This is the tenth release by the American progressive metal pioneers. Completing 20 years of record presence, the Theater of Dreams returns with a new album that brings back old elements, which made the band worldwide known and loved. Also, it brings some new incidents, from those that only this monstrous quintet can offer. It is needless in my opinion to state if and how much great musicians they are. The tens of millions of sales are the best witness to this band’s worth, one of the ten most important bands in music generally the last two decades.

Six songs and 74 minutes of music are contained in this release, maybe the first release that needs some more listenings to capture the vibe of it. Darker than ever before, without losing any heaviness, as they do the last ten years since ”Scenes From A Memory”, Dream Theater remain a big bet for each listener. You either love them a lot or hate them profoundly but seldomly you pass them by. That’s what happens most times with the great ones, the ones who were born winners. Response and contradiction are in a small distance, like walking on a thin line.

”A Nightmare To Remember” which opens the album, is a powerful song that keeps your interest despite its big duration. Coming next is ”A Rite Of Passage”. Easily the most recognizable song and first clip of the album. Followed by ”Wither”, the other song less than ten minutes on this album, a great ballad in the familiar DT style. ”The Shattered Fortress” is the last part of ”The Glass Prison” story, also presented on the previous four albums, talking about Mike Portnoys addiction to alcohol in the old days. It contains parts of old songs familiar to this concept. Heavy as shit! ”The Best Of Times” is the tender song of the album, inspired a lot by Rush. Maybe it shouldn’t be 13 minutes long but it’s not that bad. Finally, closing the album is the epic ”The Count Of Tuscany”. A 19 minute opus containing old, new and future Dream Theater, with many changes and crazy riffing, double bass parts and more.

In conclusion, i know it is hard for some people to listen to the band. I am a big fan of them and clearly objectively, i find myself many times thinking that there is nothing else they haven’t played.

On the other hand, i can’t deny the ideas full of quality and vision. Even if they overdo it sometimes. This album is proof that they still have some things to give to all of us. Rating comes in comparison to their other studio releases as well.

Track List Line Up
01. A Nightmare to Remember
02. A Rite of Passage
03. Wither
04. The Shattered Fortress
05. The Best of Times
06. The Count of Tuscany
James LaBrie – Vocals
John Myung – Bass
John Petrucci – Guitars
Mike Portnoy – Drums
Jordan Rudess – Keyboards