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DREAM THEATER

Progressive Metal • United States


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Dream Theater picture
Dream Theater biography
I. Introduction

II. History
A. Formation and Early Years (1985-1990)
B. A New Singer and Success (1990-1993)
C. The Middle Period and Band Turbulence (1994-1998)
D. Jordan Rudess and the New Millennium (1999-2006)
E. The Roadrunner Years and the Departure of Mike Portnoy (2007- )

III. Style, Live reputation, Bootleg Culture, and Conclusion



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 name MAJESTY. This name came about when PORTNOY described RUSH's song "Bastille Day" as "majestic" as they were waiting outside a Rush concert to open. As the band became more "serious," they went out looking for a keyboardist and vocalist. Eventually the band found PORTNOY's high schoolmate Kevin MOORE to play keys as well as schoolmate Chris COLLINS to sing in 1986. The new 5-piece recorded a 6 song demo titled simply "The Majesty Demos" in 1986 on PORTONY's analog 4-track cassette recorder, making an initial run of 1,000 tapes. The tapes, to the band's surprise sold out relatively quickly, which was aided also by the band's distribution of the tapes to friends, family, local rock and metal magazines.

Only a few months after the release...
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Buy DREAM THEATER Music


The Astonishing (2CD)The Astonishing (2CD)
Import
Roadrunner Records 2016
Audio CD$10.56
$9.54 (used)
Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a MemoryMetropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
Elektra 1999
Audio CD$4.67
$1.25 (used)
Systematic ChaosSystematic Chaos
Roadrunner Records 2007
Audio CD$4.68
$1.45 (used)
Train Of ThoughtTrain Of Thought
Elektra 2003
Audio CD$6.59
$2.52 (used)
Six Degrees of Inner TurbulenceSix Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Wea/Elektra Entertainment 2002
Audio CD$9.42
$1.44 (used)
Original Album Series - Dream TheaterOriginal Album Series - Dream Theater
Box set · Import
original album series 2015
Audio CD$10.99
$9.99 (used)
Images and WordsImages and Words
Atco Records 1992
Audio CD$4.38
$1.27 (used)
OctavariumOctavarium
Atlantic 2005
Audio CD$6.82
$1.97 (used)
Change of SeasonsChange of Seasons
Atlantic 1995
Audio CD$6.69
$1.60 (used)
The Studio Albums 1992-2011The Studio Albums 1992-2011
Box set · Import
Roadrunner 2014
Audio CD$42.05
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DREAM THEATER SYSTEMATIC CHAOS CD MADE IN BRAZIL USD $19.99 Buy It Now
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SEALED 12? 4xLP Dream Theater Live At Budokan (Limited Edition) 2013 Music On... USD $55.77 Buy It Now 15m 28s
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43m 36s
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43m 45s
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JAMES LABRIE Elements of Persuasion CD, 2005, ADV PROMO RARE!!! DREAM THEATER USD $7.00 Buy It Now 5h 9m
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Inertia by Derek Sherinian (CD, Jun-2001, SPV) NEW! Dream Theater USD $8.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
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11h 27m
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DREAM THEATER A DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS BRAND NEW SEALED CD USD $10.36 Buy It Now 15h 10m
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DREAM THEATER TRAIN OF THOUGHT BRAND NEW SEALED CD USD $9.14 Buy It Now 15h 39m
DREAM THEATER FALLING INTO INFINITY BRAND NEW SEALED CD USD $9.14 Buy It Now 15h 39m
DREAM THEATER BLACK CLOUDS & SILVER LININGS BRAND NEW SEALED CD USD $9.14 Buy It Now 15h 39m
DREAM THEATER - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour - Vinyl (4xLP) USD $43.74 Buy It Now 15h 50m
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17h 3m
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Dream Theater - Live at Budokan [New Vinyl] 180 Gram USD $33.87 Buy It Now 17h 50m
Dream Theater - A Change of Seasons 075596184229 EU CD H-3526 USD $1.99 [0 bids]
18h 4m
Images and Words by Dream Theater (CD, Feb-1992, Elektra (Label)) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 18h 6m
Dream Theater A Change Of Seasons USA Cassette Tape USD $9.99 Buy It Now 19h 2m
Awake by Dream Theater (CD, Oct-1994, Elektra (Label)) USD $4.49 [0 bids]
19h 47m
Dream Theater Images And words Cassette Tape 1992 USD $7.44 Buy It Now 19h 49m
Dream Theater - Train Of Thought WPCR-11703 JAPAN CD OBI B-856 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
20h 13m
Dream Theater International Fan Club Christmas CD 1996 Rare Gold Numbered #904 USD $199.99 [0 bids]
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Greatest Hit [Digipak] by Dream Theater (2CD, Warner) MADE IN ARGENTINA USD $20.00 Buy It Now 22h 10m
Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory [New Vinyl] Holland - Im USD $34.31 Buy It Now 22h 56m
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More places to buy DREAM THEATER music online Buy DREAM THEATER & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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DREAM THEATER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DREAM THEATER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 1177 ratings
When Dream And Day Unite
1989
4.29 | 2640 ratings
Images And Words
1992
4.11 | 1921 ratings
Awake
1994
3.32 | 1426 ratings
Falling Into Infinity
1997
4.29 | 2701 ratings
Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From A Memory
1999
4.14 | 1811 ratings
Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
2002
3.59 | 1685 ratings
Train Of Thought
2003
3.66 | 1880 ratings
Octavarium
2005
3.31 | 1619 ratings
Systematic Chaos
2007
3.44 | 1502 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
2009
3.84 | 1515 ratings
A Dramatic Turn Of Events
2011
3.30 | 837 ratings
Dream Theater
2013
3.47 | 565 ratings
The Astonishing
2016

