DREAM THEATER

Progressive Metal / Metal Related / Hard Rock / Non-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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DREAM THEATER Discography

DREAM THEATER albums / top albums

DREAM THEATER When Dream and Day Unite album cover 3.29 | 121 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite
Progressive Metal 1989
DREAM THEATER Images and Words album cover 4.43 | 236 ratings
Images and Words
Progressive Metal 1992
DREAM THEATER Awake album cover 4.07 | 163 ratings
Awake
Progressive Metal 1994
DREAM THEATER Falling Into Infinity album cover 3.43 | 132 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
Progressive Metal 1997
DREAM THEATER Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory album cover 4.26 | 188 ratings
Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory
Progressive Metal 1999
DREAM THEATER Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence album cover 4.18 | 146 ratings
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Progressive Metal 2002
DREAM THEATER Train of Thought album cover 3.93 | 141 ratings
Train of Thought
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER Octavarium album cover 3.76 | 138 ratings
Octavarium
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER Systematic Chaos album cover 3.47 | 126 ratings
Systematic Chaos
Progressive Metal 2007
DREAM THEATER Black Clouds & Silver Linings album cover 3.70 | 139 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Progressive Metal 2009
DREAM THEATER A Dramatic Turn of Events album cover 3.96 | 129 ratings
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Progressive Metal 2011
DREAM THEATER Dream Theater album cover 3.55 | 68 ratings
Dream Theater
Progressive Metal 2013
DREAM THEATER The Astonishing album cover 2.83 | 51 ratings
The Astonishing
Progressive Metal 2016
DREAM THEATER Distance Over Time album cover 3.81 | 29 ratings
Distance Over Time
Progressive Metal 2019
DREAM THEATER A View from the Top of the World album cover 3.74 | 13 ratings
A View from the Top of the World
Progressive Metal 2021

DREAM THEATER EPs & splits

DREAM THEATER Wach Auf! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wach Auf!
Progressive Metal 1994
DREAM THEATER A Change of Seasons album cover 3.95 | 94 ratings
A Change of Seasons
Progressive Metal 1995
DREAM THEATER Wither album cover 3.19 | 8 ratings
Wither
Progressive Metal 2009
DREAM THEATER God of War: Blood & Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
God of War: Blood & Metal
Progressive Metal 2010

DREAM THEATER live albums

DREAM THEATER Live at the Marquee album cover 3.82 | 48 ratings
Live at the Marquee
Progressive Metal 1993
DREAM THEATER Once in a LIVEtime album cover 3.65 | 37 ratings
Once in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
DREAM THEATER Live Scenes From New York album cover 4.66 | 53 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
Progressive Metal 2001
DREAM THEATER Live at Budokan album cover 4.27 | 48 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour album cover 4.29 | 48 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Distant Memories: Live in London album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Distant Memories: Live in London
Progressive Metal 2020

