The twelfth full-length album by the legendary American Progressive Metal band.
Album features nine tracks, including the lead single "The Enemy Inside". Produced by guitarist John Petrucci and engineered by Richard Chycki (Aerosmith, Mick Jagger, Rush), the album showcases the band's patented mind-bending instrumental passages, soaring vocals and epic storyteller-style lyrics.
Dream Theater have had an interesting release history; from classic records like "Images And Words" and "Scenes From A Memory", the band released what's regarded as "their last good record" "Octavarium" in 2005. Then came the period of their career where "Systematic Chaos" through "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" seemed like a good idea, the latter being a step up from essentially the abomination "Black Clouds & Silver Linings". Finally we arrive in 2013, where Dream Theater drop their self-titled record and, more importantly, return to where they left off with "Octavarium" by crafting a record that is front-to-back great. "We have a great history. We've made a lot of albums that we're incredibly proud of and that are special to us," said Petrucci. "Self-titling this album was a way to illustrate that we remain in a constant state of evolution."
Dream Theater can be summed up simply; think of the record as having the heaviness of "Train Of Thought", the catchy sensibilities of "Images And Words", and the vocal work of "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory"… thrown into a movie soundtrack. It's the perfect storm of what Dream Theater fans have anxiously been waiting for from the band and so much more.
Where songs like "The Enemy Inside" and "Enigma Machine" have the capability to wrap their hands around your throat and slam you into the pavement, there are Rush-influenced jams like "The Looking Glass", ballads like "Along For The Ride" and even the movie-prog closer "Illumination Theory" keeps the record interesting right up to the final piano-laden minutes.
While guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess play their heart out as they've always done, which is constantly commendable, the rest of the band deserve equal praise. For the first time since "Train Of Thought", bassist John Myung is not only audible in the mix but brings the gritty, low-down riffs like no other. Dream Theater might be his best performance to date. Then there's drummer Mike Mangini, who for the first time since joining the band has written his own parts… and it shows. Mangini is an amazing fit for the band and truly takes the record to another level. Then there's vocalist James LaBrie, who usually gets a lot of flack for his performances, but lo and behold! Once more easily one of his best performances to date and some of the highest notes we've heard out of LaBrie in a long while.
The diversity strewn across the record is simply astonishing, and never once gets boring or have you checking how long you've been listening. In essence, Dream Theater has taken all the mistakes they've made on the past few records and righted them in the best way possible!
Dream Theater is a grower! It's an album that really takes a lot of you but it's worth it in the end!! The performances are genuinely amazing and… it's one of those records where words simply don't do it justice. The bottom line is that if you've been disappointed in the band for the past few years and you're yearning for early 2000's Dream Theater, then this record is for you!!!
After being released on September 24, 2013, album sold around 34,000 copies in the first week to land at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the band's second highest chart position, behind "Black Clouds & Silver Linings", which peaked at No. 6. It also is the band's third consecutive top 10 debut. Also, the album topped Billboard's list of "Hard Rock Albums". It entered the Top 5 in fifteen countries including Japan, Germany, Argentina, Holland, Finland, Italy, Switzerland and Canada; and Top 10 in nine countries including Denmark, Norway, Austria, Australia and United Kingdom. On December 6, 2013, it was announced that "The Enemy Inside" was nominated for the "Best Metal Performance" Grammy Award.
Roadrunner Records, 2013 (RR7604-2). Made in Germany. First press.
1. False Awakening Suite 2:41
2. The Enemy Inside 6:17
3. The Looking Glass 4:52
4. Enigma Machine 6:01
5. The Bigger Picture 7:40
6. Behind The Veil 6:52
7. Surrender To Reason 6:34
8. Along For The Ride 4:44
9. Illumination Theory 22:16
Total playing time: 67:57