Dream Theater
Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory


5.0
classic

Review

by e210013 USER (133 Reviews)
February 10th, 2020 | 42 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A true masperpiece. Perfect, if perfection exists.

“Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” is the fifth studio album of Dream Theater and was released in 1999. The line up on the album is James LaBrie, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung and Mike Portnoy. The album has also the participation of Theresa Thomason, Mary Canty, Sheila Slappy, Mary Smith, Jeanette Smith, Clarence Burke Jr., Carol Cyrus and Dale Scott.


“Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” was recorded at Bear Track Studios in New York, the same place where the band had previously recorded their second studio album “Images And Words” in 1992 and their EP “A Change Of Seasons” in 1995. It was the first album to feature their new keyboardist Jordan Rudess. After participating in Liquid Tension Experiment project with Rudess, Petrucci and Portnoy found themselves writing music and working together actually quite easily. So, it was easy to convince LaBrie and Myung to offer Rudess the position of full time keyboardist on band’s next studio album. As they accepted, the current keyboardist of the band at time, Derek Sherinian, was fired.

“Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” is a sequel to “Metropolis Part I: The Miracle And The Sleeper”, a song previously featured on the band’s album “Images And Words”. Fans had previously requested the band to make a sequel of the first part of the song. With the recording sessions for “Falling Into Infinity”, their fourth studio album released in 1997, the band recorded a twenty-one minute instrumental demo of “Metropolis Part 2”, but they didn’t make it into that album. The demo, which included several citations from “Metropolis Part I” and many motifs that would later appear on “Metropolis Part 2”, was however significantly different from the finished album version in the most part of it.

“Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” is a conceptual album with twelve songs divided into two acts, and which are each also divided in five and four scenes respectively. Shortening, the story is about a man, Nicholas, which begins to have visions about the life of a girl Victoria. Determined to understand those visions, he eventually discovers that the young girl was murdered in 1928 trapped in a love trio. Thanks to his search, he finds his own self and thinks that someone else will live his life in the future, in the same way he has lived that of the poor Victoria now resting in heaven.

This is the best they have ever done. It’s true that the band had already proved to be composed by a group of tremendous musicians, but with this album the band plays in loud and heavy songs. On this album they have found the perfect balance between heavy metal parts, with top speed keyboards and guitar solos, and the quieter parts like the two ballads “Trough The Eyes” and “The Spirit Carries On”. All over the album the music follows the rules of a true classic conceptual album, with numerous sound effects and recurring themes. “Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” does have its heavier and more metallic moments, involving very fast double-bass drumming, courtesy of Portnoy, and some good heavy, but still very catchy guitar riffs delivered by Petrucci. The tempo is generally mid-to-slow paced and airs more on the prog rock side, as opposed to metal. The writing here is superb in every area, with elements of classical, jazz, blues, psychedelic rock, “Home”, ragtime “The Dance Of Eternity” and gospel “Through Her Eyes” and “The Spirit Carries On” all being used and used brilliantly. Since this is Dream Theater, no real explanation is needed on the proficiency of the actual playing. Every member here is a virtuoso, as usual. LaBrie is brilliant here as well, hitting some absolutely terrific high notes and putting a tremendous amount of feeling and soul into his singing.

Curiously and according to the “Making Of Scenes From A Memory” video, Portnoy explains that some of the influences for “Metropolis Part 2” are conceptual albums such as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” of The Beatles, “Tommy” of The Who, “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” of Genesis, “The Wall” and “The Final Cut” of Pink Floyd, “Amused To Death” of Roger Waters, “Misplaced Childhood” of Marillion and “OK, Computer” of Radiohead.


Conclusion: “Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” is an exceptional album. It’s my favourite Dream Theater’s album and one of my favourite albums ever. This is truly a classic progressive rock album that fits perfectly well among the greatest progressive masterpieces ever. The concept is a little bit hard to explain but I personally like it. The music is just amazing, beautiful, difficult to play, moving and perfect. The thing I like better on this album is the perfect fusion sounds. Every instrument can always be heard perfectly clear but, if you hear all them together, you can perfectly understand what I call perfection. “Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory” belongs to the very rare classic prog albums that we can classify as one of the masterpieces of the masterpieces. If we had the possibility of rate an album with a 6.0, it would belong certainly clearly to those rare albums. Everyone interested in prog rock music must check it.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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4.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

For some time, I intended to review an album of Dream Theater. As I decided to buy a ticket to one of the shows in my country of "The Distance Over Time" tour, I think this is the time.

