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Reviews Written by
Miles Holman "ratbag" (UK)

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A Dramatic Turn Of Events
A Dramatic Turn Of Events
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic,Complex and Beautiful but not Brilliant!, 14 Sept. 2011
Well people I've been waiting for this Dream Theatre album for years now! It had to eventually was just a matter of time I guess. Every album since "Scenes from a Memory" in my very humble opinion has got better and better and each release I expected a dud and each time I was blown away. Now don't get me wrong this aint NO DUD, its really quite brilliant with some fantastic music and stuff which really gets its hooks into you...notably "Lost Not Forgotten"! I can't get off that piece!
I am just finding the album not as direct as usual and a bit too "Prog" if that's possible:) It's quite difficult to access and needs quite a bit of work but I guess that's good in a way. Some of the best music sometimes takes time to "click to".
I have never really been a Portnoy fan but he seemed to bring a séance of aggression to the music which is definitely missing on this album. I miss the growls I'm afraid. On the other hand I am superbly impressed with Mangini as a drummer and also as a person. I was very moved when on the video he so passionately thanked the rest of the group for trusting him with their careers! I expect great things from the group with his input in the future. As one of the reviewers said "he is not in your face" like Portnoy was inclined to be? I like this. Personally I think he is a better drummer.
I also got used to an album ending with a big crash opus like "The Count of Tuscany", " In the Presence of Enemies" etc. bring the story to a conclusion. This one ends with a much quieter piece leaving me restless and unresolved., but that's just me I guess.
John Petrucci continues to astound me in all his work and his guitar solo on "Breaking All Illusions" is breathtaking.
James has certainly been working on his vocals and is smoothing out nicely.
What does concern me a bit is that there doesn't seem to be too many "Concert" pieces. I do wonder what they would chose on tour? Simply because it is such a complicated work in total and the audience may not be able to access...just a thought?
So in conclusion, I am really happy to have the album, its growing on me and I bet I will be repenting in a few weeks of what I have said above:) Only time will tell.
One thing is for certain... Dream Theatre are NOWHERE near finished...Thankfully!!!! Enjoy!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2011 4:39 PM BST

Calling All Stations
Calling All Stations
Price: £13.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 11 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Calling All Stations (Audio CD)
I have been a huge Genesis fan for years and they fall into my top 5 groups of all time. I enjoy both the Gabriel and Collins eras. It took me some time to get into this album but perseverance is rewarded people! This is the best album since Duke IMHO. Beautifully constructed songs with great depth, rhythm and melody. This is simply a typical Genesis album, just with out old Phil and to be honest I found Ray Wilson's vocals rather compelling and enjoyed the change:)
If you are stuck in the 70's and NOT prepared to budge don't bother but otherwise this is a must album. It is most defiantly the most under rated Genesis album and falls into my top 4 Genesis albums. I just wish there had been a follow up with Ray!

Black Clouds & Silver Linings [Special Edition]
Black Clouds & Silver Linings [Special Edition]
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £19.22

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will It Ever End......?, 26 Jun. 2009
I don't normally write reviews but this album has captured my imagination and so I felt that I just had to put something down to either round up applause or and more importantly encourage possible new listeners! I have to admit (to my shame) that at 1st listen I was less than impressed. My initial response was that they were just rehashing Octavarium and Systematic Chaos. But within a few listens I realized we had yet another gem on our hands and the Dream Theater creative energy stream had not yet faded. I got into DT at Scenes from a Memory and have noticed that each consecutive album just got better and better. I did wonder if thy would be able to surpass the brilliance of Systematic Chaos and I believe thy have in various aspects. The lyrical approach is again challenging and interesting with excellent vocal harmony. John Petrucci is firing on all six cylinders and an extra one on the side. The heavy is very heavy keeping the band's metal foot well secured. This is cleverly offset with softer passages ensuring excellent use of tension and release. A Nightmare to Remember is an incredible opener and a bit of a shock to the system initially. I honestly can't think of an album with such a strong and powerful opener (possibly The spirit of the Radio on Permanent Waves by Rush?) It has to be the "song of the album" IMHO. It introduces the album and clearly states what you¡¶re in for! A Rite of passage is the sort of 'commercial' or 'accessible' song which is well balanced, concise and very listenable.
Wither is about 'writers block' and is the ballad of the album. The Shattered Fortress is the conclusion of The Twelve-Step Suite which must be listened to in conjunction with the other songs from the previous albums:

The Glass Prison from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
This Dying Soul from Train of Thought
The Root of All Evil from Octavarium
Repentance from Systematic Chaos
The Shattered Fortress from Black Clouds & Silver Linings

These are all heavy and challenging tracks but fit snuggly together and make for very good Prog listening. The Best of Times is a great uplifting melodic track with structured vocals and very nice guitar themes from Petrucci...basically an easy song to access.
Finally the 'Big' song of the album - The Count of Tuscany. Although I really love it, I think that more could have been done with this one. It doesn't flow as well as the other tracks and seems to struggle to complete the album. There is just something missing?

My title is will it ever end and I do wonder how long Dream Theater will continue to produce such outstandingly creative, constructive and spine chilling music. I dread the day that I am told that they have ended but for now the energy continues and I look to the next installment.

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