Thursday, 8 September 2011

Review: Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events

 Picture the scene: You've had a horrible day at school, everyone around you just wants to bring you down, they take joy from your misfortune and offer no help when you desperately need it. At home, you're brought down some more because your family want to tell you of the horrible times they have had at work. After being left alone with your bad thoughts of the day and crappy music playing on the radio, you are simply left with a dull and bleak feeling of isolation. All you want is to be away from it all. To be transported to a new world where you can lose yourself, in a realm of adventure and majesty, where anything is possible and no one can bring you down. With this being my state of mind for a large portion of the day, I found my gateway to a new and better world, in the form of A Dramatic Turn of Events, the eleventh release from prog metal heroes, Dream Theater.
 It's possible that the albums title may refer to the dramatic turn of events that occurred earlier this year, following drummer and founding member, Mike Portnoy's decision to leave the band after finding better company and hoping to spend more time in Avenged Sevenfold, for whom he filled in as drummer for their their 2010 release, Nightmare and for the Huntington Beach rockers remaining tour dates, as well as facing rejection from the rest of his group following a request for a five-year break. I'm not too sure of Portnoy's current situation, as he was rejected from becoming a full time member of A7X, and Dream Theater wouldn't take him back after recruiting new sticksman, Mike Mangini. It's actually a very sad story for Portnoy, and for one thing, it was certainly a dramatic turn of events.
 This seems more likely, as the music produced on the album does not suggest a dramatic turn of events. A Dramatic Turn of Events sees a further collection of epic dreamy, complex, often emotional, oddly structured and hard hitting prog metal, bursting with spellbinding guitar solos, complex basslines, and frequent usage of of atmospheric keyboards, synthesizers and samples. Did you expect anything more though? The work is absolutely captivating and marvelous in every sense. Dream Theater mange to do exactly as one would hope. Transport listeners into a new world where one can get lost in a realm of adventure and majesty.
 And having to leave that world at the end of the album is a little sad. A Dramatic Turn of Events manages to create an epic and majestic atmosphere into which one can escape from the burdens of everyday life. And on days like today, that makes it a winner.

 Dream Theater's A Dramatic Turn of Events is out on the 13th of September via Roadrunner. The band will tour the UK in February.

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