Monday 7 October 2019

Album Review: DREAM THEATER - Distance Over Time

Dream Theater - Distance Over Time

01. Untethered Angel
02. Paralyzed
03. Fall Into The Light
04. Barstool Warrior
05. Room 137
06. S2N
07. At Wit's End
08. Out Of Reach
09. Pale Blue Dot
10. Viper King

I first started listening to Dream Theater when I was a teenager. Their second album, Images and Words had recently come out, and it made a huge impression on me. Its follow up, Awake, was also killer. However, the band seemed to go further down the Prog path, favouring musical complexity over commerciality. I have bought a few of their records over the years and, although I like them all, for my personal tastes, they've never come close to matching Images and Words. For me, that album was first and foremost about great songs, and everything on it just worked perfectly. I was aware that Dream Theater were releasing this, their fourteenth studio album, and having read some very positive reviews, I decided to give it a listen.

For the first time in years, I'm actually excited by Dream Theater again. Paralysed is a great single encompassing the band's DNA, yet sounding contemporary and vital. Fall Into The Light has some mean riffage, but is juxtaposed with a glorious melodic chorus. I also really like Viper King which has the spirit of Deep Purple running through it, as well as the epic At Wit's End.

Dream Theater seem to have re-embraced Hard Rock a little more firmly without straying too far from the path of Technical Prog Metal. In other words, it's catchy and accessible with plenty of grooves for the ears to latch onto. I think Distance Over Time could help them to reach a wider audience without compromising their core values and alienating their long-term fans. Overall, it's an excellent album as well as a smart move. It certainly hooked me back in.


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