DREAM THEATER
Progressive Metal • United States

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DREAM THEATER picture
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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Breaking the Fourth Wall [Blu-ray]Breaking the Fourth Wall [Blu-ray]
Roadrunner Records 2014
Blu-ray$16.99
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Roadrunner Records 2013
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Roadrunner Records 2007
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DREAM THEATER Discography

DREAM THEATER albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.31 | 82 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.31 | 166 ratings
Images and Words
Progressive Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.07 | 111 ratings
Awake
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.20 | 94 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.22 | 140 ratings
Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.06 | 100 ratings
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.94 | 100 ratings
Train of Thought
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.72 | 97 ratings
Octavarium
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.49 | 93 ratings
Systematic Chaos
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 106 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 4.10 | 91 ratings
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 3.62 | 31 ratings
Dream Theater
Progressive Metal 2013

DREAM THEATER EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.77 | 77 ratings
A Change of Seasons
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 2.62 | 6 ratings
Wither
Progressive Metal 2009

DREAM THEATER live albums

.. Album Cover 3.76 | 30 ratings
Live at the Marquee
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.66 | 25 ratings
Once in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.44 | 39 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.22 | 34 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.40 | 33 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Live At Luna Park
Progressive Metal 2013

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 2.43 | 6 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 3.00 | 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 1.95 | 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 3.00 | 1 ratings
Images and Words Demos 1989-1991
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 2.33 | 16 ratings
The Number of the Beast
NWoBHM 2005
.. Album Cover 3.30 | 13 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 2.44 | 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 3.05 | 7 ratings
Falling Into Infinity Demos 1996-1997
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.91 | 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 2.46 | 6 ratings
Train Of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.32 | 10 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Happy Holidays
Progressive Metal 2013

DREAM THEATER boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 1.87 | 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

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
2.05 | 3 ratings
Hollow Years
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
2.05 | 2 ratings
Through Her Eyes
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 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
3.33 | 4 ratings
Stargazer
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.12 | 5 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
3.92 | 7 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Enemy Inside
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Illumination Theory
Progressive Metal 2014

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

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 3 ratings
Images and Words Live in Tokyo
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
3.05 | 4 ratings
5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
4.41 | 29 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
4.05 | 21 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.48 | 13 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
2.50 | 1 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.23 | 22 ratings
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.62 | 15 ratings
Chaos in Motion
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Santiago, Chile 12/6/05
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at Luna Park
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Breaking The Fourth Wall
Progressive Metal 2014

DREAM THEATER Reviews

DREAM THEATER Black Clouds & Silver Linings

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
After the success of “Systematic Chaos” due to a popularity rise from their record deal with Roadrunner records, the band went back into the studio to record another. Now before it's release, Portnoy's mouth didn't stop running, saying that this album would be like “having “Octavarium”, “Pull Me Under” and “A Change Of Seasons” all on the same album.” Now this isn't true, basically there's an 8 minute song and 2 songs that are near 20 minutes. But what really is this album like...well to tell you the truth when this album came out...I was disappointed and to this day I'm not as disappointed...but I am still not loving this album.

Musically the band decided to go into a more darker direction. The band have been promising a darker album for ages, so this is what we get, with a lot more focus on minor chords and such. Now, tone wise this isn't too bad. In fact most of the problems lie with the material, which mostly is good. It's just fragments of the songs which really let the tracks down. Some are too long and some are quite weak. One big positive is that this may be the best I've heard James' voice in a very long time, with him pulling off some great vocal moments.

The special edition of this album would be worth getting a buy, because it does feature a bonus disc full of cover songs. Now, the band does do covers pretty well and I won't dwell upon them too much, but there are some interesting versions of these songs. The Queen melody for one is brilliant with a very interesting vocal performance from James LaBrie. “Stargazers” and “To Tame A Land” are also brilliantly crafted too.

