Dream Theater have always been my second favourite prog metal band; Rush are my absolute number one. However, when I heard that Mike Portnoy had left the band I was devastated. I really couldn't believe that this was true. How could this band go on without one of the best rock drummers in the world? While Mike was licking his wounds, the band was searching for a new drummer and eventually they presented Mike Mangini as the new man behind the drum kit. I already saw the band in this new formation on Bospop (see review) and I wasn't impressed.
Now, here is the new album called A Dramatic Turn Of Events. Although it's not their best one, I have to say that most of the songs are quite all right. I would rank the album in the same order as their previous CD Black Clouds And Silver Linings. The new album is probably one of their most traditional albums ever as the music is more song-oriented and very melodic progressive rock. The album starts rather well with On The Backs Of Angels and Build Me Up, Break Me Down, two great melodious progressive rock songs with lots of excellent guitar and keyboard parts. Then the band starts to repeat itself in songs like Lost Not Forgotten and Far From Heaven. Being a fan since their debut album Images And Word (1992) I can't help noticing that I had certain déjà vu moments during these songs. Furthermore I think that three ballads on one album are perhaps too much and therefore the music may be a bit too cheesy and melodic. My personal favourite songs are Bridges In The Sky, wonderfully sung by James LaBrie, and Outcry, a very diverse, typical DT-song.
Well, what about the new drummer? I think Mike Mangini's drumming is rather bland; it misses the power Portnoy had. Therefore I would advise DT to ask Mike Portnoy to return since Mike's leaving the band undoubtedly turned out to be a dramatic turn of an event...
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013