Progressive Metal band Dream Theater delivers some of their greatest work to date with Distance Over Time. With this being the 14th studio album, one might wonder could it be as good if not better than previous works? Having already listened to this 10 track masterpiece, Rock Titan’s assessment is a resounding ABSOLUTELY!
One of the more unique factors that went into Dream Theater’s latest creation was the environment they adopted to make Distance Over Time happen. James LaBrie (Vocals), John Petrucci (Guitar), Jordan Rudess (Keyboards), John Myung (Bass), and Mike Mangini (Drums) lived in virtual seclusion over a four month period at at the five-acre Yonderbarn studios in Monticello, NY. There is no question that the kinship and bonding throughout this experience resulted in an incredible product. So without further gilding the lily, this is Rock Titan’s take track by track:
DREAM THEATER – Paralyzed
Untethered Angel – Starts out hard hitting. Brutal riffs. LaBrie’s vocals immediately grab you proving he’s at the top of his game. Guitar work by Petrucci is just raunchy (meant in the most complimentary way possible). Jordan Rudess’s keyboards add that element that just set Dream Theater apart in prog metal. Can’t say enough about vocals and the drums are awesome! Mid way there’s just an awesome guitar solo! Petrucci just shreds away. He truly is a truly sick guitarist.
Paralyzed – Watch the video above and provide your thoughts in the comments! I want to hear from you!
Fall into the light – Immediately shows off funky guitar grooves. Drums give off a speed metal vibe. Mike Mangini is absolute lightening on the drum kit. Again LaBrie has never sounded better. More great keyboard compliments. Guitar gets melodic midway through and has a voice of its own. Strong solo! There is a phenomenal keyboard solo. True team effort!
Barstool Warrior – By this point I’ve never been a bigger Dream Theater fan. John Myung on bass makes his presence known. There is an extended guitar solo that will leave you in awe. This song solidifies what progressive metal is at its most quintessential state. LaBrie has pipes like no other!
DREAM THEATER – Untethered Angel (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Room 137 – The beginning of the song has a Pink Floyd vibe. Surprisingly it’s one of the shorter songs of the album. Petrucci once again is just ridiculous. LaBrie showcases some of the best vocals in the industry.
S2N – This baby kicks off with a most heart pounding bass groove! John Myung is featured prominently with awesome vocals by LaBrie. Not far in to this song, LaBrie shows off some fret board magic completely syncing with Rudess. Myung and Petrucci seem to have a great face off half way through the song.
At Wit’s End – The introduction features furious guitar and drums. Fingers are flying and wrists are breaking throughout the beginning. LaBrie just sounds phenomenal. I’d call this a prog ballad very up tempo. While it’s contemporary, it does give a subtle shout back to what would have been a great soundtrack for a number of 80’s action movies.
Out Of Reach – And here comes the love song. Great piano. Great vocals. Guitar sings and you know it’s a love sonnet.
Pale Blue Dot – A tribute to Carl Sagan. A man so iconic couldn’t hope to be honored by a better band. Indeed you get that Sci-Fi feel from the beginning. But, no sooner do they make their stamp as the iconic prog metal band they are. This almost had vibes of early Genesis and could easily be a Star Wars theme song for one of the new spin offs. Strong Sci-Fi grooves and riffs. Speed speed and more speed as if soaring through the space time continuum.
Viper King – A track I’d probably have left off this otherwise masterpiece. Not awful. But probably a reason it was left for last. Definitely not a case of saving the best for last. This song just seemed a mish mash of everyone featuring their separate skills. Not playing together but rather doing their own thing and slapping it together.
DREAM THEATER – Fall Into The Light
In conclusion, Dream Theater shows what living together in seclusion can accomplish. Album #14, Distance over Time, is a masterpiece. It’s an amazing album and an example of brilliant evolution over 30 years as a band.