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DREAM THEATER

Progressive Metal • United States


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Dream Theater picture
Dream Theater biography
Founded in Boston, USA in 1985 (as Majesty) - Changed name in 1988 - Still active as of 2018

I. Introduction

II. History
    A. Formation and Early Years (1985-1990)
    B. A New Singer and Success (1990-1993)
    C. The Middle Period and Band Turbulence (1994-1998)
    D. Jordan Rudess and the New Millennium (1999-2006)
    E. The Roadrunner Years and the Departure of Mike Portnoy (2007- )

III. Style, Live reputation, Bootleg Culture, and Conclusion



DREAM THEATER is a progressive metal band formed in 1985 in Boston, Massachusetts by guitarist John PETRUCCI , bassist John MYUNG, and drummer Mike PORTNOY. Since the band's conception, they have become one of the most influential post-1970s progressive rock bands as well as ranking as one of the early progenitors of the entire progressive metal genre.



II. History

A. Formation and Early Years (1985-1990)

Based in a love of the sophistication of YES, the virtuosity of RUSH, and the heaviness of IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER had a desire to create complex, heavy, and progressive from the very beginning. Guitarist and bassist PETRUCCI and MYUNG grew up together on Long Island, New York. After high school, both received scholarships to the esteemed Berklee University of Music, where they met drummer PORTNOY, who, incidentally, grew up in a nearby area. The trio soon became friends and began making music together and settled upon the name MAJESTY. This name came about when PORTNOY described RUSH's song "Bastille Day" as "majestic" as they were waiting outside a Rush concert to open. As the band became more "serious," they went out looking for a keyboardist and vocalist. Eventually the band found PORTNOY's high schoolmate Kevin MOORE to play keys as well as schoolmate Chris COLLINS to sing in 1986. The new 5-piece recorded a 6 song demo titled simply "The Majesty Demos" in 1986 on PORTONY's analog 4-track cassette recorder, ma...
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DREAM THEATER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DREAM THEATER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 1394 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite
1989
4.31 | 3114 ratings
Images and Words
1992
4.16 | 2267 ratings
Awake
1994
3.35 | 1671 ratings
Falling into Infinity
1997
4.31 | 3178 ratings
Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory
1999
4.15 | 2131 ratings
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
2002
3.62 | 1963 ratings
Train of Thought
2003
3.68 | 2166 ratings
Octavarium
2005
3.32 | 1858 ratings
Systematic Chaos
2007
3.46 | 1745 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
2009
3.84 | 1743 ratings
A Dramatic Turn of Events
2011
3.25 | 1067 ratings
Dream Theater
2013
3.26 | 829 ratings
The Astonishing
2016
3.66 | 455 ratings
Distance over Time
2019
3.81 | 292 ratings
A View from the Top of the World
2021

DREAM THEATER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 435 ratings
Live at The Marquee
1993
3.34 | 413 ratings
Once in a Livetime
1998
4.56 | 581 ratings
Live Scenes From New York
2001
4.25 | 516 ratings
Live at Budokan
2004
4.45 | 578 ratings
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.52 | 93 ratings
Happy Holidays
2013
4.47 | 13 ratings
Chaos in Motion 2007-2008
2015
3.21 | 9 ratings
Breaking the Fourth Wall (Live from the Boston Opera House)
2017
3.57 | 38 ratings
Distant Memories - Live in London
2020
3.28 | 18 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Images and Words - Live in Japan, 2017
2021
5.00 | 1 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: ...and Beyond - Live in Japan, 2017
2022
5.00 | 1 ratings
Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live in Berlin (2019)
2022

DREAM THEATER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.20 | 206 ratings
Images And Words - Live In Tokyo
1993
4.37 | 431 ratings
Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York
2001
3.83 | 206 ratings
Live in Tokyo/5 Years in a Livetime
2004
4.02 | 126 ratings
When Dream And Day Reunite [Official Bootleg]
2004
4.31 | 425 ratings
Live at Budokan
2004
3.54 | 57 ratings
A Walk Beside The Band
2005
4.41 | 446 ratings
Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
2006
3.88 | 160 ratings
Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
3.86 | 14 ratings
Romavarium
2006
3.99 | 85 ratings
Bucharest, Romania 7/4/02
2007
3.44 | 250 ratings
Chaos in Motion 2007-2008
2008
2.39 | 80 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 5 Other Pretty Cool Videos)
2008
3.56 | 57 ratings
Live at Tokyo Sun Plaza
2009
4.00 | 8 ratings
Official Bootleg: Santiago, Chile 12/6/05 (20th Anniversary Tour 2005/2006)
2009
4.02 | 161 ratings
Live at Luna Park
2013
4.36 | 137 ratings
Breaking The Fourth Wall (Live From The Boston Opera House)
2014

