There's a pretty good chance that this ends up being my Album of
Is it really as simple as this? Yeah, in my small world it is...
This is the album I have been anticipating the most this year, the
album I have been waiting for since their yet to be reached
masterpiece 'Scenes from a Memory, Part II' and finally its here.
Does that mean they have been releasing bad albums in the space
between? No, all it means is that they have explored new territories
- 'Train of Thoughts' is still an excellent example of their
adventures journeys into untested territories, 'Six Degrees of Inner
Turbulence' shows their writing skills pushed very near to the limit
in the 42 minutes orchestrated title song, and 'Octavarium' displays
their capacity as excellent song writers and musicians.
Sure they rank at the top of my list of favourite bands, no other
band is pushing their status in my small world and I am pretty easy
convinced each and every time they release an album. They are surely
not flawless and to this day I find it hard to be totally convinced
by 'Falling into Infinity', but one small error just shows they are
human after all. They are the true champions of progressive metal
today, and they set the standard any progressive metal band has to
be judged by, and they push the limits and set them higher each time
they release a new studio album.
do one review and rate ones favourite band objective without going
totally overboard? Not an easy task and I will try to keep the
praising at a minimum. And without further notice I'll turn to their
new album called 'Systematic Chaos', a record-title that describes
the sound of their music, which is methodical and meticulous on one
hand, but on the other hand acrobatic and abstract.
'Systematic Chaos' is an album, compromised of complex,
uncompromising, technically accomplished progressive metal that has
endeared them to fans all over the world for more than 20 years. And
when I write uncompromising then I referring the facts like that the
shortest track "Forsaken" runs just over 5½ minutes and the longest,
"In Presence of Enemies" a two part epic that opens and closes the
album, spans over 25 minutes. Or how about the fact that a song like
"Constant Motion" with its Pantera-esque style takes progressive
metal to epic extremes, or a song like "The Ministry of Lost Souls",
which could easily go down as their humble tribute to Pink Floyd.
I haven't even touched base with the three songs in the middle of
the album: "The Dark Eternal Night", which is one of the darkest and
heaviest songs they've ever recorded, and the very melancholic
"Repentance" with it almost 'Scenes"-like beginning and feel to it
and not forgetting the vocal highlight of the album: "Prophets of
War", which has some references to Muse.
James LaBrie sounds better than ever before, the sound is crystal
clear, the musicianship is flawless and the
album just flows away, and when it's done it is really hard to
believe that you've just spent almost 79 minutes just listening to
music because time just flies by. This album is versatile, timeless,
progressive and breathtaking, and is once more a perfect
demonstration of why Dream Theater is the most prominent
progressive metal band on Earth.
has thrown down the gauntlet with this first true masterpiece from
them this millennium, and I rank this album only second to 'Scenes'
on my all-time Dream Theater list. And I will continue to
praise them and this album to anyone, who'll listen, because this is
in my humble opinion the new reference album in progressive metal.
An album that has class written all over it, and an album that is
bound to be the one that has been occupying my CD player the most
when the year draws to an end.
bar has just been lifted a notch higher.