Rating:
9.0
Dream Theater - Awake
4 October 1994


01. 6:00
02. Caught In A Web
03. Innocence Faded
04. A Mind Beside Itself: I. Erotomania
05. A Mind Beside Itself: II. Voices
06. A Mind Beside Itself: III. The Silent Man
07. The Mirror
08. Lie
09. Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
10. Scarred
11. Space-Dye Vest
12. Eve [Japanese bonus]


Progressive pioneers of New York based combo Dream Theater returned in 1994, with this album entitled "Awake". Following the magnificent "Images And Words", their 1992's highly acclaimed effort, and their first live album 1993's "Live At The Marquee", this record is another important brick in the wall of progressive metal.

Kevin Moore [keyboards] was still a member of the band, for the rest, the classic lineup was already established with Mike Portnoy [drums], John Petrucci [guitars], John Myung [bass] and James Labrie [vocals].

This new opus ought to catch your attention as it has a wonderful cover but also because it's one of the most complex albums ever written! As a consequence, some songs are really hard to enjoy during the first couple of listens. Actually, I first you wonder what is that kind of weird music! But quality is in there and in large quantities! Basically, every track on that album is a true complex composition from the strange opener '6:00' to the even stranger final song 'Space Dye Vest'. Ok, maybe the short ballad 'The Silent Man' has to be taken out of that statement, nevertheless, songs such as 'Caught In A Web', 'Erotomania' or 'The Mirror' must be nightmares for guitar, keys, bass and drums players! These guys are really crazy but the result is incredibly beautiful and at some point, listening to a song like 'Erotomania' can make you as delighted as drinking your favorite tea [isn't it?]. Oh well, maybe I really do need a psychiatrist after all...

Anyway, "Awake" features some highly technical tracks but also some hybrids between soft ballads and progressive [rock?] songs. 'Innocence Faded' is one of them, and it was my favorite track for a while on that album. Probably because that's the only one where you can identify a chorus without going through the lyrics. 'Lifting Shadows Off A Dream' is another one, even softer but full of great keys.

Also, some tracks are, well, hard to classify! 'Voices' is most of the time a quiet one but when it takes off, it does it brutally. 'The Mirror' is in my opinion a masterpiece of songwriting [concentrate on the drums and you'll see] and with the following track, 'Lie', it forms a kind of schizophrenic duo of disturbed melodies. Once again, it sounds weird at first but then it totally rules. Finally 'Scarred', is a long and powerful song, sometimes mellow, sometimes brutal. In a nutshell, a great progressive song! Especially when Mr. John Petrucci decides to throw one of his famous solos in it toward the end.

The general feeling that "Awake" gives me is a sad, gloomy one. And the lyrics are a great part of that feeling. On the down side, I think that the songs are so different that the album suffers from a lack of unity. If you compared "Awake" to "Images And Words", for example, "Awake" is definitely more aggressive [especially the guitar lines], it also has more tortured melodies. Nevertheless, I personally prefer "Images And Words" for its overall atmosphere, even though "Awake" could be considered more experimental than its predecessor.

To sum things up, "Awake" is a complex, experimental, varied album with a permanent gloomy feeling to it. Despite a lack of unity throughout the album, "Awake" emphasized Dream Theater's musicianship and it confirms the birth of an amazing band.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Dream Theater
Album: Awake


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 09.01.2004

Staff review by
Herzebeth

Rating:
9.0
We all know what to expect when you buy a Dream Theater album, complex music, incredible guitar solos, enjoyable bass-lines, polished vocals, and well Mike Portnoy (we all know who he is right?). Awake is not an exception, James Labrie gives us an incredible vocal performance, his vocals have all kinds of shapes and cool structures. The Music is exceptional and well Mike Portnoy as always is marvelous.

