Dream Theater (album)
Cover art by Hugh Syme
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 23, 2013|
|Recorded||January–May 2013 at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, New York|
|Genre||Progressive metal, progressive rock|
|Dream Theater chronology|
|Singles from Dream Theater|
Dream Theater is the twelfth studio album by American progressive metal band Dream Theater, released through Roadrunner Records on September 23, 2013 in Europe and a day later in the United States. The album was written, recorded, mixed, and mastered between January and May 2013 at Cove City Sound Studios in Long Island, New York, the same studio as the band's previous album, A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011). It is the first Dream Theater album to include drummer Mike Mangini in the songwriting process.
The band made Dream Theater a self-titled album to emphasize that they were moving forward in their career and to make it a reference point for fans. The album's songs are shorter on average than most Dream Theater songs, with the exception of the 20-minute closer "Illumination Theory". Some songs utilize organic strings, which were arranged by Eren Başbuğ, a Berklee College of Music student. The album features two instrumentals, "False Awakening Suite" and "Enigma Machine", and its lyrics were motivated by real-life events such as the Boston Marathon bombings.
Dream Theater moved 34,000 units in the United States during its debut week, charting at number seven and becoming the band's second highest charting album behind 2009's Black Clouds & Silver Linings. For its lead single, "The Enemy Inside", the band received their second consecutive Grammy nomination in the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category. In early 2014, Dream Theater toured Europe and America in support of the album, and recorded their performance at the Boston Opera House for a live release.
Preliminary writing for Dream Theater's twelfth album commenced on the A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour in April 2012. During soundchecks, the band would jam and record their ideas, and guitarist John Petrucci would try out independently composed material. They did not enter the recording studio until January 2013, returning to Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, New York, where they recorded A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011). The first song that the band wrote was "Surrender to Reason", which bassist John Myung credited with setting the pace for the remainder of writing.
From the start, drummer Mike Mangini was included in the creative process, unlike for A Dramatic Turn of Events, where Petrucci programmed the main drum parts during writing and Mangini recorded his own interpretations of them later. Commenting on Mangini's work, Petrucci said, "When people hear the drumming on this album, they’re gonna be pretty freaked out ... I feel like now he’s just Mike Mangini unleashed. It's all him. It's all his creativity, all his decisions and ideas - and man, the guy's an animal."
During the studio sessions, every band member's instrument was miked and captured as they were writing so that they could simulate ahead of time exactly how the music would sound when it was formally recorded. Reflecting on his guitar tone, Petrucci joked, "I describe it as a piece of chocolate cake and that was my goal in the studio. It's like I had a nice picture of a layered chocolate cake. Why chocolate cake? Well, chocolate cake is rich, creamy and it has layers." Recording concluded in May, and mixing was performed by Richard Chycki, who was hired based on Dream Theater's past experiences with him and his history with Rush.
In calling the album Dream Theater, the band tried to define who they were and emphasize that they were moving forward. Reflecting on the decision for Guitar World, Petrucci said, "We wanted to make this album a reference point for [fans] as far as what Dream Theater is all about. That was the goal and the mission, and it set the tone for the entire project." In an article for Grantland, Steven Hyden noted the album's stylistic similarities to Rush, writing, "There are songs on Dream Theater that are just straight-up Rush imitations, most notably 'The Looking Glass,' which crossbreeds 'Limelight' with 'Freewill' while leaving out Neil Peart’s misanthropic individualism."
The songs on Dream Theater are shorter and more compact on average than on other Dream Theater albums, a conscious decision made by the band during writing that Petrucci later admitted was a challenge for them. Two songs on the album made use of a string ensemble conducted by Berklee College of Music student Eren Başbuğ, including the 20-minute closer "Illumination Theory", which keyboardist Jordan Rudess called the band's opportunity to go "crazy" after writing so many concise songs. Split into five sections, the track goes through many style and time signature changes, with Loudwire observing, "Jam-packed with a head-spinning mix of quiet interludes, face melting jams and, courtesy of bassist Myung and Mangini, forests full of rhythmic majesty, this suite plays like a mini album in itself."
