“Dream Theater” is a self-titled album by progressive metal band, Dream Theater. The album is something new to long time Dream Theater and prog fans by bringing back some of the classic feels that made Dream Theater one of the pinnacle progressive metal bands, and this is certainly a pleasant surprise for long time Dream Theater fans. However, it also offers something new to those who aren’t exactly familiar with prog yet by offering a SLIGHTLY more “mainstream” progressive vibe, so it’s easy for anyone to get into. With that being said, the structure of this album is very quick-paced, of course aside from the slower songs and the ballad like pieces (such as “The Bigger Picture and the single “Along for the Ride”), but regardless, the pacing and progressiveness of this album may take a new listener quite a few listens to fully appreciate everything that this album offers, which is perfectly fine, because this album will make you want to keep listening. From the stellar vocals from James LaBrie to the crunchy, thick, aggressive bass of John Myung, to the angry, thrashing, shredding and at times melodically delicate and always precise guitar of John Petrucci, and to the technical, consistent, and virtuosic playing of Mike Mangini on the drums, and the majestic, godlike playing of Jordan Rudess on keys, this album will always make you find something that you hadn’t heard before on every listen. This album easily makes up and repairs their flaws from previous albums, tenfold.
Overall, this is a fantastic album and a new chapter in the Dream Theater discography. Although it may take some getting used to at first, if you’re a progressive metal fan already, you will find a lot to like and love about this album. If you’re new to prog, it may take a while, but you will also find much to love about this album. From the cleverly orchestrated instrumental “False Awakening Suite” to kick the album off to the near 20 minute conclusion epic “Illumination Theory”, this album has the potential to be another pinnacle Dream Theater album Along with titles such as “Octavarium” and “Metropolis 2- Scenes From a Memory”.
Lasting appeal- 9.3/10, HIGHLY recommend to anyone.