DREAM THEATER — Falling Into Infinity

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DREAM THEATER - Falling Into Infinity cover
3.34 | 132 ratings | 14 reviews
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Album · 1997


1. New Millennium (8:20)
2. You Not Me (4:58)
3. Peruvian Skies (6:43)
4. Hollow Years (5:53)
5. Burning My Soul (5:29)
6. Hell's Kitchen (4:16)
7. Lines in the Sand (12:05)
8. Take Away My Pain (6:03)
9. Just Let Me Breathe (5:28)
10. Anna Lee (5:52)
11. Trial of Tears (13:05)

Total Time: 78:17

Bonus disc
1. Take Away My Pain (demo) (6:51)
2. Speak to Me (demo) (6:11)

Total Time: 13:02


- James LaBrie / vocals
- John Myung / bass, Chapman stick
- John Petrucci / guitars, backing vocals
- Derek Sherinian / keyboards, backing vocals
- Mike Portnoy / drums, backing vocals

- Doug Pinnick / backing vocals on "Lines in the Sand"

About this release

Label: EastWest Records America
Release date: September 19th, 1997

Thanks to Time Signature, Vehemency, Pekka for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Most fans of Dream Theater will know what was going on behind the scenes during the making of this album. If you don't, I'll give you a moment to quickly research it.


Never mind, I'll explain it to you.

The bands label, Atco Records, had been bought out by the Warner Music Group. The fine people at Warner didn't know anything about Dream Theater, their music or their market, but had only one thing in mind, and that was hit singles. Musical integrity aside, Dream Theater were being forced to write "hits", and it was putting the band in a situation that almost tore them apart.

With all the industry nonsense getting in the way of this album, and with the change of sound giving it a stale taste of a band "selling out" to make a quick buck, 'Falling Into Infinity' often finds itself being overlooked. It may not be as musically technical as 'Images & Words', or as heavy as 'Awake', but this album still maintains a lot of Dream Theater's trademark sounds, but with a lighter tone that might appeal to fans of old progressive rock, or even hard rock fans in general. In this regard, it's actually a pretty unique release in the groups discography.

As always with this band, the musicianship is unmatched. Petrucci, Portnoy, LaBrie (who damaged his vocal chords prior to recording this album) and Myung are all masters of their respective instruments. Keyboardist Derek Sherinian, making his only studio album appearance, may have seemed like an odd choice to replace Kevin Moore, but his style, mixing elements of hard rock and jazz fusion, makes him a perfect fit. And his flamboyance and showmanship really shines through on some of the more upbeat songs.

There's hard rock tracks such as 'You Not Me' and 'Burning My Soul', pop singles like 'Take Away the Pain' and 'Hollow Years', and all-out prog gems like 'Peruvian Skies', 'New Millennium' and 'Lines in the Sand'. With such an eclectic mixture of songs, this really is an exceptional album, which shows a band that can adapt to any circumstance, and overcome any challenge.
Infamously, this is the album Dream Theater made whilst James LaBrie's vocal chords were still on the mend after a nasty food poisoning incident, and he still hadn't recovered his full vocal range. Perhaps that's why to my ears the mix of the album seems to be a bit off - there's several patches where the music threatens to overwhelm the vocals, and I can't help but wonder whether this was down to some sort of attempt to disguise parts where James's performance weren't up to his usual standards.

Then again, the band as a whole seem to be a little put off this time around. The other reason this album is infamous is that it came out at a time when they were at loggerheads with their record company, who wanted them to take their music in a more commercial direction and make another Images and Words. It's an old story, of course, and I'm not one to automatically assume the artist is in the right in these cases - after all, sometimes when people have free reign to pursue their artistic vision without any editorial input they produce horrendous crap - but in this case the band seem to have ended up with the worst of both worlds. The material on the album still isn't that commercially viable because they're still tending towards longer tracks which aren't really ideal for radio play, but their musical approach lacks the technical playfulness and inventiveness of previous works.

On top of all that, you have the inclusion of Derek Sherinian, and boy do you know it. I can't blame the man for wanting to make his presence felt on his first (and, it would turn out, sole) full album with the guys and distinguish his playing style from Kevin Moore's, but his keyboards sound to me a bit overwhelming in the mix and his more laid-back style of playing doesn't seem to be a natural fit with the direction the music is going in.

