Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Dream Theater

Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dream Theater Master of Puppets album cover
2.04 | 123 ratings | 15 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

Write a review

from partners
Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Battery (5:15)
2. Master of Puppets (8:45)
3. The Thing That Should Not Be (7:04)
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (6:43)
5. Disposable Heroes (8:11)
6. Leper Messiah (5:58)
7. Orion (9:20)
8. Damage, Inc. (6:45)

Total Time 58:01

Line-up / Musicians

- James LaBrie / vocals
- John Myung / bass, Chapman Stick
- John Petrucci / guitar, vocals
- Mike Portnoy / drums, vocals
- Jordan Rudess / keyboards

Releases information

CD Ytsejam Records (YTSEJAM006)
Recorded live in Barcelona, Spain on February 19th 2002

Thanks to Cokus for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy DREAM THEATER Master of Puppets Music

DREAM THEATER Master of Puppets ratings distribution

(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(11%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (22%)

DREAM THEATER Master of Puppets reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Clearly a bit of fun for a band who are more than up to the task of playing the notes of one of the most important albums in Prog Metal's history, but a complete waste of time and money even for the curious.

The problem?

While the notes are rendered perfectly and with precision, with notable exceptions that I'll cover below, the two main issues are timbre (the sounds made by the individual performers that necessarily combine to make up the whole, and overall style. There also remains the small detail of the production - but that can be overlooked, since it is the performance and ultimately the music itself that matters most.

The performance starts off well enough - the anticipation and excitement in the crowd is practically tangible as the familiar opening chords to Battery ring out. The sound here is accurate, and not much is lost in the initial bars as every note falls into place. I find the crowd's echoing of the melody line annoying though.

When the big power chords kick in and the main riff gallops away, you can tell that this is not Metallica; Despite the additional speed, the energy is not present and you can feel the band holding back from wanting to decorate riffs that require no decoration. As has been mentioned, the vocals completely lack the power of Hetfield, but, which has not been mentioned, the guitar flurries and solos are thrown away and ignored in some places, as if Petrucci feels he can improve on Hammet's near-perfect originals, or that they somehow don't matter - or are too difficult, maybe... I'd suspect he just hasn't really practiced.

On to the title track, and the tempo has changed - Dream Theater obviously feel unable to play this one at speed - you can hear Petrucci struggling with the riffs, and the little guitar fanfare that heralds the first verse is lost in the mush - and I'm not talking about the production. The bass runs at the end of the chorus are similarly thrown away and smudged. On the whole the riffs sound smudged and under rehearsed, and the piece really drags.

Oddly, the tempo is slowed again for the quasi-classical mid section, which is painfully and uneccesarily harmonised - and a number of slips from Petrucci bring a cringe or two.

Issues with the accenting after this section ruin the powerful bridge to the second solo, which Petrucci begins well, but goes off into his own little world for a while and loses Hammett's original logic and flow. The ensuing bridge has further timing issues - and here is almost where the review ends as I cringe under the table at the dreadful intonation issues in Labrie's voice.

Just too painful.

The question remains; Why?

Why cover an entire album - or even a single song - if you have nothing to add to it?

If it's a tribute, and for sale to fans, why not do it properly - polish out the mistakes in the studio and address the appalling production issues.

If the songs were obscure, then that would be a different matter - bringing overlooked music back to life is something Metallica were great at.

Dream Theater add nothing to this great work, instead turning it to meaningless sludge.

"Sanitarium" is the last track I'll investigate, as I have noticed snippets of this track inherent in much of Dream Theater's early material - so it's clearly a song that's inspired them tremendously.

However, there is nothing much to remark on that hasn't been said about the earlier tracks. Labrie demolishes the vocal line, Petrucci drags slightly in the chunking riffs after the second verse, and the solo is completely thrown away - honestly it's like seeing a road accident.

You know you shouldn't really be looking because you know you won't like what you see, but the horrific fascination proves too strong.

Fortunately, Petrucci's awful interpretation of Hammet's carefully constructed solo has me reaching for the off button before I can bear witness to much more of this carnage.

I can only wish that the wildly enthusiastic cheering from the audience was sarcastic.


I didn't like it.

Not even a little bit.


