Re: Dream Theater's Octavarium reviews...
I've had the whole thing for two weeks and have my "official" copy on reserve for next Tuesday's release. No, I will not send it to anyone for any reason, I don't care who you are, so don't waste your time asking me for it.
The songs take on a slightly different feel than what you're used to and the music continues the feeling of the last studio album, TOT.
The opening of the album is a bit too long, IMO. They have about 1:00 worth of nothing but noise and buildup to the introduction of the song and the music starting in the first song, TROAE. It's a good opening song, strong rhythm and toe-tapping feel. Aggressive. The opening for the the second song, ALWI, is similarly slow, but then, it's a slower song - personally, I'd have waited until further into the album before adding in a slow ballad-type song. A good song nonetheless. Third song - These Walls - this song has all the feel that the TOT album did. Good song, not their strongest but I enjoy it. Fourth song, IWBY, almost has a U2-style feel in the chorus - most predominantly the way Petrucci phrases his parts - a bit dissonant, but smoothly transitioned. I dig it big time, and I was never a U2 fan.
I'm not as acquainted with the last four songs on the album, but I've been listening to them. All four have their ups and downs, but all in all, I like them. They'll require more time with the music to get a feel for how much I like them.
I give it 1.5 thumbs up thus far. I need more time with the music to make a more in-depth judgment about the album. If you're a DT fan, it's a definite buy, if you're on the fence about DT and are looking for another album the quality of I&W or SFAM, you'll probably want to skip it as it's not for you.
And remember folks, bands evolve, their members evolve, and as a result, their music evolves. No one wants to do the same thing over and over again regardless of its success - there's no fun in that. Change is a part of everything, DT's music included. Have an open mind when listening to the new record. Don't pre-judge it based on what I or anyone else types here. Give it a chance, be open-minded. DT couldn't have stayed in the mode they were 10+ years ago or they'd have crashed and burned long ago - while success is a good thing, I think we'd all be more disappointed if their last five albums were all rehashes of I&W. A great album, yes, but not great when done over... and over... and over... you get the idea.