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DISTANCE OVER TIME

Dream Theater

Progressive Metal


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Dream Theater Distance Over Time album cover
3.67 | 183 ratings | 10 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Untethered Angel (6:14)
2. Paralyzed (4:17)
3. Fall Into The Light (7:04)
4. Barstool Warrior (6:43)
5. Room 137 (4:23)
6. S2N (6:21)
7. At Wit's End (9:20)
8. Out Of Reach (4:04)
9. Pale Blue Dot (8:25)
10. Viper King (4:00) (Bonus Track)

Total Time: 60:51

Line-up / Musicians

- James LaBrie / Vocals
- John Petrucci / Guitars
- John Myung / Bass
- Jordan Rudess / Keyboards
- Mike Mangini / Drums

Releases information

To be released February 22nd, 2019

Thanks to AugustoR for the addition
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DREAM THEATER Distance Over Time ratings distribution


3.67
(183 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
34%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

DREAM THEATER Distance Over Time reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Of course, everyone knows Dream Theater. Through the years, they have had a pretty typical history of players coming and going. But one thing holds mostly the same through the years, and that is the high quality Progressive Metal sound. They have had a huge influence on progressive metal and continue to do so. However, lately, it seems that the music never changes much and that is everyone's biggest complaint.

One thing that is obvious on their 2019 release, is that the tracks are kept down to under 10 minutes. There are no behemoth songs on here. And, surprisingly, that is the thing that drew me to this album. I'm not saying that huge compositions over 10 minutes and going up to a half an hour is a bad thing, but honestly, any riff or solo in one track could be transported to another track, and hardly anyone except for the rabid fans would even notice.

Being somebody that appreciates Dream Theater's talent for musicianship and amazing music, and their undeniable influence on music, I am not exactly one of those rabid fans. I couldn't really tell you the difference between "A Change of Seasons" and "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence". You could play one and tell me you were playing the other one, and I wouldn't know the difference. I have heard both of these tracks and agree that they are both amazing, but I could more easily tell the difference between two "Yes" epics like "Close to the Edge" and "The Gates of Delirium" without a problem. But, the thing is, since these are important Dream Theater epics, I should be able to distinguish one from the other better. The truth is, there just isn't that much that is different.

So, seeing that this album has no enormous epics, I was curious to see if something else was different, for better or worse. Beginning with "Untethered Angel", I immediately notice that overall, this track could have shown up most any other album, and except for the differences in lead singers, it wouldn't have sounded out of place. Great music with excellent musicianship, in other words, nothing new. "Paralyzed" starts with a very encouraging guitar riff at the beginning, but as the tune plays out, it just becomes another Dream Theater song with a good, yet short guitar solo. "Fall Into the Light" is driven by heavy guitar riffs. John Petrucci said that he was trying for a guitar sound like "Metallica" on this track. Okay, it sounds like Metallica especially in the middle slower section, with Dream Theater keyboards, so what? Is that really different and new? The organ solo that comes later is great, but its no longer a surprise with this band, in fact, its expected. By the way, if this song was amid other tracks that didn't sound like typical DT songs, then it would have stood out a lot more.

And so it goes. "Barstool Warrior" is typical DT. "Room 137" uses "The Beautiful People" (Marilyn Manson) riff. "S2N" has an excellent bass riff and is actually more of a stand out, even if it is reminiscent of Rush's "Cygnus X-1". I do like the bottom- heavy sound of this one. The 9+ minute "At Wit's End" goes back to typical sounding DT, but has a long useless fade out before returning for a short reprise. They just had to get it over 9 minutes I guess. "Out of Reach" is a piano-led ballad. It's nothing special, but at least it is not corny. "Pale Blue Dot" moves into the djent territory, but its still definitely DT. The bonus track "Viper King" is also typical.

