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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.66 | 1995 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Sacrificed Sons" has killed me!

Review on Octavarium? Oh come on . it's already 130 entries by now , with many differing views for those who hated it or loved it - all with their own reasons. That's the beauty of prog isn't it? This album may have won top marks for controversy - splitting fans old and new right down the middle. Those who like the heavy part of the band (as Mike Portnoy commented in DVD Live at Budokan about Japanese fans) would have hated this album. But those who wanted a change in the band's music would have loved it. The fact is: the band is becoming much more popular now. It's good, prog ruleszzz!!

I don't want to call this as review - it's more on experience sharing. For excellent reviews you can read those written by colleague collaborators FloydWright, FishyMonkey, Claude or review by Cam.

What I experienced was truly amazing: at first spin I was stuck with track no 7: Sacrificed Sons and kept repeating this track over and over. Oh man .. This track is truly awesome! Tell me, from which point you wanna have a discussion? Composition? It has a very tight composition strengthened with beautiful orchestration. Musicianship? You must be joking . who will argue on this subject? Melody? It's definitely killing me! Honestly, at first spin I was wrong seeing the track title and I thought it was Never Enough. But I was really hooked to the music especially the melody! For me, this track is reflecting my experience in 1985 when I heard Marillion's Heart of Lothian "It's getting late ." which the melody was also killing me and got me repeating the track over and over. It applies the same with Sacrificed Sons. Initially, I was not aware on what subject this track was talking about but I was totally numb listening the musical harmony produced through this track. There is only one single phrase that best describes what I feel - and my apology for using my locality language - it's called: "mbrebes mili" (having tears in my eyes) and "nggeblak" (I'm stunned and my mind is totally paralyzed) enjoying the wonderful music of "Sacrificed Sons". Only by today I read the lyrics ..and now I realize the context of the lyrics, and am having more tears really with the touching lyrics. We share the same experience with the 9/11 even though the main cause was different; it's an act of God the Almighty, the Merciful - through the tsunami disaster.

The song starts off with news about the appearances of an extraordinarily well coordinated and devastating terrorist attack- But there are times in your life that are life changing, where your life can never be the same and this appears certainly to be one of them. What a touchy phrase! It is then followed with a silent passage where piano touch fills the silent followed with drum beats that brings the music in mellow style. LaBrie's voice enters wonderfully "Walls are closing anxiously ." oh my God .. what a fabulous melody and words! And when the lyrical part reaches "Who would wish this on our people" it makes my pulse racing very very rapidly (this is true, I'm not joking at all!); continued with another nice shot: "And proclaim That His will be done Scriptures they heed have misled them All praise their Sacrificed sons . All praise their Sacrificed sons " . uuuhhhhh .. What a killing melody here! I like the way when Labrie sings "All praise their Sacrificed sons". Hmmm .. I'm not done yet! The keyboard and orchestration sounds that follow are really nice and killing the listener. I mean it. Nggeblak man! I thought that's "it" but it is not done. The band has not finished to make me really dying: the music turns into faster tempo with really amazing interlude (instrumental break)! I cannot believe human being can create this great combination of hard driving rhythm, nice melody and awesome orchestration into one cohesive whole! It's so melodic and really memorable. Enough .. enough . I can not continue. You might think I'm exaggerating. Honestly, I am NOT! Am stunned. I don't even mind the band lends the Beatles melody "I Want You" nuance in its orchestration part.

The band's previous album "Train of Thought" means to me as "Stream of Consciousness" and with Octavarium, this means to me "Sacrificed Sons". This one track has overruled other things. I don't mean to say that other tracks are not excellent. The epic Octavarium is a great one where it has influences of previous bands like Pink Floyd (intro of Shine On You Crazy Diamond) and surprisingly Pallas (intro of Beat The Drum). I also like the high energy "Never Enough" especially in its rhythm section where keyboard and bass lines work nicely, keyboard solo; and also it has a good melody. The Root of All Evil is I think the band's continuation of "This Dying Soul" (ToT). "I Walk Beside You" intro is reminiscent of King Crimson. "Panic Attack" is another excellent track. The only problem with this album is two ballad tracks: "The Answer Lies Within" and "I Walk Beside You". Both are too poppy and the structure are both too straight forward. I do not favor these two tracks. So, I give an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' .!!

Progressively yours,

GW - Review #325

"Who would wish this on our people. And proclaim That His will be done Scriptures they heed have misled them. All praise their Sacrificed sons. All praise their Sacrificed sons"

Gatot | 4/5 |


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