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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of masterpiece...
'Falling Into Infinity', the only album to feature keyboardist Derek Sherinian (bearing in mind A Change of Seasons is an EP), was a record biased towards what the general public 'wanted to hear' in '97 by the producers.
What resulted is a lot more ear and radio friendly listen (the fact that the only DT song on my local Riley's jukebox is 'Hollow Years' kind of...
Published on 10 July 2009 by Ryan Jones

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly criticised - a good album for it's merits.
Yes, I know - this is not Images and Words. It is not Awake either. But let's remember that DT were under immense pressure by their somewhat dictatorial record label to ditch the long, complex songs and write hits (Capitalism is the bane of human society, in my opinion, and this epitomises that, but I digress.) Firstly, from what I've read, there was to be a second disc...
Published on 18 Oct. 2007 by JRBain


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly criticised - a good album for it's merits., 18 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
Yes, I know - this is not Images and Words. It is not Awake either. But let's remember that DT were under immense pressure by their somewhat dictatorial record label to ditch the long, complex songs and write hits (Capitalism is the bane of human society, in my opinion, and this epitomises that, but I digress.) Firstly, from what I've read, there was to be a second disc. If you've heard Score, the song Raise the Knife is to be heard, it's a great song, and it was apparantly to be on the second disc, (also, part of it is to be heard at the end of You Not Me) as well as other material, that I've no knowledge of. Then there's the Desmond Child collaboration, which, let's face it, is not the best (although DT do deliver it very well; I don't think I could stand it coming from any other band). All that said though, the fantastic Hollow Years could have stood good stead in the charts (Maybe it did). Probably my album highlight, along with Take Away My Pain, which I love. Very accessible, melodic and uplifting, both. Lines in the Sand is a great song, with a superb solo, Anna Lee is quite a nice ballad-ish song (with a nice Petrucci solo also) and Trial of Tears. New Millenium has a different flavour to what we were used to from I&W and Awake, perhaps, but still a good song, as is Peruvian Skies, particularly the heavy rhythms in the latter half of the song. I can't say that I like Just Let Me Breathe as much, but that's just personal preference - it's a good song. I think the thing to remember is that, no, it's not as good as the others perhaps, but remember that they pretty much had a noose about their necks from the record label. Thankfully, this was resolved, which is probably why Scenes from a Memory was so fantastic. I wouldn't recommend this as an introduction to DT (I would buy Images and Awake first, then get Six Degrees/Scenes, Octavarium, then Train of Thought, as a rough order). Your DT collection isn't complete without this piece!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of masterpiece..., 10 July 2009
By 
Ryan Jones "Ryan The Music Man" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
'Falling Into Infinity', the only album to feature keyboardist Derek Sherinian (bearing in mind A Change of Seasons is an EP), was a record biased towards what the general public 'wanted to hear' in '97 by the producers.
What resulted is a lot more ear and radio friendly listen (the fact that the only DT song on my local Riley's jukebox is 'Hollow Years' kind of shows that), but still DT were kept in the shadows.
At first listen I can't believe what this album looks like - 5 minute tracks all in 4/4? What's going on here then lads? Opener 'New Millenium' is more progressive DT, lots of strange time signatures and Myung's Chapman Stick work to get your teeth into, and the album still contains compulsary 'epics', in the form of Lines In The Sand and Trial of Tears, both songs 'padded' with classic DT instrumental.
Tracks like 'You Not Me', 'Peruvian Skies' and 'Hollow Years' (infact pretty much the rest of the album), the former aided in lyrics by Desmond Child, definitely shows a more 'song' based approach from the guys (as opposed to the Rudess flashy 'jam sessions').
'Anna Lee' is a beautiful piano ballad, great relaxing track.

All the guys once again get a chance to show their instrumental flair across the album.

It's not an album I listen to heavily, but occasionally I like to dig it out and have a listen, it shows a much different side of DT and as a person who appreciates a lot of different music this is all heavily appreciated by me.

I'm giving it 4* because I think this record is dwarved by my other favourites, but still a good listen for anyone who's as entranced as me by the rest of their work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A close shave., 14 Nov. 2002
By 
Dr Nick "Dr Nick" (Sheffield, S Yorks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
This was nearly the last DT release - apparently they considered calling it a day during the recording sessions.
It is a bit patchy, the band wrote a song with Desmond Child aiming for the "hit", and the album doesn't have the cohesive feel of the rest of DT's catalogue .
But it still has some great songs on it, and one number that could have fitted onto MTV (Take Away My Pain)is a superb rock ballad IMHO.
Plus some of the instrumental sections are just phenomenal.
Fans should own this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Dream Theater, so don't worry, it's great, 28 Jun. 2007
By 
I. Lehnert (Derby/Blackburn, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
You can see it now; a massive battlefield full of angry Dream Theater fans, one side declaring 'Falling Into Infinity' to be the only duffer in the band's back catalogue and their opposition, who believe that it's really not all THAT bad, thank you very much. I'll wedge myself with the latter army, because 'Falling Into Infinity' isn't half as bad as some Dream Theater fans would have you believe.

