DREAM THEATER

Progressive Metal / Metal Related / Hard Rock / Non-Metal • United States
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I. Introduction

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

II. History

A. Formation and Early Years (1985-1990)

Based in a love of the sophistication of YES, the virtuosity of RUSH, and the heaviness of IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER had a desire to create complex, heavy, and progressive from the very beginning. Guitarist and bassist PETRUCCI and MYUNG grew up together on Long Island, New York. After high school, both received scholarships to the esteemed Berklee University of Music, where they met drummer PORTNOY, who, incidentally, grew up in a nearby area. The trio soon became friends and began making music together and settled upon the
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DREAM THEATER Discography

DREAM THEATER albums / top albums

DREAM THEATER When Dream and Day Unite album cover 3.29 | 126 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite
Progressive Metal 1989
DREAM THEATER Images and Words album cover 4.44 | 244 ratings
Images and Words
Progressive Metal 1992
DREAM THEATER Awake album cover 4.07 | 169 ratings
Awake
Progressive Metal 1994
DREAM THEATER Falling Into Infinity album cover 3.44 | 138 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
Progressive Metal 1997
DREAM THEATER Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory album cover 4.32 | 197 ratings
Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory
Progressive Metal 1999
DREAM THEATER Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence album cover 4.24 | 151 ratings
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Progressive Metal 2002
DREAM THEATER Train of Thought album cover 3.99 | 147 ratings
Train of Thought
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER Octavarium album cover 3.83 | 144 ratings
Octavarium
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER Systematic Chaos album cover 3.52 | 131 ratings
Systematic Chaos
Progressive Metal 2007
DREAM THEATER Black Clouds & Silver Linings album cover 3.73 | 144 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Progressive Metal 2009
DREAM THEATER A Dramatic Turn of Events album cover 3.98 | 134 ratings
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Progressive Metal 2011
DREAM THEATER Dream Theater album cover 3.49 | 74 ratings
Dream Theater
Progressive Metal 2013
DREAM THEATER The Astonishing album cover 2.90 | 56 ratings
The Astonishing
Progressive Metal 2016
DREAM THEATER Distance Over Time album cover 3.86 | 36 ratings
Distance Over Time
Progressive Metal 2019
DREAM THEATER A View from the Top of the World album cover 3.88 | 27 ratings
A View from the Top of the World
Progressive Metal 2021

DREAM THEATER EPs & splits

DREAM THEATER Wach Auf! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wach Auf!
Progressive Metal 1994
DREAM THEATER A Change of Seasons album cover 3.94 | 98 ratings
A Change of Seasons
Progressive Metal 1995
DREAM THEATER Forsaken EP album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Forsaken EP
Progressive Metal 2008
DREAM THEATER Wither album cover 3.28 | 9 ratings
Wither
Progressive Metal 2009
DREAM THEATER God of War: Blood & Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
God of War: Blood & Metal
Progressive Metal 2010

DREAM THEATER live albums

DREAM THEATER Live at the Marquee album cover 3.82 | 49 ratings
Live at the Marquee
Progressive Metal 1993
DREAM THEATER Once in a LIVEtime album cover 3.67 | 38 ratings
Once in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
DREAM THEATER Live Scenes From New York album cover 4.72 | 55 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
Progressive Metal 2001
DREAM THEATER Live at Budokan album cover 4.30 | 52 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour album cover 4.34 | 50 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Distant Memories: Live in London album cover 3.60 | 5 ratings
Distant Memories: Live in London
Progressive Metal 2020

