Reading some other reviews of this album, and of Dream Theater in general, it’s interesting to note that as many rabid followers this band has, they certainly have their detractors. Their fans love them, and their detractors would love nothing than for the band to cease existing. With that being said, I can understand why some simply can’t “get” Dream Theater. Some of their albums and songs tend to be too long and technical, and lack the emotional appeal that supposedly can be found in the mainstream nonsense that is out there. Those with ADD probably shouldn’t bother listening to DT. With that being said, “Black Clouds and Silver Linings” seems to blend both their technical savvy with their instruments and offer some emotional appeal. It’s probably their best offering in quite some time. Since Systematic Chaos (which I thought was decent, but not amazing in comparison to ToT, or Awake) I wondered where they would go next. The biggest difference to me in this album is James Labrie’s vocals. While I am not a huge fan of overly high-pitched vocals, Labrie normally does a good job pulling it off. On BCaSL, his vocals have changed, and have improved, at least in my opinion. This aspect of the new album is probably a negative to most DT fans, but I enjoyed that aspect. Otherwise, the album is a myriad of intense, dark, and dramatic music. Regardless of what DT detractors may think, Dream Theater is one of the pioneers of progressive music(which includes Rush, whom I am not a big fan of) and probably will be around for another ten years.