Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Systematic Chaotic Brilliance - 99%

doomsdayM, June 18th, 2013

Follow up to Dream Theater's grandiose Octavarium is their ninth studio album Systematic Chaos. Released in 2007, this record comes across as the most beastly form of progressive metal ever heard. For me it was the album opener "In the Presence of Enemies - Part I" that made me go and buy the record straight away. A complete run of the whole record was absolute bliss and full of surprises and left me in disbelief for most of the time.

The record has billions of notes shooting through every track in the form of really long, epic compositions. The more runs done on the record, better is the understanding of the bands achievement in this mammoth musical release. There some moments for breathing in the form of the inspirational 'Prophets of War' and the instantly likable 'Forsaken' and it felt as good as 'Pull Me Under' for me. Dream Theater's music has always been different from other metal or other progressive metal bands in terms of their overall sound. But this record has some of the most crushingly heavy sounding parts reminiscent of Pantera's The Great Southern Trendkill. It's is an absolute surprise and pleasure to hear John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy deliver some ultra-aggressive moments.

There are tracks that a have simple conventional song writing approach as well as some very complex arrangements which also make this one of Dream Theater's most balanced releases despite being unpredictable at the same time. The interplay of distorted vocals by both LaBrie and Portnoy with some clean singing, is something that's never been heard before and sounds apt for the record. But again it's the vocals that might not be accepted by fans that are used LaBrie's ways of conventional singing. Jordan Rudess's keyboards in this record are a perfect mix of fun and dexterity and it’s his playing that makes this Dream Theater's most experimental record. John Myung's virtuoso bass playing gives density and ample weight making the music sound ever so uncompromising. It's however Myung's bass that I would have loved to hear off the beat, rather than galloping along Petrucci's and Portnoy’s instrumental lines.

To round up, Systematic Chaos is a must have for enthusiasts of progressive music. The record has plenty of instrumental wizardry and melodic passages which will easily have a lasting appeal on anyone who can appreciate Jazz and Classical. This record makes me mighty proud of their music and it is easily Dream Theater's unstoppable victorious march towards composing music!