3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very good album - quickly becoming one of my favourites,
This review is from: Systematic Chaos (Audio CD)
First of all I'd like to apologise for the length of this review, but after having read a LOT of bad reviews without any real explanation of what's wrong with the album, I thought I'd give a song by song review. There are a few that are weak, BUT, however, due to a few VERY good songs, this album is quickly becoming one of my favourites.
1. (In the Presence of Enemies Part 1) The album opens very strongly - the first minute or so sounding VERY 'Rush'-esque. I don't mind this, although I'm aware some others may find this worrying. Very impressive song, with some quite interesting out-of-time sections and interesting time-sigs, with a very impressive unison-solo outro. 5/5
2. (Forsaken) First weak point. The song in itself isn't actually TOO bad, but it does sound remarkably like Evanescence, and not just for a short section (i.e. the first song sounding like Rush for about 1 minute). I actually find the lyrics and vocals a tad weak as well - the solo and outro aren't all that bad though, they give a bit of life back to the song. 3.5/5
3. (Constant Motion) Very good song. This song has a truely amazing (IMO anyway) solo section. It really blew me away. At first it took me a while to get into the song (due to Metallica similarities in the 1st verse), but it's actually in time become one of my favourites. 4.5/5
4. (The Dark Eternal Night) I find this song to be an oddness. I love the solo section, and I'm even starting to like the verse/chorus. But it's so heavy, it's hard to believe the verse/chorus is DT at all (especially the vocals, which are NOTHING like anything Labrie has ever sung before). I DO like this one, but other than the very cool instrumental section, I'm not entirely sure why. 4/5
5. (Repentance - another AA suite song) Hmmm. Some have said this is a complete borefest that goes nowhere. If I had written this review when I first got the album, I'd have agreed - but after time, I found it interesting to have a bit of a break from the heavier/faster stuff that proceeds it. Not an amazing song; a nice change of pace though. Definitely prefer it to 'Forsaken' anyway. 4/5
6. (Prophets of War) This is another weak point for me. I loved 'Never Enough' (from Octavarium) despite it being very 'Muse'-ish - mainly because of the blow-away unison solo towards the end. This, whilst also being very 'Muse'-ish, has no solo/interesting riffs, the chants become quite agrivating at points, and for some reason Portnoy decided to do some high screams during one of the verses. Confusing. The really odd thing is, after having said that - I'm listening to it now and singing along, and I'm not bored at all. Go figure *shrugs*. 3/5
7. (The Ministry of Lost Souls) Probably my favourite from the album. VERY cool acoustic guitar section after the dramatic intro - and again another amazing unison solo later on. The only down side for me were the lyrics, but after having found out what they mean from the DVD documentary, even THEY have grown on me. Some have said it's the typical ballad entry - but whilst it obviously IS a ballad - I dont think there's anything typical about it. 5/5
8. (In the Presence of Enemies Part 2) At first listen I found nothing interesting about this part of the 25 minute song. After a few listens though, it's managed to hook me at a few places, and I actually like it quite a lot now. Having said that, the lyrics are WIERD and I dont think I'll ever be able to completely come to terms with them. If they're gonna write a song about someone fighting against the good/bad sides of his conscience, then why make it sound like he's a Satan worshipper? Clueless. Still, lyrics having been explained - it's not anywhere near as bad as I thought originally, and as part of the whole song I do like it a lot now. Oh by the way, a VERY interesting end to the song (yet another amazing unison-solo included, very similar to the one in part 1 though) provides a very cool ending to the album. 4.5/5
All in all, this album has 3 of my all-time DT favourites on it, and a few others that are definitely worth listening to from time to time - no different to When Dream & Day Unite, Images and Words, Awake, Falling Into Infinity & Train of Thought to me.
I find a lot of people tend to say bad things about WHOLE DT albums (Train of Thought, Octavarium, Systematic Chaos in particular) but I've managed to find at least 2 songs on each and every album that I absolutely love (quite often finding 3 or 4 in fact). This album is no different. 4 stars well earned I say.