Black Clouds Silver Linings (2009)
|Artist: Dream Theater|
|Dream Theater's tenth studio album and second release on Roadrunner Records!|
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: John Petrucci (vocals, guitar, guitars); Mike Portnoy (vocals, drums, percussion); James LaBrie (vocals); Jerry Goodman (violin); Jordan Rudess (keyboards); John Myung (bass instrument).|
|Audio Mixer: Paul Northfield.|
|Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (10/2008-03/2009).|
|Illustrator: Hugh Syme.|
|Photographer: Dan Mandell.|
|Dream Theater's tenth long-player is about as dense and challenging as any album in the band's discography and emphasizes not only the virtuoso members' stupefying musicianship, but also their most aggressive and thoroughly metallic songwriting tendencies. The sixteen-minute opener "A Nightmare to Remember" quickly establishes this agenda via frequently thrash-paced staccato riffing, some of John Petrucci's most blistering guitar solos ever, and the return of drummer Mike Portnoy's syncopated growls, which provide contrast for singer James LaBrie's soaring melodic elegance. "The Count of Tuscany" is a heady prog-metal magnum opus brimming with more ideas, notes, and time changes over 19 minutes than most bands bother with over a ten album career. In fact, "Whither," a tender ballad and mere babe at five minutes in length, is the album's only concession to commerce. Black Clouds & Silver Linings, for all its abundantly positive qualities and minor but clear distinctions from prior efforts, is still an archetypal Dream Theater album; one that's unlikely to broaden their audience all that much, but is conversely guaranteed to thrill their hard core converts with its renewed devotion to the most exigent and stimulating facets of the band's chosen musical domain.|
Producer: John Petrucci; Mike Portnoy
Engineer: Paul Northfield
|Release Date : 2009|
|Original Release Date : 2009|
|Catalog ID : 178832|
|Label : Roadrunner Records|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "'A Nightmare To Remember' kicks things off as you'd expect, with a 16-minute exemplar of the genre -- gothic keys and whirring guitar battling it out with mammoth percussion..."
"The way we were perceived in 1985 is the same way that we were perceived in 1995 and the same way we are perceived in 2007," says Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy.
"We aren't part of what's on MTV or what's in Rolling Stone," Portnoy continues, "We haven't succumbed to trying to be what is popular, because usually that stuff passes within a year or two. But what we've done and continue to do has been on our own terms, so Dream Theater strikes a chord with young musicians and rock fans all around the world, and that's what has sustained us."
Indeed, Dream Theater has always done precisely as Dream Theater does. The New York-based quintet's new, ninth album, Systematic Chaos, is comprised of the kind of punishingly complex, technically accomplished, and simply sprawling -- which is to say, uncompromising -- progressive rock that has endeared them to fans all over the world for over 20 years.
"How uncompromising?" you may ask. How about the fact that the shortest song, "Forsaken," runs just over five and a half minutes, and the longest, "In the Presence of Enemies," a two part epic that opens and closes the album, spans over twenty-five minutes? How about the fact that each track features the kind of demanding musicianship that has landed each instrumentalist in the band the long-term respect of peers and aspiring virtuosos?
In total, Systematic Chaos demonstrates the cold, hard fact that Dream Theater is the most prominent progressive metal band on Earth. The band has not only paved the way for similarly inclined artists like Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree and a host of others, but has gone some distance in rehabilitating the much-maligned prog-rock genre. "As a metal band," explains guitarist John Petrucci, "we've taken elements of music that aren't deemed cool by younger people into a more modern light."