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„A Dramatic Turn of Events“ is not just a title, that Dream Theater picked because it sounded so nice and dramatic, it´s a title that fits to this band like no other. After drummer Mike Portnoy left the band, which probably left lots of fans behind, that were wondering how the new album would sound now. Well, here we have the answer now. Dream Theater are back, with a new brilliant drummer, that is not Mike Portnoy, but also damn talented and yet totally different in his style: Mike Mangini, who managed to get this new job in competition with some of the best of the best drummers that the Metalworld has to offer.
„On The Back Of Angels“ is the opener of the 77 minutes long album and is simply the typical Dream Theater song, which you could´ve found on an album like „Images and Words“. Seems as if the band is now finding to old strength and is like a real band, where input comes from everybody. John Myung is actually writing some lyrics again and James LaBrie is writing melodies.
The first time you listen to the album as a whole, it leaves and incredibly harmonious impression, that hasn´t been there for a long time. Of course the whole sound is brilliant, what else would you have expected from a bunch of instrument wizzards?
One of the songs, that really got me during the first time already was the wonderful „Breaking All Illusions“, simply wow! Incredibly versatile melodies, this song is simply Dream Theater and that for over 12 minutes!
„Bridges In The Sky“ in contrast to that is for sure a song that will give you goosebumps after the rather weird beginning and then angellike choirs. Again a song of over 11 minutes, that turns into a groovy stirring monster, that clearly is one of the highlights of the album. This is followed by the next huge song „Outcry“, again 11 minutes filled with interesting melodies that are just waiting to be discovered and probably endless repetitions, that you will give this album.
One of the more agressive and more compact songs is for example „Build Me Up, Break Me Down“ with a funky beginning that turns into, for Dream Theater circumstances, damn heavy riffs, that turn into melodies that simply flow into your ears. I think it´s also important to mention, that James La Brie found his old strength again and now sounds as free as never before. He seems to be singing stuff as if it was one of his solo album and I have to admit, that even though I caught myself a few times in the past, saying that this guy could probably be replaced by some other vocalist, that he fits to his band and I have no idea how they would sound without him.
Dream Theater created a really, really harmonic and probably most balanced album in ages, where all bandmembers are clearly able to participate and show their talent. It´s a perfect mix of wonderful melodies, harder riffs, atmospheric parts and is almost like a trip back into good old times at parts. This album is simply Dream Theater – DT as a whole band, not a collective of individuals. This is not progressive and of course without Portnoy the driving force to put more and more new and modern influences into their sound is now missing, but this is simply a band now, that does what they´re best at. Playing music playful music, which is not neccessarily „Progressive“. Progressive as in „modern“ or „forward-looking“. However, that´s a high-quality album you can put into your player and simply enjoy! Definitely a must! One might even say, that this album could even open the gates for new fans, since it´s not as uberly progressive as former albums. Who knows, time may tell!