If you have been following this blog over the past few months you may have noticed a slight evolution in the interest of a band called Dream Theater. In March I posted a video of lead guitarist John Petrucci performing at The G3 guitar tour in Tokyo (performing his solo work – Damage Control); then I came upon a video of the band in the studio recording the blistering composition The Dark Eternal Night and posted that in April. Yes, I have to admit that I really like what this band is doing.
The Dark Eternal Night is off a 2007 album called Systematic Chaos, which as it turns out was a change in direction for the band; it resulted in a much harder album than prior releases. So, I decided one day while in Boston to pick up a used copy for $7 at my favorite music store in the whole wide world..the one and only Newbury Comics.
As with all albums one song normally tends to create an unfair expectation and at times, disappointing result of what the rest of the album actually sounds like, often leading to regret, bitterness, and overall resentment for spending the money. Not this album, although it will take the listener a few times (in my case at least 10-12 listens to and from work to the entire album for it to really grow on my ear) I now play it quite regularly. It is a solid album with a few somber moments (appropriately placed); it is simply just a fun addition to my music collection.
Clearly Dream Theater is influenced heavily by bands like Rush, Queensryche, and even a bit of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; this can be reflected in the bands complex and unorthodox time changes, blistering and catchy tempos, and compositions that make one shake their head in disbelief. Dream Theaters songs focus around the normally geeky stuff like science, fantasy, and the human condition. There are three songs on the album that veer off from those subjects and focus on themes like “meaningless war “(Prophets of War) and the other two on “redemption” (Forsaken) and “forgiveness” (Repentance).
The album is not a bubblegum metal album, nor is the band. Like Rush, the members of Dream Theater are what they term “musicians musicians”. Although the members of Rush are not classically trained (at least that I know of) the members of Dream Theater all attended Berklee College of Music; meeting there initially and forming a band called Majesty, that then evolved into Dream Theater.
I have not taken the plunge and purchased any other of their albums released earlier or later than Systematic Chaos, but I’m up for the challenge. If you are a DT fan and think there is one album in particular (or several) that would compliment this introductory album, please comment and let us know.
The band has recently announced a world tour with Iron Maiden..should be awesome! Please let us know if you go.
Dream Theater’s Systematic Chaos gets 4.0 out of 5 stars.