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A Dramatic Turn of Events

304 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 13, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

A Dramatic Turn of Events is an album born from transition, crafted with studied persistence and possessed by newfound freedom and free-flowing invigoration. The album strikes the perfect balance between Dream Theater's intimate history with all that is heavy, progressive and melodic with each element fully realized. Longtime fans of the band intrigued by the speediness of the notes on display from Dream Theater have much to study on the album, while fans of melodic hooks will find equal pleasure within the songs.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roadrunner Records
  • ASIN: B005974CDU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,739 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Murat Batmaz on September 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
The first Dream Theater album without founding member and original drummer Mike Portnoy, A Dramatic Turn of Events will certainly continue to divide the fans, especially those that are extremely upset or pleased by Portnoy's departure. Without getting into that debate, I will just mention that the sound achieved on the album is still unmistakeably Dream Theater with a few minor differences.

The album has a great flow to it. The songs are tied together organically exuding some of their freshest ideas in a while. Jordan Rudess, in particular, expands the songs' chordal parameters and no longer strictly functions as Petrucci's shadow, coming to the fore prominently both during the choruses and solo passages. He also avoids using his more eclectic synth patches and tones as he plays to the strength of the compositions. Of course, he is integral in the unison leads of tracks like "Bridges in the Sky" and "Outcry," both of which exceed the ten-minute mark. Rudess also showcases his experimental side: the Tuvan throat singing at the beginning and end of "Bridges in the Sky" is obviously sampled from Omnisphere as are the gothic-like cathedral-sized 'choirs' and string arrangements.

Having recorded the vocals on his own in Canada, James Labrie adds his sonic imprint to some of the tunes much the same way he does on his solo material. Two of the album's ballads, "This is the Life" and "Far from Heaven," both boast majestic piano lines and great melodic segments. There is none of his more aggressive vocalizations present on this disc, though he still exploits his darker tones, as witnessed during the intro of "Lost Not Forgotten," arguably his finest moment on the album. Instead of screaming, he builds tension over several notes.
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135 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Dave Hall on September 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Dream Theater fans tend to be an obsessive bunch, almost invariably skilled and knowledgeable musicians themselves. As I sit here writing this on the morning of the CD's release in the UK, there are debates raging on various forums about Dream Theater's latest album. Some are analysing the music like it's a crime scene, dusting through every bar looking for odd time signatures and evidence of earlier influences. Others are obsessing over the mixing and mastering. And yet another group is combing through the lyrics (particularly those by John Myung) looking for clues to the secret of life. I'm going to take a radical angle here and discuss the music itself, and how it affects me. I'm not saying those other issues don't matter. Clearly they do, or else so many people wouldn't write so passionately about them. But I'm not a gifted musician, I know nothing about the techniques of recording and mastering music, and if I want great words, I tend not to look to rock stars for them. Why I fell in love with Dream Theater back in 2001 was the exceptional musicianship and gorgeous textures of their music. So this is how I'll try to appraise this latest album.

Firstly, as we all know, Portnoy left in September 2010. What affect has this had? Well, immediately, only Labrie sings. There are no more growls and toe-curling death-metal rapping, for lack of a more apt description of that abomination that marred A Nightmare To Remember. And Labrie sings brilliantly. Nowhere on this record does he sneer or snarl or bark or shriek his way through passages, as he occasionally did on the previous 2 or 3 releases. He merely sings, and his voice has colour and charm and beauty and power.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By pdurbin on September 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
One year ago, progressive metal masters Dream Theater would have announced their indefinite hiatus if drummer and de facto leader Mike Portnoy had gotten his way. Feeling the band had grown tired and stale, he believed time away from the limelight was necessary for rejuvenation.

Portnoy was right on one count; his band was not quite what it used to be. While recent albums certainly contained some magical moments and garnered the band ever-growing popularity and sales, longtime fans couldn't help but hear the sound of a band on autopilot. However, this past year has show that Portnoy was fortunately mistaken about the need for a hiatus, as is evidenced by his band mates' defiant decision to instead carry on without him and release their stellar 11th album, A Dramatic Turn of Events.

Perhaps the band owes a debt of gratitude to Portnoy for stepping aside, as they have looked deep within themselves to create their freshest piece of work in a decade. Gone are the failed attempts at metal vocals ("A Nightmare to Remember," "The Dark Eternal Night"), pedestrian lyrics ("The Count of Tuscany" - an otherwise brilliant song), and influences worn on sleeves (the Metallica dead-ringer "Constant Motion" and Muse knock-off "Never Enough"). Instead, we have Dream Theater sounding like none other than themselves.

And perhaps it can be said that they sometimes sound a little too much like themselves here, as multiple tracks follow eerily similar structures to some of their most beloved songs from 1992's breakthrough Images & Words. That being said, if ever the members were to look somewhere for inspiration, the majority of fans would likely agree there's no better place than that album.
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Sep 13, 2011 by Slurms Mckenzie |  See all 3 posts
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