Dream Theater album review


Dream Theater will perform in the Washington, DC area. (Dream Theater/Dream Theater)
March 27, 2014
DREAM THEATER
“Dream Theater”

Kindred spirits: Queensrÿche, Rush, Yes

Show: Tuesday at the Lincoln Theatre.
Doors open at 7 p.m. 202-888-0050. www.thelincolndc.com. $59.50.

The last track on Dream Theater’s new self-titled
album
captures much of what the progressive metal band has become known for over its nearly 30-year career. “Illumination Theory” is a soaring five-piece opus that shows off the group’s changing rhythms and moods, intricate drum fills and John Petrucci’s complex guitar lines.

The rest of “Dream Theater” features shorter, more accessible songs, but with varying degrees of success. “The Looking Glass” is reminiscent of Rush and is as anthemic as any of that trio’s radio hits, with a catchy hook interspersed with softer, moodier interludes.

The heavy-hitting “The Enemy Inside” is surprisingly simple from a technical perspective, but its instrumental growl coupled with James LaBrie’s impassioned vocals make it one of the album’s most dynamic songs.

Less successful here are the ballads, which coast into soft-rock territory. “The Bigger Picture” is particularly egregious, with its earnest vocals and spiritual lyrics landing the song closer to CCM than to metal, while the sentimental, soft “Along for the Ride” feels like filler just before the closing epic. Given the band’s storied career, however, some coasting is forgivable. This album has more than enough engaging moments to earn its place on Dream Theater’s long discography.

Catherine P. Lewis

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