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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.66 | 1996 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Crow
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Better than Train of Thought... But far from the Dream Theater's best moments!

Octavarium is a diverse album with a lot of good points, and some mistakes... The best I can say about this release is that it's funny to listen to. The songs flow peacefully and in an interesting way. The only bad chosen track is the boring The Anwer Lies Within. A ballad so slow and weak can't be a second track in my opinion... After the solid opening The Root of All Evil, this track low the level of the album miserably down.

But beside this fail, the rest of the tracks are good chosen to give an impression of variety... The average These Walls, with the typical Dream Theater's sound, is followed by the very weak I Walk Beside You, wich is a sad attempt to mix some Muse verses, with a typical U2 chorus... Very miserable for a band like Dream Theater is this song.

The rest of the album is OK... Panic Attack is one of the hardest songs of their career, technically outstanding. Never Enough is not bad, but the verses are again spoiled from Muse. What were this guys thinking? Even the LaBrie's voice reminds me to the english band... But then, we have Sacrified Sons, the best song of the album. Is a track a bit in the style of the short tracks of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, but even more inspired. The album's classic, in my opinion.

Then we have the suite Octavarium... This track opens with a passage directly spoiled from Pink Floyd. After this, we have some melodies wich reminds me to Spock's Beard... Yes, even the John Myung's bass has a similar sound to the Dave Meros's one in some moments! But this lack of ideas is not a great problem, because the track is at least funny to listen to... At the time 12'15'', we have even a Neo-Prog section! I find it very cool, and the symphonic ending is also appropiate. So this track is not so good as A Change of Seasons, or Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, but it deserves a good listening.

The last thing I'd like to comment about this album, is the lack of strength of James LaBrie's voice... He sings in almost every song without real passion in my opinion, like he was tired or bored when he recorded this album. He has nothing to do with the energetic singer of the first Dream Theater albums, and he has not the inspiraton of Scenes from a Memory... The weakest fact of the album, in terms of playing.

Best tracks: The Root of all Evil (cool riffs for an appropiate opening...), Panic Attack (funny and powerful), Sacrified Sons (the best track in my opinion) and Ocatavarium (it has some flaws, but it's interesting anyway...)

Conclusion: an irregular album wich is better than the previous Dream Theater's release... But undoubtly, Octavarium is not one of the band's highlights. The band shows some lack of ideas, and they spoil too much from other bands in my opinion (I think that calling it influences is a bit hypocrite...) So being an insteresting album, wich some worthy moments, if you don't hear it you'll not be missing something really special.

My rating: ***

The Crow | 3/5 |


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