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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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Buy DREAM THEATER Music


Dream TheaterDream Theater
Roadrunner Records 2013
Audio CD$13.50
$10.74 (used)
Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a MemoryMetropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
Elektra 1999
Audio CD$2.71
$0.25 (used)
Images & WordsImages & Words
Atlantic 1992
Audio CD$3.80
$2.00 (used)
OctavariumOctavarium
Atlantic 2005
Audio CD$2.32
$2.22 (used)
Six Degrees of Inner TurbulenceSix Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Wea/Elektra Entertainment 2002
Audio CD$5.34
$3.05 (used)
The Studio Albums 1992-2011The Studio Albums 1992-2011
Box set
Roadrunner 2014
Audio CD$45.57
$74.08 (used)
Change of SeasonsChange of Seasons
Atlantic 1995
Audio CD$2.78
$1.06 (used)
Train of ThoughtTrain of Thought
Elektra 2003
Audio CD$2.34
$1.11 (used)
Systematic ChaosSystematic Chaos
Roadrunner Records 2007
Audio CD$2.71
$2.02 (used)
Black Clouds & Silver Linings (3 CD Special Edition)Black Clouds & Silver Linings (3 CD Special Edition)
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$17.51
$5.01 (used)
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More places to buy DREAM THEATER music online Buy DREAM THEATER & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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DREAM THEATER shows & tickets


  • Along for the Ride Tour on 2 Oct 2014
  • Along for the Ride Tour on 4 Oct 2014
  • Along for the Ride Tour on 5 Oct 2014
  • Along for the Ride Tour on 7 Oct 2014
  • Along for the Ride Tour on 10 Oct 2014
  • Along for the Ride Tour on 11 Oct 2014
  • LOUD PARK 14 on 18 Oct 2014
  • "An Evening with Dream Theater" (Tokyo) on 20 Oct 2014
  • Dream Theater at ???????, ??? on 22 Oct 2014
  • an Evening with Dream Theater, Along for The Ride Tour 2014 on 26 Oct 2014
  • Dream Theater at Palais Theatre, St Kilda on 29 Oct 2014
  • An Evening with Dream Theater on 30 Oct 2014

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)

3.23 | 926 ratings
When Dream And Day Unite
1989
4.29 | 2080 ratings
Images And Words
1992
4.11 | 1530 ratings
Awake
1994
3.33 | 1127 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
1997
4.29 | 2143 ratings
Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
1999
4.13 | 1452 ratings
Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
2002
3.58 | 1375 ratings
Train Of Thought
2003
3.65 | 1545 ratings
Octavarium
2005
3.32 | 1312 ratings
Systematic Chaos
2007
3.44 | 1221 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
2009
3.90 | 1230 ratings
A Dramatic Turn Of Events
2011
3.44 | 496 ratings
Dream Theater
2013

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

3.60 | 292 ratings
Live At The Marquee
1993
3.24 | 283 ratings
Once In A Livetime
1998
4.57 | 402 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
2001
4.24 | 352 ratings
Live At Budokan
2004
4.46 | 403 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.86 | 28 ratings
Happy Holidays
2013

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

4.16 | 140 ratings
Images And Words - Live In Tokyo
1993
4.35 | 325 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York
2001
3.72 | 152 ratings
Live in Tokyo/5 Years in a Livetime
2004
3.98 | 95 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite [Official Bootleg]
2004
4.30 | 324 ratings
Live at Budokan
2004
3.50 | 38 ratings
A Walk Beside The Band
2005
4.40 | 344 ratings
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.96 | 106 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
3.79 | 67 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
2007
3.45 | 181 ratings
Chaos In Motion 2007/2008
2008
2.27 | 55 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
2008
3.56 | 34 ratings
Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza
2009
3.96 | 62 ratings
Live at Luna Park
2013
4.86 | 7 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)

2.07 | 151 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 21 other pretty cool songs)
2008
3.67 | 28 ratings
Original Album Series
2011

