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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.30 | 3094 ratings

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4 stars I can sense that this is one of Dream Theaterīs most loved albums viewed by the reviews here on Prog Archives and listening to the album I understand why. Well at least partly because there are also parts of this album that I donīt like much.

One of the good things about this album is that it is way better than itīs predecessor Falling Into Infinity which must be said to be Dream Theaterīs weakest album at least to my ears. The hard rock edge that marred that album is fortunately gone on Scenes From a Memory. This means that the prog metal feeling and playing are very much present again on this album. The melodies are much more intricate and exciting than the more simple vocal lines on Falling Into Infinity.

The bad things about the album is first of all the production. Portnoy and Petrucci has taken over this duty on Scenes From a Memory. This is a great example of why musicians shouldnīt produce their own work ( Jimmy Page from Lep Zeppelin is another). The mix isnīt very good, and especially the drums have a very weak sound. I liked the more artificial drum sound on their earlier albums Images and Words and Awake. Portnoy and Petrucci sings background vocals on the album, which to my ears is just a horror.

Well the bad things aside this is still a great album, and songs like Scene TWO: I.Overture 1928, II.Strange Deja Vu, Scene Three: I.Through My Words, II.Fatal Tragedy and Scene Four: Beyond This Life are excellent and classic Dream Theater material. Exciting song structures, tempo and time signature changes as weīre so used to from Dream Theater are of course very present on Scenes From a Memory. I think they should have stopped the album after Scene Seven: I.The Dance of Eternity though as especially the last two songs are very weak in my ears. Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On is a cheesy and really unworthy song to be included on this album. Scene Nine: Finally Free is too repetitive and not exciting enough for me. These two songs drag the album down a bit. Itīs still excellent though, but I wouldnīt call it a masterpiece.

The lyrics are a concept story which I will not go into further detail with. Personally I normally donīt like concept stories because I think the storytelling lyrics destroy the flow of the melody lines. This is to some extent also the case here. But it is a bearable flaw to me as lyrics generally donīt interest me much.

I remember thinking that this was one of the best albums I had ever heard when I bought it, but my excitement has somehow cooled a bit over the years. Itīs still an excellent addition to any prog rock collection though and highly recommendable. A sure 4 star album.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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