DREAM THEATER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 377 ratings
Live At The Marquee
1993
3.30 | 364 ratings
Once In A Livetime
1998
4.57 | 506 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
2001
4.24 | 450 ratings
Live At Budokan
2004
4.46 | 510 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.59 | 79 ratings
Happy Holidays
2013

DREAM THEATER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.19 | 186 ratings
Images And Words - Live In Tokyo
1993
4.36 | 396 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York
2001
3.81 | 189 ratings
Live in Tokyo/5 Years in a Livetime
2004
4.03 | 113 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite [Official Bootleg]
2004
4.29 | 388 ratings
Live at Budokan
2004
3.58 | 52 ratings
A Walk Beside The Band
2005
4.40 | 410 ratings
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.89 | 142 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
4.00 | 77 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
2007
3.43 | 221 ratings
Chaos In Motion 2007/2008
2008
2.38 | 76 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
2008
3.59 | 49 ratings
Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza
2009
4.10 | 131 ratings
Live at Luna Park
2013
4.43 | 110 ratings
Breaking The Fourth Wall (Live From The Boston Opera House)
2014

DREAM THEATER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Systematic Chaos Special Edition
2007
2.13 | 177 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 21 other pretty cool songs)
2008
3.95 | 44 ratings
Original Album Series
2011

DREAM THEATER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 35 ratings
Afterlife
1989
3.28 | 34 ratings
Status Seeker
1989
2.87 | 26 ratings
The ATCO Demos
1991
2.90 | 59 ratings
Another Day
1992
3.64 | 53 ratings
Pull Me Under
1992
5.00 | 1 ratings
Take the Time
1992
3.76 | 55 ratings
The Silent Man
1994
2.90 | 44 ratings
Caught In A Web
1994
3.05 | 55 ratings
Lie
1994
3.67 | 634 ratings
A Change Of Seasons
1995
4.00 | 1 ratings
International Fan Club Christmas CD
1996
3.07 | 61 ratings
Hollow Years
1997
3.83 | 35 ratings
Once In A LIVEtime Outtakes (International Fan Club CD 1998)
1998
3.09 | 60 ratings
Cleaning Out The Closet
1999
3.19 | 66 ratings
Through Her Eyes
2000
2.08 | 34 ratings
Christmas 2000 Fan Club CD
2000
1.93 | 34 ratings
4 degrees of Radio edits
2002
3.27 | 22 ratings
When Demos and Singles Unite
2002
3.03 | 41 ratings
Taste The Memories
2003
2.95 | 33 ratings
Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fanclub CD 2003)
2003
3.18 | 45 ratings
The Making Of Scenes From A Memory
2003
2.83 | 101 ratings
The Number Of The Beast
2003
1.98 | 110 ratings
Master Of Puppets
2003
2.76 | 35 ratings
Los Angeles, California 5/18/98
2003
3.37 | 38 ratings
Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95
2003
2.88 | 48 ratings
The Majesty Demos 1985 - 1986 [Official bootleg]
2003
3.71 | 31 ratings
A Sort Of Homecoming
2004
3.32 | 37 ratings
Images and Words: Demos 1989 - 1991 [Official Bootleg]
2004
3.81 | 67 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite
2004
2.90 | 29 ratings
When Dream And Day Unite Demos 1987-1989
2004
3.35 | 126 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
2.45 | 38 ratings
Awake Demos
2006
3.16 | 33 ratings
Old Bridge, New JERSEY - 12/14/96
2006
3.39 | 67 ratings
Made in Japan [Official Bootleg]
2006
3.47 | 38 ratings
Images and Words - 15th Anniversary Performance (Fan Club CD 2007)
2007
4.14 | 72 ratings
Falling Into Infinity: Demos 1996-1997 [Official Bootleg]
2007
3.13 | 43 ratings
Constant Motion
2007
3.66 | 40 ratings
New York City 3/4/93
2007
3.00 | 2 ratings
Forsaken
2007
3.67 | 18 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 - The International Fan Clubs CD 2008
2008
2.51 | 59 ratings
Forsaken
2008
2.59 | 73 ratings
A Rite of Passage
2009
3.11 | 77 ratings
Stargazer
2009
3.39 | 72 ratings
Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
2009
3.68 | 57 ratings
Odyssey
2009
3.51 | 53 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
2009
3.23 | 71 ratings
Larks Tongues In Aspic, Pt. 2
2009
3.22 | 81 ratings
Wither
2009
3.12 | 46 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
2009
2.59 | 30 ratings
The Making of Falling Into Infinity
2009
2.84 | 29 ratings
Train of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003
2009
3.57 | 117 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
2011
3.50 | 2 ratings
Build Me Up, Break Me Down
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Along for the Ride
2013
3.17 | 75 ratings
The Enemy Inside
2013
4.17 | 29 ratings
Illumination Theory
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Our New World
2016

