Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Metal Moment Follow Up - Black Clouds and Silver Linings

Yes, so I purchased the new Dream Theater album and gave it a listen. Is it awesome? Should you get it? Um, yes. There really is no question that you should. This isn't exactly a review. In a nutshell, this album kicks ass. The real question is whether you should get the regular version or the special edition of the album. Actually, I'm lying, because that's pretty much an easy question, too. I mean, do you have five extra bucks? Would you like two extra CDs? Then get the damn special edition. Let's face it. The album is good - really good, but those other two CDs are definitely worth the difference between $20 and $25 (or if you get it at Best Buy soon, like I did, $10 and $15). Disc one, the actual album, starts out with the dark, ominous "A Nightmare to Remember," which plunges into the minds of the survivors (or what's left of them) of a crippling car crash. "A Rite of Passage," which I showed in that previous video, follows up. Progressively, the songs get lighter, as if a door slowly opened, letting light into a dark room. Of course, this is reflected in the album cover, done by the fantastic Hugh Syme (best known for his extensive work with Rush). "Wither" is about creativity and the art of "letting go." "The Shattered Fortress" is this album's chapter of Mike Portnoy's Alcoholics Anonymous suite (note the the broken bottles in the background on the lyrics page) of songs started by "The Glass Prison" in Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. "The Best of Times," is Portnoy's touching tribute to his father, who passed away this year. Rounding out the album, "The Count of Tuscany" is a fantastical song about a demented member of royalty that seems right at home with some of the early songs in Rush's career. Disc two showcases another of the band's talents, making Dream Theater flavored cover songs from bands that inspired them, including songs by Queen and King Crimson. The two that really got me excited bookend the album. It begins with Rainbow's "Stargazer," a fantastic song, and ends with Iron Maiden's "To Tame A Land." Just. Fucking. Awesome. The third disc is the actual album from disc one, done instrumental style - no vocals. Now, this does give you an opportunity to listen closer to the instrumentation of the band, but there's another purpose to this disc that fans should know... DREAM THEATER KARAOKE! That's right, now you can amaze your friends and impress the ladies with your finest James LaBrie impression. Think you can do better than him? Well, you're full of shit, but at least you can try. Who knows, maybe some band might hear your singing and make you their lead singer. And maybe your girlfriend's nipples will turn to gold! Yeah, right. As if you had a girlfriend. Anyway, get the special edition album. It's more than worth the extra five bucks. Kaiser out

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