Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory review



Reviewer:
10

1486 users:
9.05
Band: Dream Theater
Album: Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory
Release date: 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!

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 page 2 / 2

Comments: 45   Visited by: 306 users
12.03.2011 - 21:51
Darth Mitchell
Mitchell
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
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12.03.2011 - 22:04
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
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.
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27.06.2011 - 23:25
Assassiyoun
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.
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"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehen, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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12.08.2011 - 12:53
Mountain King
K i K o
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...
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14.08.2011 - 22:40
Nemo Atkins
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.
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10.03.2012 - 09:59
Renard Solitaire
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??
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28.02.2013 - 18:01
bloodysystem
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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27.07.2015 - 18:45
BlankFile
One of the best progressive metal álbums ever.

The concept is amazing, and musically mind blowing.
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10.08.2015 - 12:59
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Talvi on 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.


I know that this post is 9 years old, but every time I come across this thread, I read this post again. And it always makes me laugh hard. Especially the "I'm a true fan of Dream Theater" bit. As if this was supposed to legitimize the poster's words.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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09.03.2016 - 14:55
bblitz
Written by Daniell on 10.08.2015 at 12:59

Written by Talvi on 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.


I know that this post is 9 years old, but every time I come across this thread, I read this post again. And it always makes me laugh hard. Especially the "I'm a true fan of Dream Theater" bit. As if this was supposed to legitimize the poster's words.

Totally agreed.And its even funnier that Beyond this life and especially Home are the best bits of the album...
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27.07.2017 - 18:41
Metren
The What The?
I've always thought this album was overrated as hell. Glad to see I'm not the only one. When I first discovered Dream Theater and saw how many people consider it their second best or even best album, I honestly felt confused. It almost makes me think that if the concept was not connected to Metropolis part I from their best album, it wouldn't be considered a masterpiece by anyone. I seem to remember a critic on Allmusic saying something like "it is intended to be a masterwork, but they didn't pull it off". That's exactly true.
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28.07.2017 - 00:35
Azarath
Written by Metren on 27.07.2017 at 18:41

I seem to remember a critic on Allmusic saying something like "it is intended to be a masterwork, but they didn't pull it off".

"Clearly, this is intended as some sort of masterwork, and what's remarkable is that Dream Theater comes close to creating a masterwork with Scenes from a Memory."
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28.07.2017 - 00:39
Metren
The What The?
Written by Azarath on 28.07.2017 at 00:35

Written by Metren on 27.07.2017 at 18:41

I seem to remember a critic on Allmusic saying something like "it is intended to be a masterwork, but they didn't pull it off".

"Clearly, this is intended as some sort of masterwork, and what's remarkable is that Dream Theater comes close to creating a masterwork with Scenes from a Memory."


So in other words, they didn't pull it off
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Dreadrealm's Bandcamp with free downloads: https://dreadrealm.bandcamp.com/ (200 Free Downloads Every Month is Bandcamp's limit)
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29.07.2017 - 17:09
Azarath
Written by Metren on 28.07.2017 at 00:39

Written by Azarath on 28.07.2017 at 00:35

Written by Metren on 27.07.2017 at 18:41

I seem to remember a critic on Allmusic saying something like "it is intended to be a masterwork, but they didn't pull it off".

"Clearly, this is intended as some sort of masterwork, and what's remarkable is that Dream Theater comes close to creating a masterwork with Scenes from a Memory."

So in other words, they didn't pull it off

"The overall end result of the album is quite impressive indeed."
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29.07.2017 - 18:03
Metren
The What The?
Written by Azarath on 29.07.2017 at 17:09

"The overall end result of the album is quite impressive indeed."


Heh, even I am impressed with the album from a technical point of view. Still not a very good album in terms of songwriting though.
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Dreadrealm's Bandcamp with free downloads: https://dreadrealm.bandcamp.com/ (200 Free Downloads Every Month is Bandcamp's limit)
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