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Sunday, 17. February 2008 - 20:01

Review: Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

Dieser Beitrag ist auch in deutsch verfügbar (empfohlen).

Systematic Chaos is the nineth album you can buy from the New Yorker band, by now. How the disc claims in comparement to the other, especially the, in my opinion, great predecessor called Octavarium, you can read here in this review.

Systematic Chaos is like every Dream Theater album – only worser. At the beginning Octavarium only bored me, but Systematic Chaos was simply not listenable. Too hard, too mach of Korn and to less of, let´s say, Liquid Tension Experiment. Bad “hit it and tune your guitar deeper”-stuff.

It's really not a surprise, that I obviously didn't get it, but you really need some time, to accustom yourself to it. Even more, that it was the case with Train of Thought. Because Systematic Chaos is the new reference in the series of the darker and harder DT albums.

Well, the beginning isn't so bad at all. “In the Presence of Enemies Pt.1” could be an Octavarium song, too, if you ignore the unfamiliar sound (some people would say, it's a bad recording), that the whole album has. I still wonder about the statement of the band, that says, the song would be a good opener, because the entrance is direct to the face. You can find the second part of the song at the end of the CD, and indeed, both songs sound best, when you listen to them direct in series.

Like every hard metal album, one could miss some melodic parts. Actually Systematic Chaos is better in the dark, unrythmic guitar parts, but this time, Jordan Rudess is playing himself more in the foreground, like it was for example on the Train of Thought album, on which he was not really present.

Friends of the shouting metal would like this CD rather than the other ones from DT, because with “Constant Motion” and “The dark eternal Night” the two best and catchiest songs are exactly from that category. That does not mean, that they are not progressive, because especially the last one has one of the longest and best instrumental parts of the whole disc.

And well, thn there was the new second lead singer, you probably already know from the rythm section. Yes, Portnoy was singing earlier, too, but it was never so much. And the fact isn't so bad at all, you can hear that especially in “Constant Motion” and in “Prophets of War”. And no, “Constant Motion” isn't a Metallica song, it only sounds like one.

The famous self quotation part is nearly a whole song, this time: Repentance. The original is again from “This dying soul”, from the Train of Thought album. Again, because on Octavarium it was the same. Interestingly this time the first part (Hello mirror / so glad to see you my friend / it's been a while) is not done by LaBrie, no, Portnoy sings it and you to listen very closely to recognize it. Not just the text, but also the melody is nearly the same as it was in the original. There are just some small differences and if you expect some more innovative ideas, I have to let you down. There's just a guitar solo and a bubble gum ending, which contains a lot spoken samples. In my opinion the fact that these samples are spoken by famous people in the metal scene doesn't apologies the not very innovative last minutes of the 11 minute song. Clearly the down point.

The next song raises the quality just a little bit, except you are eventually a fan of the Pet Shop Boys. Just the bridge, with the “choir” comprised by shouting Dream Theater fans is saving the track. You can see the making of this part on the DVD [name], which is very funny. The lyrics of “Prophets of War” are the other advantage of the song. Unfortunatelly these were the only lyrics LaBrie did on this album.

“The ministry of lost souls” is a typical DT song and could be a harder version of Octavarium: Easy beginning, everything very symphonic, great instrumental part, bombastical ending. Not more and not less.

In my opinion the album has just one really bad song, the other stuff is on a constant known level, but their are no songs or parts that should be named, when the question about the best Dream Theater is coming up. If you like the hardness and the style of the album only depends on you. That's why I think the album earns 3 of 5 points.

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  1. dave wrote at 17/02/08 - 22:55:47
    geil! endlich mal einer schreibt über dream theater!
    ich muss dir recht geben, der einfluss von LTE fehlt mir auch etwas. obschon ich auch das härtere zeug von DT eigentlich sehr gerne höre. meiner meinung nach eine gute scheibe, die 3 punkte sind völlig ok. für alles andre gibts ja noch die LTE alben - und die zählen ungeschlagen zu den besten cd's in meiner sammlung. biaxident, when the water breaks und paradigm shift lassen grüssen (Smiley: smile)
  2. Philipp Söhnlein (Website) wrote at 18/02/08 - 23:02:52
    Ja, die LTE Alben, sind wirklich die zwei Alben die mich bisher am meisten beeinflusst haben (musikalisch), wobei ich die experimentellen Sachen da sehr gerne mag: Das Ending von Universal Mind, Chris and Kevin's Excellent Adventure, Another Dimension…
    Ich hoffe allerdings, dass das nächste Album wieder etwas Härte verlieren wird. Ich denke es würde zu eintönig werden, wenn sie wieder so etwas machen würden. Aber da DT ja nie zweimal das gleiche hintereinander gemacht hat, sehe ich das positiv.

  3. svengali wrote at 22/08/08 - 16:26:32
    I would like to respond to the inept non musical
    fool that a.has no taste in music, b. can't spell, and c. has his head up his ass so far he can see what he's about to eat for dinner.
    1st off Dream Theater is one of the most technically profecient bands in the prog metal
    scene. And to compare them to Korn???? W.T.F.?
    The guys in Korn aren't even qualified to be their roadies, or even do their laundry. Worser?? did you make it past 4th grade?
    Obviously you must be into music like Hannah Montana and Brittney Spears. And even though you compare the song Constant Motion to Metallica, they are nothing alike. I am a professional musician, and let me tell you Metallica
    " even though they are an o.k. band" has no where as much talent as D.T. I will agree with you on one point, It is not D.T.'S best work. but still very good. So why don't you go back to your parents basement put on your headphones,
    take a whole bottle of sleeping pills, put on Flock of seagulls and die.
  4. Rocko Prog wrote at 13/03/09 - 19:00:34
    i agree with everything svengali said!
    and.. WTF?
    you totally forgot to mention the best fucking song of this album: FORSAKEN !!?!
    it´s awesome, catchy, not too extensive and a milestone of their art!

    The next time you try to tell us your simpleminded opinion wether you like an album or not, take the effort and listen to all of the songs!
  5. TANIA wrote at 05/09/10 - 21:50:06
  6. some loser in his parents basement wrote at 04/11/10 - 20:18:46
    I agree 100% with svengali. If you are not academically sound enough to type out a review of a great album without making more than 0 typos, you aren't worthy to lick the bottoms of Dream Theater's shoes after they walked through a cow field. You are also unworthy of posting a review on a site called "Geeks Have Feelings Too" for obvious reasons. You may feel that it is your solemn duty to "critique" albums for "the benefit of the fans," but you fail to realize that a fan of Dream Theater because THE ALBUM IS DREAM THEATER! Too many people get on DT's back because they change their sound up on different albums, but if they had the same sound on their albums, they'd get the business for that too. Fans like you are impossible to please because you insist on perfection (which DT is very close to achieving). So you don't enjoy Dream Theater, big deal. Neither does my girlfriend. But she doesn't write reviews on great albums and pretend to know what she's talking about. Another thing I'm sick of is everybody's obsession with Metallica and Led Zeppelin and whoever else from back in the 80's or 70's. The only reason those bands were famous was because they were the best bands of their time. There was nothing else worth listening to. HOWEVER, modern bands like Dream Theater have more instrumental skill than Metallica. It is unquestionable. People simply refuse to let go of the old belief that nothing will ever defeat Metallica. It's ridiculous. Now why don't you climb your old, termite-worn staircase and emerge from you dark, dank parent's basement and ask your mom to fix you up a plate of Ritz crackers with peanut butter and mayonnaise instead of slandering DT? Thanks.

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