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

DREAM THEATER International Fan Club Christmas CD 1996 album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
International Fan Club Christmas CD 1996
Progressive Metal 1996
DREAM THEATER The Making Of Falling Into Infinity (International Fanclub Christmas CD 1997 / Official Bootleg 2009 / LNFA 2023) album cover 1.14 | 3 ratings
The Making Of Falling Into Infinity (International Fanclub Christmas CD 1997 / Official Bootleg 2009 / LNFA 2023)
Progressive Metal 1997
DREAM THEATER Once In A Livetime Outtakes (International Fan Clubs Christmas CD 1998) album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Once In A Livetime Outtakes (International Fan Clubs Christmas CD 1998)
Progressive Metal 1998
DREAM THEATER Cleaning Out The Closet (Christmas CD 1999) album cover 3.93 | 7 ratings
Cleaning Out The Closet (Christmas CD 1999)
Progressive Metal 1999
DREAM THEATER Scenes From A World Tour (Christmas CD 2000) album cover 2.06 | 5 ratings
Scenes From A World Tour (Christmas CD 2000)
Progressive Metal 2000
DREAM THEATER 04 Degrees of Radio Edits (Christmas CD 2001) album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
04 Degrees of Radio Edits (Christmas CD 2001)
Progressive Metal 2001
DREAM THEATER Taste the Memories (International Fan Clubs CD 2002) album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
Taste the Memories (International Fan Clubs CD 2002)
Progressive Metal 2002
DREAM THEATER Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fan Club CD 2003) album cover 2.83 | 3 ratings
Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fan Club CD 2003)
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER The Majesty Demos 1985-1986 (reissued 2022) album cover 2.55 | 7 ratings
The Majesty Demos 1985-1986 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER Los Angeles, California - 5/18/98 album cover 2.73 | 7 ratings
Los Angeles, California - 5/18/98
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER The Making of Scenes From A Memory (partially reissued 2023) album cover 2.28 | 5 ratings
The Making of Scenes From A Memory (partially reissued 2023)
Progressive Metal 2003
DREAM THEATER A Sort of Homecoming (International Fan Club CD 2004) album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
A Sort of Homecoming (International Fan Club CD 2004)
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER When Dream and Day Unite Demos 1987-1989 (reissued 2023) album cover 2.50 | 4 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite Demos 1987-1989 (reissued 2023)
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER Tokyo, Japan - 1995/10/28 album cover 3.29 | 8 ratings
Tokyo, Japan - 1995/10/28
Progressive Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER Master Of Puppets (reissued 2021) album cover 2.46 | 22 ratings
Master Of Puppets (reissued 2021)
Thrash Metal 2004
DREAM THEATER A Walk  Beside the Band (International Fan Clubs DVD 2005) album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
A Walk Beside the Band (International Fan Clubs DVD 2005)
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER Images and Words Demos 1989-1991 (reissued 2022) album cover 3.21 | 6 ratings
Images and Words Demos 1989-1991 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER The Number of the Beast (reissued 2022) album cover 2.65 | 22 ratings
The Number of the Beast (reissued 2022)
Heavy Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER When Dream And Day Reunite (reissued 2021) album cover 3.77 | 16 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite (reissued 2021)
Progressive Metal 2005
DREAM THEATER Romavarium (International Fan Clubs DVD 2006) album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Romavarium (International Fan Clubs DVD 2006)
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Awake Demos 1994 (reissued 2022) album cover 2.79 | 8 ratings
Awake Demos 1994 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Old Bridge, New Jersey - 12/14/96 (reissued 2022) album cover 3.50 | 7 ratings
Old Bridge, New Jersey - 12/14/96 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Dark Side of the Moon album cover 3.54 | 20 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
Non-Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER New York City 3/4/93 (reissued 2022) album cover 3.43 | 7 ratings
New York City 3/4/93 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Falling Into Infinity Demos 1996-1997 (reissued 2022) album cover 3.59 | 11 ratings
Falling Into Infinity Demos 1996-1997 (reissued 2022)
Progressive Metal 2006
DREAM THEATER Made in Japan (reissued 2022) album cover 3.50 | 13 ratings
Made in Japan (reissued 2022)
Hard Rock 2006
DREAM THEATER Images And Words: 15th Anniversary Performance Live In Bonn, Germany - 6/16/07 (International Fan Clubs CD 2007) album cover 3.17 | 3 ratings
Images And Words: 15th Anniversary Performance Live In Bonn, Germany - 6/16/07 (International Fan Clubs CD 2007)
Progressive Metal 2007
DREAM THEATER Progressive Nation 2008 (International Fan Clubs CD 2008) album cover 3.60 | 5 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 (International Fan Clubs CD 2008)
Progressive Metal 2008
DREAM THEATER Train Of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003 (reissued 2021) album cover 2.75 | 8 ratings
Train Of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003 (reissued 2021)
Progressive Metal 2009
DREAM THEATER Uncovered 2003-2005 album cover 3.42 | 12 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
Hard Rock 2009
DREAM THEATER Happy Holidays (2013) / Lost Not Forgotten Archives: A Dramatic Tour of Events - Select Board Mixes (2021) album cover 3.00 | 5 ratings
Happy Holidays (2013) / Lost Not Forgotten Archives: A Dramatic Tour of Events - Select Board Mixes (2021)
Progressive Metal 2013
DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Images And Words - Live In Japan, 2017 album cover 3.19 | 4 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Images And Words - Live In Japan, 2017
Progressive Metal 2021
DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: ...And Beyond - Live in Japan, 2017 album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: ...And Beyond - Live in Japan, 2017
Progressive Metal 2022
DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live in Berlin (2019) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live in Berlin (2019)
Progressive Metal 2022
DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Wacken (2015) album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Wacken (2015)
Progressive Metal 2022
DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Madison Square Garden (2010) album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Madison Square Garden (2010)
Progressive Metal 2023
DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Distance Over Time Demos (2018) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Distance Over Time Demos (2018)
Progressive Metal 2023

