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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2052 ratings

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Biff Tannen
5 stars This is it, Dream Theater's unquestioned masterpiece and one of the best rock or metal albums ever. As a collection of songs, Images and Words might actually be a bit better, but as a well-flowing album that takes you on one helluva journey, Awake wins out. That is not to say that this album isn't loaded with great songs, because it is - Voices, Scarred, Erotomania, Lifting Shadows Off a Dream, The Mirror and Space Dye Vest are all among the band's best tunes to date.

I have seen some downgrade this album because there isn't as much wanking as usual, which supposedly isn't playing to their strengths, but I would argue that that is one of the main reasons why this album is so great! DT can write great songs and not have to go over board with the playing of a million notes when they want to, and they can do it well, as this album proves.

This being Kevin Moore's swan song with the band actually works in its favor, as the keyboards in a few songs, like Lie and Caught in a Web, took somewhat of a back seat, which was a good thing, as it gave those songs more of a metal vibe, featuring some keyboard flavoring in the background, instead of piercing your eyes with crazy solos or synth leads.

Also, Dream Theater has never been a band accused of writing great lyrics on a regular basis, but on Awake, they did! This album is filled with great lyrics, many of them fairly abstract, leaving a bit of wonderment when listening to the songs; the best lyrics are often the ones that don't beat you over the head with their meaning.

I get why this album might be a bit odd at first for new fans who are used to their more modern sound, but once you get used to the style and the better sound (no compression and the instruments are allowed to breathe, which gives the album more dynamic range), this album shines through as Dream Theater's magnum opus.

Biff Tannen | 5/5 |


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