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

DREAM THEATER International Fan Club Christmas CD 1996 album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
International Fan Club Christmas CD 1996
Progressive Metal 1996
DREAM THEATER The Making Of Falling Into Infinity (International Fanclub Christmas CD 1997 / Official Bootleg 2009) album cover 1.14 | 3 ratings
The Making Of Falling Into Infinity (International Fanclub Christmas CD 1997 / Official Bootleg 2009)
Progressive Metal 1997
DREAM THEATER Once In A Livetime Outtakes (International Fan Clubs Christmas CD 1998) album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Once In A Livetime Outtakes (International Fan Clubs Christmas CD 1998)
Progressive Metal 1998
DREAM THEATER Cleaning Out The Closet (Christmas CD 1999) album cover 3.71 | 7 ratings
Cleaning Out The Closet (Christmas CD 1999)
Progressive Metal 1999
DREAM THEATER Scenes From A World Tour (Christmas CD 2000) album cover 2.06 | 5 ratings
Scenes From A World Tour (Christmas CD 2000)
Progressive Metal 2000
DREAM THEATER 04 Degrees of Radio Edits (Christmas CD 2001) album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
04 Degrees of Radio Edits (Christmas CD 2001)
Progressive Metal 2001
DREAM THEATER Taste the Memories (International Fan Clubs CD 2002) album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Taste the Memories (International Fan Clubs CD 2002)
Progressive Metal 2002
DREAM THEATER Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fan Club CD 2003) album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fan Club CD 2003)
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER The Majesty Demos 1985-1986 (reissued 2022) album cover 2.55 | 7 ratings
The Majesty Demos 1985-1986 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER Los Angeles, California - 5/18/98 album cover 2.73 | 7 ratings
Los Angeles, California - 5/18/98
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER The Making of Scenes From A Memory album cover 2.28 | 5 ratings
The Making of Scenes From A Memory
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER A Sort of Homecoming (International Fan Club CD 2004) album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
A Sort of Homecoming (International Fan Club CD 2004)
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER When Dream and Day Unite Demos 1987-1989 album cover 2.50 | 4 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite Demos 1987-1989
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER Tokyo, Japan - 1995-10-28 album cover 3.29 | 8 ratings
Tokyo, Japan - 1995-10-28
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER Master Of Puppets (reissued 2021) album cover 2.53 | 22 ratings
Master Of Puppets (reissued 2021)
Thrash Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER A Walk  Beside the Band (International Fan Clubs DVD 2005) album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
A Walk Beside the Band (International Fan Clubs DVD 2005)
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER Images and Words Demos 1989-1991 album cover 3.21 | 6 ratings
Images and Words Demos 1989-1991
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER The Number of the Beast album cover 2.70 | 22 ratings
The Number of the Beast
Heavy Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER When Dream And Day Reunite (reissued 2021) album cover 3.77 | 16 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite (reissued 2021)
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER Romavarium (International Fan Clubs DVD 2006) album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Romavarium (International Fan Clubs DVD 2006)
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Awake Demos 1994 (reissued 2022) album cover 2.79 | 8 ratings
Awake Demos 1994 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Old Bridge, New Jersey - 12/14/96 album cover 3.58 | 6 ratings
Old Bridge, New Jersey - 12/14/96
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Dark Side of the Moon album cover 3.54 | 20 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
Non-Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER New York City 3/4/93 album cover 3.43 | 7 ratings
New York City 3/4/93
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Falling Into Infinity Demos 1996-1997 album cover 3.59 | 11 ratings
Falling Into Infinity Demos 1996-1997
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Made in Japan album cover 3.50 | 13 ratings
Made in Japan
Hard Rock 2006
DREAM THEATER Images And Words: 15th Anniversary Performance Live In Bonn, Germany - 6/16/07 (International Fan Clubs CD 2007) album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
Images And Words: 15th Anniversary Performance Live In Bonn, Germany - 6/16/07 (International Fan Clubs CD 2007)
Progressive Metal 2007
DREAM THEATER Progressive Nation 2008 (International Fan Clubs CD 2008) album cover 3.60 | 5 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 (International Fan Clubs CD 2008)
Progressive Metal 2008
DREAM THEATER Train Of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003 (reissued 2021) album cover 2.75 | 8 ratings
Train Of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003 (reissued 2021)
Progressive Metal 2009
DREAM THEATER Uncovered 2003-2005 album cover 3.42 | 12 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
Hard Rock 2009
DREAM THEATER Happy Holidays (2013) / Lost Not Forgotten Archives: A Dramatic Tour of Events - Select Board Mixes (2021) album cover 3.00 | 5 ratings
Happy Holidays (2013) / Lost Not Forgotten Archives: A Dramatic Tour of Events - Select Board Mixes (2021)
Progressive Metal 2013
DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Images And Words - Live In Japan, 2017 album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Images And Words - Live In Japan, 2017
Progressive Metal 2021

