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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.66 | 1996 ratings

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3 stars When you first knew in 1992 Dream theater with the "Image & words" album, you are very skeptical of that they have maintained all through the numerous following years the quality and uniqueness of the compositions involved. Octavarium is certainly not a bad album; it is far from a masterpiece too. The musicians just make simpler compositions here. The good electric rhythmic guitar sound could be a bit more razor and metal; it sounds a bit gross sometimes, especially on "Panic attack". I think the album lacks some color and speed, partly because the keyboards are not enough in the foreground.

The simple and conventional "Root of all Evil" has nothing really sensational. "The answer lies within" is more mellow, but it does not retain the attention too much. "These walls" has a very good combination of piano and distortion-free discrete guitar notes, but I find the refrains a bit deja vu. "I walk beside you" has a refrain pretty similar to the U2 of the 80's! The conventional metal track "Panic attack" has an elaborated and complex part between 4:30 and 6:10, but unfortunately it does not last very long: by this, you clearly see that the rest of the track is pretty ordinary. James Labrie uses a modified voice on "Never enough", and the fuzzy effects on the electric guitar should please the younger people. The very good first part of "Sacrificed sons" is more mellow and atmospheric, and then it abruptly changes to a more instrumental part: however, the musicians can do much better. The last track , "Octavarium", lasting nearly 24 minutes, starts with Floydian ethereal echoed guitars and ambient keyboards. Then, a good passage made of acoustic guitar, piano and flute reminds me Alan Parson's Project. The very good orchestral arrangements of the finale also reminds me the Transatlantic band. The track is good, but it has some lengthy & repetitive passages: Between 12:15 and 18:30, the track is at its best with an often impressive exhibition of technical skills: again, it clearly demonstrates that the rest of the track is less interesting.

Raing: 3.5 stars

greenback | 3/5 |


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