I'm going to assume that if you're a fan of the band, then you've probably already bought this (and if you haven't, then you should!). But what if you're not yet a fan? If you're reading this because you're curious, then ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do you like Dream Theater, especially their more melodic songs?
2) Do you like bands who couldn't care less about what's "in", and just make the music they want to play?
3) Do you like singers with powerful voices, but who sing so clearly that the printed lyrics become a luxury, rather than a necessity?
4) Do you like guitarists whose solos are not simply opportunities to show off, but actually have (gasp!) a TUNE?
5) Do you like bands where the keyboard player is not just there to 'fill out the sound', but has almost as many solos as the guitarist?
6) Do you smile broadly when you realise that a band has just thrown in an unusual time signature, but made it sound perfectly natural?
If you answered 'yes' to at least one of these, you should consider buying this album. If you answered 'yes' to all of them, then what are you waiting for?
This is a real 'grower' of an album that just gets better with each listen. Remarkably, for a band that have been around for quite a few years, there is not a single song here that could be considered a 'filler' - all of them have something to offer. And variety, too! You want long multi-part songs? Listen to 'The Art of Reason'. You want something more punchy? Try the very next track 'Pressure'. You want a song that you'll be humming for days afterwards? Go for the wonderful 'The Destruction of Words'.
With the music business nowadays being more about business than music, I really feel it's important to support bands who try to do something a little bit different. So - to buy or not to buy? Just add up the number of 'yes'es you had earlier - the decision should become obvious!