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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.84 | 1598 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Years after the hype, years after the heartache, I've finally spent sometime with Dream Theater's comeback hopeful, and can say that A Dramatic Turn of Events is an enjoyable release, and that's about it. The album doesn't break new ground, doesn't make me cringe with terrible lyrics and bad song writing, and doesn't spark with the same creativity and energy from the band's peak output more than a decade ago.

So if that's what this album doesn't do, what does A Dramatic Turn of Events accomplish?

It gives us more than an hour of good songs written, performed, and produced in the usual Dream Theater style; complex instrumental playing hidden behind the veneer of simple song writing. There is a good mix of rockers, ballads, and epics here, including four songs that clock in at over 10 minutes. The band's playing is characteristically good, and occasionally excellent, and it really does feel like they put some thought into the variety on the album. The ballads are thoughtful, if not especially creative. There are a few songs that fall short, such as the bland "Build Me Up, Break Me Down," and the cartoonish middle-eastern pastiche that shows up for the instrumental section of "Outcry", but these moments are in the minority. "Bridges in the Sky" is easily the most creative track of the group, and "Breaking All Illusions" may actually make the DT highlight reel.

It took me a long time, and many listens of this album for me to decide what I thought about it. It didn't make a very good first impression, but I decided that this was probably due to my disgust over the previous two albums. A Dramatic Turn of Events didn't grab me, and with the exception of "Breaking All Illusions," it still doesn't. There's just nothing here that makes me melt with metal awesomeness like the band could years ago. With that being said, I still enjoy the serviceable songs and occasional standout moment or thoughtful lyric. Maybe its me, and I'm not the impressionable 20-something that fell in love with Scenes from a Memory and Images and Words. Maybe its the band, and they're so completely sick of making what is mostly the same music that their enthusiasm has all but evaporated. Either way, A Dramatic Turn of Events will please fans of the band who are expecting to hear more of their prog-metal champions keep at it, but it won't win anyone new. You've got to respect DT for their legacy and persistence, but there are other bands that are making more interesting versions of this music.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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