Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons
EastWest America
Progressive Metal
5 songs (57:33)
Release year: 1995
Dream Theater
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Squashed between Awake and Falling Into Infinity in the Dream Theater discography is the one and only non-full length/live album by them that you need to bother with. The band pumped out lots of singles and best-ofs and that throughout their career, but you can safely ignore all but this, a single long song with a bunch of covers tacked on that’s worth hunting down. If you count yourself a fan of the band and haven’t got this, then you’re not a fan of the band, it’s as simple as that. Kicking off with the title song, a twenty-three minute long epic split into seven parts but not seven tracks, it’s not the band’s longest song but it is their best long song, written way back before even Images And Words. As with all songs this length, you really have to be a true proghead to appreciate it, yet give it patience and time and it’s more than worth the effort, containing some brilliant solos from all. The one complaint I’ve ever heard relates to Mike Portnoy’s nicely organic drum sound, which can take a little getting used to if you’ve only heard Metal albums released after 2005, but is flawless to the rest of us.

I’m not going to go through the whole piece in detail, but it’s worth taking a moment to consider. Dream Theater’s sound as a whole has changed much less than some would have you think, barring the odd Muse rip-off here and there, and yet this is audibly closer to Images And Words than Black Clouds & Silver Linings. James LaBrie can hit those high notes easily, for one, and Derek Sherinian’s keyboard-bashing is less showy than Jordan Rudess’ later era – yet otherwise, all is well, Petrucci’s guitar skills as much on fire as ever, capably backed by Myung and, of course, Mike ‘True Heir To Neil Peart’ Portnoy, who is as excellent as ever. There are all sorts of opportunities for everyone to show off, yet the best moment for me is towards the end, in The Inevitable Summer part where LaBrie suddenly loses it and goes into screechy Power Metal mode: I’m sick of all you hypocrites holding me at bay! It’s a powerful moment, and from then until the end of the song I’m always entranced, one perfect solo after another until the song comes to an end.

The rest of the album is made up of live covers performed by the band, and they’re a mixed bag, although I love all of them equally. However strange Dream Theater covering Elton John may look in print, the results are quite fantastic, the first being a medley of Funeral For A Friend and Love Lies Bleeding. Building up wonderfully, the band clearly have fun and LaBrie does the songs proud, sounding uncommonly fantastic for a live recording of his voice, making the ten-minute running time simply fly by. Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers follows, the band getting much heavier and groovier and LaBrie going all Gillan on us, before Led Zeppelin make an appearance with a medley of The Rover, Achilles Last Stand and The Song Remains The Same. LaBrie impressively does a great Robert Plant, his voice naturally shooting up and staying there, and the band prove themselves capable of diversity as they rock out. Finally, we have The Big Medley, in which Dream Theater gather up parts of songs by Pink Floyd, Kansas, Queen, Journey, Dixie Dregs, and Genesis to produce a ten minute-long masterwork. The Bohemian Rhapsody bit is generally the most popular, but each track is a blast, and the EP as a whole is a must-have for fans of Dream Theater.

Killing Songs :
All, especially the title track
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Dream Theater that we have reviewed:
Dream Theater - A View From the Top of the World reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Dream Theater - Distance Over Time reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Dream Theater - Dream Theater reviewed by Rob and quoted 79 / 100
Dream Theater - Live At Budokan reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events reviewed by Crash and quoted 73 / 100
To see all 19 reviews click here
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