Is this a masterpiece? To many it is. To me it misses that mark, but only because the bar was set a notch higher by some of the earlier DT releases.
The track Octavarium is a masterpiece, the other tracks are a little bit hit or miss. Overall a really enjoyable listen. Oh, and the geometrical mistake in the cover art is (a) hilarious (source of debate).
The Root of All Evil 8:25
These Walls 7:36
I Walk Beside You 4:29
Can't get past the cheesiness, and I never liked U2. This track just isn't for me.
Panic Attack 8:13
Well done! The obvious references to Muse work well here. I love how the music really channels the feeling of anxiety and panic.
Never Enough 6:46
Sacrificed Sons 10:43
Wonderfully crafted, it all flows from style to style, completing a circle, referencing so many great bands that have been influential on modern progressive bands in general and DT in particular.
Being less heavy and more complex than "Train of Thought", this album is undoubtedly considered a return to form by many fans who prefer progressive and complex music to heavy music. When I first heard this album, I was, not disappointed, but I honestly thought that it was too soft, and I did not really like it to start with. The more I listened to it, I started to appreciate it more and more, and now I think it is a very good progressive metal album.
When it all comes down, there is a lot of variation on the album, which I appreciate, and there are some strong tracks like "The Root of All Evil", "These Walls", and "Panic Attack".
This album should have a wide appeal to metal fans and non-metal fans alike.
(review originally posted at metalmusicarchives.com)
Prog rockers Dream Theater tallied 16 years as a band with the release of Octavarium, but in listening you're apt to suspect otherwise. As a collective they remain as tight as they were on 2003's obsessively dark Train of Thought (like all music-school outfits, they've exacted an all-for-one formula that doesn't allow a single player more than his share of swagger), but a post-hardcore edge — call it a leap into 2005 — has invaded their pledge of allegiance to theatrical heavy rock. Hear it on "I Walk Beside You" and "The Answer Lies Within," both of which, at under five minutes, play like charming haikus from a band known for its epic poetry, and also on the orchestra-backed 20-plus-minute final cut, which skips around from Pink Floyd to Rush to Yes influences, stopping off every so often at a place fans of My Chemical Romance might find familiar. As with all the band's discs, guitars loom large and both doom and redemption seem no further than the next twisted verse. What's changed is Dream Theater's commitment to carrying on their reputation as underground progressive rock's classicists, and it seems well-timed.