Dream Theater

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I expected the same too. The lack of Pull Me Under was shocking.. But as for the new additions, they are pretty basic songs. I'm getting sick of seeing As I Am in the setlist, worst song from ToT if you ask me.
Sure, I get that, but at least they're not being incredibly lazy with the set. Anything from ToT is good for me. Worst song on ToT is still a 9 or 10/10, so I'll take it!
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Why Peruvian Skies? Why not play something else from that album instead? And Dance of Eternity? :facepalm:
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Why Peruvian Skies? Why not play something else from that album instead? And Dance of Eternity? :facepalm:
Peruvian Skies is a good song, probably the best shorter song you could hear from the album in a live setting. And I hear that Dance of Eternity kills live. Another surprising exclusion was The Spirit Carries On.
Sure, I get that, but at least they're not being incredibly lazy with the set. Anything from ToT is good for me. Worst song on ToT is still a 9 or 10/10, so I'll take it!
It's a good song, but literally any other song would be a better option. And every other song from ToT hasn't been played in years! I think Endless Sacrifice is the most recent song that has been played, and that was 2011. Honor Thy Father anyone?
 

Stardust

A Blue Sector Mirage
Sorry for the LONG delay...

Falling into Infinity (1997)


The history behind this album is fraught with mishaps, idiotic record labels wanting them to be more openly commercial and write radio-friendly songs and the like. The writing and pre-production phase of Falling into Infinity was a real nightmare for the band and they did indeed consider throwing in the towel during that. Luckily, they managed to persevere through it all and what we got out of it was...well, a very good, almost-great DT album. This album has experienced decidedly divisive opinions over the years from fans, meaning that there’s still no proper consensus on it, even though it’s looking like the album’s fan reception nowadays is mostly positive. It’s the ever popular vindicated by history effect - that happens a lot in these recent times.

But anyway, enough talk! Let’s get to those songs!

1. New Millennium

The band goes King Crimson! Oh, and gentle reminiscences of Learning to Live can be heard in the intro which is very nice indeed. It’s filled to the brim with cool bits that I can’t for the life of me remember afterwards but sound really cool in the moment. A funny coincidence, considering this was written by Mr. “Carpe Diem” Portnoy himself. That is to say...I don’t find it very memorable in the slightest. But it’s also not bad at all - it’s always pretty great when I actually listen to it. So...in circumstances like that, it gets a 8/10 albeit it’s really moreso a 7.5, but I don’t do decimal ratings for these reviews so...I rounded it up to be nice.

2. You Not Me

...oh, they just deliberately skipped the comma in the song title. Anyway, this song is fairly hated across the board by most DT fans, save for some (strange) apologists. Guess which camp I’m in. Yup, that’s right, I’m in neither. I just don’t give a damn about the song, that’s all. It’s so bland. In my mind, there’s nothing between New Millennium and the next after this one since I couldn’t care enough to remember this one. I’ll give it a 3/10 since it’s not absolutely awful - that would make it actually memorable.

3. Peruvian Skies

Dream Theater goes Metallica! ...and Floyd! Wow, that’s an interesting fusion of styles. The band pulls it off pretty well, although not all the way, otherwise this would be a lock for 10/10. Well, it’s not going to get that. But this is still pretty good overall, if a little less memorable than I would have liked...you’ve probably noticed I’ve used that as a complaint three times in a row now. Yeah, it’s kinda one of the album’s greatest weaknesses. Peruvian Skies is not a song I go back to often, it’s just another song off this album for me. And y’know, going by those merits, this does the job! It’s a 7/10.

4. Hollow Years

Well, isn’t this a lovely one. I’ve seen some fans groan about the more mainstream vibe of this ballad, but those same fans are also perfectly happy with the more heavy mainstream songs later on, so...I think they’re just biased towards ballads. Well, I’ll say boo to them, this song is great! It’s such a fantastic ballad with superb lyrics and a VERY memorable melody to go along with them. This album does have some major exceptions after all to the “not very memorable” issue permeating it. Hoo boy, is this certainly one of those exceptions! ...but I really don’t have a lot to say about it otherwise. I went back and forth for this one and after much deliberation, it’s a immensely high 9/10 for me.

5. Burning My Soul

Well, this is another one of the exceptions, but it’s not because it’s a great song or anything like that. No, it’s because I think this is an absolutely awful song. LaBrie sounds terrible on it and I just think it all sounds like a mess. Maybe the lyrics are decent but I could not give a flying frick about that. I don’t even want to talk about this one, so I’ll just dump a nice little 1/10 on it and be done with it.