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

2.84 | 26 ratings
Afterlife
1989
3.22 | 26 ratings
Status Seeker
1989
2.74 | 20 ratings
The ATCO Demos
1991
2.86 | 48 ratings
Another Day
1992
3.62 | 41 ratings
Pull Me Under
1992
2.85 | 37 ratings
Caught In A Web
1994
3.75 | 48 ratings
The Silent Man
1994
2.94 | 43 ratings
Lie
1994
3.64 | 525 ratings
A Change Of Seasons
1995
3.05 | 52 ratings
Hollow Years
1997
3.74 | 23 ratings
Once In A LIVEtime Outtakes (International Fan Club CD 1998)
1998
3.02 | 48 ratings
Cleaning Out The Closet
1999
3.14 | 49 ratings
Through Her Eyes
2000
1.94 | 25 ratings
Christmas 2000 Fan Club CD
2000
1.87 | 25 ratings
4 degrees of Radio edits
2002
3.13 | 15 ratings
When Demos and Singles Unite
2002
2.94 | 31 ratings
Taste The Memories
2003
2.91 | 27 ratings
Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fanclub CD 2003)
2003
3.12 | 37 ratings
The Making Of Scenes From A Memory
2003
2.77 | 80 ratings
The Number Of The Beast
2003
1.91 | 90 ratings
Master Of Puppets
2003
2.65 | 27 ratings
Los Angeles, California 5/18/98
2003
3.22 | 27 ratings
Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95
2003
2.84 | 39 ratings
The Majesty Demos 1985 - 1986 [Official bootleg]
2003
3.64 | 27 ratings
A Sort Of Homecoming
2004
3.27 | 26 ratings
Images and Words: Demos 1989 - 1991 [Official Bootleg]
2004
3.77 | 55 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite
2004
2.67 | 18 ratings
When Dream And Day Unite Demos 1987-1989
2004
3.32 | 104 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
2.24 | 27 ratings
Awake Demos
2006
3.02 | 25 ratings
Old Bridge, New JERSEY - 12/14/96
2006
3.62 | 49 ratings
Made in Japan [Official Bootleg]
2006
3.47 | 27 ratings
Images and Words - 15th Anniversary Performance (Fan Club CD 2007)
2007
4.11 | 57 ratings
Falling Into Infinity: Demos 1996-1997 [Official Bootleg]
2007
3.15 | 34 ratings
Constant Motion
2007
3.57 | 29 ratings
New York City 3/4/93
2007
3.38 | 8 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 - The International Fan Clubs CD 2008
2008
2.46 | 51 ratings
Forsaken
2008
2.55 | 62 ratings
A Rite of Passage
2009
3.07 | 68 ratings
Stargazer
2009
3.36 | 65 ratings
Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
2009
3.63 | 49 ratings
Odyssey
2009
3.43 | 44 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
2009
3.16 | 62 ratings
Larks Tongues In Aspic, Pt. 2
2009
3.20 | 66 ratings
Wither
2009
3.00 | 36 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
2009
2.45 | 22 ratings
The Making of Falling Into Infinity
2009
2.72 | 23 ratings
Train of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003
2009
3.56 | 109 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
2011
3.15 | 59 ratings
The Enemy Inside
2013
4.30 | 10 ratings
Illumination Theory
2014

DREAM THEATER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.29 | 2143 ratings

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Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

2 stars I was never the biggest Dream Theater fan. I do remember getting Images and Words and really enjoying that album for a time, and I still do like quite a lot of the songs on there, but all of their other work that I've heard has really underwhelmed me. This album, despite the hype that helped convince me to check it out, failed to really grab my attention.

I find that while the songwriting is not bad, I simply do not really like Dream Theater's new style that they adopted after Awake, which is another album by them that I do enjoy. I attempted several times to listen to this album, but to no avail. I know that many people really enjoy this album, and I was hoping to really enjoy it, as some even consider this album better than Images and Words. I remain fairly unconvinced.

Dream Theater made an album that many deem a classic here, and for that reason I really feel bad with the rating that I am awarding this. However, I personally could never enjoy this album nor really any of the music on here as much as their earlier works, and I feel compelled to rate this album based on how I feel it stacks up against their other releases.

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 Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.29 | 2143 ratings

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Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by JCDenton

5 stars Marvelous album. I absolutely love each track. The album finds a good balance between the faster heavier recordings and switches into laid-back tunes nearly flawlessly. The band doesn't just make a bunch of unrelated good prog songs. Even the songs that aren't Prog at all sound great and entirely relevant. It's hard to pick highlight songs because every track feels important. The ominous horror of "Finally Free" sticks out to me, as do the stunning showcase of talents on "Dance of Eternity", but "Fatal Tragedy" is my favorite. This is an album I could listen to every day.

