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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1752 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Systematic boredom.

There's much wrong with this album. First of all, the title. Don't put the word chaos in a title when the content is as un-chaotic as can be. For the latest of true systematic chaos I may send you to The Bedlam in Goliath by The Mars Volta.

Though the album reviewed here sounds mostly like Octavarium it can't compete with its predecessor. Obviously the formula doesn't work twice. In my opinion the music on Systematic Chaos has become stale, if not decadent. For instance, the track Repentance noodles on for almost 11 minutes, without building up any tension, just going nowhere. The same goes all in all for The Ministry of Lost Souls, but make this 15 minutes (the instrumental passage is ok). Even the stuff that worked at the beginning (In the Presence of Enemies Part 1, Forsaken, Prophets of War) loses more and more credit with every spin I give it. Constant Motion and The Dark Eternal Night sound like remnants of the Train of Thought sessions, and since I don't like that album you know what I think of those two tracks. But the thing that's vexing me most is In the Presence of Enemies Part 2. The ideas in part 1 were the only really satisfying ones on the whole album - and they probably knew it. And so they keep repeating them for another bloody 16 minutes! Draining them of every little power and inventiveness. This last track (together with Repentance and The Ministry of Lost Souls) exemplifies beyond doubt how uncreative the band has become.

Train of Thought was a let down, but it was fueled by anger, at least. With Systematic Chaos the band relies on subtlety covering up their artistic frustration and resignation. Take a good long vacation of about 5 years, guys. Then you might come up again with something fantastic.

Since the album is certainly a worthwhile listen to the ones who are new to the band and don't know the back catalogue, I'll rate it 3 stars: good, tired, and non-essential.

Favourite Track: In the Presence of Enemies Pt. 1

strayfromatlantis | 3/5 |


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