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If you like DT then you'll love the covers - 100%

Diablo, December 12th, 2005

Everyone else on this page has gone at it reviewing the main song on this ep. Nobody gave the covers a fair chance. So I'll concentrate on the songs 2-5 for the purpose of giving this ep. the credit it deserves.

First off, the song Change of season is one of Dream Theater's greatest of a long list of masterpieces. It is a rollecoster of emotions; high points, low points, great solos, instrumental all played with great virtuasity. No other singer can touch James LaBrie, his voice is pure gold. This guy is the star of this album.

Funeral for a friend/ Love lies bleeding, is a song originally recorded by Elton John and the opener on the "Goodbuy yellow brick road" album. Writen by him and Bernie Taupin. The differences between this one and the one covered by DT is not a whole lot . Only James voice brings it back to life in a whole different being and Derek Sherinian improves the synth/piano intro on Funeral for a friend. Although Dream theater covered and made it their tune you can tell it has that stamp of Elton John on it. It has that "sounds very 70's" sound.

Perfect strangers, originaly from the newly reunited Deep Purple's album "perfect strangers". I'm guessing DT wanted to show that they were not casual fans of Deep Purple by recording this song. This one is really faithfull to the original only this time James steps into grounds I wish he didn't step into often. His voice wasn't made for imitating Gillan. Only Gillan can do Gillan. Besides that a very good tune and neatly done.

Track # 4, I'll call this the Zeppelin medley. Very unusual choices out of all the great songs in Zep's catalogue, but hey! this is Dream Theater we're talking about; they can make any song great. "The Rover" is a song out of the"Physical Graffitti" album, a real groovy tune with a good groovy opening riff. Only the intro is used. Then there's Achilles last stand, very good song out of the "Presence" album. But only a mid section of the song is used, too bad cause this song rules. And last but not least "The song remains the same" from the"houses of Holy album", you know the one with the naked children on the cover climbing what it seems like an apocalyptic pile of rocks under a pale red sky. This could be Zep's most prog sounding song ever. On this song James proves you can sound like Robert Plant without sounding stupid, and not blowing your vocal chords (listen to Vinnie Vincent's first album or any Kingdome come album for reference). John Petricci nails those solos as if he had been possessed by Jimmy Page's soul. This medley is very entertaining and rocks the socks off any Led Zeppelin fan in need of a re-charge.

The last song is also a medley titled" The big Medley" It first contains the opening song or intro from Pink Floyd's "The Wall", In the Flesh?. In my opinion this song lacks something the original had, that is the vocals. The original sounded so much better because James LaBrie always tries to make everything sound big and operatic and this intro didn't need that. Besides that it sounds identical to the original. Then comes Kansas "Carry on my wayward son". Or lets say the intrumental after the opening chorus of the song. Not much to say here only that I would had added a bit more of this song to the medley, atleast the opening verses. Then there's Bohemian Rhapsody. Who the hell doesn't know this song?; Guiness song of the century. The part added to this medley is the one after all the opera singers say "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me". Yeah you know, the hard rock part up till' they are about to sing that nothing really matters. Then comes Journeys "Loving, touching squeezing" and let me tell you something; it takes balls to try and cover a song sang by Steve Perry and played by Neal Schon. This is one of those songs (or section of a song) that I'm glad they didn't messed up. James does a decent Steve Perry and Pretrucci plays a great Schon. Then come "Cruise control". I really don't know who originally played this song and really doesn't bothers me not knowing it either. It is a less than a minute long instrumental that uplifts the song from ballad to mid tempo. Last is "Turn it on again" by Genesis. Not much to say here only that it is a two line chorus to end this medley on happy terms.

I'd say all this and a 23 minute Dream Theater masterpiece deserves the rank i gave it.