DREAM THEATER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 11 ratings
Systematic Chaos Special Edition
2007
2.22 | 198 ratings
Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
2008
2.71 | 7 ratings
Take The Time (The Warner Years 1992-2005)
2009
3.78 | 9 ratings
Black Clouds & Silver Linings Box Set
2009
3.97 | 53 ratings
Original Album Series
2011
2.86 | 7 ratings
The Triple Album Collection
2012
4.45 | 14 ratings
The Studio Albums 1992-2011
2014

DREAM THEATER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 41 ratings
Afterlife
1989
3.27 | 41 ratings
Status Seeker
1989
2.88 | 31 ratings
The ATCO Demos
1991
2.93 | 66 ratings
Another Day
1992
3.68 | 60 ratings
Pull Me Under
1992
4.20 | 10 ratings
Take the Time
1992
4.67 | 3 ratings
Live
1993
3.56 | 68 ratings
The Silent Man
1994
2.93 | 49 ratings
Caught in a Web
1994
3.13 | 65 ratings
Lie
1994
3.70 | 720 ratings
A Change of Seasons
1995
3.95 | 11 ratings
International Fan Club Christmas CD
1996
2.67 | 9 ratings
You Not Me
1997
2.78 | 9 ratings
Burning My Soul
1997
3.08 | 68 ratings
Hollow Years
1997
4.33 | 6 ratings
Live Bonus Tracks
1998
3.77 | 37 ratings
Once in a LIVEtime Outtakes (International Fan Club CD 1998)
1998
3.10 | 69 ratings
Cleaning Out The Closet
1999
3.15 | 76 ratings
Through Her Eyes
2000
2.09 | 40 ratings
Christmas CD 2000 - Scenes from a World Tour
2000
1.98 | 40 ratings
4 degrees of Radio edits
2002
3.25 | 24 ratings
When Demos and Singles Unite
2002
3.03 | 48 ratings
Taste the Memories
2002
3.25 | 8 ratings
Selections from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
2002
2.95 | 42 ratings
Graspop Festival 2002 (International Fanclub CD 2003)
2003
3.11 | 52 ratings
The Making Of Scenes From A Memory
2003
2.83 | 114 ratings
The Number of the Beast
2003
2.04 | 123 ratings
Master of Puppets
2003
2.67 | 43 ratings
Los Angeles, California 5/18/98
2003
3.32 | 44 ratings
Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95
2003
2.91 | 56 ratings
Official Bootleg: The Majesty Demos 1985-1986
2003
3.69 | 37 ratings
A Sort of Homecoming
2004
3.40 | 44 ratings
Images and Words: Demos 1989 - 1991 [Official Bootleg]
2004
2.72 | 34 ratings
When Dream and Day Unite - Demos 1987-1989
2004
3.80 | 74 ratings
When Dream and Day Reunite
2005
3.37 | 139 ratings
Dark Side of the Moon
2006
2.52 | 44 ratings
Awake Demos
2006
3.18 | 39 ratings
Old Bridge, New Jersey - 12/14/96
2006
3.42 | 73 ratings
Made in Japan [Official Bootleg]
2006
3.46 | 41 ratings
Images and Words - 15th Anniversary Performance (Fan Club CD 2007)
2007
4.06 | 80 ratings
Falling Into Infinity: Demos 1996-1997 [Official Bootleg]
2007
3.14 | 50 ratings
Constant Motion
2007
3.54 | 47 ratings
New York City 3/4/93
2007
3.25 | 8 ratings
Lifting Shadows Companion CD
2007
2.60 | 5 ratings
Road to Wembley
2007
2.93 | 14 ratings
Forsaken
2007
3.62 | 21 ratings
Progressive Nation 2008 - The International Fan Clubs CD 2008
2008
2.50 | 63 ratings
Forsaken
2008
2.62 | 81 ratings
A Rite of Passage
2009
3.13 | 80 ratings
Stargazer
2009
3.40 | 74 ratings
Tenement Funster/Flick Of The Wrist/Lily Of The Valley
2009
3.67 | 59 ratings
Odyssey
2009
3.52 | 54 ratings
Take Your Fingers From My Hair
2009
3.24 | 73 ratings
Larks Tongues In Aspic, Pt. 2
2009
3.23 | 91 ratings
Wither
2009
3.13 | 50 ratings
Uncovered 2003-2005
2009
2.28 | 35 ratings
The Making of Falling into Infinity
2009
3.00 | 35 ratings
Train of Thought Instrumental Demos 2003
2009
3.58 | 128 ratings
On the Backs of Angels
2011
3.20 | 15 ratings
Build Me Up, Break Me Down
2011
3.17 | 12 ratings
Along for the Ride
2013
4.00 | 6 ratings
The Looking Glass
2013
3.22 | 84 ratings
The Enemy Inside
2013
4.06 | 43 ratings
Illumination Theory
2014
3.25 | 16 ratings
Our New World
2016
3.11 | 27 ratings
Untethered Angel
2018
3.62 | 26 ratings
Falling Into The Light
2019
3.63 | 16 ratings
Paralyzed
2019
3.00 | 2 ratings
Pale Blue Dot (Live at Hammersmith Apollo, London, UK, 2020)
2020
3.50 | 2 ratings
Scene Three: II. Fatal Tragedy (Live at Hammersmith Apollo, London, UK, 2020)
2020
3.34 | 35 ratings
The Alien
2021
3.35 | 17 ratings
Invisible Monster
2021
4.22 | 9 ratings
Awaken the Master
2021
3.00 | 3 ratings
Transcending Time
2022

