Scenes From A Memory Review

artist: dream theater date: 12/19/2011 category: compact discs
dream theater: Scenes From A Memory
Released: Oct 26, 1999
Genre: Rock
Styles: Heavy Metal, Neo-Prog
Number Of Tracks: 11
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Overall rating:
 9.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.4 
 Users rating:
 9.9 
 Votes:
 168 
reviews (12) 37 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: petrucci_owns86, on december 03, 2007
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: I consider this to be Dream Theater's high point so far. This album is an incredible example of progressive metal. There is a very prominent storyline to this concept album, which comes in at about an hour and seventeen minutes. There are some painstakingly heavy songs, like "Beyond This Life" and "Home", but then there are some melodic ballads, such as "Through Her Eyes" and "The Spirit Carries On". This and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence are tied as my favorite DT albums. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics tell a story, and are overall extremely well written. James LaBrie is totally playing his "A" game on this album. The whole explanation for the story is here. 01. Scene One: Regression - an interesting way to start this album, contains acoustic guitar and vocals only. Segues into "Overture 1928". 02. Scene Two, Part I: Overture 1928 - what an instrumental! Great opening riff, and some unbelievable solos by John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess. 03. Scene Two, Part Ii: Strange Deja Vu - this song is actually surprisingly catchy, but in a good way. 04. Scene Three, Part I: Through My Words - a fairly light, very short song, segues into "Fatal Tragedy". 05. Scene Three, Part Ii: Fatal Tragedy - this song gives me goosebumps. It's that good. 06. Scene Four: Beyond This Life - one of the more important scenes in the story. Great instrumentation, awesome soloing section. 07. Scene Five: Through Her Eyes - this song was this close to bringing me to tears the first time I heard it. One of DT's best ballads to date. 08. Scene Six: Home - my favorite song on this album. What a badass sounding riff once the distortion kicks in! This is another important scene in the story. Amazing solos by John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess. 09. Scene Seven, Part I: The Dance Of Eternity - the better of the two instrumentals on the album. It's also a lot longer than the other one. Great solos once again. 10. Scene Seven, Part Ii: One Last Time - this song is relatively short, but it's still really good. 11. Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On - another tear-jerking ballad. John Petrucci does an awe-inspiring solo on this one. 12. Scene Nine: Finally Free - this scene closes the album with a twist, you'll have to read the explanation above to understand it. This song has a weird structure to it, but it's great nonetheless. Segues into "The Glass Prison" from the following album, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. // 10

Overall Impression: This is Dream Theater's magnum opus. In other words, it's their best, and it's my favorite along with Six Degrees. It's a concept album, and the story is divided up into different scenes. Every scene is classic, even the first one. There is nothing to hate about this album. If someone stole this album, I would buy it again in the blink of an eye. This is the only Dream Theater studio album I've given a perfect 10, and I've reviewed all of them. Scenes totally deserves this score. It's incredible to think that a band could make something this good, and throw an intriguing story on top of it. If you're new to Dream Theater, starting here would be a good idea. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: TheLlamaMan, on april 10, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Scenes From A Memory is a concept album by the progressive metal band Dream Theater. The album has a perfect blend of their harder, more intense songs and their softer ones, and play both of the types with great skill. Petrucci's guitar solos and Rudess' (this is the first album featuring Jordan Rudess) keyboard solos are incredibly skilled and powerful, and you get a real sense of feeling in the playing. In some songs, especially the harder ones, it seems like the parts aren't as balanced as they could be, and makes listening for long periods of time difficult. The album itself tells the story of a man named Nicholas and his past life, told throughout the lyrics and moods of the songs. The songs on the album all fit perfectly together, and although each song is distinctly different from the rest, you get the feeling that it's all part of a bigger picture. The songs seem to form one large masterpiece rather than several smaller ones. All in all, this is one of Dream Theater's most masterful and epic albums to date. It deserves only the highest levels of praise. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on the album tell the story of Nicholas' past life, and every song in some way ties into the story. The lyrics, especially in some of the softer songs like "Through Her Eyes" and "The Spirit Carries On", show real depth and feeling. Although James LaBrie really puts his soul into singing some of the songs, I can't help but feel his voice in some of them feels forced and doesn't seem to suit the overall mood of the piece. Overall though, the lyrics and singing are very good, and help make the album the masterpiece that it is. // 9