DREAM THEATER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live At The Marquee by DREAM THEATER album cover Live, 1993
3.66 | 377 ratings

BUY
Live At The Marquee
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Hey kids! Remember Kevin Moore?! The guy played on Dream Theater's first three studio albums, buggered off, and has since more-or-less completely cut off all ties to the Dream Theater name, wanting nothing to do with the band. So if you wanted to hear what the progressive metal legends sounded like in their early days, playing live with a certain Mr. Moore, then this is likely to be the only chance you'll ever get.

Released shortly after the bands second album, 'Images and Words', 'Live at the Marquee' is a six-track EP which doesn't really do the group or their previous releases justice. It's a nice addition to the collection of any Dream Theater fan, but since most of their live records would go on to become three-disc sets, this one has become pretty obsolete and unnecessary.

With Dream Theater classics such as 'Metropolis', 'A Fortune in Lies' and 'Pull Me Under', there's no denying the tracks are stellar, and considering vocalist James LaBrie would go on to suffer from ruptured vocal chords which would affect his live performances for years to come, it's nice to hear these songs with the youthful energy that the band had at the time.

Overall this isn't a terrible release, but if you're after a true Dream Theater live experience then you're better off looking for 2004's 'Live at Budokan', 2005's 'Score' or 2000's 'Live Scenes from New York'. It's a nice little EP if you come across it, but not really worth the effort unless you must own everything.

 Hollow Years by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
3.07 | 61 ratings

BUY
Hollow Years
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

2 stars 'Hollow Years' is an incredible song, and definitely one of Dream Theater's most memorable and catchy ballads, and releasing it as a single/EP is fully justified, however, it's the extra material that leaves this release feeling slightly lacking.

First off, 'Hollow Years'... great song. No need to have the radio edit alongside the album version though. Does anyone ever listen to these edited versions? Didn't think so. 'You or Me', a demo version of 'You Not Me' is a nice touch, but not as polished as the finished track. The main reason I like these kinds of discs is for the b-sides and non-album tracks, in which case here we have 'The Way It Used to Be'. It's an alright song. A bit bland if I'm honest. I can understand why it wasn't included on the 'Falling Into Infinity' album.

And then there's two lives tracks (included on the North Korean EP version of this, anyway). They're "good" I suppose, but not really incentive enough to track this down.

Overall, despite my criticisms, this isn't a bad little release. The musicianship is exceptional, as always, and there's not really anything particularly wrong with any of the songs, it's just not anything worth having unless you're a collector of everything Dream Theater.

 When Dream And Day Reunite by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
3.81 | 67 ratings

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When Dream And Day Reunite
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars 'When Dream and Day Unite', an album that has long been disregarded by casual fans of the band, and even most die-hard fans, is Dream Theater's 1989 debut which was released by Mechanic Records and is since no longer owned property of the band. Which, to the disfavour of many fans, means there would never be a modern re- recording or re-mastered version. So what do the band do? A live version instead!