DREAM THEATER re-issues & compilations

DREAM THEATER Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) album cover 2.09 | 19 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
Progressive Metal 2008
DREAM THEATER Original Album Series album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Original Album Series
Progressive Metal 2011
DREAM THEATER The Studio Albums 1992-2011 album cover 4.91 | 2 ratings
The Studio Albums 1992-2011
Progressive Metal 2014

DREAM THEATER singles (16)

.. Album Cover
2.83 | 3 ratings
Afterlife
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.25 | 2 ratings
Status Seeker
Progressive Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.79 | 3 ratings
Another Day
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
2.62 | 4 ratings
The Silent Man
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
3.33 | 5 ratings
Lie
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
2.44 | 4 ratings
Hollow Years
Metal Related 1997
.. Album Cover
2.14 | 3 ratings
Through Her Eyes
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Odyssey
Metal Related 2009
.. Album Cover
2.92 | 3 ratings
Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
Hard Rock 2009
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 3 ratings
Stargazer
Hard Rock 2009
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
Metal Related 2009
.. Album Cover
2.31 | 4 ratings
Larks Tongues In Aspic, Pt. 2
Non-Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
2.17 | 5 ratings
A Rite Of Passage
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.90 | 6 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Enemy Inside
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Illumination Theory
Progressive Metal 2014

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

.. Album Cover
4.27 | 11 ratings
Images and Words Live in Tokyo
Progressive Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
3.59 | 11 ratings
5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
4.67 | 38 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
4.30 | 30 ratings
Live at Budokan
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.33 | 17 ratings
Images and Words Live in Tokyo / 5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 3 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.28 | 5 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.47 | 29 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.42 | 2 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.17 | 18 ratings
Chaos in Motion
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 3 ratings
Santiago, Chile 12/6/05
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.27 | 6 ratings
Live at Luna Park
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
3.47 | 4 ratings
Breaking The Fourth Wall
Progressive Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
3.33 | 3 ratings
Distant Memories: Live in London
Progressive Metal 2020

DREAM THEATER Reviews

DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Wacken (2015)

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2022 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
Released in 2022 as part of the ‘Lost Not Forgotten Archives’ series, ‘Live At Wacken (2015)’ sees Dream Theater make a stop on their 30th Anniversary tour at the world-famous German heavy metal festival.

With only an hour to spare, the band make a brief run through a number of their albums, with a set list that incorporates all their major elements, both heavy and melodic (‘As I Am’, ‘Panic Attack’, ‘The Spirit Carries On’), and full-on progressive (‘Metropolis Pt. 1’). No easy task, given the wealth of their back-catalogue, as well as the duration of most of their songs.