On the whole, then, a troubled album from Dream Theater - the result of a perfect storm of circumstances. If the label hadn't been breathing down their necks, maybe the band could have found more creative ways to incorporate Derek's playing and compensate for James's vocals. If James's vocal chords hadn't been ravaged by illness, perhaps the album would have had a better mix to bring out its finer qualities. If Derek Sherinian hadn't been so keen to use his own distinctive keyboard style on the album, the band wouldn't have had to adjust to that whilst simultaneously angling for a more commercial direction and compensating for James' limited vocal range. In short, if just one of those hurdles hadn't been there, the band might have had the wiggle room to get over the other two, but as it is the three factors in question ended up sabotaging the album completely.
This Dream Theater album did not really blow me away as much as Awake, Images and Words, Scenes From A Memory, or Octavarium to follow but it was still an enjoyable listen. There are songs on offer here that have become classics in the DT catalogue. New Millenium is one of the best with a fantastic instrumental overture and infectious hook. Peruvian Skies is one of the greatest DT songs and a fan favourite live with a strong melody sounding something like Rush or Budgie at times. It builds up to a heavier feel as the song progresses. Petrucci is great on the lead break as always. Burning My Soul is a heavy track sounding like vintage Led Zeppelin meets Metallica. The riffing is killer and LaBrie really powers this out. Lines in the Sand features beautiful keyboard work of Sherinian. Trial of Tears is lengthy and there is a well executed acoustic passage from Petrucci. The song is emotively performed and thoughtfully structured.

Unfortunately there are some lowlights that mar a stronger rating for the album. Hollow Years is very commercial sounding and quite dull. The acoustics are okay but it is so radio friendly that it is quite out of place here. Having said this it has been improved on some live CDs. Take Away My Pain is a slow ballad focusing on farewelling Petrucci's late father, however it is dull and floats along on a boring melody that does not sit right with me at all. It is a real fish out of water on this album which is unfortunate given the emotional subject matter. You Not Me is quite appalling with saccharine sweet lyrics and annoying melody. Just Let Me Breathe is a snorefest that does not do anything for me to be honest. The other songs not mentioned here are okay but once again not up to the high standard of DT songs previous or to come.

In conclusion the album is certainly full of solid moments but it is by no means a masterpiece. It is perhaps one of the weaker DT albums for all the aforementioned reasons but it still warrants 3 stars for the few highlights.
Dream Theater had a massive following after two of their greatest albums, Images & Words along with Awake. Fanbase wise they were at their peak. It is unfortunate that this album should be released immediately after these two, because unfortunately this is where they dropped a lot of the complex prog technique, something they were champions of. That being said, there's still great prog metal to be found here, and plenty of substance still.

Overall, this album is very soft for a metal album. Derek Sherinian plays keys here, and his tone is very smooth and clear, a stark contrast to Moore's proggy synth tones or Rudess' unusual experimental sounds. This smooth tone ties the album together into a more etherial feel, and since the band is playing fewer jagged time signature twists and angular note choices, it gives the impression of a more pop-oriented sound.

This may be the case on a couple songs. "You Not Me" is an unforgivably annoying pop rock song, and "Take away my Pain" and "Anna Lee" could also easily be heard on your mainstream radio station. That being said, the softer feel works in the band's favor on a lot of the songs. "New Millenium" and "Lines in the Sand" are rocking songs with a very King's X feel to it to give some good feeling edges (the latter even features Doug Pinnick on vocals, so it makes sense). "Trial of Tears" is a long form song with lots of beautiful atmosphere and wonderful lyrics from John Myung behind it. The band even hits a peak at an instrumental track "Hell's Kitchen", which is a stunning testament to the skills of the musicians, where it is beautiful and shows some wonderful technique all around, it's probably their best instrumental track.

There is some nice metal on here, though none of it's very heavy. "Just Let Me Breathe" is a very energetic track, and the best example of prog on this album with a demanding bridge section and some fantastic instrumental interplay. "Peruvian Skies" is also great, starting off as a grungy ballad but going into some heavy energetic riffs, giving some dramatic light to an incident of a girl being kidnapped. "Burning My Soul" is also metal, but unlike the other is slow and churning, maybe the darkest on the album.

