DREAM THEATER
Progressive Metal • United States

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I. Introduction

DREAM THEATER is a progressive metal band formed in 1985 in Boston, Massachusetts by guitarist John PETRUCCI, bassist John MYUNG, and drummer Mike PORTNOY. Since the band's conception, they have become one of the most influential post-1970s progressive rock bands as well as ranking as one of the early progenitors of the entire progressive metal genre.

II. History

A. Formation and Early Years (1985-1990)

Based in a love of the sophistication of YES, the virtuosity of RUSH, and the heaviness of IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER had a desire to create complex, heavy, and progressive from the very beginning. Guitarist and bassist PETRUCCI and MYUNG grew up together on Long Island, New York. After high school, both received scholarships to the esteemed Berklee University of Music, where they met drummer PORTNOY, who, incidentally, grew up in a nearby area. The trio soon became friends and began making music together and settled upon the
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The Astonishing (2CD)The Astonishing (2CD)
Roadrunner Records 2016
Audio CD$10.49
$9.95 (used)
The Studio Albums 1992-2011The Studio Albums 1992-2011
Box set
Roadrunner 2014
Audio CD$38.08
$39.49 (used)
Dream TheaterDream Theater
Roadrunner Records 2013
Audio CD$11.89
$8.20 (used)
Images and WordsImages and Words
Atco Records 1992
Audio CD$3.45
$2.31 (used)
Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a MemoryMetropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
Elektra 1999
Audio CD$3.73
$2.50 (used)
Black Clouds & Silver LiningsBlack Clouds & Silver Linings
Roadrunner Records 2009
Audio CD$3.94
$2.74 (used)
OctavariumOctavarium
Atlantic 2005
Audio CD$3.03
$1.20 (used)
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium OrchestraDream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
Multiple Formats
Rhino 2006
DVD$9.87
$5.48 (used)
Six Degrees of Inner TurbulenceSix Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Wea/Elektra Entertainment 2002
Audio CD$5.50
$2.17 (used)
Train of ThoughtTrain of Thought
Elektra 2003
Audio CD$3.30
$0.37 (used)
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DREAM THEATER Discography

DREAM THEATER albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.18 | 93 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.29 | 186 ratings
Images and Words
Progressive Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.13 | 128 ratings
Awake
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.15 | 106 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.13 | 154 ratings
Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.03 | 114 ratings
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.93 | 111 ratings
Train of Thought
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.60 | 109 ratings
Octavarium
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.33 | 103 ratings
Systematic Chaos
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.62 | 115 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.94 | 103 ratings
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 3.52 | 46 ratings
Dream Theater
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover 3.49 | 12 ratings
The Astonishing
Progressive Metal 2016

DREAM THEATER EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.80 | 81 ratings
A Change of Seasons
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 2.62 | 6 ratings
Wither
Progressive Metal 2009

DREAM THEATER live albums

.. Album Cover 3.77 | 35 ratings
Live at the Marquee
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.38 | 27 ratings
Once in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.32 | 43 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.01 | 38 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.26 | 38 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour
Progressive Metal 2006

