Dream Theater - A View from the Top of the World
Friday release # 115
The prog-metal giant "Dream Theater" is releasing its 15th album - "A View from the Top of the World".
This is the band's first album recorded in its private studios - "DTHQ (Dream Theater Headquarters)".
Work on the album began about a year and a half after the release of the previous album "Distance over Time" in 2019. The band took advantage of the break from live performances and covid-19 quaranteens, with most of the writing done through the "Zoom" App - the band members in the US while singer James LaBrie in Canada. LaBrie took a break between closures and came to New York, to the band's private studio, and record his vocal parts.
The album was produced by guitarist John Petrucci and was mixed and mastered by the almighty producer Andy Sneap.
Petrucci apparently plays an 8-string guitar this time !!! He was interviewed in August 2020 for "Ultimate Guitar" magazine and stated:
"The eight-string project with Ernie Ball Music Man is something we are working on and hoping to have developed as this year goes on. I'm hoping that on the next Dream Theater record I'll be able to explore that."
This album is probably going to stretch the boundaries of the band and the listeners according to the band's own publications, which mentioned the following words on its Facebook page:
"To stretch beyond our limits
To blaze a brand new trail
Bold enough to conquer
Brave enough to fail ... "
The song list reveals 7 songs that spread over 70 minutes and perhaps this indicates the band's intention in the words: "to stretch beyond our borders ..
To tell the truth, on first listening we have did not heard any more extreme music or new tricks that we have not already heard from this virtuoso bunch. "Dream Theater" has long succumbed to creative stagnation and would rather stay in its comfort zone than challenge itself and its fans.
It started with the first single released from the album - "The Alien". A classic prog-metal piece with all the long-familiar clichés of the band, which did not innovate anything, and it continued with the second single "Invisible Monster", so we did not come with great expectation to get something different on this album.
And yet, we must say that we really have no problem with that. We just love everything this virtuoso bunch releases. For us, "Dream" is a symbol of perfectionism. A different level of musicians, precision, synchronization, technique, production, so we feel that this album is far beyond what we are able to discover on first hearing
1) The Alien (9:32)
2) Answering The Call (7:35)
3) Invisible Monster (6:31)
4) Sleeping Giant (10:05)
5) Transcending Time (6:25)
6) Awaken The Master (9:47)
7) A View From The Top Of The World (20:24)