Dream Theater
A Change of Seasons


4.5
superb

Review

by manuscriptreplica USER (18 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 207 replies | 27,094 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


5 of 7 thought this review was well written

(Progressive Metal) Dream Theater - A Change of Seasons

Dream Theater are:
James LaBrie - Vocals
John Petrucci - Guitars
John Myung - Bass
Derek Sherinian - Keyboards
Mike Portnoy - Drums


This is an odd record. You will notice that there are only five tracks, but the record is nearly an hour long anyway! This is mostly aided by the fact that the title track is 23 minutes long. The record is in two parts, the epic "A Change of Seasons" which is recorded in a studio, and the other four songs, which were recorded live in Ronnie Scott's Jazz club in London. They are all cover tracks, featuring such artists as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen. This record highlights the amazing-ness of the band - I didn't even know it was a live album until I read it somewhere on the Internet, even with the crowd cheering and such.

Anyway. Dream Theater, what a band! I picked this CD up as a random buy (I am a rather compulsive spender on CDs) for $12.50. Dream Theater is THE archetypical prog metal band, no doubt about it. They integrate time signature changes and tempos effortlessly. Both Petrucci and Portnoy are both ridiculously good at their instruments, both being one of the premier artists at their respective instruments. The other three members are also extremely competent.

The album cover is interesting, and raTher fun to look at. If you look at the front cover, you will see a little boy playing in what I initially thought to be a beach. But, as I was writing this, I noticed in fact he is playing snow, with only board shorts on. If you look on the back, however, you will see an Eskimo sitting on the beach in a hot climate. Not the best thing I have ever seen, but pretty cool nonetheless!

A Change of Seasons (23:06)
As you can see on the album cover, this song is a medley. It is comprised of 7 parts with the song beginning "Crimson Sunrise", an arpeggiated riff on the acoustic, and ending pretty much the same way with "Crimson Sunset". The 7 part song is quite amazing, featuring uncuntable time signature changes, several style changes, and amazing solos. The time signatures can get a bit tiresome, especially the ones with just a beat out from 4/4 - namely 7/8 and 9/8 (played as normal time, not compound time... incredible) you can't really sink in with the beat. This is probably one of the best progressive metal pieces ever composed, and it is not hard to see why. Just listen to the damn thing. I am not quite sure what the lyrics are about, as they are quite dense, but no doubt they are about the different weather patterns, or something to do with seasons.

Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (10:49)
You know those cover songs that bands do to become famous? And almost all of them completely destroy the song? Well, I'm pleased to say that instead of butchering it, Dream Theater have managed to surpass Elton John's version in terms of enjoyment and musically. Considering it is live is even more amazing. They haven't changed much from the original (thankfully) apart from the instrumentation, and it is an amazing song. This song is also a medley somewhat; the slower, instrumental bit at the start that goes for about 5 minutes is "funeral for a Friend" and the remaining faster bit is the "Love Lies Bleeding" section. The "Love Lies Bleeding" is probably my favourite song on the album, its very fun to listen to and has some great riffs in it, especially the piano in the verse. LaBrie's vocals are great as well. And there is a killer solo from Petrucci at the end of the song.

Perfect Strangers (5:33)
Firstly, as I have not heard the original, I can't comment on which version is better. This version is pretty rocking though! Whilst pretty slow it makes up for it with heavy riffs and a killer bassline. (I can't imagine Myung playing something as simple as this! It must be killing him!) The bridge bit, again not knowing the original, is typical Dream Theater, a cool riff, but is let down a bit by the odd time signature. A pretty good song, but is not the best.

The Rover/Achilles Last Stand/The Song Remains the Same (7:28)
Myung is a monster in this song. He pretty much doubles the pace of what Jones was playing in the Zeppelin's version of "Achilles Last Stand". Again (thankfully) they don't change it around much, and still make it sound amazing. This is a high paced and very enjoyable song. Petrucci again shows off his shredding skills in an amazing 1 minute + solo. "The Song Remains the Same" is really too short (under a minute) to really make an impact, but Dream Theater merge it perfectly with "Achilles"...

The Big Medley (10:34)
This song features some big names of the 70s and 80s, like Pink Floyd, Queen and Genesis. This is a perfect arrangement of mammoth proportions, a six song medley spanning over 10 minutes. The most recognisable track, of course, is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody missing the classic "Mamma Mia" bit, but included is the headbanging riff made famous by Wayne's World, done extremely well. The unforgettable guitar riff of "In the Flesh?" is present, and is done to perfection. "Carry on Wayward Son", I've never heard, but has some killer riffs in it. This is a pretty amazing song, but can get pretty boring in parts.

Overall: 4.5/5. Another top notch effort by Dream Theater, they show their brilliant musicianship in this record, and have produced yet another fun CD to listen to.



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user ratings (846)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Change? Nothing new here, just DT doing what they do best. Which is changing their style constantly;...

Dying. Feed us? (4.5)
The centerpiece track of the same title as the album, is one of the best musical compositions of our...

