DREAM THEATER — Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

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4.24 | 150 ratings | 15 reviews
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Album · 2002


Disc 1
1. The Glass Prison (13:52)
2. Blind Faith (10:21)
3. Misunderstood (9:32)
4. The Great Debate (13:45)
5. Disappear (6:45)

Total Time: 54:18

Disc 2
1. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: I. Overture (6:50)
2. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: II. About to Crash (5:50)
3. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: III. War Inside My Head (2:08)
4. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: IV. The Test That Stumped Them All (5:03)
5. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: V. Goodnight Kiss (6:17)
6. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: VI. Solitary Shell (5:47)
7. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: VII. About to Crash (reprise) (4:04)
8. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: VIII. Losing Time / Grand Finale (5:59)

Total Time: 42:02


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

About this release

Label: Elektra Records
Release date: January 12th, 2002

Thanks to Stooge, Vehemency, Time Signature for the updates


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And so after the success of Dream Theater's magnum opus concept album 'Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory' comes the dreaded follow-up album, in which endless possibilities usually lead to outcomes that divide fans. In this case, whilst the band had always tread a thin line that equally balanced both the metal and the progressive elements of their music, from this album onwards they would begin to shift more towards the heavier side of things, with harsher vocals and heavier guitar riffs.

Consisting of just six songs which are spread out over two discs (the title track taking up the entire second disc, at 42 minutes), 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' sees the band tackling some serious issues, ranging from alcoholism and addiction, religion, scientific advances, moral dilemmas and mental illness. Every song full of incredible musicianship and intricate structures that flow smoothly without compromising quality.

The title track, a 42-minute piece split up into eight individual tracks, is the true centerpiece of the album. With a vast range of heavy and soft parts, huge orchestral arrangements and virtuoso musicianship, this is a true gem in the Dream Theater discography. And as evidenced in tracks like 'The Glass Prison' (one of my all-time favourites!) and 'The Great Debate', the interplay between all the members, in particular guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, is unmatched by any other band.

A truly polarizing album in the groups back-catalog, how much you like the metal aspects of Dream Theater's music will determine if you'll like the direction the band are going in from here, and while 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' may not be as highly regarded as 'Images and Words' or 'Scenes from a Memory', it is still an essential addition to any music collection.
I've never had much luck with double concept albums and this is no different. This is DREAM THEATER's sixth studio album released in 2002. The first disc is a solid 4 stars with "The Glass Prison" being the standout track. And i would put this disc up against both "Awake" and "Images And Words", but it's the second disc with the 42 minute suite that drops the rating for me. Just too much orchestration and balladry overall to do a lot for me. And i must admit i'm probably being too sensitive to anything this band does that is remotely close to being ballad-like but it is a complete turn-off for me when they drift into that territory. So i can see myself spinning disc one down the road but to be honest disc two will have to stay in it's holster thankyou.
My initial reaction to Six Degrees was much the same as my initial reaction to Scenes From a Memory: I was impressed by Dream Theater's technical capabilities, but at the same time the whole thing didn't connect to me on an emotional or an atmospheric level, leaving me the impression that I'd just listened to a super-indulgent display of technicality for technicality's sake.

However, since I originally reviewed this album I've reassessed Dream Theater's back catalogue a bit, and warmed up to much of it, and Six Degrees is no exception. Not completely - I still think it's a little dry - but I find that I can enjoy it better for what it is, which is Dream Theater dialling the prog approach up to 11, right down to dedicating the whole second disc to a single concept.

Referring to the second disc as a single 42 minute song stretches the definition of "song" to breaking point (I'd be more inclined to say it's a continuous concept album/rock opera myself). Fans rave about it, I don't get why people are so blown away by Dream Theater doing this when bands ranging from Jethro Tull to Pink Floyd to The Who to Marillion to Edge of Sanity had done album-length suites of continuous music before, to a similar degree of technical accomplishment as Dream Theater but at the same time also succeeding in engaging the listener on an emotional level and establishing a distinctive atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad at all - but it's a good selection of essentially distinct parts capably bridged together, we know Dream Theater can do that sort of thing well because they did it before on A Change of Seasons, this shouldn't be a surprise.

