I have this routine.
Once (almost) every two years, I live through this musically most exciting period. Yes, Dream Theater, my all-time favourite band, releases an album.
Anticipation building up before the release date, listening to the singles, snippets, watching studio Q&As, in studio videos and such; excitement of the new songs when I finally have the CD in my hands and then the plans to see them during their new tour!
Most beautiful routine ever!
Aaaand, it is that time again! 12th self-titled studio album by Dream Theater will be out on 23rd of September – I mean, mere days away now!
First after Mike Portnoy
There is, obviously, a factor that makes this particular wait more exciting than ever. This is the first album recorded with a new drummer after the founding member Mike Portnoy, whose contribution to the signature sound of the band, impeccable compositions and even the looks on stage have always been so profound, parted ways with Dream Theater.
As you well know, drums of the previous album, A Dramatic Turn of Events were programmed by Petrucci and played by (Mike) Mangini. With that in mind, it was a great album.
Now, it may be because Mangini is more integrated into the band and them being an organic bunch in terms of song-writing and recording, but whatever it is what makes me a happy lady is the fact that this album, Dream Theater, is a sharp turn away from the previous one. It feels almost like a new era in the band’s career…
Oh, and of course, titling the album Dream Theater seems to speak volumes as well! Why would you release a self-titled album after so many years in the scene? My gut tells me that this is akin to saying that “Dream Theater takes it up a couple of notches… This is Dream Theater now; this is the new touchstone of prog-metal…” almost laying it out for everyone to see that Dream Theater is not just a survivor in the prog-scene – where a lot of very impressive releases have been blowing collective minds of the proggers last couple of years – but a leader.
Of course, it is only natural that the eyes would be on the least tenured member of the band with this album. Personally, I exchanged all the doubts with a deep love for this brilliant man after seeing him for the first time on High Voltage stage in London; I am happy to say that Mangini is a great addition to the band both in terms of competency and team dynamics.
There is one more aspect of the album that makes me so proud and happy – our dear friend, the young, bright and brilliant musician Eren Başbuğ conducts the orchestra in the song Illumination Theory! More on that later, of course…
Anyways, this is what I do… Reminding myself that this is not a review – which RJ has already done masterfully – I will stop now. I can’t really not say this, though: if you ask me, first half of the Dream Theater’s career was far better but this album is a new twist. Even though they have always played with such precision and charisma that it was always a dream to listen to their always high quality work and even though they always had mind blowing moments in each and every album, it’s been a long time since there was an album with zero filler tracks. I would go as far to say that Dream Theater is reinventing itself with this album with their wider approach to music exploring new territories and modern trends while keeping it brilliant Dream Theater-y still J
In brief, I couldn’t be happier!
Thank you Dream Theater, for such a brilliant album!
P.S. Of course, the fact that I am not reviewing the album or not talking about how brilliant DT is for 20 plus pages should not be construed as a diminishing of my fangirlism! See exhibits below for further details on this!