THE ALBUM OF THE DAY IS… DREAM THEATER – SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE [DISC 2]
People so often get caught up in the mind-blowing masterpiece — hell, career-piece — that is Dream Theater’s 1999 release Scenes From a Memory, that the band’s next release, the double-disc Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, often gets overlooked. Disc 1 is fantastic Dream Theater fare, but its Disc 2 that is truly special, another conceptual piece that never got its due because of its predecessor. And it’s this disc, a couple of tracks of which were played over the PA at last night’s Avenged Sevenfold show in NYC, that has inspired me to bring back the long dormant Album of the Day column.
Disc 2 of Six Degrees isn’t a conceptual album in that it follows one story, but rather tells the individual stories of many, troubled folks linked by their struggles with the banalities of daily life. In this respect Disc 2 is a whole lot like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, but the music runs the gamut from the sweet, full-on orchestrations of “I. Overture” to Dream-Theater-at-their-heaviest “III. War Inside My Head” to the progged-out “IV. The Test That Stumped Them All” to the beautiful, incredibly well-arranged (what else would you expect?) “VI. Solitary Shell,” the latter of which inspired me to write this post last night. And it wouldn’t be conceptual if musical themes didn’t come back around also — “VII. About to Crash (Reprise)” brings back the original of the same namesake from the beginning of the album, just as “VIII. Losing Time – Grand Finale” does to the orchestral overture, bringing things full circle.
While Scenes From a Memory may have stolen the show in the minds of most DT fans, SDOIT (especially Disc 2) should absolutely be mentioned in the same breath.