Whilst further digestion and exploration of Dream Theater's discography has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the album, at the same time I can't blame people who aren't so keen on the band giving it short shrift - this is very much a release for those who already broadly like what Dream Theater do and whose ears are wise to their schtick. Nor can I blame people who come to the album early in their explorations of the band and bounce off it. It's another impressive release from Dream Theater, but I would say it by no means should be your first exposure to the band, even if you're fairly well-versed when it comes to prog: tackle Images and Words and Scenes From a Memory first, if you've digested and enjoyed those you'll enjoy this better, and if you don't like those albums there's no way this is going to win you over.
Symphonic Dream Theater! Here we have a widely considered Dream Theater masterpiece. Now for Dream Theater to achieve a widely synonymously high rating is (sadly) quite rare. From that, you can infer that Dream Theater's only double studio album is quite the beast of an album. Comprised of only 6 tracks, 5 on disc one and the all together 1 on disc 2, the disc is a sea of symphonic progressive metal. Oddly enough, if the progressive failure of Falling into Infinity hadn't occurred, neither would have this album (or its studio predecessor). When Dream Theater went back into the studio in 1997, they were kept under a watchful eye by a producer who had a commercial breakthrough in mind. He thwarted Dream Theater's idea of having a double album named Falling Into Infinity, where there would be a significantly different Falling into Infinity disc 1, then an entire disc 2 dedicated to an epic 20-30 minute long Metropolis Part 2. To compensate for their desire for a double album, Dream Theater composed Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, a massive 42 minute long track to occupy an entire disc of an album. Along with this, they wrote 5 other, quite incredible, tracks to occupy the first disc. And now, we have Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.

The Glass Prison is the quintessential technical Dream Theater song. Easily one of my favorite tracks by the band, the overall smack-in-the-face technicality and brutality of the track continues to astonish me to this day. The main reason for this: those damn arpeggios. Petrucci has really outdone himself on this one. The incredible speed, agility, and technique needed to play the part is just astounding. Also, away from the crazy guitar part, the lyrical theme is great. With this track, Portnoy begins his story of the Alcoholic Anonymous program he went through. The symbolism of the glass prison he was locked in is incredible. All together, the song presents a killer package of incredible musicianship, fantastic lyrical value, and just an overall great track!

Blind Faith is a great track, but I was never really able to get into it as much as The Glass Prison. The real high points of this album are LaBrie's incredible melodies that really make the song soar. I think any song titled or themed Blind Faith is great lyrically, and this song is no different. The instrumental section is great, with some really nice soling done by all the guys. Other than that, I really don't have very much to say about the track, other than that it's great, but can't really stand up next to the Glass Prison.

Misunderstood is purely fantastic. Melancholy and somber for most of the way, the song just kills in every way. Lyrically, the song is great, talking about how ironic society and its flaws are. Musically, the song is perfectly haunting and somber. Although the instrumental/experimental section at the end of the song is quite odd and out of sorts, it puts out a poignant message?Dream Theater is not all prog metal all the time. Dream Theater can stretch their style in whatever way they see necessary!

The Great Debate is another out-of-sorts Dream Theater song. I mean, the band makes a direct reference to George Bush! Gasp! Even with the cultural references, the song is a great song. Great polyrhythmic moments, and some great experimental vocal and instrumental passages pepper this track in fantastic ways. On this disc one can see that Dream Theater is really experimenting with a great many sounds. This song is still a rockin' Dream Theater song, but it also gives a breath of fresh air in the creativity department.

Disappear is the only weak track on the album. Yea it's alright, but it's not spectacular in the least. The music is very melancholy and slow, more like a post-rock song than anything else. The symphonic sounding keyboards are modulated into oblivion. Overall, this track just isn't very good.

Here we have it, kids, the longest damn track Dream Theater has ever written, broken into 8 parts so we fans don't claw our faces off trying to find the best part. Now some people will try to say Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is eight separate tracks, but they're wrong. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is one giant 42 minute track of purely epic proportions. This song really flexes Dream Theater's symphonic muscles, especially with Rudess' 6 minute symphonic overture composed entirely by him and preformed by him on his great keyboard (of course live they have a massive orchestra to do the work for him). Dream Theater has noted many times that this song has a great many obvious influences, such as Kansas (as heard in the riff sounding oddly similar to The Wall), Pantera (The Test that Stumped Them All), and others. The track overall is just wonderful. Each part has a very special story along with it, following the concept of the whole track. Each part details the story of someone who has a metal disability, whether it's bipolar disease (About to Crash), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (War in My Head), Schizophrenia (Test that Stumped them All), Autism (Solitary Shell), or others. Musically, the song is pure genius, with soft sweeping majestic passages of beauty, crushingly heavy metal sections, somber and beautiful sections, symphonic sections, vocal sections, instrumental sections, pretty much everything that progressive music is made of can be found within this absolutely massive track. Overall, this song is one of the best Dream Theater tracks out there, right up there with Metropolis, A Change of Seasons, or Octavarium!

