Dream Theater

Saapanael

Doing his best for a better tomorrow
Even when I listen to their crappier songs, I can’t help but think that I love John Petrucci.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Speaking of forgetable, even after multiple listens the self-titled album simple does not stick with me. Not one track. I enjoy it when I listen to it, I really like it, but as soon as I turn it off.... nothing. I remember when I was listening to systematic chaos in my car I would hum a few of the melodies once I got out, this album doesn't do that even though I like it. The astonishing was very bland from the first listen, hasn't improved... honestly, I shouldn't have bought it.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
The self-titled is extremely forgettable, I agree. However, recently The Bigger Picture has grown on me, I've been listening to that track a lot. Behind the Veil, The Enemy Inside and The Looking Glass are great songs too. But yeah, they all just kinda sound like average Dream Theater songs.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Speaking of forgetable, even after multiple listens the self-titled album simple does not stick with me. Not one track. I enjoy it when I listen to it, I really like it, but as soon as I turn it off.... nothing. I remember when I was listening to systematic chaos in my car I would hum a few of the melodies once I got out, this album doesn't do that even though I like it. The astonishing was very bland from the first listen, hasn't improved... honestly, I shouldn't have bought it.
I love the self titled. The Enemy Inside is badasss. I quite like The Bigger Picture, Looking Glass and Along For The Ride. Illumination Theory is a good listen too. A top 5 DT album for me. I am a bit biased though, as going to a pre listening session with Petrucci and Labrie present was a monumentally cool experience for a 23 year old Swede.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
The self titled is pretty meh for a DT album. It's one of my least favorites for sure. Thankfully it gave us The Bigger Picture and Illumination Theory. The latter is one of their best songs.
 

JudasMyGuide

Ever the Southern Gentleman
On one hand, I really like Dance of Eternity (it being one of the "all-out" crazy tech moments on the album, though the ending of Fatal Tragedy remains my favourite), though I understand it is hardly necessary in the greater scope of the album and I understand why it might be skippable for others. However, if I were to delete a track off Metro 2, it'd definitely be Through Her Eyes - I like it, but it's way too much Backstreet Boys for me in general - or One Last Time, which kinda kills the momentum of the album for me as it's nearing its end.

As for the self-titled... I don't know, at first I was seriously underwhelmed, then began to like it a lot and had it on repeat quite often and nowadays it kinda slips off my mind in general.
I really like the first half - love both The Enemy Inside and The Looking Glass ("commentary" on Limelight or not), The Enigma Machine is fun, though not really memorable (which I don't mind much here) and The Bigger Picture might be my favourite track on the album nowadays.

Even Behind the Veil begins in a really good way, however it ends way too abrupty and gives off too much of a "first 7 minutes of a 20 minute track that had the rest cut off" vibe to me.

Surrender to Reason... I still haven't got into, it's way too disjointed and feels underbaked to me (I've always had a very similar problem with Scarred, btw) and Ride is just your run-of-the-mill DT ballad, nothing special, not offensive either, but not a reason for me to put on the album by itself.

Illumination Theory... I was disappointed then and I am kinda disappointed even now, though it's grown on me. It just... I don't know, it's way too unemotional for such a long track (apart from the orchestral interlude which hardly sounds like DT at all and predicts The Astonishing three years later). It feels very lifeless to me, I can't even precisely say why. I've learned to enjoy it, I'd even say it's very good but combined with the rest of the second half of the album it feels kinda meh.

Also, Mangini's drums don't sound all that good to me here. In fact, the whole production sounds off. Anyone else?
 
Last edited:

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
though I understand it is hardly necessary in the greater scope of the album and I understand why it might be skippable for others.
I have to nitpick this. When you look at Scenes as a sequel to Metropolis Part 1 with lyrical and musical references throughout, you need to have the big instrumental section. It is a necessary part of the song. Also, when you look at how closely Dance of Eternity resembles the form and direction of the Metropolis instrumental section without sounding like a rehash, it becomes all the more impressive.

