4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Dagnabbit, always back to Dream theater..., 15 May 2006
Well, when I first heard this album, I, with a heavy heart, resorted to borrowing it off of my friend. I don't regret that decision, but I wish I had managed to purchase it.
Anyway, the first song I heard, "The Dance Of Eternity" sounds, to me at least, a two fingered salute to the rest of the music community.
"You have your music, but we do it *so* much better than you."
Including a personal favourite of mine, a rag time section, followed quickly by, quite honestly, one of my favourite speed metal sections on my computer.
Including, as well, a quick reversed section from Metropolis. (Again, they seem to be making a parody of themselves later with an even *faster* bass part.)
Another song which I heard before I fanally managed to piece together the album, "Strange Deja Vu" was one of the first Dream Theater tracks which focused on vocals (I hadn't heard any other concept album tracks bar "The Test That Stumped Them All" on Six Degrees, which I felt was more about including instrumental points at periods of high emotion) which really surprised me, but again, they didn't disappoint.
The opening to "Strange Deja Vu" is quite a rushed affair, with none of the Dream Theater trademark beating around the bush before really getting into it. But still, all the work that has gone into this song has really payed off, with it even nearly reminding me of another song, but never being able to quite put my finger on it.
The song is almost unremarkable in itself, but put into context with the album really brings it to life after the opening couple of songs.
The next song, Fatal Tragedy, is another Dream Theater instrumental extraveganza, with teh opening piano and vocals giving way to a crash, and then continuing with the song.
The story is almost fully explained within this part, almost really beginning the album.
James LaBrie does not disappoint with vocals on this, proving his almost *excessive* range. My favourtie part of the song is almost the lull in the storm with "Without hope..."
Unfortunately, I found the rest of the song past the vocals, towards the solos, to be quite distracting, and I had to keep checking back to see if I was still listening to the same song, or even album! It really did take some getting used to having to be patient, and, as I now hate iTunes, I tend to leave it when it is playing something. This is not an album you can lean back to and listen. To get the full experience, play freecell and it really brings out the real album, a busy, fast paced, frantic affair of a murder and a troubled soul.
Okay, that aside (it really does sum upt he rest of the album)
Until you reach "Finally Free", that is.
A quite happy, almost celebratory beginning quickly gives way to a haunting and harrowing tune, as teh truth is finally revealed. The first time I heard this, it was three in teh morning. I'd just watched Battle Royale for teh first time. That's not an experience I want to repeat, believe me on that.
Apparently, the story takes an even more sinister twist. I'm not going to spoil it, but anyway...
"This feeling, inside me
Finally found my love, I'm finally free"
could be interpreted as a happy moment, but trust me on this, by the album. It's great. Aside from theonstant need for something to do.