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

METROPOLIS PART 2 - SCENES FROM A MEMORY

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.31 | 3140 ratings

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heyitsthatguy
5 stars Fantastic album!!! Okay, first off, this will NOT HAVE A STORY EXPLAINATION. I am far too tired and would probably mess up many of the plot points. So, I'll take a strictly musical approach, probably what one should do anyways. 1.Regression: Starts off with ticking and the hypnotherapist talking, followed by a little ballad, which is pleasant enough. h. Pulls a kind of Dark Side of the Moon effect a la "Speak to Me" with playing subtly sound effects that appear throughout the album, even the "wailing" similarly appearing in Speak to Me. Kinda pointless that they made this a separate track though 7/10 2. Overture 1928: Short instrumental , for Dream Theater anyways. Thunders in with the drums mimicking the beginning part of "Metropolis Pt 1". Just know that a TON of pieces will be sampled from that song, so it is my personal opinion that you hear that song before any of this album. If not, its just as good though. Onto the music. Nice little instrumental we have here, stellar musicianship as usual. Rudess showin off his chops for the first time as a full time member of Dream Theater. Basically the function of this song is to act as an overture of sorts: to play bits and pieces that will be reprised and developed later on in the album. 9/10 3. Strange Deja Vu: Nice metally riffs here, nothing too heavy. Breaks down into a kind of funk type jam *not too funky though* with a guitar tone Petrucci doesnt typically use. Already in the "chorus" you can hear the drawing references back to Overture 1928. 9/10 4.Through My Words: This is where one would typically hear cries of "Filler" but i see it as important to summarzing a part of the story. A short track, clocking in at about a minute. Basically some quiet singing, nice piano work, and a little acoustic guitar. 6/10 5. Fatal Tragedy: Ah, here we go. The "metal" of prog metal. Starts off with piano actually, but then goes into heavy guitars, sounding foreboding and evil...in an almost horror movie type way. Its strange how the guitar riffs sound like an actual play score on this *see overture 1928*. Goes into a fantastic harder metal section where Petrucci solos his brains out. Rudess has a really cool weird kind of sounding keyboard solo here that almost sounds like a video game of sorts, in a good way. A definite 10/10 6. Beyond This Life: Hmmm. How to trump the previous track? With this! Opening right off the bat with a loud 5/4 guitar rhythm, soon the rest of the band joins in and right before the first verse Portnoy does one of his trademark "go ballistic on bass pedal" moments. I should mention that this song has a HUGE jam session in the middle, but it sounds really cool. Only complaint is that Rudess' keyboard part sounds REALLY screwed up here, but it goes well along with it. After the massive solo section, we eventually return to the chorus, which is very nicely done. 14/10 (yes im a fanboy what of it) 7. Through Her Eyes: What could top that previoius track? Nothing. And thats where this song comes in. In my opinion the most disappointing track of the album. Not terrible in its own right; in fact the Theresa and Petrucci solo tradeoff section is dare I say beautiful. However, the rest of the track is like adult alternative. Ok, so they went soft, I don't care, as long as it sounds good. Just goes on for a little too long. Also notice many similarities between this and its sister track "Through My Words". 8.Home: Wow. Just wow. The bulkiest track on the album, it starts off really quietly. One could point out the obvious similarity to Tool, specifically the song 42 and Six. However, that doesnt matter because of how well done this track is. Buildup in the beginning is a tad long, but the riff that comes in just sounds evil. Then it gets to the verse, with a riff that sounds even more evil. Another heads up in this song: around the 7 minute mark, (again story related), certain noises that may make some uneasy *and confused the hell out of me at first* occur. I dont want to ruin the surprise (hehe) but you'll know what I mean. I absolutely LOVE the chorus to this song, which brings back echoes of several parts of Metropolis Pt 1, specifically the end section of it *"Before the leaves have fallen" on out*. Other riffs abound, and in my opinion, this track is the most closely linked to Pt 1. Anyways, it definetly stands on its own. After the...shall we say questionable noises, an insane Rudess solo and formidable solo section form. Then it goes back to the chorus again, followed by a VERY arabic sounding *as if the song itself didnt already sound enough like that* instrumental breakdwon. 14/10 9. The Dance of Eternity: Ah, here it is, the massive instrumental. The seven string gets a workout here, and riffs abound, and a huge amount of musical references are made to Metropolis Pt 1. A little over 6 minutes, it's basically an insane shredfest interrupted by random other riffs. (Even ragtime!) However, do NOT use this as "evidence" that they can't play without emotion, this was just to sound like a crazy instrumental. Also, Myung becomes god on this track. You'll know what I mean. 9/10 10. One Last Time: When all the heaviness subsides, the aftermath that ensues is "One Last Time". Starting with a piano reference to a part originally on guitar in Overture 1928, THIS is where Rudess plays with EMOTION, and quite beautifully. Another not too long track, kind of a power ballad feel to it. Not too bad, but not the best on the album by a longshot. Builds to a really cool climactic ending though. 8/10 11. The Spirit Carries On: Kinda drops you off that ending into something completely different. Originally, I thought "Hey, this track must be from the early days of Pink Floyd when LaBrie sang for them." Then I remembered that never happened. Point is, this track owes a TON to Pink Floyd, choirs and solos included. Originality be damned, this is still an awesome song *one to pull your lighter out to at concert, or so I saw April 1st* It seems that Petrucci in this song has successfully fused his shred style with the emotional style of good ol Dave Gilmour for some really moving solos. 10/10 12. Finally Free: The last track of the album, and again, its a long one. The conclusion to the album, the resolution of the story, such and such, blah blah blah. Musically, pretty solid, spans a wide variety of styles. Starts kind of pretty and happy, but something takes a foreboding turn (yay minor keys!).The comment that this sounds like play/movie music still sticks. Theres one part that Rudess' piano right before the vocals come in sounds exactly like a horror movie, and it really sets the tone. Then it goes randomly happy again after the optimistic chorus. Then it takes a foreboding turn yet again and an audio sequence occurs (over cool music naturally) that basically summarizes all or part of the album. Then "One Last Time" is reprised, sounding pretty similar to the actual song. Then it goes back to the chorus over acoustic guitar, all giving a feel of conclusion to the album. The last words "We'll meet again, my friend, some day soon" give a sense of irony to it. Then what sounds like almost exiting music for a play plays, with Portnoy going nuts over it. The music slowly fades out, then the conclusion of the story *sorry no more actual "music"* happens, and it's somewhat confusing. Just look it up online, it helps.

Overall, a solid effort, possibly their best. 10/10!!!

heyitsthatguy | 5/5 |

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