Release Date: June 5, 2007
Reviewed by Terry Bruce
Lucky number 9? For Dream Theater that just may be the case. With 8 previous albums that have out done each other every step of the way, The Theater has come through with a different approach to the prog metal scene yet again. They have taken their axes and talent to Roadrunner Records and a step in the right direction.
“In the Presence of Enemies Pt.1” starts you off with a serving of their Rush-esq. epics that gives you an overall taste of what the whole album has to offer. Head banging riffs, syncopation galore, and technical wizardry that will leave you wanting to start the cd over and listen to it again. Then onto “Forsaken” for a little Tubular Bells throwback to kick things off only to be rocked off your ass into something a little harder than you initially expected. “Constant Motion” is the Theater that we all know and love, right out of the box with John Petrucci laying down a hook that you’ll be “do”ing for the rest of the day. “The Dark Eternal Night” is something to hear the first time VERY LOUD! Pantera, Opeth and the like is what comes to mind here with some vocal work that really makes this album different from anything they have done before. Repentance, Prophets of War, The Ministry of Lost Souls, and finally the second half to the epic “In the Presence of Enemies”, makes this my favorite album.
Dream Theater has painstakingly put together their best work to date. I find myself repeating the thought “What more could they do?”, ”What else are they gonna do to reinvent themselves?”. That is why they have the strongest following and most dedicated fans. They work hard to give back to everyone that has made them what they are today. You either love’em or hate’em, no in-between. Systematic Chaos can be listened to from front to back, not an album filler on the cd at all. I’ll be Pleasantly satisfied with a diet of “Chaos” till they do it all over again.