I know most of this review wasn't so explanatory of the music here. In short, it's dynamic, and the high peaks in volume and technicality is accompanied by Jordan Ruddess. He's a great addition to this album. All the band plays an incredible performance in a excellently written, intricate album.

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 Awake by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.11 | 1530 ratings

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Awake
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by k3no444

4 stars This five-piece from Boston consists of some of the most influential musicians in their respective instruments. With twelve albums released, Dream Theater has sold millions of albums over their lifetime. Varying in styles from progressive rock, to progressive metal, to even glam rock, each album differs in some way from the rest, as you can hear many unique sounds from album to album. I believe of all the albums they have released, one of my favorites has to be their album "Awake."

I noticed immediately that this album was a step in a different direction from their last album "Images and Words." Feeling more metal-oriented, songs like "Caught in a Web" and "The Mirror" are guitar-driven, featuring some of the bands heaviest riffs at the time. Guitarist John Petrucci is showcased in songs like "Erotomania" and "Lie," with his flawless execution of sweep and tremolo picking. Although Petrucci has sections of each song devoted to soloing, they are much more toned-down than previous albums, but are not over-technical, and when they do occur, it is more enjoyable for the listener. Besides such heavy riffs lies songs like "The Silent Man" and "Space-Dyed Vest," in which clean guitar is used and takes a back seat to other members of the band.

The vocals and lyrics are also fantastic in this album thanks to singer James LaBrie. LaBrie's voice is much more controlled in this album, and can be considered much more rugged than high- pitched. His voice is displayed beautifully in voices like "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream," "The Silent Man," and "Voices," which proves the range and quality of his voice.

Both the bass and keyboards help complement each song off the album. Bassist John Myung and keyboarder Kevin Moore have their own sections in this album dedicated specifically to their instrument, being "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream" and "Space-Dyed Vest" respectively. Coincidentally, these two songs happen to be my two favorite songs off this album, containing some of the best overall workmanship by the band as a whole. The darker and more melancholic themes that are so greatly expressed in this album are greatly increased with help from Myung and Moore.

As most of Dream Theater's other albums, I cannot help but focus on the drum track for every song Dream Theater releases. Mike Portnoy, the drummer during the time of this album's release, is magnificent. His flawless hits on the snare, the ease of his time signature changes, and the quality of sound off this album proves Portnoy to be one of the best drummers in progressive metal. His presence is known in songs like "6:00" and "Scarred," where Portnoy relies on other percussion.

I really enjoy listening to this album. I give it a solid 4 star rating.

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 Awake by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.11 | 1530 ratings

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Awake
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by thwok

4 stars I agree with the general population that Awake is one of Dream Theater's best efforts. It belongs in the top five, and deserves at least four stars. "Erotomania" is the first Dream Theater song I ever heard, and I was hooked. It was also the first video I watched on Prog Archives, shortly after I joyously discovered our favorite website! I live in central Illinois, and the FM radio situation here is pretty dire. If It wasn't for PA, I would never even have heard of Dream Theater!

Besides "Erotomania", I also love "Caught in a Web" and "Innocence Faded". In fact, I think the whole first half of the album is brilliant. There isn't a bad song on Awake. If Dream Theater weren't the fine songwriters that they are, I wouldn't care about them. The choice of Kevin Moore versus Jordan Rudess isn't really an issue for me, since neither of them has written much of the material. Awake contains some of DT's best songs IMO, and is worth at least four stars.

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 Systematic Chaos by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.32 | 1312 ratings

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Systematic Chaos
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by thwok

4 stars I don't understand the relative disdain that my fellow reviewers on PA show for Systematic Chaos. It has the lowest overall rating of Dream Theater's first 10 releases. For me, Systematic Chaos is one of DT's finest releases and deserves at least four stars. I would rather listen to Systematic Chaos than Metropolis 2, to pick one for comparison. Systematic Chaos isn't apparently a concept album, unlike M2. Maybe that makes Systematic Chaos less "prog". Being progressive in the superficial sense of that word isn't the ultimate goal in life. I think the songwriting on Systematic Chaos is generally much better.