Austin (4)
Living up to its name, A Change of Seasons is one of the finest works ever created by the band. The ...

Grayson Hale (4)
Dream Theater showcase their amazing musical abilities in studio as well as on stage....


Comments:Add a Comment 
manuscriptreplica
March 4th 2004



431 Comments


isnt anyone going to comment? i only did it because someone requested it!!!

*shameless bump*

denboy
March 4th 2004



85 Comments


I got this album for christmas.

I absolutely love the song A change of seasons...

But I can't stand to listen to the rest of the songs.. I find them extremely boring.

I'd give it 4/5, Definately worth buying just for the song A change of seasons.

AsA
March 6th 2004



1 Comments


Another nice 1/5 from our technical wankists.

ledfloyd_fan
March 6th 2004



23 Comments


I really want to get this album, but I havent been ablt to find it... nice review though.

Distorted Vision
March 7th 2004



184 Comments


I think it's a very good record.

ACOS is my favourite song, ever. And the live tracks hold their own too.

4/5

Kaden
March 7th 2004



222 Comments


[QUOTE=AsA]Another nice 1/5 from our technical wankists.[/QUOTE]
On the title track (which is, in my opinion, the only good song on this cd) they don't really play anything too hard. I can understand you saying that about any of their other albums, but this one is all about the music.


Meh, the overrall cd gets a 3/5, cause the cover songs aren't very good, but A Change Of Seasons is a 5/5

Bartender
Emeritus
March 7th 2004



826 Comments


A Change of Seasons is easily my favourite DT song...they sometimes get over the top, but when they get everything right the result is amazing, and on ACOS (the track) everything's just right. Easily worth buying just for that track...the other songs are good, but not to the same standard.

Ramsey
March 9th 2004



28 Comments


^ here here, its my favorite dt song too. Very well made, the best work petruccis done with a 7 string. The rest is blah though. For me anyways.

mexicanfloydian
June 22nd 2004



165 Comments


A change of seasons is a ****ing good song, One of my favourites by them. I give this album a 4/5.

bassaholica2004
July 8th 2004



40 Comments


I downloaded A Change of Seasons live (the song) on my computer, and it just blew me away. This song got me into DT. It is so good, words cant describe it. It has so many emotions in it, and Petrucci can express each very well on his 7 string. I havent heard this album in its entirety, but just for the title track I give it a 5/5.

dracomordag
July 14th 2004



2 Comments


Good review! :thumb:

I am not quite sure what the lyrics are about, as they are quite dense, but no doubt they are about the different weather patterns, or something to do with seasons.
Actually, they're about the importantce of "carpe diem".

guitarman32
November 25th 2004



1 Comments


The title track kicks ***, but I don't like fact that they filled the rest with covers. I think they had the right idea with SDOIT, in terms of having a few "shorter" (as short as 10mins can be, i guess), and then the "big one" too

Distorted Vision
November 25th 2004



184 Comments


The lyrics actually deal with the loss of Mike Portnoy's mother, who died in a plane crash. This espeically makes sense if you look at this verse:

Preparing for her flight
I held with all my might
Fearing my deepest fright
She walked into the night
She turned for one last look
She looked me in the eye
I said, "I Love You...
Goodbye"

Iai
Emeritus
November 25th 2004



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I always thought it just told the story of a guy's life within one song.

Not that X-Japan did exactly the same thing better with Art Of Life, or anything.

Distorted Vision
November 25th 2004



184 Comments


Well I think it could be one of many things, but as far as I know, Mike wrote the song around the heartache of his mother dying.

Shadows
Moderator
November 25th 2004



2530 Comments


Even back when I hated Dream Theater I loved A Change of Seasons. Nice work. It's worth buying even if it's just for ACOS, which by itself is longer than several CDs I own.

Post number 666. This thread is possessed.

zinner zero
January 6th 2005



2 Comments


anyone knows the guitar solo tab from this same song, the solo on the another world part(15:38)

Iai
Emeritus
January 6th 2005



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Haha.....I just came in here to recommend X-Japan's Art of Life, and I see I've already done it.

I must give my judgement on this album.

A Change Of Seasons = one of the best songs of all time.
The rest of the album = useless wank.

I give it a 3/5 overall. A version without the bonus tracks, though, would get a 5/5 without any hesitation whatsoever.

juggalotricksta
January 6th 2005



55 Comments


I have Train of Thought, Images And Words, Scenes From A Memory, and the Live At Budokan dvd. In the short time span of about two months...DT have become one of my favorite bands. After reading this review I fully intend to buy this album after work today, (pending the fact that one of my local music stores carries it). If the title track is half as good as everyone says it is, I know I wont be disappointed. And I am very interested to see what they did on some of the covers, especially Bohemian Rhapsody and Wayward Son.



Dam[I][/I]n. I wouldnt own a lot of the cds I do if it wasnt for this site.

hyper22
May 11th 2005



1 Comments


As far as the theme for the album goes, it is about the stages of a man's life. Though the theory of Portnoy's mother's death makes sense as well I suppose.



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