As expected, the musicianship is superb, with the band on top form and really smashing the instrumental side of things. Sadly, as always, vocalist James LaBrie is tough to listen to at times, especially on the older material. He’s struggling, but he tries anyway. Bless him.

Overall, ‘Live At Wacken’ is a decent enough live album. It’s not essential by any stretch, but die-hard collectors will certainly enjoy owning it and giving it a spin or two.

DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Madison Square Garden (2010)

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2023 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
‘Live At Madison Square Garden (2010)’, recorded July 12th 2010 at the “world’s most famous arena”, sees Dream Theater playing to their hometown crowd as the opening act for metal legends Iron Maiden. The fact that Dream Theater are a headline band themselves shows how much of a big gig this was for them, and so I can totally understand why they’d want to release this under their line of “Lost Not Forgotten” series.

Consisting of six tracks and clocking in at only 50 minutes, this is a relatively short affair as far as Dream Theater live albums go. The set list caters to the heavier side of their fanbase, which would make sense considering who they were opening for, although surely Maiden fans wouldn’t have cared that much. I’m sure most of them probably like Dream Theater anyway.

As for the recording itself… it’s okay, I guess. The sound is fine, the playing is flawless, although LaBrie’s vocals, as always, are a little strained live. Drummer Mike Portnoy randomly speaks a number of times mid-song, which shows us his enthusiasm and excitement, but probably irritated the hell out of his bandmates. Two months after this concert happened, he would do the unthinkable by handing in his notice and departing the band he helped form.

Overall, ‘Live At Madison Square Garden’ fits the bill perfectly for this line of releases. It’s a nice gem for collectors to own, and highlights a special moment in the bands history, but ultimately, after a couple of listens, it doesn’t really have that much replay value. OCD completionists, like me, will snap this up, regardless.

DREAM THEATER Dream Theater

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
Whenever a band releases a self-titled album, there’s always that feeling that this is their definitive piece of work, something that so truly encapsulates their sound and legacy that no mere title will do. Simply put, this is supposed to be THE Dream Theater album.

And yet, it’s just that. Another Dream Theater album.

The progressive metal legends have been one of my all-time favourite bands since the early 2000’s, and each of their previous twelve studio albums or EP’s have all garnered a four or five-star rating. But sadly, the band have finally put out an album that doesn’t quite match up.

Why? I don’t know… the magic just isn’t there. Whilst previous album ‘A Dramatic Turn of Events’ saw the band continue onwards after the departure of original drummer Mike Portnoy, this outing is starting to show that perhaps without Portnoy’s drive and vision, the band really are on autopilot.

All the usual traits are here. Absolutely fantastic musicianship, with incredible chemistry between guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, and James LaBrie’s voice still sounds great despite wear-and-tear. But the songs, ugh, they’re not awful, but damn, these took a lot longer to get into than previous output. ‘The Looking Glass’ and ‘Along For the Ride’ are pretty decent, and the usual “epic track” of the album, ‘Illumination Theory’ is pretty good, but nowhere near holds up to classics like ‘A Change of Seasons’, ‘Octavarium’ and ‘The Count of Tuscany’.

Overall, ‘Dream Theater’ isn’t a bad album, it’s just, kind of there. When I can be bothered to listen to it, it’s alright, and has its moments, but mostly, I just find that I can’t really be bothered to actually listen to it.

DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Images And Words - Live In Japan, 2017

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2021 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
Celebrating 25 years of arguably their best and most important album, as well as THE album that set the blueprint for all of progressive metal to follow, Dream Theater played the entire ‘Images and Words’ album throughout 2017, and as recorded and released here, this was the performance in Japan, a country which has been very kind to the band over their careers.

With that said, I don’t really know what to make of this. ‘Images and Words’ is without doubt, my favourite album of all time. It changed my life when I first stumbled across it back in 2003 at the age of sixteen, and to this day I still consider every track an absolute masterpiece. And yet, this particular release doesn’t really do anything for me.

I mean, there are some obvious detriments, for one thing, James LaBrie absolutely struggles to sing a lot of this now. Age, and a well-documented vocal incident in the 90’s, hasn’t helped. Of course, being a live recording means that the sound isn’t as polished and clear as the studio album either. Then there’s just the general question… why? Why bother releasing this at all?