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published 21.01.2005 | Comments (4)



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JohnDoe - 23.10.2006 at 23:07  
A masterpiece of progressive metal.
my favourite DT album. As far as I'm concerned it never got better than this with DT. Not only the musicianship is outstanding (again), but in my humble opinion, we've got here James laBrie best vocal performance ever.
Dangerboner - 25.10.2006 at 06:04  
This is one of my favorite DT albums. The Mirror and Lie are great songs, but 6:00 tops them all. For some reason it reminds me of the Mario song.
Baz Anderson - 25.10.2006 at 14:07  
one of my favorite Dream Theater albums too!
its a very heavy album, very good indeed
when i first got into Dream Theater listening to 'Images And Words' and 'Metropolis...' i didnt imagine any other album would be so fantastic, but this one is definatly up there with my favorites too. its probably my second favorite Dream Theater album actually
Talvi - 21.11.2006 at 21:08  
One of their best albums. I have a strange feeling on this album, as it doesn't have any instant hit, but a lot of amazing songs.
x-avier - 27.04.2007 at 21:12  
such an awesome album. THis is my favorite DT album perfectly done with such a good mix of prog music lyrics eveything! I love space dye vest lifting shadow of a dream they just take you to another world! the mirror and scarred are my favorites they have excellent music and excellent lyrics!
tulkas - 28.04.2007 at 21:22  
I agree 100% this being DT's best album, it's my favorite album in termas of musical and lyrical compsition. Sure, some of the albums after this are very good, also I & W's is very good too, but IMO this is the best!
Bitch Boy - 28.04.2007 at 23:00  
Very good album indeed. I really like the way they change their style within the album, from a heavier sound to ballads.
Warman - 17.06.2007 at 00:31  
Awesome review with a fair rating! And I also had a hard time getting into the album the first time (it also was my first Dream Theater album), but after a while I noticed how amazing it is.
jorkg - 25.06.2007 at 06:52  
Well, for me, this is a very good album. I just started to listen it some few days ago, and I think that all the album is like heavy in the lyrics, but is pretty good. I think that the theme Caught In A Web is one of the best songs of this albums. Saludos. P.D. I think that the best albums of DT are Metropolis Pt. 2 and Images and Words. The third is Awake.
BloodTears - 27.06.2007 at 16:42  
This is indeed an amazing album. "erotomania" and "the mirror" are so perfect I cant imagine how something better can be written. I do agree that it is gloomy and agonizing at some points but that contributes for its effectiveness. The drum work on this album is remarkable in my opinion. Actually, I cant stop listening to it lately
Evil Chip - 06.03.2008 at 00:03  
My favourite DT album by far it has a more heavy aproach than the others early ones and still has amazing progressive music. A mind Beside Itself its an amazing sequel aswell, and all the track are amazing. Also is the last album of the great composer and keyboard player Kevin Moore defenetely he had that something that filled Dream Theater of feeling, sadnes and grace.
Kevin Moore For ever.:thankyou:
My Favourites. 6:00, The Mirror, Lie, Caught In A Web and the beautifoul Space-Dye Vest.
Fat & Sassy! - 08.09.2008 at 09:41  
Written by Evil Chip on 06.03.2008 at 00:03

My favourite DT album by far it has a more heavy aproach than the others early ones and still has amazing progressive music. A mind Beside Itself its an amazing sequel aswell, and all the track are amazing. Also is the last album of the great composer and keyboard player Kevin Moore defenetely he had that something that filled Dream Theater of feeling, sadnes and grace.
Kevin Moore For ever.:thankyou:
My Favourites. 6:00, The Mirror, Lie, Caught In A Web and the beautifoul Space-Dye Vest.


Couldn't agree more with the fact that Space-Dye vest is astonishingly beautiful.

Voices is, BY FAR, my favorite Dream Theater song.
x-avier - 06.10.2008 at 20:15  
how I miss kevin moore.. he was the true feeling on dream theater.. we wasn't so complex as jordan rudess.. but he has this feeling that make his keyboards the best way to get into dream theater.. Miss you kevin
DreamingDesire - 12.10.2008 at 00:58  
I agree, Kevin Moore contributed a in terms of keyboard sections, like those in Caught In A Web, The Mirror, Lie and of course, Space-Dye Vest which just stands out on its own. It may not be a complex or as skilled as Rudess, but i love the amount of creativity put in, he is what made Awake so special to me i think.
x-avier - 12.01.2009 at 00:33  
Exactly, I hope some day he at least do a reunite dvd playing this album as DT did with Derick Sheridan and the old Singer.
Panterica - 29.07.2009 at 15:15  
An great album, too bad Moore left, he was so talented. I like that this one is darker and heavier then I&W, it would've become my favorite album mad by DT if it hadn't this cheesy parts, but there are some that are pretty good. 6:00, Erotomania and Scarred are definetly the highlights in this album.
AnEpicDeath - 17.08.2009 at 07:05  
I'll never be able to pick a favorite DT album . I&W is a masterpiece quite different from the rest (though I haven't heard Metropolis 2 yet.. similar vein or no?). The roots of 6DoIT and ToT are clearly present in Awake, along with touches of I&W (I.E. 'Innocence Faded'), which makes it something special, though I think 'Train Of Thought" was able to somewhat surpass it. And their newest, though not without flaws (Portnoy's terrible death growl attempt in "A Nightmare to Remember", the several minute chime break in "The Count of Tuscany", and while I don't really care about lyrics, they made me laugh at times), shows signs of repentance of mainstream influence, beautiful melodies, blistering solos, and even some death metal influences! I love their diversity and technicality...
Quinaitor - 25.09.2009 at 10:26  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 08.09.2008 at 09:41


