Disclaimer: I am not a fan of Dream Theater. If they lost James LaBrie, I would be more inclined to like what they did. I am a huge fan of John Petrucci though.
As a result of the departure of drummer and band leader Mike Portnoy, there was no doubt that this album was going to be one of the most closely scrutinized releases of Dream Theater’s career for a lot of their fans. Portnoy was apparently responsible for a lot of their heavier song moments. What I expected out of this release was less of a metal album and more of a progressive album. That is exactly what they did in many ways.
I know that it is not a popular opinion to not like Dream Theater, but outside of a few songs, I cannot tolerate their music. James LaBrie’s vocals are like nails on a chalkboard to me. Songs like Pull Me Under are amazing. They have a few more that I really dig too. Of course, I appreciate the musicianship and the skill of all of their members, especially John Petrucci. He is one of my favorite current guitar players.
On to A Dramatic Turn of Events. What can I say about this album. It is exactly what I expected. Way too many melodic moments that make me want to jump off a cliff and not enough of the heavy riffs that make Dream Theater enjoyable. John Petrucci’s vast skills are highly underutilized on most of their albums and it is a true shame. Every once in a while, he pulls off an amazing riff that turns the song and then they deviate right back to the whining.
I know that this review will not sit well with a lot of folks since there are a ton of people that worship Dream Theater. Believe me, I wish that I could get it, but I doubt that I ever will.