Here at A Nice Place, we would like to keep things “nice”. So to keep you from running away by inside drama, I’ve decided to give you, the public, from me. Melomaniac I may not be, but just go with it anyways. What I am though, is a very analytical, and objective person, giving me the ability to review and think what’s right for the best of us. And when I mean the best of us, I mean anyone around listening to GOOD music (not the mainstream crap of today!).
What would I consider good music? Well anything, by first hand, that is catchy, coherent, harmonized and represents an emotion which I can grasp. Then again, making a catchy tune is as easy as making a piece of bread, so anyone, with enough effort, can make it. But in the end, some breads just taste better than others, and to me, most of the time, the more elaborated breads just taste spectacular next to your industrialized, commercialized and processed white bread. And this is why I have fallen into the deep fanaticism of the… Progressive Music genre.
More specifically, due to my surroundings, Progressive Metal. Started around the late 80’s early 90’s, this genre clashes Metallica (which was proto-progressive actually) with Pink Floyd. Bands like Opeth, Queensryche, and the now iconic Dream Theater, make up this genre pretty well. So what better way to start off this series of music exploration, recommendation and review than with the first album I’ve ever purchased, and the best one so far!
Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes from a Memory.
This album, as most of progressive nature, is a concept album, in which we continue the story of the protagonist, “Nicholas”, who has vivid dreams of a girl dying, turning out to be a past life of his. The album itself embarks concepts such as death, love, the search for one’s self and afterlife. Nothing to be taken lightly here, and certainly none of it is. It starts out with Nicholas getting hypnotized to reveal what is bothering him so much. For an entry to an album it’s phenomenal! Especially if you listen to the album on your own for the very first time. It sets you right where you want to, as the play starts (the lyrics and the titles of the album are set out as a play in the case and cover).
This is Dream Theater’s entering it’s golden age. In the era when Mike Portnoy (drummer) was still experimenting with drums (thing which has been missed in the newer launches), John Petrucci (Guitarist) was the only soloist, Jordan Rudess (Keyboards) only played keyboards and had just joined, so he was still timid, John Myung (bassist) is as bad ass as ever, and James LaBrie’s (singer) voice is near the end of it’s young capabilities.
The instrumentation is by far the best they’ve done as an album, with climactic hair-raising guitar solos, very masterpiece riffs, interesting drumming, epic songs, and just-right rhythm changes, sticking to the real Progressive. If you want to hear the Magnum Opus of Dream Theater, listen to this, if you want to hear prog. Metal at it’s best, listen to this. There is everything in here from virtuosity, all spectrum of emotion, secret songs (there is a fit and place passage with songs from other albums), the works. In these albums you’ll find DT’s first archetype song which has a main riffs and solos for each instrument, Fatal Tragedy, the first album to leave a not at the end of a second to be picked up with the following album, and one of their best instrumental songs, The Dance of Eternity, and one of their best finishing songs (set the mood right after a climactic set of songs), Finally Free.
As a review, I say it’s not fair to give music numbers, unless we get into the “Math” ensemble of genres (which is a type of extremely experimental progressive) later on. So for this Album I’ll rate it with a word, and that word is “Magnum Opus” the best award you can get from me ;).
Prog on! And Just Fly,
Here are a few links for you to try them: