The one thing about Dream Theater is you know what your gonna get, they play amazingly fast and they play amazingly well but they don't really like songs that isn't really their thing they seem to mostly focus on showing off.
However I find that to be ok because it is fun to listen to people who I could only ever dream of being able to play like. The songs are pretty good and you know your going to get loads of widdly widdly guitar and keyboard mixed with complex drums and bass lines that are just phenomenal. However, other than some a few funky sounds on the keyboard there is nothing really new hear on the album. The same formula is used as with the past three albums at least. lots of heavy riffs and then some intricate widdling. Labrie uses a few affects on his voice in a few places and his performance is a highlight as he no longer is doing the high pitched yaaah of yesteryear and is going for a more gruff style. The songs are good but I just wish they would try some acoustic guitar or a different bass sound or maybe have a really bass driven song, or add some really different keyboard sounds, try a new way of playing in at least one song and maybe focus on the music a bit more instead of just trying to be the most technical band on the planet, because honestly guys heard it before it doesn't impress anymore. That said it is still a good album. Breaking All Illusions, is a good example of the sorts of things they should try. Simpler guitar playing with some orchestral keyboard and then some programmed drums and funky guitar effects, that is in the right direction but we just need more guys and change the guitar tone for a while.
All in all good but not great the next album needs to be great for the band to stay on top of the throne