I must confess that I was not sure that I wanted to see them a fourth time. I was a bit disappointed with their last works. And because of that I never had desire to listen their last work. So, when my youngest son invited me to go with him and his girlfriend, I hesiteted for a while, but since I had company, I decided to go.

But I'm very glad for that. The show was great, as usual as we can expect. Even after all these years the guys still are amazingly good. The first part was great but since I didn't know yet their last album, I must confess that I wasn't very cheered up. But the second part, when they performed entirely "Scenes From A Memory", oh boy, it was amazing. It was the icing on the cake. I haven't heard this album for five or six years and I confess that I had almost forgotten how good this album is. I can asure you that it was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to see this album performed live.

20 years have passed since the release of "Scenes From A Memory". And as Dream Theater decided to celebrate it, lets do the same and celebrate it too here on Sputnik. This is my way to do that and join myself to the celebration of the band. I hope you do the same.

el_newg
February 10th 2020


367 Comments


unfortunately I think this is the last truly GREAT dream theater album. they used to be my favourite band when I was around 15 years old but grew off me a lot. I still enjoy a lot of their music, I think nostalgia plays a big part in that.

I'm glad you really enjoyed the album concert, I had the same experience when they toured playing Images and Words in full, as that is my favourite album of theirs.

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't completely share of your opinion my friend. I think their follow up album "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" is also excellent, despite be more heavy, and even "Octavarium" and "Systematic Chaos" are also great. About the following albums, I'm not very comfortable to talk about them. I never paid great attention to them, really.

Thanks for sharing your opinion with us, pal. I really appreciated that. After all we are celebrating and how many more comments, better.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2020


8643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Last really awesome Dream Theater album.

Digging: Nightfear (ESP) - Apocalypse

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for your participation in this celebration.

TheIntruder
February 10th 2020


450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. It's nice to see someone celebrating this album. Four times? Amazing. Have a pos.

Poet
February 10th 2020


6063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I also only went to see them in October because they played this in its entirety. It was amazing.

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Intruder. Yeah, two times with Portnoy and two with Mangini. But I haven't already seen them for a while. The last was in 2011.

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great Poet. Finally I've the feedback of someone else who saw them too. I'm glad you liked it too. Thanks for your comment, pal.

kalkwiese
February 10th 2020


4521 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Black Clouds and Silver Linings and Train of Thot were pretty good as well. Not a big fan of Octavarium apart from the title track. People should gibe Distance Over Time a shot, it has some amazing songs

Digging: Gleb Kolyadin - Gleb Kolyadin

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I agree with you kalkwiese. All show was great.

TheIntruder
February 10th 2020


450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never saw them. I'm glad you all have liked it. I have read some neg comments about the tour. Is that true?

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

In what concerns to me, I've no complaints. I read also some negative comments about some of the shows, especially about the performance of LaBrie in Amsterdam. But I don't felt that. Even I saw a pos comment about his performance in Lyon. I think it was a punctual issue. Of course the voice of LaBrie isn't the same anymore. He isn't properly young. But he was pretty good in my show. I talked with my son about that and he has the same oipinion. You know. People have bad days.

TheIntruder
February 10th 2020


450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok. Nice to know that. I always liked his voice. I think he was one of the greatest metal singers.

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I agree. If you want to have my sincere opinion, the only presence I really mis was the presence of Portnoy. Mangini is great and technically is perfect. But I miss very much the of Portnoy. His communion with the public and his backing vocals are really a lack. Besides is leadership on stage is also felt. For me, he always was the leader and soul of the band.

TheIntruder
February 10th 2020


450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I can see why. He is a great drummer.

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The best in these days. It isn't in vain that he is one of the great disciples of the professor. Of course I'm talking of Neil Peart.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2020


11832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The album that got me into the band, a perfect mix of technicality and musicality. They did release some pretty good albums after this one, but this is magic.

Digging: Biff Byford - School Of Hard Knocks

e210013
February 10th 2020


2758 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Absolutely. My baptism with the band was "Images And Words". But it was also this one that got me into the band too. Thanks for your comment and pos, pal.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2020


11832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Always happy to read your reviews, dude.



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