The present album has, for me, a lot of DT's most attractive and memorable songs. My personal favorites are "Forsaken" through "Repentance", but I love almost all of it If it is Mike Portnoy singing "The Dark Eternal Night", I think he does a fine job. No, Portnoy can't sing like LaBrie. However, that's why you hire a lead singer. Systematic Chaos has some of LaBrie's finest work; I don't know if there's a DT album where he performs better. My primary complaint with Systematic Chaos is that "The Ministry of Lost Souls" and "In the Presence Pt. 2" are too long back-to-back. Together they make up almost half of the album. It's just too much epicness at once for my tastes. However, that's a minor issue for me. Systematic Chaos is better than some of DT's better-regarded releases IMHO, and fully deserves four stars.

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 Black Clouds & Silver Linings by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.44 | 1221 ratings

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Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

3 stars After the success of "Systematic Chaos" due to a popularity rise from their record deal with Roadrunner records, the band went back into the studio to record another. Now before it's release, Portnoy's mouth didn't stop running, saying that this album would be like "having "Octavarium", "Pull Me Under" and "A Change Of Seasons" all on the same album." Now this isn't true, basically there's an 8 minute song and 2 songs that are near 20 minutes. But what really is this album like...well to tell you the truth when this album came out...I was disappointed and to this day I'm not as disappointed...but I am still not loving this album.

Musically the band decided to go into a more darker direction. The band have been promising a darker album for ages, so this is what we get, with a lot more focus on minor chords and such. Now, tone wise this isn't too bad. In fact most of the problems lie with the material, which mostly is good. It's just fragments of the songs which really let the tracks down. Some are too long and some are quite weak. One big positive is that this may be the best I've heard James' voice in a very long time, with him pulling off some great vocal moments.

The special edition of this album would be worth getting a buy, because it does feature a bonus disc full of cover songs. Now, the band does do covers pretty well and I won't dwell upon them too much, but there are some interesting versions of these songs. The Queen melody for one is brilliant with a very interesting vocal performance from James LaBrie. "Stargazers" and "To Tame A Land" are also brilliantly crafted too.

The album opener "A Nightmare To Remember" is another song which could have been a brilliant and classic Dream Theater song. Starting off with a riff which is pretty much a slower version of Cradle Of Filths "The Promise Of Fever," showing off extreme metal and black metal influence. The main body has some great twists and turns but the real catcher of this track would have to be the slower part. A brilliantly crafted melody with some great vocal harmonies, this is one of the shining moments on the album. Sadly the track goes into some mediocre instrumental passages and then it happens. A section of the song which has a death metal influence...so the bands crazed drummer decides to take the mic and do one of the worst impersonations of death metal. This has to be one of the most embarrassing moments on the bands career. Luckily there is a live version the band did with Mikael from Opeth doing the growls, and it sounds way better. The song does close off pretty well with some surprising blast beats and luckily it doesn't drag too much. I do feel a lot of this song needed to be trimmed off, but there are moments on this song which are incredibly majestic.

The first single to be dropped from the album "A Rite Of Passage" is probably one of my least favorite Dream Theater songs. It starts off pretty well with a pretty good riff, but the first verse is terrible with stupid effects and reverb on the vocals. Luckily the chorus is pretty good and the second verse does pick up and become more enjoyable, but the instrumental section comes out of nowhere, but I did like the noisy and interesting keyboard solo from Jordan. The lyrics are also a bit poor due to a lack of knowledge about the song's topic (it's about Freemasons by the way). Probably the poorest song on the album.

The song which I would probably agree has no problems on it would be "Wither." The ballad for the album, the song is perfectly crafted and beautifully written. It does verge on cheese at times, but a bit of cheese never hurt anybody. The lyrics which deal with writers block are beautifully written and the wordplay is pretty good too.

"The Shattered Fortress" being the last of the 12 Steps Suite does seem to be a song which is supposed to tie loose ends. Now, after the release of this album, Portnoy did explain that this suite did almost seem like homework at times for the band. Some moments on this song do have some nice moments, but other than that it is basically a re hashing of old ideas from previous songs. I will let some riff slide, but it is very deja vu.

Trying to lay into the "The Best Of Times" is rather tough due to the nature and background of the track (with it being about Portnoy's dad who sadly passed away), but there are some minor flaws. The intro is absolutely beautiful, with some beautiful piano work from Jordan and a brilliant violin accompaniment. Then the song goes into ultra Rush mode. Now being heavily influenced by Rush and Rush being one of Portnoy's father's favorite band, I will let the obvious rip off fly. The lyrics are decent being very direct and personal to Portnoy, but I did prefer his lyricism on "A Change Of Seasons" (being about the death of his mother) to be better due to better crafted metaphors and word play. The song is one of the strongest on the album, but it still could have been handled way better.

