

"The Glass Prison" Picking up where the previous album left off (with the static of a record player), Dream Theater's next amazing work begins with a powerful riff played by the ever-competent John Myung and John Petrucci. Jordan Rudess's keyboard weaves its way over the riff before things get heavier really quickly. After some low vocals from Mike Portnoy (who drums furiously through the verses), James LaBrie surprises with what in my opinion is one of his best vocal performances ever. The chorus is phenomenal and very memorable, with very creative rhythms and drumming. Myung sneaks in a little bass solo that brings in the next heavy hitting instrumental section, over which Petrucci solos with his wah pedal and Rudess does his thing on his guitar-sounding synthesizer. This song is really one of the strongest progressive metal openers out there (I think the one on the previous album overshadows it, but I'm not complaining). Fans consider this to be the first three parts in what is dubbed the "Twelve-Step Suite," which describes Portnoy's experience with alcoholism, as several themes from this song will be revisited in future tracks on future albums.

"Blind Faith" Myung takes the lead on this one while Rudess adds light keyboard touches. Petrucci's guitar solo is one of his best, because even though its speedy, it maintains my attention and fits in perfectly with the music. Rudess's lovely piano interlude is a pleasant surprise, and then there's another one: An equally fabulous ride on the organ, followed by the snake-like writhing of his synthesizer lead.

"Misunderstood" Acoustic guitar with effects gently doubled behind it start this third and elegant piece. It begins as the softest song on the first disc, but builds into an excellent translation of the velvety instrumentation to heavy metal ecstasy. A repetitive chord progression degenerates into noisy ravishes of electric guitar and gradually fades back in.

"The Great Debate" Political pundits' speaking out about stem cell research, which gradually become inaudible and almost madness-inducing, are panned hard on the right or the left (appropriately enough), and even the initial vocals follow suit. While I think the position the band takes on the subject is rather clear, I feel they give a pretty fair and balanced description of the conflict. For once on this album, the music takes a backseat to the controversial lyrics, even though Rudess dazzles listeners with another stellar keyboard solo. Myung on bass almost outshines Petrucci during the latter's guitar solo. The voices from the beginning return with new (and not so new) arguments.

"Disappear" Haunting piano and other sounds starkly begin the shortest track of the disc. It takes a while for the music to become full, but as a largely acoustic track, this is brilliantly dark and a testament to Dream Theater's ability to craft incredible soft music despite being the quintessential progressive metal band.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Overture" A stunning and majestic piece of symphonic rock by one of progressive metal's greatest bands, the first time I heard this, I could have sworn I was not even hearing Dream Theater. There are heavy guitars to be sure, but this delightful overture is dominated by strings and other orchestral-sounding instruments. Six degrees of inner turbulence references six different psychological disorders. Keyboardist Rudess wrote this part, and the band expanded upon it to create this tour de force of progressive rock music.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash" Regal piano begins the second movement of this heavily inspired work of skill. After the band enters, LaBrie begins to sing, reintroducing a beautiful motif. Petrucci has a shining moment on lead guitar toward the end of this second piece. The alternating lyrics describe bipolar disorder.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: War Inside My Head" This is a heavy movement, full of dark, powerful guitars, bass, and drums and sinister keyboards. The vocals are gritty and unpleasant- befitting for a segment describing shell shock (or, as the psychobabblers prefer, posttraumatic stress disorder).

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: The Test That Stumped Them All" The theatric and varying vocals are indicative of schizophrenia, the theme of this heaviest movement.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Goodnight Kiss" Deliberately ambiguous lyrics reference some manner of post-partum depression. Whatever the case, the vocal melody is simply gorgeous, and this may be one of LaBrie's greatest moments on a gentler song. Petrucci's tonal nuances during his solo are simply stunning. There are medical sounds, as well as laughter, weeping, and wailing in the middle section, which could describe a real event, but more likely the mother's fears or even a recurring nightmare. Whatever the case, it is unsettling.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Solitary Shell" Apparently based on Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" (even the title seems similar), this has excellent acoustic guitar work (both on rhythm and lead), breathtaking synthesizer work, and a fantastic vocal melody with impressive lyrics about autism.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash (Reprise)" Relayed in first person, the bipolar sufferer in the second movement has a say. The music is very similar, and drives home some of the memorable themes from this epic suite. There's a powerful, Tony Banks-like synthesizer solo (it reminds me of Genesis's "Riding the Scree").

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Losing Time / Grand Finale" I don't understand why this track was lumped together with the finale, but oh well. The lyrics seem to describe loneliness, perhaps as a result of multiple personality disorder. In six lines during the grand finale, LaBrie passionately recapitulates the lyrical themes of this song. A long chord is sustained for two full minutes, bringing this album to an end, but inviting the beginning of the next one.

Report this review (#239592)
Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Quite tough to rate... But great still...

Dream Theater decided to change direction and try a huge experimental approach for this album. It has it's own identity, eluding their trademark sound, trying and experimenting with a lot of elements that really scares many many people who have an already made idea of DT... I most say, this is the very best album for Mr. Rudess... his composing was interesting and original.... very different to the common prog keyboard player been a lot more symphonic, but in the other hand, manage to be a lot experimental and polish in his noises, patches and everything... of course he's the master of keyboards, and even if I don't like him in DT... sure he'd prove a lot of things in this particular production....

Then, the rest of the band plays as usual, tough, tight, fast, brilliant and technical... there are haters that don't like Labries voice, the overwhelming drumming, the guitar solos and the instrumental choices of DT... but at the end of the day, I guess the fans really like them for that... been completely different and "in your face" music... so I most say that if you already like DT, you can enjoy this but if you already hate them, this album won't change your worries...

With that said, I have to conclude saying that it doesn't mean that this a regular album for DT. What I like from this is the way they experiment with a lot of different influences, like Tool, Radiohead and Metallica, but not leaving their own style... so, if you like their prog metal sound, don't worry, it still there.. It's just that they approach it in a different way...

Different must be the word to this album... but great... a Masterpiece... not sure... 4.5 is more accurate... I don't know if it's better than Metropolis part II, it's just different.

Report this review (#242171)
Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars If only this was as short (as to fit e.g. in a single CD), it would have been one of the best progmetal albums ever.

6DOIT had to follow the highly-successful predecessor "Scenes from a memory", which introduced a substantial shift in the sound of the band - probably, in hindsight, the real sound the band always wanted for itself. Compared to earlier outputs, the advent of funambolic Jordan Rudess to keyboards gave a stronger symphonic edge to the overall sound, but also and a large kick toward the virtuosos-first tendency that was going to degenerate in later productions of the quintet. In between the concept album "Scenes" and the mainly heavy dark metal "Train of thought" appeared this 6DOIT. An it was a very good one.

6DOIT sees the band in a highly inventive and originality-seeking mood throughout. They were able to produce something different from the honorable predecessor while keeping a very high quality standard. They reproposed a sort of melting pot environment that first appeared in "Falling into infinity", but far more pretentious and far reaching. And rightly so.

Each of the six tracks of the album has its own peculiarities and personality - this is recognized as a DT trademark, which has here its main manifestation. In disc 1, the furious opener "The glass prison" builds a hugely energetic intro to the album in the first minutes, later expanding into mellowed sections. All the bands technically shines in this Metallica-but-many-times-better-than-Metallica long but subtle song (probably the best, together with "This dying soul", of the inaugurated AA saga). Then "Blind faith" cools down the tone with a pretty, poppish still symphonic sound supported by interesting lyrics. Amazing instrumental middle section, starting with a bluesy Petrucci solo on a composite odd time signature, on with an elegant piano section by Rudess and a symphonic reprise with a tasty solo by Petrucci coadiuvated by nice keys. Then "Misunderstood", original, hybrid, explorative but too long. Acoustic intro, tight progression toward the refrain and a sort of free, inventive final section with a little abused finale with twisted distorted guitars. "The great debate" then follows, but takes time to express its potential since the intro has a long series of quotations from media and speeches about stem cell research. Then the main theme starts with its hypnotic odd bass line. Though a bit repetitive, the song has a very fine instrumental section which rises the overall status of the track. The first part of the work ends with the delicate and melancholic "Disappear", a nice jewel ballad. But little anticipates at this point what is hidden in the second disc.

The title track is probably the best, most coherent and rich single track produced by DT, along with "A change of seasons". Grand, symphonic, surprising, well-thought and dense. Starting from the "Ouverture" to "Loosing time", it is a rollercoster through sensations and situations, thrilling, rarefied, deep, obsessive, maniacal, schizofrenic and mellow at times. Great arrangements, top-notch performance by band. From jazz interludes to Queen-like choruses, from Dixie Dregs solos to raging licks, from classical orchestration to full-blown progmetal complexities in signatures and layerings. A must in its own.

A great addiction to every proglover collection - which would have even been fundamental if some redundancies in the 3rd and 4th tracks were eliminated, as they are superfluous and dilute the pathos of a great achievement of a work.

Report this review (#245129)
Posted Sunday, October 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence is a great follow up to possible one of the greatest albums of all time; Scenes From A Memory. Some people criticize Dream Theater for losing there magic and not progressing as musicians. But clearly at this point in there career they are still evolving. There sound has definitely changed over the years, from the sound of Imaged and Words to SFAM. And now 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence. This I would say a very experimental album especially the first disk. It starts with "Glass Prison" which is the heaviest song in Dream Theaters catalog until there next album Train Of Thought but, nonetheless it is a very good song which starts Mike Portnoy's "12 steps suit". "Misunderstood" has one of my favorite guitar solo's of all time. Its not a shred fest. its truly unique, sounding like a screeching monster. "Disappear" is a bit of a disappointment. It feels like "Space-dye Vest" but, not nearly as good. The second Disc is all one song. Which is a good song all together but slow at times like the "overture" and the anti-climatic "Losing Time" but, in between it is great fun. The subject of mental illness is slightly depressing but the music is interesting like in "solitary shell".
Report this review (#250047)
Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Certainly one of the band's finest works! If "A change of seasons" (the track), "Awake" (the album), "Octavarium" (the track) make up my personal list of Dream Theater's best music, "Six degrees of Inner Turbulence" has MANY moments which rank right up there.

First disc highlights - metal euphoria with "The glass prison", great lyrical ballads "Misunderstood" and "Disappear". The latter, in my humble opinion, is amongst the most beautiful pieces of music by the band - up there with "Space dye-vest". If a piece of art actually has the power to change your mood at the moment of listening, you know it has been written VERY well musically and lyrically. Isn't this one great purpose of music? To stir up our emotions?

