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Black Clouds & Silver Linings (Deluxe Collector's Edition Box Set)

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Label: Roadrunner
  • ASIN: B002K8MHVU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love these Monsters Of Rock
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Brilliant. Hard work to start with but this is DT.Rewards in loads with every play.IGNORE,you lose!
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Brilliant album. Love The Count of Tuscany. The instrumental at the beginning gives me goosebumps.
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Format: Audio CD
Reviewing Dream Theater albums is a strangely repetitive process. Progressive bands are so to be quite unpredictable and full of so many different ideas that it should blow you away. Black Clouds & Silver Linings by Dream Theater just doesn't do that.

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy Dream Theater. I own all their records with exception of their more recent release (The Astonishing) and I enjoy them on a regular basis. But after the late '90s, the bands music became quite sterile and predictable, no matter how long their songs became.

I will forever applaud the band's musicianship, they are all extremely talented and show it off on every album they put out (well...). Unfortunately albums like Black Clouds & Silver Linings whilst enjoyable bring absolutely nothing new to the table. You can to listen to the same repetitive keyboard solos, the same lightning fast guitar solos wrapped round some juicy riffs. It is simply more of the same.

Some fans might like (or dislike) the fact that the theme of the album is a little bit darker than usual. The heavier sound relates more to the Train of Thought days and not so much on the more melodic Images And Words. The change in sound is good enough for me, simply because there are plenty of good riffs to go around. It won't surprise anyone who listens to the band but does a better job at creating good songs unlike the previous album, Systematic Chaos.

Lyrically the album is also quite dark and can be quite personal in places. Dream Theater have always been consistent with their lyrics. Either they have been quite well written or down right pretentious, unfortunately we get a bit of both here. Thankfully there is nothing here that is quite as childish as The Astonishing or as boring as Octovarium.
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Format: Audio CD
The best thing about a new Dream Theater album is that it is so varied. Both Lyrically and musically, there are passages of music that could be completely different to the next part, within the same song. After the previous albums often fanatasy lyrics and themes, the new album feels more personal which is refreshing. Reading the lyrics, the all the songs are based upon real events in the members of the band's life, except for Rite of Passage, which is about stonemasons. My current standout, after a couple of listens through would be Best of Times. Written about Mike Portnoy's father, it is a majestic celebration of his life, rather than a depressed mourning. Wither also is another great song, an unusually short one from the band, but a great showing of the more subtle side of the band. Then there is the Count of Tuscany, which deserves no other word, but Epic. Octavarium, Change of Seasons, epic. Have to love them for it.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a real grower, like many DT albums, esp. the latter ones. Honestly, even as a die-hard DT fan from the beginnings, I did nit get into this album much when it came out and only recently re-discovered it. Now it is playing in a loop. I think it features one of John Petrucci's most amazing guitar solos in "best of times", the heart-wrenching song they wrote to honour Mike Portnoy's father's death. In any case the whole album is amazing and I rank it among my fave DT stuff. Must have by any standard.
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Format: Audio CD
After an extensive absence; I've recently dug up DreamTheater's 10th album installment - "Dark Clouds & Silver Linings", and it's an overall passable item of work, just as I remembered it. Whilst probably not quite as dark in-texture' as 'Awake' or 'Train of Thought', the cover is a good insight as to what type of prog metal DreamTheater wish to engage-in, within this particular album. For me, it's a better album than 'Systematic Chaos', but the same songwriting cliches, naive lyrics and unsurprising formulas are allowed to infiltrate these compositions; and, as a result, it tarnishes the promising construction these suites have.

So for all intensive purposes, the main problems specifically lie around the songwriting, exactly as they did on 'Systematic Chaos'. Not every song is going to sound epic at 16-20 minutes; and on the earlier albums they appeared to recognise this; as most of their songs on the earliest albums were kept, at; or below, the 10 minute mark, meaning the songs never outstood there welcome. On 'Black Clouds', we have 4 over 12 minutes and two under 10. The musical ideas however do not warrant this measure of air-time and as a result the ideas are evidently becoming increasingly recycled and stretched to accomodate. This was never the case on they're magnum opus 'A Change Of Seasons', for example.

The muscianship is good as always, but this has not translated into an aural pleasure like we have seen with previous albums, and to some extent, the albums that come after it too. I have to say that this album is probably one of DT's weakest. I can see most of the five star reviews are unswayed by the fact that this isn't another one of DT's masterpieces' but as a long term fan of the band' I am certain that it isn't.
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