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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Dream TheaterDream Theater
Roadrunner Records 2013
Audio CD$14.63
$10.24 (used)
Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a MemoryMetropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
Elektra 1999
Audio CD$4.22
$2.16 (used)
A Dramatic Turn of Events (Special Edition) (CD+DVD)A Dramatic Turn of Events (Special Edition) (CD+DVD)
Roadrunner Records 2011
Audio CD$4.95
$9.78 (used)
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Atlantic 1992
Audio CD$2.95
$0.97 (used)
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Import
Atlantic 2005
Audio CD$2.89
$0.55 (used)
Six Degrees of Inner TurbulenceSix Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Wea/Elektra Entertainment 2002
Audio CD$5.15
$2.82 (used)
Systematic ChaosSystematic Chaos
Roadrunner Records 2007
Audio CD$3.44
$2.69 (used)
Train of ThoughtTrain of Thought
Elektra 2003
Audio CD$3.33
$0.57 (used)
Falling Into InfinityFalling Into Infinity
Atlantic 0191 2012
Audio CD$3.87
$2.14 (used)
Change of SeasonsChange of Seasons
Atlantic 1995
Audio CD$3.84
$0.01 (used)
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DREAM THEATER Discography

DREAM THEATER albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.32 | 79 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 4.30 | 163 ratings
Images and Words
Progressive Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.03 | 107 ratings
Awake
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.22 | 90 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.20 | 135 ratings
Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.05 | 97 ratings
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 96 ratings
Train of Thought
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.66 | 93 ratings
Octavarium
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.44 | 90 ratings
Systematic Chaos
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.62 | 102 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 4.11 | 85 ratings
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 3.71 | 25 ratings
Dream Theater
Progressive Metal 2013

DREAM THEATER EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.77 | 74 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 | 28 ratings
Live at the Marquee
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.61 | 24 ratings
Once in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.34 | 37 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.01 | 32 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.22 | 31 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Luna Park
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Happy Holidays
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 2.40 | 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 1.93 | 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 2.29 | 16 ratings
The Number of the Beast
NWoBHM 2005
.. Album Cover 3.03 | 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 2.13 | 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 2.95 | 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 3.07 | 7 ratings
Falling Into Infinity Demos 1996-1997
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.86 | 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 3.07 | 5 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 (International Fan Clubs CD 2008)
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 2.72 | 6 ratings
Train Of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.28 | 10 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
Progressive Metal 2009

DREAM THEATER boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 1.90 | 18 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 (15)

.. 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
3.00 | 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
2.20 | 4 ratings
A Rite Of Passage
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.35 | 5 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
Progressive Metal 2011

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
4.35 | 29 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
3.97 | 20 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.22 | 12 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
4.14 | 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
3.55 | 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

DREAM THEATER Reviews

DREAM THEATER Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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 Train of Thought

Album · 2003 · Progressive Metal
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Dellinger
Dream Theater is a band that has got incredible songs in most of their albums, and on the few that don't have such masterpieces of songs, at least they have some really good ones. However, just about all of the albums have several songs that drag down the albums a bit, and so I wouldn't give the five stars to any of them... except for this one. Every song on it is just brilliant, a perfect mix of metal and prog to the best results. LaBrie's voice isn't as annoying as it can be on other albums, and they don't have the silly ballads that drag down other albums, except for "Vacant", though it is short enough and it actually isn't so bad, and it's a very nice intro to "Stream of Consciousness", one of my favourite songs on their whole discography. Even now, after years of knowing it, I can't help but completley enjoy every second of this magnificent piece, which is emotional, heavy, and absolutley proggy (and instrumental, thus, no LaBrie at all!!!). Nor does this album have much of the overly heavy and noisy songs... the closest to that description would be "Honor thy Father", my least favourite song on the album, but even so it's got some nice catchy melody going on that allows me to enjoy it. Excellent album by this Prog Metal giants, but you must like their heavier side in order to get into it and enjoy it.

DREAM THEATER Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour

Live album · 2006 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
This 3 Cd package is jammed full of incredible prog metal from virtuoso masters Dream Theater. It is perhaps better seen with the DVD but this music still stands up on its own merits. The setlist spans the 5 year history with a symphonic orchestra augmentation. 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. 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.

This is a fantastic concert accompanied by masterful orchestration. A must for all DT fans and I highly recommend the DVD for the full impact of this incredible performance.