DREAM THEATER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Distance over Time by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.66 | 455 ratings

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Distance over Time
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by TheEliteExtremophile

3 stars I must be some sort of masochist. Every other year or so, Dream Theater put out an album, and I self-flagellate by listening to and thoroughly disliking it. The last time Dream Theater put out a good album was in 2004, with Octavarium, and even that was spotty at moments. I'm pretty sure I'm still traumatized from just how bad their last album, 2016's The Astonishing, was.

Nonetheless, Dream Theater are one of the founders of progressive metal and one of the giants of the contemporary scene. From the early '90s into the early '00s they put out a string of fantastic records, including two of the most vaunted albums in all of progressive metal. So, it's with a sense of obligation that I subject myself to every new release from this band, knowing it will likely be uneven and masturbatory to the extreme.

With all this in mind, I'm pleased to say that Distance over Time, Dream Theater's fourteenth studio album, is okay. It's not a great album by any stretch of the imagination, but it sounds like the band decided to do more than just have John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess instrumentally wank off for 75 minutes. At under an hour, this is Dream Theater's shortest album since 1992. After the indigestible bloat of The Astonishing, I welcome this relative brevity with open arms.

I'd characterize this album as passably forgettable. Nothing stands out, but nothing offends, either. Their 2013 self-titled was entirely forgettable, but it was a much worse type of forgettable. I actively wanted to forget it, whereas Distance over Time merely lacks anything that makes it stand out or grab hold of the listener.

The riffs on this album are some of the heaviest Dream Theater have ever done, and the songwriting felt genuinely adventuresome at points. At other points, however, song structures were irritatingly predictable, and the chug-chug riffs began to get repetitious by the second half of the album.

James LaBrie's voice is still a glaring weak point. He frequently sounds strained, trying to reach the range of his youth. When he recognizes that his strength is mid-range, he's perfectly capable, but his attempts to be particularly intense or intimate come off as amateurish.

There's only one absolutely bull[&*!#] song on this album: the sole ballad, "Out of Reach". Even Octavarium, their last great album, had two total bull[&*!#] tracks.

Despite all this griping and back-handed praise, there are a few genuine high points. "Barstool Warrior" feels like a proper suite with its unconventional structure. "S2N" features some great drumming, and "At Wit's End" is likely the best song on the album.

This album features a bonus track. When I first saw that, I wondered, "Why not just include it as part of the album?" Then I heard it and realized why. It sounds like Dream Theater wrote a song that did not fit in with the rest of Distance over Time at all, but they wanted to release it anyway. So they called it a bonus track. I'm pretty sure it's about a car. This seems like Dream Theater's attempt to write their own "Highway Star", but they're no Deep Purple. They're not really a car-song kind of band. It sounds like they're trying to have fun but they're not entirely sure how to.

I can't really recommend this album. I won't tell you to avoid it, like I would with A Dramatic Turn of Events or Dream Theater. And I can't tell you to give it a spin out of sheer morbidity, like with The Astonishing. (That album is progressive metal's version of The Room, but longer.) Distance over Time is perfectly okay, but it doesn't have anything to differentiate itself or make it stand out.

