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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.67 | 1994 ratings

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2 stars DREAM THEATER is one of those bands I absolutely dislike, but which I also respect. It's impossible to deny the skills of Myung, Petrucci, Portnoy and Rudess, but it's also truth that skills alone don't make a great band.

In my case I always thought that DREAM THEATER abuses of speed, solos and shredding, plus the fact that only four legged beings can attempt to listen Myung playing; if we add the bellow than average vocals of LaBrie, we get a band full of virtuoso musicians but little coherence.

So being that I don't like the band, I tried to avoid reviewing them, because don't want to be unfair, but his doesn't mean I didn't listened "Octavarium", as a fact nobody who was in Prog Archives when the album was released (and even before) could avoid getting involved, being that we had a record of 5 stars reviews in a couple of weeks, so after the things got more calmed, I bought a used copy very cheap from a disenchanted fan and now will try to review it.

The album starts with "The Root of all Evil", more or less what I expected of DREAM THEATER, well performed, fast but with terrible vocals and unnecessary guitar solo, even when I believe it's more a mainstream Metal track rather than a Prog Metal one, it's a pretty good song for any decent Metal band, but not enough for DREAM THEATER which by that moment was proclaimed as the best Prog band of history by not few fans.

"The Answer Lies Between" can be described as a ballad, not even a Power ballad, but a plain ballad, simple, repetitive and honestly boring, I never liked DT albums, but at least the previous kept me awake, this is stronger than Valium. I can't imagine how disappointed the faithful fans must be by this moment.

"These Walls" is musically a step forward, but lets be honest, smells to Muse everywhere, despite this fact, love the keyboard passages and how excellent Petrucci guitar sounds when he stops trying to be the fastest guitar in Prog, not very original, but very good track.

"I Walk Beside You" is anything except what anybody expect from DREAM THEATER, has some sort of Aorish sound with RADIOHEAD touches and even a bit of U2...The question is where in hell can we find DT?

Musically is the weakest song in the album by this point, I guess no Prog Metal fan will feel satisfied by this hybrid.

At last a good Prog Metal track, "Panic Attack" has everything I could expect,. originality good riffs, sense of musicality, amazing drumming, even LaBrie sounds great, never thought I would applaud a Prog Metal track, but if I get a DREAM THEATER album I expect Prog Metal.

"Never Enough" is another strong track, the keyboards are simply breathtaking and the drums accurate as always, also influenced by MUSE but this time I can listen more of DT.

"Sacrificed Sons" is so boring that I will pass directly to the central theme Octavarium, a 23 minutes epic that I can say it's..............long, well that's the best I can say.

The intro is almost exact to "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", het they maybe should pay royalties, the flute section is very pretty, but again not something I would expect from this band, by moments seem they lost their teeth and can't bite anymore.

Rudess is above the average as always, but in some moments a bit cheesy, the vocals are correct but again correct is not enough. the guitar solo near the end is simply distasteful, yes the combination wit acoustic guitar is complex, buy nothing more, at the end becomes pompous and at least that's something.

I believe that if I had to choose a word that describes this album would be unimpressive, something that a band based in the spectacular skills of most of their members and impressive solos can't afford, I would say is bellow the average, and being that in our system the average is 3 stars, can't rate Octavarium with more than 2.5 sadly this is not possible, will have to rate it with 2 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |


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