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SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE

Dream Theater

Progressive Metal


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Dream Theater Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence  album cover
4.13 | 1378 ratings | 129 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1: (54:15)
1.The Glass Prison (13:52)
2. Blind Faith (10:21)
3. Misunderstood (9:32)
4. The Great Debate (13:45)
5. Disappear (6:45)
CD 2: (42:02)
Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
1,Overture (6:50)
2.About To Crash (5:50)
3.War Inside My Head (2:08)
4.The Test That Stumped Them All (5:03)
5.Goodnight Kiss (6:17)
6.Solitary Shell (5:47)
7.About To Crash (Reprise) (4:04)
8.Losing Time / Grand Finale (5:59)

Total Time: 96:17

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- John Petrucci / guitar
- John Myung / bass
- Mike Portnoy / drums
- James LaBrie / vocals
- Jordan Rudess / keyboards


Releases information

Elektra (7559-62742-2)

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and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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DREAM THEATER Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence ratings distribution


4.13
(1378 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
43%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

DREAM THEATER Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 ā 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.

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Send comments to lucas (BETA) | Report this review (#10928) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 22, 2003

Review by Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#10937) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 22, 2003

Review by Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#10938) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 22, 2004

Review by frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, July 04, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!!

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Posted Saturday, April 02, 2005

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, April 16, 2005

Review by FishyMonkey
PROG REVIEWER
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.

4.4/5.

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Posted Sunday, May 15, 2005

Review by AtLossForWords
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, October 30, 2005

Review by FloydWright
PROG REVIEWER
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 touch.gives 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.

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Posted Saturday, December 31, 2005

Review by imoeng
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
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-

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Posted Saturday, July 01, 2006

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006

Review by WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
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 werenīt so long. "Disappear" is a slight improvement.

CD 2 begins with "Overture" which also carries on too long. Itīs 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.

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

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Posted Friday, July 21, 2006

Review by sleeper
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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"....my 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 Progarchives.com).

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).

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Posted Friday, October 20, 2006

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
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."

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Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006

Review by Australian
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Australian (BETA) | Report this review (#99013) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Review by Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
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…”

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Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, November 23, 2007

Review by ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, December 09, 2007

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, February 15, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 doesnīt 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 donīt 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 itīs 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 itīs inclusion here.

Disc 2 is as mentioned one long epic song called Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Itīs a concept story but even though itīs 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 donīt 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 Mooreīs 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 Iīm 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 itīs still outstanding and unique. 4 stars from me and a warm recommendation.

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Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
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.

DISC ONE:

"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.

DISC TWO:

"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!

Conclusion:

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.

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Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, October 10, 2008

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, March 05, 2009

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#239592) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Review by jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#262540) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover 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.

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#263870) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
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!).

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#281869) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#290526) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 16, 2010

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover and E&O Teams
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

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#299873) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 20, 2010

Review by Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Admin / Heavy Prog Team / Math Rock Team
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.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#357589) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review by Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Starhammer (BETA) | Report this review (#499131) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 07, 2011

Review by Wicket
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Wicket (BETA) | Report this review (#523416) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#645741) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 04, 2012

Latest members reviews

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 illn ... (read more)

Report this review (#1137231) | Posted by LunarSea | Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 ing ... (read more)

Report this review (#1135970) | Posted by Kevman28 | Sunday, February 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1088758) | Posted by agla | Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1088748) | Posted by Dellinger | Wednesday, December 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#771377) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#627716) | Posted by Mack888 | Monday, February 06, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 relea ... (read more)

Report this review (#572691) | Posted by Smegcake! | Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#537742) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Friday, September 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 a ... (read more)

Report this review (#379068) | Posted by kluseba | Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 d ... (read more)

Report this review (#319885) | Posted by voliveira | Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 o ... (read more)

Report this review (#312572) | Posted by Phoenix87x | Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#303029) | Posted by Earendil | Saturday, October 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#290320) | Posted by DiehardTheRushFan | Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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: Di ... (read more)

Report this review (#285523) | Posted by DisgruntledPorcupine | Monday, June 07, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#284256) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Sunday, May 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 th ... (read more)

Report this review (#281803) | Posted by Lark the Starless | Thursday, May 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#275793) | Posted by Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez | Thursday, April 01, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 cr ... (read more)

Report this review (#275175) | Posted by msphelps | Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#259149) | Posted by godfrey11 | Sunday, January 03, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 you ... (read more)

Report this review (#252938) | Posted by AgentSpork | Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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