Review by OpethGuitarist
1 stars Just a band trying to have fun with some material that inspired them here. It's not that they do anything horrible here, it just doesn't add to anything. I'm sure this was special to the band and I can sympathize with them. However, there's nothing here that is necessary, this is a "for fun" album. I would give this to the band members themselves and their family and friends, as they are probably the only ones that would like it.

My view on albums like this has always been one like this:

No one can play Metallica better than Metallica. No one can play Floyd better than Floyd. No one can play Dream Theater better than Dream Theater.

Playing cover songs is something coffee shop bands do who are just trying to entertain a small crowd. This is not something professional musicians should be selling.

Don't record stuff like this. Unless you are going to drastically change the nature of the song and give the other band credit, it's just a waste of disc space.

Review by imoeng
2 stars Master Of Puppets Cover

If the artist of this cover album was not "Dream Theater", I wouldn't want to give a sneak peak of this album, because it has no notable modification to the real album by Metallica. Well at a point I was wondering maybe DT guys wanted to praise Metallica guys, but a cover album with the exactly same song composition just don't do it for me. Plus, James LaBrie didn't sing "quite similar" to James Hetfield.

The music is alright, with additional points go to Jordan Rudess, who nicely managed to "transform" his keyboard to a guitar, as an addition to John Petrucci's. And again, sorry if maybe James LaBrie is reading this, he just can't be Hetfield, which makes me put this album at the back of my "album collection rack".

In conclusion, I reckon this album is for collector only, maybe for a die hard Dream Theater fan and Metallica fan. Two stars for the decent cover album, musicianship and the selection of the album. Master Of Puppets is probably the best of the best metal album out there.

FIX ME!! - Imoeng

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another tribute to the legend .

First off, let me make it clear that I am not a great fan of Metallica although in some of rock events in my country I always heard the songs by this band were played quite frequently. So, I am familiar with some of them plus the fact that I own some CDs of Metallica although I rarely spun the CD. But I have to admit that I like "Enter Sandman" from Metallica later album, the black one, I believe. I do not own "Master of Puppets" album but I have a chance to enjoy this Dream Theater version. The whole intent of this review is not to give my words about how good Dream Theater to play Metallica songs because I am not familiar with the original version of this album. The one that I listen to is this version. So what's the point of comparing if I do not have the base case to use as reference?

I remember vividly in one of interviews in DVD of Dream Theater "Live at Budokan" there was Mike Portnoy's statement that in Japan some of DT fans love the band due to the heavier side of DT music instead of overall music DT has produced so far. And talking about this, it's very obvious that the heavier side of DT has been influenced by bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin etc. While on the other side DT has also covered Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon".

This tribute is quite interesting for me personally because the stream of music delivered through this tribute album seem in the same vein as Dream Theater "Train of Thought" which at the end confirms my understanding that now I understand why my friends keep telling me that Train of Thought is basically Metallica. From the opening track "Battery" it sounds very clear that the Metallica music has inspired Dream Theater a lot, well at least on the basic structure. The only difference is that Dream Theater has made a series of heavy segments into one song that makes each song like curved line because it contains segments with different melody.

The second track "Master of Puppets" reconfirms me about how Dream Theater has adored Metallica as main influence of their music. In fact, the structure of this song is somewhat not straight forward because there is break (after listeners were pondered by heavy and raw riffs) where guitar provides its powerful solo. The music then returns back to its heavy style. This is my favorite from this live album.

Next track "The Thing That Should Not Be" continues the heavy side of the music. It is interesting to notice that there are great keyboard solo by Jordan Rudess in this track and also previous ones. I cannot imagine the original version because as far as I know, Metallica has no keyboard player. "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" starts with guitar fills in bluesy style followed with stunning guitar solo. In fact this is an enjoyable track because the song moves steadily from mellow part and moving to faster tempo in the middle of the track. "Disposable Heroes" is a fast tempo track with great drum works and guitar riffs / solos. It seems Mike Portnoy really enjoy himself playing drums in this live tribute album. The band plays the rest of the songs "Lepper Messiah", "Orion" and "Damage, Inc." excellently.

