Rating:
10
Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory
25 October 1999


Act I
01. Scene One: Regression
02. Scene Two: I. Overture 1928
03. Scene Two: II. Strange Deja Vu
04. Scene Three: I. Through My Words
05. Scene Three: II. Fatal Tragedy
06. Scene Four: Beyond This Life
07. Scene Five: Through Her Eyes

Act II
08. Scene Six: Home
09. Scene Seven: I. The Dance Of Eternity
10. Scene Seven: II. One Last Time
11. Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On
12. Scene Nine: Finally Free


Together with Images And Words this is the most important and beautiful Progressive Metal album ever made. It's my favourite Dream Theater album and one of my favourite albums of all time. It's a true classic.

Scenes From A Memory is meant to be the sequel to the song Metropolis Part I "The Miracle And The Sleeper", released 7 years before on Images And Words. According to the band, that Part I was just a joke: there wasn't any project about a second part and the band members had always called it just Metropolis since it was an instrumental. But the band wasn't allowed to record a long instrumental and John Petrucci added those strange lyrics. Once Metropolis became Metropolis Part I, the fans couldn't resign themselves: they wanted a Part II. So the band began to record some demos in 1996, together with Derek Sherinian. In the beginning, Metropolis Pt.2 was a 30 minutes song. In the end, the band decided to create a 77 minute concept album, featuring an intricate plot and familiar melodies taken from the first chapter.

Since this is a concept album, you will find a plot and some melodies recurring throughout the record. The concept is hard to explain: the plot unfolds both in the past and in the present (1928 and 1999). A young man, Nicholas, has a strange déjà vu and while sleeping, he hears desperate cries. He decides to travel to another home, but he still feels disturbed by unclear visions. He is the reincarnation of a girl called Victoria Page and murdered in 1928 by Edward Baynes (the Miracle). So he decides to go to a hypnotherapist to do a regression to learn more about his past life. As the story develops, it becomes more messy. Even the end (?) is thrilling...

I personally don't like the concept. First of all because I don't believe in reincarnation neither in life after death. Then, because it is not logically linked to the first Metropolis, it's too intricate and I find it is "banal". Nevertheless, it involves you in very well and, for this reason, I like it anyway.

The creation of Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A Memory has been deeply inspired by the movie Dead Again: after watching it, you might be able to clear your doubts about the plot. But remember that there might be a pair of audio mistakes which could lead you astray. If you have any particular doubt (even about a sound) you can send me a mail.

The music is just amazing: beautiful, difficult to play, moving and often perfect. "Often" and not "always" because some songs are too long: I'm talking about The Dance Of Eternity and the neverending instrumental parts in Home and Beyond This Life. I think these speedlight solos lack expression and melody. I don't like many keyboard solos and I'm not fond of Jordan Rudess' style: in my opinion he improvises too much in his lead parts and these parts seem not to fit in. But this is just my point of view. He is a genius and you might like him.

The thing I like best about this album is the perfect fusion of sounds. Every instrument can always be heard clearly but, if you are able to hear them all together, you will understand what I call "perfection": listen to Overture 1928, Strange Déjà Vu, and Finally Free.

There's a horrible noisy error in Fatal Tragedy at 0:36 and the long high-pitched singing of James in The Spirit Carries On is false (it is a short part copied and stuck back to back 3 or 4 times!). So even Dream Theater are not perfect. But Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A Memory is a masterpiece that EVERYONE interested in Prog music MUST BUY!


Band profile: Dream Theater
Album: Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory


 


written by The Silent Man | 29.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Talvi - 09.12.2006 at 19:02  
VERY VERY overrated. I'm a true fan of Dream Theater and I rank this among the lowest, along with the debut and FiI. Beyond this Life and Home are too overlong.
Anthem - 10.01.2007 at 06:29  
Ill disagree, It is one of my favorites. It is full of greta melodies and musical gymnastics. This band never ceases to amaze me
Bitch Boy - 10.01.2007 at 22:35  
Dream Theater's best. I think that the band reached their top quality with this one.

