I can’t believe no one has talked about this yet, and why not, this an amazing album. Sure it only has six tracks, but most of them are longer than ten minutes so it’s over an hour long. The track list is pretty freaking amazing to just listen. Anyways, on to the track list.
Track list: 1 A Nightmare To Remember, written by John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy, it is based off of a traumatizing event that Portnoy had to go through and survived, what a miracle. Though it follows from the classic car crash cliche which is kind of annoying. Then, Portnoy and his family went to trauma centers and Portnoy amnesia, but the song is 15 minutes long but brilliantly written and a favorite of mine. 2 Rite Of Passage, taking a page out of Iron Maiden’s The Nomad, this has sort of an desert vibe to it, but that makes it cooler.
Labrie’s vocal work on this is great and Portnoy’s drums are phenomenal and Petrucci, well same as everyone else great and phenomenal. And this gets a music video. The chorus is really catchy. “A Right Of Passage” goes Labrie at the end of every line and that alone cements it high on my favorites. 3 Wither, the shortest here and also one of the best. This I guess has do with the loss of a loved one or a break up, I can’t tell actually but it’s something along the lines. 4 The Shattered Fortress, the last of the 12-step-suite songs, because this is the last album Portnoy is in anyways. Following parts 10, 11, and 12, this a great ending to the 12-step songs. Before this was, The Glass Prison- Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, This Dying Soul- Train Of Thought, The Root Of All Evil- Octavarium, and Repentance- Systematic Chaos. This also ends off with a part of the previous songs in the list. Great song, and specifically for Portnoy. 5 The Best Of Times, this track starts out with piano chords, “giving you a taste of whats to come” but it does amp up but doesn’t really up the heaviness, but hey, Dream Theater has gotten by with non heavy songs. Their first single Pull Me Under is just that. The song is about the pleasures of childhood and how you would wish to be a kid again after the stress that you have today. I don’t care what you listen to, Listen to this song if you want to lower your stress, at worse. It has for me on many occasions, and it should for you. 6, The Count Of Tuscany, this, while my least favorite epic, is pretty creative. Being 19 minutes long, has alot going for it and it even sends people to orbit, well with music of course. But after a close encounter back to earth, we get the Grand Finale, and yes it is, indeed, grand. This would be the only song to drop the score down. But otherwise it’s perfect. Check it out if your a Prog fan or Dream Theater Fan, you will love it.