Oh fuck, I forgot I was doing Dream Theater. When was the last review? April 16? Oh. Well, let's start this review of what a very mid-album looks like. It would be a self-titled album from a well-known prog metal band, it would have their logo on it, and a dramatic looking setting with some sort of planet being shown. Oh dammit! Yeah, this album is very mid. I don't hate it but I don't like it. "False Awakening Suite" is an okay opener and has cool moments, I wish it wasn't too short. "The Enemy Inside" is up next and the music sounds extremely stock. I had a problem like this on their previous album, but it's really apparent here. I mean I like the lyrics, but I wish the music was better. "The Looking Glass" is up next and it's fine. I mean, it's just fine. "Enigma Machine" is an instrumental track and it's definitely my least favorite song out of all them. It all boils down to the music, it feels so generic! I don't even know why that even is! Is it the production, the simple nature I feel, or is it the actual playing itself?! This album feels very straightforward as I feel like the band was like "Oh let's make some long songs and maybe call it a day". I get the feeling they didn't want to make the album like they're rushing through it. I mean it's not all bad! I like "The Bigger Picture" and "Surrender To Reason". Man, I just realized despite what album you're listening to, the tracks written by John Myung are always highlights. The album has other moments I don't care for like "Behind The Veil" and "Along For The Ride" which are meh. Thank god the album ends with an absolute banger being "Illumination Theory". It feels the most like classic Dream Theater on this track. I love the transitions from the hard chugging guitars to the lush and very ambient strings, it gives the song more personality. I can't describe how beautiful this song is, like all 22 minutes of it. Also, is bad when the "battle" between Rudes and Petrucci and the end of "Illumination Theory" felt more musically real than the rest of the album? Yeah, it probably is.
Overall, it's fine. My biggest problem about this album is how lifeless and simple this album feels. The production really hinders what this album could be if it sounded like Dream Theater gave a shit. Unless you're a big fan of the band, skip it. God that album was simple, I really hope the next album will be a bit more complex than this album.
Favorite Songs: Illmunation Theory, Surrender To Reason, The Bigger Picture
Least Favorite Songs: Enigma Machine, The Looking Glass, Behind The Veil