Dream Theater
A Change of Seasons


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (156 Reviews)
September 17th, 2011 | 39 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Change? Nothing new here, just DT doing what they do best. Which is changing their style constantly;)

Review: Dream Theater , A Change of Seasons (EP, released in 1995)

Dream Theater, if, surprisingly, you haven't at least heard of them by now, are a Progressive rock/metal band, formed in 1985 under the name Majesty, which probably gives off the same impression as their current band name. With John Myung (Bass), Mike Portnoy(Drums) and John Petrucci(Guitars) already amongst Dream Theater's Ranks, they would later add two more members(Jordan Rudess on Keyboards and James LaBrie on Vocals) to an already talented trio, and consequently record three albums, two being extremely successful, before recording A Change of Seasons, their first EP. (Note:Playing Keyboards on this EP is actually Derek Sherinian).

Let's face it, by the time A Change of Seasons was released, DT didn't even need to make the pinnacle of their career. No, Images and Words had already been done, and Awake continued that progressive style.

The first thing you'll probably notice about A Change of Seasons is the mammoth of a title track, making up one third of an album that already clocks in at over sixty minutes. And perhaps, that is why I don't regard A Change of Seasons as an EP, but rather as an actual album. A Change of Seasons begins predictably enough with an acoustic melody, with Petrucci interrupting this melody with the heaviness of his guitar. That is the exact point where we know this is a DT album and nothing else. You'll notice I used the word 'Predictably' to describe the beginning of this song. However, this couldn't possibly be used for the rest of the twenty-plus minutes remaining. Three minutes in and Sherinian shows off his talent as an epic keyboardist, and that's when the whole thing clicks into place. Every member then shows off their abilities,combining them to make one hell of an epic title track: Constant rhythm changes, a good balance of melody and power, and every instrument used to the full extent. Unfortunately, this is the only actual piece of new material on A Change of Seasons, as the remaining four tracks are all made up of cover versions, that,in my opinion, don't quite match the quality previously found on the title track.

First cover up, is DT's version of an Elton John Classic, Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. Once again, Sherinian shows his talent,emphasising the keyboards throughout. LaBrie's vocals aren't that impressive, perhaps due to the fact that he wanted to emulate Elton John's soaring voice, but amongst a background of well done keyboard melodies, it seems to fit the overall impression of the album well. A guitar solo ensues, adding more to the melody already represented here. It seems to me that there is more emphasis on the keyboards here than on anything else, which helps to keep a melodic atmosphere even more.

The next cover is of Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers, once again introducing Sherinian's brilliant talent to open up an already excellent song. Although, once again, LaBrie's vocals aren't on par with the original Deep Purple version, this time singing in a slightly higher tone than the previous cover. Everything else, fortunately, is carried out really well, Petrucci taking care of the epic solo towards the end, before Portnoy ends it all with a nice drum solo.

The third cover, my personal favourite on A Change of Seasons, is a medley of three different Led Zeppelin songs: The Rover, Achilles' Last Stand, and The Song remains the Same. The Rhythm of the three songs here are basically the same, with Achilles' Last Stand having a slightly faster tempo, courtesy of Portnoy's well handled drum rhythm. Guitar and bass duties here are carried out remarkably well too, LaBrie's vocals yet again proving a little disappointing, compared to the quality of the rest of the band.

Last but certainly not least, is The Big Medley, comprising songs by Pink Floyd, Kansas, Queen, Journey, Dixie Dregs and Genesis, most of which, are also known to be amongst DT's prime influences. I particularly prefer the original Pink Floyd version of In The Flesh DT's, naturally, but here they do an impressive job of giving off the same atmosphere originally created by Pink Floyd in 1980. The rest of the covers generally do flow together, every member of the band doing their best to keep up a very melodic and progressive tone throughout the rest of this medley.

A Change of Seasons is definitely something a devoted DT fan would own, but for those with an open mind musically, you would do better to purchase Images and Words or Awake, perhaps even Metropolis Part 2:Scenes from a Memory, before heading into DT's other releases not mentioned as studio albums. The title track is definitely the pinnacle of this album, but for those seeking a nice sense of melody(There's that word again, that I use so frequently to describe early Dream Theater), buy away. Just don't expect to be flattered by James LaBrie's vocals on the cover versions....



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Parallels
September 18th 2011


6643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just so you know, it's a common courtesy to wait a day before posting a second review. This goes especially for people new to sputnikmusic. As for your review, I am a serious DT fan and I don't agree with some of your statements (don't expect to be flattered by James LaBrie's vocals on the cover versions....) which in fact were amazing in my opinion, but nonetheless it works for a 'first' review. Not a bad review, but you could have taken some more time with it to polish it up and make it more grabbing to the reader. It also borders on a TBT (track by track). Cheers Linguist!

LepreCon
September 18th 2011


4152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, like Sonic said, one review per day, but you're better than most newbies just slow it down a bit and move further away from the track by track formula. Also, welcome to Sputnik!

RosaParks
September 18th 2011


14972 Comments


post as many reviews as you want dude

Sun2Moon
September 19th 2011


103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved Labrie's vocals on Perfect Strangers, it reminds me of better times...

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2011


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a lot guys,I actually write poetry and short stories as well,thought i might try my hand at reviews,after having read so many on here:')

Digging: Obliterations - Poison Everything

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2013


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn, this was my first review two years ago. How fast time passes...

Muisc4Life26
April 12th 2014


2900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A Change of Seasons is godly

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2014


21657 Comments


i dont get why this is an EP. its like an hour long

Digging: Soen - Tellurian

KILL
April 12th 2014


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cos they do what they want

but rly the cover songs dont count fuck em

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2014


21657 Comments


oh there are covers? didnt know that

climactic
April 12th 2014


19841 Comments


No he doesnt

KILL
April 12th 2014


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes lol every song after the t/t are live covers how did you not recognise the zep ones at least

KILL
April 12th 2014


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cone i'll play car mechanic simulator with you later

KILL
April 12th 2014


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm not my steam name is babydiddler67 add me

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2014


21657 Comments


not big on led zeppelin tbh idk most of their songs by name

KILL
April 12th 2014


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you gota jam more classics ins there are way more good old man bands than just the beatles!

CaptainDooRight
April 12th 2014


30251 Comments


lol didnt even know they had this album, never even seen the art

KILL
April 12th 2014


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this has their best song so thats a bit silly CAP

cone im loggin on now ok bye

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2014


21657 Comments


the beatles are the best tho

this album art sucks. what is that kid even doing there

KILL
April 12th 2014


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how do you know if you havent heard anythin else lol jam the who

yea the art is shit but most dt art is



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