Dream Theater - Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence review
|Album:||Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence|
|Release date:||January 2002|
01. The Glass Prison
1 - Reflection
2 - Restoration
3 - Revelation
02. Blind Faith
04. The Great Debate
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.
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