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post #16 of 58
Awake for me. It is the one I keep coming back to constantly. I also really like Images and Words and Train of Thought. Those are the only three consistent albums from them, in my opinion. There are also a few songs I love from other albums as well (Disappear, Panic Attack, and Octavarium).

Having said this, the last two albums have been HUGE disappointments for me. As far as I am concerned, they are a lost band recycling the same tired song structures and concepts.
post #17 of 58
I've been stressed out over this poll. Please don't make me listen to them all for my conclusion.

I'm so damn indecisive!
post #18 of 58
I've never been a huge fan of the debut. Between Dominici's voice and some less than memorable song structures, it's not an album I pull out very often at all.

Images and Words is the album I voted for, and the one I always come back to time and time again, loving every single song.

Awake is certainly a great album with one of their best songs, "Space Dye Vest," but there are a few songs I don't love. This is definitely DT's best album for sound quality.

FII is a two-face album for me. I absolutely love some of the songs, whereas a few are among the band's worst.

I always have to digest SfaM as an entire album, and as such, it works wonderfully. But I don't adore each and every single piece on its' own, and that reason alone ranks it beneath IaW in my book.

6DoIT, much like Awake, is a great album, punctuated by a few spots of mediocrity. Wheras those spots are 5-minute songs on the latter, on 6DoIT they average much longer.

ToT is the last great DT album in my book. There are a few previews of their coming decline, but for the most part, it is a superb, and HEAVY album.

8varium is where I began to dislike DT. Between boring long noodling, insincere sounding soft parts, and awkward vocal melodies, I didn't like much about this album from the get-go. And I still don't.

Systematic Chaos is like a 3rd rate ripoff of ToT. While at first I enjoyed the heavier sound as compared to 8varium, I quickly grew sick of the blatant Metallica cloning, Portnoy's horrid vocals, and the band's worst-ever lyrics.

BCaSL showed a bit of improvement over the last few efforts, with a few tracks that actually please me. It's still quite a bit off their pre-8varium levels, but at least it gives me hope that DT might put out a great album again someday.

My DT album ranking:

Images and Words
Scenes from a Memory
Awake
Train of Thought
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Falling into Infinity
When Dream and Day Unite
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Octavarium
Systematic Chaos
post #19 of 58
I just got into Dream Theater, and I love Images and Words, so I voted for that. I think A Change of Seasons is also a great live album, especially the final song which is a combo/cover of a bunch of classic rock songs
post #20 of 58
Images and Words for me too. It may just be that, at the time, it was such a singularity. Awake has its moments, for sure, but Images is just such a solid, cohesive album.

Never really gave Train of Thought a chance (I'd defected by then), maybe I should. It seems highly regarded here.

Don't care for Black Clouds one bit, and I've honestly tried. No emotional reaction at all. The rainbow song is the best cut, and I'd rather hear the original.
post #21 of 58
Octavarium was the album that got me into Dream Theater in the first place, and for a time I loved ever song there. Later though, as my DT collection grew, it went down a few places, eventually leading me to vote for Awake as my all time favorite album.

I also happen to like their most recent efforts, and await what they come up with next.
post #22 of 58
I've got a lot of their stuff, but I keep going back to Scenes From a Memory.
post #23 of 58
Thread Starter 
Iron Dreamer!!!! Good to hear from you man, how've you been?
post #24 of 58
Thread Starter 
HMmm, I may in fact be the only DT fan that likes the whole "Demons" theme stuff in Systematic Chaos. lol, ah well
post #25 of 58
Scenes from a Memory.

Black Clouds and Silver Linings has really grown on me though. I believe they were sludging through a contract with Octavarium (not bad) and Systematic Chaos (yeah... bad) and this new album is the start of them getting back to what they want to do.
post #26 of 58
"Images And Words" it has to be. While I enjoy the rest very much, none impressed me as much as "Images And Words"

