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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2061 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's 1994, Prog-Metal vs. Grudge, and progmetal starts to take form with this fantastic album.

Before I start the review, my obtain-tion of this album has an iteresting anecdote to it. The local record store had recently reorganized it's shelves, and the metal section now resided where country had previously been. Used to the change, a friend and I (then a metalhead) searched our usual artists until we noticed a man with an attendant searching what was the old metal section, now electronica, in a quizzative fashion. Noticing that the one man was blind I called them over to what they were apperently looking for. Having money to blow and looking for a new band to get into I asked my friend what he suggested, he haden't a clue. It was then that the blind man spoke up and suggested a band I haden't heard of, Dream Theater. "Awake" was $10, and the blind man said it was "a great album, definately worth the money." Needless to say, I listened to him. That day apperently changed my life, I needed more of this music, more of the music that inspired this Dream Theater, and that's how I would later get to artists like Rush, Yes and so on. But with all that behind me, Awake still remains one of my favorite albums of all time, but I'll give a non Biased review.

And here it is:

While Grudge raged in the early 90s, this band was still trying to revive a fallen genre, and while it eventually would, this remains one of Dream Theater's finest works. Starting wit the heavy 6:00, the album moves on, twisting and turning between a nice mix of metal and Progressive. Songs like CAUGHT IN A WEB and INNOCENCE FADED reveal a band in the metal-turned-gurdge world, while other such as the fantastic SCARRED and SPACED DYE VEST reveal a more progressive side. More interesting yet, the band manages to combine the two aforementioned styles in a few of the songs, with great results. LIE and THE MIRROR are a few tracks that would truely define the genre of Progressive metal.

Likely the best secton of this album is (albiet split) epic A MIND BESIDE ITSELF. Divided into 3 tracks, this is a song thatonly Dream Theater could pull off. Starting with the instmental EROTOMANIA, reminicent of their inspirers: Rush, this is a track that's hard to beat, and easily flow into the next part, VOICES. This is a fantasic track, complete with all the harsh, sreaming vocals, soft part vocals, heavy drums, shredding riffs and stunning bass that DT is capable of, and remains one of their crowning glories. Coming to a close the song ends wit the peaceful THE SILENT MAN, which is a nice mellow track with some hauting vocals and lyrics that I've always found to be a great part of the album.

Although the band would go through a variety of changes that would wield harsh critisism from fans and critics alike, this is a great, timeless album that should go down as one of the genre's best. This is an effort that deserves no less than 5 stars. But the moral of the story mentioned above is: "Always listen to blind people, they know music." I know I will.

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |


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