"The Count Of Tuscany" starts off with one of the most beautiful sections the band has ever composed with some amazing guitar work from John Petrucci. As the idea expands it then crashes into a metal riff that easily could be found in a Trivium song. Now, riff wise it's not too bad, with LaBrie doing a great delivery of Petrucci's lyrics about a man he met on holiday in Tuscany. The chorus is really what lets this down. While having a great melody, the chorus is ruined by Portnoy's failed attempts at death growls. As the song moves on the instrumental sections are enjoyable with some Zappa influenced synth sounds. Then the song slows down with a Pink Floyd interlude. Then the last 8-9 minutes is one of the best compositions Dream Theater has composed. Very simple in nature, it tells the rest of the story perfectly with some beautiful instrumental passages. Sadly this song could have been so good, a staple in the bands career, but it missed the mark just slightly.

In conclusion, this is probably my least favorite Dream Theater album. But...this album has some of the bands best moments in their whole career. In fact, I find that mostly every song would be a brilliant track, but due to arrangements is usually left feeling very flawed and uninspired. I do blame Portnoy's almost obsessive control over the bands music. Luckily after his departure the band re ignited their former passions. I would recommend this for certain moments, but other than that this album is the perfect example of so close but yet so far.

6.9/10

Genres: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock. Symphonic Metal, Symphonic Rock

Year of release: 2009

Country of origin: USA

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 Awake by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.11 | 1530 ratings

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Awake
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

5 stars After the incredibly successful "Images & Words", the band where on a pedestal. The problem with releasing a masterpiece is that you have to follow it up with another masterpiece. Now, this album was met with a tiny bit of confusion when released, but I do believe that out of all their albums, this album is probably the one which has aged the best.

The album is definitely a lot more darker than any of Dream Theater's other releases, and I think the reason is because they were a band that got dicked about a lot by their record company. At around this period, metal was starting to go towards a heavier and groovier motion (with the birth of Nu Metal on the rise), so the band where convinced to go heavier. These guys could have really faked this notion and released a god awful Pantera rip off, but the band where able to adopt this style and meld it into their own very successfully.

Sadly this album was the last to feature Kevin Moore. Apparently he became very introverted during the making of this album, but there is something about his playing and sound that I really love on this album. James' vocals are also some of the best I've ever heard him. Sadly this album was made before his tragic vomiting food poisoning incident which damaged his vocal chords. But, for all we know, this album is the one which wrecked his voice.

The opening track "6:00" is a drummers wet dream. Opening off with a very noticeable drum intro the song turns into a pretty great pop metal tune. The rather comical lyrics and sound clips also add a lot of atmosphere to the track too.

"Caught In A Web" is probably one of the most aggressive and heaviest songs the band have released. With some pretty heavy riffs and a brilliant keyboard riff, the song is really propelled by James' incredibly rough and angry vocals.

The album's instrumental "Erotomania" is definitely up there with one of the bands best instrumental pieces. Technically proficient with some pretty great riffs, the song is pretty impressive.

One of my personal favorite tracks has to be "Voices." A brilliant composition with some brilliant arrangements, the song really is a surprising shining moment from the band. With incredibly poetic and cryptic lyrics that deal with mental health, the song is a beautiful and twisted tune with some very haunting moments.

A very weird choice for a single, "The Silent Man" is an acoustic ballad. With a very nice arrangement with some nice lyrics and a great performance from James, the song is very touching. I have had a great history with this song (having covered it a lot of times myself) and is up there with one of my favorite Dream Theater ballads.

A song that has started to grow on me would be "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream." I do think this is a bit of a rip off of U2's sound, but the poetic lyrics and great keyboard riffs do save this song. I know a lot of fans really like this song, but I do know when to call a bluff a a bluff, and this is a bit of a bluff.

The album's longest track "Scarred" is a very interesting tune. With some pretty cool riffs and a pretty mad vocal performance from James, the song really comes to a climax with an amazing instrumental section in the middle of the track.

The album closer "Space-Dye Vest" is a very different moment for the band. Being a solo composition from Kevin Moore, the song is a very minimalist composition with very simple keyboard riffs and a low pitched vocal performance from James. Brilliant ending to the album.