Second disc - no dull moments, just great rock in roll. The band have not wasted any time with mediocre melodies or over-done solos. "Overture" is very enjoyable. "Test that stumped them all" is a great rush. My favourite track is "About to crash (reprise)", opening guitar riff, niiice! "Solitary shell" is beautiful.

Excellent album ++. Bumped up because I enjoy being spoilt like a fanboy fat kid with TWO discs of Dream Theater madness.

Rock on DT!

Report this review (#251955)
Posted Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence has been and forever shall remain a totally uninteresting album in my book. After the wild success of Scenes From a Memory before it, the band decided to take the bombastic nature of their playing to an even greater extent by making a double album. Prepare to test your patience by listening to almost two hours of virtuosic guitar playing and absurd keyboard solos.

The first disc is what they have dubbed a more "experimental" set of songs. You can expect to hear a variety of styles here, much akin to their later album, Octavarium. The only song that I still find myself coming back to on this entire album is "The Glass Prison", which is widely regarded as one of Dream Theater's heaviest songs. Even so, I still manage to find my patience tested trying to listen through the entire (almost) 14 minutes of the song. A close second on the first disc is "Misunderstood", which has some mildly interesting experimentation during the latter half of the track. Aside from that, there's nothing particularly remarkable about the first disc.

When it comes to the whole "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" suite that makes up the second disc of this album, I feel as though the whole thing was a wasted effort, filled to the brim with Jordan Rudess pretending to be a whole orchestra with his keyboard. It sounds incredibly fake, not to mention cheesy. I guess if you're into MIDI orchestra sounds this is the perfect suite for you, but for me it's lame enough to bring down the whole album. Would it have been that hard to hire some people to actually play some string instruments for the album?

Report this review (#252938)
Posted Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars To me, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is the last Dream Theater album that is mind-blowing. After this, Dream Theater started declining in musical quality. That, however, is not important. The important thing here is that this album shows Dream Theater at their best. While this might not be their best album, it does feature some of their strongest music.

Disc 1 contains five songs, three of which are over ten minutes. It is based around the heavy side of Dream Theater, except the closer, Disappear. Even though it is all very heavy music, it is still very progressive. The musicianship is, of course, awesome. The Glass Prison is an excellent opener, very heavy, very fast and a lot of shredding. It calms down in a few places, but mostly it is showing the heavy side of Dream Theater. Things calm down a bit with Blind Faith, at least in the beginning. It eventually picks up to an awesome instrumental section. Misunderstood is structured similarly to Blind Faith, it starts slow and picks up. The end drags on for a bit, but the overall the song is very strong. The Great Debate is a song about stem-cell research. It shows both sides of the argument, while combining it with some of the best musicianship found on the album. The final song, Disappear, is a beautiful ballad in 5/4 time.

Disc 2 contains one song, divided into eight tracks. The title track, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence describes mental disorders, and their effects on human beings. The 42 minute epic is the highlight of the album. It covers the whole spectrum of Dream Theater, showing their heavy, melodic and of course progressive side. To me, the highlight is Goodnight Kiss. It contains one of my favorite Petrucci solos of all time. However, the whole suite is great, and should be listened to in its entirety.

Overall, this album is one of the best from Dream Theater. If you don't have it in your collection, I urge you to get it! You will not regret owning this masterpiece.

Report this review (#259149)
Posted Sunday, January 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After the phenomenal reception of the master opus "Scenes From A Memory" (quite deservedly so) among fans and reviewers over the world, Dream Theater's next task was a double one: to keep the momentum going with a follower that should at least match the inventiveness and tightness levels; to confirm the position that Rudess had quickly gained as both a newcoming performer and a creative mind. So, "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is the title of this task incarnated in a double CD that was recorded during the latter half of 2001 and released in early 2002. So, was the double task achieved? My answer is yes, and in fact, I happen to believe that this double effort surpasses the monumental concept-album that preceded it in terms of progressive thinking and compositional refinement. It is abundantly clear that Rudess has become a major force within the band's line of work, especially regarding the keyboard-dominated orchestrations that appear in several places of the namesake suite. But I'll get there later. Another factor is the influence that the band received from Tool and Radiohead for the conception of this new repertoire. The former reference allowed them to refresh their metallic side (an essential one, indeed), in this way giving a bit less room to thrash metal attacks and more room to other experimental metal tricks. The latter reference, on the other hand, gave them a new insight on dealing with the more atmospheric ideas. The album's opener 'The Glass Prison' (the first song in Portnoy's AA series) is a showcase for the revitalized metallic thinking that I have just mentioned. I find it perfect in structure, dynamics and duration: the last minute is a lovely climax indeed. Another metallic showcase is 'The Great Debate' (even Portnoy's drumming shows the Tool influence more strongly in some passages), although this time I have to say that the thematic expansion takes a bit longer than necessary. Between these two patently ambitious tour-de-forces are 'Blind Faith' and 'Misunderstood'. I really love these tunes. The former is a song about religious zealotry, cleverly elaborated in a framework of calculated energy. Somewhere in the middle, a powerful interlude emerges, including one of Rudess' best synth solos ever. The latter also leads with a topic related to religion, namely, the human side of Jesus Christ. Just like the preceding track, this one bears a reflective mood, but the instrumental delivery is more adventurous concerning the DT standard. The heavy use of psychedelic ambiences, the grayish languid passages and the repetitive sinister closing motif (predated for the interlude) make it build up a sense of emotional restlessness in an effective manner. The aforesaid closing motif states an unusual Crimsonian vibe in the front side, perhaps through the Tool filter. All in all, IMHO, the volume 1's gem has to be 'Disappear', one of the most beautiful DT ballads ever, and also one of the most haunting vocal performances by LaBrie ever. This slow, gloomy ballad whispers its Radiohead influence ("OK Computer"-era): the song's constrained scheme makes it breathe its soft sadness in a way that it gains a different kind of power to the listener's ears. If you really get to like this track, it haunts you for hours after you turned out your CD player. Oh my, it haunts me while I think about it at this point of the present review. Well, moving to volume 2, there is the 42 minute namesake suite ? an ode to various modes of mental illness. This monumental piece met its definitive version in the "Score" show (with a backing orchestra), but it doesn't mean that I dismiss the original studio version at all. In fact, just by listening to the 'Overture' (a link of anticipated motifs, as usually prog rock overtures do) you can feel that we are on the brink of witnessing pure musical greatness. The orchestral feel is awesome, and so is the first sung section 'About To Crash', which displays an attractive melodic development where the band's symphonic side continues to prevail. Sections 3 and 4 are more leaning toward the metallic side, especially 4, which takes the stamina to humanly impossible levels at times. Yes, the fire of 'War Inside My Head' serves as a preparation for the massive bombast of 'The Test That Stumped Them All', which should be described as thunder (the rhythm duo) and lightning (vocals, guitars and keyboards) translated into prog-metal sound. 'Goodnight Kiss' is a moment of emotional rest, even though the lyrics' subject deal with something as stressful as post-partum depression. The relaxed desperation (properly delivered in LaBrie's vocalizations) makes the band return partially to the Radiohead pattern, before the instrumental section speeds things a bit into a well-constructed progressive scheme. This is where the 'Solsbury Hill'- inspired 'Solitary Shell' enters and brings a more colorful palette in the suite. Once again, the instrumental section brings a turn to a faster tempo and a whole different motif. The stage is set for the reprise of 'About To Crash', reshaped in a powerful metalized fashion. The 'Losing Time / Grand Finale' section closes down the suite with a compelling mixture mellow bombast and emotionally-charged energy. The whole section sounds like a mixture of classic Kansas, "The Wall"-era Pink Floyd and mid-70s Wakeman. An amazing closure for an amazing suite, and while I'm at it, let me end this review by saying how much in awe I am of this amazing double album. For their 6th album, Dream Theater seemed to be standing on a permanent peak.
Report this review (#262540)
Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars 01. The Glass Prison

Hiss of an old LP, (you'll understand when you hear the end of the previous disk Metropolis) and bells, bells that announce what will come. To start John Myung is one of the greatest bass players that have stepped on stage and John Petrucci is also one of the greatest guitarists in rock, it can carry over into many different styles and with great ease. At 2 minutes, right away, one of the hallmarks of the band, fast riffs, heavy and cumbersome, broken at times. Almost metal. James LaBrie, many do not like his voice, I think every time I listen to I like most, is a good vocal and differentiated acute, and he knows how to build good melodic lines. The band follows in a disconcerting weight, but to break the ice 'soft' lines composed by Jordan Rudess on the keyboard. At 4 and 40 one more mark of DT, the melodic hooks that can easily be sung together. Rudess is a major emphasis in the band on this record. And what about our buddy Portnoy? The guy is a demigod of the drums. Tremendous bankruptcies with a vocal-response (follow the letters). At 9 and 40 one of the more amazing riffs written, and very, very fast, and to top it off, a few seconds later he is even faster. It's amazing the provision of Myung playing (those who play know what I'm talking about). Jordan runs a very interesting solo keyboard and destroys Petrucci guitar. The riff that gets the breaks is absurd creativity, and the sequence is weight. And it have an amazing lyric.

02. Blind Faith

Blind Faith in stark contrast to the previous song, after a blow to the opening of the record have a more introspective side. And it's nice to see how wonderfully Portnoy builds his stuff. Not that I leave the weight off the track, however, it is almost impossible to Dream Theater. After 5 minutes Petrucci engages a divine land, with some jazz influence in his Riif following a more rhythmic beat. Then it's time for Rudess piano and orchestrations, which adds value and very subject. The sequence leaves instrumental staff mesmerized, just an appetizer for the excellent vocal melody, and of course, the chorus, once again untouchable.

03. Misunderstood

Now, that's melody, harmony, complexity. Often the simplest things are the most beautiful. After the majestic introduction, nearly reaching the 2 minutes the band starts one-on-one to enter, but the thing comes back, giving a total psychedelic Beatles climate. The heavy chorus is sensational and James sings: 'How can I feel abandoned even when the world surrounds me?' The phrase of the character is fantastic, but most of us know perfectly well that answer. After 4 and a half minutes there is a low and heavy guitars part and it's duplicated. At the end there is a bar full of noise and feedback.

