I’m not an enthusiast, unconditional fan of DT, mainly because I’m not really liking the voice and style of James LaBrie, yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s not his fault, it’s all mine, mine, all mine! On the other hand there is very thin and invisible line between self-indulgence and the need of communicate by artistic vehicles – in this case, instruments, and sometimes DT sounded more as a demonstration of virtuosity and indisputable technicality then an expression of feelings and thoughts, a down to the bone artistic act. But I’ll be the first to admit that the same DT had some fabulous moments and delivered some brilliant songs.
And their the upcoming twelfth, and self-titled album is another highlight of their fruitful career.
DT was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2010. In July 2012, “Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory” was listed as the number one all-time progressive album by a Rolling Stone readers’ poll, beating “2112” by Rush and “Close to the Edge” by Yes. On April 9, 2013, “Images and Words” won Loudwire’s fan voted March Metal Madness for world’s best metal album beating albums by influential artists such as Dio, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Megadeth and Metallica. The band’s 1992’s album, “Images and Words”, it’s also their highest-selling album, reaching gold-selling status and reached No. 61 on the Billboard 200 chart. With total sales exceeding 10 million albums and DVDs worldwide, Dream Theater have long stood among the upper echelon of hard rock giants.
But the band is well known for the technical proficiency of its instrumentalists. Guitarist John Petrucci has been named as the third player on the G3 tour six times, more than any invited players. In 2009 he was named the No. 2 best metal guitarist by Joel McIver in his book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. He was also named as one of the “Top 10 Fastest Shredders of All Time” by GuitarOne magazine. Jordan Rudess is considered to be one of the greatest keyboard players of all time by many publications like MusicRadar. Former drummer Mike Portnoy has won 26 awards from Modern Drummer magazine and is also the second youngest person (at the age of 37) to be inducted into the Rock Drummer Hall of Fame. His replacement Mike Mangini has also previously set 5 WFD records. John Myung was voted the greatest bassist of all time in a poll conducted by MusicRadar in August through September 2010.
“Dream Theater” it’s a dark, very dense and intense, surprisingly dark and heavy album. I know, “dark and heavy” sound like a cliche, but these are the most proper words to describe it.
James LaBrie still was not able to convince me, his singing do not reach me, feel very theatrical – reminding me of Bruce Dickinson -, but lacking the fire, the passion of interpretation which makes Dickinson so genuine and credible, but LaBrie just a performer, but somehow without transmitting real involvement, real feelings. Sorry, he really did not convinced me this time!
While Queensryche seems completely uninspired and disorientated – not too mentioned fragmented and shattered -, DT delivered a very strong, very solid album. Compared to Queensryche, DT delivered a powerful, strong material, but compared to themselves, this is pretty much the same as most of their previous, and possible future works. It’s nothing edge-cutting, envelope-pushing, ground-breaking here. And maybe there shouldn’t be, but only maybe. When you are considered by some the biggest progressive band ever, maybe more boldness, more creativity would be nice.
Most of the album was written during the soundchecks of the “A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour” in April 2012. The band would jam and record their ideas while guitarist John Petrucci would try out independently composed material.
The album was recorded at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, New York, with founding guitarist John Petrucci producing and studio luminary Richard Chycki (Aerosmith, Rush) engineering and mixing.
The music is heavy, heavy like heavy metal, but filled with many colorful and fantastic technical moments. While “The Enemy Inside” bring to the surface some Megadeth type of grinding metal riffs, “The Looking Glass” have a strong and undeniable Rush feel. In between this is totally Dream Theater. Since “Train of Thought” (2003), DT was not so ferocious and since “Systematic Chaos” (2007) so dark. This is really good, enjoyable and intense throughout, there are no fills, no meaningless moments, everything it’s in its right place, everything make perfect sense. Maybe the first half of “The Bigger Picture” is less convincing, but that’s a fact, I’m pretty refractive to ballads.
The story, far as I got it, it’s about conspiracy and Illuminaties, not really my cup of tea, although I read some books, I watched several documentaries regarding this theories and I’m not a perfect stranger of the subject.
So, this is a good album, something worth to buy or steal. Before the aliens taking over!!
Dream Theater – Official Site