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on 10 April 2012
DT came to my attention between Scenes from a Memory and Six Degrees. I found Scenes to be interesting but a touch corny. Six Degrees was a colossal step up. Track VII in the suite was quite simply the most dazzlingly proficient prog playing I had heard since ELP in their heyday, or Yes' Gates of Delerium (1974). I was blown away, and eagerly awaited the next outing. But when Train of Thought turned up I was almost totally disappointed. One-dimensionally, insistently and irredeemably heavy. I persisted with Octavarium, which showed some spark of adventure, but then followed the dire Systematic Chaos which, apart from fascinating artwork and the first ten minutes or so, I cannot abide.

When the next one came out, I didn't get the expensive editions I had in the past, but this was a definite step up, with three very good complex tracks that reward repeated listens - Nightmare , Fortress and Tuscany. But I was of the opinion that the miracle of Six Degrees was not going to see a rival.

But there has most certainly been A Dramatic Turn of Events.

What an amazing album this is.

Others have gone into considerable detail about the individual tracks: I will confine my comments to three.

Beneath the Surface, the ballad that closes the album, skates dangerously close to the thin ice of cheesiness, but manages to avoid falling through. James la Brie's rather breathy delivery does remind of some of the more embarrassing singers on the BBC Radio 2 of old; also his climb into a higher register doesn't work too well. But the orchestration is lovely, and the tone selected by Jordan Ruddess' tone during his keyboard solo is perfect.

Bridges in the Sky and Outcry, which seem to form a pair in my mind, appear to call for reconciliation and the end of wars. Both have enormous contrasts, tricky rhythms, and devilishly difficult passages. From 4:50, Outcry launches into a magnificent instrumental passage with everything I could have wanted, and far more than I could have imagined. And they're all involved up to the hilt - with perhaps Jordan in the lead a la Emerson. It's simply electrifying. The vocal line only re-enters after four and a half dizzying minutes.

An astonishing album. I have listened to it, I don't know, thirty times perhaps. And I STILL LOVE IT!

I am really hoping they will tour in the UK to support it.

Thanks guys. How ARE you going to top this one?
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on 14 October 2011
Buying a Dream Theater album reminds me of the old days when you would wait for ages in anticipation for your favourite bands new album. You would know you would need to listen to it again and again. Some things were isntant and some things needed some time to explore and grow on you. First you would listen to side 1 for a week and maybe preview the long closing track on side 2. It was important, it was a possession and became personal.We didnt skip tracks or expect instant gratification and we didnt expect all our friends to like it either.

Thats why I like Dream Theater and this album. Its an album you have to afford time for, be patient and often very suprised.

At first listen I began to think 'this all a bit too clever and complex. Too many uncomfortable time signatures'. But, as ever with DT this is comlimented by superb melody and musicianship and will always throw up that element of artistic suprise and delight. There is a balance and quality that puts DT at the top of the modern prog rock tree (imho), suburb individual yet collective and complimetory musicianship together with inventive and creative songwriting and production.

This does sound like a 'band' album. It sa very good DT album, maybe not the best, but a very good and enjoyable album that proves the band are as strong as ever despite recent 'turns of events'.

It will be in the CD palyer for some time yet.
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VINE VOICEon 6 November 2011
It took a lot of plays, and seemed dull at first, but wow what a CD. In my opinion their best since Train Of Thought; just when I thought I'd lost faith.

What I like: Tighter structures, disciplined vocals (one of James' best performances), real feeling, interesting lyrics, less meandering, good electronica, Mike Mangini in seamlessly (phew).

What I don't like: Hardly anything bad to say about it. Still not as tight as, say, Awake, - but getting there.
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on 16 February 2013
I liked this album the first time I listened to it, unlike the last two, which took me three or four listens. I find this is an album better enjoyed as a whole rather than individually.

At this point in time Dream Theater were on a roll, each album selling more than the last, when drummer Mike Portnoy, who played a major role in the band left.

The good, is that the album is better for it. It is not as heavy as the previous two albums, it does not have Portnoy's annoying backing vocals and John Myung has returned to writing lyrics. The bad is that there is nothing entirely new on the album. John Petrucci recreates the same sort of solos that he has played before and the drums are a little low in the mix, however the songs are no worse for it.

The band set out to make a classic sounding dream theater album and they succeeded. I think it is one of the best albums the band has done. There are a few ballads on the album, a couple of more progressive songs and a couple of metal songs making it a well rounded album.

The highlights for me are Breaking All Illusions, Bridges in the Sky and Beneath the Surface.
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on 13 September 2011
Sensational album. I was concerned about the loss of Mike Portnoy, but this wipes the floor with the last album. Superb musicality and excellent songwriting. Highlight is definately 'Breaking all illusions'... low points (and there are hardly any) the shortest track on the album (thankfully) Far from heaven (wet as anything) and the huge burp at the start of 'Bridges in the sky' (There...I've said it!). the rest... pure genius... too many hi spots to list... Just buy it! wow wow wow! One of their best for me....
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on 23 September 2011
With the departure of Mike Portnoy many fans were worried that Dream Theater would slowly die away without him. Thankfully (for everyone except Mike) this is not so and that band has released this good "back-to-roots" album since Mike is no longer trying to insert "metal".

However with the loss of Mike brings some bad things. The new drummer has no imagination or presence in the songs. Although technically fine, the drumming has been reduced to little above tempo control. Hopefully this will improve in the future.

My main problem with Dream Theater is my expectations are so high. I keep wanting another Scenes From A Memory - which this is not. Black Clouds and Silver Linings starts bad and progressively becomes great. A Dramatic Turn of Events starts good, then becomes dull, before finally saving itself with the final 2 songs.

I remain hopeful for the future.

Song highlights:
Breaking All Illusions
On the Backs of Angels
Beneath the Surface
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on 23 September 2011
So many other reviewers have said it all. This is one more 5-star vote for this new DT album, from an early-days fan who's got all the albums and seen them in concert. Portnoy left, so what? To be really honest, the new guy just blends in perfectly, and the music is better than in recent years. Even LaBrie is great. Good luck Portnoy, but DT is better than ever. See you soon in concert, guys!!!
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on 11 October 2011
At the first listening, I thought "Oh dear, what's gone wrong?", as I used to do with Yes albums in the 80s. After three or four listenings, I realised that this album is a dramatic turn for the band. It is absolutely superb, and the undertones and subtleties take a few airings to get used to. The guys are so together, tight as a drum. The guitar solo on "breaking all illusions" is quite simply the best you'll hear this year, starting a bit bluesy, but blowing your socks off by the end.

The final song is a real surprise, and deserves airplay on the radio. An absolute gem of a song from a gem of a CD!
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on 13 October 2011
what a cracking follow up to Black Clouds. Now with the new Mike on drums they have exploded with some of the best music I have heard for a long time, it certainly whet's the appetite for their show's early next year. I am only a recent fan but their music blows me away, I would recommend this to any rock fan who has an open mind they will not be disappointed.
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on 24 October 2013
Magnificent quality of an envelope and plate! ! ! ! Well and certainly an album simply bomb! ! ! ! ! Everything conforms to the highest standards - both on a sound - and on production! ! ! ! ! !
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