Dream Theater Systematic Chaos

Dream Theater Systematic Chaos
Reviewing Dream Theater is as difficult as trying to play along to any of their songs. The band have been releasing incredibly complex, precise and powerful compositions for 22 years, and with myriad accomplishments, experiences and a host of followers, Dream Theater still maintain enough integrity to release a great record. With all the detractors harping on the, at times, incomprehensible musicianship and the operatic vocals of James LaBrie, Dream Theater have gone ahead and made what is actually a pretty freakin’ heavy record — when you take away the sluggish "Repentance,” which sounds like drummer Mike Portnoy should’ve saved for OSI. Check out tracks "The Dark Eternal Night,” which shines in its midpoints with blazing speed, or the Metallica/Megadeth-sounding "Constant Motion” and you’ll see there remain avenues still to be explored. Because they’re pretty much a "musician’s band,” Dream Theater will never be as popular as some of their contemporaries. This album is tough for the non-Dream Theater fan to get into but then again, which Dream Theater record isn’t? If you have a love for the virtuosic and respect for prog pioneers, Systematic Chaos is a great listen. Also, as if there wasn’t enough talent stuffed into this record, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai pop up (albeit in vocal capacities), proving that there is more skill appearing on this album than cool-sounding adjectives can possibly describe. (Roadrunner) (Roadrunner)