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Metal - Released June 5, 2009 | Roadrunner Records

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Hard Rock - Released September 9, 2016 | Roadrunner Records

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Hard Rock - Released December 4, 2015 | Roadrunner Records

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Metal - Released July 18, 2011 | Roadrunner Records

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Hard Rock - Released August 6, 2013 | Roadrunner Records

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$12.99

Metal - Released August 29, 1995 | Atlantic Records

A Change of Seasons is a strange disc. There are only five tracks but with a total time that approaches an hour anyway. The first track, the 23-minute, seven-part epic "A Change of Seasons," is one of the most impressive pieces of music ever written in the progressive metal vein. With the same heavy sound that marked Awake, but with many other styles mixed in, the track features incredible playing, dramatic, complex instrumental arrangements, and soaring vocals. New keyboardist Derek Sherinian (formerly of Kiss and Alice Cooper) adds his own stamp to the Dream Theater sound as if he'd always been with them. The remainder of the tracks are live cover tunes, recorded from the band's "Uncovered" gig at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club; the material varies widely and includes Elton John's "Love Lies Bleeding" and Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers." The final track, "The Big Medley," has to be heard to be believed; Dream Theater shift musical styles on a dime to cover Pink Floyd, Kansas, Queen, Journey, the Dixie Dregs, and Genesis all in ten minutes. ~ Phil Carter
$10.49

Metal - Released April 8, 2008 | Rhino Atlantic

This is a live recording featuring songs from When Dream and Day Unite and Images and Words. There really isn't that much going on here that can't be heard on the studio records. "A Fortune in Lies" is treated with more aggression than the original and remains one of their gems from the past. "Bombay Vindaloo" is a jam session that features some creative drumming from Mike Portnoy and some diverse playing from John Petrucci. Especially impressive were the muted, Al DiMeola-style quotes. "Another Hand - The Killing Hand" is a combination of an instrumental ("Another Hand") commonly featured in their live shows and the now-infamous "The Killing Hand." The latter is given a great update by singer James LaBrie and probably didn't have too many people missing Charlie Dominici. This is a good live session that will appeal mostly to the diehards of this excellent progressive metal band. ~ Robert Taylor
$6.49

Metal - Released September 14, 2009 | Roadrunner Records

$16.49

Metal - Released January 1, 1999 | Atlantic Records

$12.99

Metal - Released June 30, 1992 | Atlantic Records

Dream Theater's first album with new vocalist James LaBrie is an excellent mix of progressive metal stylings with heartfelt vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. Guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, and drummer Mike Portnoy, all of whom trained at Berklee, show impressive ability on their respective instruments. Kevin Moore's keyboards weave strongly through the intricately constructed songs, while operatically trained LaBrie shows an impressive range with his tenor. Standout tracks include the complex "Metropolis, Pt. 1," the Shakespeare-influenced "Pull Me Under" (also released as a single and video), the dramatic "Take the Time," and the 11-minute, thoughtful "Learning to Live." Dream Theater's musicianship and songwriting are a cut above the norm; this is a very good disc. ~ Phil Carter
$16.49
$14.49

Metal - Released June 4, 2007 | Roadrunner Records

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Few bands in the history of rock have warranted the "either you love them or hate them" tag as much as Dream Theater, as fanatics consider them musical geniuses, while detractors sneer at their bombast. Either way, there's no arguing that the group has built a large and loyal following over the years by doing things their way, and with little to no help from radio or MTV. And on their tenth full-length overall (and first for their new label, Roadrunner), 2007's Systematic Chaos, the quintet sticks to the prog metal game plan that they've followed since their inception. In true Dream Theater fashion, the gentlemen are not ashamed to show off their chops -- as evidenced by the album opener, "In the Presence of Enemies, Pt. 1," in which James LaBrie's vocals do not kick in until after the five-minute mark. Elsewhere, "Forsaken" proves wrong those who say that Dream Theater is all about instrumental gymnastics and not songwriting, at least momentarily, while "The Dark Eternal Light" features some nifty Pantera-esque riffing from John Petrucci. Additionally, "Repentance" is one of the album's four ten-minute-plus, mid-paced epics, and features a prerequisite of countless extended prog suites and spoken word passages. Unlike other veteran rock acts that attempted to update their sound with the times (and failed miserably), Dream Theater has admirably stuck to its guns through thick and thin -- much to the delight of their legion of admirers -- and they continue to do so on Systematic Chaos. And for that, we salute you with a flurry of flawlessly sweep-picked arpeggios. [The 2007 CD/DVD edition features the entire album remixed for 5.1 Surround on an included bonus DVD.] ~ Greg Prato
$12.99

Metal - Released June 6, 2005 | Warner Bros.

Prog rockers Dream Theater tallied 19 years as a band with the release of Octavarium, but in listening you're apt to suspect otherwise. As a collective they remain as tight as they were on 2003's obsessively dark Train of Thought (like all music-school outfits, they've exacted an all-for-one formula that doesn't allow a single player more than his share of swagger), but a post-hardcore edge -- call it a leap into 2005 -- has invaded their pledge of allegiance to theatrical heavy rock. Hear it on "I Walk Beside You" and "The Answer Lies Within," both of which, at under five minutes, play like charming haikus from a band known for its epic poetry, and also on the orchestra-backed 20-plus-minute final cut, which skips around from Pink Floyd to Rush to Black Sabbath influences, stopping off every so often at a place fans of My Chemical Romance might find familiar. As with all the band's discs, guitars loom large and both doom and redemption seem no further than the next twisted verse. What's changed is Dream Theater's commitment to carrying on their reputation as underground progressive rock's classicists, and it seems well-timed. ~ Tammy La Gorce
$15.49

