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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover

AWAKE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2068 ratings

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tire_smoke600
4 stars Forget everything you knew from Images and Words, Awake, released only 2 years later, is a totally different animal. The band stripped themselves of most of their 80's-ness, and delved deeper into Prog-Metal territory than before. Before the writing of this album, John Petrucci discovered the 7 String Universe Guitar used by his idol Steve Vai and that instrument played a big role in making Awake a darker, more muscular release than their previous.

The album starts off with 6:00: a fairly good tune, though a bit odd to start the album off with this one, it really showcases the bands new songwriting chops built up from 2 years of touring for I&W.

Caught In a Web: This song get's the blood flowing right away, with a big 7-string riff and keyboard melody. A pretty heavy tune, Labrie get's all sneery on this one, but don't let that scare you away, it's pretty straightforward with a little instrumental section in the middle. Cool outro too.

Innocence Faded: I'm not too keen on this one, maybe it reminds me too much of I&W. It's poppy chiming sound seems out of place with the rest of the darker fare surrounding it.

Erotomania/Voices/The Silent Man: This is supposed to be a suite or trilogy of music. The musical themes don't exactly repeat themselves, but the seem to flow pretty well. Erotomania remains a fan favorite instrumental, and it's fantastic, with an almost ADD quality to the time and theme changes. Nice keyboard sounds on this one as well. Voices is a dark track, with a very cool bass intro and tortured lyrics, definately an album highlight. The Silent Man is the lone acoustic track, but it fits well with the surrounding songs. A careful listener will be able to hear a melody from Erotomania repeated in this song, something the band would exploit in further releases.

The Mirror/Lie: Awesome, heavy, head stomping intro. Easily the darkest and chunkiest song on the album, with insightful lyrics. I especially like Portnoy's background vocals. Lie ended up with some airplay, and it's easy to see why, great riffs, catchy melody and a burnin solo by Mr. Petrucci, another album highlight.

Lifting Shadows Off a Dream: A great John Myung composition, who's tasteful use of Bass harmonics makes it a real treat. Chorused and delayed guitar further adds to the beauty of the track, and it helps balance the album out nicely.

Scarred starts out with a cool bass-chord theme and quickly falls apart, in my opinion, this should have been left off the album. Do yourself a favor and skip it.

Space Dye-Vest is pretty different compared to everything else. It's quite good, but the lyrics fall flat near the end. The band really had little to do with it as it's a Kevin Moore composition, hence the programmed drums, which sound a little out of place.

Overall, a great album, not perfect but not really lacking like it's predecessor, well worth the purchase price!

| 4/5 |

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