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Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity CD (album) cover

FALLING INTO INFINITY

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.33 | 1518 ratings

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prla
3 stars The magnificient epic "A Change of Seasons" helped keep the momentum after "Awake" while DT fans awaited their next full length album. Unfortunately, "Falling Into Infinity" doesn't quite live up to previous efforts mostly because it is very uneven, even moreso than "Awake" is.

From what has surfaced, the production of "Falling Into Infinity" was plagued with label pressure and intrusion on the creative process, something dreadful for any band worth their salt, as DT certainly is. This meant the final result was not exactly what the band intended it to be and it definitely shows. Looking at the track list and putting the music in perspective, one can see that this work went forcingly into the "radio-friendlier" filter. There's only a couple of exceptions topping the 10-minute mark, "Lines in the Sand" and the "Trial of Tears" suite, both naturally being highlights on the album.

Fortunately, sometimes worse comes for the best and the tensions coming from the outside, resulting in tensions on the inside, caused an internal earthquake that would result in DT recovering the full creative process for albums to come. What would come next is a great example of "blood, sweat and tears" on record as drummer Mike Portnoy has put it. Derek Sherinian was however a fatality of the process and after FII the band would again be looking for a keyboard player.

As for "Falling Into Infinity", hurt by a big lack of balance, still manages to include excellent tracks which are very well executed (usually even better and extended) in later live albums. "Hollow Years" and "Anna Lee" are lovely ballads (the latter penned by Sherinian), "Hell's Kitchen" is one of the best instrumentals on DT's career and "Take Away My Pain" is an unusual number coming from this band which deals with guitarrist Petrucci's grandfather passing away. Very emotional. "Peruvian Skies" starts as another lovely heartfelt balad and progressively grows into a huge huge rocker, a concert favorite alongside "Just Let Me Breathe".

One should get hold of the "Falling Into Infinity" demos, officially released by the band, which shows what the band had originally intended for this album. Had it gone down that away, I'd have given it an extra star.

A necessary 'faux-pas' for the grandiosity of what was to come later. Good, but non-essential, except in DT buffs' collections.

prla | 3/5 |

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