All in all, Falling into Infinity is still a great album. It is only maligned because it isn't what Dream Theater fans are looking for. It's true to an extent, with a couple pop songs that mar the album. But as for the rest, I feel it is a collection of music that is Dream Theater at their best when they learn to drop the showoff crap and really play.
This is what happens when pop mixes with Dream Theater. There is no doubting this album is good. Classics like Peruvian Skies and Hollow Years made their debut here, but so do the horrid tracks of the discography such as Anna Lee and Take Away my Pain. The producer of this album pushed Dream Theater too hard to make a commercially acceptable album, and not the best thing came out of it. However, one absolutely wonderful thing did occur during the production of this album: the denial of a double album and the forcing of Dream Theater to make Metropolis Part 2 a separate album. I don't want to think about what that would have been like if Metropolis was just a bonus track on a second disk.

New Millennium is a spectacular crossover track. If this song was made by any of the popular Crossover bands on the site, it would make the album. However, this track is on a Dream Theater album, which "detracts" from the album is some way. In some situations, one must not compare the music on a particular album to that of previous or future works. The instrumental section is absolutely genius, as are the melodic meshing with LaBrie and the other guys. This is a great track, just not that of traditional prog metal.

You Not Me is, in simple terms, not good. This is the product of the synthesis of pop rock with prog metal. Who comes out as the main contributor of this song? Pop rock, and lots of it. The riffs are overly simple and depressed. The drumming is extremely uncreative and simple. Vocal melodies belong on the top 40, not a Prog Metal album. This is, sadly, not the only one the album, also.

The band was smart to put Peruvian Skies, a fantastic track in every way, after the weak You Not Me. Dark, moody, and compassionate, the song contributes one of the very few genuinely prog moments of the album. It is certainly one of the better songs in the band's entire discography, with some great moments of distinguishable influence that can be detected, such as Floydian guitar work, Supertramp-like keyboard riffs, and a lot more. The instrumental section is Dream Theater at their finest, with some spectacular soloing and riffing going on. A dark bright spot on the album!

Hollow Years is the next great track on the album, showing the bands more mellow and ballad-friendly side. Tear jerking beauty really makes this song great. The lyrics are touching and deep, as is the great instrumental work backing them. It's a fantastic track full of compassion and feeling.

Burning my Soul is alright, but this is what happens when pop metal and Dream Theater mix and pop metal comes out as the main influence. The lyrics are?.. odd, the instrumentation is a little to traditional with only a little creativity mixed in. The track is overall alright, but it lacks any sense of Dream Theaterness.

Hell's Kitchen is one of my favorite Dream Theater instrumentals. It's, simply, beautiful. The soaring guitar soloing, the fantastically progressive drum and bass work, the simple yet complex piano work, just everything about this song makes me want to break out a lighter and wave it. Not to mention the transition to Line in the Sand, which are spectacular. The song essentially acts as a fantastic intro to the first "epic" of the album.

Lines in the Sand takes a while to open up, but once it does, it really opens up! Spectacular instrumentation, great harmonization, melodic representation, the intro really has it all. When the vocals come in, you can tell it will be a great track. As the track progresses, every single aspect is utterly enjoyable and progressive at its finest. All 12 minutes can be listened to quite quickly, which tells you that you have really enjoyed the track. It is easily one of the best on the album.

The next three tracks are so utterly atrocious that I will sum them up in one little paragraph. Take Away my Pain is a horrid pop song with cheesy lyrics and horrid instrumentation. I mean, there are references to celebrities for god's sake! Just Let Me Breathe isn't even a crossover between pop rock and Dream Theater, it's just pop rock, through and through. Absolutely nothing in this track is prog or even remotely enjoyable. Yes, the feel of the song flows nicely, but it's so not prog that it's just hard to enjoy. Anna Lee is just barely alright, but it's essential a love ballad. It has cheesy lyrics and music, and is just overall really cheesy.

Luckily, the band decided to end the album on a positive note. Trial of Tears is a moody epic which can stand up to Dream Theater's other great 10-minute epics such as Scarred or Metropolis Part 1. Similar to Lines in the Sand, the song has an extended ambient intro, with some really interesting instrumentation used. The song really rips vocally too. LaBrie really uses everything he's got. Some parts are really catchy, some moody, some dark, some bright, some fast, overall, this track is just spectacular. This one is also one of the best on the album.

