Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.13 | 2140 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Amazing from start to finish

After the quintessential Images and Words, Dream Theater was faced with the legendary challenge many artists have gone through: following up a masterpiece album. With Awake, I say they even surpassed Images. Personally, this is my favourite Dream Theater album and maybe my favourite album of all time.

A description of the music: Awake took a much different approach from Images and Words. Awake seems to have a dark aura about it on every song, while Images had a much brighter sound. Awake also has a bit more focus on the metal aspect and the instrumental sections are a bit shorter and not as chaotic with the time signatures. Awake contains some heavier tracks, such as "6:00," "Caught In A Web," "Lie," and "The Mirror" where we'll find LaBrie using some snarling screams. We also have LaBrie with incredibly melodic moments in tracks like "Voices," "The Silent Man," "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream," "Space Dye Vest," and "Scarred."


Balance: This is an incredibly well balanced album. It has a fair share of metal tracks, along with a bit of ballads and seems to strike a perfect balance. You also have "Voices" and "Scarred" which act as both ballads and metal tracks and they are two of the greatest tracks on this album. "Innocence Faded" is another ballad which seems to have a slightly happier tone than the others.

Song placement: Not only is there a perfect balance between ballads and heavy tracks, but each track is placed at the perfect spot. When you'll likely need a rest from a lot of heavyness, a ballad is present to let you cool down. It works quite well.

Musicianship: As with every Dream Theater album, there is incredible instrumental virtuosity. Mike Portnoy shows off some magnificent drumming skills on the intro "6:00" in the style of Neal Peart. The drum beat in that song overall is incredibly catchy. John Petrucci also has no shortage of great moments. His greatest solo on this album is probably "Voices" as this solo has a great balance of speed and feel. Kevin Moore is incredible in the stunning piano ballad "Space Dye Vest." The entire band also clicks in the wacky and odd time signature filled, but very nice sounding instrumental "Erotomania."

Vocals: This is LaBrie's best album for me. He screams in a snarling metal tone that may not be suitable for some, but definitely works for me. His voice in "Space Dye Vest," "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream," and "The Silent Man" and the light parts in "Voices" and "Scarred" is just beautiful. He also hits some very high notes in "Innocence Faded."


Bass: This problem is present in most of Dream Theater's albums. John Myung is an amazing bass player, but they do not give him any time to shine whatsoever in this album. His bass is also barely audible.

Song ratings: (These ratings are serious. They aren't incredibly high just because I am a Dream Theater fan.) 6:00: 10/10 Caught In A Web: 10/10 Innocence Faded: 9/10 Erotomania: 10/10 Voices: 10/10 The Silent Man: 10/10 Lie: 8.5/10 The Mirror: 8.5/10 Lifting Shadows Off A Dream: 9/10 Scarred: 10/10 Space Dye Vest: 10/10

Recommended for: People who like a bit of classic metal sound in their prog. People looking for a sort of dark sound. People who like higher pitched singing.

My rating: 5 stars without question. It's a shame PA only allows up to 5 stars. So many perfect tracks on this album. A must have for any prog metal fan!

DisgruntledPorcupine | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this DREAM THEATER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.