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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2061 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Dream Theater's third album, after the badly seen debut "When Day And Dream Unite", and the masterpiece "Images And Words", seems to go further the way that the second album opened: indeed, "Awake" is another wonderful, enigmatic masterpiece, much more complex and dark than I&W.

Musically speaking, it is a little different than the previous album: it is more progressive in many ways, starting from the structure: eleven songs, but very well distributed, since two songs are ten minutes long. Also the technical virtuosity is much more highlighted; I&W was more concentrated on the melodies than the arrangements, solos, and musical flamboyance.

"6.00 A.M." starts the album. Boy, this song rocks. Great drum intro by Portnoy, the best Progressive Metal drummer ever, very good verse, excellent chorus, brilliant solos, beautiful bridge, where everything is calmer, great comeback, where Petrucci uses the wah wah guitar pedal, while playing the theme. Great song.

"Caught In A Web" is another awesome tune. Very catchy verse, great musicianship by all artists, an even better chorus, many awesome moments in this song, certainly a DT classic.

"Innocence Faded" is the least good song of the album. It is a semi ballad, with a weak chorus, but some moments are enjoyable. Now, the trilogy, the center of the album: A mind Beside Itself.

"Erotomania" is an awesome, mind blowing, and extremely technical instrumental song, which takes , in 6 minutes, many shapes, and has many time changes. Although it doesn't quite reach the level as "The Dance Of Eternity", DT's best instrumental song ever, from the "Scenes From A Memory" album, it is still an awesome song.

"Voices" is one of the two ten minute songs of the album. Many memorable moments, mainly it is quite a mysterious song, or at least the melodies themselves are mysterious, but the arrangements make them more desperate. The chorus is nice, but all the rest is what really makes the song. I can't say I love Labrie's work in this song, frankly.

"The Silent Man" is one the band's best ballads. Beautiful melody, played only with an acoustic guitar. The chorus is one of the most beautiful choruses DT has written, In which even Portnoy gives a nice contribute with his backing vocals. Wonderful.

"The Mirror" harshly ends the trilogy, with a heavy, but exquisite riff played with one note. This is another favorite DT song. Heavy, a little mysterious, great guitars, keyboards. The chorus is also great. Absolutely fantastic.

"Lie" for some reason I didn't like for a while. I now love it. A really cool verse, a great chorus. The guitar, like in "Caught In A Web" and "The Mirror" are very heavy, but amazing. Around four minutes is my favorite, where band gets more technical than ever. A mind blowing part indeed. Fabulous song, even though I needed some listens to acquire the taste of it.

"Lifting Shadows Off A Dream", is, somehow, the song that people consider the worst of the album. I think it's one of the best. Very nostalgic and mysterious melody, beautiful verse, haunting chorus, great arrangements. A very emotional song, if you ask me.

"Scarred" is the other ten minute song, even better than "Voices"; it is in fact, in my opinion, better structured. Psych like beginning, but then it gets more "wild". A complex song, one of the best of DT generally speaking. I love it.

"Space Dye Vest" is another mysterious and melancholic ballad, but there are no cheerful moments here. Indeed, a very grim piece, but still beautiful. I bet it doesn't get as much credit as it should, since it closes one of the greatest prog metal albums ever. "Awake" leaves me speechless every time I listen to it: so beautiful, complex, and a little tormented. 5 stars.

EatThatPhonebook | 5/5 |


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