04. The Great Debate

First of all, what a fantastic bass line! The most interesting aspect of this track is that it has a different introduction, while the music evolves reporters and politicians used as vocal, his speeches are everywhere. And the music has an incredible instrumental. Only around 3rd minute is that James sings a few lines with various effects on voice. And then the chorus (great by the way, whicht is a redundancy from these guys). On 5th minute I saw an incredible influence of Metallica On vocals, angry in the way of singing. The percussive part that follows is one thing to pay attention. The song goes on a hallucinatory riff and a synthesizer solo that is even difficult to tell if it really is a synthesizer given such a smooth and fast, almost the same speed of the guitar solo that follows, sensational. And it gives you broken rhythms. And just as he began the subject ends, full of speeches, speeches and reporters.

05. Disappear

The beginning fools you! In fact a guitar and piano ballad. But do not think of syrupy ballad and romantic sense of the word. And once again I see the Beatles in the parade in the 2nd minute with those vocal effects and echoes typical of the 60s. A song with a beat calm and in a emotional tone (accompanying the lyrics if you will). But make no mistake, is not the end of disc 1, but the middle of the story (got the message? ).

Disc 2

01. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

I-Overture II-About To Crash III-War Inside My Head IV-The Test That Stumped Them All V-Goodnight Kiss VI-Solitary Shell VII About To Crash (Reprise) VIII Losing Time / Grand Finale

Epic? Totally! The Dream Theater has invested heavily in this giant theme. His introduction with an orchestral theme and some passages that remind me quite ANGRA, they have built a theme with some Arabic influence as well. A perfect communion between band and orchestra. The second theme 'About To Crash' has a melody almost dance. Impossible not to shake your head together. At 9 minutes it's time to the Portnoy drums and 'War Inside My Head'. At 12 and a half the band goes into a tailspin in some dense, tense and heavy theme. Following the great vocals of James, split with John and a riot in a brilliant syncopation highly complex and break the base of a paranoid guitar that repeats itself for a while. In "The Test That Stumped Them All the 'question and answer' vocals are very nice, meanwhile the weight prevails, almost a trash-prog. It's amazing the power of the band when it comes to create complex riffs. The fifth part 'Goodnight Kiss' is beautiful, with the lines of a child and his mother, LaBrie sings a beautiful melody. And as it should be Petrucci's solo is very melodic and well executed. In 'Solitary Shell' 'kick' is scoring, a guitar solo, and at the bottom many everyday sounds that end in a beautiful theme in the acoustic guitar. It's amazing how this melody is catchy. And the chorus then? Furthermore. And in the changes of the themes I felt echoes of ANGRA again, especially in keyboards. That's great. Shortly after the 33 minutes Part 7 comes in like a reprise of the second part, in this case although the issue is the same voice, the band continues to innovate and looking more and more. Just over 36 minutes, 'Losing Time' is the 8th and last part part of this epic. 'Grand Finale' is emotional. Simply one of the best records of our times.

(ProgShine'S note: After this album run and listen to Train Of Thought).

It's amazing, and I repeat, amazing what you can earn in one hour and forty minutes.

Report this review (#263870)
Posted Tuesday, February 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is, by far and away, my favourite Dream Theater album, and one of my favourite albums of all time. "The Glass Prison" features some of the greatest progressive metal writing this side of heavy metal. The riffs are fantastic and nigh perfect. This song is one of Dream Theater's best and is criminally underrated--this is on par with "A Change of Seasons" and "Metropolis" in terms of songwriting. "Blind Faith" is a solid piece, the centrepiece of which is Rudess' grand piano solo, segueing directly into an even more impressive synth solo. "Misunderstood" is another wonderful piece of heavy metal writing, though some dislike the 'noise' that dominates the end of the track. That doesn't reflect badly on the rest of the piece--the light, ambient, textured sections blend well with the screaming, industrial-influenced sections. "The Great Debate" is another fantastic and under-recognized Dream Theater track. The 7/8 buildup that comprises the intro is amazing, driven mostly by Portnoy's creative and stylistically diverse drumming. The title track is also an example of perfection in the album-song genre. There is never a dull or uninteresting moment in this 42 minute piece, which starts out in perfect melodic heavy metal ("About to Crash"), detours through math thrash ("The Test that Stumped Them All"), takes a leaf from Peter Gabriel's soft folk rock ("Solitary Shell") and blasts anthemic arena rock riffs ("About to Crash [Reprise]") before finally ending with an ever-so-slightly cliche but still amazing vocal performance from LaBrie on the finale. There is nothing worth finding fault with on this album, in my estimation. Though this is not Dream Theater's 'best' album, this is a perfect album in its own right.
Report this review (#275175)
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dream Theater are the flagship band of Prog Metal. Their wide range of influences allow them not only to bring the best from the classic prog and metal worlds, but to use their virtuosity to create an unparalleled sound.

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was a hard album to put out. Why? Three years before its release, the band put out what many consider their utmost magnum opus, Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory. So how does a band produce a follow up that will not be shattered by the shadow of its predecessor? Dream Theater took it easy and came up with a great solution:

-A Double Album with nearly 100 minutes of music, 42 of which are ONE song!

And, oh boy did it live up to its very hyped predecessor.

Track By Track:

The Glass Prison: Mike Portnoy was an alcoholic for some 15 years. In April 2000, he consumed his last alcoholic drink, and did drugs for the last time. After completing the 12- step program, Portnoy set himself to create a massive suite on the subject, and release its parts album after album, as he had planned for years. TGP is the perfect start for the suite. Its chaotic chanting and sinister riffing create the atmosphere of a life sunken in alcohol, and the virtuosity of DT is clearly exercised in the instrumental sections.

Rating: 9/10

Blind Faith: If Dream Theater were a much more mainstream band, this song would have stirred up controversy in all directions. But they're not , and they know it. Thus, the religion- themed Blind Faith criticizes the worship of a god people cannot see. Although at first the band is trapped in a Verse-Bridge-Chorus structure that can become quite worn, the instrumental bridge saves the day. A great zig-zag between Petrucci and Rudess, which would make such musical moments a remarkable feat of Dream Theater Mk. VI.

Rating: 8/10

Misunderstood: There's no other way to describe this song but to refer to its title. This song is somewhat underrated and misunderstood. Clocking at 9:33, it has two main sections: an initial, V-B-C structured section, and a very electronic second one. Quite experimental. While not as proggy as one would expect from Dream Theater, it is not bad at all. Still, it is the lowest rated song in this review. One had to be. It's not bad, but it doesn't quite live up to the other songs in the first disc.

Rating: 6.5/10

The Great Debate: Another could-be-controversial song, The Great Debate takes on the subject of stem cell research. Basing itself on the principle of "Are you justified in taking life to save life?" it doesn't quite take a side, but rather leaves the doors open for the listener to make up his/her mind, by exposing pros and cons, and with verses like "Moral guilt and science have collided" and "You could walk again" and even "Someone else's fate we are deciding". Musically, TGD is an outstanding piece. Its fast intro flows into the verse section and then into one of the best instrumental sections DT have ever put out. Keyboard solos with Synth leads, voice and string pads, time changes, SHREDDING guitar solos and epic melodies make this piece a must-hear.

Rating 10/10 (Was there ever any doubt?)

Disappear: After such a monster, and taking into account what we still need to digest, a short, calmed song is merely logical. Taking up on a slow 5/4 melody/soft guitar section, the sorrowful, painful lyrics come in with a reverb that haunts to the chill. "Blue sky, I'll meet you in the end.", "Free me, and rest till I'm with you", "A day like today, my whole world has been changed. Nothing you say will help ease my pain". Verses like these are quite touching amongst the slow, mellow guitar and pad duo. Finally, Disappear ends with a somewhat epic final section, which gives the first disc yet another high note. DT did good in placing this song directly after TGD and directly before the soaring musical monster that lurks in the second half of the album.

Rating: 9.5/10


A soaring, epic song with six stories of mental illnes, SDOIT is probably DT's magnum opus. I really find it hard to call ONE song or album as such, and maybe I'll use the term somewhere else in DT's discography, but SDOIT is one of DT's absolute BEST.

I: Overture: It's more than clear that Jordan Rudess came up with most of this. His classical formation is evident here, and the band do a f***ing great job in making this sound not like them but like an orchestra. It features themes and references to most of the following movements of the song, and flows directly into the next one. A first for DT, and a job well started.

Rating: 10/10

II: About to Crash: The beautiful piano intro that was born from Overture like Eve from Adam gives a great relaxing bump for the upbeat 7/4 riff that starts this movement out. DT rarely have a very developed idea of what they will talk about in their lyrics when they compose the music, but here, the two marry perfectly. The bipolarity of the music itself gives the listener a perfect idea of the character's state, and the lyrics are quite pictorial and clear.

Rating: 9.5/10

III: War Inside My Head: I don't know why people criticize this movement for being short. DT didn't compose it on its own, as they were just working on ONE song. Besides, what else is there to add? God musicianship, clear lyrics, perfect atmosphere, paranoia. What else is there to add?

Rating: 9/10

IV: The Test That Stumped Them All: Schizophrenia can become quite the chaotic suffering. Paranoia, disorder, chaos overall reign this movement, which emphasizes not only on the patient's state, but in the mystery of the disease, the mysteries surrounding its nature, causes and cures (hence the name of the movement). Though musically monotonous, it showcases the best of Portnoy, Petrucci and Myung's virtuosity.

Rating: 8/10

V: Goodnight Kiss: After the chaos brought about by movements III and IV, peace and sweetness make an unlikely and short appearance. Goodnight Kiss starts with an intro that should have been shorter, and the mellow lyrics are a bit forced when they reach a high point in tone while keeping the relative silence. Then, chaos and desperation reappear in a sick combination of sinister, helpless music and chaotic soundscapes. While not a low point, this is probably the least strong of the movements

Rating: 7.5/10

VI: Solitary Shell: A common perception of autism is that the ones who most suffer from it are relatives and not the patients themselves. While that is not 100% true, this movement's upbeat music and somewhat happy lyrics really make that point stand out, placing the isolation and the abnormalities as mere traits of yet another person. A really high point, considering the chaos of the first half of the song, and the musical experiments within. A low point of this movement is its less-than-perfect performance live, but in the album it's excellent.

