Review of the Album "Awake" by Progressive Metal Band Dream Theater
The Album Cover for "Awake"
Why is Awake Such a Famous Album?
Awake is the 3rd album released by the progressive metal band Dream Theater and they have awakened enough to create an even better album than 1992’s Images and Words. The album has I would say 4 very famous songs known to most fans of this band. They are Lie, Erotomania, The Silent Man, and Lifting Shadows Off a Dream.
The Song 6:00 has James Labrie's Canadian Accent
At first listen with a song like 6:00, most of us would probably be skeptical of the claim that Awake is better than Images and Words. I can hear the way that James Labrie says the word outside to show his Canadian accent. It is a minor detail but it is one of those things about the band.
Erotomania is One of the First Outstanding Songs of the Album "Awake"
Caught in a Web is a song about someone that is caught in a web of misconception and they are detached from the real world as they continue to believe the lies that are in their head. Erotomania is the song where you will hear the skill of John Petrucci. Kevin Moore adds the keyboard parts and this would be the last album that he would be a band member. In the middle of the song, there is a part that sounds somewhat like early Annihilator and Lacuna Coil. At the first few listens of this song, some of you may think that this is just some ordinary instrumental song. It really takes lots of patience and a deep appreciation for Dream Theater to know how musically skilled these guys are.
The Songs Voices and The Silent Man
Speaking of Lacuna Coil there is a beginning atmospheric part in the song “Voices” that sounds like something that would be the foundation for their early years. One of the parts of the song says that only love is worth having and it is only love that matters. However, it is VERY difficult to love everyone on equal terms. The Silent Man is an acoustic song that addresses the negative effects of silence, of not speaking up and telling others what is on your mind. When someone uses reason and analytical skills to get their point across the others in the group will be awake and listen.
The Songs The Mirror and Lie
Lyrical Themes of The Mirror Which is a Very Heavy Song
The Mirror and Lie are two of the heaviest songs in this album. The Mirror is about someone who realizes and is aware that there is temptation in the world wherever they go and they know that they will need to use whatever self-control they can get. The picking in this song is so heavy that some of us may wonder whether Dream Theater turned into a thrash metal band. However, what follows is a symphonic part that we would hear in later Castlevania video games particularly Symphony of the Night. The main riff resumes. However they are experiencing the problem of not being able to stay true to themselves and they are spending time trying to please others when they should be focusing on staying true to themselves and focusing on pleasing themselves.
Images and Words Vs. Awake
Which one of these two Dream Theater albums is best?
What is the Song Lie About?
The song Lie is about not being able to trust someone either because you don’t know who they are or it may be because they are doing things that make you not trust them. They may have wanted something from you but you are not able to have them be in your social circle. Sometimes when your soul feels destroyed, you feel like accepting someone to fill a certain void.
Lifting Shadows Off a Dream May be the Best and Most Inspiring Song in the Album
Lifting Shadows Off a Dream at least metaphorically is about an angel that has the power to turn a drop of water into an ocean. How does she do this? She can do this as long as the person that is suffering is able to express himself by pouring his soul and emotions into the water thus creating the dream that was once broken. The angel is then able to carry him to a better place as the winds die down. The dream that was once broken can be revived through the healing power of an angel. The song does not specifically mention that the “she” is an angel but we can infer that it is an angel doing the healing work.
The Song Scarred is Good as Well
Scarred is a song that has the progressive style riffing that most fans would be familiar with. The song is protesting against the crime of rape and brings awareness to what would happen if the world was filled with fear. It is said that belief has the power to save us in the hardest of times. When we learn from this misery or these hard times, we are able to look back at dissent and be content with how far we have come.
Final Thoughts About the Album Awake
The last song called Space-Dye Vest starts out with some darn good piano play as the atmosphere builds up and these guys know how to end a complex but enjoyable album. Sometimes when we seek love it can feel like we are bleeding. When there is a breakup, the feelings of anger and rage are very common. The song also suggests that some people are so hurt by love that they feel that they can never be open again. The band has chosen to end a very good album by using a classically influenced song and it makes me feel like I can go to bed feeling that much better. Overall, Awake is a step up from Images and Words and it shows that Dream Theater can do regular ballads, love ballads, instrumentals, and great songs such as The Mirror.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian