Dream Theater
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: June 19th 2009

Dream Theater is an institution in progressive metal, they set the bar extremely high with their debut album 'When Dream and Day Unite' back in 1989 and have never looked back since. Their second album 'Images and Words' (1992) is by many considered as the cornerstone of progressive metal and the album everything is measured up to, and in 'Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory' (1999) they created what is considered as a modern masterpiece in terms of conceptual albums. Ten years later and five albums down the line we are once more challenged by them with 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings', because they have been evolving and exploring new territories throughout their career and this album is no exception.

They are still second to none in almost every category; song writing, musicianship, talent and and..., but what will we remember from this album when we look back in a few years time? That 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings' is superior to most (progressive) metal released in the last ten years as far as technical abilities and musicianship go and that the band sound tighter than ever, but I feel they are still chasing their own shadows, never quite catching them. Sure they have created awesome and innovative albums within the last ten years, 'Train of Thoughts' (2003) is a prime example of that, but I do not think they have reached the same extreme high level again like they did with 'Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory'.

I have lived with this album for the past five month's, listening to it intensively in the beginning and have just gone back and rediscovered it, and must admit that I like it a lot, not quite as much as the albums I consider to be their masterpieces. They are (still) the undisputed champions and 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings' just another statement from them.

Am I biased and should have been excused from doing this review? Most likely - they are my absolute favourite band and I might not be as objective as many could wish, but that does not change the fact that this is a great album, an album that include one of their finest pieces ever in "The Count of Tuscany"! Not their best album ever and it probably won't make my Top 10 this year, but still...


01. A Nightmare to Remember (16:10)

02. A Rite of Passage (8:35)
03. Wither (5:25)
04. The Shattered Fortress (12:49)
05. The Best of Time (13:07)
06. The Count of Tuscany (19:16)
Label: Roadrunner Records
Distribution: Bonnier/Amigo (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: November 25th 2009
Website: www.dreamtheater.net