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CD Reviews:  Dream Theater: Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

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Boys and girls, progressive metal/rock is alive and well and its name is Dream Theater. On their seventh studio release, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, the band re-establishes itself as the best progressive outfit making records today. The musicianship is absolutely the best in the genre but it doesn't present itself as pompous -- sure, Dream Theater writes and plays challenging material but it doesn't feel pretentious at all. This album will absolutely blow your mind and your eardrums apart.

Time changes, kinetic guitar work and a rhythm section that works perfectly in unison is what this record is all about. If you're looking for the Backstreet Boys or even the saccharine pop metal of Poison, Dream Theater has beaten them bloody and left them in an ally to die. This is an album where lofty ambition and final product actually meet.

Whether exploring the topics of stem cell research ("The Great Debate"), the existential nature of existence ("Misunderstood") or madness ("The Entire Six Degrees Suite"), the lyrics are passionate and just a touch preachy without going overboard. This is a record that will challenge your ear and your mind, the way Rush and Queensryche records used to do.

The first disc is excellent, but the band's exploration of the many sides of mental illness in the eight different movements of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is the crowning jewel of the double album. From the beginning of the "Overture" to the last bars of the "Grand Finale," the listener is taken on a roller coaster ride with no brakes. "About to Crash," the second movement, is an excellent example of the type of storytelling the band sets up on this opus.

If you enjoy headbanging, music that challenges your ears and lyrics that force you to think, this is the record for you. It easily makes its way on to my best of the year. 

~R. David Smola : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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