cheers!
post #27 of 58
I voted for Scenes from a Memory. I really enjoy the whole story that runs throughout the album. I think my least favorite album is BCASL. I really didn't like it, and I'm not sure what it was. I think that it is mainly James Labrie's vocals. I've liked him in every other album though.
post #28 of 58
Thread Starter 
What material is being recycled on Systematic Chaos, exactly? I feel like "recycled material" is used here like "sellout" is used elsewhere. Yes, some bands get more poppy as they age, or more financially-driven, or reuse styles/chords/etc from old albums or songs, but overall the songs I really like on this album are Forsaken, Enemies (I & II) and Dark Eternal Night. While I can see similarities between these and Octavarium or (in the case of Forsaken) old stuff like I&W or Awake, I wouldn't discount the music just because it is similar to something they've done in the past. Music should be judged on its own merit. If you don't like SC or BCSL that's fine, but at least be able to articulate it; I really do feel Recycled Material is a knee-jerk copout. For example, for me, Octavarium was a downhill turn because it was more pop-music feeling to me, and cheesy at times. I get that some people don't like the subject material of SC, as it is pretty different compared to most of their other albums. Recycled Material though... sh*t man that's what Blues, Rock-n-Roll, and Rap are all founded on. Blues is the same stuff rehashed, rap and hip hop commonly use or build off of samples from old songs (or remixes in the case of more electronically-oriented branches of those genres) and many MANY famous rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin and who knows else, ripped off songs from Jazz, Blues, and older Rock-n-Roll artists. Just sayin :P FWIW IMHO YMMV I suppose.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
I've never been a huge fan of the debut. Between Dominici's voice and some less than memorable song structures, it's not an album I pull out very often at all.

Images and Words is the album I voted for, and the one I always come back to time and time again, loving every single song.

Awake is certainly a great album with one of their best songs, "Space Dye Vest," but there are a few songs I don't love. This is definitely DT's best album for sound quality.

FII is a two-face album for me. I absolutely love some of the songs, whereas a few are among the band's worst.

I always have to digest SfaM as an entire album, and as such, it works wonderfully. But I don't adore each and every single piece on its' own, and that reason alone ranks it beneath IaW in my book.

6DoIT, much like Awake, is a great album, punctuated by a few spots of mediocrity. Wheras those spots are 5-minute songs on the latter, on 6DoIT they average much longer.

ToT is the last great DT album in my book. There are a few previews of their coming decline, but for the most part, it is a superb, and HEAVY album.

8varium is where I began to dislike DT. Between boring long noodling, insincere sounding soft parts, and awkward vocal melodies, I didn't like much about this album from the get-go. And I still don't.

Systematic Chaos is like a 3rd rate ripoff of ToT. While at first I enjoyed the heavier sound as compared to 8varium, I quickly grew sick of the blatant Metallica cloning, Portnoy's horrid vocals, and the band's worst-ever lyrics.

BCaSL showed a bit of improvement over the last few efforts, with a few tracks that actually please me. It's still quite a bit off their pre-8varium levels, but at least it gives me hope that DT might put out a great album again someday.

My DT album ranking:

Images and Words
Scenes from a Memory
Awake
Train of Thought
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Falling into Infinity
When Dream and Day Unite
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Octavarium
Systematic Chaos
Wow, we have very similar tastes when it comes to DT! I was about to post something like that, but my analysis is pretty much the exact same as yours with the exception that Six Degrees is the last album I truly enjoy. The songwriting on their last 4 albums is very sub-par compared to what they can do and I won't even start on the lyrics. I'm still hoping for a return to form, but I highly doubt it will happen.

I&W is where it's at, melodic prog metal at its finest, great song constructions and memorable riffage, something they really lack these days.
post #30 of 58
1. Images and Words
2. Awake

Without a doubt my favorite and most played albums from them. Here their songs seem more focused and inspired then anything else I've heard, imo.

3. Metropolis Pt 2: SFAM

Pretty good overall with some stand out tracks, but tends to lose it's focus.

4. 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence
... Train of Thought
... Octavarium

I like to listen to these albums every once and a while, for they have a lot of good tracks in them. But I think DT departs too much from their original sound that I really liked, and gets out of hand with the incessant noodling. Octavarium is an exception to that statement, but I don't like it any more or less than the previous two.

5. Systematic Chaos

Pretty much a continuation from their new direction. Nothing memorable for me here. CHEESY lyrics. Just bad. I like some of the new keyboard stuff, some low bass in there, and there are good guitar solos.

6. Falling into Infinity

Only recommend for the collectors out there. Some good songs on it but overall you could pass over it without a care. You're not missing anything.

Dream Theater was my first introduction into the prog rock/metal scene, and it was a good start. But now, I feel they've been releasing a lot of albums that sound uninspired and drab. The music doesn't move me and I feel I'm just listening to some sort of tech demo.
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