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Dream Theater – Dream Theater

Label: Roadrunner
Format: CD
Released: 2013
Reviewed By:Rich Catino
Rating: 10/ 10


As much as it sucks to lose a founding member and mess with original chemistry, and no disrespect to Mike Portnoy, but second album with Mike Mangini is nothing short of the fantastic works of art the band achieved with Portnoy. From their beginning each DT album has its own personality because guitar sounds, tunings, arrangements, production changes. A couple are real progressive and epic (“Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory”, “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence”) and can be too heady and a bore. Others combine their musicianship with a more direct chorus, metal sound and delivery. These are my favorite albums; “Images And Words”, “Falling Into Infinity” has a nice variety, the darker “Train Of Thought”, “Systematic Chaos”, and “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”.

 

This self titled album is a strong statement, benefits from the ground work laid down with “a Dramatic Turn Of Events”, and shows confidence with the dramatic cinematic opening instrumental ‘False Awakening Suite’. Way to set the tone. After a couple nice prog cadence changes at the start, ‘The Enemy Inside’ hits with a Megadeth type riff seamlessly flows into the verse and chorus. Like I said before, the arrangement quicker to the point and chorus. ‘The Looking Glass’ keeps this idea going with a pleasant guitar lead and accompanying keyboard very reminisce of 80s Rush. In contrast, love the darker feel to the riff and quick descending drums/bass/keys that kicks off ‘Enigmatic Machine’, the acrobatics throughout, and the Steve Vaiish guitar melodic piece 3/4 s of the way. Crazy creative talent, always a musical adventure and never the same song twice. Nice melody to ‘The Bigger Picture’ which brings to mind other existing ones we have all come to know over the years. Earthy new age sounds opens ‘Behind The Veil’ before drums and guitars hit with a punch. Guitars, keyboards, soaring verses and chorus gels in such a way ‘Along For The Ride’ could have fit nicely on “Images And Words”. ‘Illumination Theory’ closes the album with an epic twenty two minutes.

Great album, Dream Theater strikes gold, again.

 
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