DREAM THEATER re-issues & compilations

DREAM THEATER Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) album cover 2.09 | 19 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
Progressive Metal 2008
DREAM THEATER Original Album Series album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Original Album Series
Progressive Metal 2011
DREAM THEATER The Studio Albums 1992-2011 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Studio Albums 1992-2011
Progressive Metal 2014

DREAM THEATER singles (17)

.. Album Cover
2.83 | 3 ratings
Afterlife
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.25 | 2 ratings
Status Seeker
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.79 | 3 ratings
Another Day
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
2.62 | 4 ratings
The Silent Man
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
3.33 | 5 ratings
Lie
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
2.44 | 4 ratings
Hollow Years
Metal Related 1997
.. Album Cover
2.14 | 3 ratings
Through Her Eyes
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Forsaken
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Odyssey
Metal Related 2009
.. Album Cover
2.92 | 3 ratings
Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
Hard Rock 2009
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 3 ratings
Stargazer
Hard Rock 2009
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
Metal Related 2009
.. Album Cover
2.31 | 4 ratings
Larks Tongues In Aspic, Pt. 2
Non-Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
2.17 | 5 ratings
A Rite Of Passage
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.90 | 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
4.20 | 10 ratings
Images and Words Live in Tokyo
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
3.65 | 10 ratings
5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
4.69 | 37 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
4.29 | 29 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.23 | 16 ratings
Images and Words Live in Tokyo / 5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 3 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.31 | 4 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.48 | 27 ratings
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.42 | 2 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.96 | 17 ratings
Chaos in Motion
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
Santiago, Chile 12/6/05
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.88 | 4 ratings
Live at Luna Park
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
4.14 | 3 ratings
Breaking The Fourth Wall
Progressive Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Distant Memories: Live in London
Progressive Metal 2020

DREAM THEATER Reviews

DREAM THEATER Once in a LIVEtime

Live album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Dream Theater have made gargantuan live albums part of their schtick now, so it's weird to think the first of these was Once In a Livetime, since it captures the band at a rather unrepresentative moment in their history. After all, Falling Into Infinity is one of the less well-received albums - I think it's alright, but a clear stumble compared to the preceding three albums (and the Change of Seasons EP), and part of that was because the band were being tugged in different directions in a tug-of-war between commercial leanings and prog purism which would eventually resolve with the monster success of the Metropolis Part 2 concept album, where they demonstrated that they could do both at once.

What you end up getting here is a live album which certainly leans on the "metal" side of Dream Theater's prog metal equation, but the combination of its sheer length (two and a half hours!) and the nature of most of their back catalogue means that their prog chops end up being well-represented anyway. In addition, whilst the band might have needed to please studio executives in the studio, in the live context they were still throwing in a healthy dose of improvisation and soloing.

This is, of course, the main live album from Derek Sherinian's stint in the band, and hails from towards the end of his tour of duty. When he's on form and gelling with the rest of the band, his presence is certainly helpful in making the album stand out in the mountain of Dream Theater live output - after all, even if the band have gone over a lot of the same ground in later live releases, they haven't exactly included many Derek Sherinian keyboard solos on those.

At the same time, however, there's some spots where you start realising why Sherinian's time in the band just wasn't working out. There's a few too many moments where his keyboards are either a little overwhelmed by what the rest of the band is doing, or absolutely dominating everything, and he seems to struggle to find the sweet spot in between those extremes. It doesn't happen so often to derail things, but it happens just often enough that I notice it. Of course, it isn't necessarily clear whether this is the side effect of occasionally shaky sound quality - there's a mild fuzziness which creeps in at points on the recording, at least to my ear, and it's especially unflattering as far as Sherinian's keyboards are concerned.

On the whole, it's a solid live album which delivers a fat chunk of music and finds Dream Theater giving a lot of great material a spin in a configuration that you won't find on most of their other live releases, and when you put all that together that earns a good solid four stars - but there's just enough hiccups to stop it going beyond that.

