What to say about this new release from Progressive Metal masters Dream Theater… if you know the band, you know the  drill. You know what to expect from them. But you may be surprised. Dream Theater’s twelfth studio album effort, entitled ‘Dream Theater’, is a very mellow album from the band. Although that isn’t to say it is boring. In actual fact, it is anything but that.

Filled with iconic riffs, some top-notch drumming, eargasm imposing vocals and the some truly magnificent solos, this album is filled with so many things that make the band who they are. And I must admit, for a bands twelfth album, that is damn impressive.

The album starts with a fantastic intro track named ‘False Awakening Suite’. An impressive intro that is split in to three parts; I: Sleep Paralysis, II: Night Terrors and III: Lucid Dreaming. It’s a track that sets a mood and shows you the tone of the album. It is mezmerising and engaging to anyone who dares to listen to it and is something that will get Theater fans all over screaming at the top of their lungs. The next track was the single of the album, ‘The Enemy Inside’. This is one of the more heavier tracks on the album. Filled with iconic Petucci riffs and great vocal power, the track works well. The ever-present bass and the fantastic, ever-changing drumming makes the backbone of the track, giving it a strong, powerful feel.

The album plows through light tracks and more heavier tunes such as ‘The Looking Glass’, ‘The Bigger Picture’ ‘Behind the Veil’, ‘Surrender to Reason’ and ‘Along For the Ride’. Each track offers something new and exciting for the listener, whether it be great vocals, astonishing and beautiful riffs, a scrumptious bass-line or strange yet strongly amazing drumming. This album has a lot to offer but the two tracks that stand out on here are ‘Enigma Machine’ and the twenty-two minute long, five part epic closer that is ‘Illumination Theory’. ‘Enigma Machine’ is just one of those strong, fast-paced masterpieces that you can expect from Dream Theater. It has some heavy riffs and the vocal performance here is indeed, very, very strong.

The bass and drums keep the masterpiece in tact throughout but yet the odd time sgnature changes and little beats keep the whole thing fresh. Not to mention one of the truly most astonishing solos that has been on any album all year (from non other than guitar God, John Petucci). This track blitzs through and is something that will blow your mind. But yet if you think that was enough to satisfy, then you are wrong. If you think that that is as good as it gets then you need to feast your ears upon the closing track on this album. The album itself is astonishing but nothing quite says ‘holy shit’ like a five part epic that spans over twenty-two minutes. Theater are known for their songs of epic length and this is no exception. ‘Illumination Theory’ is something truly God-like.

A masterpiece of beautiful craftsmanship, it is a song that builds up, progresses and slows done until it reaches a climatic finish that is as powerful as a nuclear weapon. All five parts (I: Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire, II: Live, Die, Kill, III: The Embracing Circle, IV: The Pursuit of Truth and V: Surrender, Trust & Passion) add something different and the track itself is filled with mind-boggling time changes, monster riffs, truly amazing guitar mastery, mind-bending drumming, beautiful bass-lines and magical vocal power.It is a truly astonishing ending to a fantastic album.

An album filled with Rush-like anthems but with the Dream Theater punch, ‘Dream Theater’ is by far the most mesmerizing and magnificent album released so far this year. Supported heavily by its fantastic production value and a perfectly done mix, the final product is something that will blow anyone’s mind. With the ever-present time signature changes (that are noticeable but don’t ruin the tracks during the process) and with the instruments and vocals working in perfect harmony with each other, Dream Theater’s twelfth studio outing proves that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Being Prog-Metal Gods is no easy challenge but Dream Theater make it seem like it is as easy as locking up your door. Everything here works and, although it isn’t something that everyone will like, it is bound to grab some peoples attention. If you haven’t heard of them then prick up your ears and listen to this, you are bound to find something you like here. If you already like Dream Theater then pick this up immediately, it won’t disappoint you. As for me, it isn’t the best album of the year but it is the most mesmerizing. Dream Theater, you have my


- Asa

AuthorJordan Mohler