The album opener “A Nightmare To Remember” is another song which could have been a brilliant and classic Dream Theater song. Starting off with a riff which is pretty much a slower version of Cradle Of Filths “The Promise Of Fever,” showing off extreme metal and black metal influence. The main body has some great twists and turns but the real catcher of this track would have to be the slower part. A brilliantly crafted melody with some great vocal harmonies, this is one of the shining moments on the album. Sadly the track goes into some mediocre instrumental passages and then it happens. A section of the song which has a death metal influence...so the bands crazed drummer decides to take the mic and do one of the worst impersonations of death metal. This has to be one of the most embarrassing moments on the bands career. Luckily there is a live version the band did with Mikael from Opeth doing the growls, and it sounds way better. The song does close off pretty well with some surprising blast beats and luckily it doesn't drag too much. I do feel a lot of this song needed to be trimmed off, but there are moments on this song which are incredibly majestic.

The first single to be dropped from the album “A Rite Of Passage” is probably one of my least favorite Dream Theater songs. It starts off pretty well with a pretty good riff, but the first verse is terrible with stupid effects and reverb on the vocals. Luckily the chorus is pretty good and the second verse does pick up and become more enjoyable, but the instrumental section comes out of nowhere, but I did like the noisy and interesting keyboard solo from Jordan. The lyrics are also a bit poor due to a lack of knowledge about the song's topic (it's about Freemasons by the way). Probably the poorest song on the album.

The song which I would probably agree has no problems on it would be “Wither.” The ballad for the album, the song is perfectly crafted and beautifully written. It does verge on cheese at times, but a bit of cheese never hurt anybody. The lyrics which deal with writers block are beautifully written and the wordplay is pretty good too.

“The Shattered Fortress” being the last of the 12 Steps Suite does seem to be a song which is supposed to tie loose ends. Now, after the release of this album, Portnoy did explain that this suite did almost seem like homework at times for the band. Some moments on this song do have some nice moments, but other than that it is basically a re hashing of old ideas from previous songs. I will let some riff slide, but it is very deja vu.

Trying to lay into the “The Best Of Times” is rather tough due to the nature and background of the track (with it being about Portnoy's dad who sadly passed away), but there are some minor flaws. The intro is absolutely beautiful, with some beautiful piano work from Jordan and a brilliant violin accompaniment. Then the song goes into ultra Rush mode. Now being heavily influenced by Rush and Rush being one of Portnoy's father's favorite band, I will let the obvious rip off fly. The lyrics are decent being very direct and personal to Portnoy, but I did prefer his lyricism on “A Change Of Seasons” (being about the death of his mother) to be better due to better crafted metaphors and word play. The song is one of the strongest on the album, but it still could have been handled way better.

“The Count Of Tuscany” starts off with one of the most beautiful sections the band has ever composed with some amazing guitar work from John Petrucci. As the idea expands it then crashes into a metal riff that easily could be found in a Trivium song. Now, riff wise it's not too bad, with LaBrie doing a great delivery of Petrucci's lyrics about a man he met on holiday in Tuscany. The chorus is really what lets this down. While having a great melody, the chorus is ruined by Portnoy's failed attempts at death growls. As the song moves on the instrumental sections are enjoyable with some Zappa influenced synth sounds. Then the song slows down with a Pink Floyd interlude. Then the last 8-9 minutes is one of the best compositions Dream Theater has composed. Very simple in nature, it tells the rest of the story perfectly with some beautiful instrumental passages. Sadly this song could have been so good, a staple in the bands career, but it missed the mark just slightly.

In conclusion, this is probably my least favorite Dream Theater album. But...this album has some of the bands best moments in their whole career. In fact, I find that mostly every song would be a brilliant track, but due to arrangements is usually left feeling very flawed and uninspired. I do blame Portnoy's almost obsessive control over the bands music. Luckily after his departure the band re ignited their former passions. I would recommend this for certain moments, but other than that this album is the perfect example of so close but yet so far.

6.9/10

Genres: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock. Symphonic Metal, Symphonic Rock

Year of release: 2009

Country of origin: USA

DREAM THEATER Awake

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
After the incredibly successful “Images & Words”, the band where on a pedestal. The problem with releasing a masterpiece is that you have to follow it up with another masterpiece. Now, this album was met with a tiny bit of confusion when released, but I do believe that out of all their albums, this album is probably the one which has aged the best.

The album is definitely a lot more darker than any of Dream Theater's other releases, and I think the reason is because they were a band that got dicked about a lot by their record company. At around this period, metal was starting to go towards a heavier and groovier motion (with the birth of Nu Metal on the rise), so the band where convinced to go heavier. These guys could have really faked this notion and released a god awful Pantera rip off, but the band where able to adopt this style and meld it into their own very successfully.

