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4.4 out of 5 stars
A Dramatic Turn of Events
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews (1 star)show all reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2014
Format: MP3 Music
Its been well-documented that this album copied several song structures from Images and Words but what original material is included here is uninspired, over-the-top, and boring. Mike Mangini does an amazing job on drums as does Myung on bass, but its the poisonus trio of LeBrie, Rudess, and Petrucci who ruined this record, the self-titled effort released last year, and every album released since Metropolis part 2 for this once great band. During the Kevin Moore era Dream Theater made unique and amazing music that lived up to the name of the band. But without Kevin Moore around to reign in Petrucci's wankery the song writing is less about melody and innovative ideas and more about just showing off guitar skills. Of course Jordan Rudess is the anti-Kevin; basically Petrucci with keyboards instead of a guitar. Lebrie USED to have an amazing voice and that made up for his douchebaggery. Ever since he lost the ability to sign the high notes that he did on images and Words as well as Awake he has become a liability. Back in the day Portnoy and Moore had the balls to run off Charlie Dominici when they realized he was holding the band back. Petrucci and Rudess dont care about making quality music even a fraction as much as they do about milking the Dream Theater name for more $$$. Boycott DT and support O.S.I. which is a REAL prog band.
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6 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Its painfully obvious from listening to this album that the band misses Mike Portnoy, not just on the drum throne but in the production room. I really wanted to like this album but after almost a year later, I just can't get into it. I've tried to re-listen to it on several occasions and its without a doubt the most punchless, bland DT album ever.

What jumps out at me is the lack of quality song writing , both lyrically and musically. This something that MP would've validated in the production chair. There just isn't one good song on the album. So many people here have compared this album to Images and Words.... that just isn't true. In, fact, that's an insult to that particular album. The biggest complaint I have is the scaled back sound of the album, whether it was done purposely is not known, but one thing I always expected from a DT album is that "gut punch" you get from hearing one of their songs. However, that is sadly missing from this CD. Again, this is something MP would've corrected in the producer's chair.

At the end of the day, this just a poor effort from one of the best prog bands ever. Lets hope they get it right (by hiring a real producer) with their next effort.
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7 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
In general, this is a very disappointing album. I was really excited when I heard of its production, from it i'd heard On the Backs of Angels and Breaking All Illusions (the only two tracks that make it listenable) and was impressed (totally amazed particularly by the second one). Unfortunately, the rest of the album is so boring it drives me to tears -

First, The sweeping dramatic violins and bawling choruses in nearly every song completely destroy their integrity, in a vain attempt to make each one sound like an epic in it self. This completely ruins the feel. Secondly, if you're tempted on buying it due to how frequently it's remarked as being so similiar to the untouchable Images and Words, STOP! It holds none of the same mystery and dazzling riffs that The Miracle and the Sleeper has (If you're expecting anything amazing like 4:16 - 4:41 in said track, think again) or the original, emotional soul of Wait for Sleep. Instead, it tries to repeat hamfistedly these themes and makes a shameful mockery of them. In one occassion it succeeds exceptionally, with Breaking All Illusions soaring above the rest of the albums repetative and predictable filler. The riffs are indeed reminiscent of an older and much loved Dream Theater, but this fantastic track is where the similarities of the early 90's ends. Instead what we find is horrible repetitiveness in Build Me Up Break Me Down and Bridges in the Sky, dragging the sound down to unremarkable metal (not to mention the cringeworthy introduction of the latter) to rambling slower peices such as This is the Life, easily the worst song on the album. The piano introduction is painfully simple to no obvious effect and the song is somehow both directionless and predictable, with vague Steve Harris-style lyrics (Don't get me wrong, Iron Maiden are a guilty pleasure but this is NOT what I expected from Dream Theater) that removes any semblance of prog these lads once had.