To start of positively, 'New Millenium' opens the album with a psychedelic edge amongst a driving rock rhythm, 'Peruvian Skies' twists into a tense riff session after a quiet intro, and 'Hollow Years' glides over the listener with it's classical guitar lines and uplifting lyrics. These are just a few choice examples of the quality on offer in 'Falling Into Infinity', because everything the band does well normally is still executed well here. Perhaps the lightest of all the band's albums in terms of a metal influence, the band went for more of a hard rock edge with the albums heavier moments, but it still works. The epics are still here; 'Lines In The Sand' and the closing 'Trail Of Tears' are both fantastically composed as always, and feature enough twists and turns over their courses to keep the listener intrigued against a backdrop of restrained but thoughtful riffing and guitar sound effects.

Yes, fine, don't worry, I'm getting to the bad part; the label pressure, and 'The Desmond Child Abomination', as I'll dub it, or to give it it's correct title, 'You Not Me'. A grooving rock song, it's not actually as bad as I'm making out, but be aware that the band wrote this whole album under immense pressure from the label to produce hits and ditch the long songs. 'You Not Me' feels and sounds like 'hit' territory, even if it didnt materlialise that way when the album came out, with it's slightly juvenlile lyrics and uncharacteristically simplistic delivery.

And it could be that label pressure that forced the band to make this quite noticably less heavier than both 'Images And Words' and 'Awake', which came before it. The heavy side of Dream Theater should always be celebrated, but even if it isnt quite as prominent here as on other albums, the quality of songwriting and the songs more than make up for it.

The whole of 'Falling Into Infinity' almost has an ocean-like quality to it, which might sound daft but for guitarist John Petrucci and his arsenal of guitar effects, which in fairness do trigger oceanic thoughts. So with that description, lets say that 'Falling Into Infinity' might wash over you slightly easier and smoother than say, 'Train Of Thought', but it's still impressive enough to hold its own in Dream Theater's back catalogue.

So there you have it. To me, 'Falling Into Infinity' is definitely not the band's worst, and not half as bad as some would have you believe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less progressive than their other stuff..., 15 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
but definitely still worth a listen.
They've simplified their sound a bit on this release, and therefore you won't find as epic and complex songs as "Metropolis, Pt. 1". But, it does mean that the album is more easy to listen to, and once you get used to the more mainstream Dream Theater sound, it's about as strong as their other albums, as there is a lot of strong tunes on the album.
The beautiful instrumental track "Hell's Kitchen", the King Crimson-like "New Millenium", the touching "Hollow Years" and my personal favourite, "Lines In The Sand", are my favourite tracks from the album, but except for the quite pop-inspired "You, Not Me", they've definitely made some good rock melodies on this album.
"Images & Words" is still my favourite DT album, but this or "6 Degrees..." would be my second pick.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of MP, 16 Mar. 2002
By 
A. Faika Kalafat (Bebek/Istanbul, Besiktas Turkey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
I think this album is just as ear-caressing as any other DT album, although there are some weaknesses. One of them is that FII certainly lacks the metallic feel that was in Awake and SFAM. Also Falling Into Infinity sounds as if it was an urgent economical aid makeup. Songs are a little bit "radio"ish. Other than that, these guys just go on their regular route, somehow more progressive than any such band out there. FII is lyrically more mature and perfect when compared to Awake or IAW. As a drummer, I can say that this the album in which Mike Portnoy demonstrates his skills the best. The bests are : New Millennium, Hollow Years, Peruvian Skies, Lines In The Sand, Trial of Tears and my personal favorite Hell's Kitchen.
A must-have CD from the Kings for every progressive listener!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 3 Feb. 2008
By 
Hodge (Surrey, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
Oh my word. I've been a great fan of DT for years but have just never quite got round to getting this cd. I've always been put off by the luke warm comments from some and had assumed it to be a weak album. It is not at all. Since I bought it is has rarely been off my player. OK each track out of 10:

New Millenium - at first this doesn't really seem to do that much but after a few listens I'm impressed. A real grower. The circular chorus is very unDTlike but it works well and builds to a wonderfully heavy climax. A good start. 9
You Not Me - many people don't seem to like this as they feel it is somehow a pop sell-out. I don't get that, great music is great music and this is great! Listen once and you think it is interesting. Listen twice and you are hooked. You'll be humming it while buttering your toast in the morning. Simply immense. 10
Peruvian Skies - a DT classic. Brilliant! 10
Hollow Years - a wonderful ballad with a superb chorus and lyrics handled brilliantly by LaBrie. I love everything about this track. 10
Burning My Soul - great track, thumps along solidly. 9
Hells Kitchen - the link from the previous track to this one is perfect. I challenge anybody to criticise this track. It is simply superb. A lovely slow build into a guitar passage that'll curl the hairs on the back of your neck. 10
Lines in the Sand - another great link up and, oh my, this is great. Superb. The second longest track and it works just beautifully. Perhaps the standout track on the album. Belongs on any DT top 10 list. 10
Take Away My Pain - a touching and sincere song written by Petrucci, very personal. Beautifully constructed and played. 10
Just Let Me Breathe - would not be out of place on Awake, a much heavier and dense piece. The playing here is fast, angry and aggressive with great bass lines and the interplay between the band members is amazing, especially Petrucci and Sherinian. 9
Anna Lee - another wonderful ballad, superb vocals from LaBrie, superb piano from Sherinian and another achingly good guitar passage from Petrucci, full of emotion. 9
Trial of Tears - another long track split into 3 in classic DT style. Starts very Floydish with a great sense of space and time and soon establishes an intoxicating rhythm from Portnoy and Myung overlaid by a great guitar motif. The middle section is just a pure joy. Petrucci starting slow and then letting rip a 5 minute solo that is just brilliantly played, absolute genius! LaBrie comes back at the end to wrap it up in great style. 10

All in all a fabulous effort which is unfairly criticised. Perhaps not as metal/heavy as some DT fans would like and more melodic/emotional but none the worse for that and very approachable for those coming new to the band. I can see that when it was released fans of the previous album, Awake, and of the EP, A Change of Seasons, may have found it hard to understand and perhaps this is the source of the criticism. Indeed, DT themselves must have had a daunting task, following the wonderful Images & Words and Awake. But looking back on it, top drawer song writing and the band seem to be firing on all cylinders. Excellent musicianship throughout. Sherinian on keyboards brings a new approach for them and is excellent. LaBrie `s vocals are among his best ever. And Petrucci in particular is in sparkling form with some of his most expressive guitar work. Definitely a 5 star album. Buy this and stick it on loud and enjoy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent album, despite what some may say, 16 Nov. 2006
By 
gingerguru "gingerguru" (Billericay, Essex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
Whatever you do, don't fall into the trap of thinking this album isn't worth buying on account of some of the negative feedback from supposed DT fans.

Make no mistake, this IS an excellent album and an important release in the context of the band's overall output. I was put off buying this by some of the reviewers and the views expressed really are blown out of all proportion.

This is Dream Theater through and through. Yes,1 or 2 tracks are on the softer, more commercial side, one example being Take Away My Pain. Sorry, but that for me is one of the many highlights on this album. It is a simple song by typical DT standards but it is sincerely sung and beautifully arranged with some very retrained playing. It makes a welcome change from the more technical material the band have written which of course I do appreciate and enjoy just as much.

This is a dense album and you will need several listens to appreciate all that it has to offer. This is one of those albums you will come back to time and time again, having forgotten just how good it is.

Special mention to Doug Pinnick (from King's X) who provides some typically gutsy back up vocals on Lines In The Sand.

Don't listen to the detractors, this is a great collection of diverse songs with more than enough prog elements to satisfy any fans of the genre. This is high quality music written and played by the best musicians of their generation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good melodic prog-rock album, 19 May 2004
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
This is not your usual DT album and I think, is all the better for it. DT are an awesome band but sometimes I feel the infinite time changes actually serve to detract from the music and this album, delivers a very warm and real slice of melodic albeit slightly watered-down prog rock. There seem to be more signs of DT's influences on this album than any previous or subsequent release and I can actually hear stuff like While My Guitar Gently Weeps in one of the solos as well as touches of Pink Floyd and even Queen in some of the extended instrumental sections.
The songs also seem to have more of an emotional resonance within them, especially tracks like Anna Lee and Take Away My Pain, the latter having one of the strongest hooks of any DT song I have heard until now. I love this album. It may not be to everyone's tastes and it's not as advanced sonically as Awake for instance but it's an uplifting and dare I say it, spiritually informed piece and it's been in my CD player for quite a while now. Check it out!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Progresive Rock come AOR - Not DT at there Ultimate., 27 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Falling Into Infinity (Audio CD)
Dream Theater are renowened for there unbeleivable musical ability. With there explosive and sometimes heavy playing, intertwining into a frenzy of complex songs. This album takes a somewhat different route. Instead they have gone for the mainstream approach, mixing typical AOR with Progressive Metal elements. Some of which works extremely well. Highlights on the album have to be the gorgeous 'Hollow Years', the headbanging 'Peruvian Skies', the Funky 'Lines in the Sand' and the electric 'New Millenium'. Unfortunatley the album didn't break them into the mainstream limelight as obviosly intended. Although this is probably just as well as they should stick to what there best at - Progressive Metal. Although its most definatly an Album I keep going back to, other DT fans may not agree. Mixed feelings on this Album but still a solid and respectable effort.
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Falling Into Infinity
Falling Into Infinity by Dream Theater (Audio CD - 1997)
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