HomeMusicReview: Dream Theater, 'Distance Over Time'

Review: Dream Theater, ‘Distance Over Time’

Distance over Time is the newest effort from Dream Theater, a band as prolific as they are skilled. Known for their odd song structures, time changes, and impressive musicianship, Dream Theater is once again vying for dominance in the world of progressive metal.

The opening track, “Untethered Angel” features a groovy, chunky main riff which allows the keyboards to shine. This song feels like classic Dream Theater, which a heavy song giving way to a lighter interlude before returning to the heavy themes of the beginning of the song. “Paralyzed” continues the momentum of the album, and you can see why it was chosen to be used as a single to hype the albums release. Guitarist John Petrucci has been sharpening his skills since the band started in 1985, but his guitar tone on this song might be the culmination of of a life’s work. Listen to this track on a good sound system to get the full experience of what Petrucci is laying down.

The album’s weakest part is the next two songs, which are extremely repetitive in how they present the verse/chorus, offering ballad style choruses that feel smash cut into heavier more technical songs. This style of chorus is right in Labrie’s wheelhouse, but at the same time, they feel out place in these two songs. Transitions in and out of those parts might have eased the movement, but the tracks still have many bright spots in terms of the musicianship offered, including the intro to “Barstool Warrior.”

The rest of the album is pure prog perfection, giving fans a taste of the ability and musical maturity of a band that has decades of experience behind them. “Room 137” offers up a track that is dark and slippery in feel, with drums and guitar works together to lay down a truly special groove. This song features Petrucci’s best solo on the album and punchy vocals from LaBrie, the latter of which is refreshing to hear.

“S2N” and “At Wit’s End” give the listener more tasty rhythms, with John Myung’s bass guitar coming through the mix perfectly. One of the many bright spots on the album is the production, which is spot on without feeling over produced. The layering of instruments, the reverb on the guitar, and the incredible drumming by Mike Mangini are constructed for the ultimate listening experience.

Distance Over Time is a singular effort, and a truly impressive album from an already impressive band. You can clearly feel the passion and the care that went into these tracks, and the result is a perfect blend of earworm riffs, superior musicianship, and songs that will blow the Progressive Metal fan away

Rating: 9/10

Distance Over Time by Dream Theater is now available in record stores, and streamng platforms.


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