Sadly this album was the last to feature Kevin Moore. Apparently he became very introverted during the making of this album, but there is something about his playing and sound that I really love on this album. James' vocals are also some of the best I've ever heard him. Sadly this album was made before his tragic vomiting food poisoning incident which damaged his vocal chords. But, for all we know, this album is the one which wrecked his voice.

The opening track “6:00” is a drummers wet dream. Opening off with a very noticeable drum intro the song turns into a pretty great pop metal tune. The rather comical lyrics and sound clips also add a lot of atmosphere to the track too.

“Caught In A Web” is probably one of the most aggressive and heaviest songs the band have released. With some pretty heavy riffs and a brilliant keyboard riff, the song is really propelled by James' incredibly rough and angry vocals.

The album's instrumental “Erotomania” is definitely up there with one of the bands best instrumental pieces. Technically proficient with some pretty great riffs, the song is pretty impressive.

One of my personal favorite tracks has to be “Voices.” A brilliant composition with some brilliant arrangements, the song really is a surprising shining moment from the band. With incredibly poetic and cryptic lyrics that deal with mental health, the song is a beautiful and twisted tune with some very haunting moments.

A very weird choice for a single, “The Silent Man” is an acoustic ballad. With a very nice arrangement with some nice lyrics and a great performance from James, the song is very touching. I have had a great history with this song (having covered it a lot of times myself) and is up there with one of my favorite Dream Theater ballads.

A song that has started to grow on me would be “Lifting Shadows Off A Dream.” I do think this is a bit of a rip off of U2's sound, but the poetic lyrics and great keyboard riffs do save this song. I know a lot of fans really like this song, but I do know when to call a bluff a a bluff, and this is a bit of a bluff.

The album's longest track “Scarred” is a very interesting tune. With some pretty cool riffs and a pretty mad vocal performance from James, the song really comes to a climax with an amazing instrumental section in the middle of the track.

The album closer “Space-Dye Vest” is a very different moment for the band. Being a solo composition from Kevin Moore, the song is a very minimalist composition with very simple keyboard riffs and a low pitched vocal performance from James. Brilliant ending to the album.

In conclusion, this album is pretty much a classic Dream Theater album. After making the album of their career in “Images & Words” and go through some serious turbulence, the band came back with a dark and brooding masterpiece. It may not be my favorite Dream Theater album, but it definitely is a milestone in the bands career.

8.9/10

Genres: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal, Groove Metal, Hard Rock, Pop Rock

Country of origin: USA

Year of release: 1994

DREAM THEATER A Dramatic Turn of Events

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
This album has a bit of history behind it. After the dramatic departure of drummer Mike Portnoy (I remember a similar reaction whenever the last pope died), the metal world was split. You either now loved Dream Theater or hated Dream Theater due to the decision of one band member. Personally I couldn't really care. Mike Portnoy is a brilliant drummer and yes he did bring a certain flair to the band, but change is always good, for better or for worse. So with the dramatic change, the band started the hunt for a drummer, in an almost Simon Cowell manner with auditions and videos showing the audition. Bit cheesy, but it seemed to be beneficial for the band as they where able to hire drum genius Mike Mangini to join the band.

Personally I think this change has done them for the better. Their last album “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” I personally saw as a bit of a mixed bag, and Portnoy's demanding influence seems to be the reason for some of the albums weakest moments. But now that his overt personality is not seen on this album, it is replaced with a more group effort. Sadly Mangini did not contribute any composition work on this album, but his drumming is still impressive nontheless

The only slight criticism I would have with this album is the production. I wasn't too fond of Portnoy's drum mixes on previous albums, but I fear that maybe the drums on this album have been turned down a tad too much. It is nice to hear the band become not so percussion heavy, but a slight turn up would be good. The guitar mixing I believe to be very muddy as well. There is something about Petrucci's tone on this album which I am not the biggest fan of. I would admit that this may be the best album to hear John Myung's bass, with some pretty impressive musical moments from the man himself. Jordan's keyboards have finally spruced up too, with less experimentation with new technology, approaching with a more classical approach on this album.

