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DREAM THEATER

Progressive Metal • United States


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Dream Theater picture
Dream Theater biography
I. Introduction

II. History
    A. Formation and Early Years (1985-1990)
    B. A New Singer and Success (1990-1993)
    C. The Middle Period and Band Turbulence (1994-1998)
    D. Jordan Rudess and the New Millennium (1999-2006)
    E. The Roadrunner Years and the Departure of Mike Portnoy (2007- )

III. Style, Live reputation, Bootleg Culture, and Conclusion



DREAM THEATER is a progressive metal band formed in 1985 in Boston, Massachusetts by guitarist John PETRUCCI, bassist John MYUNG, and drummer Mike PORTNOY. Since the band's conception, they have become one of the most influential post-1970s progressive rock bands as well as ranking as one of the early progenitors of the entire progressive metal genre.



II. History

A. Formation and Early Years (1985-1990)

Based in a love of the sophistication of YES, the virtuosity of RUSH, and the heaviness of IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER had a desire to create complex, heavy, and progressive from the very beginning. Guitarist and bassist PETRUCCI and MYUNG grew up together on Long Island, New York. After high school, both received scholarships to the esteemed Berklee University of Music, where they met drummer PORTNOY, who, incidentally, grew up in a nearby area. The trio soon became friends and began making music together and settled upon the name MAJESTY. This name came about when PORTNOY described RUSH's song "Bastille Day" as "majestic" as they were waiting outside a Rush concert to open. As the band became more "serious," they went out looking for a keyboardist and vocalist. Eventually the band found PORTNOY's high schoolmate Kevin MOORE to play keys as well as schoolmate Chris COLLINS to sing in 1986. The new 5-piece recorded a 6 song demo titled simply "The Majesty Demos" in 1986 on PORTONY's analog 4-track cassette recorder, making an initial run of 1,000 tapes. The tapes, to the band's surprise sold out relatively quickly, which was aided also by the band's distribution of the tapes to friends, family, local rock and metal magazines.

Only a few months after the release...
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DREAM THEATER Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy DREAM THEATER Music


Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a MemoryMetropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
Music on Vinyl 2014
$25.68
$27.99 (used)
The Astonishing (2CD)The Astonishing (2CD)
Roadrunner Records 2016
$6.91
$7.15 (used)
OctavariumOctavarium
Atlantic 2005
$4.67
$2.09 (used)
When Dream & Day UniteWhen Dream & Day Unite
Music on Vinyl 2018
$27.96
Images and WordsImages and Words
Atco Records 1992
$4.66
$2.03 (used)
A Dramatic Turn Of Events (Special Edition)(CD/DVD)A Dramatic Turn Of Events (Special Edition)(CD/DVD)
Roadrunner Records 2011
$7.26
$5.22 (used)
Systematic ChaosSystematic Chaos
Roadrunner Records 2007
$4.93
$3.42 (used)
Dream TheaterDream Theater
Roadrunner Records 2013
$10.92
$4.72 (used)
Train Of ThoughtTrain Of Thought
Elektra 2003
$4.90
$2.64 (used)
The Studio Albums 1992-2011The Studio Albums 1992-2011
Box set
Roadrunner 2014
$37.78
$79.56 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DREAM THEATER - Hollow Years - CD - Import Single - **Excellent Condition** USD $39.75 Buy It Now
Falling into Infinity by Dream Theater(180g LTD Colored Vinyl 2LP),2012 Brookva USD $95.00 Buy It Now
DISTANT DREAM - YOUR OWN STORY (Autographed) CD Enchant Threshold Dream Theater USD $18.99 Buy It Now
Dream Theater - Live Scenes From New York (3 Disc) USD $14.36 Buy It Now
Awake by Dream Theater (CD, Oct-1994, Elektra (Label)) USD $9.33 Buy It Now
Systematic Chaos by Dream Theater (CD, Jun-2007, Roadrunner Records) USD $9.33 Buy It Now
Live at Budokan [Video] by Dream Theater (Blu-ray Disc, Oct-2011, Eagle Rock) USD $17.94 Buy It Now
Falling into Infinity by Dream Theater (CD, Sep-1997, Elektra (Label)) USD $5.10 [0 bids]
JOHN PETRUCCI & JORDAN RUDESS An Evening With - CD Dream Theater Live USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Awake by Dream Theater (CD, Oct-1994) USD $5.00 Buy It Now
Encores Legends & Paradox A Tribute To ELP Magna Carta Dream Theater Prog USD $12.00 Buy It Now
Images and Words by Dream Theater (CD, 1992, Elektra) USD $2.10 [0 bids]
Tim Donahue Featuring James LaBrie Madmen & Sinners Japan CD Dream Theater USD $24.99 Buy It Now
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DREAM THEATER - WHEN DREAM & DAY 1992, JAPANESE CD w/OBI (Rare & Out Of Print)! USD $12.00 [0 bids]
DREAM THEATER - FALLING INTO INFINITY 1997, JAPANESE CD w/OBI + Bonus! (Rare) USD $15.00 [0 bids]
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10h 15m
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Awake by Dream Theater (CD, Oct-1994, Elektra (Label)) Progressive Rock USD $5.95 Buy It Now 12h 20m
Scenes From A Memory - Dream Theater CD Sealed ! New ! USD $7.32 Buy It Now 12h 53m
ROCK ON MAGAZINE 11/2003 DREAM THEATER SWAN CHRISTY USD $6.99 Buy It Now 13h 41m
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Dream Theater - The Astonishing NEW CD USD $15.72 Buy It Now 14h 35m
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14h 37m
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DREAM THEATER Dark Side Of The Moon 2 CD SET YTSEJAM012 USD $35.00 Buy It Now 16h 24m
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DREAM THEATER - A Change Of Seasons - VINYL 2LP (Music On Vinyl 2018) USD $36.99 Buy It Now 16h 36m
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DREAM THEATER - Score - 20th Anniversary World Tour - VINYL 4LP (Music On Vinyl) USD $44.99 Buy It Now 16h 36m
DREAM THEATER - Falling Into Infinity - VINYL 2LP (Music on Vinyl 2013) USD $34.99 Buy It Now 16h 36m
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More places to buy DREAM THEATER music online Buy DREAM THEATER & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

