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Black Clouds & Silver Linings
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which began two and a half decades ago and now encompasses a hugely impressive body of music that's established the durable progressive metal outfit as a one-of-a-kind creative force with a fiercely devoted international fan base. The new album - produced by band members Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci, who also serve as the group's main lyricists - offers a vibrant manifestation of the world-class musicianship, vivid lyrical scenarios and ambitious, multi-leveled
compositions that have established Dream Theater as a uniquely compelling creative force.
Top Customer Reviews
So why only three stars? On repeated listens, the lyrics are just terrible. Other's have said it in their reviews and I'll repeat it here - the lyrics are cringe inducing in places. Objectively they may stand up to their contemporaries or label mates like Slipknot or Trivium, but those bands have insipid lyrics on every possible level.Read more ›
A Nightmare To Remember
The album begins with a peal of thunder and the distant sound of haunting piano melodies. Soon the whole band comes in with a slow and epic opening and then breaks the music down for a more progressive groove. The lyrics tell a very emotion-filled story of agony and pain. After a while, the dark and heavy mood of the music lightens significantly as James Labrie recounts the man's experience. One part of the song has some very beautiful layered vocal harmonies--some of the most memorable that I have heard in any of Dream Theater's work. All the transitions are seamless and smooth, the story builds very well, there is lots of musical variety from section to section and there is exceptional use of the various melodic themes and motifs. One section even uses a blastbeat, which is quite unexpected given Portnoy's usual drumming style.
A Rite of Passage
As the album's single, I listened to this track a lot before the album was released. Singles are often hit-or-miss and so I wasn't sure what Rite of Passage would sound like in the context of the album. Having listened to the entire album quite a number of times, I am quite happy with how this fits in the rest of the album.Read more ›
Musically, I think that Petrucci and Myung continue to evolve with each album as they are both in prime form. LaBrie is solid as well. But with Portnoy and Ruddess, it is more of the same. More over the top drum fills, more pompous key solos with that annoying 'dive bomb' thing at the end, and more TERRIBLE Portnoy vocals. While I can ignore these things for the most part (Portnoy's vocals on SDoIT's 'Glass Prison' actually were cool and I could deal with them on occasion) the one thing that really detracts from this album (and every album from ToT on) are the lyrics. It's a shame really because Petrucci/Portnoy have proven in the past that they can write some amazing lyrics (A Change of Seasons, Voices, etc). But they seem uninspired these days.
The lyrics are particulary terrible this time around. For all its' epicness, The Count of Tuscany just comes off really cheesy. It is based on real life events that Petrucci encountered a few years ago. Maybe if I were to hear his story in person, I might get a better sense of why he was so frightened, but the lyrics just come off sounding so overly dramatic. I mean seriously, you listen to the song and think, "really John? So they took you to a castle, told you some ghost stories to give you the heebie jeebies and you really thought you were gonna die????" Gone are the days of I&W, Awake and ACOS.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When Six Degrees was released and the band started to sound more like any other heavy metal band, I gave up on them for the next four albums. Read morePublished 3 days ago by VITSOL
This is just another great album from Dream Theater, really like their Count of Tuscany song !!!Published 20 days ago by B. Valenti
Last album with Portnoy. Incredible creativity and emotion in the lyrics and music. Favorite album.Published 4 months ago by Jake Himmel
Not that any DT record is bad but like any band not all of them will be complete. The writing on this one is kinda silly at times and the production is a bit off for them. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Grant
The last with Portnoy. Not their best but very special to mePublished 15 months ago by Luis Alberto Quintero Felizzola