Now, I love Dream Theater, and I actually really like their debut album as it is. The production gives it a majestic vibe akin to 1980's Rush, and original vocalist Charlie Dominici's voice fits the music well. However, while this 2004 live recording sounds good, with its beefier production and subtle rearrangements, there is still one detriment to this being a live recording as opposed to a studio one, and that's James LaBrie.

LaBrie is a fantastic vocalist, no doubt about that, and all his studio work is flawless, but he can sometimes be fairly hard to tolerate live, especially with these songs, in which a lot of the times his voice doesn't quite seem as suited to the music as his predecessors. He struggles to hit a lot of the right notes, and his pronunciation has always made it a challenge to make out what he's singing. More often than not, it just sounds as if he's content to wail away with whichever high-pitched screech he can hit.

Overall, I think, while the production is an improvement, even as a live recording, I prefer the original studio version of 'When Dream and Day Unite'. But with that said, there is a little something that make this album worth picking up anyway; bonus tracks 'Metropolis Pt.1' and 'To Live Forever', which feature guest appearances by the aforementioned Charlie Dominici and one-time keyboardist Derek Sherinian.

'Metropolis' in particular is fantastic! Dominici's powerful voice (not diminished through years of performing and a bout of violent food poisoning ala James LaBrie) completely blows his successor away. And a brief keyboard/guitar duel between Sherinian, Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci shows why Sherinian is often unfairly unappreciated for his brief tenure with the band.

Overall this is a great release of a great band playing a great album. There's moments that make me cringe and there's moments that make me wonder why this was released under the band's "Official Bootleg" series and not marketed more commercially. I've always been a sucker for studio recordings though, which is why I won't go back to this one very often, but overall it's a worthy addition to the Dream Theater collection.

 A Change Of Seasons by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
3.67 | 634 ratings

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A Change Of Seasons
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars Considered by fans to be one of Dream Theater's best songs, 'A Change of Seasons' is the bands first venture into an old prog standard; the 20-minute epic! Clocking in at 23 minutes long, the title track of this release was originally intended for the 'Images and Words' album, but left off due to time restrictions.

No problem! Chuck a few live covers in there, and here we have arguably one of the greatest EP's of all time.

With such a lengthy track, you know that each musician will get the chance to show off their skills, and indeed they do! All five members (including newcomer Derek Sherinian on the keyboards), flawlessly show their mastery of their respective departments, with the song twisting and turning through all kinds of time signatures and dynamic changes, crafting a wonderful tale that takes us on a journey through life and reminds us of how quickly it passes by.

As for the other "half" of this EP, there are four live covers that I don't mind, but are kind of hit-or-miss for me. Covering Elton John, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and a medley consisting of Kansas, Queen, Journey and Genesis, none of them are terrible, but in fairness none of them are overly memorable either. Blatant filler.

As a whole, it's a great record, and an absolute must-have for fans of Dream Theater, and whilst the title track itself is entirely worth hearing, it's the covers that prevent this from getting a five-star rating. Still, it's as essential to your collection as any of the bands studio albums.

 A Dramatic Turn Of Events by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 1515 ratings

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A Dramatic Turn Of Events
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars 25 years after their inception, 2010's aptly titled 'A Dramatic Turn of Events' ushers in an era Dream Theater fans thought they'd never see, for this was the first release after the departure of drummer and founding member Mike Portnoy.

With the prog world eagerly anticipating who would have the impossible task of replacing one of the greatest drummers in the world, the band announced a new album and, via an online documentary, unveiled that man to be none other than Mike Mangini, who's rsum includes the likes of Steve Vai, Annihilator and Dream Theater frontman Jame LaBrie's solo project, proving him to be a more than competent successor.

However, other than the inclusion of a new drummer, this is pretty much a by-the-numbers release. Big, epic songs, which display a vast array of heavy, crushing riffs, beautiful and haunting keyboard melodies, an unlimited supply of instrumental mastery and James LaBrie's powerful vocals. It's clear that the drama of the past year hasn't prevented the prog legends from doing what they do best.

I was saddened though, as I'm sure many others were, to hear that Mike Mangini didn't have any creative input in the compositions for 'Dramatic...', as they were written before he joined the group, leaving him to play session musician. It's not really a detriment to the album, but I was more than a little excited to see what musical differences Mangini would bring to the table.