DREAM THEATER A Change of Seasons

EP · 1995 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Derek Sherinian's stint as Dream Theater keyboardist is a little overlooked these days; as well as being briefer than Kevin Moore's original tenure or Jordan Rudess's ongoing tour of duty, but Sherinian's time in the role also had the misfortune to coincide with the Falling Into Infinity album, which is generally considered to be a bit of a misfire compared to the albums preceding or succeeding it.

However, at the same time Sherinian's stint in the band also took in this EP that's not an EP. It's not an EP in the sense that calling it an EP makes a mockery of the "extended play" and "long play" origin of those terms, but it is an EP in the sense that the band call it one.

They call it an EP largely because it was released for only one real purpose, and that was to get a studio rendition of the title track out there. A 23 minute epic that qualifies as one of the most technically proficient, compositionally ornate, emotionally diverse, and outright proggy songs Dream Theater would ever compose, it had been lurking about in the setlist ever since the Images & Words days but had been held back from that album.

In some ways, holding it back showed admirable - if uncharacteristic - restraint on the part of Dream Theater, because its inclusion would have turned Images & Words into a double album, and that's always a risky prospect. Still, if the original version of the song were half as good as this, it'd certainly measure up to anything that Dream Theater put on that release.

As it is, the version we get of the song here reflects some years of further honing and polishing the composition through live performances, and the end result is one of the most incredible moments in the Dream Theater discography. Whilst fans can often be guilty of overhyping songs or performances which aren't actually that hot, especially if it's something which only a few people who happened to be at the right live shows would have heard, in this case the song absolutely deserved the hype. Not putting this song out there in a definitive version of some kind would have been a travesty.

As it is, the "EP" is a masterpiece already simply by virtue of the song's inclusion, and if you wanted to convince anyone of the chops of any member of this Dream Theater lineup, you could go a lot worse than playing them this. Petrucci's guitar work is particularly prominent, but Sherinian gets his opportunities to shine on the keys, LaBrie delivers some of his finest vocals, and I don't think I ever appreciated Myung/Portnoy rhythm section as much as I should have until I took in their work here.

At the same time, Dream Theater were leery of just putting out a 23 minute EP, so they loaded it on with a bit of extra value by providing some cover versions to make up the remainder of the running time. These are taken from a live fan club performance at Ronnie Scott's in London, which means that the shift from the studio polish offered to the title track to the live tapes can be slightly jarring.

Nonetheless, I actually really like the cover versions here, both the full songs and the medleys, because they really showcase Dream Theater's appreciation for a wide range of rock forebears whilst still nicely framing everything in something close-ish to their sound. As such, I really think A Change of Seasons is, if not the best Dream Theater Album, then at least the best Dream Theater album that isn't actually an album...

DREAM THEATER A View from the Top of the World

Album · 2021 · Progressive Metal
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Necrotica
Dream Theater in 2021. What exactly would you expect at this point from a new release by the progressive metal veterans? With the exception of the odd experiment here and there (such as the ill-advised The Astonishing), the band’s tried-and-true formula doesn’t really get shaken up these days. In fact, their previous album Distance Over Time was one of the safest releases they’d put out in quite a long time; perhaps the more conservative approach was meant to balance out the ambitiousness of a two-hour-long rock opera, but that didn’t really change how predictable its songwriting was. So with that in mind, it was hard to have any serious expectations for A View from the Top of the World, even with the prospect of a 20-minute epic to cap it off. But while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel in any major way, it does happen to be the band’s best record in a decade.

Really, the album title and cover art say it all. Dream Theater don’t have anything else to prove from the vantage point of being one of progressive metal’s foremost legacy acts, so A View from the Top of the World comes off more as a band writing and playing for the sake of enjoying their craft. Songs like the highly technical barnburner “The Alien” or the off-time chugging of “Answering the Call” aren’t doing anything new per se, but the quality lies in how these old ideas are being presented here. Despite the song lengths being pretty long as usual, the more wank-driven bits are surprisingly lean and controlled - solos generally don’t last over two minutes, and while they’re still pretty masturbatory as one would expect, they’re also pretty tasteful compared to a lot of Dream Theater’s modern output. “Invisible Monster” is a perfect representation of this, with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess’ guitar and keyboard parts interlocking with each other to form some really neat harmonies.