Couldn't agree more with the fact that Space-Dye vest is astonishingly beautiful.

Voices is, BY FAR, my favorite Dream Theater song.



Space-Dye Vest is the song that makes you realize about love and friendship and how those things make damage to us... you know we can be metal lovers but we also are human XD
Fat & Sassy! - 25.09.2009 at 11:44  
Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 10:26

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 08.09.2008 at 09:41


Couldn't agree more with the fact that Space-Dye vest is astonishingly beautiful.

Voices is, BY FAR, my favorite Dream Theater song.



Space-Dye Vest is the song that makes you realize about love and friendship and how those things make damage to us... you know we can be metal lovers but we also are human XD


I suppose so, but I never knew what this song was a about until somewhat recently. What I meant is that the music is powerful as much as it is beautiful.
Quinaitor - 25.09.2009 at 19:07  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 25.09.2009 at 11:44

Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 10:26

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 08.09.2008 at 09:41


Couldn't agree more with the fact that Space-Dye vest is astonishingly beautiful.

Voices is, BY FAR, my favorite Dream Theater song.



Space-Dye Vest is the song that makes you realize about love and friendship and how those things make damage to us... you know we can be metal lovers but we also are human XD


I suppose so, but I never knew what this song was a about until somewhat recently. What I meant is that the music is powerful as much as it is beautiful.


Is correct the piano is simply breath-taking =O dammit im so happy this song was made XD... but something that i really hate is why people hate Rudess D=... ev1 is praising kevin moore (he IS a genius)... but c'mon have any1 heard Rudess solo project when he revisits DT songs from Moore era and they get even better D=
Fat & Sassy! - 25.09.2009 at 22:23  
Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 19:07

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 25.09.2009 at 11:44

Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 10:26

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 08.09.2008 at 09:41


Couldn't agree more with the fact that Space-Dye vest is astonishingly beautiful.

Voices is, BY FAR, my favorite Dream Theater song.



Space-Dye Vest is the song that makes you realize about love and friendship and how those things make damage to us... you know we can be metal lovers but we also are human XD


I suppose so, but I never knew what this song was a about until somewhat recently. What I meant is that the music is powerful as much as it is beautiful.


Is correct the piano is simply breath-taking =O dammit im so happy this song was made XD... but something that i really hate is why people hate Rudess D=... ev1 is praising kevin moore (he IS a genius)... but c'mon have any1 heard Rudess solo project when he revisits DT songs from Moore era and they get even better D=


Who said that they hate Rudess? O.o
Quinaitor - 28.09.2009 at 07:57  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 25.09.2009 at 22:23

Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 19:07

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 25.09.2009 at 11:44

Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 10:26

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 08.09.2008 at 09:41


Couldn't agree more with the fact that Space-Dye vest is astonishingly beautiful.

Voices is, BY FAR, my favorite Dream Theater song.



Space-Dye Vest is the song that makes you realize about love and friendship and how those things make damage to us... you know we can be metal lovers but we also are human XD


I suppose so, but I never knew what this song was a about until somewhat recently. What I meant is that the music is powerful as much as it is beautiful.


Is correct the piano is simply breath-taking =O dammit im so happy this song was made XD... but something that i really hate is why people hate Rudess D=... ev1 is praising kevin moore (he IS a genius)... but c'mon have any1 heard Rudess solo project when he revisits DT songs from Moore era and they get even better D=


Who said that they hate Rudess? O.o


Lots of people that i know and from several reviews comments T_T... they are mean to that keyboard god

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