Rating:
8.2
Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos
5 June 2007


Disc I
01. In The Presence Of Enemies - Part I
    1 - Prelude
    2 - Resurrection
02. Forsaken
03. Constant Motion
04. The Dark Eternal Night
05. Repentance
    1 - VIII. Regret
    2 - IX. Restitution
06. Prophets Of War
07. The Ministry Of Lost Souls
08. In The Presence Of Enemies - Part II
    1 - Heretic
    2 - The Slaughter Of The Damned
    3 - The Reckoning
    4 - Salvation

Disc II [special edition DVD]
+ The Entire Album Mixed In 5.1 Surround Sound
+ Chaos In Progress - The Making of Systematic Chaos


In this decade, every Dream Theater release has been a huge question mark. Some fans loved them, some fans completely turned away from the New York combo. Ever since 2002's "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", the band that influenced, and continues to influence so many other bands, has been trying to create something different. And while this album won't probably avoid the same fate of being criticized down to the last detail, it is in my opinion their best effort since 1999. "Systematic Chaos" actually reminds me a lot of "Awake", harboring the same consistency within the songs and a similar dark and aggressive atmosphere.

Of course, the opener is a classic Dream Theater of late, with borderline annoying keyboards all the way throughout, but the strength of this album is yet to come. The guys each brought back a lot from their solo career on this one. While James Labrie's solo album influences on the band can clearly be heard on a track like 'Forsaken', the guitar solo on 'Constant Motion' is a clue that John Petrucci spent most of his time on the G3 tour with fellow guitarist Joe Satriani.

The anchors of this album are definitely 'Constant Motion' and 'Prophets of War', which are sure to be stage favorites on the upcoming tour. Overall, the song structures are a lot catchier than what they released lately. Don't be surprised if you start humming the choruses of those songs in the middle of the day.

Dream Theater finally came partially back to reason with "Systematic Chaos". While their latest musical direction left me cold and wondering, this album breaches the gap between their new material and their glorious anthems from the past. It may not change your mind about the band, but if any of their recent albums will, this should be the one. Obviously, if you like "Train of Though" and "Octavarium", you won't be disappointed one bit. It will be interesting to see what comes next from Dream Theater. That is after they release their usual post-studio 12 live CDs/DVDs.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Dream Theater
Album: Systematic Chaos


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 08.07.2007

Guest review by
Arian Totalis

Rating:
8.0
Here we have the long anticipated ninth release of Dream Theater, 'Systematic Chaos'. I have seen first hand that this album has caused some commotion, as well as some controversy in their fan base. One thing is for sure though, this is better than 'Octavarium'. It definitely pulls some feel from 'Train Of Thought' retaining very few elements from their previous release.

Read more ››
published 03.10.2007 | Comments (6)

Guest review by
Spyroid

Rating:
8.4
With every album in the "new era" of Dream Theater, the band has tried to do something new. "Six Degrees" was experimenting with extreme track lengths, "Train of Thought" was written in three weeks and shows the extreme discipline in the studio. "Octavarium" might be one of the most thought-through albums ever with every track in a new key, all the connections to the number eight and so on. But "Systematic Chaos" is just a more or less ordinary album in their discography, but that doesn't mean it should be despised. I guess Dream Theater will never let me down.

Read more ››
published 30.01.2008 | Comments (11)



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#~|CoP|~# - 08.07.2007 at 22:50  
Well I totally disagree with this review but I will surely disagree to every review Saying that this album is good... Which isn't... This is the worse by far of their last albums... There is indeed consitancy but that's all...they've lost their magic touch... In The Presence of Our Ennemis PArtI is actually quite good but it's the only 'classic' Dream Theater song...
We have to consider Labrie's singing too that went totally wrong on that album... IMO time to rethink the heavy path they tried to take and return to a more Good prog basis music...

Classic Review of a DT album anyway...
Spyroid - 08.07.2007 at 22:56  
I think it seems pretty promising of what I've read from other reviews. But the only song I've heard is Constant Montion and I found it really bad. So if that's one of the best songs, I guess I shouldn't waste my money.
Grey_Dandelion - 08.07.2007 at 22:59  
Written by Spyroid on 08.07.2007 at 22:56

I think it seems pretty promising of what I've read from other reviews. But the only song I've heard is Constant Montion and I found it really bad. So if that's one of the best songs, I guess I shouldn't waste my money.

i think costant motion is probably the worst song
Baz Anderson - 08.07.2007 at 23:21  
the first time I heard this album I was bored to death!!!
really.. just.. really bad album

but then I saw them live at Hellfest and they really impressed me again - so I gave this album another chance..
and still didn't find it anywhere near as good as this review makes out..

