Home > *Music, Roadrunner > Prepare for The Final Frontier (Pt. 1 – Dream Theater)

Prepare for The Final Frontier (Pt. 1 – Dream Theater)

It’s been just over a week since I (as well as tens of thousands of others) ordered tickets to the legendary Iron Maiden‘s upcoming “Final Frontier” tour. As you all should know, they have the progressive metal icons Dream Theater opening for them. If you can still get tickets, do so! In reality this is two concerts packed into one night. Part one of this double deal is Dream Theater.

Part 1 - Dream Theater

Part 1 - Dream Theater

As I said it’s been just over a week since I bought my tickets online. Yet still, I am “out-of-my-mind” excited about this show! I hope I can calm myself before the concert; I don’t want to be this edgy for another three months. I’ve been trying to slowly ease out my anticipation in audio form. So, I thought I’d start by pitching out a Dream Theater album countdown.

5) Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2009)

Though there was some criticism towards this album, I found it to be a strong release. Of course it doesn’t quite live up to the albums further on this list, but it is high quality music and a good measurement as to where the band is this day. From this album, the two tracks that especially stand out are “A Nightmare to Remember” and “The Count of Tuscany”.

4) Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002)

This one is a double album and marks the beginning of drummer Mike Portnoy’s Twelve-Step Saga with the stellar thirteen minute “Glass Prison”. The rest of the first disc is solid material, but does not make as great an impression as the fore-mentioned song. On the other hand, the second disc is a creation of pure brilliance. It is basically a 45-minute epic broken down into eight songs. They flow very smoothly yet are highly diverse from one another. Though it is long, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence certainly lives up to the expectations of the band.

3) Awake (1994)

Awake is easily one of my favorite albums. Each track is able to hold its own ground, yet some tracks go even further as to mesh together and amplify the sense of completeness. By this, I refer to the “A Mind Beside Itself” mini-concept, as well as the recurring themes between “The Mirror,” “Lie,” and “Space-Dye Vest”. The majority of this album is played with a seven-string guitar. And though you would expect a heavier tone to blend together throughout the album, that is definitely not the case. There is much depth and value to this album; it is a must-have.

2) Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory (1999)

Keyboardist Jordan Rudess could not have made a stronger debut with this album. Without doubt, this is my favorite keyboard album. However, it is much more than just that. Not only is it an amazing collection of songs, but it is a fluent, captivating story. Although there isn’t a deep, cathartic realization within this album, it is creative and flawless and pushes the record to a higher level. Still, even without the concept, this is among the most impressive collection of instrumental performances from both a musical and a technical standpoint. Every song on this amazing record will keep you yearning for more. It is no doubt a masterpiece! If there’s anything more perfect…

1) Images and Words (1992)

This is inarguably one of the most influential albums in the progressive metal scene. Having said that, a large portion of it is not even metal! It is definitely one of the most well-rounded, musically appreciable albums that ever graced the music scene. Every song on this album is at minimum a perfect work of art. The great deal of variety makes this album ageless. Images and Words is musicianship at the most unimaginable of heights. Not only is it the peak of Dream Theater, but it very well may be the peak of music altogether.

Some of you may not have the patience to listen to a whole album in one sitting (let alone 5 Dream Theater albums). I thought it would be helpful to devise my personal “top 10” song list. Counting down:

Dream Theater “Top 10”

10) “Fatal Tragedy” (from Scenes from a Memory)

9) “Stream of Consciousness” (from Train of Thought)

8) “Space-Dye Vest” (from Awake)

7) “Under a Glass Moon” (from Images and Words)

6) “Scarred” (from Awake)

5) “Learning to Live” (from Images and Words)

4) “A Change of Seasons” (from A Change of Seasons)

3) “The Glass Prison” (from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence)

2) “Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper” (from Images and Words)

1) “Dance of Eternity” (from Scenes from a Memory)

There you have it: Dream Theater in a nutshell. If you read everything in this post, you must be as excited as I am for the upcoming event. In that case, you’ll be sure to check back soon for Part 2 – Iron Maiden.

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