Dream Theater features two instrumentals, "False Awakening Suite" and "Enigma Machine", the former of which was written specifically to open the band's live shows. They were the first instrumentals that the band had written for a studio album since "Stream of Consciousness" on 2003's Train of Thought. Many of the album's lyrics are based on real events; for example, "The Enemy Inside", which deals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was written in response to the Boston Marathon bombings, and "Behind the Veil" references the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping.
In June 2013, Dream Theater announced that their upcoming studio album would be self-titled and released in September. The album's first single, "The Enemy Inside", was made available for streaming by USA Today on August 5. Its second single, "Along for the Ride", was made available for streaming one month later. The album was premiered by Rolling Stone on September 16 via a free online stream. It was officially released one week later on September 23. In its debut week, it sold over 34,000 copies in the United States to land at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the band's third consecutive top ten debut and second highest charting album ever behind 2009's Black Clouds & Silver Linings, which debuted at number six. It remained on the charts until November 9. As of January 2016, the album has sold 87,000 copies in the US.
During the album's release week, the band released a music video for "The Enemy Inside", which drove awareness for Save a Warrior, a foundation dedicated to helping veterans heal from the effects of combat. In February 2014, the album's second and final music video was released, this time for "The Looking Glass".
Dream Theater has received positive reviews. AllMusic felt that it was one of the band's best albums, concluding, "it holds inside it everything a fan could want, yet also expands the reach of American prog metal." Many critics were particularly complimentary of "Illumination Theory", which Revolver described as "stunningly ambitious". Grantland's Steven Hyden, whose introduction to the band was through the self-titled album, wrote, "I drank this cocktail, and I’m glad. Dream Theater is a blast." For "The Enemy Inside", Dream Theater received their second consecutive Grammy nomination in the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category.
Critics reacted favorably to Dream Theater's attempt at writing more concise songs. In their review, Loudwire commented, "The band also seems to be expanding their appeal beyond the faithful with some punchy, stylish and tuneful songs that seduce immediately. Good thing, too. Because the more people that can hear an album like this, the more faithful there will be." RTÉ.ie had a similar reaction, writing, "Sure, the did-they-really-just-play-that? double takes arrive by the half-minute on their latest magnum opus (self-titled for extra definitiveness), but chances are you will come away from Dream Theater singing a chorus rather than throwing air guitar/bass/drums/keyboards/violin/conductor's baton shapes."
Some critics noted that the album was too similar to previous Dream Theater albums. PopMatters felt that the band was no longer offering anything new, observing, "For quite awhile, the sky was the limit for Dream Theater; now that they’ve ascended, however, the creative air is running thin." Sputnikmusic also wrote that the album sounded familiar, but ultimately gave it an overall positive review, saying that it did "a bit better than recent efforts in the band's formulaic approach to anti-formulaic music."
In promotion of the album, Dream Theater toured Europe and North America in early 2014. The tour's setlist featured both old and new material, including nine songs off of Awake and Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, which were celebrating anniversaries. On March 25, the band performed at the Boston Opera House with the Berklee Concert Choir and Berklee World Strings in an event that was dubbed their "homecoming". The concert was recorded and eventually released on September 30 as part of the Breaking the Fourth Wall live collection. It debuted at number one on various music video charts, and the band donated part of the proceeds to the Dream Theater Scholarship Fund at Berklee.
|1.||"False Awakening Suite" (instrumental; music by Petrucci, Jordan Rudess)
|2.||"The Enemy Inside"||6:17|
|3.||"The Looking Glass"||4:53|
|4.||"Enigma Machine" (instrumental; music by Petrucci, Rudess, Myung, Mangini)||6:01|
|5.||"The Bigger Picture"||7:40|
|6.||"Behind the Veil"||6:52|
|7.||"Surrender to Reason" (lyrics by Myung)||6:34|
|8.||"Along for the Ride" (music by Petrucci, Rudess)||4:45|
|Japanese edition bonus track|
|10.||"The Enemy Inside" (instrumental)||6:17|
All credits taken from the Dream Theater liner notes.