ALBUM OVERALL: For some reason, it's difficult for Dream Theater to get a widely-considered masterpiece out. With Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, they did it. Appealing not only to the many metal fans the band has, the album also has a great symphonic appeal also. Every song on the album, even they are a little weak, has a certain charm and creativity that in some ways has been lost on Dream Theater's music. Sadly, many people call Dream Theater's music a stale and too traditional Progressive Metal, but what they fail to realize is that Dream Theater essentially invented that Progressive Metal sound. 5 stars.
Time Signature
6 degrees of extremity...

Genre: progressive metal

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" is an album that I do not listen to very often. It is not that I do not like it, and it is not that it is not as good as the other releases by the band. It just never caght on with me for whatever reason.

That album itself is probably Dream Theater's most extreme album - not in terms of extreme metal - but in terms of taking everything as far as possible. The tracks are extremely long, the longest one - the epic title track - clocks in at 42 minutes, and the shortest one clocks in at almost 7 minutes. Musically, the tracks are probably equally as technical and complex as on previous Dream Theater albums, but in terms of heaviness, this album is heavier than anything else released by the band previously.

I think this album would appeal to fans of progressive metal who are not afraid of heavy music, and it might also appeals to fans of heavier types of metal music who are not afraid of complex music.
Conor Fynes
'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence' - Dream Theater (8/10)

While both discs may be great, let me start by saying the second disc of this album (the side with the 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence') is one of the best Progressive CDs I own. If considered as a single song, then it would be my favourite Dream Theater song of all time. The band uses the perfect blend of metal, rock, and prog to forge a really memorable epic, dealing with mental disorders (a common lyrical theme for Dream Theater.) Musically, it's one of the most consistent (in terms of quality) discs I have, and it's been listened to alot. The second disc alone would grant 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence' a masterpiece ranking of it's own.

But there are two discs, right? So what about the first disc?

It's quite a treat as well. Mind you, not up to par with the second, but it's still great (at the very least, four stars) Although there are only two songs on the first disc I really love ('The Great Debate' and the ballad 'Disappear') all of the songs have merits of their own. From the heavy crowd-pleaser 'The Glass Prison' to the comparitively slow songs 'Blind Faith' and 'Misunderstood,' there's a good dose of greatness to be experienced here. 'Blind Faith' and 'Misunderstood' are usually paired in my mind as being similar, and while they're both good, they've never truly hit me as being outstanding. However, they hold songwriting over virtuosic prowess, which is always a plus in Dream Theater's case. 'The Great Debate' is one of my favourite Dream Theater songs, and deals with the controversial topic of stem cell research. It's a very Metallica-influenced song, but theres a great deal of progressive nature in it. 'Disappear' is Dream Theater's most underrated song, and is arguably their most beautiful ballad, second only to the Kevin Moore piano tracks.

The second disc is where things really kick in. Despite a rather repetitive Overture, the rest of the tracks really compensate and flow together perfectly. Songs like 'About To Crash,' 'Goodnight Kiss' and 'Solitary Shell' consist as the highlights of the epic, although the entire thing is very enjoyable to listen to. The majority of it (besides 'War Inside My Head' and 'The Test That Stumped Them All') doesn't use metal, but instead uses a blend of the Dream Theater sound with progressive rock forging into a modern prog sound that should please most of those viewing this site.

While 'Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence' may not match up to Dream Theater's best works such as 'Images And Words' or 'Scenes From A Memory,' it's still a fantastic album, and certainly worth the price of a double album. A very ambitious work, and a solid reminder that Dream Theater isn't exhausted of their creativity just yet.
Question: How do you follow up on a masterpiece such as 'Scenes From a Memory'?

Answer: Present a heavier album that emphasises symphonic prog and insert a 42 minute track that takes up an entire CD.

The CD2 track is a multimovement suite that moves from heavy to soft tones at intervals and blends in a series of tracks to form one masterpiece. The 8 tracks blend seamlessly and Dream Theater often play this in its entirety in their live shows, and a good example is the version on the DVD 'Score'. The wall of sound that Dream Theater create and the way in which it builds to a crescendo makes this epic track stand out as not only one of the greatest Dream Theater tracks of all time, but prog in general. The 'Overture' begins majestically and then builds headlong into the crunching break neck speed of 'About to Crash'. The piece realzes into a soothing acoustic blend with 'Solitary Shell' sung brillaintly with depth of feeling from La Brie. The Grand Finale ends the track on a high note - all comes full circle and the story ends with that ray of hope and optimism that is akin to Dream Theater's tracks.

It is worth buying this CD for the epic alone, but there is so much more to this than some fans give credit.