DREAM THEATER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
International Fan Club Christmas CD 1996
Progressive Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
The Making Of Falling Into Infinity (International Fanclub Christmas CD 1997 / Official Bootleg 2009)
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Once In A Livetime Outtakes (International Fan Clubs Christmas CD 1998)
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.22 | 4 ratings
Cleaning Out The Closet (Christmas CD 1999)
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Scenes From A World Tour (Christmas CD 2000)
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
04 Degrees of Radio Edits (Christmas CD 2001)
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Taste the Memories (International Fan Clubs CD 2002)
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fan Club CD 2003)
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 5 ratings
The Majesty Demos 1985 - 1986
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 2.24 | 4 ratings
Los Angeles, California - 5/18/98
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
The Making of Scenes From A Memory
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
A Sort of Homecoming (International Fan Club CD 2004)
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite Demos 1987-1989
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 2.24 | 4 ratings
Tokyo, Japan - 1995-10-28
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 1.84 | 17 ratings
Master Of Puppets
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
A Walk Beside the Band (International Fan Clubs DVD 2005)
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.48 | 2 ratings
Images and Words Demos 1989-1991
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 2.41 | 16 ratings
The Number of the Beast
NWoBHM 2005
.. Album Cover 3.35 | 12 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Romavarium (International Fan Clubs DVD 2006)
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.85 | 6 ratings
Awake Demos 1994
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.24 | 4 ratings
Old Bridge, New Jersey - 12/14/96
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.96 | 15 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.28 | 5 ratings
New York City 3/4/93
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.17 | 8 ratings
Falling Into Infinity Demos 1996-1997
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.08 | 11 ratings
Made in Japan
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Images And Words: 15th Anniversary Performance Live In Bonn, Germany - 6/16/07 (International Fan Clubs CD 2007)
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.35 | 5 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 (International Fan Clubs CD 2008)
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 2.80 | 5 ratings
Train Of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.32 | 10 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 2.52 | 2 ratings
Happy Holidays
Progressive Metal 2013

DREAM THEATER boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 1.96 | 19 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Original Album Series
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Studio Albums 1992-2011
Progressive Metal 2014

DREAM THEATER singles (17)

.. Album Cover
2.76 | 3 ratings
Afterlife
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.02 | 2 ratings
Status Seeker
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.32 | 3 ratings
Another Day
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
2.14 | 2 ratings
The Silent Man
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
2.55 | 3 ratings
Lie
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
2.07 | 2 ratings
Hollow Years
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
2.05 | 2 ratings
Through Her Eyes
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover
2.10 | 2 ratings
Forsaken
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
2.67 | 3 ratings
Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 3 ratings
Stargazer
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
2.66 | 4 ratings
Larks Tongues In Aspic, Pt. 2
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
2.89 | 5 ratings
A Rite Of Passage
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.71 | 6 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Enemy Inside
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Illumination Theory
Progressive Metal 2014

DREAM THEATER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 5 ratings
Images and Words Live in Tokyo
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
3.20 | 6 ratings
5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
4.42 | 32 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
4.12 | 24 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.55 | 14 ratings
Images and Words Live in Tokyo / 5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
3.75 | 2 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
Progressive Metal 2006
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4.23 | 23 ratings
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
Progressive Metal 2006
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
Progressive Metal 2007
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
Progressive Metal 2008
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3.90 | 14 ratings
Chaos in Motion
Progressive Metal 2008
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Santiago, Chile 12/6/05
Progressive Metal 2009
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Luna Park
Progressive Metal 2013
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4.00 | 1 ratings
Breaking The Fourth Wall
Progressive Metal 2014

DREAM THEATER Reviews

DREAM THEATER Falling Into Infinity

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
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FMOTP
I don't completely understand the disdain that's usually shown for this album. It is definitely different from the previous two landmarks, IMAGES AND WORDS and AWAKE. FALLING INTO INFINITY may be less progressive. I don't see why that should be a deal breaker. James Labrie's voice is clearly not different, but he still performs well.

My only real complaint would be with Derek Sherinian, who spends too much time showing off. The beginning of "Lines in the Sand" is one example. However, keyboards are always the least compelling part of Dream Theater's sound for me. This album contains some generally recognized Dream Theater classics. I could listen to the segment from "Peruvian Skies" through "Hell's Kitchen" repeatedly. FALLING INTO INFINITY is one of my favorite Dream Theater albums, and I'm giving it the full four stars.

DREAM THEATER Train of Thought

Album · 2003 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
When discussing the making of this album, the members of Dream Theater have said that their goal, inspired by all the "classic" metal albums by bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden, was to make a record full of "live songs" that will work well in a concert setting. An album full of metal classics, that'll get energy flowing, fists pumping and heads banging.

They succeeded.

