Rating:
9.0
Dream Theater - Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
29 January 2002


Disc I
01. The Glass Prison
    1 - Reflection
    2 - Restoration
    3 - Revelation
02. Blind Faith
03. Misunderstood
04. The Great Debate
05. Disappear

Disc II
01. Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
    1 - Overture
    2 - About To Crash
    3 - War Inside My Head
    4 - The Test That Stumped Them All
    5 - Goodnight Kiss
    6 - Solitary Shell
    7 - About To Crash (Reprise)
    8 - Losing Time/Grand Finale


Many fans, including myself, would have assumed that the release of 1999's 'Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory' would be Dream Theater's crowning moment. After all, it was a monumental piece of work, and just how could the band top that?
The answer lies in their new double album. 'Metropolis?.' was a real grower for me, and it took some time before I was able to really enjoy it. 'Six Degrees Of Turbulence' is almost the opposite. The album does take time to digest, but the songs themselves seem to bristle with life, and beg repeat listens.
The album maintains once again the epic concept, based loosely on various aspects of mental illness. The album is divided into two parts, with the first half containing five individual songs.

The opener, 'The Glass Prison' (A tale of addiction and recovery), has all the classic elements of Dream Theater. The John Petrucci led riff gives the song a frantic pace, while Mike Portnoy's rapid fire drumming is simply amazing. There's also a nod to Megadeth at the tail end of section one. The other noticeable thing about this album is James Labrie's vocals. It's with no doubt the best singing he's done so far. He simply gets better all the time. 'Blind Faith' is hard to pin down with - so many changes going on, but it's sufficient to mention that this could well be the closest follow up of 'Pull Me Under' so far. Jordan Rudess' playing on this track is worth checking out. His sound is now truly in synch with Dream Theater. 'Misunderstood' is, for the sake of a better word, the ballad on the album. It's probably better named 'The slower number'. It's epic in scope, but never overdrawn or boring. Not bad going for a nearly ten minutes long track. 'The Great Debate' is well crafted with snippets of various news sound bytes, never prevailing over the music. The song itself carries a serious message, which is self-explanatory once you read through the lyrics. Credit must be given to J.P. who doesn't actually stress his own opinion and allows the listener to draw his/her own conclusions. 'Disappear' (dealing with the change after someone close to you dies) could be considered a morbid version of 'The Spirit Carries On' from 'Metropolis?'

The second CD is the title track split into eight movements. The first one, 'Overture', is as overblown and bombastic as the name suggests, yet cannot be labeled as being the cheesy aspect of progressive. This is the closest the band has sounded to Transatlantic (M.P.'s other band). Second movement 'About To Crash' flows straight through with a soaring chorus and lush musical backdrops. 'War Inside My Head' may only last for two minutes, but features a more prominent M.P. trading lead vocals with J.L. with fantastic results. 'The Test That Stumped Them All' brings to mind both Metallica and Threshold. It's not only heavy, but is destined to be a live favorite. There's some strange vocal delivery in the chorus, but works a treat. 'Goodnight Kiss' (fifth movement) could easily be shrugged off as another ballad, but the lyrical content belies more sinister material. The conclusion brings to mind Queensryche's glory days. 'Solitary Shell' is acoustically based and allows J.L. to show again his singing is never overdone and enhances the song rather than dominating it. The seventh movement, 'About To Crash (Reprise)', picks up when the original left off and allows the band to flex a little more 'metal' muscle this time around. Closing track 'Losing Time/Grand Finale' (eighth movement) is a fitting ending to an otherwise stunning album. Again, the band don't overplay the part, thus nor wearing the listener out with empty minded musical show off.

The ambitious sixth album from Dream Theater is simply their best yet, and may finally dispel fears by some fans that they haven't recorded anything worthy since 'Images And Words'. On all fronts (Lyrically, musically and performance-wise) this album is a winner. It will also be remembered for bringing progressive music to the mainstream for all the right reasons.


Band profile: Dream Theater
Album: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence


 


written by Justin | 16.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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IronBlackZepp - 24.02.2009 at 08:33  
Six Degree's is such a great album. Disc 1 was very hard for me to get into at first. It took me a few months, but once I got it it was one of the best musical experiences I have ever had. Disc 2 I was able to get into right away. This is one of the best metal albums of all time. If you like Train of thought then you will like disc 1 for sure, it is very heavy and powerful, and if ya like scenes from a memory the you will like disc 2. But If you like both train of thought and scenes from a memory then this album will be another favorite for you.
Zephoid - 08.03.2009 at 23:34  
This is one of my favorite Dream Theater albums. I love listening to the entire thing from beginning to end, and letting the whole story unfold. You gotta love a concept album such as this, it gives you a whole new level of entertainment when listening to the music. Fans of DT's heavy and "softer" music have both got songs in this album to enjoy. "War Inside My Head" and "The Glass Prison" are great heavy songs. And like IronBlackZepp said "Misunderstood" is a great song for those Dream Theater fans who like the lighter side of the band.
Uirapuru - 02.05.2009 at 08:40  
I liked this album more than I expect. Usually songs over 10min kinda gets me bored, but ''The Great Debate'' and ''Blind Faith'' are wonderful.
tulkas - 02.05.2009 at 21:34  
I really liked this album as well, and it rapidly became one of my favs from these guys. it also didn't take me too long to get int it, maybe because it was really well balnced, both between cd 1 and cd 2, as well as within each cd as well. it's a really good piece of work and i almost went nuts when they played cd 2 on the score dvd live with th orchestra. that was just... mindblowing! apart from the fact that when i first listened to it, i laways though: wow, this would be amazing if they played it with an orchestra! dream fulfilled!!
BloodTears - 24.06.2009 at 14:30  
This album grew on me. I admit I wasn't in love with it some time ago. But now I see it for what it is. I started by enjoying the second CD more, but now that shifted as well.

Definitely not a stain in their discography. A very thought-provoking and challenging record.

Still not part of my favourite untouchable DT cds but you know what, it's a brilliant release, especially after Metropolis. I like when they go dark
Darkside Momo - 21.07.2010 at 04:02  
Written by BloodTears on 24.06.2009 at 14:30

A very thought-provoking and challenging record.

Certainly their very best in this regard. Scientific progress, faith, addiction, are questionned in this release and the lyrics are really thoughtful. Much more than usual.
freetrader0000 - 29.07.2010 at 02:49  
I love this album, though the first disk is a bit hard to digest. I'll probably get myself to like it soon.
Aetherius - 01.08.2010 at 17:25  
Amazing album.
Passenger - 01.09.2013 at 18:13  
I agree that in terms of scope, musically and lyrically, this is one of Dream Theater's most complete albums. It's very rewarding, catchy, epic and complex in all the right places, not to mention it's probably their best produced effort. Personally, I love Misunderstood.
Daniell - 02.09.2013 at 16:05  
I've always found the title track to be a bloated display of this band's overgrown ego. I listened to the album a few days ago and I'm still sure it should end with "Disappear". Then it would be a great album.

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