CD1 begins with a bone crunching killer guitar riff in 'The Glass Prison' which is a 14 minute classic. The pace continues to bhuld throughout and awesome guitar lead work permeates the track from Petrucci as well as Portnoy's relentless drum patterns.

'Blind Faith' settles into a driving rhythm that shifts into various time signatures. Not my favourite track but still has some merit for its musical virtuoso performances from the band. I love the vocal performance from LaBrie too, as always he really manages to belt out the lyrics with total conviction. 'Misunderstood' is the weaker track perhaps due to the monotony of the melody. It has some interesting moments. 'The Great Debate' is a wonderful interplay of lead guitar and drumming as LaBrie sings about the deep matters of a contentious issue that we are all aware of, but what can be done? There are no answers supplied, only food of thought about the debatable topic that I won't go into here. Suffice it to say the music alone is worth a listen.

'Disappear' ends CD1 and for some reason has disappeared from my memory but I recall at least that it was a nice tune and featured some awesome bass and drums throughout. There was experimental work with the keyboards, but I cant recall what the song was about for some reason.

So there you have it. A much maligned piece from Dream Theater - at times moving and innovative with brilliant musical virtuosity - at other times not so inspired and a bit tame. However, there is no denying the work on CD2 is as about as good as it gets for Dream Theater. If you havent heard CD2 at least, you haven't heard the best of Dream Theater.
01. The Glass Prison Hiss of an old LP, (you'll understand when you hear the end of the previous disk Metropolis) and bells, bells that announce what will come. To start John Myung is one of the greatest bass players that have stepped on stage and John Petrucci is also one of the greatest guitarists in rock, it can carry over into many different styles and with great ease. At 2 minutes, right away, one of the hallmarks of the band, fast riffs, heavy and cumbersome, broken at times. Almost metal. James LaBrie, many do not like his voice, I think every time I listen to I like most, is a good vocal and differentiated acute, and he knows how to build good melodic lines. The band follows in a disconcerting weight, but to break the ice 'soft' lines composed by Jordan Rudess on the keyboard. At 4 and 40 one more mark of DT, the melodic hooks that can easily be sung together. Rudess is a major emphasis in the band on this record. And what about our buddy Portnoy? The guy is a demigod of the drums. Tremendous bankruptcies with a vocal-response (follow the letters). At 9 and 40 one of the more amazing riffs written, and very, very fast, and to top it off, a few seconds later he is even faster. It's amazing the provision of Myung playing (those who play know what I'm talking about). Jordan runs a very interesting solo keyboard and destroys Petrucci guitar. The riff that gets the breaks is absurd creativity, and the sequence is weight. And it have an amazing lyric.

02. Blind Faith

Blind Faith in stark contrast to the previous song, after a blow to the opening of the record have a more introspective side. And it's nice to see how wonderfully Portnoy builds his stuff. Not that I leave the weight off the track, however, it is almost impossible to Dream Theater. After 5 minutes Petrucci engages a divine land, with some jazz influence in his Riif following a more rhythmic beat. Then it's time for Rudess piano and orchestrations, which adds value and very subject. The sequence leaves instrumental staff mesmerized, just an appetizer for the excellent vocal melody, and of course, the chorus, once again untouchable.

03. Misunderstood

Now, that's melody, harmony, complexity. Often the simplest things are the most beautiful. After the majestic introduction, nearly reaching the 2 minutes the band starts one-on-one to enter, but the thing comes back, giving a total psychedelic Beatles climate. The heavy chorus is sensational and James sings: 'How can I feel abandoned even when the world surrounds me?' The phrase of the character is fantastic, but most of us know perfectly well that answer. After 4 and a half minutes there is a low and heavy guitars part and it's duplicated. At the end there is a bar full of noise and feedback.

04. The Great Debate

First of all, what a fantastic bass line! The most interesting aspect of this track is that it has a different introduction, while the music evolves reporters and politicians used as vocal, his speeches are everywhere. And the music has an incredible instrumental. Only around 3rd minute is that James sings a few lines with various effects on voice. And then the chorus (great by the way, whicht is a redundancy from these guys). On 5th minute I saw an incredible influence of Metallica On vocals, angry in the way of singing. The percussive part that follows is one thing to pay attention. The song goes on a hallucinatory riff and a synthesizer solo that is even difficult to tell if it really is a synthesizer given such a smooth and fast, almost the same speed of the guitar solo that follows, sensational. And it gives you broken rhythms. And just as he began the subject ends, full of speeches, speeches and reporters.

05. Disappear

The beginning fools you! In fact a guitar and piano ballad. But do not think of syrupy ballad and romantic sense of the word. And once again I see the Beatles in the parade in the 2nd minute with those vocal effects and echoes typical of the 60s. A song with a beat calm and in a emotional tone (accompanying the lyrics if you will). But make no mistake, is not the end of disc 1, but the middle of the story (got the message? ).

