Dream Theater ‘Distance Over Time’ Album Review

Dream Theater ‘Distance Over Time’ Album Review By Adam McCann

InsideOut Music/2019/Progressive Metal

Dream Theater needed a boost, following their ambiguously received Dystopian concept album ‘The Astonishing’. This album divided not only fans of progressive metal, but also fans of Dream Theater; the band themselves are no strangers to large overblown concepts, but with their previous album, Dream Theater had reached a plateau, this concept was too big and cumbersome and therefore the beady eye of expectation cast its gaze over the latest Dream Theater release, the mathematically named ‘Distance Over Time’.

Fortunately for ‘Distance Over Time’, there is no need to approach this album with any sense of trepidation, ‘Distance Over Time’ is an album which focuses entirely one songs at hand, there are no musical interludes or extended passages that are littered with detritus. Instead, the focus of ‘Distance Over Time’ is concise and to the point, Petrucci is back on top of his writing game and whilst ‘Distance Over Time’ may not be as good 2013’s eponymous album, it is certainly better than ‘A Dramatic Turn Of Events’ or ‘Systematic Chaos’. This is almost entirely down to Dream Theater finding their mojo again, Petrucci, Myung, Ruddess and Mangini are firing on all cylinders to produce an album which sleek and streamlined, yet subliminally complex and hugely accessible and whilst on the previous album, where James LaBrie’s vocals felt restricted and constrained, ‘Distance Over Time’ allows LaBrie to demonstrate just how much vocal versatility this man possesses, especially during ‘Untethered Angel’, ‘Room 137’ ‘Paralyzed’ and the searching ‘Barstool Warrior’. Yet, it is the track ‘S2N’ where this album reaches its pinnacle with a stop/start ‘By-Tor & The Snow Dog’ and ‘Cygnus X-1’ textbook riff before effortlessly sliding into a sublime Pantera style groove that seals this as some of Dream Theater’s best work since Mike Portnoy left the band.

‘Distance Over Time’ is a welcome return to form for the masters of progressive metal. This album is thoroughly enjoyable, it is time to finally forget ‘The Astonishing’ and embrace this fantastic progressive metal album.

Rating : 91/100

MHF Magazine/Adam McCann