So, after all these years, there just isn't anything surprising here. DT fans will probably love it, but I don't see any overall progression in their music anymore. Progressive Metal fans will probably love it too. No doubt that the music is great as always, but there just isn't anything here that you haven't heard before. It's like "Star Trek". It's great and it's fun, but it needs new life and more surprises, otherwise, you already know what's going to happen in the end.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars DREAM THEATER sure has had an amazing run throughout their three decade career which began all the way back in 1989 with the debut 'When Dream And Day Unite.' Lauded for the following 'Images And Words,' this Boston turned NYC based band was one of the key players in reviving the slumbering progressive rock scene and ground zero for bringing progressive metal into the larger public consciousness. Lo and behold, despite all the turbulence of the ups and downs throughout their career and just as many misses as hits, the band returns 30 years after their debut with their 14th studio album DISTANCE OVER TIME which continues the stability of the 21st century lineup which includes many of the legends: James LaBrie (vocals), John Petrucci (guitars), John Myung (bass) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards). And continuing the DT ride since his debut in 2011 is Portnoy's replacement Mike Mangini on drums.

As with many of the progressive metal bands that have come and gone since DT's early 90s triumph on the music scene, this band too has had to find that delicate balance between crafting compositions that are accessible to a large dedicated fanbase with finding the room to experiment and expand into newer arenas. And much like many more progressively oriented bands DT has found that it strayed a little left field from what the fanbase expects of them and such is the case with the previous album 'The Astonishing' which found the whole plethora of responses ranging from opinions as the band's absolute worst album ever and should be hurled into the trash bins to the other extreme of those who absolutely adore extremely lengthy rock opera infused pompousness in their prog metal. Fortunately the band seems to have their fingers on the pulse of the situation and always seem to bounce back after dodging the career crashing bullet that plagues bands who have achieved such popularity.

And so it is. DISTANCE OVER TIME seems like an album that was designed to reel the fans back to some of the classic aspects of the band, namely progressively constructed compositions that are based on strong melodies, tight performances and technical wizardry to shock and awe, well at least for those who have not become inured to this now tried and true style of prog metal playing. DREAM THEATER also forged their new creation so that it could be performed in live settings in conjunct with the 20th anniversary of the 5th studio album 'Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory,' which still remains one of the band's most respected and popular albums of the entire DT canon and while DISTANCE OVER TIME certainly doesn't outshine its 90s predecessor, it certainly does revive a sort of musical mojo of heavy no-nonsense metal delivery not heard since 2003's 'Train Of Thought.'

For all the bloated excess of 'The Astonishing,' DISTANCE OVER TIME takes the opposite extreme. While the former was a behemoth double album that sprawled ten minutes past the two hour mark, the latter sits comfortably under the 57 minute run and is the shortest album since the band's debut 30 years ago. Likewise the tracks are streamlined into more digestible chunks with none extending past the 10 minute mark and only 'At Wit's End' coming close at 9:20. From a business perspective, this was a very wise move as it allows prog metalheads the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with what attracted them to the band in the first place without having to dedicate excessive quantities of time and effort to pierce the impenetrable veil, not to mention the annoying fact that when DT releases an album of such overweening length, many tracks contain more padding than a tween's first training bra. For complex music with a technical flare, shorter is always the answer, at least for an album that lacks epic transcendental qualities.

Admittedly, DREAM THEATER is a band i've had a love / hate relationship over the years and i suspect many share this sentiment given the high / low ratings of their albums that checker the canon as high ratings alternate with low ones. For me, DT still found their heyday in the 90s and peaked with 2002's 'Six Degrees Of Turbulence' and everything thereafter has pretty much been a somewhat stagnate retread, albeit a competent one of the former glory. In this regard DISTANCE OVER TIME firmly falls into that camp. The band members as brilliant as they are continuously fail to evolve past their classic 'Awake' sound that implements the punishing guitar antics fortified with keyboard wizardry, operatic vocals and percussive bombast and although DT crafts a roster of pleasantries that tick off all the expects boxes on the checklist. The band seems to alternate between exploring new territories that don't connect with the audience and then retreating to the status quo with no additional surprises.