Disc 2

01. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

I-Overture II-About To Crash III-War Inside My Head IV-The Test That Stumped Them All V-Goodnight Kiss VI-Solitary Shell VII About To Crash (Reprise) VIII Losing Time / Grand Finale

Epic? Totally! The Dream Theater has invested heavily in this giant theme. His introduction with an orchestral theme and some passages that remind me quite ANGRA, they have built a theme with some Arabic influence as well. A perfect communion between band and orchestra. The second theme 'About To Crash' has a melody almost dance. Impossible not to shake your head together. At 9 minutes it's time to the Portnoy drums and 'War Inside My Head'. At 12 and a half the band goes into a tailspin in some dense, tense and heavy theme. Following the great vocals of James, split with John and a riot in a brilliant syncopation highly complex and break the base of a paranoid guitar that repeats itself for a while. In "The Test That Stumped Them All the 'question and answer' vocals are very nice, meanwhile the weight prevails, almost a trash-prog. It's amazing the power of the band when it comes to create complex riffs. The fifth part 'Goodnight Kiss' is beautiful, with the lines of a child and his mother, LaBrie sings a beautiful melody. And as it should be Petrucci's solo is very melodic and well executed. In 'Solitary Shell' 'kick' is scoring, a guitar solo, and at the bottom many everyday sounds that end in a beautiful theme in the acoustic guitar. It's amazing how this melody is catchy. And the chorus then? Furthermore. And in the changes of the themes I felt echoes of ANGRA again, especially in keyboards. That's great. Shortly after the 33 minutes Part 7 comes in like a reprise of the second part, in this case although the issue is the same voice, the band continues to innovate and looking more and more. Just over 36 minutes, 'Losing Time' is the 8th and last part part of this epic. 'Grand Finale' is emotional. Simply one of the best records of our times.

(ProgShine'S note: After this album run and listen to Train Of Thought).

It's amazing, and I repeat, amazing what you can earn in one hour and forty minutes.
50% Decency + 50% Masterpiece = 6 Degrees

That equation is exactly how I can describe this album. The first disc is passable, and not really recommendable. The second disc is a pure masterpiece without any flaws or kinks. The result is a mixed bag, but it is essential because of disc two alone. The style of music that is played here is varied as well. The first disc is similar to the type of music that is played in their following album, Train of Thought. Disc two is a symphonic concept piece in the vein of Scenes From a Memory.


"The Glass Prison"- The opening song is also the first song in Mike Portnoy's 12 Step Suite. This is one of the heaviest songs in the Dream Theater discography. After a really cool opening with a classic Jordan Rudess solo, a crushing metal riff enters. John Petrucci delivers an impressive shred-guitar solo, and distorted vocals soon enter. This song is very complex and is filled with switches between sections. As one of the heaviest songs Dream Theater has available, it does its job. Overall, this is an okay way to open an album, even though it has some sections I don't really love.

"Blind Faith"- After the very thrash-sounding previous song, this opens with an alternative-rock sounding beginning. The chorus is excellent on this song, and is surely the highlight. I love the instrumental section as well. I think Jordan Rudess does a great job, especially during the organ solo.

"Misunderstood"- This is probably my second favorite from disc one of this album. I absolutely love the melodies of this song, and I think almost everything is perfectly executed. James Labrie does a great job vocally, mostly because of the strong melodies that weren't really present on the previous songs. This song is much more inspired than the previous two songs. However, I think some sections do not fit in with the rest of the song, and it sometimes feels a little disjointed. Still, it's a fairly enjoyable piece.

"The Great Debate"- This song is very dark, and is focused on the controversial issue of stem cell research. Featuring eerie melodies, heavy metal riffing, and wonderful builds, this is another highlight from disc one. It has moments that remind me of Porcupine Tree, and some classic DT moments. The songwriting is excellent, and the drumming from Mike Portnoy really shows his chops. Probably my favorite off of disc one.

"Disappear"- Most of the songs prior to this were very heavy, but this is a lighthearted song that is fairly enjoyable. It has some parts that really don't fit, but it is a decent composition. Very dark and melodic sounding.


"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Overture"- I consider this opening to be one of the finest in progressive rock & metal. From the beautiful orchestral melodies to some heavy metal riffing, this is a perfect opening in my opinion. I love the use of the orchestra, and I really think it adds another layer to the music. Absolutely wonderful.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash"- After the epic opening, this section opens up with a light piano melody. When the whole band soon enters, Jordan Rudess delivers a great synth line. This is exceptionally melodic, and is one of my favorite sections in this epic song. The guitar solo near the end is noteworthy.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: War Inside My Head"- After the two rather lighthearted tracks, this song is a heavy prog metal song filled with an excellent riff. The keyboards are excellent in contrast from the heavy metal riffing. Another excellent section!

