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Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events review


839 users:
Band: Dream Theater
Album: A Dramatic Turn Of Events
Release date: September 2011

01. On The Backs Of Angels
02. Build Me Up, Break Me Down
03. Lost Not Forgotten
04. This Is The Life
05. Bridges In The Sky
06. Outcry
07. Far From Heaven
08. Breaking All Illusions
09. Beneath The Surface

It seems that something like that must have happened eventually. Mike Portnoy is gone, and A Dramatic Turn of Events is the first occasion for the metal community to find out how Dream Theater fares without their co-founder and co-leader. Let me tell you straight away that it sucks. It sucks much more than I feared it would having heard the first song off the album, whose name I won't even bother to mention. Why would I want to waste time typing names of crappy songs?

I will save a lot of time this way at least. Not having to type seven names of songs saves a lot of typing time, which I can otherwise spend picking my nose and admiring the yield that came form my private excavation. It'll be also more interesting than the dubious pleasure I was privy to while I was giving the album my mandatory 10 listens. I'm a coffee guy, so caffeine always manages to keep me awake. If it hadn't been for this legal drug, I'd never have finished listening to this turd of an album.

During the ordeal of listening to A Dramatic Turn of Events I pricked up my ears only twice. "Lost Not Forgotten" is half-decent, and its chorus has some bite in it, making the song at least memorable. "Breaking All Illusions" is the only trace of Dream Theater's former glory - adventurous, intriguing, surprising, with a great, well-composed, labyrinthine guitar solo. The only really outstanding song, the only pearl among swine.

The rest of the songs are a gray mass containing craploads of forced, uninspired instrumental wankery, multiple showoff passages, incredibly drawn out fragments, boring singing and flat, lifeless choruses. Sometimes the songs are sickeningly sweet and reek of badly disguised desire for radio exposure, sometimes they are overly complicated, but put together using unmatched parts, resulting in a bigger mess than my 3-year-old niece would make if I left her in the kitchen for 2 hours. All the inspiration that Dream Theater had this time around went into 2 songs. And what the hell is wrong with Jordan Rudess? He crammed his damn keyboard passages into every nook and cranny he could find in every song, and when there was no room to cram, he put the goddamn thing on top. The omnipresence of his instrument is extremely annoying and makes the album even worse. I know he is a virtuoso, but must he prove it five times per minute?

Come back Mike, please.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Written on 21.09.2011 by Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.

Staff review by
Dream Taster
There is no denying Dream Theater has been an enormous influence on progressive music for the last two decades. Every new release of theirs usually generates a buzz among fans and media alike. But since founding member, natural leader and revered drummer Mike Portnoy left the band unceremoniously last year, the free press the band is getting has been off the charts. After an overly publicized series of auditions whence drumming instructor Mike Mangini came triumphant, expectations were at an expected all-time high. A lot of doubts and uncertainties were lingering in the air. So what? You ask. Well, it all depends who's giving you the answer. Reviews have been split across the internet spectrum. But since you're stuck with me, here are my thoughts.

published 02.11.2011 | Comments (28)

Comments page 7 / 7

Comments: 186   Visited by: 933 users
05.12.2013 - 20:20
I don't have any big problems with this review (though the production is flat and dull), however "Outcry" is a highlight. I gave this album a 6.

Anyway, are we getting a review of the latest DT album? I remember how much fun this thread was the last time, so why would you pass up a chance to do it again?
16.03.2015 - 20:47
Happened to listen to this album again today. Nothing's changed. About four years onwards it still has nothing to offer, the only song with anything even remotely interesting going on being "Breaking All Illusions." Absolute plasterboard of an album.

No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
15.08.2016 - 20:21
Dungeon Master
A pretty terrible album this one. However, the review is one of my favorites on the site. It's not superbly written or anything, but it is just so brutally honest and anyone with a half a brain can tell that the author likes the band a lot and is only so disppointed because of how great they used to be. That stuff hurts, seeing your idols fall from grace and to see it expressed in a review like this is pretty awesome.
I am not nor have I ever been a musician or a member of a one-man band, especially a band that has a name that starts with "D".
23.08.2016 - 10:28
Five years after the release of this album, and two albums later, I re-visited this one. If I were to rate it now, it'd be an even 5 now.

Many people accused me of putting too much emphasis on Mike Portnoy's absence affecting the quality of ADToE. Well, while we're talking about post-Portnoy Dream Theater: "Dream Theater" was slightly better than ADToE, but still painfully average, while "The Astonishing" is the worst DT album by far. So yeah, my initial point still stands - the departure of Mike Portnoy started DT's decline. Will they ever bounce back? I do hope so.
26.08.2016 - 20:20
It´s enjoyable, but not as solid and consistent as other releases by DT that are more relevant.
28.01.2019 - 12:16
JoHn DoE
Good point about Jordan Rudess, he's all over the place here.
I wouldn't be so harsh (5.8), but good review anyway.
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.

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