Dream Theater
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence


3.5
great

Review

by Austin USER (41 Reviews)
June 5th, 2010 | 50 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A good effort, but not the best that Dream Theater can do.

The Journey Through Dream Theater, Part 7

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence has the unfortunate position of falling between two of Dream Theater's more well-known works: Scenes From A Memory and Train of Thought. It’s not as impressive or ambitious as the former, and it’s not as heavy as the latter. Dream Theater cuts down on wankery but also loses some of what made Scenes From A Memory so appealing, being a good but much less interesting album than the masterpiece that precedes it.

The Glass Prison is a fantastic opener. It was the first Dream Theater song that was heavy from start to finish, and the band came ready to deliver. After the building keyboard intro, the song never lets up, with Petrucci laying down riff after riff and Portnoy making effective use of his double-bass pedal. Rudess has one of his best performances as well, complimenting the heavy parts with subtle but effective keyboard bits. He and Petrucci trade off solos in a spectacular bridge section. It’s one of the band’s best songs, and quite possibly their best album opener as well.

Unfortunately the rest of the first half suffers from inconsistency, never matching the power of its incredible opener. Blind Faith could have easily been cut by several minutes and been a better track, as LaBrie’s vocals are pretty strong here. It’s good but it drags; it’s too instrumentally bland to merit a 10 minute song, even with Rudess’ sweeping piano solo halfway through. Misunderstood is actually a pretty captivating ballad for its first 6 minutes, with a slightly eerie feel to it. Then it ends with a pointless 3-minute instrumental interlude with a truly random effects-heavy guitar solo that kills the mood of the song. The main part of The Great Debate is solid, a rocker about the stem cell research controversy that manages to lay out the issue with great lyricism and without being overly preachy, but the song overuses the spoken word samples in the intro and outro to the point of being filler, taking up an unnecessary four minutes of the song’s running time. LaBrie’s vocals are also shaky in parts of this song as well. The aforementioned tracks share the same trait; they’re good songs that should have been made shorter by trimming the fat. Closer Disappear is just terrible, dragging on more than anything else in the first half despite being the shortest song. It’s a dull ballad that attempts to be another Space-Dye Vest, blatantly plagiarizing the keyboard line that made that track so effective.

The second half of the album consists entirely of the title track. There are parts on it that are remarkable. The band hits the mark with the short but excellent War Inside My Head, the only track on the album that actually should have been longer. LaBrie’s vocals are excellent in this rocker about post-traumatic stress disorder. Another part that really stands out is Solitary Shell. It’s the best ballad on the album, with LaBrie’s best performance. It’s simple but effective, and the Spanish-influenced guitar solo at the end is great. Unfortunately there are also parts of the title track that are less effective. The first part of About To Crash is unmemorable and doesn’t go anywhere at all. Goodnight Kiss is an almost unbearably cheesy ballad, although Petrucci’s guitar solo at the end is one of his best. The worst aspect of the title track is that the final section is anticlimactic, ending with a piano chord held for two minutes. Still, despite some flaws it’s well executed. Its biggest asset is that the transitions into each track are effective, so that it runs together well as a 42-minute song.

Six Degrees is a good effort, certainly not a waste of time to hear, but ultimately one of the weaker albums in Dream Theater’s discography. Aside from some moments of brilliance like The Glass Prison, the inconsistencies in the tracks make what could have been an excellent album into simply a good album. There are few bad tracks, the title track is well-constructed, and the album is a rewarding listen overall, but it falls far short of being a true Dream Theater classic.

Top Tracks: The Glass Prison, War Inside My Head, Solitary Shell

Dream Theater is:

• John Myung – Bass guitar
• John Petrucci – Lead guitar
• Mike Portnoy – Drums, Percussion
• Jordan Rudess – Keyboards
• James LaBrie – Vocals

To Be Continued…



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user ratings (1620)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
tiesthatbind
June 6th 2010


7378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Finally got this done. The rest of the discography will come much quicker as I'm already in the process of writing most of them. This one took a while to review.

Digging: Poets of the Fall - Signs of Life

ThePalaceOfWisdom
June 6th 2010


1134 Comments


• John Myung – Bass guitar


Could've fooled me. Band is awful.

Yazz_Flute
June 6th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of my favorite Dream Theater albums honestly.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

tiesthatbind
June 6th 2010


7378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I know some people really love this one. Just doesn't quite grab me like it does others.

Yazz_Flute
June 6th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree that the end of the title track could have been better executed, and also that the last 3 minutes of Misunderstood are way overextended, but I love the entirety of Blind Faith. It's much simpler than most DT songs, sure, but it's just a relaxing, summery song with a massive choruses (and some massive drum fills). I think the samples on the Great Debate are perfect, and Disappear is one of the least cheesy DT ballads.

And yeah Goodnight Kiss has some cringe-worthy lyrics but luckily Petrucci saves that song.

WeepingBanana
June 6th 2010


10189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

metropolis pt 2 and images and words are about all i enjoy from these guys. good review nonetheless.

tiesthatbind
June 6th 2010


7378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The problem for me is just that I can't love very many of these songs. I do like Blind Faith but it would have much more replay value if it was shorter imo.

I think we can agree that The Glass Prison absolutely owns, though.

Thanks, WB.

Yazz_Flute
June 6th 2010


18812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

metropolis pt 2 and images and words are about all i enjoy from these guys.


Well those are their best two no doubt, both are classics.

And yeah the review is well-done. pos

b35ty
June 6th 2010


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, but I disagree with a lot of what you've said. This is one of my favourite DT albums.

Jim
June 6th 2010


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i agree with this pretty much

Emim
June 6th 2010


26646 Comments


OMG a ties review!

neg neg neg neg neg

jk, bro. You really are a heck of a writer; pos'd.

tiesthatbind
June 6th 2010


7378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, man.

Emim
June 6th 2010


26646 Comments


I expect nothing less than 20 pos' from you and a legion of alts on my next review.

tiesthatbind
June 6th 2010


7378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It will be done. Chuck Norris will deliver the ultimate pos.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2010


16455 Comments


i wouldn't have had to read this to know it was pos worthy. but i did anyway. pos.

Digging: Zella Day - Zella Day

Emim
June 6th 2010


26646 Comments


*insert Norris joke here*

tiesthatbind
June 6th 2010


7378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, Sowing.

@Emim: Chuck Norris performed Dream Theater's entire discography... by himself.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2010


16455 Comments


Chuck Norris got into a fight with John Petrucci. Later, there were guitar strings coming out of Chuck Norris's ass

tiesthatbind
June 6th 2010


7378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Q: Why was James LaBrie found buried 10 feet underground?

A: Never perform Pull Me Under in front of Chuck Norris, he takes it as a challenge.

Emim
June 6th 2010


26646 Comments


Only that last one was worth a chuckle. Bravo



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