Singles Party, Dream Theater, ‘Enemy Inside’

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We don’t do a lot of metal on The Singles Party. So we thought that it’d be pretty \m/ of us to take a peak at the new single from the insanely prog metal band Dream Theater. This week the crew is very happy to bring on special guest contributor, our very own copy editor, Kelly Spoer.

Nick Porcaro: “This could have been much worse.” When that’s the first thought that pops into one’s head after listening to this single, it’s clear Dream Theater is a long way from their glory days. Although it pales in comparison to anything from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence or Awake, “The Enemy Inside” is a tightly crafted slice of prog-metal. With a fittingly catchy chorus and John Petrucci’s vicious 7-string riffing, the single finds Dream Theater playing with intent once more. Is it a masterpiece? Of course not. But it’s largely devoid of filler, and that’s more than one can say for their past few releases. I’ll be listening closely come September 24th when their self-titled hits stores. Here’s hoping they somehow fix the clunky production job before then. Verdict: Add to Playlist.

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Jason Stives: Is this what I was expecting from Dream Theater? Not really, in fact, I expected something that would be hard to digest. For all the wonders of prog rock it’s hard to tell how progressive rock matters in the 21st century (Rush aside) but Dream Theater’s latest single “The Enemy Inside” has all the major components to work. What starts with an over abundance of drums and shredding levels out into almost classic prog territory with a crisp riff coupled with James LaBrie’s stirring vocals. It almost dates itself with the orchestral sound that plays out the track in a huff but it works very well here and doesn’t stray from consistency. Will this make me want to check out their new record? No, but it’s a solid track nonetheless that took this rather weary listener by surprise. Verdict: Add to Playlist.

Kelly Spoer: I’m not a Dream Theater fan, but over the past five years, I’ve heard my share from my fiance being a huge fan. To be honest, the more I listen to them, the more my ears don’t bleed. Saying that, hearing “The Enemy Inside” was kind of enjoyable. The intro immediately hooked this self-proclaimed hater of prog rock. I didn’t want to roll my eyes at the over-top drama that my prior experiences with DT have been. My biggest problem with the band in general is the singer makes me feel that I’m listening to late 80s hair metal as opposed to anything more current. But even through that, the song is enjoyable. It’s nothing that one won’t expect from Dream Theater but I feel most rock fans should be able to get behind this song. It does get a bit silly at the 4:50 mark where it sounds like we are suddenly in a circus, but thankfully, it only lasts a few moments. I can live with that; the band likes their musical drama. Will I go wait with anticipation for the album? No. But I can promise that I won’t roll my eyes too much when my fiance plays the album ad nauseum. Verdict: One and done.

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Bill Bodkin: As the resident metal dude on Pop-Break you know what my answer is already going to be. What I dig about this new Dream Theater is that throwback angry, crunchy riffage that feels like an updated track from Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All. It’s so primal and savage — it’s the type of riff that makes us metal heads go bananas over. Of course, this song isn’t without warts as there’s that usual weird “Dream Theater” moment where keyboardist Jordan Rudess throws in this really random solo that barely fits the brutality of this song. If this were not followed by a blistering John Petrucci solo, “Enemy Inside” would’ve gone completely off the rails. For those of you who loved metal in the ’80s this track is must-listen. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Final Verdict: The headbangers have it! We are totally digging this new track from the masters of prog metal and if you’ve been known to throw up the horns, then you should add this to you playlist immediately.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

4 COMMENTS

  1. They had a bit of a shaky period for a while after Octavarium. While not terrible, something just felt a bit off about “Systemetic Chaos” and “Black Clouds & Silver Linings.” Then after Mike Portnoy left, they released “A Dramatic Turn of Events,” which I thought was really forgettable. I thought it was going to be the end of this band. But I really like this song, except for maybe Rudess’ habit of throwing in really strange keyboard/synth solos that he seems to be doing more and more with each album… I will personally give this album a chance, and hope it’s a bit better than the past few.

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