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: The Test That Stumped Them All"- The previous song was rather heavy, and this continues the pattern. One of the finest metal riffs I've ever heard with a rock solid drum beat, filled with prog complexities. The keyboards are excellent, as is the rest of the musicianship. The short jam near the end fits the song perfectly, and it shows what a talented band Dream Theater is.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Goodnight Kiss"- After the previous 7 minutes that were more on the metal side, this is a beautiful ballad-like song. The vocal melodies are perfect, and it shows what a great vocalist James LaBrie is. The guitar solo near the end is fantastic.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Solitary Shell"- This is intended to be like Peter Gabriel's "Solitary Shell". It opens up with acoustic guitar and a synth line. The melody during the chorus is excellent, as is the rest of the song. The instrumental section near the end is excellent. It has a latin sounding guitar and piano solo, and some really cool keyboards before and after this section.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash (Reprise)"- This is supposed to be a reprise of the second song in the suite. It has an upbeat opening, using some of the main themes to the album. When the vocals enter it continues on a guitar riff, and then uses the chorus of the original song. The instrumental section near the end is excellent.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Losing Time / Grand Finale"- This has a symphonic opening using some of the themes to the song. Pure symphonic bliss is how I can describe this section. An absolutely perfect end to this epic song. The melodies, arrangements, and chord progressions are all wonderful. What a great way to end this album!


Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is a great album. I think Disc 1 is mediocre, but Disc 2 is a pure masterpiece. I would rate disc one with a 2.5 star rating, and disc two with a 5+ star rating. The natural rating is easily a four. I consider disc two to be some of the best work Dream Theater has ever done, and disc one is still average. If only for the title track alone, this album is essential for any prog metal fan.

4 stars.
Although I did not own this album until about 4 years ago, I was introduced to Dream Theater in 2002 on the Six Degrees tour (with Joe Satriani and King's X). I went to the show for Satriani, but left the venue with far more excitement over Dream Theater. Their show, which consisted of many of the songs off SDOIT, converted me to a Dream Theater fan. When I finally purchased this album 4 years later, the great concert memories came back.

Anyways, about the album itself: This is Dream Theater's sixth studio album (with an appropriately numbered title) and consists of two CDs. The first consists of 5 separate songs, and the second disc contains a single 42 minute song, although this song is divided among 8 different tracks. My personal favorites on disc one are The Glass Prison, Blind Faith, and Misunderstood. Each of these 3 songs are all over 9 minutes long, but they all seem to flow rather smoothly and have the feel of tracks that are 3 or 4 minutes shorter. The Glass Prison is a very heavy start to the album and has a very catchy keyboard riff played by Jordan Rudess that appears several times in the song. Both Blind Faith and Misunderstood are rather mellow songs which suit James Labrie's vocal range rather well. I like the riff by Petrucci underneath the chorus of Misunterstood as well as the various solos in the song. However, the last 2 tracks on the disc, The Great Debate and Disappear, don't seem to have the flow of the first 3 tracks nor do they keep my attention as long. I feel the first 3 tracks more than make up for it though.

I have a hard time referring to the second disc as an entire song because if it was intended to be so, wouldn't they have kept in as a single track (like A Change of Seasons) instead of dividing it? Maybe it was for fans to navigate through the song with more ease or a label decision, but it's just a minor detail. There is a little bit of everything on this disc. It starts with the Overture, which from the title you can probably guess it is a classically themed instrumental, with many of the themes within later coming back at later stages of the song. About to Crash is one of the less interesting moments on the second disc, definitely the section of the song I have the hardest time remembering. The song is reprised later on in About to Crash (Reprise), which oddly enough, I prefer to the first occurrence. War Inside My Head is a brief but memorable and heavy song. Not always a fan when Labrie tries to gruff up his voice, but it's tolerable on this song. The track transitions rather nicely to another metal-inspired song, The Test That Stumped Them All, with a few curveballs in there to keep it from being a full on metal track. The next two tracks, Goodnight Kiss and Solitary Shell (with one of my favorite Rudess moments on the album), are more along the lines of ballads. Not to say that ballads are a bad thing (and you can't exactly call it a traditional ballad if there is an extended solo section, can you?). Both are beautiful songs. I've heard the comparisons between Solitary Shell and Peter Gabriel's Solisbury Hill, but I think it stands fine on it's own despite the similarity. Losing Time/Grand Finale winds down the album in an appropriate fashion.

