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Black Clouds & Silver Linings

94 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 23, 2009
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$8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Black Clouds & Silver Linings + Systematic Chaos + Octavarium
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Editorial Reviews

'This album's a musical and emotional rollercoaster, but most of our albums are,' Mike Portnoy says of Black Clouds & Silver Linings, Dream Theater's tenth studio album and second Roadrunner release. Black Clouds & Silver Linings marks another milestone on Dream Theater's iconoclastic musical journey,
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.

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
  • Sample this album Title (Sample)
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16:12
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8:36
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5:26
4
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12:49
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5
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13:07
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19:17
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • ASIN: B0026J8LHM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,021 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Dream Theater's 10th studio release finds the band in top form musically. Most of the amazon reviews are correct - this is possibly the best DT album since Scenes from a Memory. It is engaging without being overwhelming (as Scenes is often accused of), fresh without being forced (as Train of Thought is often accused of), and diverse without suffering from incoherency (as was certainly the case with both Octavarium and Systematic Chaos). The arrangements generally avoid the "dueling keyboard and guitar" pitfall that has plagued the last few releases. LaBrie is the only member who doesn't quite live up to earlier glories here, probably due to the inevitable loss of range that we've witnessed with other stratospheric singers like Walsh, Geddy Lee, etc. No matter, his lower range lends itself well to the band's typically darker sound of late. In some places he sounds downright sinister (as on A Rite of Passage) but it's much better tempered than many of the aggressive tracks on Train of Thought. In other words, this is a band that is aging well, still growing and experimenting, while retaining the sound that made them unique in a sea of prog-metal and neo-classical metal bands. They still have that spark that always seems to be lacking in other bands such as Symphony X or Iced Earth. And they've certainly aged better than many of their influences like Metallica, Megadeth, Yes, or Iron Maiden.

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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Silas Reinagel on July 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
For the past month, I've been counting down the days to the release of Dream Theater's 10th studio album, Black Clouds & Silver Linings. This Tuesday the CD was released and I have been listening to it nonstop for the past few days. As Dream Theater is my favorite band, I have very high expectations for their music. Despite my high expectations, this album does not disappoint in any way. The album has six tracks ranging from Wither (5:25) to The Count of Tuscany (19:16). As someone who loves long, well-written tracks, I am quite delighted to have 4 tracks longer than 12 minutes.

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.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Stephen La Monica on June 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Let me start off by saying, I am a die hard Dream Theater fan. I will continue to buy every one of their studio albums, live discs, bootlegs, DVDs, etc. I've been a fan ever since Images and Words was released back in 92. However, with each release after Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, I find myself having been slightly let down every time.

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.
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Album leaked
I hope that it goes without saying that you should still purchase the album. Bands like DT will suffer if no one buys the album.

The future albums of DT depends on it!!!
May 27, 2009 by Video Game History |  See all 11 posts
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