Too much filler - 70%

westknife, June 1st, 2005

"A Change of Seasons" -- the song -- is a hugely awesome, 23+ minute progressive metal epic that will bring you to your knees. Running the gamut from slow, more melodic sections to full-on metal onslaughts, this is Dream Theater's masterwork, their greatest creation. The many moods and colors of the song give all five of the band members room to display their enormous instrumental chops. Just one album later, much of their music (especially LaBrie's singing) would become cheesy and overdone, but everything is perfect here -- Dream Theater's last big hurrah. No metal collection or progressive rock collection is complete without this landmark recording.

That said, the rest of the album is disappointing. It consists of four live tracks, all of them covers. The first is a medley of two Elton John songs. Of the live tracks on the album, this one works the best because the original song is so different from Dream Theater's style that they have plenty of room to make it their own song. The next track, a cover of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers," is decent, but it doesn't do anything to expand on the original version. Everything here is a weaker version of the original Purple recording. The song has become somewhat of a live standard for Dream Theater, so in that sense it is fairly interesting, but this is really for fans only.

The third live track is a medley of three Led Zeppelin songs that simply pales in comparison to the originals. They took three songs that are metal/hard rock classics and played pale tribute versions of them. Led Zeppelin, especially Plant and Page, had such distinctive and unique styles that it is impossible to try to imitate them, and Dream Theater certainly doesn't do a very good job. The last track, however, is the weakest of the album, a huge 10+ minute medley of classic metal/prog tunes such as Queen, Genesis, and Pink Floyd. This may be interesting to actually see live, but on record it is horribly boring, and I would rather just make a playlist of the original versions and listen to that. Furthermore, their choice of songs is questionable, especially the Journey song. Journey? Come on.

So my rating gets docked for the live tunes, but let's not forget the power and importance of the progressive masterpiece that is "A Change of Seasons."

Surprisingly coherent - 87%

HealthySonicDiet, December 11th, 2003

A Change of Seasons is often thought of as a prog metal masterpiece or even the greatest prog metal song ever, and although it's not my favorite Dream Theater song by any means, it's still very good. After reading the track length for the title track, I thought this would be a total wankfest, but I was sadly mistaken. All the parts of this song fit together like hamburgers and french fries. It begins with an instrumental that gives way to all the other parts of the songs, each one having it's own identity.

The lyrics deal with personal growth, life, and the arrival of the next generation and they are some of DT's best. I also enjoy how the first part is called The Crimson Sunrise and the last section is called The Crimson Sunset. How appropriate!

After this, it's just a bunch of covers, covering everyone from Elton John to Queen. The only one I'm really interested in is the Led Zeppelin medley, which has the songs The Rover, Achilles Last Stand, and The Song Remains the Same. They don't do such a bad job on it. In fact, I think Labrie tackled the vocals pretty well, especially for The Song Remains the Same. The guitars are a little heavier on all songs of the medley, but nothing can beat the originals. I just wish they would've played some Zep songs that were a little more popular, such as Stairway to Heaven or The Ocean.

The only real part of The Big Medley that I look forward to listening to is the part covering Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas. They play the guitar parts almost flawlessly, but I'm very disappointed that Labrie didn't sing it. He could've pulled it off. :shakes head:

Well, this has some killer music for an EP. I certainly have never heard of an EP having a 20+ minute song, much less one that is considered a masterpiece. Hell, chronologically, this is a full album. Man, Dream Theater never ceases to impress me. Are they capable of putting out a bad album? :ponders:

Fucking Right! - 83%

langstondrive, November 2nd, 2003

A Change of Seasons is one of the greatest songs ever made. Dream Theater shall never ever top it. Ever. Now that I got that out of the way, this EP (if you want to call it that, it's as long as many full length albums) shows one good thing and one bad thing.

The good thing: The title track. Holy shit, I died and went to heaven listening to this. The song does not get boring at all, despite it's hefty (23 minute) length. There are several different segments. The song begins and ends with an acoustic guitar. There are heavier parts, and these are the ones that make this song shine for me. Around the 2-5 minute area is my favourite part of the song because of the different melodies used and how they fit so perfectly with one another. The whole song fucking rules though, and I know for sure that this band will not top this (at least in my opinion).

