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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - 2002

I've often wondered if Prog Metal is a genre that is popularized by head-bangers yet still appreciated by prog purists. It could be the only reason I can find to explain it seems every CD opener by Prog Metal bands are the worst, and most fundamentally vulgar song in the release. The opening track seems meant to snare the attention of those who really don't know anything about progressive rock.

With Dream Theater's new 2 CD release, "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", the band has made a definitive move into the symphonic progressive arena, something they've only dabbled with in the past. It seems the band is finally outgrowing the prog metal handle they helped create and most certainly made popular to mass audiences.

The band still consists of James LaBrie on vocals, Jordan Rudess on keyboards, John Myung playing bass, the articulate John Petrucci on guitars, and a prog crazed Mike Portnoy on drums. Needless to say, the entire band has capable musicians.

As with most prog metal releases, the first track here is a stinker. And it's a fourteen minute one at that. Full of that atonal, cold, mechanical, machismo riff that typifies the bulk of prog metal monsters to the day. Thankfully, with the eighty or so minutes that remain in the new CD, the band explores - at times - some surprisingly well-developed and often magnificent terrain.

"Blind Faith", track two, has much of that calculated Prog Metal muscle but it also displays some wonderful piano work. That same acoustic element continues with "Misunderstood" which for the most part could almost be mistaken for the pastoral delights of one Anthony Phillips.

I'm not that fond of the sample heavy "Great Debate" another 14 minute track, but it does have some interesting diversions. The beautiful ballad "Disappear" closes off CD one. It's a somber, heartfelt piece that reminds me of the excellent American band Timothy Pure and at six minutes it's way too short. But even so, the song takes Dream Theater to places they have never gone before.

The second CD, a 42 minute opus is where Dream Theater goes very symphonic, full of sweeping orchestration and fully realized movements. However, like the patchy Prog Metal traces throughout the rest of the album, the side is continually hampered by riff pounding diversions.

Dream Theater undoubtedly has some of the finest musicians in the world in their roster. And with almost 8 releases (including side projects) in the past few years, they are amongst the most prolific. And they also are turning the eyes of popular music back to progressive circles. So many positive things abound in this band. Now it's time for them to quit monkeying with metal heads and make that classic album I know they are capable of.

Dream Theater undoubtedly has some of the finest musicians in the world in their roster. And with almost 8 releases (including side projects) in the past few years, they are amongst the most prolific. And they also are turning the eyes of popular music back to progressive circles. So many positive things abound in this band. Now it's time for them to quit monkeying with metal heads and make that classic album I know they are capable of.

Richard Zywotkiewicz - February 2002
rating - Elektra

 

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