The subsequent segue and general vibe of One Last Time is also very similar to the ending of the original Metropolis. Which makes sense, narratively it’s kinda where our story ends. The rest of the album is more tying loose ends.
 

Spambot

Educated Fool
Ok friends, I have heard Images and Words, and Metropolis Part 2 and absolutely loved them start to finish. Where to go next? I have a box set with all of their albums from 1992-2011 in addition to Distance Over Time although I have heard the latter.
From what I've managed to discern on this forum, DT forum, some reviews, prog blogs, prog lists and Mike Portnoy tweets, this is some general shaped opinion:*
*Mind you, I haven't listened to the whole discography, some of these sayings are biased and other ones are made up

When Dream and Day Unite - Don't even bother. I can't remember if I stumbled upon on even any band member saying something postive about this one.
Images and Words - TNOTB of Dream Theater, I guess? Half iconic, half filler.
Awake - It is amazing how overlooked this album is. I mean, this one rarely gets mention. I don't know is it a good thing or a bad thing.
Falling Into Infinity - It's not Dream Theater's fault that you will not like this album. It's the music industry's fault.
Metropolis pt 2. Scenes from a Memory - Masterpiece, apparently. I mean, it was voted best concept album recently, topping 2112.
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - There's something for everybody here. And I do mean: something for everybody.
Train of Thought - If you're born like like... 1985 onwards, you will like this one. Otherwise, you won't
Octavarium - Title track is what's this one all about.
Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds... - Not good as people expected them to be.
Dramatic Turn... and Dream Theater - Not bad as people expected them to be.
The Astonishing - If you ever become, like, hard-core DT fan, this one will end up in your top 2.
Distance over Time - Lukewarm. Nobody bashed or praised. Switzerland of DT fandom.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
From what I've managed to discern on this forum, DT forum, some reviews, prog blogs, prog lists and Mike Portnoy tweets, this is some general shaped opinion:*
*Mind you, I haven't listened to the whole discography, some of these sayings are biased and other ones are made up

When Dream and Day Unite - Don't even bother. I can't remember if I stumbled upon on even any band member saying something postive about this one.
Images and Words - TNOTB of Dream Theater, I guess? Half iconic, half filler.
Awake - It is amazing how overlooked this album is. I mean, this one rarely gets mention. I don't know is it a good thing or a bad thing.
Falling Into Infinity - It's not Dream Theater's fault that you will not like this album. It's the music industry's fault.
Metropolis pt 2. Scenes from a Memory - Masterpiece, apparently. I mean, it was voted best concept album recently, topping 2112.
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - There's something for everybody here. And I do mean: something for everybody.
Train of Thought - If you're born like like... 1985 onwards, you will like this one. Otherwise, you won't
Octavarium - Title track is what's this one all about.
Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds... - Not good as people expected them to be.
Dramatic Turn... and Dream Theater - Not bad as people expected them to be.
The Astonishing - If you ever become, like, hard-core DT fan, this one will end up in your top 2.
Distance over Time - Lukewarm. Nobody bashed or praised. Switzerland of DT fandom.
Images & Words is one of the best albums of all time. It wipes the floor with The Number of The Filler 7 days a week.
Awake is not overlooked, the general consensus about it is that it's in the top 4 with I&W, Metropolis pt. 2 and Six Degrees.
Train of Thought is popular among the older fans too.
Octavarium is much more than just one song.
The Astonishing is generally hated, although it has lots of fans too. Kinda like The X-Factor.
Distance over Time got a very warm reception. Many, many fans praise it as the best DT album since Octavarium. Personally, I strongly disagree with this claim.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
From what I've managed to discern on this forum, DT forum, some reviews, prog blogs, prog lists and Mike Portnoy tweets, this is some general shaped opinion:*
*Mind you, I haven't listened to the whole discography, some of these sayings are biased and other ones are made up