Of course, the band do get more adventurous and crazy during the two epic pieces, “Sleeping Giant” and the mammoth title track. The former features some excellent symphonic bits from Rudess’ keyboard parts, as well as some SHOCKINGLY strong singing from James LaBrie. In fact, this album is the best he’s sounded in a long time; he doesn’t try to stretch himself too much vocally on the record, and I think that’s to his benefit. In short, he simply sounds more comfortable here than he has on previous albums. As always, the rest of the band show off their technical acumen very nicely on “Sleeping Giant” with shred solos and off-time licks, with the honky tonk piano of Rudess’ solo being a particularly fun highlight. The title track, meanwhile, goes through about as many twists and turns as you’d imagine from a modern Dream Theater epic. It mostly relies on a flurry of technical riffs and solos, but I have to give a nod to the beautiful midsection; the drums drop out, and all that can be heard is Petrucci’s clean guitar ringing out before the rest of the band eventually enters back in. Great stuff, and it plays like a leaner version of the symphonic break in “Illumination Theory” from the band’s self-titled effort.

The only drawback to all of this is what I’ve already mentioned: a lot of what’s found on A View from the Top of the World is what you would expect from Dream Theater, even if it’s executed very well. The only true surprise on the record is the fantastic power-ballad “Transcending Time”, which sounds like it could have been pulled straight out of one of the band’s 90s albums. It’s incredibly emotional and uplifting, giving off similar vibes to “The Looking Glass” but not wearing its influences on its sleeve like that song did. But could there have been more songs like that on the record? Sure, and it would have been nice to hear, but maybe that’d be asking too much of the band. A View from the Top of the World is an incredibly solid album that brings out the best qualities in Dream Theater’s current incarnation; it’s predictable, yes, but you’ll most likely still enjoy it if you keep that caveat in mind. This is the best the band have sounded in a long time, and certainly the best this lineup has sounded; let’s just hope they can keep this trajectory going for future records.

DREAM THEATER A View from the Top of the World

Album · 2021 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The name DREAM THEATER is almost synonymous with the genre progressive metal given that this was the band responsible for bringing this hybrid of progressive rock and heavy metal to the world at large with its lauded “Images And Words” album all the way back in 1992. Despite having existed as the kingpin of the genre for almost three decades now, DREAM THEATER has been eclipsed by countless other bands in terms of consistency and innovation however despite this band’s on again off again commitment to quality control, there is no doubt that this pioneering band has cranked out some ridiculously brilliant music over the years.

I’m hardly one who chomps at the bit waiting for a new DREAM THEATER album to hit the market but i do like the band enough to keep up with their albums and listen at least once before moving on to the next thing. Well here we are in the year 2021, some 32 years after the band’s debut “When Dream And Day Unite” and DREAM THEATER is back with its 15th studio album A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD with its surprisingly stable lineup since 2011’s “A Dramatic Turn Of Events.” While DT has been on autopilot for a while now simply recycling its past glory and offering okay enough but won’t blow you away albums, A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD comes off as a nice surprise.

True this new album isn’t reinventing the wheel and could never be mistaken for any other act other than DREAM THEATER but what his album seems to exhibit unlike many of the recent past is a return to the passion that made many of the 90s albums so magical. The tunes seem more inspired, the details seem more ironed out and things don’t sound blatantly by the numbers as they have in the past. In fact this album sounds as if it should be inserted into the timeline where “Falling Into Infinity” fell short. Whatever the case, it seems that the cancellation of the 2020 tour due to the pandemic was just the ticket for the band to find the time to rekindle the dwindling mojo and return to the years of yore when DREAM THEATER albums actually were something to get excited about.