Overall Impression: After listening to the album, you could almost listen to it again. I find there are several times where I am looping a track and listening to it several times, or when I can't get a song out of my head. Like usual, Dream Theater has managed to create a near-perfect album that is attractive to the ear, even though the music itself is overly complicated and required great skill to play. The guitar and keyboard solos are epic, and really leave you feeling like you've heard some of the best players out there. Although the vocals are shaky at times, the singer pulls through and makes the band shine. If you are a fan of any form of progressive rock or metal, or liked any other Dream Theater work, check out or purchase this album, you won't regret it. // 10

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overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 25, 2006
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This dream theater album is in my opinion the best sounding CD. It's more progressive, and experimental. Also, they've put a lot of different styles into the songs on it, like the ballads "The Spirit Carries On", "One Last Time", and "Through Her Eyes". Then there's the heavy songs, "Beyond This Life", and "Home", which, by the way are my two favourites. So if you're into variosity (forgive my spelling), I'd definately recommend this album. // 10

Lyrics: This is the most important and impressive part of the CD, if you ask me. The lyrics tells the listener a very interresting story involving ghosts, murders, hypnotists, and jealousy, and LaBrie does a very good job not giving away too much so the listener has to figure it out by themselves with the clues they are given throughout the album. Also, the vocal range is very impressive. I'd almost say he's on level with Freddie Mercury on this album. // 10

Overall Impression: I find this album, as I've stated above, to be the best they've ever written. The most impressive songs would be "Beyond This Life", "Dance Of Eternity", "Home" and "Fatal Tragedy". I love the way the songs all in some way fit together, and the album definately sounds better if you listen to it as a whole. I can't really say I hate anything about, and if it were stolen I'd beat the person who took it down and rub it in his nose that he didn't have it and I did. // 10

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overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: Shotgunmerc, on december 19, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Anyone remember the 90s? Awesome cartoons, even better music. Dream Theater's "Scenes From A Memory" is probably my favorite album to come out of the 90's. Any genre of music. Which, considering all the different areas covered on this album, is quite a feat. On one hand, you have your typical Dream Theater awesome proggyness ("Overture", "Fatal Tragedy", "Dance Of Eternity"), on another hand you have their metal side ("Beyond This Life", "Home"), and on ANOTHER hand you have gospel-like songs ("Through My Words", "Through Her Eyes", "The Spirit Carries On"). Dream Theater is probably the only band with the musicianship to pull all of that off in just 70 minutes, and to do it so that they all flow together flawlessly? Sign me up. This album was the first recorded with the wizard himself, Jordan Rudess. Where past keyboard players have fit Dream Theater's overall sound really well, Rudess's playing is more of a direct compliment to Petrucci's absurd playing, and some of their exchanges are too awesome to put into words ("Beyond This Life" has an awesome instrumental section). During this album, LaBrie was still recovering from a voice box injury he suffered a few months back, but you wouldn't know it from listening. Whether its the unusual pitch on "Beyond This Life", his soulful tone on "The Spirit Carries On", or his lovingly pure notes on "Through Her Eyes", his singing fits this album amazingly well. I've long since stopped trying to comprehend Portnoy's playing on this album. "The Dance Of Eternity" has about as many time signature changes as I have made in 8 years of playing violin, and yet Portnoy never falters. Myung, the ever mysterious member of the group, really shines on a number of tracks, whether it's his solo in "Dance Of Eternity" or matching Petrucci's riffs on songs like "Fatal Tragedy", his playing is as always amazing and incredibly underrated. This is by far and away one of my favorite albums all time and it is absolutely worth picking up. // 10

