Release Date: June 7, 2005
Reviewed by Terry Bruce
2003 marked the last release with Train of Thought. The album had the technical wizardry of what some consider the best musicians in the business. That being said, the long awaited Octavarium had some big shoes to fill.
I have to say that I was pretty stoked about this album because being a Dream Theater fan is all about “what are they gonna think of next”. The Root of all Evil opens the album with what you expect from DT, hard driving riffs and even a little revisit to the last albums This Dying Soul. The Answer Lies Within is a slower tune but what I like most about it is the vocals. LaBrie serves this song with some of the best sounding vocals I have heard from him to date. These Walls gets up and makes you think you are about to hear some of the baddest riffs to date but 32 seconds into the song you’re let down with mediocre garbage that seems to break the DT mold and that’s moving forward with their music. My previous statement is pretty much what the rest of the album is: mediocre garbage. There’s nothing that jumps out at me at all on this whole album.
I expected a lot more from these guys with the talent they have, I should have been wow’d like I’ve been every other album they’ve put out. Usually there’s something they do in every album that would make the hair stand on the back of my neck but in their latest offering I am utterly disappointed. Being a fan I have come to love everything they have done but Octavarium seems to me as the “Van Halen III” of their repertoire. I would recommend Awake, Images and Words or Live at the Budokan for the guy who really wants to hear the spectrum with which they’re capable of because this latest cd is nothing less than an album filler.