The opening track and Grammy nominated lead single “On The Backs Of Angels” is a pretty great opener. With some pretty kick ass riffs, it starts off the album on a good note. I was surprised to see this song get a Grammy nomination, with it being an 8 minute track, but these guys do pull of a pretty great prog metal track, with a lot more prog rock than metal.

My least favorite track on the album would have to be “Build Me Up, Break Me Down.” There are moments of the song I do like a lot, but at times it just sounds like a rip off of a Disturbed riff. The saving moment has to be James' crazy screams in the chorus.

“Lost Not Forgotten” starts off with a beautiful piano intro before exploding into one of the most technically efficient songs on the album. The instrumental section also has some pretty killer riffs too.

One of the album's ballads “This Is The Life” has some pretty great instrumental moments and arrangements. James' vocals on the song are also pretty great, showing off some very diverse moments too.

“Bridges In The Sky” is probably the heaviest track on the album. Using his 7 string, Petrucci really shows off some pretty kick ass riffs on this track. The chorus is also one of the strongest on the album too. The intro is a bit odd and silly, but the real meat and bones of the track is where the song really takes shape.

One of the most oddest compositions on the album has to be “Outcry.” Starting off as a rather anthemic rock track, the song moves into a rather eclectic instrumental section with a lot of experimentation with atonal and chromatic music moments. The song does take a while to get into, but it's impressive nontheless.

One of my personal favorite tracks has to be “Far From Heaven.” A beautiful piano and string arrangement, the song deals with the topic of forceful parents who work their children to the bone. Brilliant lyrics and a brilliant vocal performance from James, the song is rather touching.

The albums longest track and definite strongest moment on the album is the 12 minute epic “Breaking All Illusions.” Now I know that Dream Theater get a lot of abuse for showing too much virtuostic musical ability, but I think this song is an example of the band showing virtuostic talent, but still in a very musical and compositional manner.

The album's closing track “Beneath The Surface” is another ballad that displays some beautiful melodies. I do like the rather minimalist approach behind this song and shows that the band can tone it down to make something rather special. Odd but good way to end the album.

In conclusion, this is probably up there with one of my favorite Dream Theater albums. After having gone through certain difficult circumstances, the band where able to prove that they are very much still relevant. Whether that still holds up today, I'm not sure. But this album definitely proves that the band have still got it in them to take the crown of Prog Metal kings.

8.2/10

Genres: Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Symphonic Rock, Symphonic Prog

Country of origin: USA

Year of release: 2011

DREAM THEATER Dream Theater

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Dream Theater" is the self-titled 12th full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Dream Theater. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in September 2013. Releasing a self-titled album this late in your career, often signals a change in musical direction or maybe more often a return to the roots. In Dream Theater´s case that´s not really true though, and while I´m not sure about this, I assume that in this case the title is meant to signal that the band are now a more harmonic and tight nit unit, than the case was when Mike Portnoy was with the band. That´s a wild guess though and maybe they just couldn´t come up with a better title.

The music on the album pretty much continue down the same path as on the last couple of releases. In other words this is Dream Theater as we know them and love(hate) them. The musicianship is outstanding as ever. Challenging guitar and keyboard work, intricate and adventurous rythms, progressive song structures and James Labrie´s strong and distinct sounding vocals in front. The most significant change from their previous releases is on the drum post. Mike Mangini did play the drums and was a permanent member of the lineup on "A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011)", but at the time he was hired, the drum parts for the album were already written, and he basically played as a session musician on that album. So this is the first time, he is allowed to put his own mark on the music, and it is heard. While his drumming style fits Dream Theater´s music well there are notable differences between his playing and the playing of his predecessor. And that´s a great positive in my opinion, as it was something I missed on "A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011)".

The material on the 9 track, 68:01 minutes long album primarily consist of tracks between 2 and 7 minutes in length and it´s only the 22:17 minutes long closing track "Illumination Theory", that is really long on this album. Heavier tracks like "The Enemy Within" and "Behind the Veil" stand pretty strong in the picture, but there are generally too many "by the numbers" tracks, that don´t really make a lasting impression. Tracks like "Along For The Ride", "The Bigger Picture" and "Surrender to Reason" are examples of this. They are competently written and all feature enjoyable sections, but they don´t add anything new to Dream Theater´s sound and Dream Theater have simply produced better material in this style before. Even the instrumental "Enigma Machine", which is occasionally brilliant, isn´t that memorable. "Illumination Theory" is not surprisingly one of the highlights of the album, featuring structural twists and turns and several intriguing sections. It´s interesting how they incorporate classical soundtrack type sections both on "Illumination Theory" but also on the opening track "False Awakening Suite" (oh well the use of classical orchestration is more bombastic on this track and kind of reminds me of Symphony X).