As is always the case when bands stray away from their original sound, there are some who dislike this record for being more centered on metal, as opposed to the progressive elements that Dream Theater made famous in the early 90's. Being a metal fan as much as a prog fan, I love this record, and whilst anyone can see that they stepped away from a lot of their progressive roots on this one, the band more than compensate for it with these pumping metal anthems.

Of course, at the time this album came out (November 2003) I was still fairly new to Dream Theater, and definitely more of a metalhead than anything else. So why wouldn't I love tracks like 'As I Am' (that riff...), 'This Dying Soul', 'Honor Thy Father' or 'In the Name of God'? Each track perfectly demonstrates why Dream Theater can stand toe-to-toe with any of metal's elite.

As you would expect from this band, the musicianship is phenomenal. Most of the songs are definitely guitar-centered, with keyboardist Jordan Rudess taking more of a backseat in most songs. But he's there none-the-less, and when he's trading solos with guitarist John Petrucci, especially on tracks like 'Stream of Consciousness', you know that there's no one that can match these guys.

'Train of Thought' certainly has its prog moments, but ultimately, this is an all-out, straight-up, ballsy metal album. And it's a damn good one, at that!

DREAM THEATER Awake Demos 1994

Demo · 2006 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
As would be expected when any band releases an album consisting of demos, these tracks lack the polished production or finesse that a band like Dream Theater are known for, thus making this one strictly for the diehard fans.

Most of the songs are near-identical to how they appear on the 'Awake' album, with the only noticeable changes being slight differences to some arrangements, lyrics, guitar riffs or keyboard solos.

If you like 'Awake' then it's a nice look at how the songs were originally arranged, and as usual with this band, the musicianship is fantastic. However, because this is nothing more than a demo album, this is best kept for the Dream Theater collectors who need to own everything.

Like me. And my bank account does not approve.

DREAM THEATER Awake

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
The departure of Keyboardist Kevin Moore shortly after the release of this album brought an end to what many Dream Theater fans consider to be their greatest era. Though maybe not as technically sound as Jordan Rudess, or as flamboyant as Derek Sherinian, Moore's contributions had a great sense of ambience, majesty, and creativity, all of which lent its part to Dream Theater's sound very well in their early days.

After their highly successful 'Images & Words' album, there was no question that Dream Theater were in charge when it came to the obscure, underground music genre known as progressive metal, that was slowly exerting its presence over the metal world. With a growing fanbase and record label pressure to produce another hit album, the band rallied together and rose to the occasion, perhaps, not to the standards and hopes of the label, but certainly to that of the fans.

Musically similar to its predecessor, 'Awake' more-or-less replicates 'Images & Words', except with a few subtle differences. The 7-string guitar used by John Petrucci, and Kevin Moore's emphasis on mood and atmosphere on the keyboard, certainly makes this album feel slightly darker and moodier, if not in lyrics and themes, then definitely in tone.

As you would expect, the musicianship is absolutely top-notch, and especially at the time when this album came out, there were very few bands that could match Dream Theater's incredible prowess on their instruments. With more groove-based riffs and detuned guitars becoming the norm, courtesy of bands like Pantera and Korn, the band effortlessly demonstrates their ability to adapt to where the metal genre was headed, whilst still maintaining their own signature style. And James LaBrie's vocals are at their finest, though sadly whilst touring for this album, he would go on to rupture his vocal chords. His voice would never quite be the same.

Songs like '6:00', 'Caught in a Web', 'The Mirror' and the haunting 'Space-Dye Vest', all make this album a requirement in the collection of any prog metal fan.

DREAM THEATER Images and Words

Album · 1992 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
It was back in 2003 that I was looking in a Virgin Megastore (remember those?) with the noble intention of investing my money in a band I'd never heard before. These were before the days when Youtube and streaming were so easily accessible. When we had to take risks with our money to try out new artists. I had stumbled across an album by a band I'd only heard of in name, but that risk was about to pay off; Dream Theater.