Review originally posted here: theeliteextremophile.com/2019/03/01/album-review-dream-theater-distance-over-time/

 Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.31 | 3178 ratings

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Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by AlanB

5 stars First of all let me say that I am a big fan of Mike Portnoy, having become familiar with his drumming style through his work with Neal Morse.

Secondly, I'm not really into heavy metal so I haven't listened to some of Portnoy's other projects like Avenged Sevenfold or Sons of Apollo. Until recently, for the same reason, Dream Theater had also passed me by.

Then I heard Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes from a Memory on Spotify and my mind was changed. I've now been given the CD for Christmas. This album is just the right side of melodic metal for me, in fact it doesn't seem to be any heavier than some parts of The Neal Morse Band's Pilgrim's Progress albums. Plus there are enough acoustic/ballady sections to even things out. I can detect some musical passages that remind me of those NMB albums, so I'm guessing Mike Portnoy had a fair bit of influence on the writing of those.

I won't go into the story told here because others have already done so, suffice to say I was disappointed that there is no summary of the story in the liner notes. If it wasn't for the internet I would find it more difficult to follow. As for the music, there are killer riffs, tremendous solos, and Portnoy's amazing drumming.

The lesson I would take from this is, don't assume you won't enjoy something just because it's not in a genre that you like. If you haven't heard this album, give it a go.

 Dream Theater by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.25 | 1067 ratings

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Dream Theater
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars I can't justify the low overall rating of this album on Progarchives.com as DT have not deviated significantly from their previous route and offer another convincing set of heavy or more streamlined songs. As usual, there are plenty of nuisances, technical virtuosity and highlights. I really like some of Mangini's effective fill-ins like in the adventurous "Enigma machine" with absolutely tasty guitar attacks and well audible synths. This instrumental is so powerful and thankfully, for once without any vocals. If you complain that there isn't enough prog, wait for the final suite with numerous irregular beats, changes and overblown spirit. While this album does not bring anything new to the table (the album name says it all), it shouldn't disappoint most DT fans.
 Black Clouds & Silver Linings by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.46 | 1745 ratings

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Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars I consider this the first DT album since the late 90's where things don't change in comparison to the previous album = very little progress. The band took combined approaches from "Systematic chaos" - accessible more polished prog-metal and heavy tendencies from "Octavarium/Train of thought" + added a couple of lame death-metal vocals by Portnoy to create this yummy "haven't I heard this already before" piece of progressive metal. The first track "A nightmare to remember" is by far the best one, sounding fresh and inspired; which is something I miss later through the album. If you want to hear the metallic highlight, go for the first half of the "The shattered fortress". Sadly, it's also the last Portnoy's album with the band as of 2022 so there are still more reasons to get than to let it go.
 Systematic Chaos by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.32 | 1858 ratings

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Systematic Chaos
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Dream Theater getting romantic? We have another loong album by DT and they have changed again, but how? The band created a more balanced album between slow songs, classic heavy metallic songs and prog-rock driven moments. All provide a more than solid performance, but Rudess provides more place to shine and be heard, especially on the soft songs. Songs are memorable, playing less over the top but not simple by any means. The first and last piece are the most interesting ones thanks to their progressive complexity. These are almost as strong as highlights from other albums even though they don't bring anything new. "Constant motion" is the third highlight with Metallica inspiration but really good instrumental mashup in the second part of the song and let's not forget the decent main riff motive. Then we have the third distinct category - ballads - "Forsaken" - a classic DM ballad and overly long and a bit sirupy "Repentance", "The ministry of lost souls", the latter one bordering on the Guns'n'Roses 1991 territory. I have nothing against them apart from their length it most other fans would welcome more ambitious musicianship. This is one of the most accessible albums by DT but hardly an essential one.

 Octavarium by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.68 | 2166 ratings

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Octavarium
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Octavarium has a sophisticated album cover, name and a 24-minute long opus so why not have high expectations? After the previous ultraheavy "Train of Thought", some fans hoped for return to a more balanced sound taking input from rock while not lacking any virtuosity. This wish had been fulfilled; Octavarium sounds not so uncompromising; I'm glad to hear prominent keyboards in the mix and have a myriad of classic prog-metal/prog-rock moments.

The music also has accessible elements; when the singer sings a catchier melody, the guitar and keyboards are more restrained.