Rating: 8.5/10

VII: About to Crash (Reprise): What? A reprise? More on bipolar disorder? Yes! Focusing more on the internal conflicts of the sufferer herself, rather than on an outsider's PoV, the Reprise features not only a very good companion to its sibling, but some astonishing musical moments just before its end. Maybe DT could have elaborated more on the instrumental section at the end of this movement, but a musical cycle must not be disturbed.

Rating: 9.5/10

VII: Losing Time/Grand Finale: Perhaps the saddest of the stories, Losing Time is filled with loneliness, sorrow, detachment from oneself, and overall melancholy. However, its lyrics imply that this is more outside pity, as the character is rather detached and apathetic, suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. She loses time and parts of her life between her multiple personalities, and doesn't seem to retain any of her experiences "She doesn't recall yesterday. Faces seem twisted and strange". A very mellow movement that is then abruptly interrupted by a very altive conclusion of "The Turbulence Deep Inside", and gives reference to each of the previous degrees. The great movement ends with a gong, thus ending one of DT's most perfect and epic masterpieces. This finale is just logical.

Rating: 10/10

Overall Rating (Six Degrees... Song): An very obvious 10/10

Overall Rating of the album: 9.7/10

Report this review (#275793)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Whoo! I love me some Dream Theater, especially some "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence"! This album is insane, perhaps the most ambitious of all the DT albums. The gang here produce a most excellent array of music, ranging from heavy guitars a la Metallica to epic passages a la Genesis. It is the perfect combination of prog and metal. Very beautiful. I have been a big fan of DT since discovering them, accidentally as a matter of fact. I thought they were a metal band more than anything (Train of Thought was the first album I heard haha) and I have to admit, it was far more complex than any other bands around. I liked it and still do, a lot. From there on, I have been completely hooked to DT and enjoy all of their albums with the exception of two, which I don't have (When Day and Dream Unite and Falling Into Infinity). Extraordinary effort from the five mighty gents in SDOIT. I really love this album, but I find it an album I listen to sparingly, fearing if I were to listen to it more, I might lose some love. But nonetheless, it is always a special treat when listening to it. I would recommend the actual song "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" for classic prog fans, and then work your way up from there. If DT is not your cup of tea, try and try again, they are excellent. :)

1. "The Glass Prison" - 10/10

2. "Blind Faith" - 9/10

3. "Misunderstood" - 9/10

4. "The Great Debate" - 9/10

5. "Disappear" - 9/10

6. "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence"- 10/10

56/6 = 93.33% = 5 earned stars

Report this review (#281803)
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars More is often less, even though it often goes against our basic human desire for more. I thought Scenes from a Memory would have been a near masterpiece without some of the cheese and noodly filler. Instead of paring back with their next album, Dream Theater take the opposite approach and offer a double album.

Disc One. This is the Dream Theater that I just cannot get into. Plenty of tantalizing, awesome guitar from Petrucci, maniacal drumming from Portnoy, and flair from Rudess, but level of cheese and filler keep me from coming back (and I'll refrain from nitpicking LaBrie's vocals here as well).

Disc Two. The upside in producing a double album is that if you stretch your wings a bit, you're likely to offer something desirable to many audiences. For me, the Inner Turbulence suite hits the spot. If you remove the three middle songs (War..., Test... and Goodnight Kiss), the Dream has almost assembled an epic for the ages. There are lots of catchy melodies, a GREAT mix on the instruments (I can actually hear some bass!), and a very solid overall song structure in experimenting with variations on musical themes. Special mention to Rudess, who provides a wonderful variety of keys, fills, and rhythm (and avoids his habit of extended, superfast blaring synth runs). LaBrie also generally stays within his range, but boy oh boy does he really stretch out his lyrics, particularly at the end of the piece. You could say the 50 states in the time he holds on to some of these notes, maybe even do your taxes--you get the point! I would much prefer a blistering guitar solo for this dramatic ending, which we know Petrucci can deliver (Octavarium-style, perhaps?). These are small points, as the overall piece is quite strong prog.

Dream Theater fails to dream big and swing for the fences with Six Degrees, but even though you won't hit any homers with this strategy, you can still score runs (and make some cash!).

Report this review (#281869)
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a very underlooked album, i think its because its not the easiest to get into but once you do the rewards are plenty. Its quite experimental and noisy at times as well (the end of MISSUNDERSTOOD) its quite a bit heavyer too as the 7 string used a lot more (THE GLASS PRISION) its also a lot more melodic and beautiful (BLIND FAITH, DISAPPEAR). It is of course the 42 minute, 8 part title track (from the second cd) that is the main focus, like the song A Change Of Seasons it too is a rollercoaser ride of emotions and progressive twists and turns. This is also one of the first albums to be produced by both John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy themselves meaning the production is first class (as is the musicmanship) with not one duff song to be found. the lyrical concept of this album is also interesting as i feel it mostly deals a lot with religion giving different situations for example in BLIND FAITH i think its about James dealing with being an athiest, while on THE GREAT DEBATE the topic of stem cell research comes up. The title track is the most interesting though as it deals with several type of people with different abilitys and their everyday lives, i just thought that was quite interesting;

The Glass Prison - 10/10 Blind Faith - 10/10 Misunderstood - 9/10 The Great Debate - 9/10 Disappear - 10/10 Degrees of Inner Turbulence - 10/10

My Conclusion? fantastic fantastic album, must buy, its the hardest DT album to crack, but stick with it and the work pays off.

Report this review (#284256)
Posted Sunday, May 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A 42 minute epic!

A solid release by the flagship band of progressive metal, Dream Theater. It took me a long time to decide whether to rate this 4 or 5 stars and in the end, I decided 4. While it is an amazing album, I wouldn't consider it essential.

A description of the music:

Disc 1: Disc 1 is made up of 5 songs. We start with arguably Dream Theaters heaviest song to date, "The Glass Prison." This, for me, is the best song on the first disc and is a lot more mature than the heavy songs on the album that would follow this one, Train of Thought. The composition, production, and musicianship of it are all top notch. "Blind Faith" takes a while to get in to, but it makes for an enjoyable track once you digest it. It also contains one of my favourite Dream Theater guitar solos and is a very different sound for a Petrucci solo. "Misunderstood" is a very underrated and beautiful song with amazing lyrics and an amazing chorus. However, the instrumental sections are awful. "The Great Debate" sounds like a mix of Tool and Megadeth. I find that the voices sections go on for too long. Everything in between however, should appeal to most prog metal fans. "Disappear" is a very emotional LaBrie song. It started out as amazing for me, but lost its magic over time. The outro however, is very touching.

Disc 2: Disc 2 is technically all one song, but split into 8 tracks. The "Overture" is almost completely an orchestra and makes for a very epic intro. "About To Crash" has a very memorable piano intro and is a contender for my favourite section of the epic. "War Inside My Head" is a very short section and is a heavy one. "The Test That Stumped Them All" contains some very intense drumming from Portnoy and he also does some humorous falsetto lyrics, although I believe they are meant to be funny. "Goodnight Kiss" features some beautiful singing from LaBrie and a very Gilmour-ish solo from Petrucci. "Solitary Shell" sounds similary to a song with a similar name, "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel. It has a sort of Latin sounding acoustic solo from Petrucci and a beautiful piano solo from Rudess. "About To Crash (Reprise)" is nowhere near the greatness of "About to Crash" as it doesn't really add anything significant. "Losing Time" has some of the best lyrics in the song and "Grand Finale" is just an unexplainably great outro to this track. A contender for my favourite song outro ever.


The epic: If you're going to made a 42 minute epic, it has to be pretty damn good. The epic here is wonderful, although it has its weak spots, such as "About To Crash (Reprise)." Overall though, the song is amazing.

The musicianship on "The Glass Prison": The musicianship here is spectacular. The drumming in "The Glass Prison" is VERY tough (known from experience) and the sweeping solo in the intro also requires a lot of skill while doing a perfect job of setting the mood for the song. The bass playing in that song is also amazing. Rudess, as usual, is doing amazing on the keyboards.

Vocals: This is when I found LaBrie was really beginning to find his range again after the food poisoning incident. He sings beautifully in "Goodnight Kiss" and hits some high notes with ease in "The Glass Prison." The also really like his voice in "The Great Debate."


Production: The random distortion of vocals tends it get annoying at times and feels unneeded.

First disc lyrics: The lyrics in "The Glass Prison," "Blind Faith," and "The Great Debate" are not DT's best. "The Great Debate" lyrics are at times downright laughable.

Missing something?: I don't know what it is, as the album is over 90 minutes in length and has a 42 minute epic, yet it just feels like it's missing a certain something which I'm not sure of and it just makes me feel empty.

Song ratings: Disc one: The Glass Prison: 10/10 Blind Faith: 9.5/10 Misunderstood: 9/10 The Great Debate: 8/10 Disappear: 7/10 Disc two: Overture: 10/10 About to Crash: 10/10 War Inside My Head: 6/10 The Test That Stumped Them All: 7/10 Goodnight Kiss: 9.5/10 Solitary Shell: 10/10 About To Crash (Reprise): 5/10 Losing Time: 9/10 Grand Finale: 10.5/10

Recommended for: Fans of a mainstream metal sound thats not too mainstream. Fans of long songs.

My rating: 4 stars. I was arguing between 4 and 5 stars for quite a long time and then finally decided to go with 4. A recommended buy for sure.

Report this review (#285523)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars definitely another masterpiece like Scenes From a Memory. but this was the 1st Dream Theater studio album t00 feature a double disc because of the title track. to this date, the title track is the currently the longest Dream Theater song becuase the title track is 42 minutes long but is split into 8 parts. The Glass Prison: great way t00 open the album and its the 1st part of Mike Portnoy's AA Saga. the song Finally Free, which is off the Scenes From a Memory album has this white sound that continues t00 the song. and around 1:30, all hell breaks loose. its all crazy. especially the solo. an amazing song. definitely one of my favorites on the album and also one of my Top 5 Dream Theater songs of all time. Blind Faith: great song. sounds great. i love the Chorus and the solos. Misunderstood: uh, idk. its a great song but i dnt listen t00 it that much. The Great Debate: a song bout Stem Cell research. it starts off with spoken lines about Stem Cell Research. then the band enters around 2 minutes. thats when it starts getting good. i like how James sings the chorus t00 the song, its amazing, thats why i liked the song. i like the chorus, and the keyboard/guitar solo Disappear: uh, idk wat t00 say for this one. its an ok song. i dnt listen t00 it that much. this is my review of the Disc 1. now Disc 2 Overture: its just an Overture. an instrumental. an orchestra. written by Jordan. About to Crash: another favorite off this album. it starts off with a piano intro by Jordan. then the band enters. i like how James sings the whole song. i loved it 1st time hearing it. War Inside My Head: a 2 minute song. its great but i just don't care for it The Test That Stumped Them All: great song. i like the title. the song after War Inside My Head and of course, John starts the song off with some fast guitar playing. its heavy all the way through. another favorite off the album, Goodnight Kiss: great song. i just liked the solo. Solitary Shell: .great acoustic guitar playing. i like the chorus a lot. About to Crash (Reprise): it starts off with an amazing guitar riff. i like how John plays it and how James sings this one. Losing Time/Grand Finale: its the Grand Finale for a 42 minute epic. i would give this a 10/10.
Report this review (#290320)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7/10

"Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is in perfect balance between Metal and Progressive.

