Top critical review
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Ok for fans, but won't win converts
on 1 April 2001
There are two or three good tracks on this rock opera/concept album, but its far from the best progressive rock album ever made. The lyrics are in general appalling, with Through Her Eyes standing out as a particularly low spot. Fortunately the music is generally good and occasionally excellent ('Home' is one of the best tracks). Petrucci (guitars) and Portnoy (percussion) provide the musical lead. Petrucci is a fine guitarist, but knows it and insists on filling many tracks with Steve Vai style overplaying. Portnoy, as befits a drummer is more steady, though prone to Lars Ulrich like interludes where hitting the drums as hard and fast as possible becomes the point rather than serving the song. There isn't much room left for the other players and hampered as he is by such lacklustre lyrics, Labrie (the vocalist) doesn't really stand a chance. His voice is ok in a bog standard American rock singer type of way, but to get away with this sort of material you need a Peter Gabriel or Jon Anderson who'll bring a bit of character to the piece. And that's where it all falls down for me. Technically they play well, but there's no heart or soul to the music and ultimately it feels empty.