ALBUM OVERAL: This album is alright. There are really great tracks and really bad tracks. Here you'll find Dream Theater at their best and at their worst. This would definitely be a 4 star crossover album, but sadly Dream Theater's name has been printed on the cover. 3- stars.
This is one of those albums that at one point, I didn’t care for, and I eventually sold my copy. Perhaps at age 18-19, it wasn’t “metal” enough for me to enjoy, littered with “soft” tunes like “Hollow Years”, “Take Away My Pain”, and “Anna Lee”. These songs and this album may not represent what Dream Theater is most known for, but the songs grew on me.

One song that didn’t grow on me was “You Not Me”. This song must represent a great deal of the frustration the band (especially Portnoy) were going through at the time. They reworked their original version of the song with famous hit-maker Desmond Child to lackluster results. The verse is annoying, the chorus is annoying, and I’m not even too keen on the many of the song’s riffs.

Besides that, there’s not a whole lot to complain about. Falling into Infinity is actually a great album. They tone down some of their technicality, but this is still a progressive metal album. This is perhaps on of the band’s most traditional sounding prog efforts in the spirit of bands from the 1970s. Lengthy and complex tracks like “New Millennium”, “Lines In The Sand”, and “Trial of Tears” are grouped with more moody and stripped down songs, as well as a few more-or-less straightforward heavy tracks (“Burning My Soul”, “Just Let Me Breathe”). Throw in the smooth and melodic “Hell’s Kitchen” instrumental track, and you have a well-balanced album.

This might not be the best album for a Dream Theater novice to start on, but it’s nonetheless a fine album that could appeal to more than just metal fans.
Time Signature
Me not you...

Genre: progressive metal

Yes, I've heard the criticism before: pretentious title, pretentious artwork, pretentious music, pretentious lyrics, pretentious this and pretentious that. And, I honestly do not care if "Falling Into Infinity" is pretentious or not. I like the album, and I think there are some really strong and interesting tracks on it. And, yes, they may be technical and cerebral, but that is exactly what I like about Dream Theater's music: it is complex and challenging to listen to, yet there is a lot of melody in it, and it is possible to rock along to even the oddest odd time signature parts.

The opening track "New Millennium" is one of my favorite Dream Theater tracks (and I don't think I'm alone on this one), and I also like the heavier "You not Me" and "Burning My Soul". "Hell's Kitchen" is also an interesting song... well, all the tracks have some interesting qualitites to them.

As with the previous Dream Theater albums, I think the "Falling Into Infinitive" is a progressive metal classic (pretentious or not) that belongs in any progressive metal collection.

Members reviews

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

My only real complaint would be with Derek Sherinian, who spends too much time showing off. The beginning of "Lines in the Sand" is one example. However, keyboards are always the least compelling part of Dream Theater's sound for me. This album contains some generally recognized Dream Theater classics. I could listen to the segment from "Peruvian Skies" through "Hell's Kitchen" repeatedly. FALLING INTO INFINITY is one of my favorite Dream Theater albums, and I'm giving it the full four stars.
This album could have been a masterpiece of progressive music as I listened to the original version of the epic "You Or Me" that was reduced to a short single by the label with the help of Desmond Child. The album was intended as a double album including a brilliant second part of "Metropolis" with a length of more than twenty minutes and this excellent demo can still be found and ordered at Ytse Jam Records or simply found on the internet. But this new album now mostly tries to continue the silent and calm style of "Awake" with a more commercial approach. Faceless ballads like "Peruvian Skies", "Hollow Years" or "Anna Lee" just bore to death. The mainstream production by the horribly overrated Kevin Shirley is another weak point of this record without guts and experiments. Even the epic "Trial Of Tears" is just an endless suffering and makes me fall asleep. This could have been such a great record but the pressure and conditions at that time made this album one of the worst ones in the band's discography instead. The extremely bad cover artwork adds another minus to this album.

But there are still a couple of great tracks on this record after all. The straight opener "New Millenium" or the darker and more atmospheric "Burning My Soul" as well as the very atmospheric and magic instrumental track "Hell's Kitchen" that convinces with beautiful guitar leads are some of the hidden masterpieces on this commercial record. My very favourite track is the very progressive "Lines In The Sand" that has some surprising and amazing Krautrock and electronical influences and strong back vocals by King's X singer Doug Pinnick. This song is extremely diversified, surprising and grows more and more every time I listen to it.