DREAM THEATER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DREAM THEATER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 1214 ratings
When Dream And Day Unite
1989
4.28 | 2719 ratings
Images And Words
1992
4.11 | 1979 ratings
Awake
1994
3.32 | 1460 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
1997
4.29 | 2775 ratings
Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From A Memory
1999
4.13 | 1858 ratings
Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
2002
3.59 | 1725 ratings
Train Of Thought
2003
3.66 | 1923 ratings
Octavarium
2005
3.30 | 1655 ratings
Systematic Chaos
2007
3.44 | 1538 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
2009
3.84 | 1547 ratings
A Dramatic Turn Of Events
2011
3.29 | 871 ratings
Dream Theater
2013
3.44 | 604 ratings
The Astonishing
2016

DREAM THEATER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 390 ratings
Live At The Marquee
1993
3.30 | 373 ratings
Once In A Livetime
1998
4.55 | 521 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
2001
4.23 | 463 ratings
Live At Budokan
2004
4.45 | 523 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.52 | 84 ratings
Happy Holidays
2013

DREAM THEATER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.17 | 190 ratings
Images And Words - Live In Tokyo
1993
4.35 | 401 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York
2001
3.80 | 191 ratings
Live in Tokyo/5 Years in a Livetime
2004
4.02 | 116 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite [Official Bootleg]
2004
4.29 | 394 ratings
Live at Budokan
2004
3.53 | 53 ratings
A Walk Beside The Band
2005
4.40 | 414 ratings
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.87 | 145 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Romavarium
2006
3.97 | 78 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
2007
3.43 | 223 ratings
Chaos In Motion 2007/2008
2008
2.38 | 78 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
2008
3.52 | 52 ratings
Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Official Bootleg: Santiago, Chile 12/6/05 (20th Anniversary Tour 2005/2006)
2009
4.08 | 134 ratings
Live at Luna Park
2013
4.39 | 113 ratings
Breaking The Fourth Wall (Live From The Boston Opera House)
2014

DREAM THEATER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 4 ratings
Systematic Chaos Special Edition
2007
2.17 | 182 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 21 other pretty cool songs)
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Take The Time (The Warner Years 1992-2005)
2009
5.00 | 1 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings Box Set
2009
3.91 | 48 ratings
Original Album Series
2011
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Triple Album Collection
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Studio Albums 1992-2011
2014