Some Dream Theater albums are praised to death, some are and will be eternally snubbed, and then there the ones in the middle. "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is one of these. Dream Theater fans will consider this one of their best albums, and haters will bring up this album as an example of why they hate this band. I'm not the hugest Dream Theater fan, but I'm a big fan of almost all these musicians. But "Six Degrees" is not an album of the musicians (like "Train Of Thought"), but I can't quite call it a traditional DT album. This is "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", in many ways one of the most unique albums of the band.

First off; this album has two discs, Disc one has five, long songs, Disc two is one forty minute song, the title track. There has been a big debate whether which Disc is better, and personally I'm comfortable saying that the first one crushes the second one. While the title track isn't bad, Disc one, if it were one album, might have been my second favorite DT album.

The reason why this isn't a traditional DT album is because there is, stylistically, tons of progressive, tons of keyboards and tons of nice electronic sounds. But it's also a nice, heavy album with hammering riffs and what not. "Six Degrees" stands in perfect balance between metal and progressive. The length of the songs is very stretched, averagely ten minutes ( if we count the title track), between mind blowing bridges, insane keyboards, strong mighty riffs, and a powerful wall of sound. But there are also a good handful of softer moments, in the first disc but even and especially in the title track/ suite, where at least half of the parts are ballads. The thing I'm most happy about though is that, especially in the first half of the album, there is not a lot of cheese, as a matter of fact, I can barely hear it! The second disc unfortunately kills my hopes, or at least for just a few moments (some of the ballads).

Disc one is a tour de force of progressive metal, disc two a good, worth listening to addiction overall. The thirteen minute opener "The Glass Prison" is the incarnation of a violent nightmare, energetic, tons of things are going on, it stretches very well and has excellent musicianship. "Blind Faith" is a calmer song, but very good as well, with nice arrangements, good chorus, and again nice performances by the musicians. But the most interesting song (not the best) of the first part is "Misunderstood", one of the most keyboard driven DT songs and one of the most progressive ones as well. It builds up, but there never really is a huge explosion that eventually leads to a crazy bridge, it turns up the volume a little bit but then it quiets down again, until the song ends. "The Great Debate" is another beast like "The Glass Prison",, but somewhat more atmospheric, and more political too. It is played in a kind of Tool-esque vein, but it doesn't bother me at all, since I do love that band. Surprisingly, there are no virtuous moments, or at least not as huge as DT usually makes them. "Disappear" is the weakest song here for me, it's a good ballad, and thank god it's not cheesy at all, it has actually a good melody, but I tend to forget about it.

Disc 2 is a little more, let's say, poppier, despite being a forty minute suite. It has some heavy and crazy parts ( "The Test That Stumped Them All"), but these are very few. Starting with a long, orchestral overture ( because of the mix between some modern, typical DT instruments and the orchestra, it reminds of another prog metal suite, "The Odyssey" by Symphony X) that ends with the starting of a slow song ("About To Crash"), then a short song that promises heaviness ("War Inside My Head") and it keeps it, as the following part clearly is the best part of the suite (the mentioned "the Test That Stumped Them All"), but after that comes a spacey ballad ("Goodnight Kiss") and then a sort of cheesy ballad ("Solitary Shell"). Things don't get any heavier, there's a reprise of "About To Crash" and "Grand Finale", that closes the suite, as well as the album.

Overall "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is a really good effort by Dream Theater, some of these songs I consider to be some of the best songs by the band. If you're DT fan and for whatever reason you never listened to this album, make sure you change that as soon as possible. Also, you'll most likely love it if you're a prog metal fan.

Report this review (#290526)
Posted Friday, July 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars And experimental review number two:

5(+) ...

Indeed, because side two (well, in my opinion, this could have been done as 80 minutes CD with a little bit of editing, even deleting 16 minutes would probably hurt - OK, bad idea) is simply perfect. This is exactly the song (I've first listened it as one big epic song on Score CD) that got me into Progressive music. There is simply everything (maybe you've heard it too much [this phrase], but this is the best description of this music, from classical-like intro, to Rocking 2nd part, to short and long hell (3rd - straighforward, yet thrilling, 4th - complex), then sudden change to ballad-like (tear inducting) 5th that has strong melody part, 6th acoustic guitar one (with overlapping to other genres of course), 7th, boosted up reprise and also grand finale (hello Octavarium).

The rest of songs are very good in my opinion (I used to skip them just to hear SDoIT, but not anymore, once I understood how good they can be, the bad thing is that they're simply overshadowed by epic of epics - epic that really works, that is maintaining quality and melodicity). This is top for me.

Irrelevant note: I used to attract girls to come and listen this wonderful music with me. With moderate success.

/chaotic review

Report this review (#299873)
Posted Monday, September 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is proof that Dream Theater is not just "a metal band with progressive tendencies", but a true progressive rock band. I think this 2 disc album is their symphonic masterpiece. On the first disc, I really like the first 3 tracks, and I think the last 2 are ok, but the 2nd disc is really what makes this album so great. The 45 minute Six Degrees suite is, in my opinion, one of the best things Dream Theater has done. Engaging lyrics, epic instrumentation, and balance between heavy and not are what lend to Six Degrees' greatness. Overall, phenomenal album, especially from a prog standpoint.

Rating: 9/10

Report this review (#303029)
Posted Saturday, October 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars Yeah, so this album pretty much is generic and once again fails to live up to what Dream Theater is capable of. The fundamental problem of this album is that it has no identity. Its focus is divided between two different disks each veering wildly in too many different directions. There is no sense of cohesiveness or unified . So here we go:

Disk 1:

The Glass Prison- and here we begin the Mike Portnoy project which at this point is still interesting, and remains interesting up to and including This dying soul (off of Train of Thought). After that it becomes a tedious and repetitive train wreck. This song is OK, but just that. Just OK.

Blind Faith- Best song on the album for me. Solid from beginning to end.

Misunderstood- For the most part a great song, but it goes off the rails at the very end wasting 3 minutes of time in a wannabe King Crimson esque discordant improvisation. This part is unnecessary and really brings down the rest of the song.

The Great Debate- Comes off sounding like a failed Tool song. Long winded and ultimately boring.

Disappear- Just awful. Please James, stop writing lyrics. This song is discordant and has no focus. I've listened to it maybe 3 times in my lifetime. Songs like this and Prophets of War really prove that Labrie should just show up, look pretty and sing the lines. Leave the lyric writing to Myung (who is the only one who can rival Moore's lyrics) and maybe Petrucci if he promises to stop writing such cheesy garbage about dark masters and rare vintage wine.

So that's the end of disk one, yes already. Just 5 songs and 2 of them are terrible, so in the end, disk 1 is pretty empty and one that I rarely ever listen to.

Disk 2:

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence- What ever, seriously. Many people would label this song as Flat out lame. Well it is, kinda lame, but I consider it a guilty pleasure. Its so very strait forward and plays by the numbers never really doing anything interesting. Its just 42 minutes of generic music, and way below DT's standards. It does nothing which I would define as Dream Theater.

So overall, this album is a failure, especially following Scenes. Its just all over the place, switching wildly from one sound to another. Albums like Images and Awake had a wide variety of melodies and arrangements but at the end of the day It all sounded like it belonged on those albums. SDOIT is just an experiment, and not a very good one.

Report this review (#312572)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dream Theater really reach its peak with the masterpiece "Metropolis pt. 2: Scenes from a memory", but they will fall in quality? NO! They supply us with another masterpiece, "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence ".

Launched in 2002, this is an album that seems to be better every listening to each.A double album, semi-conceptual, consisting of five fantastic bands between 6-13 minutes on the first CD and a monster 42 minutes on the second disc.

I will not go into detail about each track, but I can say that all six bright, and I find no fault in any of them (although "Overture" and the two parts of "About to Crash" tend to be somewhat boring).

And then? 5 stars! A wonder!

Report this review (#319885)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
5 stars Symphonic Dream Theater!

Here we have a widely considered Dream Theater masterpiece. Now for Dream Theater to achieve a widely synonymously high rating is (sadly) quite rare. From that, you can infer that Dream Theater's only double studio album is quite the beast of an album. Comprised of only 6 tracks, 5 on disc one and the all together 1 on disc 2, the disc is a sea of symphonic progressive metal. Oddly enough, if the progressive failure of Falling into Infinity hadn't occurred, neither would have this album (or its studio predecessor). When Dream Theater went back into the studio in 1997, they were kept under a watchful eye by a producer who had a commercial breakthrough in mind. He thwarted Dream Theater's idea of having a double album named Falling Into Infinity, where there would be a significantly different Falling into Infinity disc 1, then an entire disc 2 dedicated to an epic 20-30 minute long Metropolis Part 2. To compensate for their desire for a double album, Dream Theater composed Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, a massive 42 minute long track to occupy an entire disc of an album. Along with this, they wrote 5 other, quite incredible, tracks to occupy the first disc. And now, we have Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.

The Glass Prison is the quintessential technical Dream Theater song. Easily one of my favorite tracks by the band, the overall smack-in-the-face technicality and brutality of the track continues to astonish me to this day. The main reason for this: those damn arpeggios. Petrucci has really outdone himself on this one. The incredible speed, agility, and technique needed to play the part is just astounding. Also, away from the crazy guitar part, the lyrical theme is great. With this track, Portnoy begins his story of the Alcoholic Anonymous program he went through. The symbolism of the glass prison he was locked in is incredible. All together, the song presents a killer package of incredible musicianship, fantastic lyrical value, and just an overall great track!

