Dream Theater
Black Clouds & Silver Linings


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aziz STAFF
January 16th, 2010 | 38 replies | 6,693 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dream Theater have meticulously crafted an album that is a huge step in the right direction.

While Images & Words has been praised for its originality and Scenes From a Memory lauded for its superbly portrayed apologue, Dream Theater’s recent efforts have been more contrived. Though “Octavarium” is almost unanimously regarded as one of Dream Theater’s best, nearly half of the material from its album isn’t worth listening to. Moreover, the lyrical content of the music has deteriorated greatly, and when reflecting upon the quality of Dream Theater’s output prior to 2005’s Train of Thought, the lyrics of the more recent albums have been comparatively abysmal. It’s definitely safe to say that the band has been in a bit of a drought, and while I cringe at denigrating the band, it is probably at its nadir.

For many, Black Clouds & Silver Linings was going to be the last Dream Theater album they were willing to deal with. Tired of the overly indulgent soloing and dragging songs, numerous fans were expecting to be done with the band that effectively epitomized the word “pretentious”. And with six tracks clocking in at a hefty 75 minutes, it becomes very safe to make the initial assumption that Dream Theater will continue the trend of tedious and lengthy songs. But on Black Clouds, Dream Theater make great strides in their attempts to dismantle any preconceived apprehensions about the album.

The album is much more emotionally driven than previous efforts, and with more of a focus on the emotional aspects of the music, songwriting seems to have become a greater priority of the band, and any qualms fans may have had about the band begin to dissipate. There are still trademark Dream Theater solos, but John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess tone it down significantly and focus more on the riffs and creating a good atmosphere for the music. This allows Mike Portnoy to exercise more freedom with his playing, and it results in some of his best work.

Though the music has taken a turn in the right direction, the lyrics continue to be sub-par. On “The Count of Tuscany”, the attempt to show a frightening scene is hampered by laughable lyrics and a vapid delivery. Nevertheless, the song is the best on the album; the segment following the Octavarium-esque ethereal interlude being the best and most emotional music the band has ever written. In fact, despite the issues that the band still need to work out, Dream Theater have meticulously crafted an album that is a huge step in the right direction.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2010



5981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Short review 'cause I don't know how to do anything.

ikarus
January 16th 2010



560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ive only heard the count of tuscany and it was pretty good, need to listen to more of this

Dreamsoffew
January 16th 2010



1002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Octavarium is regarded as one of their weaker efforts dude, good review though.

BallsToTheWall
January 16th 2010



44164 Comments


Good review but id rather be drawn and quartered, maimed, racked, and beheaded then have to listen to Dream theater again.

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2010



5981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The song? I agree that the album was crap, but the song itself is great.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2010



7313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty good review, good album but hard to listen to

R6Rider
January 16th 2010



4471 Comments


still need to hear this

Digging: Rort - Warpath

Dreamsoffew
January 16th 2010



1002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bit of both. I think the first 8(?) minutes are great, once the song properly starts I lose interest. Not because it's a long song, I just didn't enjoy that particular one. The slow songs on that album just don't do anything for me either. I listen to Dream Theater for one reason, it's not to hear some badly realised attempts at ballads.

Jim
January 16th 2010



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

great review man. i find this just as snooze-worthy as their previous couple of albums, though.

pos'

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2010



5981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dreams: Yeah that's understandable. And I agree about the slow songs.

Everyone else: Thanks :D

Dreamsoffew
January 16th 2010



1002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ha, I forgot to pos. There ya go!

A7XEric
January 16th 2010



304 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not enough descriptions of how the album, and specific songs, sound. Other than that not a bad review

bloc
January 16th 2010



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rocks hard

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2010



15332 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Best DT album since Scenes From A Memory

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

Yazz_Flute
January 16th 2010



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm pretty sure he meant "Octavarium" the song, not the album. That's probably my favorite Dream Theater song ever, possibly even my favorite song of all time.

Review is exactly how I feel about this album.

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

TriangularDuck
January 17th 2010



85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sucking on his pipe
distinguished accent
making me uptight
no accident

I DON'T WANNA DIE

Yazz_Flute
January 17th 2010



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

COME AND HAVE A TASTE
OF RARE VINTAGE
ALL THE FINEST WINES
IMPROVE WITH AGE

The Count of Tuscany is pretty much Dream Theater's best song ever. Well note really but it's in the top 5.

TriangularDuck
January 17th 2010



85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the best part about The Count of Tuscany is that the time that Petrucci met the Count is right before he started getting jacked and became Beartucci. he got jacked so he could beat up any Count who offers him a glass of wine.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010



30868 Comments


Review mentions nothing about the music, except for the fact that there's less wank and a "ethereal interlude" in a song that has bad lyrics. It's well written, but descriptive in the wrong areas

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

shindip
January 17th 2010



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review for a bad album



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