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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2068 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Awake is a great album by Dream Theater, and is definetely one of their better works. Awake saw Dream Theater edging a bit more towards a bit of a heavier sound. Even though this isn't really heavy compared to most music, Awake definetely marked a change in sound. When compared to the uplifting majestic beauty of Images & Words, Awake seems like a gritty album with darker melodies. The songs are a bit more straightforward, and Labrie's voice no longer sounds like a soaring eagle. Does this make the songs bad? No, though most never get up to the heights of the previous album.

Of course, what this album lacks in majesty compared to its predecessor, it makes up for in agressive energy. Right from the beginning tom rolls in the intro of "6:00", the listener knows they're about to be pumped up. Most of the songs have a good energy to them, although some of the tempoes make the songs sound a bit more akin to what one would hear on mainstream rock radio. That's fine, as long as Dream Theater pumps out good mainstream music.

Ultimately prog fans will point out "A Mind Beside Itself", a suite composed of three tracks on the album: "Erotomania", "Voices", and "The Silent Man". Erotomania is a killer instrumental that goes off on many tangents, ultimately wrapping up to begin "Voices". That track is hard hitting at the beginning, but develops quickly into an emotional journey, with a near perfect climax. The suite ends with "The Silent Man", a short acoustic campfire-y ditty. The suite is definetely a large part of what makes the album so cool.

Of course, there are other reasons. The more agressive tracks venture in a world that Dream Theater had previously not travelled to. Tracks like "6:00" have a great energy to them, and "The Mirror" shows how creative Dream Theater can get rhythmically while still retaining a mostly-straightforward sound. Dream Theater also gets some cool softer tracks in the album too. "Lifting Shadows off a Dream" contains beautifully emotional chords, with Petrucci's guitar on a great clean delay sound. "Space Dye Vest" is possibly the best track on the album, with spacey, dark moody piano over Labrie's soft voice and Kevin Moore's cold, betrayed lyrics. One thing cannot be said about this album: it has a poor ending.

In any event, Awake is an excellent album to have. For Dream Theater fans, it is a must have, and any prog fan should try to get it too.

topofsm | 4/5 |


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