Dream Theater A Dramatic Turn Of Events 2011 Review by Mike

8.5
Prog Metal
 So far I've listened to the album three times, and while it is admittedly nice, I think it's one of the weaker DT albums. It's still quite good, but the words "haphazard" and "forced" pop up a bit too often in my mind when I'm listening to the album, particularly in the opening track. Mike Mangini is a great musician, but on this album the drums strike me as largely unimaginative compared to Portnoy's style. Of course one could also say that Mangini simply chooses to stay in the background and let the other band members shine (which definitely plays out well in that regard, particularly with Myung and LaBrie), and indeed I think that there's great potential for a truly great next album that hopefully won' t be recorded under such unfortunate circumstances.

The bottom line: a solid album, but ultimately falling short in terms of songwriting and inspired playing (don't get me wrong, there are plenty of inspired moments, it's just lacking compared to other DT releases) and thus a transitional step for the band, pretty much like Feel Euphoria was for Spock's Beard - at least that's my wish(ful thinking).
Lost Not Forgotten 10:11
8.6
Breaking All Illusions 12:25
9.0
Review by Time_Signature 7 years ago <Permalink>
9.5
Prog Metal
Admittedly, the three main attractions of Dream Theater for me have always been Mike Portnoy's phenomenal drumming, James Labrie's unique vocals, and Dream Theater's complex and sophisticated progressive metal and unique sound. With Mike Portnoy out of the band, one of those attractions disappeared, and my concern was that the third attraction would disappear with him. So, my main concern with this album has been "will it sound like Dream Theater at all?".

Now, we know that Portnoy is doing well - he's making awesome groovy metal with Adrenaline Mob, he's got a power trio going with John Sykes and an unnamed bassist, and then there is the mammoth prog rock band Translatlantic. But what about Dream Theater, how will they fare?

Well, to be honest, I think that "A Dramatic Turn of Events" sounds like... Dream Theater. And that's basically enough for me. I could finish the review here, because I got what I came for. I mean, all the trademark things are there: the long songs, the many moves and twists and turns in every track, Labrie's vocals, the melody, the keyboard wizardry, the technically advanced guitar solos, the quirky things, the odd time signature, the rhythmical ambiguities. Yup, this is Dream theater, and, like most of their other releases, it clicked with me immediately on first listen.

There are some differences between this album and other Dream Theater output though, if one holds them up against each other. The previous releases saw Dream Theater slowly being taken in a heavier direction, as the band started implementing elements from heavier and more extreme types of metal with thrash metal elements popping up in several tracks on "Train of Thought", "Systematic Chaos" and "Black Lines and Silver Linings", and there is even some blastbeating in 'A Nightmare to Remember'. Those elements do not figure that prominently on this release ... -> show full review