Being a 16-year-old heavy metal fan at the time, raised on a healthy diet of groups such as Megadeth, Metallica, Kiss and Rammstein, my initial thoughts were, quite simply; “this album sucks”. However, one thing piqued my interest, and it should come as no surprise that it was the amazingly heavy intro to the opening track, ‘Pull Me Under’.

As I heard more and more, the album grew on me. All these random traits of progressive music were becoming clearer. Odd time signatures, long, complex arrangements, the eclectic mixture of styles, keyboards (a heavy metal no-no), the creative lyrics and massive instrumental sections... It all started to make sense. To this day, 'Images and Words' not only introduced me to a new style of music, but a whole new way of looking at music.

So what makes it so great?

'Images and Words' is an album that defined a genre. Without Dream Theater, progressive metal might never have become what it did. Coming at a time when the genre was in its infancy, Dream Theater had that intangible X-factor that bands like Fates Warning, Queensryche, and even a group like Rush, were all missing at that point.

There's a perfect combination of everything on this album. There's metal songs, there's ballads, there's funky songs and there's jazzy songs too. The musicianship came at a time when there weren't many bands displaying such incredible technical prowess, at least in the mainstream anyway. Every song is perfectly crafted, with interesting musical passages and mind-boggling lyrics. 'Pull Me Under', 'Take the Time', 'Learning to Live' and the monstrous epic 'Metropolis Pt. 1; The Miracle and the Sleeper' are all staples in prog metal history.

This is the record that put Dream Theater on the map, and defined all progressive metal bands/albums for years to come. Every fan of the genre needs this in their collection, immediately. And I'm sure most old-school progressive rock fans will at least appreciate the importance this album had on prog music as a whole. Undeniably my favourite album of all time, 'Images and Words' is better than perfect.

DREAM THEATER Movies Reviews

DREAM THEATER Breaking The Fourth Wall

Movie · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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rdtprog
It seems like it was just yesterday that the Luna Park DVD was released. Now it's another one from the Boston Opera House less than a year later. The show is divided in three acts. The first act is tracks from the last two albums and the song "A Trial of Tears" from "Falling to Infinity". The second act is 5 songs from the "Awake" album to celebrate his 20th anniversary and the third act is the encore celebrating again "Scene from a Memory" with his 15th anniversary. On those 2 albums, the band use the same pattern by starting to play the technical, fast and heavy songs like "The Mirror", "Lie", "Overture 1928" and "Strange Déjà Vu" and finishing with the slower and emotional songs like "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream", "Space Dye Vest" and "Finally Free".

"The Illumination Theory", the most progressive and the epic song of the last album is played with an orchestra in the second act which is the perfect fit with this song that contains an irresistible classical break in the middle. The picture is crystal clear and the camera work more satisfying than the "Luna Park" DVD. As for the sound, I had to crank up the volume very high to get the full sound. Again, I wish we could hear John Myung louder, but that's what happens on live recording, it rarely match the sound quality of a studio release. James Labrie's voice is in nice shape as well as all others members. It's another nice addition to your Dream Theater collection. 3. 8 stars.

DREAM THEATER Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra

Movie · 2006 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
I always look forward to putting this DVD on as I know I am going to get the best of both worlds; symphonic orchestrated music and full on Dream Theater prog. I agree with some reviewers that the setlist is not exactly mind blowing but it nevertheless spans the 5 year history. It is interesting the way the orchestra blends into the metal sound, similar to the Metallica S&M concert, or indeed Kiss Alive IV. It is always of interest when metal meets symphony. The DVD "Score" is very well produced, sharp editing throughout and excellent sound quality. There is nothing wrong with the visuals at all, with the band members sharing the spotlight, but the problem lies in the setlist itself. There are too many omissions and some opportunities wasted in the early part of the concert.

