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A Dramatic Turn of Events

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Editors’ Notes

With the departure of original drummer Mike Portnoy, who gave DT much of their distinctive sound, and the introduction of veteran Mike Mangini, Dream Theater solider on as progressive metal warriors who manage to maintain their trademark sound. Guitarist John Petrucci keeps his virtuoso chops grinding out these intensely complex tunes and keyboardist Jordan Rudess adds an anthemic texture to the expansive beauty at the heart of “Build Me Up, Break Me Down.” Singer James LaBrie is notably more sedate, but still clearly on top of things. However, Dream Theater are primarily about instrumental prowess and the ability to bring the listener to an alternate reality. “Far from Heaven” and “Beneath the Surface” are the compact ballads here. But tracks such as the ten-minute “Lost Not Forgotten,” the eleven-minute “Bridges In the Sky” and “Outcry” and the twelve-minute “Breaking All Illusions” are the kind of monster opuses that allow the band to stretch out in that pure Dream Theater kind of way. Fans of the group’s stunning complexity will not be disappointed.

Customer Reviews

A complete triumph

It was always going to very difficult for the band and fans to take, following Mike Portnoy's departure from the band after 25 years of service to band. He had such a strong presence in the band that it was going to be very hard to fill the void left. Step forward Mike Mangini.

Mangini had taken to the band like a duck to water. He has fitted in to the band so well and has encapsulated the virtuostic style of playing which has been synonymous with the band since the very beginning.

The sound from their new album is just a treat to listen to. Most of the songs have a very dark ambience throughout; particularly Build me Up, Break Me Down and Bridges in the Sky. What's also fantastic is that Jordan Rudess has introduced a much more retro progessive sound to his keyboard playing, which combined with Petrucci's significantly more emotional style of playing is genuinely something special. Myung's contribution reminds me of Images and Words especially, due to the fact that the basslines were such an integral part of the album. This is contrary to the virtually inaudible basslines in Black Clouds and Silver Linings.

James LaBrie's vocals continue to impress, the versatility of his voice speaks for itself, from the heavy sounds of Build me Up, Break me Down and Bridges in the Sky to the more emotional ballads This is the Life and Beneath the Surface.

In my opinion, this is album of the year.

On the Backs of Angels- 9/10
Build me Up, Break me Down- 10/10
Lost Not Forgotten- 10/10
This is the Life- 9.5/10
Bridges in the Sky- 8.5/10
Outcry- 10/10
Far From Heaven- 8/10
Breaking All Illusions- 10/10
Beneath the Surface- 10/10

Buy this if music makes you happy!!

Forget all the talk/hype regarding Mike Portnoy leaving the band and move on, this album is DT at their best doing what they want to do!! Mangini is fabulous as are the whole of DT. This album will make your hair stand up on end at times and then make your jaw dropas well! just buy it listen and smile!!!!


Rapidly becoming my favourite Dream Theater album. Lost Not Forgotten - insane musicianship.


Formed: 1986 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The technically proficient guitar playing of John Petrucci elevated Dream Theater to the upper echelons of contemporary heavy metal. While its lineup has continuously evolved, the Long Island-based quintet has consistently delivered sharp-edged music. Dream Theater is known for its high-energy concert performances. While they've released several live albums -- Live at the Marquee, recorded at the London club; Live in Japan, recorded during the Music in Progress tour in 1993, and a triple-CD and DVD,...
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