DREAM THEATER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 37 ratings
Afterlife
1989
3.24 | 35 ratings
Status Seeker
1989
2.88 | 29 ratings
The ATCO Demos
1991
2.90 | 62 ratings
Another Day
1992
3.62 | 55 ratings
Pull Me Under
1992
3.33 | 3 ratings
Take the Time
1992
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live
1993
3.52 | 61 ratings
The Silent Man
1994
2.89 | 46 ratings
Caught In A Web
1994
3.05 | 59 ratings
Lie
1994
3.68 | 646 ratings
A Change Of Seasons
1995
3.00 | 3 ratings
International Fan Club Christmas CD
1996
3.00 | 1 ratings
You Not Me
1997
3.00 | 1 ratings
Burning My Soul
1997
3.07 | 63 ratings
Hollow Years
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Bonus Tracks
1998
3.78 | 36 ratings
Once In A LIVEtime Outtakes (International Fan Club CD 1998)
1998
3.08 | 62 ratings
Cleaning Out The Closet
1999
3.13 | 70 ratings
Through Her Eyes
2000
2.05 | 37 ratings
Christmas 2000 Fan Club CD
2000
1.93 | 36 ratings
4 degrees of Radio edits
2002
3.17 | 23 ratings
When Demos and Singles Unite
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Selections from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
2002
3.01 | 45 ratings
Taste The Memories
2003
2.91 | 37 ratings
Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fanclub CD 2003)
2003
3.19 | 47 ratings
The Making Of Scenes From A Memory
2003
2.80 | 106 ratings
The Number Of The Beast
2003
1.99 | 112 ratings
Master Of Puppets
2003
2.77 | 37 ratings
Los Angeles, California 5/18/98
2003
3.38 | 40 ratings
Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95
2003
2.88 | 51 ratings
The Majesty Demos 1985 - 1986 [Official bootleg]
2003
3.69 | 33 ratings
A Sort Of Homecoming
2004
3.36 | 39 ratings
Images and Words: Demos 1989 - 1991 [Official Bootleg]
2004
3.82 | 69 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite
2004
2.97 | 31 ratings
When Dream And Day Unite Demos 1987-1989
2004
3.35 | 129 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
2.49 | 41 ratings
Awake Demos
2006
3.15 | 35 ratings
Old Bridge, New JERSEY - 12/14/96
2006
3.38 | 68 ratings
Made in Japan [Official Bootleg]
2006
3.45 | 40 ratings
Images and Words - 15th Anniversary Performance (Fan Club CD 2007)
2007
4.14 | 72 ratings
Falling Into Infinity: Demos 1996-1997 [Official Bootleg]
2007
3.09 | 46 ratings
Constant Motion
2007
3.66 | 41 ratings
New York City 3/4/93
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
Road to Wembley
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
Lifting Shadows Companion CD
2007
2.40 | 5 ratings
Forsaken
2007
3.68 | 19 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 - The International Fan Clubs CD 2008
2008
2.51 | 60 ratings
Forsaken
2008
2.58 | 76 ratings
A Rite of Passage
2009
3.11 | 77 ratings
Stargazer
2009
3.39 | 72 ratings
Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
2009
3.68 | 57 ratings
Odyssey
2009
3.51 | 53 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
2009
3.23 | 72 ratings
Larks Tongues In Aspic, Pt. 2
2009
3.20 | 82 ratings
Wither
2009
3.12 | 47 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
2009
2.27 | 31 ratings
The Making of Falling Into Infinity
2009
2.85 | 30 ratings
Train of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003
2009
3.56 | 118 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
2011
3.00 | 4 ratings
Build Me Up, Break Me Down
2011
3.50 | 2 ratings
Along for the Ride
2013
3.15 | 77 ratings
The Enemy Inside
2013
4.10 | 32 ratings
Illumination Theory
2014
3.40 | 5 ratings
Our New World
2016

DREAM THEATER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra by DREAM THEATER album cover Live, 2006
4.45 | 523 ratings

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Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars They did it in 2000 with 'Live Scenes from New York', and again in 2004 with 'Live at Budokan', and come 2006, Dream Theater are at it once more, trying to outdo themselves with 'Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour', another three-disc live album that shows the kings of progressive metal at their very best.

"So what makes 'Score' any different?" you ask... allow me to explain.

'Live Scenes...' was focused around the 'Scenes from a Memory' album and a multitude of big, prog epics, while 'Budokan' had an abundance of heavier, more energetic and varied material. Interestingly, with the exception of a few songs, both albums had different sets, and this continues with 'Score'. Based around the 'Octavarium' album and a retrospective look back at the bands career in chronological order, there is, once again, a varied set here which is different than previously.

