- Artist / Title: Dream Theater: Black Clouds and Silver Linings
- Month Reviewed: June 2009
- Format: CD
Let’s start by saying that this is quite possibly the best Dream Theater album yet!
As you would expect, the instrumental prowess on display is extraordinary, but what saves it from being a widdle-fest is the sheer quality of the songs. There is not a weak track on the CD.
There is something for every fan of progressive music here: great rock riffing, superb vocals (perhaps the best performance from LaBrie yet), killer bass, mind-boggling keyboard and guitar solos, great lyrics and some seriously deft arrangements.
However, the two standout cuts for me are the ballads (I’m a sucker for a good one) and this CD has two of them! The first, Wither, is a beautiful song that gets heavier as the minutes progress and is simply awesome. LabBrie sings his heart out. The next The Best of Times is my new favourite DT track of all time. It tells the tale of a father / son relationship and is both moving and melodic in equal measure. Great acoustic guitar, strings and a main them that reminds me of a 70s disco song! Anyway, the finale is jaw-dropping: featuring a spectacular solo from Petrucci, whose playing throughout the album is exemplary.
As usual, Dream Theater is not for everyone, but if you want hard rocking riffs, killer musicianship and, more importantly, great songs, then you must get this CD. After three spins, you’ll be hooked!