I could go on, but expect to be let down by an exceptionally mediocre release. If you liked the wacky synth runs of Octavarium and Learning to Live, you won't find them here. If you enjoyed the raw metal power of A Rite of Passage and The Test that Stumped Them All, you'll find them but dumbed down and boring. I adore this band, but they need to seriously shape up and pick a better direction to advance in.
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2 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I own the vinyl version btw.

ADTOE is a useless DT album. The creative spark left with the kicking out of Mike Portnoy (one of my favourite musicians), and it shows rather "dramatically" on this album. The songs are as unimaginative as their crappy titles, and after listening to the album at least 5 times right now I can't remember any part of it save for one or two choruses! Such a bland album is really not needed for a band with such a strong back catalogue. The previous 2 albums, sc and bcasl revealed a downward trend for the band (which is not exactly surprising after a long career), but this album really takes the cake of uncreativity and blandness. I know the fanboys will suck up everything the band puts out, but if you have the ears to compare this record and the band's earlier work, you should know this is the album where the dream finally died.

The live show accompaning this album left me equally disappointed (it's not that Mangini would be a bad drummer, but face it, Mike P was the face of the band). Poor set list and no stage presence. Only way to save at least this side is play full-length shows again (2 sets! varied setlists!) and get Mike back ASAP.

PS: I almost forgot to mention the ATROCIOUS album cover. it sucks!
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4 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
THIS IS REALLY BAD!

I'm so sad to hear this. I'm 33 now, I remember being 15 and listening to Pull Me Under, all the way to Train Of Thought or even Black Clouds.

This album is really the worse album the band that uses the name of Dream Theater now has created.

It goes to show the importance of Mike Portnoy.

Dream Theater is a Mike Portnoy band (Sorry Petrucci), and probably next album will be even worse.

R. I. P DR minus Portnoy.
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5 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD
That was a dramatic turn! Portnoy gone, Mangini in.....total opportunity to blow us all away. I have been a major fan since the early 90's, buying the CD's , attending the concerts. I saw them perform at the Madison Square Garden show that totally overshadowed Iron Maiden! If Portnoy was protesting the change in music style or lyrics- I understand why!
Please guys, stick with the format that made us all love the music and keep us coming back! If you are a major fan, and you can overlook the weird lyrics and choir sounding format, then buy this CD. I still revere them for the technical intelligence, but this effort totally missed the mark for me. Mangini is really the only drummer who could keep up and thankfully he was chosen. However, the ballad like speed of the music does not allow for him to showcase his true talent. Oh, except the drum solo.
DEATH TO ALL BUT METAL!
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5 of 96 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
ANOTHER STEP TO THE BOTTOM OF MEDIOCRITY IN DREAM THEATER'S CATALOG.I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT I LISTEN ON THIS RECORD. THEY TRY TO REWRITE THE CLASSIC "IMAGES & WORDS" ALBUM.THE MAIN RIFF OF "LOST NOT FORGOTTEN" IT'S FROM "UNDER A GLASS MOON","BREAKING ALL ILLUSIONS" IT'S TOO SIMILAR WRITTEN WITH "LEARNING TO LIVE" AND THE INTRODUCTION OF "ON THE BACKS OF ANGELS" IT'S PURE 80'S METALLICA.THE PRODUCTION IT'S AWFUL MAKING FROM JOHN MYUNG AN INVISIBLE MUSICIAN.THE BEST PRODUCED D.T ALBUMS ARE "IMAGES" AND "AWAKE".IT'S IRONIC!THE TITLE OF THIS CD IT'S LIKE A CNN HEADLINE NEWS. BALLADS ARE BORING AND FORGETABLE.IF I REMEMBER WELL THE LAST GREAT D.T. BALLADS ARE "THE SPIRIT CARRIES ON " AND "TAKE AWAY MY PAIN".RIP D.T.! REAL PROG METAL MASTERWORKS:INNOSENSE-OUTCAST,ATMOSFEAR-INSIDE THE ATMOSPHERE, DARKWATER-CALLING THE EARTH TO WITNESS AND PANTOMMIND-LUNASENSE.
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