Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos
Dream Theater is back!

The above statement could seem obvious but it somehow makes reasonable sense here, Systematic Chaos has a kick ass attitude and nerve that is unmistakably...this album has a statement to make.
Some of the creativity and memorable inputs that I missed on Octavarium have been resurrected and all in all this is a very dynamic and balanced disc, bringing in elements that are classic Dream Theater while also breaking into new waters.
The lyrics are of high standard and reflect on interesting topics of self-control, war, sorrow and battling inner demons...there is a very close connection between music and lyrics on this, their ninth studio album.

The album starts and ends with the two-parted opus In The Presence Of Enemies, all in all almost 26 minutes that really grow on you. I'm very fond of the way Jordan Rudess' adds keyboard layers in the first passage that evolves down a very dynamic path.
The second part is gloomier and more atmospheric, enriched by a groovy and heavy section handled vividly by James LaBrie while Mike Portnoy's versatile drumming keeps the whole thing together.

Forsaken is quite mellow but its vampire theme and moody piano makes it unsettling none the less, the melodic refrain and dramatic keys support each other nicely.

I would be very surprised if Constant Motion wasn't included in the bands forthcoming setlist, a superb and rather classic Dream Theater track.
The rhythm section is pulsating vibrant and fits the title nicely. John Petrucci's fierce and crushing riff attack makes you want to pull the air guitar out of nowhere and join in.
The band seems to have thrown about everything into this one, experimenting guitar solo followed by an over the top key solo, intense bass structuring and drum fills in abundance...and never does it seem to loose focus, systematic chaos indeed.

The Dark Eternal Night is Dream Theater being aggressive in a slightly different manner; love that apocalyptic title by the way.
Normally I very very seldom find vocal distortions to work out but here I have come to accept it as a natural ingredient, with lyrics and a groove this mean it kind of makes sense.
The brilliantly oblique and ultra heavy build-up sends an adrenaline rush right in your direction, the melodic chorus line working as a cool contrast.
Here the band evolves musically, bringing fresh ideas to the table and performing them with true passion and with a technical standard that's incomparable.

With Repentance Mike Portnoy reveals section eight and nine in the twelfth part Alcoholics Anonymous suite dealing with his own addiction.
This the fourth track is an almost 11-minute calm and emotional journey evolving around a hypnotic rhythm section with the inclusion of a great warm guitar solo.
The acoustic guitar adds a cool relaxed feeling while the key variations keep things evolving. The idea of inviting different guest musicians to handle small spoken parts turns out rather well.

My least favourite track is Prophets Of War, neat main riff and balanced vocals but it's like the song never really lifts off.

The Ministry Of Lost Souls again underlines that this is a pretty dark shrouded album; the grave atmosphere supports the melancholic lyrics very well. Half way through the track goes into an instrumental section, not that it hasn't got interesting ideas but it somehow looses touch with the songs main body. All in all a nice song that simply becomes a bit too long, ending with it not really ending.

Production is immensely clear and crisp at the same time, so nothing new here and musically it's once again a joy in itself to listen to these guys perform.

The DVD edition contains a pretty entertaining if a bit stretched out documentary about the making of the album; there are treats for the technical minded, background information about the songs and some really funny moments in there too.

And now Dream Theater and Symphony X on tour together... a package normally only found in dreams.

Dream Theater sounds as alive and energetic as ever.

Written by Tommy
Monday, July 9, 2007
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Tommy: 8/10

Members: 7.37/10 - Average of 4 ratings.

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Rating: 9/10
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Rating: 8.5/10
Despite what lots of people say; i belive this is a great album; Fav Tracks: The Min... · Read more ·
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Rating: 6/10
Great Musicians who make Tedious Music at best,if you really want to hear some memorable D... · Read more ·
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Rating: 6/10
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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Stephen (Anonymous) - Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I completely agree with this review. I bought this album as soon as I could and listened to it over and over while reading the lyrics and, like you, I felt like Prophets of War and Ministry of Lost Souls fell a bit short of the rest of the album. The second part of In the Presence of Enemies, I felt, picked up the slack, carried the album, and tied it all together.

Great album. One of my favorites from DT.
Great review also. :D

Comment by ThraX (Member) - Tuesday, July 10, 2007
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Comments: 135
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Dream Theater is just so damn good!....I love every album from them and this is another 10/10 album for me....Genius & music = Dream Theater

Posted by ThraX
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Comment by Austin (Anonymous) - Friday, July 13, 2007
I can't say I agree at all. In my opinion, this has been one of their worst albums in a while. I can't stand Constant Motion and Dark Eternal Night. The only songs that really stand out to me are In The Presence Of Enemies Part 1, Forsaken, Prophets Of War, and Ministry of Lost Souls.

Comment by The Panda (Anonymous) - Monday, July 16, 2007
I actually liked The Ministry of Lost Souls, alot. And whle I enjoyed Repentace, it sort of felt out of place here. But I pretty much agree with everyhting else, this is a good one :D

Comment by Scott (Anonymous) - Sunday, July 22, 2007
Great cd but after a while I found it didn't really hold my attention compared to new releases from SX and Redemption long term appeal lacking. The album has some great moments but to me parts are sounding like everyone else ever since 6DOIT there has been more each album.

