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Octavarium


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Audio CD, June 7, 2005
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Octavarium + Train of Thought + Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dream Theater has maintained a rare combination of stellar musicianship and unwavering passion for over a decade, selling millions of albums and filling concert venues worldwide. The band once again confirms its status as progressive hard rock's standard-bearers on their latest studio epic, Octavarium. Atlantic. 2005.

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Octavarium opens with a lean and enthusiastic-sounding Dream Theater, one that continues to move forward without compromising its classic sound or its classic progressive metal appeal. Bassist John Myung propels album opener "The Root Of All Evil" with a weight equal to that of Mike Portnoy's forceful but finessed drumming and guitarist John Petrucci's masterful riffing which seems once more to widen the realm of possibilities available on the instrument. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess lends subtle and deft touches throughout helping further solidify the outfit's equally strong footing in the worlds of heavy and progressive rock. But the best evidence that Dream Theater remains alive and well rests perhaps in the final 34 minutes of the album. The 10-minute 9/11 meditation "Sacrificed Sons" finds vocalist James LaBrie giving one of his most convincing performances to date. The closing, 24-minute title track serves as the sound of a progressive rock orchestra delivering one more classic epic symphony, one more that lengthens this unit's ever-long prime. Both tracks stand as testament to the quintet's virtuosity, integrity and ingenuity and will fast become favorites. Further evidence of the group's diversity also exists here in the form of the unapologetically commercial (and U2-inflected) "I Walk Beside You," a song that seems destined to connect with a crossover audience--at least one up for an unforgettable adventure. --Jedd Beaudoin

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Root Of All Evil 8:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Answer Lies Within 5:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. These Walls 6:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I Walk Beside You 4:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Panic Attack 7:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Never Enough 6:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Sacrificed Sons10:43Album Only
listen  8. Octavarium23:58Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0009A1AS2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (429 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

204 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Dan Solera on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Since 1994, Dream Theater has followed an uncanny pattern in album excellence. "Awake" was unbelievable - "Falling Into Infinity" was pretty good - "Scenes From a Memory" is the best album of all time - "Six Degrees ..." has its creative merits - "Train of Thought" is an unstoppable beast. So, by this logic, their next album will be good, but not a towering sonic monolith.

So, is this a self-fulfilling prophecy? It's hard to tell.

"Octavarium", Dream Theater's ninth studio album, is definitely a change in direction from "Train of Thought", which was a guitar-heavy album. Dream Theater's newest release is an atmospheric composition that focuses more on symphonic keyboard textures than it does on meaty guitar riffs. This particular ambience (along with the addition of a symphony) has taken over the spotlight, making each song more structured, accessible and consistently catchy, which was not the case with their last release. Petrucci and Rudess' virtuoso deliveries (more commonly known as "shredding") are kept down to an absolute minimum on this album. One may suppose that the band realized that the songs on "Train of Thought" were following a decipherable pattern: intro, verse, chorus, long instrumental fireworks, chorus, finish.

So what do we have, exactly? We have an album that explores various areas of the progressive world. We have "The Root of All Evil", a continuation of Portnoy's multi-album suite (beginning with "The Glass Prison" and continued by "This Dying Soul"), which starts the album on a relatively heavy note.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By PeteMCI on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The eighth DT album, Octavarium, is much more diverse than its predecessor, the dark "Train of Thought". At first it appears less coherent than TOT, but after half a dozen listenings I can only appreciate the variety of moods DT so elegantly offer on this CD.

The opening track, "The Root Of All Evil" is a hardrocker that could have been on TOT. In fact, there is a 15 second insert of "This Dying Soul" in the middle of the song. The second track, "The Answer Lies Within" is to me a less impressive soft breather. Not really my cup of tea, but still a fine song when you're in the right mood. "These Walls" with its spacious sounds during the verse and melodic chorus over metal guitar sounds is quite radio friendly, and after hearing the U2-like "I Walk Beside You" the progrock enthusiast may wonder where this band is heading. These songs are certainly enjoyable, but not typical of DT. Especially so with the lack of instrumental virtuoso passages typical of DT during tracks 2-4. But not to worry, the remaining four songs represent the diversified DT at their best. The hard rockin', up-tempo "Panic Attack" immeaditely became one of my all time DT favourite songs even before it got to the awesome solo sections by Rudess and Petrucci. "Never Enough" with ethereal vocals of LaBrie climaxes with a beautiful guitar passage towards the end. The epic "Sacificed Sons" deals with the 9/11 tragedy. After starting off smoothly the song builds up to typical DT characteristics. The title track is a 24 minute epic starting off with soft soundscapes featuring only keyboards and guitar. This intro sounds like Pink Floyd, later like Yes. LaBrie comes in at 5+ minutes and the song enters an instrumental pre-climax at 12+ minutes.
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68 of 86 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on June 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It seems it's recap time for one of the most intelligent metal bands around: while they mainly continued reaching in new directions with Six Degrees and Train of Thought, this one is more of a summation of what they learned to do right on those two albums, minus (mostly) the missteps. There's some of the grand proggy bombast of 6D, but here it's not overblown and actually serves the songs, especially in the big closing title track. Likewise, the angry-metal-ish bent of ToT is present in spots but it seems appropriate rather than forced. If you haven't heard either of those yet, this still shouldn't disappoint.. if you're completely new to DT this could make a good first pick, but you still need Images & Words to make your life complete.

The sound is as varied as they've ever done, although perhaps somewhat more 'light' overall than usual. "The Root of All Evil" is the next part of Portnoy's recurring series (trilogy)? and so it's just as fierce and heavy as "Glass Prison" and "This Dying Soul" with some reprises of previous themes to tie them together. "I Walk Beside You" with its joyous soaring (even radio-friendly) chorus has been getting comparisons to U2 all over the place - though it's not nearly as bland/cheesy as that may suggest - and "The Answer Lies Within" is a lovely simple ballad in the tradition of "Eve" or "Anna Lee." Those who scoff at more straightforward 'poppy' stuff won't find much to like there, but I don't see a problem. "Panic Attack" should make up for it for the progheads - it's a frightening eight minutes of laser-sharp hyper riffing frenzied enough to induce claustrophobia.

It's probably inevitable that any band under the 'progressive' umbrella has to use an orchestra at some point, but that's pulled off excellently as well.
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