Dream Theater

Rating: 92/100

Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen, June '05
Label: Atlantic
Style:
Progressive Metal

Octavarium

Dream Theater is my favorite band, no doubt about it! And each and every time they release something new is my hopes very, very high - maybe too high? So when I read, that this time the challenge for them was to write shorter and more commercial songs, then I automatically thought: "Oh no not another "Falling Into Infinity"", but no worries, this album is a lot more diverse, and do have it's hard and heavy moments as well as it's more mellow moments.

The album kicks off with the hard and heavy "The Root Of All Evil" - a great opener, and I think it's the second part of "The Glass Prison" (from "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence"), the next 3 "The Answer Lies Within", "These Walls" and "I Walk Beside You" are the result of their challenge on this album to write easy listening music - written the Dream Theater way. And I must say I like the end result, just listen to the wonderful ballad: "The Answer Lies Within" - James LaBrie is actually the person I think have moved the furthest on this album, he sings like never before. "Panic Attack" and "Never Enough" are 2 fast, aggressive and hard tracks, which falls in line with the direction they took on "Train Of Thoughts".
The last 2 songs on the album is to me the 2 highlights - 2 big epic tracks - "Sacrificed Sons" is one the strongest songs I've heard the entire year, and will surely put a smile on all Dream Theater fans out there! The title track is with its 24 minutes the longest song on the album and represents a cool mixture of old time Dream Theater favourites like: "A Change Of Seasons" or "Metropolis" - awesome track to finish off yet another great album.

And if you were wondering if there was a deeper meaning behind the title "Octavarium"? Well it's their 8th album, there are 8 songs on it and each song should represent a stadium of an octave - good luck figuring that one out ...? So yes even the title has been chosen wisely.

So is this a good album - ohh yeah! Is this a good Dream Theater album? Maybe not quite - it doesn't strike me  to be as brilliant as "Images And Words", not as intense as "Train Of Thought" and not as complete as "Scenes From A Memory". But it is still way ahead of 99% of the competition, and I can only recommend open minded metal fans to check it out, to Dream Theater fans, who havenít bought it yet ... get it - you will love it.

Recommended tracks: "The Root Of All Evil", "The Answer Lies Within", "Sacrificed Sons" & "Octavarium"

Link: www.dreamtheater.net