Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

1. In the Presence of Enemies Pt. 1
2. Forsaken
3. Constant Motion
4. The Dark Eternal Night
5. Repentance
6. Prophets of War
7. The Ministry of Lost Souls
8. In the Presence of Enemies Pt. 2

James LaBrie (V)
John Myung (B)
John Petrucci (G)
Mike Portnoy (D)
Jordan Rudess (K)

Systematic Chaos (2007)
Octavarium (2005)
Train of Thought (2003)
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence 2002
Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory (1999)
Falling into Infinity (1997)
A Change of Seasons (EP) (1995)
Awake (1994)
Images and Words (1992)
When Dream and Day Unite (1989)

Recording info:
Recorded at Avatar Studios in New York City

Producers :
John Petrucci & Mike Portnoy


Well, they’re back, the theatre of dreams who have gifted us with amazing pieces of music all the way from their first album in 1989. This album is a logical continuation of Octavarium stylewise it is heavy guitars, soft guitars, acoustic guitars, melodic, non-melodic, orchestrated, dark, light, powerful, soft, deep, shallow, anguish, joy, it has everything, atmospheric keys, keyboard solos, guitar solos of the higher kind. The joy of Dream Theater is that you can never know what to expect, the only thing you do know is that your musical mind is in for a real treat once again. The complexity of the music makes as you may have already figured a good short description impossible. It is a journey through emotions and a journey through a musical landscape unprecedented despite quite a few stylishly inspired band out there, non are able to create as interesting work as the theatre over and over.

They are inventers, they re-invent the genre and themselves every time and just as you believe that there is no more possibility to evolve, they do it anyway. Just to open with a track that has an intro that reaches well over five minutes, and that on a nine minute song, isn’t that to break some boundaries; maybe not but it is catching your interest no doubt.

Dream Theater is as good as they are because they have mad skills on all instrument and they are all really creative and artistic souls that know a good melody when they find it. On most parts, nothing of what they do feel forced or unfinished or out of place, every part of their music is a part of a bigger puzzle that is being laid in front of you, inside your ears. Even when they do something completely strange or unwarranted it feels right, they have this ability to make every odd bit they do feel right. Everything from Portnoy’s drumming to LaBrie’s vocals is placed absolutely right and the 78 minutes the albums stretch is more then bearable.

Still it isn’t as strong as the predecessors Octavarium or Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence that is two albums in the same style as Systematic Chaos, heavier and darker then the early work and perhaps a logical evolvement from Scenes From a Memory. The tracks may sometimes feel just a little too long and it doesn’t have those smashing hits that are present on Octavarium or Six Degrees… Forsaken is an exception and it is an amazing track with fine melodies and theme. Prophets of War and Constant Motion are other great tracks, they are all great but I had wished for a little more, maybe I am just having too great expectations for this band or maybe this is another album that feels slightly in between like Awake, Train of Thought and now maybe this.

Systematic Chaos is another part of an amazing discography that stretches for almost twenty years now, it is eight tracks and 78 minutes of amazement and an orgy of mad instrumental skills, if you have liked Dream Theater before, you will like this.

official website

Label - Roadrunner Records
Three similar bands - Pink Floyd/Metallica/Pagan's Mind
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
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