Lyrics: This album is a concept album, and is a sequel of sorts to their song "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper" off of their 2nd album, "Images And Words". This album, clocking in at roughly 75 minutes, is the first of four albums in Dream Theater's "Meta-Album" (which spans from this album all the way through "Octavarium"). It tells the story of a man named Nicholas, who's dreams are being haunted by a mysterious woman, of whom he has a strange attraction. He goes on to find out that he IS the woman, or rather, that he WAS the woman in a past life. I won't spoil the rest of it for you, because I have to say it is a pretty good story, but I will say that the songwriting on this album is PHENOMENAL. I'm just wondering when the movie of this comes out. Like I said, the story itself is pretty damn good, and it's one of those stories that takes more than one run-through to really fully pick up. The music flows together really well, both lyrically and stylistically, and the boys in DT did a great job writing this. The lyrics really fit the mood of the music, whether its mysterious ("Fatal Tragedy"), aggressive ("Home"), or loving ("Through Her Eyes"). LaBrie does an excellent job on his delivery. Never too shrill or too soft. Although I think his best singing is on the "Octavarium" album, this is not something to overlook. There are two instrumentals on this album: "Overture 1928", and "The Dance Of Eternity". "Overture 1928 musically goes over all of the songs on the album, and gives you a taste of what is to come. Pretty well written and has some awesome solos from Rudess. "The Dance Of Eternity" comes in on the 2nd half of the album, and while I won't give away what it means to the story, I will say that the song by itself is quite diverse. Listen for Rudess's solo somewhere between the 2 and 3 minute marks if you want to see what I mean. Every member of the band has a solo at some point on this song. Overall it is well written and I have no major complaints. // 10

Overall Impression: Why are you still reading this? Go out and get the album already! Seriously though. This album is quite possibly the best written album of all time. There's something that everyone can appreciate on this album, whether you are a casual music fan, a budding musician/songwriter, or a fan of a good story. This is absolutely something you need to have in your collection. If you liked the story as much as I did, there is a DVD of this album which features actors portraying the events of the story live. I highly encourage you check that out as well, if only because the album's end is a little unclear. You could probably guess what happens, but where's the fun in that? My personal favorite song on the album is probably "Fatal Tragedy". It was the first song I had heard off the album and I thought it was really well done. A very mysterious vibe to it, and the guitar solo is absolutely nuts. Honestly though I could pick any song off the album (other than "Regression" because it's only a minute long and half the song doesn't even have music) and justify it as being my favorite. It's an absolutely stunning piece of work. // 10

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overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 25, 2004
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: One of the best dream theater albums, it's the most progressive album because is like an opera, about a murder. This progressive metal band was influenced by bands like Yes, Marillion, Rush, Pink Floyd between others, and of course Metallica. But they take ideas from other groups that made good music recently for example, Home has influences from Alice in Chains. But this group don't copy ideas, only get influences and mix them with it's original music. Dream Theater has one of the best guitarist of the world (petrucci), one of the best drummers of the world (portnoy), one of the best pianists of the world and one of the best bassist of the world. It says the skills that Dream Theater has, but not only they show skills, they made music, from the simple things that a kid can play, to the most complicated things. Songs like Strange Deja Vu and Fatal Tragedy are Master Pieces. // 10

Lyrics: Good lyrics write by Labrie and Portnoy. Very good history, It's a shame that Victoria (the murdered girl) wasn't pretty, jejej. But the lyrics with the music are a masterpiece. The Labrie voice is wooow, the voice sound a little like a Freddy mercury, other great singer. He sings very well. // 10

Overall Impression: Is one of my favorite albums. There aren't other bands like Dream Theater. All the first part of the song are incredible (Regression, Overture, Strange deja vu, Fatal Tragedy, Throw her eyes, Home), The other part of the album it's more experimental (the dancing of the eternity) and other songs are quietly, and one last time it's like a summary of the album. I love all, and I hate nothing. I it were stolen I feel proud of the person that stole me because he will have the opportunity to know this album. // 10

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overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: bballbrett5, on april 26, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Hey-it's Dream Theater-of course the music is incredible! This CD may be the pinnacle of what they have or ever will offer on one album. All of the songs flow beautifully together and not one of the songs is bad. // 10