but still.. maybe it will grow on me anyway.. maybe I just need to give it some more chances.. I would like to like it!!!
Demonic Tutor - 08.07.2007 at 23:35  
I did not like it at first either, but this one is a definite grower. That's why it took so long to come up with a review. For the longest time, I could not even determine if I liked it or not. I guess I should have mentioned that in my review.
Aylee_Bodom - 08.07.2007 at 23:37  
Yah I don't like this album very much either...too much experimentation I think >.<
Warman - 08.07.2007 at 23:40  
Damn catchy album! I love it and still it's not as good as the other (LaBrie) albums.
Baz Anderson - 08.07.2007 at 23:49  
Written by Demonic Tutor on 08.07.2007 at 23:35

I did not like it at first either, but this one is a definite grower. That's why it took so long to come up with a review. For the longest time, I could not even determine if I liked it or not. I guess I should have mentioned that in my review.

aaah, thats a good sign then.. I think it has the potential for me to like it but with some effort.. hahaha
I will give it some more goes soon and hopefully I will like it in the end as well
Dexter_prog - 09.07.2007 at 00:23  
Being it far better than their crappiest album (Octavarium), it still lacks originality. It gets boring very easily, there are tracks that should have never been there (The Dark Eternal Night, Constant Motion) and notable influences (aka rip-offs) from other bands (Metallica and Opeth mainly). Anyway I'd give it a 5 or a 6, just because of In The Presence of Enemies part I and II, which are not something atonishing new or mind-blowing, but still good songs.
BORT - 09.07.2007 at 04:03  
i just bought this album, i'm not sure if i like it or not. lol There are plenty of heavy parts, trippy parts and you have the enjoyable long songs. But there isn't really any song that sticks out. I wish this album had a song comparable to panic attack off of Octavarium.
Bitch Boy - 09.07.2007 at 04:37  
Obviously this one isn't as good as some DT classic albums but I think it's a good album anyway. I liked the review, it's very objective and doesn't bash the album for being "the latest album" as lots of people do with almost every latest album from almost every band.
Passenger - 09.07.2007 at 16:05  
I planned on writting a review for this album, don't know if I will now. In any case, well said, I'd actually even rate this album higher, it has definitely been one of the highlights of the year for me, and I really think it's one of Dream Theater's best, but, then again, I also liked Train Of Thought. I think people don't really want to accept this more straight forward sound of theirs from the start, and will always end up underrating these 2 albums, which is a shame, this, for me, is the best variation of Progressive Metal there is.

9/10
omn1 - 09.07.2007 at 21:20  
I can't really get into this album, at the moment I rate it about a 6 but that might change. I doubt it though, something seems to be lacking from the songs that the band seemed to have before. "Systematic Chaos" seems to be the perfect title for the album however, as Dream Theater seem to be slipping into a rather systematic approach to their music since "Scenes From A Memory" was released.
One thing I like about the album however is the return to the fantasy-influenced jargon that dominated their lyrics writing in the earlier albums, and don't try to make some sort of political or social statement. But maybe people prefer that, I don't know.
Overall I prefered Octavarium.
blackthor - 09.07.2007 at 22:41  
Best Dream Theater album so far in my opinion, i know that after saying this sentence i will be cursed , but i don't give a damn. An incredible album very dynamic, excellent orchestration, drums are over the top, and James vocals are darker than ever. It's obvious that James is keeping his voice under a strict control and he is not using his entire vocal pallet but i think that he is doing a great job.
A step forward for Dream Theater. Definitely 10 for this album, the album of the year for me in the progressive section.
To understand this album you need just a little patience, give it a full spin, don't try to listen just a song or two because you are far from making an impression this way.
BlankFile - 14.07.2007 at 23:55  
The Greatest albums of Dream Theather imo are "Images and Words" and "Metropolis part 2 (Scenes of a Memory)". In this decade Dream Theather came up with annoying and kind of shity albums... This one is no exception, altough is a bit better than the previous ones... But still seems that the album is kind of weak.
DT are finished i guess... In Opposite to for example Symphony X that released a recent album 5 years after Odyssey, and is fucking brutal!
mazakiel - 15.07.2007 at 11:01  
i like this album after awake i didint like dream to much but know this album i think its good i like the experamentation
Pianoman - 21.07.2007 at 06:30  
If you dont understand the album you don´t like dream theater. This is pure progressive metal. I think that dream theater have grown in every album and this isn´t the exception. The music isn't as accesible as octavrium or images and words because the structure of the songs is really complex.
And the one who said that octavarium is their crappiest album is an idiot because all dream theater albums are different. Octavarium shows wat is DT in general and if you dont like then you dont like dream theater.
PMGforever - 22.07.2007 at 02:12  
The Dark Eternal Night is a good one in fact i think it is one of the best song ever of dream
Arian Totalis - 22.07.2007 at 07:45  
That was a good review, I enjoyed it. Unfortunatly I don't yet have this album. I liked Constant motion and The Dark Eternal Night. I need to get this bitch ASAP.
Dan066 - 22.07.2007 at 07:50  
In The Presence Of Enemies (Part 1) is my favorite track. Pretty good album, but definetly not their best.
BloodTears - 28.07.2007 at 21:09  
My favourite song of the album is "In The Presence Of Enemies (Part 2)", I much prefer this approach to lyrics and songs. I think it is a good album, on the same level of other DT releases as "train of thought" and "falling into infinity" I would say. I would prefer instead releases on the level of "images and words", "awake" and "metropolis II" but I dont see that happening.

