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Dream Theater (Special Edition)
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£10.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 15 October 2013
Not as creative as they used to be, but OK. 4 songs were really up to their past self, while the rest were pleasant, but nothing more.
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on 15 October 2013
Truly an amazing album. Would recommend for everyone who loves progressive music and even those who like very melodic tunes.
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on 2 November 2013
Still learning the tracks, so too early to rate it compared to other Dream Theater CDs. They havent made a bad album yet!
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on 24 October 2013
the kings of progressive are back! after a long time a very good work, i reccomened it.waiting tosee them live
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on 30 August 2015
I think I have them all know, this completes the set for me very good music and sound quality is better than most
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its ok
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on 20 October 2013
...by people who have only heard it once. Well, my impression is formed on listening relatively intently 4 times. My impression is that a welcome touch of restraint is creeping back in to the band's sound. This is a complex work which will reward repeated listens. Several notable changes have been made to the arrangements and sonics. The bass is louder and fuller, more overtly rockish; the vocals have a load less harmonies than on the last record, with the result that the melody is clearer; Petrucci's playing is darkly emotional and the solos are magnificently well constructed; the kesy are tending more towards support with some lush soundscapes and surprises buried in the mix; the drums are at last in their rightful place in the mix. I won't comment on the songs, I don't know them well enough yet, but let me say as a Dream Theater sceptic (I like em, but not with a blind faith) that this is a good record, recommended.
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on 5 October 2013
As a point of reference, I'm a massive fan of most of what Dream Theater have done, with the exception of 6 Degrees and Turn of Events. The best progression on this album is that they've finally pushed the bass guitar up in the mix, adding a real meat n' potatoes element to the sound.

The instrumental parts scattered throughout this album are brilliant, as usual, it's DT doing what they do best. However the songs themselves are generally weak and forgettable, in particular the choruses which are more irritating than catchy.

Behind The Veil comes out fighting but then goes into a particularly lame chorus. There's a brilliant instrumental mid-section, but then it's back to that chorus. While other songs start off soft and stay soft. There is a very happy feeling to this album, it's missing the darker elements of Black Clouds.

The 20-minute epic closing song is probably the reason you'd buy this album, but it's just not that epic. Again some brilliant instrumental parts. The orchestral mid-section sounds like Jordan Rudess compiled the soundtracks of every single sad death movie scene ever made. Back into some more awesome instrumental stuff, given more substance by afore-mentioned bass guitar, and a blazing guitar solo ends it off. The song comes back in with a really lovely piano piece, a real Outside The Wall moment, but would've had more impact if it followed a more earth-shattering build up. A good song, but Octovarium it ain't.

As a drummer I can comment that the drums might be up to DT standard, but I'm not hearing anything as creative as Portnoy's stuff.

To be honest, disappointing.
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on 2 October 2013
When John Petrucci bravely announced that he thought this self-titled release from Dream Theater was their strongest yet, it created more eager anticipation amongst the fans including myself, as if any more encouragement was needed. However, when a band member says that it usually means that this is going to be an album that doesn't live up to the hype.
Well, Petrucci was ALMOST right! While the band's 12th studio album is clearly their strongest/best in a decade, it doesn't match or beat the genius of Scenes From A Memory to me, but could be proud to come in at second place, considering the band have been around for nearly 30 years!
It is certainly right up there with the rest of the best - Six Degrees, Images & Words, to name two.
In fact, ironically, "Dream Theater" resembles both of these albums in tone and approach.
The opening overture, False Awakening, feels like it came from the Six Degrees outtakes archive, similarly The Looking Glass, feels like a reject from Images & Words.
Add a splashing of "Awake" for the more heavier end of the album and a coating of "Octavarium" on the closing epic, "Illumination Theory" and you pretty much have the tone of the album.
So what then, as suggested by the band members, is new and original, aside from the creative input of new drummer Mike Mangini?
Well, all the classic ingredients of the band's sound are present here, encapsulating their entire career thus far in one album. But what is striking is that the album remains an epic work but the majority of the songs are not epic in length and convolution, as was the case with the overblown, but still enjoyable, Black Clouds And Silver Linings.
Dream Theater have had a re-think and gone back to the basics of songwriting, by making the song count, and not the band's ego. Here is an album that is very cohesive and concise, focusing on catching vocal melodies, and souring anthemic choruses, as much as complex instrumentation. Essentially this is their most accessible album since Images & Words, but without sacrificing their creative musical invention, complex riffing, symphonic passages and daunting time signatures the band have become known for.
They cram in alot of musical ideas in 8 eight short-ish tracks, and it takes a few listens to take it all in and to adjust to the rather brisk flow of the album.
Of course that is until you get to the closing 20+ minute epic, "Illumination Theory", which ranks right up there with the best of their epics, their best being "Octavarium". As epic as it is, though, it isn't overblown, like some of them and, despite all the various movements, it is still fairly digestible.
This is without a doubt one of my favourite Dream Theater albums ever and easily gets into my Top 3 albums of theirs.
The question remains: How can they follow this?????
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on 16 October 2013
I've read good and indifferent reviews about this latest offering from one of my favourite bands. I've always had a leaning towards the prog-metal side, having been a Rush fan for many years. I'd become a bit disillusioned with the last DT output - the first with Mike Mangini - and it appeared to me as if they were trying to make something fit that wasn't quite there; and the songs were very dark and uninteresting. A bit of a worry then!
This new self-titled work has brought the whole thing back into line. At times, mesmerising fluency and in-unison playing through typically complex and varying signatures, along with some beautiful melodies. Just like to add, too, that James LaBrie - sometimes maligned - is singing as good as ever.
This is what I expect from the band. This is brilliant. This is MY Dream Theater!
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