A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD is the first album to be recorded in the band’s own studio, DTHQ (Dream Theater Headquarters) so perhaps this return to form is a result of musical independence that had been lacking. The album was mixed and mastered by legendary Sabbath guitarist Andy Sneap and the musical team of John Petrucci, John Myung, Jordan Rudess, James LaBrie and Mike Mangini sounds as if these guys on the top of their game once again with seven instantly lovable tracks that offer everything you could expect from classic DREAM THEATER. The band has experimented over the years with varying degrees of progressiveness, dedication to the metal aspect of its equation as well as the other elements that make up the DREAM THEATER equation.

On album #15, the band employs all of the metal heft that you can hear on the heaviest albums (such as “Awake”), the most knotty prog fueled gymnastics (as heard on most of the 90s albums) along with the fearless exploration of virtuosic soloing. On A VIEW you will not hear any of those ridiculously convoluted ballads, no substandard vanilla dumbing down of the extremities or blatant mining of their past. What you will hear is excellent songwriting fortified with high standard musicianship and a return to the more progressive aspects that put the prog in the metal back in the day. The album Shortest track “Transcending Time” is 6:25 whereas the highlight of the album which is the title track clocks in at 20 1/2 minutes with three distinct parts! The recent Liquid Tension Experiment sessions seem to have carried over on this one :)

Let’s face it, DREAM THEATER has peaked and unless the band decides to completely reinvent itself it’s going to be simply retreading that which it has already done and A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD is no exception. There is nothing on this album that will convert haters and nothing that hasn’t already been explored by the band ad nauseam, however at this stage in the DT game, it’s all about crafting an album that is actually compelling to experience through the band’s tendency to release sprawling albums that defy current attention spans. This one is over 70 minutes long! It’s really hard to say why one album works for me and others don’t but i am quite surprised that this one keeps me engaged for the entire run! This really does bring me back to the era of “Awake” when the band was firing on all pistons. Somehow the pandemic produced a silver lining and some of the classic bands have had the time to reevaluate and reflect on where they once were and where they have drifted. Whatever the case, this is one of the best DT albums for my ears in a loooooooooong time.

DREAM THEATER Live at the Marquee

Live album · 1993 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Dream Theater are known for their astonishingly long live sets and comparably long live albums. Mike Portnoy infamously collapsed backstage from exhaustion after the gruelling concert captured on Live Scenes From New York, for example, but far from taking this as a hint that perhaps sometimes less is more and a shorter setlist would be better both for the health of the band and the patience of the audience, the band have generally kept at it with the long live album thing.

That's fine if you want big chunky slabs of live Dream Theater, but there's a place for shorter, snappier sets. That's why Live At the Marquee is a nice live release, weighing in at under 50 minutes and offering solid live renditions of a selection of songs from Where Dream and Day Unite and Images and Words, with an emphasis on the latter.

Given the Marquee's role in igniting the British neo-prog wave a decade earlier, where it was a home base for bands like Marillion, it's sort of apt that Dream Theater's first live album should hail from there, since Dream Theater arguably repeated Marillion's trick of creating prog rock on a commercially successful basis at a time when the received wisdom was against this, and the band rise to the occasion with high-quality performances of the songs, including a killer version of Pull Me Under (with an actual ending this time, rather than that abrupt cut-off the album version has).

One might wish that they'd have been able to squeeze in Learning To Live or raise other quibbles with the setlist, but it speaks well of the band that already, at this early stage of their career, they had enough bangers in their repertoire that a single album-length live release couldn't hit all the highlights. Hm - perhaps those long runtimes have a purpose after all. Either way, if you like Images and Words-era Dream Theater and enjoy live albums, you'll find this a solid choice - and in practice, this means it's a good listen for most prog metal fans.

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:
more than 2 years 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:
more than 2 years ago
My favourite band of all time!
progkidjoel wrote:
more than 2 years 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!!!
more than 2 years ago
I would go with PROG METAL ON ?! Anyway you are right DT rules !
CCVP wrote:
more than 2 years ago
My favorite metal band ever. Rock on DT. . . Or would it be Metal on ?

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