Blind Faith is a great track, but I was never really able to get into it as much as The Glass Prison. The real high points of this album are LaBrie's incredible melodies that really make the song soar. I think any song titled or themed Blind Faith is great lyrically, and this song is no different. The instrumental section is great, with some really nice soling done by all the guys. Other than that, I really don't have very much to say about the track, other than that it's great, but can't really stand up next to the Glass Prison.

Misunderstood is purely fantastic. Melancholy and somber for most of the way, the song just kills in every way. Lyrically, the song is great, talking about how ironic society and its flaws are. Musically, the song is perfectly haunting and somber. Although the instrumental/experimental section at the end of the song is quite odd and out of sorts, it puts out a poignant message?Dream Theater is not all prog metal all the time. Dream Theater can stretch their style in whatever way they see necessary!

The Great Debate is another out-of-sorts Dream Theater song. I mean, the band makes a direct reference to George Bush! Gasp! Even with the cultural references, the song is a great song. Great polyrhythmic moments, and some great experimental vocal and instrumental passages pepper this track in fantastic ways. On this disc one can see that Dream Theater is really experimenting with a great many sounds. This song is still a rockin' Dream Theater song, but it also gives a breath of fresh air in the creativity department.

Disappear is the only weak track on the album. Yea it's alright, but it's not spectacular in the least. The music is very melancholy and slow, more like a post-rock song than anything else. The symphonic sounding keyboards are modulated into oblivion. Overall, this track just isn't very good.

Here we have it, kids, the longest damn track Dream Theater has ever written, broken into 8 parts so we fans don't claw our faces off trying to find the best part. Now some people will try to say Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is eight separate tracks, but they're wrong. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is one giant 42 minute track of purely epic proportions. This song really flexes Dream Theater's symphonic muscles, especially with Rudess' 6 minute symphonic overture composed entirely by him and preformed by him on his great keyboard (of course live they have a massive orchestra to do the work for him). Dream Theater has noted many times that this song has a great many obvious influences, such as Kansas (as heard in the riff sounding oddly similar to The Wall), Pantera (The Test that Stumped Them All), and others. The track overall is just wonderful. Each part has a very special story along with it, following the concept of the whole track. Each part details the story of someone who has a metal disability, whether it's bipolar disease (About to Crash), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (War in My Head), Schizophrenia (Test that Stumped them All), Autism (Solitary Shell), or others. Musically, the song is pure genius, with soft sweeping majestic passages of beauty, crushingly heavy metal sections, somber and beautiful sections, symphonic sections, vocal sections, instrumental sections, pretty much everything that progressive music is made of can be found within this absolutely massive track. Overall, this song is one of the best Dream Theater tracks out there, right up there with Metropolis, A Change of Seasons, or Octavarium!

ALBUM OVERALL: For some reason, it's difficult for Dream Theater to get a widely-considered masterpiece out. With Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, they did it. Appealing not only to the many metal fans the band has, the album also has a great symphonic appeal also. Every song on the album, even they are a little weak, has a certain charm and creativity that in some ways has been lost on Dream Theater's music. Sadly, many people call Dream Theater's music a stale and too traditional Progressive Metal, but what they fail to realize is that Dream Theater essentially invented that Progressive Metal sound. 5 stars.

Report this review (#357589)
Posted Sunday, December 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I first listened to this album I thought that it was a good album but the more I listened to it, the more I took the time to discover it attentively, the more I realized that this is somewhat the underrated gem in the discography of the most important progressive metal band of all times. This album is a truly progressive album and has something of a modern version of a classical symphony. A Beethoven or Wagner could not have created something more epic and diversified than Dream Theater create not only in the outstanding title track but also in some parts of the other parts that do not have the same level of "epic sound" and greatness but that are brilliantly executed and at least very good too.

"The Glass Prison" is the first part of another famous epic masterpiece of Dream Theater, the twelve-step suite. This modern, surprisingly fast and heavy song is one of the best parts of this epic conceptual track that would be followed by four other tracks on the next albums. The sound effects are very interesting and progressive and especially the keyboards do a certainly great job here. The only problem with this song is that it gets somewhat lost in its own heaviness and lacks of creating a melodic chorus, a truly catchy riff or other memorable moments. That's why this song is good or at some point even very good. But it isn't an outstanding one. But as I said, it is a promising and highly entertaining beginning of a new saga.

The second track "Blind Faith" is smoother than the opener and surprises with a very atmospheric and relaxing introduction. Especially the keyboards do once again an outstanding job on this track and create exotic folk sounds. Sadly, this calm song goes somehow nowhere after a very promising beginning and lacks of a catchy or epic chorus or some surprising breaks. The intro and outro are great but the middle part is only of an average quality and somewhat boring and that's why this track is the weakest one on the whole record.

The third song is called "Misunderstood" and is a sleepy, smooth and soft ballad that surprises with a weird guitar technique where a solo is reversed and creates a very eerie and addicting effect. Another strong point is once again the keyboard work and one must admit that this album is probably Jordan Rudess' masterpiece. All in all, this calm track is a song that grows more and more as time goes by even though it could maybe have been cut down a little bit and has a couple of lengths.

"The Great Debate" is a conceptual song with highly interesting lyrics. It starts with a very progressive intro where a debate is hold and different sound patterns and collages from speeches and interviews are included. The song surprises with a stunning drumming by Mike Portnoy who is delivering an amazing job. The once again great keyboard effects and strange vocal effects give this song a somewhat modern, progressive and apocalyptical touch and surprise us again and again. That's why this song is able to maintain the tension and be highly interesting until the very end.

The last song from the first disc is called "Disappear" and is a calm track with a somewhat eerie atmosphere because of a very spacey intro and an as amazing outro. The keyboards once again carry this song as well as the very touching lyrics. The monotone and repeating middle part fits to the sensitive and sad topic and I wouldn't see this as a negative point even though this song is obviously not as addicting as the previous one.

And then comes the title track, a masterpiece with a length of forty-two minutes and not one single minute of this symphony is boring or unnecessary. There are so many changes and emotions in this epic song that almost works like a movie or at least as a movie score that it would be way too long to describe everything that happens in the eight different parts of the song. The orchestration is great and almost sounds like if a true orchestra was playing. This shows once again what an amazing job especially Jordan Rudess does on this whole record. The live version on the "Score" album with a true orchestra is even more intense than this one. Lyrics and music perfectly fit together and it is an amazing pleasure to go for a ride on this epic journey and voyage through the highly interesting minds of six degrees of inner turbulence. Each different part of the song has a very special mood that fits to the concerned turbulence and creates images and ideas in our minds. This is like cinema for your ears. If I had to chose one single song to represent the band Dream Theater to someone I would pick this epic track or the easier to listen to first part of "Metropolis" because of its rather short length. This song is maybe the opus magnum of Dream Theater and not just one of many superb epic tracks. If you are a fan of Dream Theater and don't have this album yet, you should correct this lack right now and you surely won't regret to buy this intellectual masterpiece.

To keep it short, you get delivered one unforgettable and outstanding masterpiece, two extremely strong tracks, two good ones and only one weaker track on the whole record. Just the title track is worth buying this album. In my opinion this is one of their best records ever. It grows more and more every time you listen to it and has to be at least in my top five albums of Dream Theater even if I was sceptical in the beginning. So, if you truly admire the band in general, it is simply impossible to dislike this record. And this record may even please to people that are no metal heads but fans of progressive rock, krautrock, classical symphonies or operas. This is a great album for anyone that is able to take its time to listen to and appreciate music. Let me formulate it like this: Glory to the patient ones as they will truly live an adorable experience by listening to this record that slowly becomes one of my favourite ones of Dream Theater.

Originally published on on January 23rd of the year 2011.

Report this review (#379068)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The spirit carries on...

Boosted by the success of Scenes from a Memory the band returned to the studio for an ambitious, two disc, concept album.

The Good: The opening track not only kicks off the album, but also set in motion the 12 step suite, a series of songs spanning five albums which was inspired by Mike Portnoy's battle with alcoholism. Despite moderate competition from As I Am and, to a certain extent, Repentance, The Glass Prison definitely remains the strongest track of the lot.

6DOIT marks Dream Theater's first foray into the world of sociopolitical lyrics with The Great Debate, and features extensive usage of spoken samples which explore the track's theme. This idea was revisited on Octavarium's Sacrificed Sons, although that later effort lacked the fantastic instrumentation found here. Blind Faith also has a top quality breakdown which brings back memories of 1992, and follows some high pitched choruses from James Labrie which have since proved to be unreachable in a live setting (ref. Chaos in Motion).

Despite being a bit too long for its own good Misunderstood is still an important part of the album and showcases an interesting guitar technique first used by The Beatles. After composing the guitar solo John Petrucci learnt to play it backwards, recorded it, then reversed the recording leaving the original idea, but with an eerie twist.

All in all its a solid first disc and could easily have been released on its own, but the main event here is of course the mammoth title track which spans the entire second disc. It would be unfair to compare it directly to Dream Theater's other epic tracks, being over twice as long and split into eight sections, but it does go without saying that its one of their greatest achievements to date.

The lyrics focus on a number of mental illnesses including schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder and this variety is also reflected in the music. I love pretty much all of this piece but my absolute favourite sections are Solitary Shell, About to Crash and its reprise.

The Bad: Despite ending with an awesome guitar solo the lyrics of Goodnight Kiss are kinda lame.

The Grand Finale is a little bit too drawn out, even by Dream Theater's overblown standards.

And then there's Dissapear. I really wish it would.

The Verdict: F4 on the Fujita scale.

Report this review (#499131)
Posted Sunday, August 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Quite possibly the best album Dream Theater has ever made.

(Well, it used to be until "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" came out)

It seems to me that this is a very medical and disease related album, but more on that later. The real juiciness begins with "The Glass Prison", the beginning of 5 songs that would be a part of Mike Portnoy's Twelve-Step Suite. The entire song begins and ends with a brick through your skull. It's a straight up heavy tune, and it's all metal from beginning to end. But while Rudess did begin his debut in '99 on "Metropolis, Pt. 2", he lights up this track, shredding with Myung late in the track in a dual solo session. Add to that the cheesy (but incredibly interesting) turntable action by Rudess, and you get one of the best songs Dream Theater has ever made.