- James LaBrie – lead vocals
- John Petrucci – guitar, backing vocals, producer
- Jordan Rudess – keyboards, GeoSynth iPad app, Seaboard
- John Myung – bass
- Mike Mangini – drums, percussion
- Misha Gutenberg – violin
- Larisa Vollis – violin
- Yelena Khaimova – violin
- Yevgeniy Mansurov – violin
- Aleksandr Anisimov – viola
- Noah Wallace viola – viola
- Anastasia Golenisheva – cello
- Valeriya Sholokhova – cello
- Len Sluetsky – double bass
- Richard Chycki – engineering, mixing
- James "Jimmy T" Meslin – assisstive engineering
- Kevin Matela – assistive mixing
- Dave Rowland – assistive mixing
- Eren Başbuğ – orchestral arrangement, conducting
- Ted Jensen – mastering
- Hugh Syme – cover and album design
- Larry DiMuzio – photography
|Argentinian Albums Chart (CAPIF)||3|
|Australian Albums Chart (ARIA)||15|
|Canadian Albums Chart (Billboard)||5|
|Czech Albums Chart (ČNS IFPI)||4|
|Danish Albums Chart (Hitlisten)||6|
|Dutch Albums Chart (MegaCharts)||4|
|Finnish Albums Chart (Suomen virallinen lista)||2|
|German Albums Chart (Offizielle Top 100)||4|
|Japanese Albums Chart (Oricon)||10|
|Norwegian Albums Chart (VG-lista)||7|
|Swedish Albums Chart (Sverigetopplistan)||5|
|UK Albums Chart (OCC)||15|
|UK Rock Chart||1|
|US Billboard 200||7|
|US Billboard Tastemaker Albums||3|
|US Billboard Top Digital Albums||10|
|US Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums||1|
|US Billboard Top Rock Albums||3|
- "Writing for the next DT album officially commenced while in Osaka the other day. Jet lag seems to open up one's creative channels". John Petrucci - Facebook. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Grubbs, Eric. "Dream Theater's John Petrucci On Obsessing Over Rush, Playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and More". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Teitelman, Bram. "Exclusive: Dream Theater's John Petrucci Talks About Decision to Remain on Roadrunner; Win a Signed Film Cel". Metal Insider. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Dream Theater // The Milestone Self-Titled Album Out Now!". Roadrunner Records UK. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Bosso, Joe. "Jordan Rudess talks Dream Theater's self-titled new album track-by-track (Surrender to Reason)". MusicRadar. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- Liebman, Jon. "John Myung Exclusive Interview". For Bass Players Only. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- Epting, Chris. "Jordan Rudess Updates Noisecreep on the Next Dream Theater Album (Video)". Noisecreep. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Dream Theater - Timeline Photos". facebook.com. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- Rosen, Steven. "Dream Theater's John Petrucci: 'You Don't Have to Be Afraid'". Ultimate Guitar. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- "DT album is officially wrapped! Looking forward to the mix". John Petrucci - Facebook. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Wardlaw, Matt. "John Petrucci Of Dream Theater On The Band's New Album, Rush + Touring With Deep Purple Read More: John Petrucci Of Dream Theater Interview". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Bienstock, Richard. "Lord of the Strings: Shred King John Petrucci Discusses Dream Theater's New Self-Titled Album". Guitar World. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Hyden, Steven. "Can Dream Theater Be Rock's Daenerys Targaryen?". Grantland. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Small, Mark. "Dream Theater's Homecoming". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- "Dream Theater's John Petrucci: 'It's Really Hard' To Write Short Songs". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Balkin, Nick. "Dream Theater Recruits Berklee Student for Album". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Bosso, Joe. "Jordan Rudess talks Dream Theater's self-titled new album track-by-track (Illumination Theory)". Music Radar. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Epting, Chris (2013). "Dream Theater, 'Dream Theater' - album review". Loudwire. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Bosso, Joe. "Jordan Rudess talks Dream Theater's self-titled new album track-by-track". MusicRadar. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- Titus, Christa. "Dream Theater, 'The Enemy Inside': Exclusive Video Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- "Dream Theater - Track By Track With John Petrucci (Timestamp 8:30)". Roadrunner Records Official YouTube Channel. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Ouellette, Mary. "Dream Theater Announce Title + Release Date of New Album". Loudwire. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Mansfield, Brian (5 August 2013). "Song premiere: Dream Theater's 'The Enemy Inside'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "Dream Theater - Along For The Ride by Roadrunner USA". SoundCloud. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- Reed, Ryan. "Dream Theater Channel Prog Metal in 'Dream Theater' - Premier". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- Bowar, Chad. "Dream Theater + Metallica Albums Debut in Top 10 of Billboard 200 Chart". Loudwire. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- "Dream Theater - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- "Billboard 200 - Week of November 9, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on January 28, 2016.
- Titus, Christa. "Dream Theater, 'The Enemy Inside': Exclusive Video Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Fanelli, Damian. "Dream Theater Premiere "The Looking Glass" Music Video". Guitar World. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Jurek, Thom (2013). "Dream Theater, Review by Thom Jurek". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Ezell, Brice. "Dream Theater - Dream Theater". PopMatters. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- Chichester, Sammi. "Review: Dream Theater — Dream Theater". Revolver. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- Guerin, Harry. "Music Review - Dream Theater - S/T". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Gerhart, Thompson D. "Dream Theater - Dream Theater". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- Childers, Chad. "2014 Grammy Nominees for Best Metal Performance: Anthrax, Black Sabbath, Dream Theater, Killswitch Engage + Volbeat With King Diamond Read More: 2014 Grammy Nominees for Best Metal Performance: Anthrax, Black Sabbath, Dream Theater, Killswitch Engage + Volbeat With King Diamond". Loudwire. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Dream Theater Announce Their "Along for the Ride" Tour". Dream Theater. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Metal-Rules.com UK Team. "Dream Theater @ Wembley Arena, London". Metal Rules. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- ""Breaking The Fourth Wall" Live Blu-Ray / DVD". Dream Theater. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Parys, Bryan. "Dream Theater Donates Proceeds to Berklee Scholarship". Berklee. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Dream Theater Liner Notes. Roadrunner Records. 2013.
- "Dream Theater Argentina Chart Debut #3 Thank You!". Official Dream Theater Facebook Page. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Dream Theater - Dream Theater (Album)". Australian-Charts. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Canadian Albums: The Week of October 12, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Albums - Top 100 Dream Theater" (in Czech). CNS IFPI. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "UGE 39 - 2013" (in Danish). Hitlisten. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Dutch Album Top 100: 28/09/2013" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Dream Theater Finland Chart Debut #2 Thank You!". Dream Theater Official Facebook. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Dream Theater – Dream Theater". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- ドリーム・シアター ドリーム・シアター (in Japanese). oricon ME. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- "Dream Theater på VG-lista Topp 40 Album". VG-lista. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- "Sverigetopplistan - Albums Top 60: 2013-10-04" (in Swedish). Swedish Charts. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Dream Theater (Must un-collapse the "Albums" button)". Official Charts. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40: 29 September 2013 - 05 October 2013". Official Charts. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Dream Theater: 10 Charts Tastemaker Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "Dream Theater: 10 Charts Digital Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "Dream Theater: 10 Charts Hard Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "Dream Theater: 10 Charts Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2015.