Dream Theater - Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Elektra
Catalog Number: 62742-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 96:19:00

I'm tempted to leave this review at three words: Buy this album. I understand, though, that not everyone is as fond of prog metal's reigning kings as I am and maybe I hear this album's music through prejudiced ears. Still, I can't imagine anyone who digs prog metal being anything less than blown away by this terrific set from Dream Theater. Not only is the music heavier than just about anything DT has done before, it's also more progressive. This is especially true of the second disc.

Second disc? Yep, this is a two-CD release, and trust me when I say that not a second of it is wasted. Fully eschewing shorter tracks, this album is prog to walls (not to mention balls to the wall), featuring only six tracks, the shortest of which is close to seven minutes and the longest of which is over 42. Much of the music here thunders from the speakers like an earthquake. The first track especially brings to mind metal mavens like Metallica -- and even displays a hint of death metal, what with the growling background vocals.

Under all the guitar oblivion is the stellar musicianship for which Dream Theater is famous, not to mention proggy twists and turns that keep every track moving forward at the speed of light. Jordan Rudess's keyboard work is as awe-inspiring as Petrucci's always flawless guitar playing. John Myung's bass lines roar forth in finger-twisting knots. And if there's a better prog metal drummer out there than Mike Portnoy.... Over all the instrumentation James LaBrie's gripping vocals soar, whisper and growl.

In DT tradition, not every moment of the album is head-banging prog metal. DT also provides the gentler moments. In fact, the dynamic range of the compositions on this album is startling. DT goes from a sonic beating in one second to a soft caress in the next. A good example of this is the second disc, which features the 42-minute title track, "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence." This track is every bit -- and maybe even more so -- the opus that Scenes From A Memory was (although shorter). Starting off with a very symphonic overture, winding its way through tales of madness, grief, and depression, and concluding with a stirring climax, this is the stuff for which DT fans live and die.

It may only be February as I write this, but Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is already in my top 10 list for the year. It would take a miracle for there to be enough better CDs released to knock it off.

Disc One: The Glass Prison (13:52) / Blind Faith (10:21) / Misunderstood (9:32) / The Great Debate (13:45) / Disappear (6:45)

Disc Two: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence (42:02): i. Overture - ii. About To Crash - iii. War Inside My Head - iv. The Test That Stumped Them All - v. Goodnight Kiss - vi. Solitary Shell - vii. About To Crash (Reprise) - viii. Losing Time/Grand Finale

James LaBrie - vocals
Jordan Rudess - keyboards
John Myung - bass
John Petrucci - guitars
Mike Portnoy - drums

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: February 23rd 2002
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum
Artist website: www.dreamtheater.net
Hits: 945
Language: english


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