With a fantastic production (this almost sounds like a studio release, at times), and superb performances (c'mon, it's Dream Theater), 'Score' is over two hours of prog greatness. With such epics as 'Octavarium', 'Metropolis' and 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' in its entirety, as well as often overlooked tracks such as 'Afterlife', 'Innocence Faded' and 'Vacant', there's a well-rounded set here. And 'Another Won' and 'Raise the Knife', both previously unreleased on studio albums, are welcome and popular additions. There's the "Octavarium Ochestra" in there too, which has fans raving. Though to be honest, I find their contributions a bit lacking, especially when Jordan Rudess could perform most of this on his keyboard by himself.

Overall however, 'Score' is another live success for Dream Theater. While 'Live at Budokan' remains my favourite, this, along with 'Live Scenes from New York' completes the perfect live album trilogy, and is a highly recommended addition to any prog collection.

 Greatest Hit (...and 21 other pretty cool songs) by DREAM THEATER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2008
2.17 | 182 ratings

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Greatest Hit (...and 21 other pretty cool songs)
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Released in 2008, 'Greatest Hit' (a reference to the bands one radio hit, 'Pull Me Under') is a compilation album by progressive metal giants Dream Theater. With an abundance of incredible material to choose from, it should have been easy enough to make this a three-disc box set that would be the defining progressive music collection. Instead, this is more of a two-disc cash-grab, a quick and easy effort to introduce new fans to the band.

Admittedly, for that purpose, it works. However, for the die-hard fans, this is more of a disappointment.

Firstly, it'd be near-impossible to truly do this kind of band justice with a compilation. Since most of their most popular songs are around ten, fifteen or even twenty minutes in duration, you'd require at least five discs just to fit them all in. And since we already have these songs anyway, why bother?

So instead, the band went the route of using radio edits. A risky move, for sure. It's cool as a fan to own different versions of the songs we already know and love... but that doesn't necessarily mean I'd want to hear it repeatedly. I'd rather stick with the originals. No cuts. No censored profanities. No nonsense.

But that's not all, there's three 2007 remixes of Dream Theater classics from the 1992 'Images and Words' album, and while the compositions themselves are perfect, the remixes are pretty ugly and messy. The mix seems a bit unbalanced and some random noises and sound effects kind of ruins things. Once again, I'll stick with the originals.

However, for the Dream Theater newbie, this is a great starting point. With all the hits, including 'Pull Me Under', 'Take the Time', 'Home', 'As I Am', 'Another Day', 'The Spirit Carries On', 'Sacrificed Sons' and 'Hollow Years', this is still a great retrospective of the bands career. But for long-time fans such as myself, this really serves as nothing more than another CD to add to the collection.

 The Making of Falling Into Infinity by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
2.27 | 31 ratings

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The Making of Falling Into Infinity
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

1 stars Dream Theater's Official Bootlegs series has always been a nice touch for collectors, whether it's demos, live recordings, compilations, or reissues of previous fan club CD's (which is actually what this one is), they're usually pretty cool little nuggets of joy for die-hard fans of the band.

And occasionally, there's utter nonsense like this.

'The Making of Falling Into Infinity' is completely and utterly pointless. Not containing any full tracks, the entire album is nothing more than snippets of songs. Guitar riffs, the odd vocal harmony, someone working out a part or someone saying something. It might be interesting for some tech nerd who wants to look into the process of writing and recording an album, but without any commentary or narrative, this CD really is unlistenable.

I can understand with demos that at least it's interesting to listen to how songs were originally intended to sound and how they've evolved to become the finished product, but this is completely useless and doesn't even show us that. Die-hard fans who must own everything will probably resent having to purchase this, and I'd know, because I'm one of them.

 Live At Budokan by DREAM THEATER album cover Live, 2004
4.23 | 463 ratings

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Live At Budokan
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars As if 2000's 'Scenes from a Memory' wasn't enough, here's Dream Theater with another three-disc assault on the senses, with 2004's live album from Japan's world-renowned Budokan venue, aptly titled 'Live at Budokan'.

Touring to promote 2003's 'Train of Thought', 'Live at Budokan' sees the band storm through a set of highly energetic and crushingly heavy material. The format of the shows were simply 'an evening with...' type affairs, which meant there were no support acts. Yet, despite the mind-boggling duration of the set, the band remains on top form throughout, and shows no signs of fatigue or letting up.