The bad thing: The covers. What the fuck. These are a waste of time. Zeppelin was great, no need to bastardize them by performing a bad cover. Queen sucks. Fuck them. The covers are really pointless and not very well done.

The diagnosis: Buy this album, listen to the title track and turn it off. Repeat daily.

A prog metal masterpiece. - 95%

Minion, September 1st, 2003

A Change of Seasons is absolutely godlike. Pure and simple. It only has one good song, but that doesn't matter, as it's the GREATEST PROG METAL SONG ever made.

A Change of Seasons, the song mentioned earlier, is 23 minutes long. It has everything from godly guitar playing, to phenomenal bass playing, to fantastic drumming, to epic keyboard playing, to powerful vocals. This is an epic, technical song that almost sounds orchestraic, and any fan of prog metal, and indeed, any genre, will find this to be purely amazing. It starts out with a slow, atmospheric guitar melody, then blossoms into a technical warzone, with wild improvisational sections that lead you on one track at one time, then does something completely different every time you yhink you've heard it all, and it never faisl to keep you interested. LaBrie's vocals on it are top-notch and fit the song well, with his high-notes adding feeling and emotion to the song. And of course John Petrucci leads with his soaring licks and dead-on precision.

The rest of the album is a bunch of covers. They suck, but no one is forcing you to listen to them, now, are they? A Change of Seasons is a sensational album well worth it for the title track alone. If you don't have it, go out and buy it right now. I'm serious. I can't explain to you the goodness of this album unless you hear it yourself.

Possibly the greatest Prog-Metal epic - 84%

CrowTRobot, July 11th, 2003

I'm going to ignore the 2nd half of this album and get straight to the important part: the title track. A Change of Seasons (or ACOS for short) is an impressive and complex piece of work from this talented prog-metal quintet, and clocking in at twenty-five minutes, it's fairly easy to see that a bit of thought went into this. There are seven distinct parts to this song, and each one is significantly different than the last, which helps to hold one's interest through this incredible journey. I greatly prefer the instrumental sections over those including James Labrie, who, impressive range aside, sounds a bit unsure of his vocal ability.

Anyone who has serious doubts concerning DT's right to be called a metal outfit will realize just how heavy they can play, while at the same time, avoiding repetitive riffs and boring compositions that plague more than a few contemporary metal bands. I'm constantly amazed by the production of this album, with each instrument sounding crystal clear, and the atmospheric effects actually adding atmosphere, as opposed to taking up a void in the background.

What else is there to say about Dream Theater that hasn't already been said? Talented? Sure. Innovative? Without question. Finished? Satisfied with their already astounding discography? I think not. I can't wait for future releases from a band that so willingly embraces a dying genre.

Its an EP, what did you expect?? - 87%

Symphony_Of_Terror, February 17th, 2003

This would be one of the worst albums of Dream Theater if it were a full lenght album, but this is not a full length album, its just an Ep, and for an ep is has some damn good tracks on it. A change of seasons is one of dreams theaters greatest songs ever, it manages to be 23 minutes long and not repetive. The intro and outro acoustic guitars set a great mood, very dark and creepy. The riffs in the song are very metallic, and the singing is dream theater at its best. A great track which can be listened to over and over again.
Another track that stands out is the Led Zeppelin cover track, Dream Theater did a great job covering these three songs. They stuck true to the origonals but added a different feel to the tracks. Overall the tracks are heavyier and more electric than the led zep origonals.
The last track has only one flaw, they didn't sing the chorus from carry on my wayward son by kansas. I was really hoping they would sing this chorus rather than just playing the instrumentals. But other than that the song is great. Overall this is pretty good for an EP, I wish it would of had one or two more origonals on it. The music on it is great, definatly worth a listen. This album is also better than Falling Into Infinity and Images and Words.