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Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity CD (album) cover

FALLING INTO INFINITY

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.33 | 1516 ratings

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sbrushfan
2 stars "FALLING INTO INFINITY": 11 songs; 78:17 opf pure prog-metal bliss! AND I got it for $12.99! What a deal!

Yeah...that's what I initially thought. And the first 2 minutes of "New Millenium" sem to suggest that. Not only that, but the sound is crystal clear. I dig the production because it's crisp and clean without sounding digital. In the age of Pro-Tools, this- for me-is a plus. It has none of the "digital-ness" (is that a word?) that plagued "OCTAVARIUM", or-to a lesser extent-"AWAKE" (see my reviews for both). But then, the vocals come in, and that's where I got my fust surprise. Was this James LaBrie? The harmonized vocals say otherwise, and I got an earful of Layne Staley (Alice In Chains). And that instrumental bit is so lazy; phoned-in. The bit from 7:19 to7:42 (when Layne LaBrie comes back in) could've come from any Marilyn Manson or (Sweet Jesus, help me) Ministry CD. What a waste, but...wasting no time...

On to "You Not Me". More of the same alt-rock vocalizing (yuck). But I DO dig the drums and synths; thanks to Portnoy and Sherinian. Petrucci works his wah very sexy, I might add. But the lyrics to this track sound like nothing more than a puerile rant against EVERYTHING; kinda like the crap I was writing after I came out of hte closet...yuck.

"Peruvian Skies" has a neat clean guitar intro, before quickly moving into a doomy, minor-key-written-for-rote 6/8 dirge that bands like Saint Vitus and Cathedral could shit out in their sleep. COME ON!!!! It only picks up at around the 3:20 mark (mind you; halfway into the damn thing!!!), and I gotta admit-I like the guitar solo. Petrucci really seems to "awaken" (play on words, people-chill...) and remember how to jam. Jam he does, and quite righteously, as Portnoy suddenly starts to give his kicks and snare a good, angsty bashing. Fun, fun, fun!!!!

"Hollow Years" is next, with a nice clasical-flavored acoustic guitar and cymbal intro. LaBrie sounds good here (gasp), as does Sherinian (double gasp). Portnoy's cymbals and Sherinian's organ really compliment LaBrie's delivery. Sadly, the rest of the song obstinately refuses to deliver on the promise of that great intro. But...if it doesn't seem all that breathaking, it doesn't really suck either. The piano and backing vocals near the outro are nice too.

"Burning My Soul"...or should I say "Enter Sandman"? NAME THAT RIFF, people!!!!I kid you not!!!!! And the drums sound like something I could play in my sleep; definitely nothing Peart would lose sleep over. The lead guitar track is pretty cool, but by this time, Petrucci really (REALLY) needs to lay off the wah a bit. Too much of a good thing is-in this case-a bad thing.

"Hell's Kitchen" is an instrumental; a nice 4-minute ditty that tries to make me forget some of the earlier carnage. It fails; MISERABLY. Why? Too much wah!!!!! Damn! Please, Petrucci...you're not Hammett...ya can't get away with it (and-to be frank-neither can he).

Cardinal rule #1 for having other people guest on your CD's...LET THEM BE HEARD!!!! DT didn't seem to follow this rule on "Lines In The Sand", for when I DO get to hear Mr. Pinnick, he sounds like any (ANY) 90's-era R&B singer. Yeah; I know; throw all your "Shane's being a total asshole hypocrite elitist" at me if ya feel ya must, but I stand by my words. When you play/sing for a heavy metal band, you need to inject some power and presence into your vocals. Here, Pinnick demures to LaBrie (The cheese?), and sounds like a baa-ing sheep. Blech.

(Ejects CD from player.) I can't take it anymore. I've had enough.

So..."FALLING INTO INFINITY"; 11 songs and 78:17 of pure prog-metal bliss. AND I got it for $12.99! What a deal!

WRONG!!!!! Two stars...not a twinkle more!

sbrushfan | 2/5 |

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