Dream Theater

Rating: 95/100

Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen, October '04
Label: Atlantic Records
Style: Progressive Metal

Live At Budokan

This is the fourth live release from Dream Theater, some very good: "Live At The Marquee" (1993) and "Live Scenes From New York" (2001), and "Once In A LIVEtime" just a good release. Some would claim that "A Change Of Seasons" is an live album as well, with the tracks 2-5 being live recordings. But I count this as their fourth one, and once more we get the full treatment here, not a single, not a double, but a triple live album is on offer once more. 2 hours and 45 minutes of some of their best songs played live - what can go wrong?

Not much in my book, the tracklist could have been mixed differently. They have picked up some interesting old songs, like: "Only A Matter Of Time" from their first album, and have managed to include 3 tracks from "Falling Into Infinity" - "Hollow Years", "Trial Of Tears" and "New Millennium", only 1 track from both "Images And Words" and "Scenes From A Memory" -  "Pull Me Under" and "Beyond This Life" respectively. The majority of the material played, is from their 2 lastest albums, 5 from each of them and with an intrumental, called "Instrumedley" and a keyboard solo from Jordan Rudess, it brings the total up to 18 tracks. I could have wished for 1 or 2 tracks more from "Images And Words" and at least 1 track from "Awake", but then who am I to complain?

Am I biased, when I review Dream Theater? YOU BET - they are my favorite band, and I think everything they touch is gold ... hehe. Am I going a bit overboard with my rating here? Some would say "Hell Yeah!" - all I can say is, that this is to me near perfection, when it comes to a live recording! Well played, well produced and great atmosphere! I am sure Dream Theater fans will love this new live album, so will fans of progressive metal (isn't that the same by the way? ... hehe), but will it bring new fans into the fold? Not so sure ...

Recommended tracks: Dream Theater fans have their own favorites - I am trilled to hear: "Only A Matter Of Time" on an live album!