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Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Saturday, October 15, 2011 @ 3:25 PM


Roadrunner

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Despite last year's departure of original drummer Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater is keeping time exceptionally well with Mike Mangini (Steve Vai, Extreme, Dave Reffett) at the drum throne. In A Dramatic Turn of Events, an anxiously anticipated follow-up to Black Clouds & Silver Linings, DT returns fresh and true to form with Mangini proving his mettle straightaway. A major tweak in personnel has worked in the band's favor, through nine-tracks of infectious music and story.

The gashing "On the Backs of Angels," is a song of spiritual battle and transformation, sets the record off right. "Lost Not Forgotten" shows us just how well Mangini gels with the other virtuosos. In the slow, poignant, "This is the Life," James LaBrie sings about what we all think of: our mortality. If the words LaBrie don't kill you, John Petrucci's guitar will. If your mood is unaffected at the end of the song, trust me, you're already dead.

"Bridges in the Sky" is mind-bending in its splendor, melding Tibetan and Gregorian chants with haunting, angelic choir vocals, segueing into a guitar takeover ala Petrucci, oddly reminiscent of Lamb of God's "Laid to Rest." Keyboardist Jordan Rudess, provides atmosphere, and then shows off mad, otherworldly skills unheard in previous efforts. "Breaking All Illusions," clocking in at a bit over twelve minutes, is one of the best opuses the band has ever made. Props to Petrucci, again, for some of the most amazing guitar ever laid down, specifically the solo starting at the 7:11 mark in the song. Instantly classic and soul-moving.

This album should be an installment in the Dream Theater "Masterworks Series."

***** (Five out of five stars)


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