Some of the highlights from 'A Dramatic Turn of Events' includes the single 'On the Backs of Angels', and the longer, more epic tracks 'Bridges in the Sky' and 'Outcry'. The shorter, "metal" tracks such as 'Lost Not Forgotten' and 'Build Me Up, Break Me Down' show that guitarist John Petrucci can always be relied upon to produce riffs that put most metal bands to shame, and ballads like 'This is the Life' and 'Far from Heaven' soften the mood to enable listeners to catch their breath.

With their eleventh studio outing comes a landmark release in Dream Theater's discography, which, while it's a remarkable piece of work in itself, will always be known as the first of the post-Portnoy era. It's a good sign that the band are ready to continue on, and can only leave one excited to see where they will go from here.

 Black Clouds & Silver Linings by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.44 | 1502 ratings

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Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings', Dream Theater's tenth studio album, sees the band take a more darker direction than before. With some of their heaviest and most consistent performances, the band show that they still have plenty of ideas left in the tank, and with only six tracks, they demonstrate how they still are, and will always be, the kings of progressive metal.

With four songs going over ten minutes, there's certainly no shortage of epics on this release. Newcomers to the band wouldn't be blamed for being intimidated by this, but repeated listens will reveal some expertly crafted compositions. From the dark and brooding 'A Nightmare to Remember', which is one of the heaviest and most relentless songs the band have ever written, to the uplifting and emotional 'The Best of Times', there's plenty of variety in the moods and themes of each track.

Then there's "the big one". It's almost a common trait for every Dream Theater record to have that one, big epic that trumps all the other tracks, and in this case, we have 'The Count of Tuscany'. At 19-minutes in length, this is right up there with 'A Change of Seasons', 'Octavarium', 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence' and 'Metropolis' as a potential candidate for one of the bands greatest pieces. Full of many twists and turns, shifting dynamics, intense and melancholic moments, incredibly tight guitar riffing and a highly memorable chorus, 'Black Clouds...' is probably worth the price for this song alone.

Included in the deluxe edition box set is two bonus discs. The first features six cover versions of songs by the likes of Queen, King Crimson and Zebra... (who?). I wasn't familiar with all the songs originally, but overall it's a decent enough disc and certainly isn't a detriment to the album. The second disc consists of an instrumental version of the entire 'Black Clouds...' record. Why? Because they're Dream Theater. Why not?

The box set edition with the bonus discs is a great purchase for die-hard fans such as myself, but even if you're a more casual listener, it's a great record that belongs in your collection. In conclusion, 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings' is another fantastic album by the pioneers of progressive metal, showing that there's still plenty of life left in the prog legends.

 Systematic Chaos by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.31 | 1619 ratings

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Systematic Chaos
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars I was nervous to hear Dream Theater's 2007 release 'Systematic Chaos' when it first came out. Having recently signed with Roadrunner Records, one of the most famous and well-known metal labels in the world, I expected the band to water down their sound in order to appeal to the more mainstream audience that the label would market them to.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Everything Dream Theater fans love about the band is still here. The complex song structures, intricate musical passages and over-the-top performances remain as they always have. But there is one thing in particular that this album has in abundance, and I can only really describe it as "focus". Possibly due to the fact that they now have a big time record company backing them (which is support they felt they never truly got with past labels), but the guys really go all-out to appeal to a whole new metal audience, whilst trying to remain as loyal to their prog fans as the fans have to them.

Being a heavier and darker album in terms of tone, feeling and musical content, it should come as no surprise that 'Systematic Chaos' is a very guitar-driven release, in particular with songs like 'Constant Motion' and 'The Dark Eternal Night'. That's not to say that Keyboard player Jordan Rudess is neglected, as he still shines in the Evanescence-sounding 'Forsaken', and with one song being 15 minutes and one being 17 minutes in duration, you know there will be plenty of progressive madness to keep die-hard fans happy.

Also featured is 'In the Presence of Enemies', spread into two parts that open and close the album respectively, part one has some very tasty vocal melodies, while part two has some of the greatest guitar riffing ever, with John Petrucci totally owning it in this song and putting most modern metal bands to shame. Then there's 'Repentance', the fourth part in Mike Portnoy's "12 Steps" suite, based on Alcoholics Anonymous and it's 12-steps to recovery program. It's one of the more interesting chapters of the suite due to its softer, more sombre tone, and the various confessions from guest musicians adds depth to the serious nature of the lyrics.

