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Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.84 | 1643 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars When Mike Portnoy left, there was a debate on how much this would change things. Some thought that they'd keep chugging along in the same direction, which tired most. Others thought they'd go back to the good old days. While most take this as the latter, I find it to be a mixture of both, which is actually what I was predicting. And it works very, very well.

Picture the DT you've been hearing lately, only with a brighter sound, stellar lyrics, and the lovingly constructed songs we got back in their heyday. You'll find something like that on this album. Heavier than the older DT, but it still has that nice proggy touch. They have two songs here that are better than anything they've released since their 24 minute epic, "Octavarium". "Bridges in the Sky" being one, a great song full of amazing heavy riffs and some of the best vocal melodies we've gotten in quite a long time. "Breaking All Illusions" is the other, and is likely a top 5 DT song. It has a very catchy yet oddly timed intro, and is full of great melodies and has an instrumental section that features DT breaking new ground. They even incorporate a medieval flute-like section! It also has one of John Petrucci's very best guitar solos.

Another thing to find here is something we haven't seen in a while: ballads with true emotional effect. I'll admit, DTs ballads of late have gotten pretty cheesy and were difficult to take seriously. But the ballads found here are just gorgeous. "Far From Heaven" may only be a lead-in to "Breaking All Illusions", but it has a big emotional impact on me. "Beneath the Surface" does a fantastic job of closing the album, with more beautiful and emotional writing. "This is the Life" features another fantastic solo and is another touching ballad.

On Mangini's performance? He fills Portnoy's shoes nicely. His style here is similar to Portnoy's, but I prefer Mangini a tad as he uses his fills when it's necessary, whilst Portnoy got a little show-offey at times. No disprespect to Portnoy as he's still an amazing drummer. Also on drums, we have a few brief moments of electronic drums here. A few might find them out of place, but I thought it was a nice experiment.

So yes, this is really a step up for DT. I think all the Portnoy drama really rejuvenated them and now they're back as good as ever. Congrats DT, for showing that the magic has not left! 5 stars.

DisgruntledPorcupine | 5/5 |


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