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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover

AWAKE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2068 ratings

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serenej16
5 stars heard Awake before Images and Words. The album was amazing; it was astounding and absolutely breath-taking. Then I decided to listen to the album as if I were anxiously anticipating it, after having loved their previous release. Under this new light, I thought the album would gather a completely different makeup than its predecessor. In some ways, it does - which is not an altogether bad thing.

Many songs are much darker, namely "Voices" - one of the album's two longer songs, and "The Mirror", the heaviest song on the album, whose melodies recur in its neighboring track, "Lie" and in Moore-written "Space-Dye Vest". All of the aforementioned songs have had dark moods - even "Lifting Shadows Off a Dream", whose very name insinuates a change of mood, is treated with an almost somber tone that never departs. "Erotomania" is very reminiscent of "Ytse Jam" as it is an instrumental romp through spontaneous melodies, guitar/keyboard collaborations, rampant drums and changing rhythms. It's as if the band had an extremely short attention span - they don't stick to a melody for more than tens of seconds before the song changes direction. The 11-minute "Scarred" is not your typical Dream Theater epic - it's not that good. It begins as a neo-jazz piece and escalates into something that sounds like "The Mirror", but without the maddening crunch that made the latter so delectable. The song has its moments, but they're too far into the song to save it. Thankfully, the band has saved the best song for last.

Kevin Moore's "Space-Dye Vest" is the darkest of songs and single-handedly dictates the feel of the whole. It begins with a lonely piano and sung by a choir of James LaBrie's over-dubbed drone(s), accompanied by synthesized static and audio clips, which give the song the tone of a future gone askew. The lyrical interpretations are many, but the guitars roaring in the background and the continuing sadness of the keyboards never permit this song to be uplifting. Even the two "happier" songs ("Innocence Faded" and "The Silent Man") are somewhat gloomy - they are only cheerful melodically, not lyrically.

No matter how I try to view the album, I can't see it as anything else but another masterpiece. Darker than the albums that came before it, Awake is worth any music lover's time - Dream Theater only gets better.

See also: Dream Theater - Train of Thought, Dream Theater - Images and Words

| 5/5 |

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