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(217 Reviews)

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  • Sorry, I’ve had to keep re-reviewing this album. It’s a bit hard to pin down, it would seem. This album did not grab me as quickly as “Images and Words” or “Scenes from a Memory”, but I’ve stuck with it, and though I still prefer those two albums (and I think the “sellout” album, “Falling into Infinity”, may be a bit better as well), this is an excellent piece of music.There is generally a much darker theme about this album. Lyrics deal with addiction, betrayal, love, hate, a veritable collage of human emotions. This album has some of their heaviest riffs, and some of their most beautiful melodies. “6:00″, while not their best song, is one of their most aggressive, and indeed a great way to start off an album like this. “The Mirror” and “Lie” are a great one-two punch of crunchy riffs, and great lyrics and vocals. “Voices” is, I think, somewhat overrated, in that it doesn’t hold a great deal of variety for such a long song, but the great lyrics make up for it. John Petrucci is undoubtedly one of the top songwriters. I think my favorite has to be “Lifting Shadows off a Dream”. Amazing ballad, with a lot of atmosphere, and a slight U2 vibe (in a good way). “The Silent Man” is a great acoustic song, and “Space Dye Vest” is a delightfully creepy closer (BTW, Houston is definitely not a dry heat, believe you me:).All in all, this is an excellent album. My only real complaint (other than that it’s a bit harder to get into than the rest) is that Mike’s drumming doesn’t stand out as much as on other albums, but that’s a minor complaint for sure. If you like Dream Theater, buy this, it’s a thing of beauty.

    Posted on November 19, 2009