In the end, DISTANCE OVER TIME successfully dishes out nine well crafted tracks that flow together fairly well without over- sappifying into wretch-inducing ballads and are displayed in rather well constructed vocal rhythmic passages augmented with blistering face melting technical wankery. This is what makes DT an interesting listen time and time again when they focus on these more intense aspects of their sound. However, DISTANCE OVER TIME will offer no surprises, no deviations from anything that has come before and the touched by the gods magical mojo of earlier albums like 'Images And Words' is still a fading memory of the past. So once again, DT delivers a competent album that stands up well amongst the less talented contemporaries but in comparison to the band's own majesty of their history, doesn't really muster up enough goods to really get overexcited about. Generic to the hilt but generic performed in fully fueled DT excellence of course. While the album may make some waves in the here and now of 2019, i very much doubt that DT will be celebrating THIS album 20 years from now.

3.5 but rounded down

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars After the Octavarium album, I have lost a bit of my enthusiasm towards the band's music. I was not expecting something amazing with this new album. I saw the reviews of the album before it was out. Some said the band was back with some of their best music of the past. When I give a spin to the album at first was a bit disappointed. But if I do this review, it's because, after more listening, the music has grown a little on me enough to justify a review. From the first 2 songs, we are in familiar territory with the band's style over the last 20 years. "Fall into the Light" brings some trash metal Metallica style, but the songs have many rhythms change displaying some impressive playing from every player and some cool melodic parts. There are some vocals effects on James voice in the song "Room 137" and "S2N", the latter show some Rush inspired parts and a more inspired Mangini on drums. "At Wit's End" has a heavy first part, a lighter and melodic second part, a song that starts to fade away at the 7 minutes mark. "Out of Reach" is what I don't like in Dream Theater, another boring ballad like you have in every album. In the song"Pale Blue Dot" we have some cool keys and drums parts and that typical John Petrucci heroic on guitar. The bonus track is a surprise with some groovy more standard rock style kind of music that made me think of Deep Purple. So I think this album is a natural evolution of the band's music in the last two decades. After so many years of great music, we could expect that the band is starting to run out of ideas, but a good band that they are they can't release a bad album. 3.4 stars
Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars 2016's double concept work `The Astonishing' proved to be a very divisive release for legendary prog-metallers Dream Theater, one that was loved and loathed in equal measure by their fanbase, and easy ammunition for those who've long disliked or ridiculed them. Its padded-out length, somewhat trite theme and show-boating excess aside, it was commendable that the band were pushing the whole album format as a still valid proper artistic musical statement in this modern era of disposable music. But despite it admirably being in the manner of the ambitious and creative classic prog double concept works, it was clear that a course-correction of sorts was necessary, so the band have bounced back in 2019 with a relatively compact 56 minute release in `Distance Over Time'.

Initial look at the often shorter running times on several tracks on the back CD cover might have some prog-snobs spitting their drink across the table in shocked outrage for fear of a more commercial release (or perhaps the streamlined songs that popped up on something like their `Falling Into Infinity' disc back in 1997), but all is not as it seems. For `Distance...', while the band have admittedly focused on punchier and more melodic tunes, they are still full of all the instrumental trickery, jagged time-changes and fancy soloing the band is known for, and it makes the album much more focused and memorable than their former release. Sure, it doesn't really do much that hasn't popped up many of their previous discs, but it's simply a reminder of what they do well, and that will absolutely do for this `comeback'.

Opener `Untethered Angel' is a tough hard rock tune with alternates a frantic momentum with grinding breaks, a rousing chorus and a giddy instrumental sprint in the middle, and the self-belief reaffirming lyric is welcome. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess' gothic piano and John Petrucci's crisp guitar soloing is a standout of the knotted heaviness of `Paralyzed', and there's a thrashy Metallica snarl with a Tony Iommi bite to much of `Fall Into The Light'. It also holds both a reflective acoustic break and refined soloing in the middle that is elegant and powerful, but the band step up for a pair of delirious instrumental races in the latter half.