Quite a departure from "Blind Faith", which I think is one of the best driving songs by far from the outfit. This is really a song that makes you stare out into a setting sun and wonder about life and what's to come. It's a catchy chorus, and funky with a blusey guitar solo and funky organ by Petrucci and Rudess. It's a great combination with "Misunderstood". The radio edit version would definitely be on the radios if only they knew that the term "metal" didn't just refer to a steel beam. It's a catchy chorus that everyone can love and, for prog fans who think it's a sell out, is followed by two sections of atonal chords and massive noodling, especially by Rudess, which is almost a prelude to his acquisition of the Continuum.

That segues into "The Great Debate", another very underrated Dream Theater track. It, like the title track, is very medically based, on the subject of stem cell research, and it's a very clever and well composed track around the subject. Only LaBrie and Petrucci can create a song about an obscure topic like stem cell research and turn it into an amazing track. Finally, "Disappear" ends the first disc. Although I don't know what makes those sounds in the intro, it's a very haunting track, and something about it just draws me towards it every time. There's some sort of hypnotic effect with this song, and it's fascinating.

Then we get to the main course. "Six Degrees Of Seperation". As stated once before, I am a personal fan of overtures, and this one is no exception. The structure around this epic is wonderfully composed and each theme fits each song, as each track is structured around a fictional character with a disease or mental illness. It's a 42 minute ER show, without people dying, nurses crying and pale, white hallways everywhere.

This is a fantastic album everywhere you look. Yes, "Metropolis, Pt. 2" defined a true concept album in the modern era of progressive metal, but this is just an evolutionary step above that. This is development, this is progress, this is continuously developing music at work and another album that has helped define the genre as we know it. A must have for anyone and everyone.

Report this review (#523416)
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 2-discs with nearly 100 minutes of Dream Theater? this should be a no brainer...well, actually its not...

starting with the first of the "12-step": The Glass Prison. heavy and frantic, 7/10

Blind Faith: somehow, DT manage to haul it up to 10 minutes when it would have been perfect at 6-7 but its actually quite a good song 7/10 Misunderstood: again, a song that goes on too long, and this one is average, at best 5/10

The Great Debate: the best piece on the album (all of it)...i really like the interplay with the voices. 9/10 (would have given it 10 if the had taken a stand in the end!)

Disappear: writing this review, i cant remember how it sounds so it must be quite a poor song. 3/10

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: DT's attempt at Pink Floyd's Echoes (its almost twice as long)? doesn't end up quite as good as that masterpiece. the instrumental parts are awesome and probably up there amongst their best works. the other bits seem to be filling up the spaces in between and tend to meander wihtout direction with the exception of The Test That Stumped Them All which, Pantera rip-off (tribute) or not, is an interesting piece of work and quite unique.

in all, inconsistent but the good pieces are really good.

Report this review (#537742)
Posted Friday, September 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Coming off of Metropolis: Part Two, I was a bit surprised by the change of tone in the first disc, with many avant garde touches and innovative techniques that seemed quite foreign to the Dream Theater I had previously known of. But I guess the instrumental variation that comes with this release was the only cause of my praise.

Perhaps I just don't get it. I'm not an avid music fan, and don't immerse myself in the everyday happenings of progressive music - but Dream Theater has always seemed like it was divided into two sections of listeners, those who love it, and those who don't. I just, don't happen to enjoy their music all that much.

Sure, there's some really good moments in the first disc that are worth some listening, but there never really struck me to hold much lasting power. I mean, there's albums that can stay with you for a long time, if not forever; but this release didn't seem to want to hit those heights. So it just didn't with me.

Sure, we've got the 42 minute suite (that I don't really consider a single song), the title track, which has all matter of moods and alternations, and really harks back to the earlier works of Dream Theater, it's just... I guess it could have been shorter, less drawn out and meandering. I guess I'm a man of contradictions when it comes to meandering. Sometimes it's nice to see a band latch onto a really spectacular piece of instrumentation, but other times it can really get pushed too far and lose some credability in the process. The same with Metropolis Part Two, I really felt there were parts that gel into a really entertaining and wonderful piece of progressive music, and other parts that simply don't do it for me.

And I guess, it's really just got to be a relative experience for everyone. It just wasn't the best album I've ever heard, and I have the feeling in a few years I probably won't remember much of it at all.


Report this review (#572691)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Even before you reach the Six Degrees suite, the band are very brave with the things they cover; dying, alchoholism, stem cell research, a lack of or losing faith. Strong stuff indeed, but they're not forced upon you. The lyrics are strong but the music backs it up very well. The theme within the album seems to be things that people are touched or affected by, or things people come across in their lifetime. It's all very brave stuff indeed as more often than not when one attempts to cover such topics, they embarrass themselves.

Many criticise DT for cliched lyrics and that's fair enough, but one of my favourite things about prog is the concepts within albums and sometimes you just gotta use some cliches. That said, LaBrie is on top form throughout the album, his singing expressive. You feel he's trapped in "The Glass Prison", the lyrics are given with punch and you can hear the despair in his voice. on the flip side however, you hear the sadness in "Disappear". The sadness not just coming from the music or lyrics but from the way he sings the lyrics, you do wonder just how personal the song is to him. Musically, there are no faults. It's typical Dream Theater, never missing a beat, never missing a note, technical perfection. You're reminded somewhat of Crimsons "The Talking Drum" upon the introduction of "The Great Debate", one of the strongest tracks on the first part of the album. An epic covering the debate over stem cell research and its correctness. Littered with snippets of media coverage etc, it really does make you think to yourself where you stand within the debate itself. Strong lyrics and fantastic delivery from James, as well as stellar work from the rest of the band, look out for the chorus and the fantastic drum work on the intro and outro. As mentioned, the album in its entriety features impeccable work from the band musically and lyrically, however the strongest tracks are "The Glass Prison", with its fast pace and heavy use of differing time signatures, brick hard lyrics and at times crushing guitar work. "The Great Debate", for reasons already mentioned, "Disappear", a song which is delivered so brilliantly it can be almost heartbreaking to listen to, and will move you on every listen. And finally the Six Degrees suite.

A bombastic production is found within the SDoIT suite, which brings in an orchestra, and a concept within itself. Had this been released on its own it would still have been worth purchasing the album. Covering six different psychological disorders, (of which there is still some debate over exactly what disorders they are), it is a journey. Lyrically it's solid as a rock, absolutely solid. Bipolar is covered in the section "About to Crash", and exceptionally so, with uplifting music but opposite lyrics. This technique is also used in the section "Solitary Shell", covering Autism/Aspergers. A very uplifting progression, not quite matched by the serious lyrics.

When an album moves you it's difficult to describe in words. You can describe how terrific an album is when it's really good, and you can slam an album that's awful, but when it hits somewhere within you, it's hard to explain. This is what this album does. I'm not a metal fan at all, this is the closest I get to metal. It doesn't even matter what you listen to, this album should be listened to, end of. Without a doubt an album that should be in among any prog- heads collection.

In terms of a rating, I'd rate it 93%, kept from perfection only by the slightly weaker (but still very good) "Blind Faith", which musically sounds somewhat out of place with the rest of the music on the album.

Report this review (#627716)
Posted Monday, February 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars My reaction to Six Degrees is much the same as my reaction to Scenes From a Memory: I'm impressed by Dream Theater's technical capabilities, but at the same time the whole thing fails to connect me on an emotional or an atmospheric level, leaving me with a super-indulgent display of technicality for technicality's sake.

Referring to the second disc as a single 42 minute song stretches the definition of "song" to breaking point (I'd be more inclined to say it's a continuous concept album/rock opera myself); I don't get why people are so blown away by Dream Theater doing this when bands ranging from Jethro Tull to Pink Floyd to The Who to Marillion to Edge of Sanity had done album-length suites of continuous music before, to a similar degree of technical accomplishment as Dream Theater but at the same time also succeeding in engaging the listener on an emotional level and establishing a distinctive atmosphere.

In short, I just plain don't get Dream Theater. But if you do you may as well try this one out, you'll probably like it.

Report this review (#645741)
Posted Sunday, March 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars One would think it would be impossible to follow up after the amazing Scenes From A Memory, but Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence does that and more, pushing the Dream Theater sound to new levels. The album is definitely Dream Theater's most experimental effort. They incorporate alternative into their sound, they use different and interesting techniques (see guitar solo on Misunderstood), and also approach a few songs with a more metal approach (Glass Prison). Every musician is at their peak here, especially Jordan, whose contribution to this album makes it as great as it is.

The album kicks off with the great 'Glass Prison,' which is part one of the 12-step suite. The song represents Dream Theater at their heaviest, with loud and deep metal riffs and pounding drums. Petrucci is really good here, as is Portnoy. Rudess also adds some subtle touches with his keys, but unfortunately, besides the opening riff, Myung's bass is mostly drowned out by the guitar. This would become a trend in later albums as Dream Theater explores the more metal side of prog. Nonetheless, this remains one of Dream Theater's best songs.

'Blind Faith' is a slightly more commercial song with an alternative feel. For whatever reason, it works. The song still does have a Dream Theater sound, especially in the middle where Rudess and Petrucci have another solo battle.

'Misunderstood' is perhaps Dream Theater's most experimental song. It opens with some slower melancholic singing from LaBrie and eventually transforms into another Alternative feel before going into a 'She's So Heavy' like riff accompanied by Jordan's haunting keys. Petrucci uses a technique similar to George Harrison in I'm Only Sleeping by reversing an original solo and learning to play that. The last two minutes is a bunch of guitar screeching that gives a rather uneasy feeling.

'The Great Debate' has an epic intro filled with samples of people talking about stem cell research over a gritty Myung bass line. The buildup is great and features some of chaotic drumming before settling into a nice heavy riff. I would easily consider this one of Mike Portnoy's best drumming exhibitions, and Petrucci's solo at ten minutes in is also one of his best. The song is as Dream Theater as you can get, but also reminds me of both tool and Liquid Tension Experiment.

'Disappear' is a unique song with lyrics by James LaBrie. It has the similar sound the group was experimenting with in this album, but is much darker and more melancholic. LaBrie does an amazing job here and it is one of the few slower songs that I really like. If the first disc was Experimental, then the second disc is pure Dream Theater at the core.

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is perhaps the best music Dream Theater has ever done. I don't consider it song per say, but rather a bunch of smaller songs that form a suite. Song or not, it belongs to Jordan; his piano and keyboard are all over it and really gives it a nice prog feel.