In conclusion, this album is pretty much a classic Dream Theater album. After making the album of their career in "Images & Words" and go through some serious turbulence, the band came back with a dark and brooding masterpiece. It may not be my favorite Dream Theater album, but it definitely is a milestone in the bands career.

8.9/10

Genres: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal, Groove Metal, Hard Rock, Pop Rock

Country of origin: USA

Year of release: 1994

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 A Dramatic Turn Of Events by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.90 | 1230 ratings

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A Dramatic Turn Of Events
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars This album has a bit of history behind it. After the dramatic departure of drummer Mike Portnoy (I remember a similar reaction whenever the last pope died), the metal world was split. You either now loved Dream Theater or hated Dream Theater due to the decision of one band member. Personally I couldn't really care. Mike Portnoy is a brilliant drummer and yes he did bring a certain flair to the band, but change is always good, for better or for worse. So with the dramatic change, the band started the hunt for a drummer, in an almost Simon Cowell manner with auditions and videos showing the audition. Bit cheesy, but it seemed to be beneficial for the band as they where able to hire drum genius Mike Mangini to join the band.

Personally I think this change has done them for the better. Their last album 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings' I personally saw as a bit of a mixed bag, and Portnoy's demanding influence seems to be the reason for some of the albums weakest moments. But now that his overt personality is not seen on this album, it is replaced with a more group effort. Sadly Mangini did not contribute any composition work on this album, but his drumming is still impressive nontheless

The only slight criticism I would have with this album is the production. I wasn't too fond of Portnoy's drum mixes on previous albums, but I fear that maybe the drums on this album have been turned down a tad too much. It is nice to hear the band become not so percussion heavy, but a slight turn up would be good. The guitar mixing I believe to be very muddy as well. There is something about Petrucci's tone on this album which I am not the biggest fan of. I would admit that this may be the best album to hear John Myung's bass, with some pretty impressive musical moments from the man himself. Jordan's keyboards have finally spruced up too, with less experimentation with new technology, approaching with a more classical approach on this album.

The opening track and Grammy nominated lead single 'On The Backs Of Angels' is a pretty great opener. With some pretty kick ass riffs, it starts off the album on a good note. I was surprised to see this song get a Grammy nomination, with it being an 8 minute track, but these guys do pull of a pretty great prog metal track, with a lot more prog rock than metal.

My least favorite track on the album would have to be 'Build Me Up, Break Me Down.' There are moments of the song I do like a lot, but at times it just sounds like a rip off of a Disturbed riff. The saving moment has to be James' crazy screams in the chorus.

'Lost Not Forgotten' starts off with a beautiful piano intro before exploding into one of the most technically efficient songs on the album. The instrumental section also has some pretty killer riffs too.

One of the album's ballads 'This Is The Life' has some pretty great instrumental moments and arrangements. James' vocals on the song are also pretty great, showing off some very diverse moments too.

'Bridges In The Sky' is probably the heaviest track on the album. Using his 7 string, Petrucci really shows off some pretty kick ass riffs on this track. The chorus is also one of the strongest on the album too. The intro is a bit odd and silly, but the real meat and bones of the track is where the song really takes shape.

One of the most oddest compositions on the album has to be 'Outcry.' Starting off as a rather anthemic rock track, the song moves into a rather eclectic instrumental section with a lot of experimentation with atonal and chromatic music moments. The song does take a while to get into, but it's impressive nontheless.

One of my personal favorite tracks has to be 'Far From Heaven.' A beautiful piano and string arrangement, the song deals with the topic of forceful parents who work their children to the bone. Brilliant lyrics and a brilliant vocal performance from James, the song is rather touching.

The albums longest track and definite strongest moment on the album is the 12 minute epic 'Breaking All Illusions.' Now I know that Dream Theater get a lot of abuse for showing too much virtuostic musical ability, but I think this song is an example of the band showing virtuostic talent, but still in a very musical and compositional manner.

The album's closing track 'Beneath The Surface' is another ballad that displays some beautiful melodies. I do like the rather minimalist approach behind this song and shows that the band can tone it down to make something rather special. Odd but good way to end the album.

In conclusion, this is probably up there with one of my favorite Dream Theater albums. After having gone through certain difficult circumstances, the band where able to prove that they are very much still relevant. Whether that still holds up today, I'm not sure. But this album definitely proves that the band have still got it in them to take the crown of Prog Metal kings.