The answer is simple. Because there are prog nerds such as myself that would snap this up in an instant, if for no other reason than because it’s another Dream Theater CD! But it’s not all bad, for what it’s worth, ‘Images and Words’ IS indeed an absolute classic, and the band have added a few small touches here and there. It makes the album listenable, but only just.

So with that said, buy it, don’t buy it. Whatever. This is one for the die-hard fans. By all means, if you don’t have ‘Images and Words’ then why are you even reading this? Get the bloody thing! It’s only one of the greatest albums ever! But ‘Images and Words – Live in Japan’… it’s basically what it says it is, and not worth owning unless you’re a nerdy collector like me, who must own everything, then proceeds to never listen to it.

DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Distance Over Time Demos (2018)

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2023 · Progressive Metal
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Pekka
...or Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Distance Over Time INSTRUMENTAL Demos (2018) as it would be called if InsideOut put just a little more effort into maintaining continuity within the series. At least they finally seem to have settled on parentheses as the manner in which to display the years where each recording originates from after messing with three different styles earlier on in the series. Yes, I'm somewhat pedantic and yes, this has bothered me way more than I wish to admit.

This offering documents the fruits of the early sessions in a highly secret location which later turned out to be Yonderbarn Studios in Monticello, New York. As Train of Thought before, and unlike any other demo issues in the series, this is indeed an entirely instrumental recording since James LaBrie, who resides on the other side of the continent in Canada, was present not in person but via the magic of internet and thus apparently not able or required to lay down any demo takes for his vocals.

Distance Over Time might be my favorite Mangini era DT work and while it's a welcome change of viewpoint to hear the tracks entirely bare of vocals, it's also a bit of a letdown since it would've been interesting to hear a bit more natural voice on these songs instead of the sometimes heavily processed one like on the finished album. On the plus side though, at least my listening habit is often so lead-line focused that I find lots of riffs and layers I've never noticed before while focusing on the vocal lines on top of them.

It's a small thing, but might be my favorite thing on the entire album: Mike Mangini's snare sounds pretty damn good and lively in this unproduced state instead of the very triggered sounding hefty thump that he usually employs - or might just be that instead of triggers his superhuman skill results in each stroke sounding exactly the same when the red light is on for real.

Anyhow, all that this release is in the end is all the same songs pretty much exactly as they would be recorded later on, just in the chronological order as they were written and minus the vocals and the polish of the finished product. The very definition of a "collectors/fans only" release, but as such a very nice one, yet still one that will stay on the shelf for most of the time and deserve just the occasional spin every few years. Or whenever you're in need of some good old DT karaoke.

DREAM THEATER Movies Reviews

DREAM THEATER Breaking The Fourth Wall

Movie · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
This came hot on the heels on the Live At Luna Park live set, which might prompt you to wonder whether Dream Theater were starting to flood the market a little with these epic-length live releases. Ever since Live Scenes From New York ended up as legendary as it was, triple album-length live workouts have been part of Dream Theater's schtick, but I'm unpersuaded.

If you're here for the visuals, then god this is a lot of Dream Theater to sit there and watch for nearly 3 hours; probably too much. This got an audio-only release on CD as well as a DVD release, at least, though the audio does reveal some issues with the mix - LaBrie's vocals are outright murky at some point, and some of the higher cymbal sounds end up coming across weird. The audience are also a little prominent in the mix - some crowd noise is nice on live albums, of course, but here it's a little more intrusive than usual.

Sure, some imperfections come with the territory, that's part of the appeal of live albums usually, but on the technical front past live releases from the band have avoided these issues. It really comes across as something knocked out and released in a hurry - particularly given how close this release was to the Luna Park one - which only contributes to the impression of Dream Theater needlessly flooding the market. Maybe I could give it more of a chance if these nagging technical issues didn't keep taking me out of it - there's nothing wrong with the performance here, if anything the band are at the top of their game - but in this case, their live recording setup wasn't keeping pace with them.

