DREAM THEATER — Octavarium (review)

DREAM THEATER — Octavarium album cover Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Xaxaar
A lot of people absolutely love this album, and a lot of people absolutely hate it. I'm a bit more on the hate side.

Let me just say that this album is incredibly inconsistent. It has a bunch of ups and downs, but as you can tell with the rating I give it, a bit more downs.

It starts off the album with "The Root of All Evil." This is song, as well with others from various albums, is about Mike Portnoy's AA experience. Personally, I don't like any of the songs that deal with those; they all sound extremely cheesy to me and this is no exception sadly. I do like the intro to the song, though.

Now that we're on the second song, "The Answer Lies Within," I realize I'm going to use the word "cheese" a lot. I'm sorry for my weak vocabulary, but yes, this song does smell of the cheese. It doesn't really have any redeeming qualities for me, just nothing works here.

Next we have "These Walls." Dare I say, the first good song? Yep, I do enjoy this song quite a bit. I mean it's not absolutely great, but it is a good song. No really bad or really awesome moments, just consistent all the way through.

And after all those compliments, we come to this monstrosity. Remember when I said I was going to say cheese too much? Well, "I Walk Beside You" is the king of the cheese on the album. Kinda makes me gag of just the odor it gives off. Probably the worst track of the album.

Next we have...oh this one, if I have to hear this song on the radio again I'm gonna hurt someone. "Panic Attack" is definitely their most overrated piece of music. Now, it's not a horrible song, but I have no idea why it's so popular. It's just kind of the equivalent to decent filler. At least it's better than its predecessor.

"Never Enough" is the next song and it's not quite as cheesy as it is corny. Yes, those are different to me. The instruments aren't actually too bad on this one, it's the vocals that slap me across the face with corn. I am not a huge James fan, I will not hide that, but I feel like this was even bad for him.

Now this is when the song starts getting enjoyable for me, better late than never, eh? "Sacrificed Sons" has a very nice build-up going for itself in the beginning, and then when it goes off the song is actually quite great. Definitely the better than the songs before it. Oh, and I'm sure everyone knows it has to do with 9/11 and all that junk...which is actually quite fitting for when I'm doing this review. This is the first song that gets a solid thumbs up from me.

Now "Octavarium," the self-titled track, the 24 minute long epic, it just HAS to be good, right? ...Right! This is actually my favorite track on the album, not close. If this wasn't here, this album would probably be even rated lower than I have it now, but luckily this song is here. And yes, it is a masterpiece, and I don't like to throw that word around. This song is sooooo much better than the rest of the album, it's even where I coined something I say quite a bit "Octavarium Syndrome."

So yes, enjoy your 24 minute long epic, and Sacrificed Sons too, because that's all this album really has going for it.
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Doomster wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I like this album quite a bit (especially "Sacrificed Sons"), but I agree, "I Walk Beside You" is just stankin'. The lyrics are still mediocre as a whole, too, IMO.
Xaxaar wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Yes, and I don't fault people for liking this album and praising it as a masterpiece. Sometimes what is cheese for some can be a beautiful emotional experience for others. The album that a lot of people consider cheesy that I love is Terria, and I understand their view-point as well...I just respectively think they're mad!, but yes, still do understood where they are coming from.
J-Man wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I personally think this album is a masterpiece, but it's always interesting to read the other point of view. Sacrificed Sons and the title track are my favorites as well... I guess I just like the rest of the album a whole lot more than you do :P

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