DREAM THEATER – Awake [Remastered Ltd Release SHM-CD] Out Of Print
After the excellent new DREAM THEATER album featured here, one of you requested the band’s albums released in Japan on high quality SHM-CD. Let’s go now with the killer “Awake [Remastered Ltd Release SHM-CD]”, now out of print.
Following the magnificent “Images And Words”, their 1992’s highly acclaimed effort, and their first live album 1993’s “Live At The Marquee”, progressive New York favorites Dream Theater returned in 1994 with this album entitled “Awake”. This record is another important brick in the wall of progressive metal history, and cemented DT fame.
‘Awake’ is called the ‘dark album’ from Dream Theater, cause of the depressive emotion you have all along in the songs. But that’s not a bad thing at all. Even if some people believes that this release is not progressive enough but too much focused on the heavy, rocking sound.
After the success of Images and Words on the prog-metal scene, Dream Theater do as they want, and make something really different from their previous album. This is just the reflection of a progression through the music.
There are songs that are heavier and other that are more soft, just like on an usual DT release. Tracks like ‘6:00’, ‘Caught In A Web’, ‘The Mirror’, ‘Lie’ represent more the heavy section of the release. These last songs are really great with a terrific guitar work and an awesome deal of bass & drums along with an atmospheric keyboard work that sometimes deliver a solo or two. LaBrie sings with energy and conviction.
All is balanced by more soft, melodic groggy pieces like ‘Innoncence Faded’, ‘The Silent Man’ (that is part of the ‘A Mind Behind Itself’), the AORish ‘Lifting Shadows Off a Dream’ and ‘Scarred’. These tracks are all great showcasing a lot of emotion in the lyrics and in the music.
And of course, there’s the killer three-part suite ‘A Mind Beside Itself’ that shines as the most impressive gem in this album – its three successive sections really operate as separate tracks with their own respective artistic structures, yet they also manage to provide an amazing unitary whole.
The pyrotechnical instrumental ‘Erotomania’ is a real disturbing musical journey thorugh an exciting diversity of motifs, which include appropriate anticipations of some lines from the following two sections.
‘Voices’ is a very inspired ode to the destructive drive of mental-emotional chaos, powerful without getting too speedy most of the time; ultimately, the last section ‘The Silent Man’ turns out to be a gentle, lyrical acoustic ballad that serves as a final serene relief.
Closer ‘Space-Dye Vest’ is an awesome ambient-oriented ballad penned by Moore, in this way anticipating the Chroma Key stuff to some degree. Though it’s not built upon a frantic tempo, its lyrics and mood are still emotionally violent: a brilliant ending for a brilliant album.
Yet another masterpiece by Dream Theater, ‘Awake’ makes an impressive follow-up to the amazing ‘Images & Words’, mostly by showing off a different, more metallic approach to their signature prog metal sound.
Generally speaking, the ‘Awake’ repertoire is fiercer and fierier than its predecessor’s: the sound is more aggressive, the performances are penetrated by a harder edge, a big deal of the guitar riffs and solos are quite somber, at times even openly belligerent.
The remastered sound shines on this stupendous SHM-CD release
Warner Music Japan ～ 【ＬＴＤ ＳＨＭ－ＣＤ ／ WPCR-13485 】
Ｄ Ｒ Ｅ Ａ Ｍ Ｔ Ｈ Ｅ Ａ Ｔ Ｅ Ｒ 「ＲＥＩＳＳＵＥ ＳＥＲＩＥＳ 」
01 – 6:00
02 – Caught In A Web
03 – Innocence Faded
04 – A Mind Beside Itself – I – Erotomania
05 – A Mind Beside Itself – II – Voices
06 – A Mind Beside Itself – III – The Silent Man
07 – The Mirror
08 – Lie
09 – Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
10 – Scarred
11 – Space-Dye Vest
James LaBrie – lead vocals
John Petrucci – guitar, backing vocals
Kevin Moore – keyboards, co-lead vocals on “Space-Dye Vest”
John Myung – bass
Mike Portnoy – drums, percussion, backing vocals on “The Mirror”
Out Of Print