DREAM THEATER Live at Luna Park

Movie · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Though released in late 2013, a few months after they put out their self-titled album, Dream Theater's Live At Luna Park actually captures a 2012 residency at the titular venue hailing from the Dramatic Turn of Events tour - hence the daredevil unicyclist from that cover appearing here.

That album was, of course, largely an exercise in reassuring listeners that Dream Theater could still be Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy at the drum stool, though it managed to pull through on the strength of its material. Here, the band seem to be doing the same thing from the perspective of live albums - demonstrating to fans that we needn't worry, new boy Mike Mangini can drum for absurd amounts of time just like Mike Portnoy could. The three-CD live album had become something of a calling card for Dream Theater - though by this point in their career they tended to be coupled to DVDs - and so this seems to have been an exercise in demonstrating that the adjusted lineup could still do this.

It's not bad, on the whole, but it doesn't feel compelling necessary either. Unless you are a true zealot, there's a point where you've kind of got enough live Dream Theater, and though the focus here on material from A Dramatic Turn of Events at least means there's fresh stuff here, there's more that could have been done to shake up the set list. There's a bizarre lack of material from Black Clouds and Silver Linings, despite that they hadn't done any of their 3CD live albums since the Systematic Chaos tour, so that's an entire well of material left unaccountably untapped. Chunks of this material has already had good airings on live albums, and the strong focus on material from Images and Words and Awake makes the set list feel lop-sided - Octavarium, Six Degrees, and Metropolis also get a look-in, but there's several albums which just get overlooked entirely.

To an extent, of course, that's a testament to the strength of Dream Theater's body of work - of course you can come up with a 3 hour-plus setlist only working from a fraction of their back catalogue, they've got an embarrassment of riches to choose from! At the same time, it does make the setlist feel a bit off, and between this and them sticking fairly closely to the studio renditions for the most part it just makes the whole thing seem inessential compared to prior live releases. It comes across as Dream Theater putting out these super-long live albums because they feel an obligation to, rather than (as with Live Scenes From New York) it felt like the natural and artistically appropriate choice. If my feeling on that is correct, that's an issue; if it's not, it's still a problem, because it means the album's failed to convince me on that front.

Either way, this captures a solid performance so I can't rate it down too much, it just doesn't quite have the magic of Scenes From New York.

DREAM THEATER Chaos in Motion

Movie · 2008 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Dream Theater might have thought that their triple live album schtick was starting to wear thin after Live Scenes, Budokan, and Score, because for Chaos In Motion the triple CD is only actually available with the DVD set (though most of the live album - bar an intro track and a keyboard improvisation - is available streaming). I don't think they need to have worried; this live sampling of the Systematic Chaos tour absolutely cooks.

Naturally, Systematic Chaos itself is well-represented, with all but two of its songs represented (those being Repentance and Prophets of War, the latter of which I considered one of the weaker songs on that album). In the Presence of Enemies is presented as one single 26 minute song, rather than split into two halves on the album, which is interesting in itself. As far as dipping into the band's past goes, honourable mention has to go to the extended version of Surrounded from Images and Words, extending it from a five and a half minute piece to a fifteen minute workout which ends up being a medley incorporating a good chunk of Marillion's Sugar Mice, which is a fantastic interpretation of what is already an incredible song.

It's surprising to find that Dream Theater are still excelling to this level on these triple live releases at a point when you would have thought that these would start getting redundant, but I genuinely think Chaos In Motion is an overlooked and undervalued part of their discography and it's well worth a revisit... just, lads, consider a standalone CD reissue, will ya?

DREAM THEATER Shouts

Please login to post a shout
Andyman1125 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I can't decide whether to be really excited or nervous about the announcement of the new drummer-- but anyway, FAVORITE band of ALL TIME - ROCK PROG METAL ON DT!
martindavey87 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
My favourite band of all time!
progkidjoel wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Although I'm not a huge fan of most of their stuff, you have to respect the insane musician ship. Some of the best!!!
m@x wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I would go with PROG METAL ON ?! Anyway you are right DT rules !
CCVP wrote:
more than 2 years ago
My favorite metal band ever. Rock on DT. . . Or would it be Metal on ?

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Powerlords Power Metal
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