I heard Fatal Tragedy for the millionth time, and I didn't find any error, or perhaps it's on second 0:34??
Mihkel - 19.01.2007 at 17:51  
I wouldn't say that Dance Of Eternity is too long...It's like every following note in the song makes me say "Wow!"
Basso - 19.01.2007 at 20:55  
My fav DT album. Very good album!
Ytse Jam - 22.01.2007 at 17:39  
There's only one word to describe this album, "masterpiece". DT rules!
Baz Anderson - 27.01.2007 at 22:45  
its a very good album indeed - but i wouldnt say it is their best
i like both 'Images & Words' and 'Awake' more then this album.. it just doesnt seem a solid to me.
the DVD of them doing this album is really good too
Rogue30 - 09.02.2007 at 16:07  
It is the greatest masterpiece of music. Too overlong??? I listen to it as one song - over 77 minutes
NemeniX - 12.02.2007 at 12:13  
I just think that's the best DT album ever

All songs of SFAM are simply amazing, and the concept is a so good idea.
Wollan - 02.03.2007 at 02:28  
This is Dream Theaters "gold-album", i love it.
Ill think the best song on this album are "Finally Free"..what do YOU think??
Storchillarn - 05.04.2007 at 00:39  
I love every song on the album and it's impossible to say which one is the best but I can say that John Petrucci's best solos are in The Spirit Carries on and Beyond this Life. =)
Bankler - 07.04.2007 at 18:29  
This is the first Dream Theater album Ive listened to. Its great all over.
Warman - 07.04.2007 at 18:35  
Fascinating album! It's not perfect, but I believe that I'll never get tired of it. It deserves a very strong 9!
Philaenas - 22.04.2007 at 16:28  
I think I like Strange Deja Vu the best on this album. It just has the most interesting guitar pieces in it.
BloodTears - 23.04.2007 at 13:34  
I like every song on this one. The sequence of the songs couldnt be better. Definately one of their best releases ever.
Leper Messiah - 23.06.2007 at 05:25  
It really is a Masterpiece, bit I'm not that into ''Beyond This Life''.
Overture 1928, Strange Deja Vu, Home, plus the story and the awesome layout makes Scenes one of DT's best
jorkg - 25.06.2007 at 06:59  
Hell Yeah, DT is one of the best progressive metal groups of all time. And I think that is the BEST albums of all metal. and is the best album of DT. FATAL TRAGEDY is , for me the song of the album, and I like the progression One Last Time, The Spirit Carries On and Finally Free, overall, this progression sounds very very well at the Live Scenes from NY.
Noel Sonic - 05.07.2007 at 04:31  
Masterpiece. I like its concept, and I do admire their ablity to show the concept in melody and composition. They wrote something which make me be in deep thought.
DummFeind - 11.05.2008 at 15:46  
Absolutely stunning. My favorite album by them, perfect because of the introduction of Mr. Rudess into the band. Favorite track - Dance of Eternity.
Powerslavex - 02.11.2008 at 12:07  
Good album my favourite song is finally free the drumming is fantastic
IronBlackZepp - 30.01.2009 at 20:46  
It is hard to imagin a better album then this one. For me their is no better album, their are albums that match this one, althouth their are very few, but their are none that are better. The story is one of the very best as far as concept albums go. It matches storys such as The Wall, Seventh Son, and Operation: Mindcrime. All of the instruments are perfect, as they were 7 years earlier on Images and Words. Great, Great album!!!
Uirapuru - 01.05.2009 at 11:41  
What a story! Really an amazing album.
Nosurper - 09.07.2009 at 01:06  
IMO the concept is weak. However, the music is what holds it together for me. There are so many memorable choruses and vocal lines on this album! I find myself humming some of the vocals at random quite often. And the musicianship is REMARKABLE. I was floored the first time I listened to Fatal Tragedy. What a close that song has. The climax on "The Spirit Carries On" is grand as well. This album really plays like a Broadway play, and a fine play at that. I could see them doing something with this album in that aspect. Anyway, this is my favorite Dream Theater album and it gets a 9/10 from me.
TuTku - 04.08.2009 at 04:03  
Definitely their masterpiece. Someone should make a movie of it.
Favorite songs: Home and Finally Free
Kjaj - 13.09.2009 at 02:07  
This is my second favorite album of theirs. I would give 10/10. It's great how the album creates a story. Just beautiful.
jjohansen - 05.11.2009 at 12:12  
In my opinion one of the greatest albums i've ever heard, along with Ghost Reveries (Opeth), The Royal Scam (Steely Dan), Aja (Steely Dan) and Watershed (Opeth)
Rui Correia - 08.09.2010 at 16:31  
Great great Album... Best prog rock/metal album of all time... 10/10
grindking111 - 13.10.2010 at 08:15  
If one must pull a "favorite song" from this album, my vote would have to be "The Spirit Carries On". It is a beautiful track with a beautiful message. For me though, the album plays as a single story, so I tend not to separate the tracks. One petty complaint; this is not a concept album. This (and all the comparable albums mentioned) are rock operas. They tell a cohesive story using characters. Awake was a "concept" album, i.e. a collection of similarly themed songs, both lyrically and musically. This is, in fact my favorite DT album. And BTW, 1. How will they ever replace Portnoy, 2. James LaBrie's new solo album is fabulous.
Kuroboshi - 21.11.2010 at 13:46  
This album is just amazing, I can't count the goosebump-attacks! Easily their best album. If there was any album deserving a 10, it would be this, together with Cult of Luna's Somewhere along the Highway and Nightingale's Alive Again.
JimInFlames - 01.03.2011 at 18:55  
Bad review.... the lyrics are brilliant... and the music masterpiece indeed. One of the best
Darth Mitchell - 12.03.2011 at 21:51  
Written by JimInFlames on 01.03.2011 at 18:55