"The answer lies within" is an extreme of that with the metal guitar being absent and Rudess playing like a classical music professor. "This walls" is one of the most well known compositions of 00's by DM, it is well constructed and accessible; I would say a prime song for the hit single. The cheesy strings needn't have to be there though. "Panik attack" is the first really upbeat and very heavy song, Portnoy enjoying the drumming storm. I feel some "Muse" influence here, indeed there is a grandiosity in the voice and instrumentation.

"Octavarium" is a classic DM number with full of progressive rock content and great Rudess solos and organ playing. Did you hear the IQ-inspired part in the middle? Then a perfect guitar/synth attack in the 17th minute? The end is a bit DM-cliche; however the positive feeling remains.

One may object to DM soften and calm down but for me it doesn't constitute any problem as playing and composition remain solid.

 Train of Thought by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.62 | 1963 ratings

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Train of Thought
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars DM came quite soon back with "Train of thought" continuing the way of more stripped, less pompous approach and high dose of heaviness. One thing a listener notices almost immediately is the increased influence of Metallica in guitar playing and singing, which is not something I welcome. Besides that, the music is intense, very technical and you can hear many sonic details. Songs like "This dying soul" border with death-metal in terms of speed (not vocals ;]). "Endless sacrifice" is more playful as Portnoy and Rudess have plenty of opportunities to show off and vocals are sparse. Another prog highlight is the last song "In the name of god" as it shows not only technical mastery but also some emotions while allowing room for experimentation with semi-Latin rhythm. I think this album takes longer to get into and not so many songs need to be over 10 minute long but DM made it again with another strong album.
 Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.15 | 2131 ratings

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Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Dream Theater continue to be at the top of the game with this very ambitious release. It may be a bit more stripped and slightly heavier than their previous peak album but it not any less entertaining. The music is very complex, diverse and full of riffs. Rudess contributes with wild synth solos and the guitar is stellar, be it rhythmic decorations, blitz soloing. This gets confirmed in the "Glass prison" which is packed with blistering guitar and synth runs. The first song is more conventional despite clocking at 13 minutes and we get to open the prog door with "Blind faith" that has great rhythm changes, a bit of southern and Vai taste. We get to an ordinary ballad with "Misunderstood" with orchestra like arrangements on keyboards, a bit over the top drumming but on the winning side - quite dramatic and doomy instrumental ending. "The great debate" shows modern influence of alternative rock and metal not only when you hear guitar but also singing. Another highlight of the album. "Overture" is a hommage to progressive rock and 90's prog metal with quite a good symphonic melody. The following songs have more traditional progr-rock influence, be it with keyboards or less heaviness and less focus on heavy dark riffing. "Solitary shell" is one of the most melodic and accessible DM songs overall. However, I feel there are 3-4 such radio-friendly songs on this album which is too much for DM. "Grand finale" is about finishing off on a pompous note and the guitar remains restrained.

 Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory by DREAM THEATER album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.31 | 3178 ratings

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Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nš 596

"Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" was recorded at Bear Track Studios in New York, the same place where the band had previously recorded their second studio album "Images And Words" in 1992 and their EP "A Change Of Seasons" in 1995. It was the first album to feature their new keyboardist Jordan Rudess. After participating in Liquid Tension Experiment project with Rudess, Petrucci and Portnoy found themselves writing music and working together actually quite easily. So, it was easy to convince LaBrie and Myung to offer Rudess the position of full time keyboardist on band's next studio album. As they accepted, the current keyboardist of the band at time, Derek Sherinian, was fired.

So, the line up on "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" is James LaBrie (lead vocals), John Petrucci (backing vocals and guitars), Jordan Rudess (keyboards), John Myung (bass) and Mike Portnoy (backing vocals and drums). The album has also the participation of Theresa Thomason (vocals and backing vocals) and Mary Canty, Sheila Slappy, Mary Smith, Jeanette Smith, Clarence Burke Jr., Carol Cyrus and Dale Scott (backing vocals), as guest artists. "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" is a sequel to "Metropolis Part I: The Miracle And The Sleeper", a song previously featured on the band's album "Images And Words". Fans had previously requested the band to make a sequel of the first part of the song. With the recording sessions for "Falling Into Infinity", their fourth studio album released in 1997, the band recorded a twenty-one minute instrumental demo of "Metropolis Part 2", but they didn't make it into that album. The demo, which included several citations from "Metropolis Part I" and many motifs that would later appear on "Metropolis Part 2", was however significantly different from the finished album version in the most part of it.

"Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" is a conceptual album with twelve songs divided into two acts, and which are each also divided in five and four scenes respectively. Shortening, the story is about a man, Nicholas, which begins to have visions about the life of a girl Victoria. Determined to understand those visions, he eventually discovers that the young girl was murdered in 1928 trapped in a love trio. Thanks to his search, he finds his own self and thinks that someone else will live his life in the future, in the same way he has lived that of the poor Victoria now resting in heaven.

"Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" is, in my humble opinion, the highest point of their entire career and one of the highest points of music, as a whole. It's true that the band had already proved to be composed by a group of tremendous musicians, but with this album the band plays in loud and heavy songs. On this album they have found the perfect balance between the heavy metal parts, with top speed keyboards and guitar solos, and the quieter parts like the two ballads "Trough The Eyes" and "The Spirit Carries On". All over the album the music follows the rules of a true classic conceptual album, with numerous sound effects and many recurring themes. "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" does have its heavier and more metallic moments, involving very fast double-bass drumming, courtesy of Portnoy, and some good heavy, but still very catchy guitar riffs delivered by Petrucci. The tempo is generally mid-to-slow paced and airs more on the prog rock side, as opposed to metal. The writing here is superb in every area, with elements of classical, jazz, blues, psychedelic rock, "Home", ragtime "The Dance Of Eternity" and gospel "Through Her Eyes" and "The Spirit Carries On" all being used and used brilliantly. Since this is Dream Theater, no real explanation is needed on the proficiency of the actual playing. Every member here is a virtuoso, as is usual. LaBrie is brilliant here as well, hitting some absolutely terrific high notes and putting a tremendous amount of feeling and soul into his singing.

Curiously and according to the "Making Of Scenes From A Memory" video, Mike Portnoy explains that some of the influences for "Metropolis Part 2" are some conceptual albums such as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" of The Beatles, "Tommy" of The Who, "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" of Genesis, "The Wall" and "The Final Cut" of Pink Floyd, "Amused To Death" of Roger Waters, "Misplaced Childhood" of Marillion and "OK, Computer" of Radiohead.

Conclusion: "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" is an exceptional album. It's my favourite Dream Theater's album and one of my favourite albums ever. This is truly a classic progressive rock album that fits perfectly well among the greatest progressive masterpieces ever. The concept is a little bit hard to explain but I personally like it. The music is just amazing, beautiful, difficult to play, moving and perfect. The thing I like better on this album is the perfect fusion sounds. Every instrument can always be heard perfectly clear but, if you hear all them together, you can perfectly understand what I call the perfection. "Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory" belongs to the very rare classic prog albums that we can classify as one of the masterpieces of the masterpieces. If we had the possibility of rate an album with 6 stars, it would belong certainly to those rare albums. Everyone interested in prog rock music must check it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Images and Words: Demos 1989 - 1991 [Official Bootleg] by DREAM THEATER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
3.40 | 44 ratings

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Images and Words: Demos 1989 - 1991 [Official Bootleg]
Dream Theater Progressive Metal

Review by thespicypizza

4 stars I listened to the Lost Not Forgotten Version of this album, which I assume is identical to the official bootleg version. Just some different titling for songs I think. So this album has 4 different "sections", which I'll give overall reviews for.

Instrumental Demos - 7/10 - This release starts off with 4 instrumental demo songs. These have no production and are pretty raw, especially with the keyboard midi sound. Definitely a dated sound. Once you hear the wack keyboard sounds in this demo, you will forever listen to DT's keyboard tracks differently. Anyways, these are enjoyable listens and it's cool to hear behind the tracks a little more.

Vocalist Auditions - 8/10 - These tracks are the most interesting part of this album, with listeners being able to listen to 3 different singers sing 4 songs with the band. Theses tracks sound pretty good too, production-wise. And John Hendricks' and Chris Cintron"s tracks sound pretty good actually. I think it's especially cool to hear the different version of "A Change of Seasons". Steve Stone's recording isn't too hot though, but still interesting to listen to.

ATCO Demos - 10/10 - These and the Pre-Production Demos sound pretty close to the album, which I believe is a 10/10 so no qualms with me. Just a few slight differences here and there. Both these and the Pre-Production Demos could honestly be interchanged with the studio version in my opinion.

Pre-Production Demos - 10/10 - Like the ATCO Demos, these songs sound really similar to the album. One while the production is slightly rougher with the demos, it is so nice being able to actually hear the bass and some other instrumental parts are more clear. Plus James Labrie's takes on these tracks are pretty good.

Overall a pretty solid release. I'd definitely recommend listening to the vocalists' auditions to see what an alternate universe Dream Theater might look like.

Thanks to [email protected] for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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