Rudess works a little E.L.P-like keyboard buster into the opening of `Barstool Warrior', home to plenty of seamless tempo changes back and forth from the band, a soaring guitar theme frequently reprised throughout, and James Labrie's confident vocal perfectly conveys the tale of regret that ultimately turns defiant and uplifting. The absurdly schizo horror tale `Room 137' plods with grumbling menace powered by some intricately bashing drumming from Mike Mangini, and the band unexpectedly work in some light Beatles flavours to some of the dreamy vocal harmonies and playful bluesy soloing!

John Myung lets rip with aggressive bass spasms to open `S2N', and he powers throughout the entirety of the observation of the world state lyric, with the track constantly trailing out of control with plenty of spiralling instrumental duels between all the players, despite being anchored by a recurring chorus (and listen out for the ballsy bluesy wail that kicks in at around the 4:45 mark!). `At Wit's End' holds plenty of variety - maniacal pummelling riffing, softer ballad interludes and dirtier grooves, all laced with sparkling piano and simmering Hammond organ in between a pleading chorus. `Out Of Reach' is the obligatory `James Labrie breathy ballad' that pops on all DT discs, although it's one of the more classy examples. Closer `Pale Blue Dot' then races to the finish, a final showcase of maniacal stuttering riffs, commanding drum power and synths that move between ambient and imposing.

(Some copies of the album come with a short bonus track, and `Viper King' is a cool retro rocker that reminds of Deep Purple with its grooving riffs and deliciously murky organ)

No, it doesn't reinvent the Dream Theater wheel (let's cut them some slack, they pretty much invented a template that just about every prog-metal act has taken influence from since), nor does it do much that various parts of their discography haven't done before, but its focus on strong and compact tunes without sacrificing the expected technical display is welcome. All the exceptional musicians still get constant standout soloing moments, but they're delivered in more mature and tighter bursts so as to the avoid the...well, musically masturbatory excess that DT can often give in to! `Distance Over Time' is more a refining of everything that makes Dream Theater still stand out in the crowded prog-metal genre, and longtime fans will likely find this one an endlessly replayable and highly satisfying effort from the fellas.

Four stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is a solid release of progressive metal with excellent sonic quality. I have to say the mastering is superb. My next kudos go to Mike Mangini since this is the best drums that I have heard from him out of his Dream Theater releases. The rest of the band sounds fantastic as well, and everyone ... (read more)

Report this review (#2139284) | Posted by javajeff | Sunday, February 24, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Dream Theater Distance Over Time is very good record. I've been following Dream Theater some years now and seen them live once. There's something on this record that hooked me immediately. My avourite Dream Theater album must be Awake but with "new" drummer Mangini, this must be their best. There's ... (read more)

Report this review (#2138712) | Posted by Muumi | Friday, February 22, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My congrats, Dream Theater still keeps slipping! 'The same old sun' in the prog metal sky... In essence, Distance Over Time was first released back in 2007. Under the title Systematic Chaos, yep yep. Since then, Distance Over Time was reissued three times under different titles (Black Clouds & S ... (read more)

Report this review (#2138173) | Posted by proghaven | Thursday, February 21, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A very nice surprise from a band that I thought they lost all creativity spark, only releasing one album (A Dramatic Turn of Events) that I could actually enjoy after they released Octavarium. Initially, I thought that this would be more of the same, especially after the release of the singles, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2138014) | Posted by Deadwing | Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Same old, same old. Portnoy was right when he thought the band needed a break from recording. After Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, the band came up with continous releases bringing the same ideas over and over again. Distance Over Time has the same problems from the last albums, it's only a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2137994) | Posted by aguifs | Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've listened to this album 4 times since its release. No, that's not enough to form a complete (and static) opinion on an album, but I can already tell that this one belongs right up next to Dream Theater's other classics (Images and Words, Metropolis Pt. 2, Six Degrees, Octavarium). This is the fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2113501) | Posted by rooteen | Tuesday, January 1, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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