Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos review



Reviewer:
8.0

1061 users:
7.94
Band: Dream Theater
Album: Systematic Chaos
Release date: 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


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.

The instrumentation definitely does not live up to the legacy they created for themselves in the 80's and the early 90's, but I must admit it isn't really bad. The opening track 'In The Presence Of Enemies' is really good, and the harmonization of the instruments together are quite impressive. As for the album overall though, it has some noticeably radio friendly aspects to it. This can be seen on 'The Dark Eternal Night'. It starts with a riff that almost reminds one of the now very over played Pantera, and the vocal effects are quite annoying. Speaking of annoying vocals, Mike Portnoy actually has some vocal parts for this album and...he should stick to drumming.

The overall guitar playing for this album is pretty good; Petrucci provides some really interesting lead work and has some good rhythm sections as well. Mike Portnoy also does some good drumming on this album. As is seen on 'In The Presence Of Enemies' (both parts one and two), as well as in 'Forsaken'. I don't care what any of you say by the way, I like 'Constant Motion' as well (in every instrumental aspect). Rudess of course provides some melodic backgrounds with his keys, along with some wicked solos. John Myung does in general a decent job of keeping the rhythm section aligned. The overall vocal performance is okay, but let me tell you, I think James has lost it. I just don't hear that same passion he used to have in his voice.

This album is alright, and definitely a redeeming point after Octavarium, but still, it's no 'Images And Words' or 'Metropolis Part 2'. If you already own all their albums except for this one and Octavarium, then pick this one up next. Otherwise, there are a lot better things you could do with your money.

Album Highlights: In The Presence Of Enemy's Part I, Constant Motion, In The Presence Of Enemy's Part II


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9

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.

Staff review by
Dream Taster
Rating:
8.2
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.

Read more ››
published 08.07.2007 | Comments (39)

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)


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 54 users
03.10.2007 - 16:33
Katatronik
Angel of Lust
The same rating of mine. In the presence of Enemies Part I is great, as Forsaken and the Megadeth-like Constant Motion. Still there are some boring parts IMO, so I agree with your review
----

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
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25.09.2009 - 10:51
Quinaitor
Man you are crazy O.O... Portnoy actually sang War Inside my Head... so next time read better pal
----
Metal is flowing through my veins...
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25.09.2009 - 19:54
Arian Totalis
The Philosopher
Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 10:51

Man you are crazy O.O... Portnoy actually sang War Inside my Head... so next time read better pal

....I Don't really know why you just said that, as it isn't really realevent to the review at all, but if you read my review, all I was really getting at is that imo MIke Portnoy's vocals suck, and he should stick to drumming. Maybe you should read better next time pal.
----
"For the Coward there is no Life
For the hero there is No Death"
-Kakita Toshimoko

"The Philosopher, you know so much about nothing at all." _Chuck Schuldiner.
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28.09.2009 - 07:56
Quinaitor
Written by Arian Totalis on 25.09.2009 at 19:54

Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 10:51

Man you are crazy O.O... Portnoy actually sang War Inside my Head... so next time read better pal

....I Don't really know why you just said that, as it isn't really realevent to the review at all, but if you read my review, all I was really getting at is that imo MIke Portnoy's vocals suck, and he should stick to drumming. Maybe you should read better next time pal.


whatever XD... my opinion is that his vocals are great... just that they doesn't fit into DT's music =)
----
Metal is flowing through my veins...
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28.09.2009 - 13:32
Dangerboner
:D
Written by Arian Totalis on 25.09.2009 at 19:54

Written by Quinaitor on 25.09.2009 at 10:51

Man you are crazy O.O... Portnoy actually sang War Inside my Head... so next time read better pal

....I Don't really know why you just said that, as it isn't really realevent to the review at all, but if you read my review, all I was really getting at is that imo MIke Portnoy's vocals suck, and he should stick to drumming. Maybe you should read better next time pal.

Exactly my thoughts. Mike needs to stop singing. He's especially annoying on their newest album :/
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02.10.2009 - 23:17
Arian Totalis
The Philosopher
I still have to listen to it in its entirety. But I'm sure he's just as bad.
----
"For the Coward there is no Life
For the hero there is No Death"
-Kakita Toshimoko

"The Philosopher, you know so much about nothing at all." _Chuck Schuldiner.
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