Bad review.... the lyrics are brilliant... and the music masterpiece indeed. One of the best


True. I also don't understand why the reviewer gave the album a 10 but still has problems with it
ErnilEnNaur - 12.03.2011 at 22:04  
Written by Darth Mitchell on 12.03.2011 at 21:51

Written by JimInFlames on 01.03.2011 at 18:55

Bad review.... the lyrics are brilliant... and the music masterpiece indeed. One of the best


True. I also don't understand why the reviewer gave the album a 10 but still has problems with it


Because he was honest? No album is without faults and a perfect rating means that the good parts are so overwhelming that the bad parts just don't matter when looking at the work as a whole. The 10 rating is not meant for perfect albums (there are no such albums), it's meant for the absolute greatest albums of all time.
Assassiyoun - 27.06.2011 at 23:25  
Th reviewer focuses too much on the concept which he doesn't like. Almost 2/3 of the album is about it and when he describes the music it is mostly to tell us what he doesn't like about it. Don't like the concept, find some songs too long, find some solos "expressionless", the keyboard doesn't fit in the music, there's a horrible noisy error in Fatal Tragedy...I find kind of strange that he gives this album a 10 whereas he obviously doesn't find this album near perfect. I get that the good parts can outshine the bad ones and that even though an album cannot be perfect somebody can give him a 10 for "sentimental reasons" but when you focus that much on what you don't like about the music in a review I don't think a 10 is appropriate. I know that you cannot be totally objective and that such a review would be boring but still your score should reflect what you wrote.
Mountain King - 12.08.2011 at 12:53  
I prefer Kevin Moore, Rudess has some insane solos but Kevin Moore is a master at melody and atmosphere plus he got those amazing harmonies and solos too. He made Images & Words perfect, that's why to me Images & Words is the best Dream Theater album and there won't be better. Another reason is James Labrie who still had balls back then and could sing like a real singer who deserves to be in a band like DT. His vocals on Another Day and Surrounded will never be matched by any other DT song. This is a good album but a 10? I'm sorry i'll give it an 8 just because it took so much hard work to make and has very good technical instrumental parts and an interesting concept. James Labrie kinda ruined this album...
Nemo Atkins - 14.08.2011 at 22:40  
Well, this CD was my first actual attempt to get into Dream Theater (my attempt to listen to the new track with their new drummer wasn't exactly a easy listen for me and I got rather lost when trying to listen to "Finally Free" for the first time) and I must admit that I went in half expecting to pass it on to a friend and ended up finding it pretty good, if somewhat overly long (then again, the fact it is prog-metal should have tipped me off that it would be a long album). The best track, in my opinion, is "The Spirit Carries On", which serves as an excellent contrast to the ending of the album (the final track is pretty depressing and chilling compared to the surprisingly uplifting "The Spirit Carries On"). However, James Labrie, while still a good vocalist, doesn't really hold my attention on his own, which is a shame, as the album itself is fantastic and, had Dream Theater gone for a unique vocalist for each character, could have been groundbreaking. I'd say it is roughly an 9 overall.
Renard Solitaire - 10.03.2012 at 09:59  
Written by Mountain King on 12.08.2011 at 12:53

I prefer Kevin Moore, Rudess has some insane solos but Kevin Moore is a master at melody and atmosphere plus he got those amazing harmonies and solos too. He made Images & Words perfect, that's why to me Images & Words is the best Dream Theater album and there won't be better. Another reason is James Labrie who still had balls back then and could sing like a real singer who deserves to be in a band like DT. His vocals on Another Day and Surrounded will never be matched by any other DT song. This is a good album but a 10? I'm sorry i'll give it an 8 just because it took so much hard work to make and has very good technical instrumental parts and an interesting concept. James Labrie kinda ruined this album...


I think you might be right about the Kevin Moore argument. Not that I don't like Jordan Rudess, I prefer Moore's structures to Rudess' experimentation. No offence to Rudess fans here. Also, many progheads will agree with you about James LaBrie.

For some reason, Metropolis Part 2 works out fine, but Ayreon's The Human Equation doesn't cut it for me. Too many cooks spoil the broth??
bloodysystem - 28.02.2013 at 18:01  
I totally Agree ! This is THE! Progressive Rock/Metal Album ! and a Must have for all you prog-rockers out there

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