Though not quite an essential listen, an overall great album by Dream Theater!

Members reviews

Isaac Peretz
The best Dream Theater album. It has everything you could ask for in a prog metal album. From soothing, soft melodies, to heavy-metal sections. From short, simple tracks to cheesy 42-minute songs.

-Songs like The Glass Prison showcase Dream Theater's heavy approach to prog. -Blind Faith features amazing solo-ing. -Misunderstood is a very unique track that has Dream Theater exploring different colors in prog metal. -The Great Debate is a Tool-like song with great rythm and time signature changes. -Disappear is a welcome ballad-type song that brings a change of pace to the album. -Finally, the title track is a 42-Minute suite that remains as one of the band's master works.

Five stars. No doubt about it!
This is one of the most frustrating albums from Dream Theater for me. The thing is, even though I really love this band, and they have done some of my very favourites songs, somehow I have not been able to love any single album of theirs from start to end, they always have some songs that kind of turn me off. Now, the frustrating aspect of the album: CD1 would have been just the very album that I would have considered a Masterpiece from them, with every single song being an absolute killer (except perhaps for the closer, which I still find very good, but just doesn't reach the excellence of the rest of the CD); however, CD2, the "Six Degrees" suite, just doesn't do it for me.

About CD1, it's all perfect Prog Metal Dream Theater, mostly heavy, and I guess the best part of it, with just about no ballad, except for the closer, but even that one isn't as bad a ballad as they usually do, nor does it have those annoying "trademark" LaBrie high vocals that just don't work on their tipical ballad. "The Glass Prison" is easily among my very favourite DT songs, and the rest are just as good. This would easily have done a 5 star album.

On the other side, CD2 just doesn't live up to the first one. It just doesn't have such memorable melodies, nor riffs, and this one has got those ballad moments I was so grateful that were absent from the first disc. Actually, this CD has got very little metal indeed... though I won't deny it's got a lot of prog. I guess this would be the closer they have come to doing a prog piece of music without being prog-metal. The one song I really love on this disc is "War Inside my Head" (which happens to be the heaviest moment on the CD), but it's by far the shortest one. There are some very good moments around too, specially the instrumental second half of the song "Goodnight Kiss", which is lovely, though unfortunatley the first part just doesn't do a thing for me (I wish this solo had been part of "War Inside my Head" instead, and then that would have been a really killer song). As a final note, I just would not consider this CD to be a single 40 min + song, the different songs are pretty well identifiable for the most part. They are all undoubtedley part of the same whole, but not one single song. This CD would be 3 stars for me. So, in the end the album as a whole gets 4 stars.
When I first listened to this album I thought that it was a good album but the more I listened to it, the more I took the time to discover it attentively, the more I realized that this is somewhat the underrated gem in the discography of the most important progressive metal band of all times. This album is a truly progressive album and has something of a modern version of a classical symphony. A Beethoven or Wagner could not have created something more epic and diversified than Dream Theater create not only in the outstanding title track but also in some parts of the other parts that do not have the same level of "epic sound" and greatness but that are brilliantly executed and at least very good too.

"The Glass Prison" is the first part of another famous epic masterpiece of Dream Theater, the twelve-step suite. This modern, surprisingly fast and heavy song is one of the best parts of this epic conceptual track that would be followed by four other tracks on the next albums. The sound effects are very interesting and progressive and especially the keyboards do a certainly great job here. The only problem with this song is that it gets somewhat lost in its own heaviness and lacks of creating a melodic chorus, a truly catchy riff or other memorable moments. That's why this song is good or at some point even very good. But it isn't an outstanding one. But as I said, it is a promising and highly entertaining beginning of a new saga.

The second track "Blind Faith" is smoother than the opener and surprises with a very atmospheric and relaxing introduction. Especially the keyboards do once again an outstanding job on this track and create exotic folk sounds. Sadly, this calm song goes somehow nowhere after a very promising beginning and lacks of a catchy or epic chorus or some surprising breaks. The intro and outro are great but the middle part is only of an average quality and somewhat boring and that's why this track is the weakest one on the whole record.

The third song is called "Misunderstood" and is a sleepy, smooth and soft ballad that surprises with a weird guitar technique where a solo is reversed and creates a very eerie and addicting effect. Another strong point is once again the keyboard work and one must admit that this album is probably Jordan Rudess' masterpiece. All in all, this calm track is a song that grows more and more as time goes by even though it could maybe have been cut down a little bit and has a couple of lengths.