It could be much worse. It is a good album not an excellent album in my opinion. I have been listening to it for quite a while now and I think DT can still write successful songs, good songs, and after so much time that is remarkable.
caffeinehead - 15.08.2007 at 08:53  
Man- everyone seems to be either love/hate with this album. I just got around to buying it, even though it was released on my birthday back in June. I haven't opened it yet, because I keep hearing mixed things about the album.

I guess I should just eat the $13 and open it!
Bsquared - 14.09.2007 at 18:56  
Written by caffeinehead on 15.08.2007 at 08:53

Man- everyone seems to be either love/hate with this album. I just got around to buying it, even though it was released on my birthday back in June. I haven't opened it yet, because I keep hearing mixed things about the album.

I guess I should just eat the $13 and open it!


And? Did ye like it?
Spyroid - 07.01.2008 at 16:34  
Written by Guest on 09.07.2007 at 21:20

I can't really get into this album, at the moment I rate it about a 6 but that might change. I doubt it though, something seems to be lacking from the songs that the band seemed to have before. "Systematic Chaos" seems to be the perfect title for the album however, as Dream Theater seem to be slipping into a rather systematic approach to their music since "Scenes From A Memory" was released.
One thing I like about the album however is the return to the fantasy-influenced jargon that dominated their lyrics writing in the earlier albums, and don't try to make some sort of political or social statement. But maybe people prefer that, I don't know.
Overall I prefered Octavarium.


Good point about the lyrics, I agree! But common - Dark Eternal Night has like the worst lyrics ever.
Omni - 07.01.2008 at 22:49  
Written by Spyroid on 07.01.2008 at 16:34

Written by Guest on 09.07.2007 at 21:20

I can't really get into this album, at the moment I rate it about a 6 but that might change. I doubt it though, something seems to be lacking from the songs that the band seemed to have before. "Systematic Chaos" seems to be the perfect title for the album however, as Dream Theater seem to be slipping into a rather systematic approach to their music since "Scenes From A Memory" was released.
One thing I like about the album however is the return to the fantasy-influenced jargon that dominated their lyrics writing in the earlier albums, and don't try to make some sort of political or social statement. But maybe people prefer that, I don't know.
Overall I prefered Octavarium.


Good point about the lyrics, I agree! But common - Dark Eternal Night has like the worst lyrics ever.


True, but I'd rather hear them sing about "horrible monsters" than stem cell research (The Great Debate).
Spyroid - 07.01.2008 at 22:58  
Written by Guest on 07.01.2008 at 22:49

Written by Spyroid on 07.01.2008 at 16:34

Written by Guest on 09.07.2007 at 21:20

I can't really get into this album, at the moment I rate it about a 6 but that might change. I doubt it though, something seems to be lacking from the songs that the band seemed to have before. "Systematic Chaos" seems to be the perfect title for the album however, as Dream Theater seem to be slipping into a rather systematic approach to their music since "Scenes From A Memory" was released.
One thing I like about the album however is the return to the fantasy-influenced jargon that dominated their lyrics writing in the earlier albums, and don't try to make some sort of political or social statement. But maybe people prefer that, I don't know.
Overall I prefered Octavarium.


Good point about the lyrics, I agree! But common - Dark Eternal Night has like the worst lyrics ever.


True, but I'd rather hear them sing about "horrible monsters" than stem cell research (The Great Debate).


