ARTIST:

DREAM THEATER

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

SYSTEMATIC CHAOS

(2007)
LABEL:

ROADRUNNER RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Fusion, Technical
"Apart from the relative weakness of the track "Forsaken", this album is absolutely fabulous !"
MEGADAVE (11.06.2007)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

With "Systematic Chaos", Dream Theater, which we do not need to present, signs here its tenth studio album, the fifth with the current line-up as well as the first on their new label Roadrunner.

It has to be said that this flagship band, which has been able to shake up the prog musical landscape, continues to be at the top. The playing is very technical but never cold: where some clones of this group will make ton, the Portnoy's band is able to do the same, with more ease and without there being a single note to remove in the end. 

"Systematic Chaos" is characterized in its entirety by a dark, dramatic at times and resolutely heavy atmosphere. "In the Presence of Enemies" is a diptych that opens and closes the album... "Forsaken" then starts on a slightly scary piano line before slipping on a big very heavy riff that dies on a bass line allowing Labrie to place all the expressiveness of his singing... If, musically, we are dealing with a very good track serving as a ballad, it remains the weakest track on the album because of a very unoriginal chorus with synthesizer/violins in the background.... 

Fortunately, "Constant Motion" engages with a pure riff that Petrucci has the secret to, served by an always impeccable rhythm section. The vocal output of the verses will be reminiscent of 6DOIT's "The Glass Prison". It's a song that is in the same spirit: killing riffs, heady chorus, instrumental passage of madness.

While we haven't yet recovered from the previous track, "The Dark Eternal Night" comes to us with its very heavy crazy breaks and the very well felt slaps of Myung which effectively punctuate the murderous rhythms of his friend Petrucci. The instrumental passages are very prog, there are arabic parts and even a small intervention in the Rudess cartoon/jingle style (as usual).

After such a flow of notes, "Repentance" offers us a little rest. As in most Dream Theater albums, there is often a small passage referring to a melodic line from a previous album. It is therefore this track that sticks to it by opening with a variant of the melodic line of the track "This Dying Soul" from the album "Train of Thought". Petrucci's soli are purely melodic, overflowing with expressiveness and floydian accents, alternating with keyboard layers that give pride of place to the choirs...

"Prophet Of War" starts like a Muse piece, both in the vocal line and in the keyboards: this influence is indeed noticeable since Octavarium, notably on the track "Never Enough". This track is very powerful with a chorus that pounds your brain with slightly "Queenesque" choirs at times and loud cries of delirious fans that accentuate the riff.

"The Ministry of Souls" is a long piece that drags us along on a long opening to the acoustic guitar on which Labrie shines with the emotionality of her singing and the beauty of her vocal lines, not to mention the magnificent title "Octavarium" in its part following the introduction to the "Keyboard Continuum". It's a typical Dream Theater epic track that mixes the melancholic side with the wildest instrumental passages that express themselves in the second part of the song before returning to the main theme towards the end, which ends with a very stamped solo from Petrucci... 

Apart from the relative weakness of the track "Forsaken", this album is absolutely fabulous. What we could reproach a reference band like Dream Theater for, however, is perhaps not taking the risk of charting a new course in metal prog. But well, do we need one when we see that this musical genre is still capable of producing with so much quality?


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





TRACK LISTING:
01. In The Presence Of Enemies Pt.1 - 9:00
02. Forsaken - 5:36
03. Constant Motion - 6:55
04. The Dark Eternal Night - 8:51
05. Repentance - 10:43
06. Prophets Of War - 6:01
07. The Ministry Of Lost Souls - 14:57
08. In The Presence Of Enemies Pt.2 - 16:38

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