2007 album from the Progressive Rock masters, their ninth studio album overall, Rooted in the virtuosic sounds the band is known for, the album features heavy riffs reminiscent of Metallica's earlier years, soaring melodies and intricate arrangements. With Systematic Chaos, Dream Theater have sought to not only appease their ever loyal fans with their remarkable musicality, but to also reach out to all Rock fans with hook-laden tunes like 'Constant Motion', 'Forsaken' and 'The Dark Eternal Night'. Co-produced by Mike Portnoy (drummer, vocals) and John Petrucci (guitarist) and mixed by Paul Northfield (Rush, Hole, Ozzy Osbourne), Systematic Chaos is an apt title for an album that ranges from parts ever so delicate to arrangements that beg the question, how do they do that? Dream Theater have delivered a seminal album that clearly shows the band is at the top of their game twenty years into their storied career. Roadrunner.
Dream Theater has built a career on delivering some of the most consistently strong progressive rock albums in history and Systemic Chaos
proves no exception. Built upon the trademark musically diverse but stylistically reliable principles that made albums such as Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
and Train of Thought
instant classics, this album features new career highs such as "Prophets of War," "Forsake," and "Constant Motion." Although the band has flirted with commercially viable material in the past, especially on 2005's solid and exciting Octavarium
, Systemic Chaos
proves unrelenting in its pursuit of pure heavy rock. There are plenty of surprises in store, even for stalwart fans, perhaps one of the reasons that Dream Theater remains in a class by itself, ahead of the pack and ahead of the times. A truly outstanding album by any measure.--Jedd Beaudoin