The suite starts off with the lovely 'Overture,' which is Dream Theater experimenting with a more orchestral sound they would later explore more in Octavarium. The sound is very dramatic and warm, but really like nothing else Dream Theater has done.

The Overture segues beautifully into 'About to Crash,' a fun song with an uplifting vide despite the rather depressing lyrics covering bipolar disorder.

'War Inside My Head' and 'The Test That Stumped' Them All are about Shell Shock and Schizophrenia, respectively. The two are the more metal sounding songs of the suite.

'Goodnight Kiss' is a nice slower song with a strong Pink Floyd vibe, especially with John Petrucci's solo, which I believe remains to be the best he's ever done. The song is very melancholic and perhaps the saddest song Dream Theater has done as well, and is evidence that they aren't this overly technical band which lacks emotion.

'Solitary Shell' is probably my favorite song of the suite. The main melody on acoustic guitar is dangerously close to Solsbury Hill (both are in 7/4), but Jordan's piano melody makes it unique. The instrumental part about four minutes in is pure Dream Theater and is led, again, by Jordan's keys. Myung's bass can also be heard throughout the song which is always nice.

A reprise of 'About to Crash' is the next song. It has some different instrumental parts but mostly draws from the other songs.

The ending is the dramatic 'Losing Time/Grand Finale' which concludes the suite by referencing the other song lyrics. It's a beautiful ending to a beautiful album.

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence remains one of my favorite Dream Theater records and is one of their best along with Images, Awake, and Scenes. Unfortunately, they will never reach this point of artistic creativity with any of their albums again, but will stick with the more comfortable Dream Theater sound.


Report this review (#771377)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dream Theater is one of the most important rock acts of the last years. After the masterpiece Metropolis Part II Scenes From A Memory, everyone waited the next album of Dream Theater. Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence came out in 2002, and it is awesome. The first disc is more metal than the other albums of DT, with tracks like The Glass Prison or The Great Debate. The music is always complex and progressive of course, but the metal is more present. It's foreshadowing the next album Train Of Thought. The second disc is more progressive and less metal than the first disc and it's better. It's composed of one single track of forty two minutes. From the Overture, to the folk Solitary Sheel, the epic Finale, the crazy The Test That Stumped Them All or the beautiful Goodnight Kiss, this suite is just awesome and it's one of the best moments of all the discography of Dream Theater. The band will never make an other album like that.
Report this review (#1046567)
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the most frustrating albums from Dream Theater for me. The thing is, even though I really love this band, and they have done some of my very favourites songs, somehow I have not been able to love any single album of theirs from start to end, they always have some songs that kind of turn me off. Now, the frustrating aspect of the album: CD1 would have been just the very album that I would have considered a Masterpiece from them, with every single song being an absolute killer (except perhaps for the closer, which I still find very good, but just doesn't reach the excellence of the rest of the CD); however, CD2, the "Six Degrees" suite, just doesn't do it for me.

About CD1, it's all perfect Prog Metal Dream Theater, mostly heavy, and I guess the best part of it, with just about no ballad, except for the closer, but even that one isn't as bad a ballad as they usually do, nor does it have those annoying "trademark" LaBrie high vocals that just don't work on their tipical ballad. "The Glass Prison" is easily among my very favourite DT songs, and the rest are just as good. This would easily have done a 5 star album.

On the other side, CD2 just doesn't live up to the first one. It just doesn't have such memorable melodies, nor riffs, and this one has got those ballad moments I was so grateful that were absent from the first disc. Actually, this CD has got very little metal indeed... though I won't deny it's got a lot of prog. I guess this would be the closer they have come to doing a prog piece of music without being prog-metal. The one song I really love on this disc is "War Inside my Head" (which happens to be the heaviest moment on the CD), but it's by far the shortest one. There are some very good moments around too, specially the instrumental second half of the song "Goodnight Kiss", which is lovely, though unfortunatley the first part just doesn't do a thing for me (I wish this solo had been part of "War Inside my Head" instead, and then that would have been a really killer song). As a final note, I just would not consider this CD to be a single 40 min + song, the different songs are pretty well identifiable for the most part. They are all undoubtedley part of the same whole, but not one single song. This CD would be 3 stars for me. So, in the end the album as a whole gets 4 stars.

Report this review (#1088748)
Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is a turning point in the career of Dream Theater . Two CDs that are a photo of the double face of Dream Theater . The first CD is the most experimental, different from what was done in the past the group.

The intro of "The Glass Prison" is evil and aggression, perhaps comparable only to the couple "The Mirror / Lie": The song is the beginning of the Mike Portnoy' Saga. He began to write as a result of its well known problems with alcohol.

The piece begins with the tolling of a funeral bell, which follows the dirtiest riffs and sharp created by John Petrucci. A great piece, a song that only in the final shows the melody of Dream Theater .

"Blind Faith" begins quietly that makes us catch our breath, after the mad rush of "The Glass Prison": a melodic beginning that LaBrie plays masterfully until the middle piece, when John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess to get in the chair with a sequence of solos among the most beautiful in the discography of Dream Theater .

"Misunderstood" which releases all his anger in a refrain full of pathos, and an acid and alien solo by John Petrucci .

"The Great Debate" is a beautiful reflection of an ethical moral, on the use of stem cells ( "Are You Justified / Justified in Taking / Life To Save Life "). The song through its thirteen minutes in length, is moving sinuously, to give a display of his power in a chorus very successful .

Closes the first CD, the sad "Disappear", touching the peaks of the highest quality. An exciting and tragic love story, a state of mind that most of the shadows of lights. One of the best songs ever in the group.

With the second cd the group change the music, And they do it in a clear and obvious, the melody that had characterized the masterpiece of "Scenes From A Memory", is taken up in part.

The piece ( forty-two minutes duration) representing six different diseases, six different kinds of suffering, six different moods, Six different views of reality. Ambitious project which manifests itself in the first movement opera.

"Overture" A beautiful opening words where Rudess stands out for the airy melodies. Just his piano opens "About To Crash", that there is about a girl with mood swings that they fall into depression.

"War Inside My Head" ( the ghosts which return in the mind of an ex- soldier ), and "The Test That Stumped Them All" ( battle between a schizophrenic and his doctors within the walls of an insane asylum ) oozing poison and rhythmic psychotic, a fire of napalm the first, while the second plays in a manner likely the patient's perspective .

Back to the calm and sweetness with "Goodnight Kiss", which tells the eternal drama of a mother who does not want to resign themselves to the loss of her daughter. Very nice the solo of Petrucci.

The magnificent "Solitary Shell", enchanted with the story of a boy with difficulty adapting to reality. Literally chills the final part, with the couple Rudess / Petrucci again on the shields.

"About To Crash" (Reprise) includes the track number two developing it further in a more rocking direction at the beginning, but then that leads to the majesty of the incipit of "Losing Time / Grand Finale", last track of a work by unusual themes, that shows all his own gradeur in the melody of this piece .

"Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is a very good album, the last album where Dream Theater have dared, without thinking of the consequences, is a leap in the dark without worrying about falling on your feet.

Report this review (#1088758)
Posted Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars Calm down lads!

I just cannot get into it. When you buy a Dream Theater album you expect some amazing work from a set of truly super talented musicians, and this album does not let you down on the individual front. Unfortunately no matter how talented they are, it appears DT forgot a main ingredient here - Songs! Impressive twiddling, drumming and experimentation gives way to simply awful messy 'songs'. On some tracks I have tried so hard to feel the music but get shot down in a wall of confusion and over the top twaddle. You could say that this is their 'Tales from the Topographic Oceans' moment :-) How on earth you other guys rate this so highly is beyond me. I am sure you are all thinking I am obviously not a true DT fan, but I have all of their albums, some of which I prefer more than others but I like them all apart from this one. We all know what they are capable of and how skillful they are, so how they come up with this spagetti mix of an album is confusing. Luckily they got back on track after this album. Sometimes 'Less is more' as the Marillion album suggests (Don't get me started on that.....).

Report this review (#1135970)
Posted Sunday, February 23, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've read a few of the reviews of this album and seen some of the conflicting opinions. In my own opinion, I love CD 2 of this and am quite indifferent to CD 1. On CD 2 they do that particular thing which they have done so well on other occasions - that is the epic storyline with some mental illness thrown into the mix. To my ears this is beautiful music whereas the tracks on CD 1 are merely average in terms of composition and the ability to hold the attention of the listener.

The musicianship on this album is as always second to none

This album has been on my playlist since the day it came out and is IMHO so far superior to both Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds which I think are both simply dreadful, although I think a large part of the blame for their dreadfulness probably lies with Mr Portnoy and his awful vocal growling thing. He really should stick to drums and "normal" backing vocals where he excels.

In conclusion I can only give this 3 stars due to the conflicting opinion I have on the 2 CDs. Having said that however, listening to CD 1 is not exactly torture and I would give it maybe 3 stars , it's just not quite as good as CD 2 which I would rate as a 5 star piece of classic DT perfection.

Report this review (#1137231)
Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars And so after the success of Dream Theater's magnum opus concept album 'Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory' comes the dreaded follow-up album, in which endless possibilities usually lead to outcomes that divide fans. In this case, whilst the band had always tread a thin line that equally balanced both the metal and the progressive elements of their music, from this album onwards they would begin to shift more towards the heavier side of things, with harsher vocals and heavier guitar riffs.

Consisting of just six songs which are spread out over two discs (the title track taking up the entire second disc, at 42 minutes), 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' sees the band tackling some serious issues, ranging from alcoholism and addiction, religion, scientific advances, moral dilemmas and mental illness. Every song full of incredible musicianship and intricate structures that flow smoothly without compromising quality.

The title track, a 42-minute piece split up into eight individual tracks, is the true centerpiece of the album. With a vast range of heavy and soft parts, huge orchestral arrangements and virtuoso musicianship, this is a true gem in the Dream Theater discography. And as evidenced in tracks like 'The Glass Prison' (one of my all-time favourites!) and 'The Great Debate', the interplay between all the members, in particular guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, is unmatched by any other band.

A truly polarizing album in the groups back-catalog, how much you like the metal aspects of Dream Theater's music will determine if you'll like the direction the band are going in from here, and while 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' may not be as highly regarded as 'Images and Words' or 'Scenes from a Memory', it is still an essential addition to any music collection.

Report this review (#1771848)
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | Review Permalink

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