It's because of those songs that I still like this record and would recommend it to a fan of progressive music and would not vote this album as the band's worst effort and can give at least an average note.
For me, this album is indeed among the weakest on Dream Theater's Career. Sure it still has some very good moments that makes it worth having. The best songs for me are "New Millenium", which is one of the few songs that deserves to be called "prog metal" in this album; and "Trial of Tears", which is a great progressive songs, but has just about no metal in it; I also like very much "Peruvian Skies", which is mostly a metal song with very little progressive element in it (and I believe the inteded "metal single" or "metal hit" for this album, which I would find a little bit weak compared to other such songs in their discography); and "Hell's Kitchen", wich is a nice prog metal instrumental piece (more on the progressive side than on the metal side). And even this songs aren't up to the best songs Dream Theater has released on their other albums. The rest of the songs are just weak for me, some of them just metal light songs with nothing particularly interesting (You not me, Burning my Soul, and Just let me Breath), and others being simply ballads with not metal nor prog in them, and even as simple ballads they are just no good (Hollow Years, Take Away my Pain, and Anna Lee). And I left for the end "Lines in the Sand"; now, many of the songs on this album are not particularly good, as I just said, but neither are they particularly bad, just not interesting, however this last song is just the most annoying song in this album, and one of the most annoying ones on their discography... this one is prog metal indeed, but that doesn't make it any good for me; the song in general is not particularly good, but the vocals are just very hard to bear, specially the chourus parts which I just can't stand.

My rating 2.5 stars.
Falling into a great atmosphere... As usual in DT universe, there are too many different opinions about their music and too many hate and expectations toward them, so I learned to live like that in the prog world, but sometimes I feel people just overreacted: there's always "they should...", "they might...", "They would better..." but at the end the music speak for itself and I do find this album, one of the most interesting and underrated in general.

For new fans, or for people not so involved with the prog world this is a good album to start with. Yes, many tracks aren't really Prog Metal but it might be easier than start with something that really can scare you like "Train of Thought" or leave you wondering like “Octavarium” so here you can decide to jump over a strange style... Yes, this album is not as great as Images&Words or Awake... but it manages to show that Dream Theater can make easy songs, short and some kind of mainstream. If you are not looking for the fastest, the toughest, the greatest you can like this one. If you really like those, go to get whatever album from the Jordan Rudess era you'll find that but this particular album is a good place to lay back a little and try to digest this interesting band. And you will find some overlooked worthy material.

The atmosphere is some kind of dark or I might say, blue, that's it. You'll feel the anger of Portnoy in his lyrics but you will like the soft pace mood from Petrucci and some kind of sadness through the album. And the music really works along with the different themes they are talking. I always imagine been alone in an afternoon on an isolated beach when I'm hearing Hell's Kitchen and Lines in the Sand... like you're away and a little sad 'bout something... the songs are really great on their own... but if you expect to be shock or impress by challenging songs, you won't enjoy this album... You just have to aloud yourself to been take by the songs and lead you to a strange reality, try it... it's a good expirience to dive in especially in the most prog songs...

Put attention to "Peruvian Skies", "Hell's Ktichen", "Lines in the Sand" and "Trial of Tears” and you will get it... that strange atmosphere... kind of sad, blue and beautiful... Here's the prove that DT fellows really can make music with sense and emotion... not just fast solos but as a metal fan that’s precisely what you want, try another album, like Metropolis or Systematic Chaos. 3 stars, good, but not essential.
This is the worst Dream Theater studio album, probably because the label messed with their way of doing music

Dream Theater's fourth release, Falling Into Infinity, was actually the first Dream Theater album I bought but was the second DT album I ever heard (the first being Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, which a friend of mine borrowed to me) and, frankly, was a major disappointment. To this day it is still the only DT album i can't listen completely. However, as time passed, this album slowly grew into me and I could realize it was not so bad at all, i mean, these guys can't screw up completely: there will always be some tracks that will be worthy in every album they make.

The real problem with this albums is that the label wanted them to sell even more records (though their previous albums were relatively successful: Images and Words peaked at 61st place among the Billboard 200 charts and is, to this day, their best selling album and Awake peaked the charts at 32nd place) and, to do so, messed with the way the band worked. The result was a big mixed bag: although there were many more radio friendly songs and featured Desmond Child, the album was not as popular as the albums before it were, being the least selling DT studio album (besides their debut) and not making its way to MTV's prime time, like Awake and Images and Words did. The album had so many problems, specially because of problems and misunderstandings between the band and the label concerning the album production, that Dream Theater even considered disbanding.