Comment by Mike B (Anonymous) - Saturday, July 28, 2007
This is a typical album for Dream Theater these days. It has a couple good songs, a couple that never seem to go anywhere, and a couple that are utter shit.

The real problem here is that the songs that don't go anywhere feature each musician doing whatever in the hell they want for 8-12 minutes. Sure there are individual parts here and there that are good, but that doesn't make a song!

The songs that are complete shit will instantly remind you of a particular style or band, except for the fact that Dream Theater completely fails in their execution.

Constant Motion - I would accuse you of copying Metallica or Testament, but knowing how much you like to copy the new and 'hot' artits, I will accuse you of copying the new Trivium album. (At least Trivium gets thrash worship right!)

Dark Eternal Night - If you take some shitty riffs and song structures from nu metal bands like Korn and play them twice as fast you just have twice as much crap. A good waste of 9 minutes.

Repentance - WOW. Pink Floyd called, they want their boring ass song back!

Buy this album only if you are a hardcore DT fan and want to hear the 3 good songs that they put on this one.

Comment by TyleX (Anonymous) - Monday, July 30, 2007
To Mike B , I actually agree somewhat that it is a typical Dream Theater album , but I don't agree about them copying other peoples music , but yes you can hear influences of other bands , but you can hear that in any band you listen to , it's different when you listen to someone like Trivium who are outright trying to be Metallica clones!.....I love Dream Theater , and while yes this is not there best effort I still give it an 8/10 , the musicianship is just to well done and James LaBrie's vocals are so emotionally packed with vocal control it's simply uncanny!

Comment by Mike B (Anonymous) - Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I agree with you. However, Dream Theater fails because they don't even get the basis of the 'influence' right.

I would give this an 8/10 just because it has In the Presence of Enemies, Forsaken, and Ministry of Lost Souls.

Repentance is a decent tune but is not that memorable.

Everything else is not up to par with what Dream Theater is capable of.

Comment by TyleX (Anonymous) - Tuesday, July 31, 2007
You know what's very strange is that I agree with Mike B and yes we both find that this is not Dream Theater's best album, yet we both give it an 8/10 which goes to show you even though we feel Dream Theater's "Systematic Chaos" is not there best effort it's still "Outstanding" for a sub par Dream Theater album , that just goes to show how truly talented this band is!

Comment by Ian B (Anonymous) - Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Dream Theater are in the position of fans constantly judging them on past exploits. Luckily the group are confident enough to know that they will never please all the people all the time so just do what ever they damn well like. More power to their elbow. If some folk can't see that they constantly push themselves -lyrically and musically then so be it. I for one applaud them. So enough of the whinning - if you don't like the CD - move on. Go find another group to obsess over and pick to pieces. Leave the rest of us to enjoy the materpiece that is Systematic Chaos - 10/10.

Review by Craig (Member) - Friday, January 15, 2010
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Comments: 134
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Rating: 6/10

Posted by Craig
Friday, January 15, 2010

Review by Dark Lord (Member) - Friday, August 21, 2009
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Despite what lots of people say; i belive this is a great album;

Fav Tracks:
The Ministry Of Lost Souls ; Prophets Of War ; Forsaken ; In The Presence Of Enemies Pt. 2

Rating: 8.5/10

Posted by Dark Lord
Friday, August 21, 2009

Review by ProfessorShred (Member) - Thursday, October 1, 2009
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Comments: 16
Ratings: 45
Great Musicians who make Tedious Music at best,if you really want to hear some memorable DT,go back and listen to Images and Words and Awake,after that they really dont have the magic anymore.

Rating: 6/10

Posted by ProfessorShred
Thursday, October 1, 2009

Review by juice307 (Member) - Thursday, January 14, 2010
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Comments: 1
Ratings: 6
Favorite tracks: In The Presence of Enemies, The Ministry Of Lost Souls

Rating: 9/10

Posted by juice307
Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review by Tommy

Released by
Roadrunner - 2007

1. In The Presence Of Enemies Pt. 1
2. Forsaken
3. Constant Motion
4. The Dark Eternal Night
5. Repentance
6. Prophets Of War
7. The Ministry Of Lost Souls
8. In The Presence Of Enemies Pt. 2

Bonus DVD:
1. Chaos In Progress: The Making Of Systematic Chaos
2. 5.1 Surround Mix Of The album

Progressive Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Dream Theater - Official Website

Other articles
Awake - (Tommy)

Band information - (Tommy)

Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A Memory - (Tommy)

A Change of Seasons - (Yoni)

Train of Thought - (Hashman)

Train Of Thought - (Tommy)

An Evening With Dream Theater, K B Hallen, Copenhagen - January 20th, 2004 - (Tommy)

Interview with James LaBrie - (Tajs & Tommy)

Images And Words - (Tommy)

Awake - (Hashman)

Black Clouds And Silver Linings - (Tommy)

Dream Theater with Opeth, KB Hallen, Copenhagen - September 27th, 2009 - (Tommy)

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - (Sandra)

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