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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
2 stars Now, Dream Theater was the second prog metal band I discovered (Tool being the first), and luckely the first song I ever heard from them was possibly their best ever: ''Learning to Live''. They impressed me so much that I have made it a point to collect every Dream Theater CD I come across. So naturally, when SYSTEMATIC was released, I went straight to my local Wal-Mart and picked up the second-to-last Special edition available there, which featured the making of DVD and all of those features.

Well, on first listen, it all sounded great. I especially liked ''In The Presence of Enemies'', but upon second, third and fourth listen, nothing on the album seemed all that special to me. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the only really good song on the album is the epic ''In The Presence of Enemies'', which if you include both parts clocks in at nearly thirty minutes. So, half an hour of genuinely great music is enough reason to hold on to this album if you've already bought it, but if you were considering picking up and haven't yet, I would honestly suggest that you spend your money on something better (A Tool record, for example). Nothing really isn't here that we haven't heard before from these guys.

Dream Theater is one of the only bands who blatantly recycles already existing material and actually gets away with it without too much outcry from the prog elitists out there, which stumps me quite a bit. Now that isn't to say that I dislike them, in fact I am quite fond of them, but if you were to ask me how many truly great albums Dream Theater has recorded, I could probably count the amount on half of one hand. That is also not so sway you from picking up other Dream Theater material, as there is some truly great work in there, but on this album, it feels like they're weakest attempt yet, with all-too-obvious influences. The ones I noticed right off the bat were: Yes, Pink Floyd, Slayer, Metalllica, and even some Opeth. While having influences is fine, I prefer it if a band can more or less keep their influences buried amoungst all of the originality that the bast itself can dish out. In the past Dream Theater has accomplished this; here they haven't.

This is more or less the same things we have already heard from these guys. Also, to me it is the most straightforward metal album they have made since TRAIN OF THOUGHT, and I personally don't dig that stuff. I want progressive metal, not thrash metal (Which is what a good deal of this album is made up of). Hell, you can practically hear James Hetfield dying and rolling over into his grave as LaBrie sings on 'the ''Constant Motion'' track. People will defend it. People HAVE defended it, but all in all, this isn't worth a person's time or money unless they are such a die-hard Dream Theater fan that they feel like they have to own every single blessed effort this band releases. Anyone else should really find a more deserving album to spend fifteen bucks on. This is a pass as far as I am concerned.

JLocke | 2/5 |


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