Focusing more on their later material, 'Live at Budokan' is three discs of some of the bands strongest material, played impeccably by some of the absolute finest musicians in the world. Millions upon millions of notes are hit flawlessly, with a number of noodles and jamming sections bungled in amongst the set, this is a highly entertaining live album, and shows an unparalleled chemistry between the highly-respected musicians.

There's an abundance of highlights here. From newer tracks 'As I Am', 'This Dying Soul' and 'In the Name of God', to older classics such as 'Pull Me Under', 'New Millennium', 'Only a Matter of Time' and 'Beyond This Life', which features a near-ten minute jam section which is absolutely incredible and never gets boring. Then there's the exclusive of this album, 'Instrumedley', a 12-minute instrumental medley of various parts of the bands discography. It's genuinely mind-blowing and further demonstrates how these guys are the absolute best of the best at what they do.

'Live at Budokan' may lie a little on the heavier side of things, but this is truly a gem that belongs in any prog fans collection. With an absolutely banging production and top-notch performances, this will surely come to be recognized as a true prog classic.

 Through Her Eyes by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2000
3.13 | 70 ratings

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Through Her Eyes
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Releasing singles to promote concept albums is always going to be tough. I mean, most often the songs are a small part of a larger narrative, but need to be able to work in the context of a single track. Dream Theater's 'Through Her Eyes' does this well.

It seems a bit of an odd choice for a single to promote the phenomenal 'Scenes From a Memory' album, but the soft, gospel-inspired ballad is a catchy and emotional piece. This EP release comes with two different versions of the track, with an alternate mix having a more soulful feel to it. However, the track as a whole is actually probably one of the more subtle and possibly weaker moments from the record it's promoting.

Then there are two live tracks, both of which come close to the 15-minute mark in duration. Now, Dream Theater are one of my favourite bands, but these recordings are pretty weak, and fairly poorly mixed, and coming at a time when James LaBrie's vocals were suffering from a previous injury he'd sustained, they don't really do justice to the band. A medley of moments from their first two albums, 'When Images and Words Unite' sounds like it should be an interesting nugget for fans, but it's actually really not all that inspired.

Overall, 'Scenes From a Memory' is an absolute masterpiece, and is a highly regarded and highly recommended album, but 'Through Her Eyes' is definitely one for collectors.

 The Silent Man by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
3.52 | 61 ratings

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The Silent Man
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Taken from the 1994 album 'Awake', 'The Silent Man' is a bit of an odd choice for a single. A soft, near-four minute acoustic ballad, it's a great song when heard in context of the album, but alone, as a single, it doesn't quite have the same impact.

It's not a bad song as such, and on the album it actually works well as the third part of a trilogy titled 'A Mind Beside Itself'. But it just seems dreary and dull as a single. There's plenty of other material from the 'Awake' album that would have made more sense to use as promotional material, and a better representation of what the record has to offer.

Still, it's an okay song I guess. A demo of 'Take the Time' is a welcome b-side, though it sounds near-identical to the finished product, making it something only die-hard fans would care about. And there's 'Eve'. A short instrumental which the band had jammed out to at gigs, but this actual studio recording doesn't really do anything for me.

This one is a bit of rarity these days, and since Dream Theater is such a beloved cult band, it's likely this is still sought after by collectors, and as such, that's all this is now, a collector's item. Nothing more, nothing less.

 Christmas 2000 Fan Club CD by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2000
2.05 | 37 ratings

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Christmas 2000 Fan Club CD
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Dream Theater's 2000 fan club CD is basically a collection of outtakes from their Metropolis world tour of the same year. Jokingly described on the back cover as "Metropolis 2000 Tour Highlights (and Lowlights)", it's not really something you'd listen to more than once or twice, but it's a fun little collector's item none-the-less.

With that said, there's not really anything to comment on. 'What Did They Say?' is a medley of snippets featuring the band members goofing around during various songs, ad-libbing lyrics and whatnot. 'War Pigs' involves a fan singing with the band, and 'The Spirit Carries On' has drummer Mike Portnoy singing, forgetting the lyrics, and getting the crowd to finish off. Nothing serious, just basically an hour of Dream Theater having fun.

