Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Elektra
Catalog Number: 62448-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 75:48:00

The kings of prog metal are back with a new album Metropolis Part II: Scenes From A Memory. I, and many people, have been very excited to hear how the new album would turn out as the last CD was a minor disappointment to a lot of fans, myself included. There has been a lot of rumours on the net concerning the upcoming CD and it turns out some of them are true, some are not.

The excitement and anticipation were on top the first time I took the CD for a spin and I must say I was very pleased to find out that my worries of another filler album were not true. A few songs into the CD I started to get flashbacks of what I felt when I first played Images And Words and A Change Of Seasons, a feeling sorely missed. As mentioned above the CD has 12 tracks or sub-indexes, divided into chapters. With running time of 73 minutes, there is plenty of music for the prog fans to digest. The CD kind of comes out as one song, where one song glides unnoticeably over to the next.

What first hits me is that the long technical instrumental passages and diversity within each song is back. The songs are much more complex and varied than on FII and even the vocal and melody-lines are a vast improvement. I find the band to come out as more alive, powerful and energetic than in a long time. Fans of instrumentals will also be satisfied, as there are always one instrumental song offered on DT CD's. One of my questions before I got the CD was how DT would sound with Jordan Rudess (Dixie Dregs) in the band. Stylistically, this sounds like a blend of A Change Of Seasons, Images And Words and the last Liquid Tension Experiment CD. A perfect mix, if you ask me. Jordan's characteristic playing adds new elements, energy and innovation to the music, without stealing the whole show and still maintaining the DT sound. The music is still very dominated by the guitars of Petrucci, and we all know what Myung, Portnoy and LaBrie are capable of, and they all deliver the goods, to say the least. The mix is perfect, letting all instruments shine, and the production is the best yet, by Mr. Kevin Shirley.

If I ever was to put my finger on anything, it would be the obligatory DT ballads. They are all ok, but they don't bring anything new and tend to be kinda boring. We have heard DT do this many times before and still nothing seems to come close to "Another Day" or "Space Dye Vest." I have to say that the idea of having short pieces of old songs brought into the new songs were absolutely great.

To sum it up, there is no doubt the kings are back on top and this CD is a must for all fans of the band. I give this CD the highest score, it's not perfect, but compared to other releases within the genre, this is still the best there is!

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Scene One: Regression (2:06) / Scene Two: I: Overture 1928 II: Strange Deja Vu (8:49) / Scene Three: I: Through My Words II: Fatal Tragedy (7:51) / Scene Four: Beyond This Life (11:22) / Scene Five: Through Her Eyes (5:29) / Scene Six: Home (12:53) / Scene Seven: I: The Dance of Eternity II: One Last Time (10:00) / Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On (6:38) / Scene Nine: Finally Free (12:00)

James LaBrie - vocals
John Myung - bass
John Petrucci - guitars and vocals
Mike Portnoy - drums, percussion, and vocals
Jordan Rudess - keyboards
Theresa Thomason - additional vocals (7, 11)

When Dreams and Day Unite (1989)
Images and Words (1992)
Live At The Marquee (1993)
Dream Out Loud (1994)
Awake (1994)
A Change in Season (1995)
Falling Into Infinity (1997)
Once In A Livetime (1998)
Scenes From A Memory (1999)
Cleaning Out The Closet (Xmas CD 1999) (1999)
Scenes From A World Tour - Christmas CD 2000 (2001)
Live Scenes From New York (2001)
Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence (2002)
Train Of Thought (2003)
Live At Budokan (2004)
Octavarium (2005)
Score (3CD) (2006)
Systematic Chaos (2007)
Greatest Hit (...And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) (2008)
Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2009)
A Dramatic Turn Of Events (2011)
Dream Theater (2013)
Dream Theater - Live At Luna Park (2013)
Dream Theater - Breaking The Fourth Wall - Live From The Boston Opera House (2014)
The Astonishing (2016)
Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York (DVD) (2001)
Live At Budokan (DVD) (2004)
Score (DVD) (2006)
Chaos In Motion (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 11th 2004
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website: www.dreamtheater.net
Hits: 1077
Language: english


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