Genres: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Symphonic Rock, Symphonic Prog

Country of origin: USA

Year of release: 2011

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 Dream Theater by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.44 | 496 ratings

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Dream Theater
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Dream Theater" is the self-titled 12th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Dream Theater. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in September 2013. Releasing a self-titled album this late in your career, often signals a change in musical direction or maybe more often a return to the roots. In Dream Theater's case that's not really true though, and while I'm not sure about this, I assume that in this case the title is meant to signal that the band are now a more harmonic and tight nit unit, than the case was when Mike Portnoy was with the band. That's a wild guess though and maybe they just couldn't come up with a better title.

The music on the album pretty much continue down the same path as on the last couple of releases. In other words this is Dream Theater as we know them and love(hate) them. The musicianship is outstanding as ever. Challenging guitar and keyboard work, intricate and adventurous rythms, progressive song structures and James Labrie's strong and distinct sounding vocals in front. The most significant change from their previous releases is on the drum post. Mike Mangini did play the drums and was a permanent member of the lineup on "A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011)", but at the time he was hired, the drum parts for the album were already written, and he basically played as a session musician on that album. So this is the first time, he is allowed to put his own mark on the music, and it is heard. While his drumming style fits Dream Theater's music well there are notable differences between his playing and the playing of his predecessor. And that's a great positive in my opinion, as it was something I missed on "A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011)".

The material on the 9 track, 68:01 minutes long album primarily consist of tracks between 2 and 7 minutes in length and it's only the 22:17 minutes long closing track "Illumination Theory", that is really long on this album. Heavier tracks like "The Enemy Within" and "Behind the Veil" stand pretty strong in the picture, but there are generally too many "by the numbers" tracks, that don't really make a lasting impression. Tracks like "Along For The Ride", "The Bigger Picture" and "Surrender to Reason" are examples of this. They are competently written and all feature enjoyable sections, but they don't add anything new to Dream Theater's sound and Dream Theater have simply produced better material in this style before. Even the instrumental "Enigma Machine", which is occasionally brilliant, isn't that memorable. "Illumination Theory" is not surprisingly one of the highlights of the album, featuring structural twists and turns and several intriguing sections. It's interesting how they incorporate classical soundtrack type sections both on "Illumination Theory" but also on the opening track "False Awakening Suite" (oh well the use of classical orchestration is more bombastic on this track and kind of reminds me of Symphony X).

Dream Theater are as always a distinct sounding band, even though their influences occasionally surface. Take a listen to the very obvious Rush influence on "The Looking Glass" and on the opening section of "Surrender to Reason" for an example of that. With this self-titled release they've created yet another quality progressive metal release to add to their already sizable discography. Although the sound production (which features the sharpest drum production since "Awake (1994)"), the musicianship and the songwriting are all on a high level, it's still not an album in the better end of their output, but still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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 Falling Into Infinity by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.33 | 1127 ratings

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Falling Into Infinity
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by TwoCents

3 stars Enter the cringe-period of Dream Theater's career (1997-current).

Averaged out, this is a good album. The highlight is without a doubt Lines in the Sand, as well as the instrumental Hell's Kitchen which proceeds it. Together they form a 16-minute mega track that is one of the greatest things Dream Theater has ever done. Overall, the sound is more organic and commercial. Most of the time, this is OK for this album. A few times, however, it is disastrous.

To be honest, I haven't listened to Burning My Soul or Just Let Me Breathe in a very long time. One time alone was traumatic enough to convince me to never again listen to such an abomination. If you want to get an idea for how bad the former track is, picture this: a completely bone-headed riff that Slipknot would throw away for not meeting their intellectual standards, made even more insipid by a robot voice crooning "Burning My Soul..." Maybe that kind of thing passed as edgy for teenage boys in the 90's, but if you're anyone else, it will make you cringe with embarrassment and ache to smash this disc to pieces. Its just that bad.

Its a shame too, because most of this album is really good! Dream Theater were still young enough in their career that they still had fresh ideas, not had they succumb to packing 400% too much noodling into their "epics" (though Trial of Tears comes close). I even like the LaBrie- penned Anna Lee!

So if you work around the atrocious butt-rockers that are tracks 2, 5, and 9, its pretty good. Ignore other comments about cheesy ballads, its the painfully forced attempts at metal here that diminish the power of this recording. Recommended, but prepare for a cringe or two.

3/5

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