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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1752 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A curious and distinctive Dream Theater album!

"Systematic Chaos" is a different efforth by this band, although it's clearly related with the other band's works... They tried to sound different, adding new textures to their sound, and with renewed energy. Taking some of the best ideas of the failed "Train of Thought", and mixing them with the love for the melody of "Octavairum", they managed to make a very well balanced album, althouhg it's under the best Dream Theater moments.

The sound of the album is very homogene, being every track coherent with the rest of the work... Maybe the most surprising elements are the "growls" we can hear in some songs. They add a new strenght to the band's music, and although some people find them annoying speaking about Dream Theater, I think they are a good idea. In Constant Motion they work very well.

The pity is that because the coherence and the homogeneous compositions this album has, it loses a bit interest at its final part, where it starts to sound a bit repetitive, despite the great efforth of the band in the last two tracks, where they make an impressive performance... But it's not enough, because this last songs are under the quality of the beginning of the album in term of composition.

Instrumentally, the band shines as usual... Maybe Mike Portonoy is a bit under his possibilities here, I bit less spectacular than other Dream Theater's albums. James LaBrie's voice has lost strength over the years, and his interpretation is clearly under albums like "Awake" or "Scenes from a Memory". The rest of the band does a great job, neverhteless... Specially John Petrucci, who is, in my opinion, the best Dream Theater's musician, and the most brilliant in "Systematic Chaos". He is the protagonist here, like he was in "Traing of Thought" with his furious riffing and dizzy solos.

Bes songs: Forsaken (a very melodic track, with a great Petrucci's riffing...), Constant Motion (a heavy, Metallica influenced theme...) , The Dark Eternal Night (another riff oriented track, and a risky Dream Theater's attempt of trying new things... I love the chorus, and the crazy instrumental interlude) and Prophets of War (a remarkable song, although is very Muse influenced, and it remembers me to the flawed "Octavarium"... Best LaBried's singing of the album)

Conclusion: almost as heavy as "Train of Thought", but surparssing it in quality and variety, "Systematic Chaos" is a good Dream Theater album, with some excellent ideas, but also with some forgettable moments... Just like "Octavarium". Nevertheless, I think that "Systematic Chaos" is better than this previous release, thanks to two or three excellent tracks, and the coherence of the compositions in comparision with the disperse ideas of their eighth release. So if you want a good progressive metal album, then give "Systematic Chaos" a listening... Although there are a lot better progressive metal albums out there. And some of them, have ironically the Dream Theater's name on the cover.

My rating: ***1/2

The Crow | 3/5 |


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