Dream Theater have entered the studio to begin recording their newest album, which I can only assume will be out this year. I’m going to go right ahead and speculate this it’ll be their best release of the 2000’s right next to Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.
Think about the progression of albums in tandem with their likability since then; 2003’s Train of Thought and 2005’s Octavarium were where it got a little hairy for me, and then it all went straight to hell with 2007’s Systematic Chaos and 2009’s Black Clouds and Silver Linings. Both of those records seemed to have a very disproportionate ratio of good riffs and ideas to filler and overall boring crap. I occasionally go back to each of them and try to blame myself for not liking them. “Maybe you just listened to them at a crappy time,” or “maybe you’re just being an ass,” I’ll tell myself like someone trying to convince themselves that their ex wasn’t so bad and they should give it another shot. Needless to say it never really works out. Then there was 2011’s A Dramatic Turn of Events, which is a few steps up from the aforementioned records. Just going off the single ‘On The Backs of Angels‘ before it came out, I was pumped. It’s a coherent record with a lot of really solid moments that really doesn’t rely on filler and just feels like the band were trying to touch on their 1990’s selves once more. Could this be indicative of where they’re going? Dream Theater haven’t really touched on that classic Scenes From A Memory progressive rock sound now in almost 14 years, with the closest we’ve gotten being A Dramatic Turn of Events.
Speaking of touching on the Scenes From A Memory-type sound, keep in mind that A Dramatic Turn of Events has been the first time since Scenes that bassist John Myung has picked up the pen to write lyrics for any song. I realize that isn’t much to go on, but in the realm of Dream Theater fandom that’s a pretty big deal.
So now here we are is 2013. Considering my mini-theory, there’s one more thing to add- Mike Mangini’s capabilities as a fan and a writer. This will be the record Dream Theater puts out that’s been written with Mangini all the way through, and he’s no stranger to their entire catalogue (being a self-proclaimed “huge Dream Theater fan” and all). So, the band touched on their older sound with the record before and now they’ve got a fan in the studio with them who’s perfectly capable of giving them the extra push into that territory.
Are we in for a classic?