Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Dream Theater - Dream Theater CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.28 | 956 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Another two years - another Dream Theater release...

There doesn't seem to be an end to the never-ending album-tour-album-tour cycle that the band have been following since the release of their debut album back in 1989! Even thought I would have wished that the band would have taken more time with their releases and not stress them in time for the next tour, this schedule have done good for Dream Theater and they have managed to keep up their momentum. The albums have been climbing in the charts and the fan base seems to expand every single day. Still, everything is far from perfect in the Dream Theater camp as the band have been accused of following the same formula while writing and recording their new albums. These complains have become more prominent with the releases of Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Some of these complains have grown even larger after the departure of Mike Portnoy and the release of A Dramatic Turn Of Events, an album that I consider their return to form after almost a decade of stagnating releases. Where should the band take their music on the follow up to their successful 2011 release? Well, why not simplify the sound even more than they did in the past? But that would create another fan outrage, someone cries! No problem, just add a 20+ minute composition to the mix and pretend that it's a skillfully written interconnected suite.

You might have already guessed that I'm not a fan of this 2013 release, but it isn't for the lack of trying on my part. I began listening to the album right when it was released back in September 2013 and have continued revisiting it over the years. My original reaction was very bleak and I couldn't really make much of the new material. I could certainly hear that Dream Theater have simplified their sound and the shorter track lengths didn't do much to convince me otherwise. Plus, the songs lack an distinct identity and instead are a combination of many influences fused into one melting pot. There are quite a few obvious nods at some of the progressive rock giants like Yes, Rush and E.L.P.. But instead of covering those bands greatest achievements, Dream Theater have embraced the more commercially inclined moments that those bands have achieved over the years.

After the disappointment of the first eight tracks, where even the highlights bring back a feeling of been there and done that, we've finally arrived at the 22 minute multi suite Illumination Theory. Is this the one redeeming factor that will save the album, just like Octavarium did for many fans on the album with the same name back in 2005, or will it be like one of the four longer compositions on Black Clouds & Silver Linings? My take is that it's actually neither! Illumination Theory is not even a real multi-suite composition and should be described as a mix of a few bits and pieces that the band have been working on but couldn't turn into full length tracks.

My take of the 2013 band-titled release is that it's a wolf in sheep's clothing where Dream Theater have released a new Falling Into Infinity but they tried to camouflage it as a new Octavarium. Either way, neither of the alternatives sounds all that original to my ears.

**** star songs: False Awakening Suite (2:41) The Looking Glass (4:52) Enigma Machine (6:01) Along For The Ride (4:44)

*** star songs: The Enemy Inside (6:17) The Bigger Picture (7:40) Behind The Veil (6:52) Surrender To Reason (6:34) Illumination Theory (22:16)

Rune2000 | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this DREAM THEATER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.