Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
Review by Luka on August 13, 2001.
O.K. I bought this album because, one: anyone I talked to about it said that it was one of the best albums Dream Theater has ever put out (wow! I was skeptical!) And two: I really love this band and they’re probably the most talented group of guys in heavy metal history! Mike Portnoy is hailed as a master of drumming technicality, John Petrucci’s outrageous solos speak for themselves, and Kevin Moore (who is no longer in the band) was a master composer and keyboard player.
'Metropolis-Part I' was a song on their ‘92 release "Images and Words", their best album ever, in my opinion. That song had an interesting storyline and this album is the continuation, or rather the full version. The songs here are set up in a very unique way. There are 12 tracks divided into 9 "scenes". It is a concept album like no other that follows a fictional storyline about a girl (Victoria) that was murdered by "The Miracle" (Edward Baynes), who was jealous of his brother, "The Sleeper" (Julian Baynes). It’s a complex and elaborate story that takes time to soak in and understand. It goes a long way in exploring the far regions of the human psyche and extreme emotions, from hate and anger to sorrow and acceptance. All in all, for the matter of the lyrics and story and meaning, they’ve done a top-notch job. 10/10.
Now the most important aspect of an album, at least in my book, is the music, and here Dream Theater just bomb! I don’t know what happened, but they just seemed to have lost their edge after the album "Awake". I had hoped this CD would be their salvation from the previous catastrophe of "Falling Into Infinity" but I was deeply mistaken. The only thing they’re falling into is mediocrity and, for a band with this amount of talent and magnitude, it’s just a tragedy! They had a killer line-up from ‘92 to ’94, for two albums, but it seems that they just can’t do it without Kevin Moore on the keys.
The music lacks energy, lacks incentive and inspiration. I love long, progressive songs (that’s why I worship DT’s earlier albums) but this CD was downright boring! The only song that reaches the excellent standards they had made in the past is 'Home', with its complex structure and excellent, long solo. The most mediocre track is 'The Spirit Carries On', absolute crap, the worst lyrics I’ve ever had to listen to. The rest range from acceptable to boring to very complex to outright weird and uncharacteristic to the rest of the album. It’s a 77 minute long opus and it’s harder to sit through than a golf game. It official, all the old melodic masters have lost it, Maiden, Priest, Metallica, Megadeth, and now, sadly Dream Theater.
Bottom Line: Excellent lyrics and concept, with shabby music to match.
Rating: 6 out of 10