Overall, this is a very good live performance by Dream Theater playing the music of the band that has inspired them. For those of you who like Metallica should own this album, or those who like the heavy side of Dream Theater. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
1 stars I am a big fan of the original album, easily one of my favorite metal albums of all time. Of course, it still remains an enduring land mark in the history of thrash metal and metal in general, among many fans of heavy metal. Here, we are presented with Dream Theater's cover version of the entire album, which would surely spark some curiousity in many people as to how well they could do it. I am a big fan of Dream Theater, but before I continue I would like to make it clear that I do not think everything DT has done is gold. You will notice upon listening that the production is not as good as it could be, but it isn't a major problem and certainly I've heard far worse production on many other albums than this one.

We start off with Battery, which makes us feel for a short while perhaps we are off to a good start. Sure enough, as soon as what was originally lead guitar and is now keyboards kick in, the proceedings immediately begin to develop a sour note and this feeling unfortunately rears its ugly head far too many times as the album continues along. Sure enough, Petrucci, Myung and Portnoy nail the rhythm section very well, but one cannot help but think James LaBrie's vocals do not even come close to working well in this context. Petrucci doesn't play the solo perfectly, but since he is Petrucci and not Hammett, I can live with this, but as you listen you can hear where there was once rhythm guitars, there is simply space and Myung's bass playing and it certainly feels like that space could have been filled up to make it sound bigger.

On to the title track, a track that is absolute legend among many metal fans, but this version does not stand much of a chance of living up to that standard. The first power chord struck by Petrucci is not played as staccato as the original and while you can argue it doesn't matter so much, it just seems to throw me off and feels weird to my ears everytime. Kicking into the main riff, it is very obvious the song has been slowed down here, by about 3-4bpm, which might not sound much, but it does well to really reduce the power of the song. LaBrie's again less than suitable vocals kick in, and detract from the power of the original even further. On the original, Cliff Burton's bass wasn't very apparent, but here Myung's bass is even lower in the mix, making for a somewhat thin sound overall. We reach the instrumental interlude, and the original great sounding harmony just doesn't sound as great here. Fortunately the solo for this section was done well. The rest of the track as is before, slower than what is should be, and the inclusion of Jordan Rudess' keyboard solo halfway through the fast solo is not a welcome sound to my ears.

The next track, The Thing That Should Not Be, sounds so uninspiring with James LaBrie's vocals that I cannot force myself to listen to it much more and again the use of keyboard solos is just plain awful.

On Welcome home (Sanitarium), LaBrie's seem a little less cringe worthy here, but not by much. This song was done fairly well admittedly, and is so far one of the better tracks on here. The rhythm section works fine and Petrucci's solo sounds pretty good even if it doesn't quite sound like Hammett's solo, but again, we have a keyboard solo to spoil things.

Disposable Heroes is up next, and once the main focal point/verse riff of the song kicks in, the keyboard doing the lead over the top just sounds totally wrong. As for the rest of the song, Petrucci, Myung and Portnoy handle the rhythm with aplomb, but it still can't make up for the lack of suitable vocals. Another fairly reasonable rendition of a Metallica song and still has a decent thrash metal power to it.

Leper Messiah is, like The Thing That Should Not Be, totally uninspiring and very painful to listen to.

Orion holds up much better, due to is being an instrumental. It sounds pretty reasonable, but the most unfortunate thing is the once very beautiful main theme with the harmonised guitars doesn't come off so great in this rendiiton when Petrucci harmonises with Rudess. One bonus, is that Myung's bass is finally really audible here, but perhaps still less so than the original. Myung does a fairly good rendition of Cliff Burton's legendary bass solo. This is the best track off this album and the most emotive.

We conclude with Damage Inc., which manages to thrash pretty well as you might expect still suffers from most of the failings of pretty much all the tracks on this album. By the time it's all over you are most liking going be asking yourself why they covered this album. They made no real positive additions to the original, and even then they didn't make much additions overall, so it just seems like they struggled to find a balance between their own sound on this album and the original Metallica sound. I can not really recommend this album to anyone, except perhaps extreme die hard completionists. 1.4/5

Review by Conor Fynes
1 stars 'Master Of Puppets' - Dream Theater (2/10)

Gah... what I can say about this. This is certainly not gold; far from. This is in fact; the worst thing the band has ever released in their catalog; especially due to the fact that it had the potential to be so much more.

While I'm not a big fan of Metallica, I can safely say that other people's opinions aside; I consider 'Master of Puppets' to be a genuine masterpiece of metal. Keeping this in mind, Dream Theater are one of my all-time favourite bands. Wouldn't it be safe to think that this would be a very cool thing to listen to?

