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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 I picked up this CD at a local record store because it was on at 2/25. Certainly, I would not have started my journey through Dream Theaters discography here for any other reason. There are so many great bands to explore, that I have been made aware of through Prog Archives, that I typically am able to start at a high point and see what there is about a band to love, before digging into the lesser loved content. For Dream Theater, this would have been doubly wise for me, for the concept of 'Progressive Metal' did not seem particularly appealing to me.

My experience with metal is pretty limited, with the odd album by Nightwish, Rhapsody/Luca Turilli, Black Sabbath/Ozzy, and Devin Townsend entering my collection over the years, all of which I enjoyed to some extent. I had heard song by other metal bands, but while there were plenty of catchy and fun songs, there wasn't a lot to distinguish them.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I found myself thinking the same of this album! The opening track seemed to be full of unimaginative guitar and bland keyboards, and the chorus of the second track, Forsaken, just grated on my nerves. I listened to the album close to a dozen times to get a feel for it, and yet very little made much of an impact on me until Repentance, which seemed like a good idea that somehow just didn't work with me. Following that is Prophets of War, which is actually a very catchy song and great to listen to, although nothing earth shattering. I seem to recall enjoying Ministry of Lost Souls, but nothing about it comes to mind, so it was enjoyable but not memorable. The album ends with a continuation of the opening track, which I remember about as well as the opening track.

In the end, I can't see why anyone would pick this album over the myriad of excellent albums out there, including (reputedly) many more by this band, unless they were already a fan of this band (or it was on sale). If I didn't know that Dream Theater is said to have released many other excellent albums prior to this one, I probably would end my journey through their discography here. Yet if you were already a fan of this music, it sounds like very able, if not very inspired, prog/metal music, so fans of the band will probably enjoy this album to some extent, thus ranking it a two star album.

TheGazzardian | 2/5 |


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