DREAM THEATER Original Album Series

Boxset / Compilation · 2011 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
I bought this last year because although I had everything Dream Theater released I only had some albums on digital so this was irresistible. 5 of the earliest DT and some of their best at a very cheap price so you have nothing to lose really. It was nice for me personally to receive an actual CD of some of the albums I did not own physically such as "Images And Words", "Awake" and "Falling Into Infinity": The other albums I already owned but as I said, this comes under $20 so who can complain. The box is a cool design and the cardboard mini vinyl sleeves work for me. Of course this set has some brilliant early DT such as Pull Me Under, Metropolis - Pt. I "The Miracle And The Sleeper", Under A Glass Moon, 6:00, Caught in a Web, Space-Dye Vest, You Not Me, Peruvian Skies, Trial of Tears, and the entire "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory". We also have "Train Of Thought" with a heavier DT sound to revel in.

It is a great set as all these 5 albums sets are and of course not really designed for those who already have all the albums. To catch up on the earlier DT sound it is worthwhile and for those who want to relive the awesome power of the band in the 1990s. 4 stars for the incredible music and for including so many masterpieces of prog metal.

DREAM THEATER Dream Theater

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
Dream Theater are still an Enigma Machine. "Dream Theater" opens with a very dramatic classical orchestration with heavy dark foreboding strains 'False Awakening Suite'; that lasts just under 3 minutes, yet inexplicably is in 3 parts, but it is a grand start to this latest Dream Theater project. The metal speed licks really take off on 'The Enemy Inside' and there is that familiar DT sound with Labrie's vocals, and the precision riffing of Petrucci along with the power of Rudess keys and the rhythm machine of Myung and Mangini. They really are a force to be reckoned with, blending heavy duty power metal riffs with melodic orchestrations on this release. The violins and cellos certainly are a blast of fresh air not found on other albums of recent years, not counting the one off "Score" concert. The music in the opening song greets me like a long lost friend and is as great as any other DT I have heard. I looked forward to hearing new original instrumental breaks and the band certainly pour out their passion on this track; an incredible start to the album.

Next up is 'The Looking Glass' with a melodic guitar riff and some odd time sigs mixed in the structure. Sounds like they are channelling Rush; is that a bad thing? Even the lyrics are about the pitfalls of fame sounding like Neal Peart's ideologies in his composition 'Limelight'. It has a great lead break over a pulsating bassline, but overall this is not one of the best songs I have heard from the band, a bit drawn out and too reliant on a basic melody.

'Enigma Machine' runs for 6 minutes, beginning with chiming keys that are chilling and ethereal. The deep metal distortion crashes through beautifully. It locks into a weird time sig, reminiscent of the Inspector Gadget theme, but it has a compelling atmosphere. This track is one of the reasons to get hold of this album. The lead break goes into overdrive with twin powering on the speed licks and trade offs with the keyboards. Then it goes up a few gears with staccato Hammond flourishes, and double kick drums at a frenetic pace. Rudess chops out some amazing keyboard phrases and then there is an astonishing lead break with hyper speed fret melting Petrucci who is blindingly brilliant. The pace slows into a shuffling crawl, till a new section takes over with more fractured signatures and gob smacking riffing, then a drum solo and more melodic motifs. What a masterpiece instrumental!

'The Bigger Picture' is a long song at 7:40, and features LaBrie in a melancholy mood, softly singing to a gentle piano. The tranquil atmosphere is a standard for DT who always include a soft ballad at some point. After the blitzkrieg attack of the previous track it is not such a bad thing in context. The chorus builds into a heavier vibe and very catchy melody. The song actually gets quite heavy with choppy riffs and a string orchestra cascading over like warm honey. The lead break is glorious, empowered with twin harmonics and simplistic string bends and sustain. This song grew on me as a genuine highlight due to the powerful melodies.

'Behind the Veil' opens with ominous horns and atmospherics, a cinematic soundscape, and very eerie keyboard shrieks. Suddenly the peace is punctured like a balloon with a flurry of thrashing metal riffs, and it locks into a rocking rhythm with very dirty guitar distortion. LaBrie moves into his nasty mood with spiteful lyrics and it is apparent this has a dark edge about the evil that men do. The instrumental break is terrific with Rudess and Petrucci having way too much fun trying to outdo each other in technical finesse. This is an aggressive song and certainly a thrashing prog fest by any standard.

'Surrender to Reason' is layered with synth strings, opens with an Alex Lifeson guitar sound and transcends into Porcupine Tree territory with acoustic guitars in the verses, then builds into tricky distortion riffs and grandiose organ flourishes. Not a highlight of the album but it has the power to grow on you.

'Along for the Ride' is the obligatory ballad of the album, LaBrie revels in these and of course it breaks up the incessant complex riffs and instrumental workouts. The acoustics are crystal clear, and LaBrie is an accomplished balladeer. The problem is this sounds the same as other DT songs and sticks to formula. The band could do with a revamp and try something different as it's getting very similar from album to album. Having said that, there is a section where Keith Emerson walks in and begins to play a ditty on the Moog, actually it's Rudess at his rudest mimicking 'Lucky Man's sound, but of course a Moog moment can never go astray for the prog afficianado.