It's genuinely terrible. First off, the sound quality for this live performance is far below par; especially for a band known for releasing good live albums. It sounds like someone had their cellphone microphone on and was recording the band in the front row.

The main awful thing is however; (I hate to say) but James LaBrie's voice. While some people seem to have an all-encompassing issue with the man's vocal tone; I personally love James LaBries style, and regard him as one of the greatest vocalists to ever be recorded. This performance makes me rethink that though. His performance is ear cringing.

This is an automatic one star. I can't even say two stars; due to the fact that I consider myself quite a fan of this talented band, and even I find myself apalled by this. Fail.

Review by jampa17
2 stars I get the point. Nor for Metallica fans nor for Dream Theater fans

While most of the DT fans are always asking for me, I don't see why I should want to hear this album. Yes, I do appreciate the original version, I consider Metallica's masterpiece indeed, but for hearing DT covering an entire album, is just not what I dream of. It's just another extravaganza of Mike Portnoy, I can live without it, but if you are a die hard fan, you should check it out.

This is a bootleg, so the sound quality is not great. To be honest, is not near to good, but that's OK because you can hear the audience all over it singing over James vocals and the energy and the raw sound just make emphasis on the energy and power of a metal masterpiece.

Not too much to say if you already know the quality of DT playing live, which is the best you can have about tight and wonderful technique, and they maybe play better than Metallica, but I know Metallica fans would prefer the original version, while Dream Theater fans would prefer whatever is original from them. So, 2 stars, Collectors or fans only. Yeap, it's just like that. + one star because of the wonderful audience, Spanish audience is loud man... Really loud...

Latest members reviews

3 stars For most this probably won't be worth the money. If you want to check out Dream Theater, you'd buy 'Images and Words' or 'Scenes from a Memory'. However, if you ever wondered what Master of Puppets might sound like with keyboards (and who hasn't?) then this is the album for you. Of course, t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1775867) | Posted by martindavey87 | Sunday, August 27, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Unlike most people here, I don't give this album a low rating because I think DT does a poor job covering this album. I give it a low rating because I just don't like this album. The main reason why I would think this album would be worst than the original is the vocals, which certainly don't f ... (read more)

Report this review (#283516) | Posted by Dellinger | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Master of Puppets is a legendary thrash metal album made by a legendary band, and Dream Theater is surely in for a challenge trying to re-create the magic Metallica created back in 1986. The members of Dream Theater are all virtuosos, and each and every one of them are arguably more (at least ... (read more)

Report this review (#121335) | Posted by magnus | Tuesday, May 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm a huge Metallica fan, it was one of the bands I first made fan of, so I wanted to hear, since this official bootleg was released, how this technical monsters cover this metal classic, "Master Of Puppets", one of the most influential albums in (trash) metal, that has obviously influenced Dream ... (read more)

Report this review (#100172) | Posted by Barla | Thursday, November 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Like everyone I am a huge Dream Theater fan. This album is a must if your a hardcore. It is a lot of fun hearing them cover full albums of their influences. That being said, if you looking for a spectacular album... well.. its a bootleg. People complain about the production value and the lev ... (read more)

Report this review (#98423) | Posted by mysticpain | Sunday, November 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars A lesser quality tribute to coment upon.... Master of Puppets that orginiated from Metallica kind of gets slaugthered. Not to badly of course, but James LaBrie, I sorry, that guy is one of my favorite vocalists and he cannot sing Metallica at all! He's meant to tribute to Iron Maiden (which was ... (read more)

Report this review (#94950) | Posted by Xeroth | Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars There's a lot of problems with this release; the only saving grace being that when all is said and done they're still covering a fantastic album. The first, and maybe the biggest pitfall, the production, from the start ruins about any enjoyment one could extract from the album. Many times the hoot ... (read more)

Report this review (#84395) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I am a level-headed Dream Theater fan, and I used to be a big Metallica fan as well. I heard this release through a friend recently, and all I can say is that I wonder why these guys have inflated their egos to the point that they think selling covers of other people's material would be a good i ... (read more)

Report this review (#74197) | Posted by | Thursday, April 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of DREAM THEATER "Master of Puppets"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.