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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2061 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is a more "metal" release for Dream Theater. So of course I'm loving it. This is a good album. Let's get right into it.

6:00. Starts with some AWESOME Portnoy drumming. Then some sweet keyboard riffing. There is a lot of heaviness in this song, complemented with great keyboard work. A technical song from all musicians involved this is one great piece of prog metal. Perfect vocals to boot, and some great guitar solos! Runs the gambit of prog-metal in this song and does it all well.

Caught in a Web. Very interesting and cool intro. The keyboard on this album can not be over hyped! Not that Rudess is a slouch of course, but this song has great stuff. This song has all that you'd want.

Innocence Faded. Ew is the only way to describe the intro. So generic and happy! But really, very mediocre intro...this is overall a slower, more melodic, more synth driven song. But don't worry, that technical guitar work is in there, wonderfully intertwined with the keyboard. In the middle section LaBrie's vocals go to that place that I hate oh so much. Pretty good song though! Nice change up.

Erotomania. Crazy synth intro! An instrumental song it is well constructed, and of course as an instrumental there is plenty of showing off by each of the musicians. But hey, I would if I was as good as them! Melodic solos, shred solos, technicality, you'll hear everything from Petrucci here. I almost never use such specific times, but 1:21 to 1:30 as well as 4:35 to 5:30 are my favorite parts. The latter being a shred fest that sounds like something Jason Becker! Great drumming as well. Awesome song.

Voices. Very good intro, (again!). Gives way to a pretty synth section. However, there is an ominous guitar tone growing in the background...sadly it gives way to something bad. Upcoming is one of those famous DT sections filled with enough cheese to make a pizza. There is some good music for a while but AHH! LaBrie's vocals! The soothing section is welcome, song picks up though and ends going out well.

The Silent Man. Acoustic song, very melodic and so wonderful. Thankfully the vocals are pretty fitting. Mellow song. Very nice.

The Mirror. WOO! That starts off heavy. A nice heavy, staccato riff over some sweet drumming and haunting synth. This continues as the song just keeps picking up, eventually giving way to shred and thrash! Love it! Lots of deep LaBries vocals, that are really just awesome. All the heaviness gives way to a more melodic rest of the song. Good solos, and I love the keyboard over the last part.

Lie. Heavy, complex and cool riffing. Backed up, as with the rest of the album, by chilling keyboard with some awesome songs. Some of LaBrie's best work on the album. One of the best solos on the album in later, middle half of this song!

Lifting Shadows Off a Dream. A ballad, starts off with great bass, guitar, and keyboard work, with some simple, yet effective drumming under it all. Very powerful song, with good dynamic shifts and great work from every member.

Scarred. How can you not love that jazzy intro!? I kind of hate to keep repeating, but the contributions from all band members are superb. Well built song that really feels like it moves.

Space-Dye Vest. A pretty synth driven piece, it gives me a very space rock feel to it. Dark and heavy at times, always with a chilling keyboard riff playing, there are those audio clips that seem to creep into DT songs to often. Real killer in my book. It picks up later with some simple, heavy guitar playing, as the song continues to be pushed by the keys. Ends on a great note.

Wow. What an album. Some of Dream Theater's finest work. Fresh, has metal, has prog, great composition and musical skills saturate the album. Also LaBrie's vocals, (NEVER a strong point with me) are overall pretty good. There are some times when I went to rip my ears off, but that's what we get with LaBrie. I keep talking about the great musicianship, because besides that, it's a shame Moore left after this album. His playing was second to none on this album. Overall, superb album with all the DT classics, including some bad vocals, audio clips, and moments that drag. This album is probably a bit too long.

A really tough choice. This album really deserves a 4.5 but since I can't do that...wait, this is my review! (Just do know I can't give an album that falls in between a five star rating...)


JJLehto | 4/5 |


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