Dream Theater are as always a distinct sounding band, even though their influences occasionally surface. Take a listen to the very obvious Rush influence on "The Looking Glass" and on the opening section of "Surrender to Reason" for an example of that. With this self-titled release they´ve created yet another quality progressive metal release to add to their already sizable discography. Although the sound production (which features the sharpest drum production since "Awake (1994)"), the musicianship and the songwriting are all on a high level, it´s still not an album in the better end of their output, but still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

DREAM THEATER Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
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Wilytank
Has anyone here, like me, ever liked a band a whole lot in the past and over time acquired a lot of the CDs in their discography, listened to them really enthusiastically at first but gradually less and less choosing other music over them almost not wanting yet still somehow thinking they're better than certain other bands until finally you stop listening to them altogether and your CDs just sit on a shelf collecting dust? Then, you come across them again a while later, give them a refreshing listening, and say to yourself "Wait a second! I don't like this!" That is exactly my experience with Dream Theater, and Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory was the first album by them that I acquired. As it turns out, I think it's their worst.

All the alarms that went off that started to get me think this album isn't as good as I thought it was all went off one at a time over time. I believe the earliest was for the lyrical themes; and to be frank, the story this album follows fucking sucks. Some dude undergoes hypnotherapy for reasons that never are really explained. All I can gather is that he's wondering what his own life is about, which I don't believe should warrant the hiring of a hypnotherapist. Just realize that life has no meaning and nobody is going to miss us when we're all dead; a philosophy like that makes for a happy life. But, he goes through with this anyway and he experiences a past life as a woman who's stuck in a love triangle dilemma with two assholes who happen to be brothers. This story goes nowhere interesting and only ends with two of the three characters dead; a happy ending would have all of them dead, probably from suicide from realize that they're living inside a soap opera. I also don't understand why the dude in the present just had to go back to relive a stupid drama like this. Surely if he had traveled back further in his reincarnation history, he would have come across a Spartan, pirate, viking, or even a prostitute. If this soap opera is the most exciting past life he could get, his other lives must have been filled with Arabian carpet merchants, Irish sheep herders, and Indian garbage men.

Alarm number two came from James LaBrie. I really cannot stand the guy's voice; he sounds like a woman even when he's not trying to be the voice of the woman character in which case such as in the first "Tonight I've been searching for it" part in "Strange Deja Vu" in which he sounds really, really bad. But you know what? LaBrie's voice goes pretty well with the cheesy shitty lyrics, and these two together go well with the crappy music on this album. Crap goes really well with crap and crap, and this leads me to the third alarm that went off which took longer to be heard than before, but after a while I finally realized how poor the music is. Regression is a useless intro that plays into another intro track, "Overture 1928", which contains music that sounds like it was stolen from the opening theme of a show on Home and Garden Television. It's this soft, shitty rock garbage that plays into the first song with lyrics "Strange Deja Vu". From there, the band makes a couple of attempts at a darker sound with two lame results: "Fatal Tragedy" and the horribly bloated, chug laced "Home". "Through Her Eyes", "One Last Time", "Through My Words", and "The Spirit Carries On" are the worst of the worst here where the album is at its softest and most flowery.

And you know what? I feel bad for John Petrucci. The guy can obviously play a couple of good solos. The catch is that they're surrounded by this HGTV themed nonsense so he'd might as well be the guitarist from Men Without Hats. This feeling is not mutual for Mike Portnoy. I have no idea why this blue-goateed twelve stepper is praised so much when there is so little about his drumming performance that is at all special. Nothing he does here stands out.

After a bloated soft rock piece and some sounds of the modern guy walking into his home, you hear this "WAKE UP!" announcement, convenient for those of you who fell asleep listening to this album.

