"Octavarium", by Dream Theater
For the last week I've been grooving on Dream Theater's new release. My first reaction was not good. It felt stifled and too commercial. There's no doubt these guys have talent coming out of places I didn't know existed and frankly hearing a song that's nothing but shredding gets a bit old. However, it felt too poppy - "I Walk Beside You" felt like a blatant attempt at writing a radio single (some of the riffs almost reminded me of a Coldplay song, which was really weird). However, things I don't like the first time around usually means I need to give it time, and now that I've listened to it a lot it's grown on me. The songs eventually catch on. James does some weird vocal thing in "Panic Attack" that drives me insane every time I hear it - it almost sounds childish, but the rest of his vocals are good. Overall, this is definitely one of their more commercial albums, although remember that's it DT so it's still awesome prog metal. I think they hit a peak with "Metropolis 2" - the stuff on there is so memorable and everything is written to fit the CD's concept. It's one of those rare CDs where everything works; with "Octavarium", there are some weak spots. But if you like DT I think it's definitely worth buying.

* Posted at 07.07.2005 12:34:38 AM CST | Link *

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