Systematic Chaos – Dream Theatre

Systematic Chaos is the 9th studio album from New York based progressive metal giants, Dream Theater. Released on June 4, 2007 in the United Kingdom and June 5, 2007 in the United States, this album was the band’s first release through Roadrunner Records. The album peaked in the top twenty in eight countries’ sales charts; in addition, the album peaked at the nineteenth position on the Billboard 200, making it the highest peaking Dream Theater album in the United States as of 2008. The lyrics of the album were written about fictional, political, and personal topics, respectively. Telling stories throughout each song, the album starts with the epic 25 minute In The Presence of Enemies. The song is split into two parts : “Prelude” & “Resurrection”.

Next comes the first single with the ultra-cool video, set in a science fiction future, Forsaken. It’s probably one of the best Dream Theater song of all time and it gets better with each listen. Like most titles called ‘Forsaken’, the song is about being visited by vampires. The song tells the story of a man whose blood is being sucked by a vampiress and in his dreams he is being shown beautiful things.

Constant Motion is about drummer Mike Portnoy, who wrote the song, and his obsessive compulsive disorder. Portnoy has struggled throughout the years and symbolizes his constant roles & responsibilities. With its heavy & driving tempo, the band sounds like an early Metallica. The Dark Eternal Night is a about a long dead Pharaoh who comes back as a monster and haunts a town. Repentance is about battling with alcoholic & other substance abuse and going through the various steps in Alcoholics Anonymous programs. The song features friends and fellow musicians Mikael Åkerfeldt, Jon Anderson, David Ellefson, Daniel Gildenlöw, Steve Hogarth, Chris Jericho, Neal Morse, Joe Satriani, Corey Taylor, Steve Vai, and Steven Wilson to record spoken apologies, regrets, and sorrows of their own.

Prophets of War was written by James LaBrie, who based the lyrics loosely on Joseph C. Wilson’s book The Politics of Truth. The lyrics talk about possible ulterior motives behind the Iraq War, while remaining “middle of the road”. The Ministry of Lost Souls is 15 mins long & tells of a person who dies in the process of saving another person from drowning. However, the person who is saved is filled with “regret and sorrow” until he is able to re-unite with his rescuer.

The cd closes with In The Presence of Enemies: Part 2. The songs are lengthy & heavier than most DT material however, I feel that they have upped their already awesome musical talents with this monster cd. Nothing can possibly beat Awake but this one come mighty close.

Enjoy the video for Forsaken.

All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away

Strangely enough, for a song that still remains popular today with more than 3,000 recorded cover versions, the first hitting the United Kingdom top 10 three months after the release of Help! & having (BMI) assert that it was performed over seven million times in the 20th century alone & was voted the best song of the 20th century in a 1999 BBC Radio 2 poll of music experts and listeners – Yesterday was never a UK#1!

But just like you, I love this song.