DREAM THEATER – Octavarium

DREAM THEATER - Octavarium


Release Date: June 7, 2005

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Dream Theater isn’t actually people who take time off. They don’t fit the description. These five workaholics deliver killer albums every second year, and follow up with breathtaking live-albums in between.

This year, one year after the brilliant Live At Budokan, Octavarium sees the light of day, and just in time for their visit at this year’s Sweden Rock Festival and their stint at Dave Mustaine’s Gigantour later on.

So what do Mr. Petrucci and Mr. Portnoy and the rest serve up this time? Well, their last visit to the studio resulted in probably the heaviest Dream Theater production so far, Train Of Thought. This time, even though there are several heavy pieces here, Dream Theater’s new release is overall more varied and sometimes pretty mellow.

After the brilliant opener, “The Root Of All Evil,” which has all elements of a Dream Theater favorite with a blistering guitar riff, thunderous drums, and rough vocals, it’s straight off to the slow ballad called “The Answer Lies Within.” That leap shows that Dream Theater is pulling all strings this time.

Anyone familiar with the English band Muse, will also draw similarities when listening to the two strong tracks “Panic Attack” and “Never Enough.” The dramatic vocals and the upfront keyboards are indeed Muse-like, and the English trio is by far the band that brought Prog Rock back into the headlines in Europe … way before Mars Volta started up.

Dream Theater also flirts with Adult-Oriented and Radio-Friendly Rock this time. “These Walls” starts off that section with a great chorus, but the one with the biggest Pop-hooks is definitely “I Walk Beside You,” which is the most radio-friendly song Dream Theater has produced since the Falling Into Infinity-days. Nonetheless, a great track it is, even though it may be too catchy for the diehard DT-fans.

Dream Theater’s Octavarium contains 8 tracks, but as usual, these aren’t your average type of Rock tunes. They end the album with the almost 11-minute long pompous “Sacrifices Sons,” with great string arrangements, before the title track provides 24 minutes of pure Dream Theater-pleasure. Yet again, they deliver the goods, while Train Of Thought is still in your CD-player, and the Live At Budokan DVD is still on your screen. Can these guys even catch their breath?


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