6. Hell’s Kitchen

People actually wanted this instrumental to be part of Burning My Soul? That would have really burned MY soul. God, it would be like turning on the Twin Peaks season two finale in the middle of watching Modern Family. This instrumental is great, but in a different fashion from the others. There’s no real focus here on wacky instrument shenanigans, it’s just a song that builds up to a glorious climax. But really, it’s just the obvious lead in to the next song which is what keeps it from getting a 9 or a 10 and instead a solid 8/10. Apparently the band don’t realize this and plays it by itself for whatever reason I cannot fathom…

7. Lines in the Sand

Aww, yeah, let’s get into the real good stuff. There are two BIG masterpieces on this album and this is the first. Man, do I adore this song. It’s filled to the brim with superb riffing which groove you along throughout, the lyrics are great, the guest appearance of Doug Pinnick from King’s X is surprising but works really well and oh...the amazing Petrucci solo on top of everything else. Easily a top three solo from Mr. Petrucci. That’s the clear highlight of the song, but everything here is freaking great. 10/10, definitely.

8. Take Away My Pain

Much better than the other ode to an father, but I’m getting ahead of myself already. This is quite the heartfelt ballad from Petrucci that touches me at least somewhat. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same issue a lot of this album’s songs do - I don’t think it’s very memorable. I bet you’re getting very sick of hearing that now and believe me, I am too. I just need to point it out since I think it’s the definite issue of the album, as should be obvious. This song is pretty good to great when it’s on, it’s just that I won’t remember it afterwards. I’ll give it a 7/10 because those lyrics are really good.

9. Just Let Me Breathe

Oh, boy. This song conflicts me. I hate LaBrie’s vocals but I like the guitar work. Everything I like here is supplanted equally by something I hate so it’s a two-sided affair for me. I can’t really say more about it than that. Of course, with a song like this, it’s pretty much tailormade for a 5/10.

10. Anna Lee

Others will point this out as well, but this song really does remind me of Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but it does hurt this song’s memorability. Ugh, there’s that being mentioned again. Anyways, this song is, uhhh...not particularly interesting in the slightest to me. It’s driven by Sherinian’s piano melodies and it’s perfectly listenable, but man, if there was a poster child for this album’s main issue, this song would certainly be that! For me, it’s just the song that happens to come before the grand finale of the album and I do tend to skip it. Sorry, but because of that, it will have to get a 5/10.

11. Trial of Tears

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is it, guys - one of my all-time favourite DT songs serves as the closer to a flawed but still very good album. It’s melodic, it’s suitably complex and ahhhh, I just love everything about this song! The Rush homage in its first two minutes sets the stage wonderfully, the verses are atmospheric and muted, absolutely fitting for the song’s lyrical themes. Oh, those lyrics are fantastic, probably my favourite DT lyrics out of the whole bunch. Myung, you magnificent bastard! And then, LaBrie makes the story of the song come to life. He’s a lot more subdued here and he absolutely doesn’t have to pull off any ridiculous vocal stunts, which is very welcome since it allows him to not get strained during live performances of this song. So...um, guys, I can continue gushing for a while but I’m fairly sure that’s not something you would find exciting. Yeah, it’s a 10/10, did you expect anything else?

The Final Score: 6.7/10.

That’s...lower than I expected.
 

Shmoolikipod

The Greys
I was the one who said Lines In The Sand is the worst DT song and I still stand by it.
Oh well. I couldn't call it worst even if I hated it, I find it too interesting to ever be below some less unique stuff...


On another note, I listened some two days ago to WDADU for the first time. It was very great, I can't see why people bash it, Charlie's singing is very good there! I loved The Killing Hand, YTSE Jam and A Fortune in Lies the most. TOWHTSTS wasn't that good.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
It appears there are three main periods to DT: the ambitious thinking-man band which strove to provide original music and the increasingly self-indulgent but technically irreproachable machine, followed by what it has been since 2010 (no sufficient insight to provide a just description). And there IS an audience for both (1 vs 2&3), and I don't feel entitled to judge which of these audiences is "better".

The tipping point -which nearly spelled the end of the band- is Falling Into Infinity, which was a bit sitting on the fence, without massively contenting many fans then and now. As far as I'm concerned, it is possibly the best album in terms of production (God knows why ;) ), especially if you compare it with the one of SFAM, but it is also an unfocused album from a band which didn't know if it should have continued under that form, having lost one of its main creative forces (e.g Kevin Moore).
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
That's weird considering that Kevin Shirley produced the album.
The DT boys were small potatoes in terms of authority back then compared to Steve Harris from 2000 onward (and even before). Take a listen to Rush's Counterparts, Sliverchair's Frogstomp and Aerosmith's Nine Lives, for example, to see what his work is worth when his hands are untied.
 
Top