Now, it would be a bit of a far shot, but I believe that this train wreck could have been avoided if they made some of the following improvements during production. First, the lyrics would have to be completely rewritten. This precursor to Twilight is a lost cause, might as well scrap the whole story and begin anew. I'm sure if Dream Theater still wanted to make an album about a guy going back to a past life, they could write up a story about one of his ancestors discovering an elaborate plot concocted by the Knights Templar to take over everyone's minds, so he assassinates key members of this order to deconstruct their plans. You know, a story that actually had meaning instead of something that only spineless support group wankers can appreciate. This would be a key change in the album's turn out considering they'd definitely make the music more interesting instead of matching up with a shitty story. Second, James LaBrie would need to be dumped from the line-up. Bring in Russel Allen or someone else who actually sounds like his gender; I just say Russel Allen because he's had a history of singing about epic tales. Third, you bring in a second guitarist to play rhythm guitar. With the added depth of sound, maybe they can ditch a lot of this soft rock sound and actually write a few interesting riffs. It couldn't be Michael Romeo or anyone else who would greatly overshadow John Petrucci though. Wouldn't want to demoralize him even further. These changes would help pave the way to a more acceptable album.

As it stands now though, Scenes From a Memory is a boring album that should be avoided. This is an album that I used to really like, so you can't say that I didn't try to like this. But that just goes to show how pathetic I was in early high school before growing up and getting myself a booster shot of pride and self-esteem. Now, this album doesn't mean anything to me but bad music that is unfortunately considered to be good by a large number of people.

(21/100)

DREAM THEATER Movies Reviews

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

Movie · 2006 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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 Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York

Movie · 2001 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Dellinger
Since this DVD is a live interpretation from the studio album of the same name, and the source material is great, of course the concert is also a great experience. Of course, having the plus of seeing the band perform is a great advantage for this release, specially given that watching this guys play is a great experience. However, one big disapointment from this release is that it misses many other songs that are included on the CD release of this live album, which I really wanted to see them perform. The performance of the songs is really great, with everyone in fine form... except perhaps LaBrie who at times can't keep to his studio performance. My favourite songs are "Overture 1928 / Strange Deja Vu", "Fatal Tragedy", "Home" and "Finally Free". Now, the video from this concert has many acted scenes from the story inserted throughout the performance, which is kind of nice for it helps to keep track of the story... however, on "Fianally Free", this scenes got extra annoying, and blocked the performance of the band throughout the whole murder part, which is perhaps one of the strongest parts of the album and one I would have loved to see them performing (well, at least the second time they play a very similar section near the end of the song we can actually see the band playing it, but still it is annoying). "Beyond this Life", is also a very cool song, specially at the beginning, but then it kind of drags on and loses some of it's spark. "The Dance of Eternity", however, is one song I still can't get into, just a bit too messy and full of fast and technical playing just for the sake of it.

On the other hand, what usually draggs this bands albums are their ballads. The one ballad I actually liked on the studio album was "One Last Time", though something kind of doesn't work so well on this release... I guess it's the vocals and backing vocals, which are kind of weaker here. However, "Through her eyes" and "The Spirit Carries On", are really upgraded here, with extra vocals from Theresa Thompson and gorgeous guitars from Petrucci.

From the extra songs, I was never a big fan of the "Mind Beside Itself" set of songs, but "Learning to Live" and "A Change of Seasons" are both among my favourite DT songs, and having them on video here is a great thing.

DREAM THEATER Shouts

Please login to post a shout
Andyman1125 wrote:
1320 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!
Valarius wrote:
1384 days ago
My favourite band of all time!
progkidjoel wrote:
1616 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:
1620 days ago
I would go with PROG METAL ON ?! Anyway you are right DT rules !
CCVP wrote:
1620 days ago
My favorite metal band ever. Rock on DT. . . Or would it be Metal on ?

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Albums with 30 ratings and more
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
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Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
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Symbolic Death Metal
DEATH
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Paranoid Traditional heavy metal
BLACK SABBATH
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Crimson Death Metal
EDGE OF SANITY
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The Summer and Her Black Metal
MAJESTY (ONTARIO)
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Bereavement Follows Affinity Black Metal
MAJESTY (ONTARIO)
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The Strength of Collapse Progressive Metal
OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE
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Perfect Storm Traditional heavy metal
MESSENGER
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Meridian Progressive Metal
THE HELIX NEBULA
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