Dream Theater - Octavarium
7 June 2005

01. The Root Of All Evil
    1 - VI. Ready
    2 - VII. Remove
02. The Answer Lies Within
03. These Walls
04. I Walk Beside You
05. Panic Attack
06. Never Enough
07. Sacrificed Sons
08. Octavarium
    1 - Someone Like Him
    2 - Medicate (Awakening)
    3 - Full Circle
    4 - Intervals
    5 - Razor's Edge

Octavarium, being one of their more commercial albums (as a matter of fact I would say THE most commercial) it is possibly their worst release to date. However, even if it is their worst release, it is still a very respectable and enjoyable listen. As the name implies, Octavarium is their eighth studio release, and is just chalked full of radio friendly atmosphere. This doesn't stop it from being fun though, after all, these are the masters of Progressive Metal we're dealing with here.

The guitar on this album holds less of a presence in previous albums. Petrucci has some interesting rhythm parts, no doubt, but it seems to me that everything he does almost seems to linger in a sort of backdrop to the keys and vocals. The solos are good too, but I know he could have done better. Even if they were aiming to be more commercial with this album, they still probably could have had a lot more prominent parts in here for him, especially seeing as how he wrote the lyrics to a few songs on the album. Portnoy suffers from a similar syndrome, while the drumming could have been much better, it simply wasn't up to par with his usual performances. Does anybody remember the days when he would play "Dance Of Eternity" and blast out like a billion ghost notes a second? It's not like that any more with this album, it seems to have evaporated with the ages. The vocals on Octavarium though, are quite exquisite. I still don't know if I want to say that they are as good as past albums, but they are certainly well done. The tracks "I Walk Beside You" and "These Walls" are great examples of the power in LaBrie's voice. What is there to say about John Myung on this album? Well, the bass parts seem almost non-existent, but at least the track "Panic Attack" has a really nice bass intro to make up for it.

As far as notable tracks, the aforementioned "Panic Attack", has a very distinguishable bass intro, and is the most aggressive track on the album. Not only that, it also contains the darkest lyrics. Inversely, the lightest track on the album, "The Answer Lies Within" holds perhaps the most uplifting lyrics. With two contrasting lyrical themes here (hope and despair) it makes for in interesting overall listen.

This album isn't their best, and yes it's their worst, but that doesn't make it a bad album. It's still worth the purchase if you're a Progressive Metal fan.

Album Highlights: These Walls, Panic Attack, I Walk Beside You, The Answer Lies Within, Octavarium.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Band profile: Dream Theater
Album: Octavarium


written by Arian Totalis | 03.10.2007

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

Guest review by

Octavarium, one of year 2005's big happenings in the world of progressive metal and probably metal in general. This band has tried a whole lot of different styles throughout their career and won over a lot of fans. The really introvert Awake, the concept album Scenes from a Memory, the symphonic Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and the heavier Train of Thought are all examples of their versatility and you could see their latest studio-album as a clash of all these different styles. The album consists of 8 tracks but still plays for well over an hour, mostly due to the massive title-song which is 24 minutes in length.

published 10.04.2007 | Comments (9)


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Katatronik - 03.10.2007 at 13:27  
Agree with you Arian, this is a good but not amazing album, with some good songs as the great Octavarium... New album is better IMO
Spyroid - 23.10.2007 at 14:01  
I love this album... I don't really get that about the commercial songs? If you listen to I&W, Awake, or any other Dream Theater album you will find "radio friendly" music - it's just that commercialism today isn't the same as commercialism in the early 90's. Also - Petrucci has got worse because he doesn't play as fast anymore, and Portnoy because he doesn't include billions of show of-ghost notes?

And I cannot believe that you didn't talk more about the title track, it's for sure one of the most thought-through and awesome tracks Dream Theater has ever recorded.
Arian Totalis - 27.10.2007 at 00:17  
That's nice

Still their worst album
Still not a bad one
But it isn't great either.
Spyroid - 25.12.2007 at 01:43  
Written by Arian Totalis on 27.10.2007 at 00:17

That's nice

Still their worst album
Still not a bad one
But it isn't great either.

They next time I get critique for a review I will answer it in the same way
Arian Totalis - 26.12.2007 at 02:27  
I wouldn't call that a critique as much as I would call it an expression of your own opinion. My opinion, it seems, differs from your own, and that's perfectly fine, but just some advice, when you critique someone, try to give them pointers about how the review was written, not what you personally think should have been there.
Opium - 26.12.2007 at 04:05  
Absolutely boring from start to end and definitely a contender for their worst album yet, IMO. This album did nothing for me.
Marcel Hubregtse - 26.12.2007 at 16:22  
Written by Guest on 26.12.2007 at 04:05

Absolutely boring from start to end and definitely a contender for their worst album yet, IMO. This album did nothing for me.

Have you heard Systematic Chaos? Judging from this comment I guess not.
Warman - 26.12.2007 at 17:37  
Actually a favourite of mine. Love this album, great energy and beautiful melodies from everyone. Octavarium and The Answer Lies Within will always be there for me.
Opium - 26.12.2007 at 19:11  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.12.2007 at 16:22

Written by Guest on 26.12.2007 at 04:05

Absolutely boring from start to end and definitely a contender for their worst album yet, IMO. This album did nothing for me.

Have you heard Systematic Chaos? Judging from this comment I guess not.

Haha, no, I should give that a listen, but I suppose this can't be their worst then Damn...

I'll go listen to it soon, I forgot all about it, tbh.
Ereinion - 28.01.2008 at 14:10  
I Agree with this review.. but stil i love this record!
Passenger - 26.10.2008 at 23:12  
Awesome album, maybe DT's most accessible and relaxed. Panic Attack may have become my favourite DT song.
Megadeth_Matt - 15.04.2009 at 23:52  
I dont know if i totally agree with this review. i find this one of the most pleasing DT albums. i could probably listen to the title track 50 times straight though. i would have to say that its definitely Octavarium that makes the album.
RockeRoy - 19.05.2009 at 21:34  
This album is so amaizing, it just never stopps getting better, i think soon it will be my favorit DT album
Dangerboner - 20.05.2009 at 08:04  
I stopped liking Dream Theater after this album... not sure why though. Yeah, it's easily their worst album, but I've never been disappointed by a band's release more than this one. I spent over $22 to pre-order this album, and I don't like one track.

Panic Attack starts out cool, but is pretty lame overall. These guys can do way better

It's even worse than Systematic Chaos for me
Arian Totalis - 20.05.2009 at 16:32  
I actually liked systematic chaos better as well...
FrozenJoy - 05.05.2011 at 21:36  
The Root of all Evil, Panic Attack, Never Enough, and Sacrificed Sons... The only songs from this album that I really like... I know Octavarium is a great song, but I just can't get through the whole song, it doesn't matter how many times I give it a try...
Plus, this album is just too comercially opened (it's how I feel it...), which makes it much more boring than others, like Train of Thought, Metropolis, or Systematic Chaos, which I actually really liked
Renard Solitaire - 11.02.2012 at 20:44  
Didn't like this album...Didn't like Black Clouds and Silver Linings nor A Dramatic Turn of Events..I'm going to think twice before telling people I listen to Dream Theater now. No wonder prog fans are rare.

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