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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1752 ratings

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5 stars A loathed album by many

Many people cannot stand this release. However, I found this album to be a very fun and constantly entertaining ride. I don't really see why people dislike this album so much.

A description of the music: This is a very diverse album with many styles. It is bookended by parts one and two of the 25:38 epic "In The Presence Of Enemies." The album kicks off with a fast paced keyboard section followed by many time signature and musical style changes from the first part of "In The Presence Of Enemies." LaBrie also comes in sounding great. "Forsaken" is a track that seems to be pop mixed with metal. "Constant Motion" shows thrash influences and has a great solo. "The Dark Eternal Night" draws influence from metal band Pantera and contains the infamous Portnoy growls. "Repentance" is the ballad of the AA suite and contains Floydian influence and a great solo along with a voice section with many famous musicians including Jon Anderson, Steven Wilson, Daniel Gildenlow, and more. "Prophets Of War" is another poppish track which has a nice chorus and is an enjoyable listen. "The Ministry Of Lost Souls" is an amazing 15 minute ballad with amazing vocals and a heavy instrumental section that comes in at such a perfect time. If you like Sacrificed Sons from the Octavarium album, this is sort of a much improved version of it. Part two of "In The Presence Of Enemies" is very different from the first and is very dark and contains many musical changes. It is an amazing track.


Petrucci: With the exception of "The Dark Eternal Night," Petrucci shows some more maturity in his solos in this album. Instead of doing mindless shredding throughout an entire solo, his solos contain more emotion. In "Constant Motion," he takes the time to build up before he starts shredding like a maniac. In the ending solo of the first part of "In The Presence Of Enemies," he does shred throughout the whole solo but does it effectively as it works as a very effective outro to the track.

LaBrie: In this album, LaBrie has found his sound. He sounds very different here than ever before, but sings with a ton of power. His melodic vocals on "The Ministry Of Lost Souls" are breathtaking.

Chemistry: In this album, unlike most of the band's previous releases, the entire band works together as a whole instead of seeming sometimes like just seperate musicians doing their own things. It is a relief to hear that they work together this amazing here.

Diversity: As explained above, this album is very diverse. Heavier DT fans will like "Constant Motion" and "The Dark Eternal Night." Softer ones will enjoy "The Ministry Of Lost Souls" and "Repentance." Fans of the Octavarium album will probably enjoy "Forsaken" and "Prophets Of War." The epic "In The Presence Of Enemies" contains a blend of styles that should appeal to a very large majority of fans.


Lyrics: Here is the reason some loathe this album. The lyrics can be embarassingly cheesy at moments. Especially in "In The Presence Of Enemies" and "The Dark Eternal Night." But I like to see it as them having fun with this album.

Song ratings: In The Presence Of Enemies Part 1: 10/10 Forsaken: 7/10 Constant Motion: 10/10 The Dark Eternal Night: 5/10 Repentance: 10/10 Prophets Of War: 8/10 The Ministry Of Lost Souls: 10.5/10 In The Presence Of Enemies: 10.5/10

Recommended for: People whom don't depend too much on lyrics. People looking for an album that provides multiple ways of entertainment. People who like all sides of Dream Theater.

My rating: 5 stars. If lyrics aren't a gigantic part of your enjoyability of music, than this will probably be a masterpiece for you. If lyrics are huge for you, you may want to think about this one for a bit. However, if you look past some of the cheese, this album is just mindblowing.

DisgruntledPorcupine | 5/5 |


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