ARTIST:

DREAM THEATER

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

A DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS

(2011)
LABEL:

ROADRUNNER RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Epic, High-pitched vocals, Hovering, Melancholic, Old School, Oppressive, Symphonic, Technical
"The definitively melancholic, nostalgic and sometimes fatalistic hue of the atmosphere, contributes to make this record an object which, if it is not perfect, is nonetheless very endearing!"
METALNATURE (08.11.2011)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

For a few years Dream Theater seemed to slowly get stuck in the shifting sands of progressive metal because of albums that were neither good nor bad but that we simply caught ourselves not listening (except maybe the last one that marked a certain revival of inspiration). If Mike Portnoy decided to take a break, his teammates chose to continue without him. 

Then follow a story which ends with the arrival of Mike Mangini, former drummer of Steve Vai, Extreme, but especially present on all the solo efforts of James LaBrie. Perhaps to ward off the fate, the band comes out quickly after these events that could have been traumatic, its eleventh CD, hence perhaps, the title of the album..." A Dramatic Turn Of Events".

At first glance, and despite all the respect and even sympathy we give to the co-founding drummer, it seems that this electroshock is beneficial for the fans from the beginning. First observation and perhaps consequence of this departure, the American-style metallo-thrash turn taken by the last opuses is seriously weakening. On the contrary, the tracks are more classically progressive in their construction, alternating rhythms, melodic and catchy phrases and technical demonstrations. Four tracks happily exceed the 10 minutes and succeed in the challenge of not boring the listener. The priority seems to be on melodic appeal, each of these pieces is held by choruses or melodies that are sufficiently memorable.

The atmosphere of the album is also very different from the previous ones. If it is less heavy, it is not joyful, rather melancholic, even sad. LaBrie's voice is often more plaintive and makes us forget the sometimes overrated aggressiveness of the latest productions. Three ballads add to this sometimes somewhat disillusioned lascivious aspect of the atmosphere; this is perhaps the major flaw of the album, because they can't bewitch.

To avoid the title by title description, it is good to focus on some of them. The first, "On The Back Of Angels", sets the tone; it is classic Dream Theater, starting with a strong rhythm, then developing successively and at will lyrical flights, keyboards or guitars, often supported by aerial choirs. Well placed in the second track, "Build Me Up, Break Me Down" has a simple built, but the whole is terribly catchy. The use of electronic percussion is daring when you just fired your legendary drummer, but it passes. The title also shows the band's permeability to current sounds and trends and its ability to phagocyte them into Dream Theater. The modern, innovative or offbeat arrangements (strings) make this track a great success. Then comes "Lost Not Forgotten", very progressive, often catchy, even if two thirds of it contains a few less well integrated plans. It also offers some of John Petrucci's most beautiful solos. 

These first three tracks are punctuated by the ballad "This Is The Life" which has the greatest merit of allowing you to take a break. Then comes "Bridges In The Sky" (which was first called "The Shaman's Trance") which marks mainly by its introduction including some shamanic vocalizations coupled with religious choirs. It is a pity that this theme is not developed further at the heart of the music; and this lack of audacity is one of the criticisms that can be addressed to the band. To underline for this title, but it is valid for the whole album, often interesting and even challenging lyrics.

In addition to two other useless ballads, the last piece of resistance is "Breaking All Illusions". Starting with a rhythm led by playful keyboards, this track is full of different themes and varied influences often taken from the 70s (Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, ELP, ...). It also allows you to appreciate the groove of Myung and Mangini's fine playing, the latter being very close to Mike Portnoy without leaving its mark on the music.

Without taking this album to the pantheon of major works of dream theater, it must simply be noted that its accessibility far exceeds that of its previous productions. However, a certain haste to show that the band has resisted Mike "Metal" Portnoy's departure probably limited the power of the whole, leading to a certain lack of lucidity in the balance of the tracks (these three ballads!) and a good lack of innovation, even a step back, despite undeniable good ideas. The definitively melancholic, nostalgic and sometimes fatalistic hue of the atmosphere, contributes to make this record an object which, if it is not perfect, is nonetheless very endearing!


More informations on http://www.dreamtheater.net





TRACK LISTING:
01. On The Backs Of Angels - 08:45
02. Build Me Up, Break Me Down - 06:59
03. Lost Not Forgotten - 10:51
04. This Is The Life - 06:57
05. Bridges In The Sky - 11:01
06. Outcry - 11:24
07. Far From Heaven - 03:56
08. Breaking All Illusions - 12:25
09. Beneath The Surface - 05:26

LINEUP:
James Labrie: Chant
John Myung: Basse
John Petrucci: Guitares
Jordan Rudess: Claviers
Mike Mangini: Batterie
   
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