Systematic Chaos

Studio Album by released in 2007
Systematic Chaos's tracklist:
In the Presence of Enemies, Part I
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Constant Motion
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The Dark Eternal Night
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Prophets of War
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The Ministry of Lost Souls
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In the Presence of Enemies, Part II
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Systematic Chaos review

Dream Theater: quality is guaranteed

Dream Theater's albums serve as a model of a faultless musical mastery and composer thinking during many and many years and the musicians themselves enjoy esteem and authority among all who has ever come across their artistry. Therefore every new record of this band is a special occasion for any person who loves music with a prefix "progressive". And their new album, which has so metaphorically suitable for Dream Theater title Systematic Chaos is not an exception. It will be appropriate to quote the words of the band's drummer Mike Portnoy here: "This album's got all of the elements we've become known for," reveals Mike, who co-produced the record with guitarist John Petrucci. "The focus on musicianship, the skull-crushing riffs, the big progressive epics and the heart-wrenching melodies. We've got one of the strongest and most devoted fan bases in the world, and they should certainly be happy with the new material." Sounds more than just promising, admit that, and the main point here is that all this corresponds to the facts in a full measure. Don't expect the album to have some drastic changes. It exists in the boarders Dream Theater created for themselves and for the prog genre as a whole. But for all that the new work is still a step forward and it stands really close to the very best albums of the band.

Details and conceptual subtleties

Just like it was on many previous dream Theater's albums Systematic Chaos has lots of peculiar subtleties comprising of all possible musical and conceptual details. Here are a couple of trivia hooks for you. The fifth track, Repentance, is the fourth song in Mike Portnoy's series of songs about his experience with alcoholism; it represents the eighth and ninth step of the 12-step AA program. The first and the last tracks, In the Presence of Enemies, pt.1 and pt. 2 are one single composition of 25 minutes, the band's second longest, and most likely it was split to two songs for the sake of the record’s track order, but will most probably performed live as one. By the way, the both songs sound completely different and if you disregard their titles this fact may stay unnoticed, at least during a first listen. But when joined together they do sound as a one whole; make sure you'll play these tracks one after another. In addition there are many musical and lyrical references to previous albums, some riffs appear here and there in different songs and so on. In a word, you must hear it with your own ears, the process is extremely absorbing, you know that.

All the tracks on Systematic Chaos are parts of one big composition

During several recent albums Dream Theater were constantly searching for a good balance between progressive and metal elements in their music. First they were criticized for being too complex, if a word "critics" can be appropriate when speaking about Dream Theater of course, then some people noticed that they pay too many attention to heaviness. And this time around it seems like the band has finally reached a desired result. Systematic Chaos sounds powerful and sharp, there are tones of beautiful melodies and heavy riffs, complex and intricate structures and of course the unreachable level of instrumental performance. Besides, there is a share of novelty here too. Particularly it concerns James La Brie, it seems like his voice ripened with years like a good wine. He always was an excellent vocalist but in the context of this album he sounds as energetic and mature as never before. Tough, due to abundance of long instrumental parts he doesn't show up as often as one could wish. It is quite difficult to point out a certain songs, as all of them are parts of one big composition. But still it is highly recommended to pay attention to The Dark Eternal Night, which is probably the heaviest song not only on this record but also on the entire Dream Theater's discography. Constant Motion is another stand out. It may remind you old Metallica especially due to its Hatfield-like vocals. In fact, a description of the album's stylistic, sound and other things of this kind seem to be pointless here. Dream Theater's songs, performing manner, style are subjects for lengthy discussions and disputes and the limits of this article simply cannot fit detailed analysis. Therefore the best thing you can do is just take the fact that Systematic Chaos is another perfect Dream Theater's album for granted. It simply cannot disappoint you.

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