2013 - October's album of the month - Dream Theater - "Dream Theater"

Hey everyone,

The new Dream Theater self titled album is my album of the month for October!

I have sort of a storied history when it comes to this band. Back in high school when Awake first came out people raved about it. Went out and bought the album and really didn't get into it at all. I wrote the band off so many years ago because they just weren't my "thing" so to speak. A few years later when I started doing the radio show I decided to check them out again. Listened to Imaged and words then Awake then "Scenes from a Memory" came out. I liked it enough to really give this band a second chance. After Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence came out I was hooked on them and ever since then I have been a pretty big fan of this band's work. There are many bands I would give a listen to back in the day then suddenly like them and appreciate them more as the years go on. It doesn't happen that often anymore mostly because I am a more open minded person these days.

Every album Dream Theater puts out these days really registers with me in so many ways. Can't pinpoint as to why but I can say this.....they have remained a pretty consistent band. Probably not an album in their discography that I dislike save the debut with a different singer.

When Mike Portnoy left the band and Mike Mangini came into the fold, I was one of the few people out there who thought things were going to go well for Dream Theater and that they would actually still be putting out great albums. I remember reading an article saying that the band was dead without Portnoy. I also read others saying that the band would sound better and would have a more "fresh sound" to their music. I think their sound hasn't changed much but Mangini does bring a different playing style to the table that fits really well with the band.

I had a good feeling about Mike Mangini. Knowing what kind of drummer he is and the work he has done in other bands I thought he would be a good fit. Then again I am on the outside looking in, but comparing him to other candidates at the time (all of which were good players) he seemed to be the guy who would would fit the best in my book. He has done an excellent job with the band and to quote James Labrie in an interview I did with him "We could have gone out and played a gig with Mike after he auditioned". THAT is musical chemistry.

Dramatic Turn of Events turned out to be a killer release. The band in my book hadn't missed a beat and in some sense sounded just as good if not better than they ever have. Many people agreed with me then some people thought that the first album was ok, but the second album with Mangini would be make or break the band. In my opinion they really had to come out with something pretty awesome to keep the naysayers' mouths shut.......and they did.

Now comes the new self titled album which has completely blown me away. Listened to this quite a bit since it's release. I went so far as to preorder the box set version of this album with all the extras and the vynil lp and 45 single. Roadrunner did a nice job with the last three releases in this format and really put together a killer package for the die hard fan such as myself who really likes buying special editions of albums.

The new self titled Dream Theater album picks up where the last one left off. Better songs, better production and you can really see that Mike Mangini has grown with these guys. Overall there isn't a dud on this album as it's not only as solid as they come but it's a definite candidate for album of the year in 2013! We shall see but until then, enjoy it!

Check out the interview with James Labrie from this year too! Interview with James Labrie of Dream Theater - 10-11-2013

Tony Webster 10/29/2013

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