Metal - Released October 3, 1994 | Atlantic Records

Dream Theater's third studio release, Awake, marks a definite change in the band's tone. From the moment the guitars enter on "6:00," the first track, a darker sound is immediately evident, and it continues through the entire 75 minutes of the disc. The complex song structures, marked by arrangements that would give many good players fits, are very impressive. Drummer Mike Portnoy and guitarist John Petrucci, in particular, reach new heights with their instruments, but keyboardist Kevin Moore and bassist John Myung hold up quite well, adding to the prog metal sound with their own contributions. There are several good tracks here, but the best are the crunch-heavy "Lie," the 11-minute "Scarred," the thought-provoking "Caught in a Web," and the deeply personal, moving "Space-Dye Vest." This disc also marks keyboardist Moore's last recording with the band; he left not long after to pursue other musical directions. The heavy guitar sound may turn some off, but Dream Theater's musical ability can't be denied. ~ Phil Carter
$12.99

Metal - Released January 22, 2002 | Atlantic Records

The godfathers of progressive metal have been amazing and delighting their dedicated fans since the late '80s. Throughout their impressive and unlikely career they have continued to push themselves and the genre into new and challenging directions. While arguably hitting their peak with 1994's Awake, the band continued to grow with each new release (save for perhaps Falling into Infinity). Their previous studio effort, Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory, was a milestone in their career, finding all of the band's best attributes amalgamated into a fully realized whole. Although "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" may not be another magnum opus, it is still another fine addition to their impressive discography. The band continues to explore new directions, but the results are not always consistent on the two CD's worth of material. Their overall sound is heavier, for better or worse, than it has been and they make some interesting compositional and lyrical choices, but their usual afflatus is missing. Petrucci in particular seems content to recycle his already-established pyrotechnics, which mostly come off as ostentatious and often out of place. With the exception of the high-octane "The Glass Prison," disc one is made up of more experimental tracks, with influences such as Radiohead and Tool being explored. The band also offers up one of their only political tracks in "The Great Debate," which deals with stem cell research. Disc two is comprised of the eight-part "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" epic and is more in line with their traditional approach. The "Overture" incorporates a full orchestra with surprisingly effective results and is the recording's standout track. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess gets more of an opportunity to demonstrate how valuable he is to the band's compositional and sonic depth. Fans of Pantera may cry foul when they hear "The Test That Stumped Them All," but this is meant more as a tribute than the blatant thievery it appears to be. While each member of Dream Theater has proved to have a more sophisticated and mature side -- as evidenced by side projects such as Transatlantic, Platypus, Liquid Tension Experiment, and Mullmuzer -- they understand where their proverbial bread is buttered. So exists Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, an intentionally pretentious, somewhat juvenile, but undeniably likeable recording. Despite the nearly impossible task of satisfying their mostly youthful fan base while still nurturing the band's natural maturation process, Dream Theater has mostly managed to deliver once again. ~ Robert Taylor
$12.99

Metal - Released September 12, 1997 | Atlantic Records

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Metal - Released November 10, 2003 | Elektra Records

Coming a year after Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, it's great to hear that Dream Theater hadn't lost their überheavy edge. John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess, and bassist John Myung effectively peeled back the pretentious excesses of Six Degrees, turned them in on themselves, and came up with a leaner, meaner but no less ambitious outing. The centerpiece track, despite the fact that it is second on the disc, is "This Dying Soul: IV. Reflections of Reality (Revisited)." A tome about alcoholism and recovery, it's strident riff opens out onto vast sonic panoramas where pianos and rhythm section offer Petrucci the space he needs to take his guitar playing into overdrive. Also, lyrically this is an evolutionary track on the set; it opens doors for the rest of the narratives here. Whereas the opener, "As I Am," is an anthem of resistance and independence, from "This Dying Soul" onward, themes of acceptance, surrender, and willingness become the M.O. for transcendent transformation. Struggles with the past, new encounters, and near despair are common themes, as on the brilliantly textured and detailed "Train of Though." Note the beautiful interplay between the guitars and keyboards on "Endless Sacrifice," the insane drums and buzz saw attack on the intro to "Honor Thy Father," or the brilliant play on the intro to "Seasons of Whither" in the intro to "In the Name of God," before the almighty riffing takes it into crunchland with a deep, poignant reflection on spiritual and religious hypocrisy. This is hard, heavy progressive metal at its very best lyrically and musically. ~ Thom Jurek
$21.99

Metal - Released June 19, 2009 | Roadrunner Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 1970 | Atlantic Records

Dream Theater finally released their first official live album, the double-disc Once in a LIVEtime (recorded June 1998 in Paris). Granted, the 1995 release A Change of Seasons contained a wealth of live material, but they were all cover songs, and 1994's Live at the Marquee was only available as a European import. With material spanning their entire career, the many die-hard Dream Theater fans will love Once in a LIVEtime, but it won't win over disbelievers to their highly technical, sometimes cold style. There's no denying that the band's musicianship is top-notch, but the songs often get repetitious and start sounding similar. But Once in a LIVEtime may be a breath of fresh air if you've had it with smug alterna-wannabes who can hardly play, or if you long for the glory days of Yes or ELP (in other words, the music punk rock tried to annihilate). Highlights include their instrumental tour de force "Ytse Jam," as well as the fan favorites "Pull Me Under," "Lie," "Metropolis," and certain portions of their lengthy "A Change of Seasons" composition. Also released in conjunction with Once in a LIVEtime was the home video Five Years in a LIVEtime. ~ Greg Prato
$14.49

Hard Rock - Released September 16, 2013 | Roadrunner Records

$12.99

Metal - Released June 4, 2007 | Roadrunner Records

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