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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2052 ratings

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4 stars Dream Theater's Awake. The purposed classic among most hardcore DT fans. The one also famous for some of the best instrumentals and some of the worst singing. Personally, I've always had a love/hate relationship with DT, as their music is incredibly well written and very intense. However, now that I read DT reviews by a certain anonymous reviewer (Certifi3d), something has been brought to my attention. The extreme Metallica influence among the group. Most people get lost sifting through the thrash metal layers that don't get to really enjoy the numerous musical gems spread throughout the record.

The record kicks start with the incredibly original 6:00. This song has it all, amazing guitar lines, quirky movie quotes and a kick ass organ solo in the middle instrumental. Caught In a Web didn't leave too good of a taste in my mouth to be honest. I used to listen to it frequently when I thought Dream Theater was the end all of heavy metal. Now it sort of seems like a weird little song. Although the instrumental showed potential (The latter of which was further explored in the Caught In a Web/New Millenium mash up on the Live Scenes CD set) the bulk of the song fell flat and lacked the focus of most of the band's songs. Innocence Faded is just really lame. I'm sorry to say this, but the singing is just god awful and the song structure is weird and morphed. I really didn't like this song.

However, the next song makes up for the past two ones. Erotomania. This song has gone down to be one of my all time DT favorites. It's so vast and strange, yet it entangles you and keeps you listening. The band really outdid themselves here. Voices is more or less a direct continuation from Erotomania. Now this song always keeps me on my feet. For it's length, the song really doesn't develop too much, but the song somehow keeps me in this trance which makes me want to listen to it all day without end. I really liked the guitar solo towards the end too. Completing the suite of A Mind Besides Itself is The Silent Man. Now this song is somewhat powerful and somewhat bland. It's power and beauty are fully developed in the live rendition. (Again, available in Live Scenes, but on the DVD as well as CD)

The Mirror is very heavy and very Metallica-esque. Now to be quite honest, the song lost its luster when I discovered much heavier bands such as Opeth. Lie is pretty much the same story. Lifting Shadows Off a Dream is an emotionally compelling, very dark ballad. I took an immense liking to it. It's very majestic and has a vintage feel to it. Then comes the epic, enthralling Scarred. I had the opportunity of seeing this song played live by the band at their Toronto stop in last summer's Chaos In Motion tour. Let me tell you, without ruining anything, that song is twenty times better live. That on top of it being the best song on the record. This song basically proved that Dream Theater is just a Metallica cover band as some say. This song is purely original and of the mind. No crappy thrash metal included. The album closes with yet aother majestic masterpiece. Space Dyed Vest. This song is somewhat more of a swan song for then keyboardist Kevin Moore. Don't let his leaving of the band make you dislike the song, as it is a great one.

All in all, this was Dream Theater in their prime. They grew somewhat darker on this record, but it was worth the price as they came with classic memorable songs. Here's the good news: I don't know about where you live, but where I live this record can be found at usually below ten dollars. I think that the immense record sales of Images and Words, due to Pull Me Under becoming a hit, caused the record company to make a surplus of this expecting a gold record. Although it wasn't popular with the mainstreamers, this one is definitely a record you should have in your collection. 4 stars.

Treasure | 4/5 |


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