Dream Theater “Distance over time” review

Distance over Time by Dream Theater is finally out. The album contains 9 tracks plus one bonus track. The full length is 56:51. At just under 57 minutes long, not including the bonus track, Distance over Time is Dream Theater’s first studio album with a run time under one hour in length since 1992’s Images and Words.

This is the fourteenth Dream Theater’s studio album and the first one recorded with Inside Out Music. The progressive band just ended the collaboration with Roadrunner Records.

For the first time in their career, the band recorded the album together in a barn near New York called Yonderbarn. The purpose was to create something more immediate and different from the previous The Astonishing. The album was very critized and it split the fan into two different sides, but most of them agree that it was a little bit down of late and boring.

At Wit’s End was the first song that had been composed. It took 18 days more for the other tracks. The process is similar to the one that happened with Train of Thought in 2003.

The band decided to return to heavy metal combined with rock and melodic elements.

Refrains are one of the band strong points. The structure of Untethered Angel, the first single that came out, is regular and the refrain is absolutely Dream Theater style. Maybe it lacks of creativity, but I like it. On the other hand, Fall Into The Light refrain is not so explosive. The acoustic part seems to be inspired by Metallica.

I’ve found some similarities between Paralyzed video and The Prototype one by Ethernity. This one doesn’t make me go crazy, the solo is quite simple and practically the refrain doesn’t exist.

I loved the piano section in Barstool Warrior and At Wit’s End, which is also the longest of the album. The first one is very melodic and technical at the same time. They are my favourites so far. The only thing that I don’t get is the unnecessary silence part at the end of At Wit’s End.

If you’re looking for technical and virtuous songs, you should go and listen to Pale Blue Dot and S2N. The first one sounds like the most technical, the kind the band and the fans really love. S2N was written by Petrucci and Myung and we can guess why. The song highligths their habilities. Progressive metal fans have just found their favourite one.

Room 137 is the first song written by the drummer Mike Mangini since he entered the band. The altered voice reminds me of Octavarium, in particular Panic Attack. This must be the way drummers like writing songs.

Every Dream Theater album must include a ballad. In this case, Out of Reach is the romantic one, such as Wither contained in Black Clouds & Silver Linings. James La Brie‘s sweet voice is very fit for those ballads.

The last track is the bonus Viper King. It’s quite short compared to the other ones.

This is the album we needed after “The Astonishing”, a coherent prosecution of their whole career. It’s heavy, like we hoped, and I can already imagine the live version of some songs. In my opinion Distance over Time is an interesting album, but I don’t know if any of the tracks are going to become iconic. Dream Theather know how to do their job, they are excellent musicians and they want to remark their habilities in every album. I enjoyed listening to it, but it didn’t leave me speechless as I thought.

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