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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1752 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Expectations aren't always high for any established band. Chances are fans don't even know what they actually hope for. This is also the case for Dream Theater, who has become undisputed poster boys in its genre, i.e. progressive metal; they just can't get away from such situation. Good thing is, however, Mike Portnoy and the rest of the guys have so far never made their fans, metalheads throughout the world, truly disappointed.

Here, in their ninth studio effort, once again the 20 year old band mercilessly shows how they've been in a level of "we-can-do- anything-we-want", as if they were a master painter who, besides technical capabilities, had been collecting under their belts every colors available and a huge pile of canvas. Fortunately enough, they seem never lack of ideas; ideas flow like a mountain river.

Like in their previous albums, especially since Images and Words (1992) that catapulted them to international success, even onto MTV screen, they still play with adrenalin-pumping technical prowess: highly energized, lightning fast, and Switzerland watches precision. These are typical metal elements. But, at the same time, they also generously incorporate powerful melodies in their musical structures.

We may recognize here that they mix all the best parts of their previous sounds. By listening to it in its entirety, we might come to a point where we can't just say it tends to Train of Thought metal and less progressive, vice versa. Every element shares equally space width and well blended with the music --heavy and soft, restrained and unleashed, and also both technical and emotional.

On top of that, everyone still can get compositions packed with rapidly shifting time signatures, virtuosic solos and unisons, and massive riffs that made the band famous. The album title, albeit contradictio in terminus, says it all --chaotic, yet controlled.

If it has to be mentioned, this album is partly having Train of Thought's dark and heavy elements and partly highlighting Octavarium's grandeur and flair. There's absolutely no single song deserves to be missed. Everything meets even the lowest level of expectation from die hard fans and those who appreciate the music in a reasonable manner alike. And for those who wouldn't mind to dig his or her wallet deeper, the special edition package --with a CD and a bonus DVD --surely would worth the price.

kunangkunangku | 4/5 |


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