Dream Theater
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: 9 September, 2011
Playing time: 76:54

The progressive metal community reacted in many ways; some with despair, some with fear and some with joy when the news broke that founder and one of the main song writers Mike Portnoy had decided to leave progressive metal institution Dream Theater. Was this the end of an era, could anyone replace him and would the band survive this and bounce back?

Many, many questions were asked and here are the answers to most! The choice of Mike Mangini did once more split the fans and I can assure you all that the band hasn't suffered any decline at all behind the kit; he fits right in like he' been a part of the sound for ages.

This still very much feels and sounds like Dream Theater, in a much more laid back and relaxed version; they have weed out the influences many felt were misplaced on all their albums since "Train of Thought"! The hard-edged guitars, the growling backing vocals and the modern and cold sound collages. Focus is back strong melody-lines, melodic song structures and James LaBrie's voice, and he answers with his strongest and most impressive performance ever.

The laid back approach has resulted in a much more even product where the drums are not straight in your face, the backing vocals are good and a third of the songs fall into the ballad category; "This is the Life", "Far From Heaven" and Beneath the Surface". "A Dramatic Turn of Events" has production-, sound- and song-wise a lot in common with Dream Theater albums like "Awake" and "Scenes from a Memory", which in my book is a really wise choice and the right direction to take at this stage. The last couple of albums have had clear signs of metal fatigue and many felt they had been at a standstill for some time...

They might not have delivered their best album ever and this might not be a strong contender for Album of the Year, but it is still very, very close to the top of progressive metal in 2011. "A Dramatic Turn of Events" will surely see many Dream Theater fans return to the fold because this is their most complete album in a long time. The whole album is a perfect example of why they remain undisputed progressive metal champions and even thought their foundations might have been shaken a bit, I can tell you that they've bounced back and remain on top of the game!


01. On the Backs of Angels (8:37)
Build Me Up, Break Me Down (6:59)
Lost Not Forgotten (10:07)
This is the Life (6:56)
The Shaman's Trance (10:57)
Outcry (11:17)
Far From Heaven (3:51)
Breaking All Illusions (12:25)
Beneath the Surface (5:23)

Label: Roadrunner Records
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: 2 September, 2011
Website: www.dreamtheater.net