Rippin' Thrash Metal plus Prog pyrotechnical veterans DREAM THEATER's essential new DOUBLE CD!
Over the course of the past decade, DREAM THEATER has proved itself to be one of the few bands able to combine the energy of METALLICA-influenced Thrash Metal with the grandeur of Prog-Rock, and not come off as a humorless version of Spinal Tap. This is due in part to the band's virtuosity (in sheer prowess, for instance, guitarist John Petrucci ranks alongside such classically-influenced six-string masters as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai), but equally important is the group's collective ear for melody and its unflinching adherence to what it does best.
The group's latest [TWO DISCS] magnum opus might just be its most ambitious effort yet. After kicking off with a montage of stormtrooper beats and doomsday riffage (''The Glass Prison''), disc one settles into a roughly equal mix of sublime balladry and apocalyptic assaults. High points include the harrowing ''The Great Debate'' (which devotes fourteen minutes to the stem cell research controversy), and the stately, atmospheric ''Disappear.''
For longtime fans, however, the title track that comprises disc two is primary reason to rejoice. Lyrically, this 42-minute concept piece explores a well-worn theme (specifically, mental illness), but musically it's a tour de force. Introduced by sweeping orchestration, the multi-part song segues through a range of styles that highlight DREAM THEATER's dazzling versatility. Along the way, such disparate influences as Styx (''About to Crash''), Yes (''Solitary Shell''), and Pink Floyd (''Goodnight Kiss'') all spring to mind, but in its sustained power, ''Inner Turbulence'' marks a singularly unique achievement.