Overall, this is a light-hearted album, good for one or two listens, but seeing as it's a fan club CD, it's definitely nothing more than a novelty item for die-hard fans.

 The Number Of The Beast by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
2.80 | 106 ratings

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The Number Of The Beast
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Now, I love Dream Theater, and I love Iron Maiden, but this is just all kinds of silly.

'The Number of the Beast' has never been one of my favourite Maiden albums. Sure, it was the record where they truly started to ascend to the top of the metal world, but in my opinion it's vastly inferior to the likes of 'Powerslave' and 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son', and much of their later output.

So when Dream Theater, one of my all-time favourite groups, decided to do a live cover of the entire album, I was far from enthusiastic, but willing to give the progressive metal icons a chance to make something worthy out of it.

They failed.

Dream Theater's 'The Number of the Beast' just doesn't work. While the band had previously attempted something similar with Metallica's 'Master of Puppets', that live recording had something to it that, while still nothing more than a fun release not meant to be taken seriously, still made it a worthwhile listen. Especially if you're a fan of both bands.

But 'Number...' just doesn't click. Maybe it's James LaBrie's vocals, or John Myung not quite having the energy of Steve Harris, or maybe a guitar/keyboard hybrid just doesn't suit Maiden's sound. Either way, Dream Theater are more than competent as musicians, but this release is a bit of a blunder.

Even as a novelty item, this album is a bit of a stretch. I barely ever listen to the original version, so I'm certainly not going to feel inclined to listen to a cover of it, which is why this is best left for the absolute most die-hard fans of either band. And even then, it's not a release to be taken seriously.

 Illumination Theory by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.10 | 32 ratings

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Illumination Theory
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by thwok

4 stars "Illumination Theory" is the epic from Dream Theater's 2013 self - titled album. There seems to be one on just about on every studio album the band puts out, doesn't there? I haven't listened to the reset of the album much, so I won't compare this song to the rest. This song is a terrific epic in the DT tradition. I've tried unsuccessfully to find out what the title means. However, there is a YouTube video in which John Petrucci says the song's about what you're willing to live, die or kill for. The lyrics are thankfully clear and straightforward, not abstract

One of the best things about this epic IMHO is that the individual parts don't overstay their welcome. In a self - serving interview on the musicians' website Music Radar, Jordan Rudess gives due credit to the string arranger Eren Basburg. The strings are not overbearing; The Embracing Circle is a particularly beautiful section. I don't think DT break new ground with "Illumination Theory". The DT regulars, whom this release is probably intended for, should thoroughly enjoy it.

 Octavarium by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.66 | 1923 ratings

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Octavarium
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by guiservidoni

5 stars No doubt, this definitely is on the top 3 Dream Theater albums for me.

Octavarium is a concept album, but a really unusual one: it doesn't necessarily have a storyline, or even circles around a certain theme. It revolves around two numbers: 8 and 5. Point for prog.

It is filled with elements that point to those numbers that, those alone, already are a reason to buy this in physical copy. It is their 8th studio album, containing eight songs, called OCTavarium. You see, the band has five members, and to this point had released five live albums. The numbers make you think of piano keys: C D E F G A B and the octave coming full circle (ha-ha), and C# D# F# G# A#. So, the songs' tones follow this very scale, with five transitions between the songs in the sequence of a piano. I could write quite some others, but you should find them yourself.

The Root Of All Evil is amazing, making it up to Portnoy's ambitions with the Twelve-Step suite. Some more commercial stuff will appear, such as These Walls and The Answer Lies Within, but these are great songs nonetheless. You see the Muse-ish Never Enough, with its weird and awesome time signatures that have everything to do with the song, and things only get better.

For the two last songs, you have a full orchestra working alongside. On Russia On IcWHOOPS I mean Sacrificed Sons, it works beautifully, and on the album's last track which gives the album its title, you not only have Dream Theater's best song ever made, but possibly one of the best songs ever made in history.

Octavarium (the song) deserves a separate review for its awesomeness. The Shine On You Crazy Diamond beginning, its five (YEA BRUH 5 AGAIN) sections that are meticulously crafted, the lyrics emphasising the cycle concept, that everything ends where it begins, and fantastic musicianship: from the Petrucci and Rudess unison solo to LaBrie screaming at the top of his lungs, this song is, for me, the best song there is, simply put.

Everyone should know this album and you're not complete if you don't know it.

Thanks to [email protected] for the artist addition. and to Andy Webb for the last updates

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