I totally cope with you on that, the lyrics to The Great Debate is just annoying as hell. Still, if they want to sing about horrible monsters and vampires or whatever they could atleast make some good lyrics about that topic. Dark Eternal Night is not even well written IMO
Dreamwar_86 - 13.01.2008 at 00:30  
i miss kevin moore
MetalMac - 16.01.2008 at 04:39  
yet another great album from the band we all dream about. great production aswell. sounds like metallica.

-MetalMac
BloodTears - 17.01.2008 at 14:26  
Written by MetalMac on 16.01.2008 at 04:39

yet another great album from the band we all dream about. great production aswell. sounds like metallica.

-MetalMac


sounds like metallica? what do you mean?
Warman - 17.01.2008 at 16:07  
Written by BloodTears on 17.01.2008 at 14:26

Written by MetalMac on 16.01.2008 at 04:39

yet another great album from the band we all dream about. great production aswell. sounds like metallica.

-MetalMac


sounds like metallica? what do you mean?

I actually agree, the verse for Constant Motion sounds like Metallica. But just that part... not the whole album.
BloodTears - 17.01.2008 at 16:10  
Written by Warman on 17.01.2008 at 16:07

Written by BloodTears on 17.01.2008 at 14:26

Written by MetalMac on 16.01.2008 at 04:39

yet another great album from the band we all dream about. great production aswell. sounds like metallica.

-MetalMac


sounds like metallica? what do you mean?

I actually agree, the verse for Constant Motion sounds like Metallica. But just that part... not the whole album.


u mean musically? the riff is it?
Warman - 17.01.2008 at 16:13  
Written by BloodTears on 17.01.2008 at 16:10

u mean musically? the riff is it?

Well... the verse... it just sounds like Metallica That was the first thing I thought about when I heard the song and the first thing my friend said when he heard the song was: "That sound like Metallica". When the song first appeared on youtube there was a lot of comments like that too.
BloodTears - 17.01.2008 at 16:14  
Written by Warman on 17.01.2008 at 16:13

Written by BloodTears on 17.01.2008 at 16:10

u mean musically? the riff is it?

Well... the verse... it just sounds like Metallica That was the first thing I thought about when I heard the song and the first thing my friend said when he heard the song was: "That sound like Metallica". When the song first appeared on youtube there was a lot of comments like that too.


Oh I never made that connection.
Evil Chip - 05.03.2008 at 23:51  
Good album it reminds me a lot of awake. In the presence of enemies has become one of my favourites track of dream theater along with acos and octavarium. This album is more balanced like octavarium but still more orientated to the heavy stuff. Like they always says: Dream Theater is about heavy metal, progressive and mellow music.
I just saw them in Chile they were awesome live, they made a great animation of the dark eternal night in wich every member has super powers.
Highlights: In The Presence Of Enemies Pt1 and Pt2, The Dark Eternal Night, Repentance and Forsaken.
JayEstonio - 17.01.2009 at 18:29  
Hey guys I am new here at Metal Storm and this will be my very first comment in this forum.

At first I didn't like the tracks Constant Motion, Forsaken, Dark Eternal Night and In the Presence of the Enemies. I was disappointed with the new release. I thought it was just an compilation of Dream Theater's technical acrobatics and that it has no soul behind it. But then, after a month, I listened to it again and everything seemed new and grand to my ears. I began to enjoy the songs that I didn't before. Systematic Chaos may not be one of the best Dream Theater albums but still I can't help but sing, especially when I hear In the Presence of the Enemies Parts 1 and 2. Long live the Dark Master! Great Review by the way, always objective. Keep it up!:metal:
IronBlackZepp - 03.02.2009 at 03:56  
I love all of DT's albums, some peope say that this decade of DT is bad, that is not true. Six Degree's of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought, and Octivarium are all great albums. Then comes The Systematic Chaos, I love the album. It is so underrated for being such a great album. In the presence of our enemies is with out a doubt one of DT's best, every bit as good as anything DT has released.
RockeRoy - 23.02.2009 at 00:52  
I think this is an amaizing album, and whats up with all the negatvity in the reviews and then give the album an 8.
8 is pretty damn good.
FrozenJoy - 05.05.2011 at 21:45  
I think this album is MUCH better than most people say... I don't understand their problems with this one, it has a lot of awesome songs! In the Presence of Enemies (both parts), Constant Motion, The Dark Eternal Night, and Prophets of War... All of them are incredible songs, yeah, maybe a bit heavier or darker, but really good anyway... I agree with the review rating, an 8 is good for this one...

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