"The Great Debate" is a conceptual song with highly interesting lyrics. It starts with a very progressive intro where a debate is hold and different sound patterns and collages from speeches and interviews are included. The song surprises with a stunning drumming by Mike Portnoy who is delivering an amazing job. The once again great keyboard effects and strange vocal effects give this song a somewhat modern, progressive and apocalyptical touch and surprise us again and again. That's why this song is able to maintain the tension and be highly interesting until the very end.

The last song from the first disc is called "Disappear" and is a calm track with a somewhat eerie atmosphere because of a very spacey intro and an as amazing outro. The keyboards once again carry this song as well as the very touching lyrics. The monotone and repeating middle part fits to the sensitive and sad topic and I wouldn't see this as a negative point even though this song is obviously not as addicting as the previous one.

And then comes the title track, a masterpiece with a length of forty-two minutes and not one single minute of this symphony is boring or unnecessary. There are so many changes and emotions in this epic song that almost works like a movie or at least as a movie score that it would be way too long to describe everything that happens in the eight different parts of the song. The orchestration is great and almost sounds like if a true orchestra was playing. This shows once again what an amazing job especially Jordan Rudess does on this whole record. The live version on the "Score" album with a true orchestra is even more intense than this one. Lyrics and music perfectly fit together and it is an amazing pleasure to go for a ride on this epic journey and voyage through the highly interesting minds of six degrees of inner turbulence. Each different part of the song has a very special mood that fits to the concerned turbulence and creates images and ideas in our minds. This is like cinema for your ears. If I had to chose one single song to represent the band Dream Theater to someone I would pick this epic track or the easier to listen to first part of "Metropolis" because of its rather short length. This song is maybe the opus magnum of Dream Theater and not just one of many superb epic tracks. If you are a fan of Dream Theater and don't have this album yet, you should correct this lack right now and you surely won't regret to buy this intellectual masterpiece.

To keep it short, you get delivered one unforgettable and outstanding masterpiece, two extremely strong tracks, two good ones and only one weaker track on the whole record. Just the title track is worth buying this album. In my opinion this is one of their best records ever. It grows more and more every time you listen to it and has to be at least in my top five albums of Dream Theater even if I was sceptical in the beginning. So, if you truly admire the band in general, it is simply impossible to dislike this record. And this record may even please to people that are no metal heads but fans of progressive rock, krautrock, classical symphonies or operas. This is a great album for anyone that is able to take its time to listen to and appreciate music. Let me formulate it like this: Glory to the patient ones as they will truly live an adorable experience by listening to this record that slowly becomes one of my favourite ones of Dream Theater.
Quite tough to rate... But great still...

Dream Theater decided to change direction and try a huge experimental approach for this album. It has it's own identity, eluding their trademark sound, trying and experimenting with a lot of elements that really scares many many people who have an already made idea of DT... I most say, this is the very best album for Mr. Rudess... his composing was interesting and original.... very different to the common prog keyboard player been a lot more symphonic, but in the other hand, manage to be a lot experimental and polish in his noises, patches and everything... of course he's the master of keyboards, and even if I don't like him in DT... sure he’d prove a lot of things in this particular production.

Then, the rest of the band plays as usual, tough, tight, fast, brilliant and technical... there are haters that don't like Labries voice, the overwhelming drumming, the guitar solos and the instrumental choices of DT... but at the end of the day, I guess the fans really like them for that... been completely different and "in your face" music... so I most say that if you already like DT, you can enjoy this but if you already hate them, this album won't change your worries.

With that said, I have to conclude saying that it doesn't mean that this a regular album for DT. What I like from this is the way they experiment with a lot of different influences, like Tool, Radiohead and Metallica, but not leaving their own style... so, if you like their prog metal sound, don't worry, it still there.. It's just that they approach it in a different way...

Different must be the word to this album... but great... a Masterpiece... not sure... 4.5 is more accurate... I don't know if it's better than Metropolis part II, it’s just different.
The best,

Many die-hard Dream Theater fans don't agree, but I think this album is their best work so far. But I also don't think it would be so if it hadn't been preceded by their previous works. Every album has been a powerful statement in its own right; and 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence is the next logical step, made possible and necessary by the monumental showing of 1999's Scenes From a Memory. This is NOT an album for a first-time Dream Theater listener. It stands more as something for those already familiar with Dream Theater's sound to enjoy. There was a definite style change for this album - a "coming together" of each member into one, solid unit. We already know what stellar musicians each one of them is; now they are showing us that they can write real songs without sacrificing any of the technique and flair we've grown to expect and love. With this album, Dream Theater has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a BAND, not just a collection of different musicians going off on their own. My only regret is that John Myung's bass is so low in the mix; rarely is he audible.

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