When Dream and Day Unite - Don't even bother. I can't remember if I stumbled upon on even any band member saying something postive about this one.
Images and Words - TNOTB of Dream Theater, I guess? Half iconic, half filler.
Awake - It is amazing how overlooked this album is. I mean, this one rarely gets mention. I don't know is it a good thing or a bad thing.
Falling Into Infinity - It's not Dream Theater's fault that you will not like this album. It's the music industry's fault.
Metropolis pt 2. Scenes from a Memory - Masterpiece, apparently. I mean, it was voted best concept album recently, topping 2112.
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - There's something for everybody here. And I do mean: something for everybody.
Train of Thought - If you're born like like... 1985 onwards, you will like this one. Otherwise, you won't
Octavarium - Title track is what's this one all about.
Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds... - Not good as people expected them to be.
Dramatic Turn... and Dream Theater - Not bad as people expected them to be.
The Astonishing - If you ever become, like, hard-core DT fan, this one will end up in your top 2.
Distance over Time - Lukewarm. Nobody bashed or praised. Switzerland of DT fandom.
I actually got through a fair chunk of the albums, have a few more to do but I quite enjoy the band and probably have them playing far more frequently than any other band.

Images And Words - Phenomenal album, I only really go for 3 songs right now but wow what a release.
Awake - Has some pretty darn strong tracks, lately I've only been listening to Lifting Shadows Off A Dream but I do recall the second half of that album being super strong.
Falling Into Infinity - Not a ton that I listen to from here, once again another consistent and stronger album. Hollow Years is what I listen to from here.
Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory - Absolutely amazing, only 1 mistep imo, a brilliant display of their craft, Home, The Spirit Carries On and Finally Free all get played regularily.
Six Degrees - A pretty good album which I haven't listened to anything off of since, but I did like it, albiet a very long album.
Train Of Thought - A good album, another that I don't listen to much from, the band took a more heavy approach here which while it works wasn't my favourite.
Octavarium - Another rather good album which I once again haven't looked into much since. I liked a fair bit on it including the title track.
Systematic Chaos - See above, I do like some of their stuff from here every so often, Ministry Of Lost Souls is a great track.
Black Clouds And Silver Linings - A brilliant album, I love it. Wither I listen to almost every day, Best of Times and A Nightmare To Remember are also some which get a fair bit of listens.

Haven't listened to the rest. Oh and A CHANGE OF SEASONS has been played a lot lately, much to my familys disapointment since they aren't a fan of longer songs or rock/metal in some cases.
 

Midnight

Wizard Hunter
6.00 is the song that got me into Dream Theater.
The Dark Eternal Night solidified my opinion of them.
But my favourite albums (and the ones on my list of 25) are Metropolis Pt. 2 and Black Clouds And Silver Linings.
 

Saapanael

Doing his best for a better tomorrow
It’s a controversial opinion but I agree about the notion that I&W is DT’s NOTB. It’s the album that everyone knows but if you’re a fan, you know they have better stuff to offer.
I should add that both NOTB and I&W are great but not the most interesting from either band.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I agree about the notion that I&W is DT’s NOTB. It’s the album that everyone knows but if you’re a fan, you know they have better stuff to offer.
That's a more understandable reasoning. It's the "half filler" thing that's very objectionable.
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
Images and Words destroys NOTB. The latter is more than half filler; there’s zero filler on I&W.

Unpopular opinions inbound...

Falling Into Infinity is underrated. Train of Thought is my personal favorite. Octavarium would be their worst album if not for Astonishing (the title track saves it). It was the band not being themselves. The debut is stronger than both.

The self-titled is a mature album and deserves more credit than most give it. Distance Over Time is nearly as good. Dramatic Turn is solid but too wanky at times. Speaking of dramatic turns, Awake is a complete 180 from Images, and while I used to love it, it’s in the middle of my pack now.

Six Degrees has three great songs, and none of them are that bloated title track.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I don’t think Number of the Beast or Images and Words are half filler. I also don’t like the comparison. You could reasonably argue that Images is DT at their peak. They also went in so many different directions afterward. Maiden took the formula of Beast and built on it for the rest of the decade.
 
Top