It opens with some deadset oddities such as The root of all evil, I walk beside you, Another won and Afterlife. It isn't until Under A Glass Moon that it really takes off showing the power of that brilliant track and Petrucci's amazing guitar solo. Later we are treated with The spirit carries on and the entire suite of Six degrees of inner turbulence; absolutely flawless and indispensable on the live stage. After an ovation the band belt out Vacant, The answer lies within, Sacrificed Sons and the masterpiece epic Octavarium that is quintessential to the band. The Encore: Metropolis Pt. 1 is a brilliant way of ending the concert to a rapturous crowd.

Disc 2 is packed with some hit and miss Bonus material including a mammoth 20th Anniversary Documentary, that has some fascinating info on the band and the way that not everything goes to plan on a tour. Portnoy has too much to say and now it is a bitter taste now he has scarpered and been replaced. The Octavarium Animation is terrific, and the live performances are always a treat including Another Day (Tokyo - 1993), The Great Debate (Bucharest, Romania - 2002) and Honor Thy Father (Chicago - 2005).

The DVD comes with high recommendations due to the visual quality, and overall package. Ignore the early part of the set and just enjoy DT at their absolute best in the middle half of the concert accompanied by masterful orchestration. A must for all DT fans and one of the best DT DVDs available to this point in time.

DREAM THEATER Live at Budokan

Movie · 2004 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
One of the first DVDs I saw of Dream Theater before the onslaught of DVDs that have come since. This is an early performance and of considerable interest as a result. These were the glory days of Dream Theater ramming prog down the throats of the hungry Budokan fans. It is an incredible performance best seen than heard though the audio experience offers much as a type of Dream Theater concoction of the best of the earlier years. The CD is good listening but the visual persentation is incredible. There are a few odd surprises scattered in the mammoth set list but the classics are here and played to perfection. Beyond This Life is a huge epic clocking 19:37, and with some dynamic lead guitar from Petrucci. The Test That Stumped Them All is always a killer track live and sounds fresh and powerful with huge bass runs of Myung and Portnoy's slamming percussion.

Endless Sacrifice is an 11 minute gruelling journey into prog excess with a wild keyboard section from Rudess. The Instrumedley to follow features some awesome musicianship. LaBrie is in fine form on soaring vocals, and shines on such compositions as the 14 minute Trial Of Tears and New Millennium. It is always a pleasure to experience a Jordan Rudess keyboard solo and it is as inventive here as ever. There are some amazing songs such as Solitary Shell, Stream Of Consciousness and quintessential Pull Me Under. The set closes with epic 16 minute In The Name Of God. So overall this is a great set with power metal and tons of instrumental breaks. It is progressive and packed to the gills with mind bending virtuoso solos and material from some of their best albums. It was the "Train of Thought" tour so there is plenty from that album as well as "Six Degrees" and "Images and Words" among others.

The special features are wonderful featuring 'Riding The Train Of Thought" a Japanese Tour Documentary of about half an hour, and John Petrucci Guitar World segment, Jordan Rudess Keyboard World, and a Mike Portnoy Drum Solo clocking 12 minutes. The Dream Theater Chronicles - 2004 Tour Opening Video is okay showing the video the crowd saw in the opening, and Instrumedley with multi-angles is lots of fun. Overall it is a fantastic DVD concert, and all Dream Theater fans must have it.

DREAM THEATER Shouts

Please login to post a shout
Andyman1125 wrote:
1849 days ago
I can't decide whether to be really excited or nervous about the announcement of the new drummer-- but anyway, FAVORITE band of ALL TIME - ROCK PROG METAL ON DT!
martindavey87 wrote:
1912 days ago
My favourite band of all time!
progkidjoel wrote:
2144 days ago
Although I'm not a huge fan of most of their stuff, you have to respect the insane musician ship. Some of the best!!!
m@x wrote:
2149 days ago
I would go with PROG METAL ON ?! Anyway you are right DT rules !
CCVP wrote:
2149 days ago
My favorite metal band ever. Rock on DT. . . Or would it be Metal on ?

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