And for the more dedicated fans; the special edition release comes with a cool bonus DVD with over an hour of studio footage, documenting the making of this album! I love stuff like this, as it's a great chance to see not only how the finished product was made, but also an opportunity to delve into the personalities of the band members.

'Systematic Chaos' won't please the fans who were put off by Dream Theater's heavier direction built upon over the previous few albums, but for the most part they've done a fantastic job in adapting their style for a broader metal audience, and since they've only gone on to bigger and better things since then (an impressive feat so far into their careers) I'd say it was a success!

 Images And Words by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.29 | 2640 ratings

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Images And Words
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by Progunklebear

4 stars Thanks to this album, I discovered the world of Progressive Rock. Sharp, piercing right in the heart of Pull Me Under, settled in my head for a long time, I head the top of my Chart. Another Give without praise, the ballad is very melodic, solo on the saxophone reaches the most secret corners of the mind. Metropolis Pt. 1 - the composition is like a journey, a journey to the understanding. Learning to Liv is really a textbook of life, with which you want to live again and again this wonderful album. Most of all in this album, I like the musical instrumental component, on this, I put a solid four.
 Octavarium by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.66 | 1880 ratings

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Octavarium
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars After the all-out metal assault that was 2003's 'Train of Thought', Dream Theater continue to develop their "metal" sound, while at the same time paying homage to their progressive roots. And so it is, that 'Octavarium' is seen from two perspectives. There's the fans who see it as Dream Theater's 70's-era prog rock album, and there's the ones who think it's just a smorgasbord of stolen ideas.

Admittedly, there are songs that sound similar to artists such as Muse, Linkin Park, U2 and the very Pink Floyd- sounding title track. But does that really make them bad? Does a band consisting of some of the finest musicians in the world really need to resort to plagiarism? And when did it become such a sin to wear your influences on your sleeve? Stolen ideas or not, I like the songs, and that's all that truly matters to me.

The main focal point of the record is the 24-minute title track, 'Octavarium'. A song that builds from a hauntingly ambient intro to one of the most climatic finishes in a Dream Theater track, it perfectly appeals to fans of both old progressive rock and modern metal alike, and will easily go down as one of the bands most memorable pieces.

The rest of the album features a mixture of heavy, rocking songs and soft, radio-friendly ballads. 'These Walls' and 'Never Enough' take the group into more alternative rock-inspired territory, whilst others such as 'The Root of All Evil' and 'Panic Attack' continue in the same vein Dream Theater have been on since 'Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'. And while the musicianship is incredible, as expected with Dream Theater, it's keyboard player Jordan Rudess who really gets to shine on this album, with many of the songs being heavily synth-driven.

Riddled with Easter eggs and hidden references to the number eight, Dream Theater's 'Octavarium' sees the band continue to challenge themselves by trying new things and taking inspiration from different sources. It's a throwback to 70's and 80's progressive rock, whilst maintaining the bands own signature take on the metal subgenre they helped pioneer, thus making it a worthy addition to fans of both genres.

 Train Of Thought by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.59 | 1685 ratings

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Train Of Thought
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

5 stars When discussing the making of this album, the members of Dream Theater have said that their goal, inspired by all the "classic" metal albums by bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden, was to make a record full of "live songs" that will work well in a concert setting. An album full of metal classics, that'll get energy flowing, fists pumping and heads banging.

They succeeded.

As is always the case when bands stray away from their original sound, there are some who dislike this record for being more centered on metal, as opposed to the progressive elements that Dream Theater made famous in the early 90's. Being a metal fan as much as a prog fan, I love this record, and whilst anyone can see that they stepped away from a lot of their progressive roots on this one, the band more than compensate for it with these pumping metal anthems.

Of course, at the time this album came out (November 2003) I was still fairly new to Dream Theater, and definitely more of a metalhead than anything else. So why wouldn't I love tracks like 'As I Am' (that riff...), 'This Dying Soul', 'Honor Thy Father' or 'In the Name of God'? Each track perfectly demonstrates why Dream Theater can stand toe-to- toe with any of metal's elite.

As you would expect from this band, the musicianship is phenomenal. Most of the songs are definitely guitar- centered, with keyboardist Jordan Rudess taking more of a backseat in most songs. But he's there none-the-less, and when he's trading solos with guitarist John Petrucci, especially on tracks like 'Stream of Consciousness', you know that there's no one that can match these guys.

'Train of Thought' certainly has its prog moments, but ultimately, this is an all-out, straight-up, ballsy metal album. And it's a damn good one, at that!

Thanks to [email protected] for the artist addition. and to Andy Webb for the last updates

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