'Illumination Theory' is the huge momentous epic, a 22:17 pomp romp of prog excess as only Dream Theater can perform. It is in 5 sections in classic prog style, a multi movement suite in the classical tradition; I Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire, II Live, Die, Kill, III The Embracing Circle, IV The Pursuit of Truth and V Surrender, Trust & Passion. It segues together like all great epics almost seamlessly and I can only shake my head in awe at the end of this mammoth track. It opens with stirring string ensemble and then plunges into a rhythmic distorted metal outbreak. So far so good. Then a riff that is lifted from "Images and Words" locks into place and LaBrie decides it's time to sing. The musicianship is awesome and saves this from getting dull even after 6 minutes of kanoodling and spouting off New Age influenced conspiracy theories about the Illuminati; "we seek to understand." A lovely keyboard workout follows and then a lead guitar domination, certainly driving the point home that the band are virtuosos. The music settles into an ambient scape with ghostly reverberations and strange chimes. There are even bird sounds as the orchestra movement begins to play; an extended violin and cello arrangement that stirs the soul. This piece stands out as it is a genuine classical symphony sound that is generated. It sounds like someone switched channels and we are hearing the ending of some old classic romance movie. This would make a beautiful concerto on the live stage and it took me by surprise after all the rock.

The power metal returns as though lurking round the corner ready to strike, with loud LaBrie languishing eloquently about mothers, children, wives and fighting for your life, teachers and students, crimes and freedom; whatever he is on about LaBrie is giving the microphone a real pasting. The epic shifts up a few gears as the pace quickens, with frenetic piano spasms and a schizo staccato riff, along with hyperactive percussive rhythms. The brilliance of all this chaos is answered with a swift lead guitar speed picking passage until Rudess says shove over it's my turn. Rudess' keyboard break is insane here with some of his best arpeggios and he is answered by Petrucci's wah wah workout; okay, we know you can play, genius! After this indulgence where is there to go but to move back to conventional melodies, a reprise of the string ensemble and LaBrie singing uplifting lines such as "you must suffer through the pain, when you surrender to the light you can face the darkest days." We believe his conviction and a huge crescendo climaxes. It is all so majestic and uplifting that you can't help but be mesmirised by the sheer spectacle of it all. The band go into full flight as the finale nears, with Petrucci's soaring lead guitar licks and Mellotron sounds emanating beneath. The darkness has lifted and all is well with the world again. Oh, just time for a ghost track with stirring symphonic prog nuances and a piano to boot. No complaints from me; this is bombastic prog at its proudest, with DT waving the prog metal flag triumphantly.

This latest Dream Theater album is a real mixed inconsistent affair; moments of brilliance with moments of familiar territory that demands some kind of diversity. The band are getting too familiar to be honest, and could do with a real shake up to try something different. Each album is sounding the same and some of the material on this latest album leaves a lot to be desired especially the middle section. Also Mangini's drums sound a bit synthetic lacking Portnoy's punchy style. The creative department also needs a shake up as there is not a lot of lyrical punch and Mangini had input into the songwriting but it has not affected the band that much at all; they still opt for the safe approach revisiting what has worked on previous albums.

Of course the opening tracks, and instrumental are brilliant, along with the epic final track, so this could be enough to warrant a 4 star rating and I have to consider whether this measures up to other 4 star albums of DT. And what is with that dull album cover and uninspired title? Not exactly as if there was a lot of effort put into it. One has to ask, if this does not measure up to the masterpiece releases whether this is as even as good as "Awake", "Six degrees?" and "Black clouds and silver linings", all of which I awarded 4 star reviews. Really it is not as good as these, so is it then better than the middle of the road 3 star albums "Systematic Chaos", "Train of Thought" or even "Falling into Infinity"? Well, it definitely had more impact on me than those which leads me to believe a marginal 3.5 star rating is warranted. I will settle for 4 stars but only due to the astonishing symphony intro, the awesome instrumental and colossal epic that I really enjoyed, especially all the symphonic elements, and guitar and keyboard freakouts. Dream Theater still hold the attention and even though this is no masterpiece it is well worth a listen and as always is going to divide the prog fanbase, which has become an essential part of the band's appeal. Love 'em or loathe 'em, Dream Theater still has the power to make the rock world wake up and take notice.

DREAM THEATER Movies Reviews

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 Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York

Movie · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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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:
1186 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:
1250 days ago
My favourite band of all time!
progkidjoel wrote:
1482 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:
1486 days ago
I would go with PROG METAL ON ?! Anyway you are right DT rules !
CCVP wrote:
1486 days ago
My favorite metal band ever. Rock on DT. . . Or would it be Metal on ?

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