Sunday, 6 October 2013

Dream Theater - Dream Theater (Review)

Dream Theater - Dream Theater

Dream Theater are a band that need no introduction. Since the release of 'Images & Words' in 1992 they have remained one of most hard-working and consistent figures in the world of Progressive Metal. Now in 2013, dream theater have just released their 12th album, confidently titled 'Dream Theater'.

When the news was announced that Dream Theater would be releasing a brand new album in 2013, I wasn't filled with the excitement I once felt following the news of a dream theater release. To me, Dream Theater's releases over the past couple of years have felt quite uninspiring. Not to say that they weren't good albums, I just found them to be rather stale. Being the loyal fan that I am however, I knew I had to check the new release out.

  John Petrucci's guitar playing has always been the most notable force of the band's sound and after the last notes play on the cinematic intro False Awakening Suite his heavy driving riffs kick off the album to a fun start with the lead single The Enemy Inside. This radio friendly rocker is classic Dream Theater, and foretells exactly what is in store for the rest of the album.
  Myung's prominent bass tone makes a welcoming return for the first time in years, and is refreshingly heard consistently throughout the album. His bass breakdown on Surrender To Reason reminds the listener of the bands Rush influences. This isn't the only time on the album that the band pay homage to the boys from Canada. The Looking Glass, from the intro (which almost sounds likes it's been directly lifted from Limelight) to the overall song structure, just screams 80's Rush.
  Although being a really great technical drummer Mike Mangini's presence throughout the album never really leaves a real impact on me. He really gets to shine however on the instrumental track of the album Enigma Machine. Admittedly, this is a solid instrumental, however it doesn't really add much to the album, nor does any of the riffs or solos really surpass any of the albums other lyrical counterparts.
  The bands return to more melodic, open arrangements have definitely worked in the favour of Singer James La Brie, who comes back into the spotlight  in the first ballad of the album The Bigger Picture. The following track and one of the highlights of the album The Painted Veil  is where La Brie's performance truly stands out, as he mixes vocal styles from all different Dream Theater Eras.
  As always, Jordan Rudess shines throughout the entire album during each song, but  his all-out chop fest is most appropriately unleashed during the epic track Illumination Theory. This 22 minute opus is what many Dream Theater purists will have arrived for. Jam-packed with a head-spinning mix of quiet interludes, beautiful string arrangements, full blown jams and a rhythmic majesty courtesy of Mangini and Myung, this suite plays like a mini album in itself and is a perfect way to close the album.

  Dream Theater's eponymously titled 12th album finds the band reeling in all their best performances from the past while maintaining the balance achieved by A Dramatic Turn Of Events, between prog-heavy instrumental sections and catchy, arena-oriented choruses. And although it's not Images & Words or Scenes From A Memory this is a solid album, this is Undoubtedly Dream Theater.

'Dream Theater' Is Available Now Through Roadrunner Records:

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