It is just a shame that, because of those problems, such talented musicians could not be able to deliver an album as good as their previous and their later albums were. I mean, if you look at Derek Sherinian bands (Derek Sherinian and Planet X), plus the band members various side projects (such as Transatlantic, Liquid Tension Experiment, Platypus, The Jelly Jam, among others, besides their solo albums) you will see that in this album their both composing and playing skills are pale. That becomes even more evident when you compare Falling Into Infinity to their other albums and see that it is incredibly dated (it sounds exactly like a 90's album).

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

As i said before, this album still have some good songs (maybe because of its big of 78:19), but the big amount of bad or just good songs makes this album quite hard to sit through without pressing the next track button.

The highlights go to New Millennium (very good opening, though not perfect), Peruvian Skies (i couldn't listen to this song before, but now i realize its pretty good), Hollow Years (same thing as Peruvian Skies), the epic Hell's Kitchen - Lines in the Sand (one of the best songs in the album), Just Let me Breathe (kind of good song; i like it) and Trial of Tears ( its the second album epic and along with Hell's Kitchen - Lines in the Sand is one of the best songs in the album).

The saddest moments are: You Not Me (seriously, they look like a teenage garage band here), Burning my Soul (probably the worst song here) and Take Away my Pain (not as bad as the others listed here, but i can only listen to it if i am in the mood) and Anna Lee (same thing as Take Away my Pain).

Grade and Final Thoughts

After all, Falling Into Infinity is not such a bad album, but the many issues that it have just drag the quality of the album down. Besides some very good songs the whole is not as satisfying as it should be, so the three star rating seem quite fair, since this album is definitely not essential and it is the album that the band plays least live. So three stars it is
Better than the rest,

Each one of Dream Theater's full length releases has been completely different from the every other one; so you never really know what you're going to get when you pick up a new album. Falling Into Infinity contains a few traces of the hard-hitting Awake in songs Just Let Me Breathe or Burning My Soul, but also explores an unprecedented softer side in Hollow Years, Take Away My Pain, and Anna Lee, which might be the "sequel" of sorts fo Space-Dye Vest. Many people regard this as the "worst" Dream Theater album due to its leanings toward mainstream music, notably on such tracks as You Not Me, Burning My Soul, and Hollow Years. But it is redeemed with dazzling brilliant songs such as New Millennium, Lines in the Sand, and the amazing and emotion Trial of Tears trilogy at the end. As a whole, this album is great. While it will never be considered on the same level as Scenes from A Memory or Images and Words, it nevertheless belongs in your collection if you call yourself a Dream Theater fan.
Ah, the Dream Theater album that you either love or hate! Falling Into Infinity was a surprise to many people for the commercial, formulatic structure.Whether you will enjoy this or not depends on your personal tastes: this album grew on me with time.

James' vocals are still above-average, confident, and in many places containing a medium to lower tenor compared to his usual higher octane singing voice. Mike Portnoy's one of the better drummers in the field; his work on this album is not nearly as good (or wide open) as the next studio album to come, though. Sadly this would be keyboardist Derek Sherinian's last studio performance with Dream Theater. The first track "New Millennium" starts off with an interesting keyboard intro, and Myung's bass work thumps right along. Around 5:14, Petrucci lays a few licks down, and the song really gets moving. "You Not Me" is a pretty good lead single. Great vocal delivery at the 3:28 mark in "Peruvian Skies." "Hollow Years" is a Prog ballad containing some beautifully clean vocals. "Burning My Soul" has a crushing rhythm section, with hauntingly eerie semi-spoken/sung vocals that makes this the heaviest track on the album.. "Hell's Kitchen" is a great instrumental leading into the jam fest of "Lines in the Sand." The song is layered nicely with a powerful change in tone at 5:37. Other songs of note are "Just Let Me Breathe," the slower, more tranquil "Anna Lee" (great piano solos) and the closer "Trail of Tears," which is divided into three sections. Although many hardcore Dream Theater fans may not like this for its mellowness in places, it's actually pretty solid work: 'just not as Prog Metal oriented as Images and Words or Scenes from a Memory. Give this album a shot. Who cares what you friends say, you may like it.

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