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SerpentineVIVIVI
06-03-2009, 02:35 PM
The thing that I always loved about Dream Theater was there long ass songs that really entertained me and kept me interested, and I am glad to say this a nice return to form for me. Systematic Chaos really lacked for me, and I couldn't get into a lot of the tracks except for three or four. Black Clouds & Silver Linings opens up with a great track "A Nightmare To Remember", which has a great mixture of chugging, heavy riffage with impressive progressive tempos, time signatures, the usual Dream Theater. The record really continues in the vein of this attitude in my opinion, tracks like "A Rite Of Passage", "The Shattered Fortress", and "The Count Of Tuscany" all stand out as one of the best ones. Even the ballads, "Wither" and "The Best Of Times" stand out to me as nice pieces (Forsaken from Systematic was half-ass for me). My only complaint is that Mike Portnoy's "gritty" voice is really annoying and I feel it doesn't fit in with the riffage he sings over or with Dream Theater in general. All in all I feel really happy about this record and I'm glad to see DT make a much better record than Systematic Chaos. Anxious to see them live if I can!

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DethMaiden
06-03-2009, 06:04 PM
I liked this album a lot. Almost as much as I liked Dylan's lyrical parodies on The Count of Tuscany.

Maiden33
06-03-2009, 08:28 PM
I was actually planning on eventually reviewing this myself, but oh well, you snooze, you lose.
Overall, I think this album is quite good, at least for newer Dream Theater. It's still a joke compared to some of their older stuff, but leaps and bounds in front of Systematic Chaos and Train of Thought for sure. The songs here are long, but not all of them are the pompous, pointless, overblown bore-fest that most of their new longer songs are. In fact "The Count of Tuscany" is my favorite song on the disc. The first 4 and last 5 minutes of that song are in my opinion easily some of the best stuff the band has done over the last 4 or so albums. The two shorter tracks are good, as I expected them to be, and I quite enjoyed The Best of Times. My only complaints come from the other two:
I think The Shattered Fortress is overall just not very good. The references to The Root of All Evil and The Glass Prison are great, and the song has a few cool moments, but in general, it's just kind of forgettable and Train-of-Thought-esque. My other gripe is regarding A Nightmare to Remember. The first 4 minutes are alright, but then the middle section ("in peaceful sedation I lay half-awake", that part) is absolutely fucking excellent for about 3-4 minutes, before launching head-long into 7 minutes of pointless wanking with next-to-no substance. Not to mention the Portnoy vocal bit as an absolute WTF.

Fe Maiden
06-04-2009, 06:30 AM
note to Dream Theater:

Stop letting Portnoy sing!

SerpentineVIVIVI
06-04-2009, 10:32 AM
I completely agree that Portnoy should not sing, he just isn't good. I enjoyed this record though, I thought it stood much more solid that Systematic. I personally liked Train of Thought, so I can't really relate ther because I have a bias. I think The Count of Tuscany is an amazing track, keeps me on the edge and flows so smoothly. I personally really enjoyed A Nightmare To Remember and The Shattered Fortress, but to each their own I guess.

Fe Maiden
06-04-2009, 12:50 PM
I've not heard any of it yet. If it were an all instrumental album I think I'd be all over it. Systematic Chaos except for a couple songs maybe really turned me off to Dream Theater with the rapping Portnoy vocals! Train Of Thought was pretty good overall but there are some strange vocal effects in there too!! I am one of the few who actually like Octavarium.

SerpentineVIVIVI
06-04-2009, 12:58 PM
I've not heard any of it yet. If it were an all instrumental album I think I'd be all over it. Systematic Chaos except for a couple songs maybe really turned me off to Dream Theater with the rapping Portnoy vocals! Train Of Thought was pretty good overall but there are some strange vocal effects in there too!! I am one of the few who actually like Octavarium.

I enjoy Octavarium. I also enjoy Train of Thought. I pretty much enjoy any Dream Theater record besides Systematic.

Portnoy has to stop singing!

Maiden33
06-04-2009, 01:16 PM
Octavarium is my favorite post-Scenes From a Memory DT album. This one would probably fall right behind it as of now. I love the song Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, but the first disc of the album doesn't do much for me. The first 3 DT albums and Scenes are classics though.

maidenpriest
06-04-2009, 07:45 PM
this album is their best imo since Train of thought. and i do have to agree that portnoy needs to stop singing.

300%_Density
06-04-2009, 08:10 PM
Always feel guilty b/c when I read reviews for Systematic I really didn't think it was as bad as an album as everyone is saying it is. Granted I was relatively new to DT so maybe that was my problem but I have listened to their other albums as well. I really enjoyed Traing Of Thought b/c it was a little heavier/darker than alot of their previous albums. From the 1st 2 songs I've heard off of the new album I'm pretty excited for it.

Maiden33
06-04-2009, 08:33 PM
I've always thought Train of Thought sucks, because it's a very one-sided album. The whole thing is chugga-chugga down-tuned riffs. It's very much just like a modern, overly-progressive Metallica, which I don't care for at all. Early Dream Theater was groundbreaking Progressive Metal, Train of Thought was just very rehashed, unoriginal, meandering, and boring. When I first heard it I was like: "OMG IT'S HEAVY", but as time went on I liked it less and less. It's easily in my bottom 3 DT albums, along with Systematic Chaos.

Fe Maiden
08-27-2009, 12:28 PM
Just picked this up yesterday. Not heard it all yet but I am really liking The Count of Tuscany:light:

mankvill
08-27-2009, 01:09 PM
"Rite of Passage" sounds like it belongs in a Dreamcast Sonic game.

UnleashTheWolves
08-27-2009, 01:37 PM
This album is album of the year for me I like all the songs. My favorites are A Nightmare to Remember and The Count of Tuscany.I think Black Clouds & Silver linings is a better album than the 3 before it.Some songs on this album really show Dream Theaters Rush influence. I dont have a problem with portnoy singing. He sings for less than one minute maybe a little more on an almost 80 minute album its no big deal at all.:horns:

Fe Maiden
08-28-2009, 07:03 AM
Liking this one a lot! Definitely can hear a Rush influence in there! Leaps and Bounds better than Systematic Chaos!!!!

Dextrimental
09-17-2009, 06:46 PM
Personally, I loved this album. In fact, I love every Dream Theater album, Train of Thought is probably my favorite, either that or images and words or octavarium. I love Systematic Chaos too. Have any of you heard the twelve step suite? You know, the hour long epic that started with glass prison and is now finished with shattered fortress?