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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover

AWAKE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2069 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Stooge
5 stars After witnessing Dream Theater live for the first time in 2002, I had to get my hands on one of their albums as soon as possible. Not knowing much about the band, I purchased the cheapest album at the store. Thankfully, that album happened to be "Awake", the gem of Dream Theater's discography.

One of the more interesting things about this album is that it has more of a dark atmosphere than what is on most Dream Theater releases. With tracks such as "Space-Dye Vest" and "Voices", we have Dream Theater bordering on some doomy/gothic territory. At the same time, we have the band we are accustomed to providing us with well-crafted and progressive instrumental sections. Much like their previous album, compositions are kept to a reasonable length, with only "Scarred" eclipsing the 10-minute mark.

Awake also has singer James Labrie in fine form. His vocals maintain the power they had on Images and Words, but he adds a level of grittiness to his vocals that weren't there previously. His performances on "Innocence Faded", "Voices", and "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream" are among career highlights. Unfortunately, when touring for this album, Labrie suffered a vocal cord injury that would affect his singing for quite some time.

This album also ushers in a newfound heaviness for the band, which is no doubt aided at times through John Petrucci's introduction of the seven-string guitar into Dream Theater's sound. While the seven-string is used only on select tracks, the majority of the tracks ("6:00", "Lie", and "The Mirror" among them) should please metal heads with respect to their heaviness. Fans of diversity will appreciate the inclusion of tracks such as "The Silent Man" and "Space-Dye Vest" to hear the band tackle more stripped-down material that is just as strong as their more "acrobatic" material.

I've heard all the Dream Theater albums since my discovery of Awake, and I have yet to hear the band sound as good in the studio. Awake is fully deserving of the maximum rating of five stars!!

Stooge | 5/5 |

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