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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.31 | 3201 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some memories are best left forgotten...

After the (supposedly) disappointing Falling Into Infinity, Dream Theater returned with a new album and a new band member.

The Good: This release marked the arrival of Jordan Rudess, the keyboardist who had already recorded two excellent Liquid Tension Experiment albums with Messrs. Petrucci and Portnoy. I was interested to see if that musical chemistry would continue, and it became clear within the first few minutes of Overture 1928 that this was most definitely the case. I won't bore you with the particulars of the individual tracks but suffice to say that this album contains some of the most exciting, most memorable and most badass musical passages that Dream Theater have ever written!

The Bad: There once was a time when I would have considered this album to be anything less than perfection as sacrilege. But tastes change with time, and sometimes when it is suggested to us that we should like something, we will adjust our 'opinions' to conform to that. I love Dream Theater. Scenes from a Memory is considered by many to be their magnum opus. Ergo I should agree. And for a long time I did, but more recently I have noticed enough flaws in it to justify not giving it the full five stars.

This is a concept album. I like concept albums. Whilst I prefer the sort which have a more subtle, underpinning theme, I do still enjoy a good story every now and again, take Operation Mindcrime or Into the Electric Castle for example. But the keyword here is good. The story behind Scenes from a Memory is not good. It is terrible. I've never been a huge fan of post-Awake Dream Theater lyrics but these ones just takes the biscuit.

With lines like "Feeling good this Friday afternoon, I ran into Julian, said we'd get together soon", and the underlying idea that a girl is reincarnated as a man only to discover that his/her murderer is their own hypnotherapist, its almost laughably bad. And the cross gender confusion continues into their next album where James LaBrie mistakes himself for being "just a poor girl, afraid of this cruel world". I sometimes wonder why they didn't go the full distance and release an EP cover of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the musical.

Unfortunately, these conceptual shortcomings translate to the music, and whilst Scenes from a Memory is instrumentally and technically superb, I find that a handful of the album's tracks only exists in order to further the story.

The Verdict: Perfection's second cousin.

Starhammer | 4/5 |


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