Lyrics: Awesome lyrics. That's it. A concept album about murder, love, deceipt, and tragedy would probably good in any format, but Dream Theater does an amazing job with this story. // 10

Overall Impression: This album may be the best by Dream Theater and possibly the best of all time. Every aspect is impressive and worthy of listening to millions of times. Buy it as soon as possible, listen to it all the way several times through, and you will get it. // 10

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overall: 7.3
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: chAos55, on april 30, 2004
0 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: Usual dream theater power, complete with quirky time changes and sudden mood swings. Progressive metal at its...no, NEAR its peak. Enough good drumming and heavy guitar parts to clasify as metal. But beware: lots of keyboards here. Two tracks with lovely piano melodies... // 8

Lyrics: Only a 3 because I found the lyrics somewhat lacking. They were just too bland, the actual vocals are done spectacularly, but the lyrics were just flat: no imagery, little innovation. The whole cd is about a love story, and it takes place as a man in a hypnotists room is... That's right! Hypnotised! And remembers stuff. // 6

Overall Impression: The album flows well, with the music following the lyrics, getting violent at times, and then sorrowful at others. Dream theater has done better...I would recommend "A change of seasons", but this album is very good in its own right. A very good buy if you're already a prog metal fan (then you probably already have it) or if you're willing to experiment. // 8

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overall: 6.7
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: Kaarlo, on april 25, 2005
0 of 18 people found this review helpful

Sound: I was a bit dissappointed with the sound of this album. The songs seem to fall into two different categories: where the music is good but the lyrics are lacky and where the lyrics are average but the sound sucks. There isn't one song on the album that manages to combine these two elements. I really like the sound on "Dance Of Eternity" modern, powerful but maybe a bit complicated. Some songs sound familiar due to the use of the same ideas as in metropolis (then again the cover actually reads "Scenes From A Memory: Metropolis Part 2"). The concept reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon": some of the songs are attached to each other, you can sometimes hear talking in the background and the "Screaming Lady" is idealisticly excactly the same. Dream theater concentrates more on individuals than teamplay: Songs change "Shape And Color" too often. Of course there are the amazing solos but we've heard them before haven't we? // 6

Lyrics: The lyrics are mostly rubbish, chewing the same subjects over and over again with no real thought behind them. All the songs are held together with a story of a something! Since the lyrics focus on parts like: "Our deeds have travelled far - What we have been is what we are." There is no telling what the hell is going on. James Labrie is a wonderful singer. He can sing very high clearly and beautifully but he lacks the power of e.g. Metallica's James Hetfield. // 6

Overall Impression: I've been a little harsh on the album, after all it is an ambitious try and very nice to listen to. The song structures and lyrics are the only thing that don't fit in. I just think that you should let Andrew Lloyd Webber make the musicals. // 8

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overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: bedurnk, on may 14, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound is amazing. Much better than previous Dream Theater. A lot more progressive than usual. Jordan Ruddess is easily one of the best keyboardists/pianists out there. John Petrucci is still an amazing guitarist. John Myung has excellent bass lines and the most impressive non-slap bass solo on "Dance Of Eternity." Mike Portnoy is still the drumming monster everyone loved before this album. James LaBrie's voice gets better as time progresses. // 10

Lyrics: The story behind the lyrics are amazing. Very complex, which tends to confuse people into thinking they don't make sense or they're bad. Those people are just confused. I've seen forum sites with entire topics devoted to trying to come up with one definate explanation for the story. The basics are in the songs, just the details are what's debated over. // 10

Overall Impression: It's up there with their best. It's indefinate because it is Dream Theater. All of their material is some of the most talented, original, and amazing music for man to witness the creation of. If it were stolen, I'd probably beat the guy up who stole it if I knew who did it. If I couldn't find it, I'd just re-burn it, since I never take the original anywhere and have it saved to my computer. I just burn copies to take with me on trips or when I go places like work or school. My favorite song would be "Dance Of Eternity." // 10

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overall: 9.3
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 09, 2005
0 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Dream Theater has always been my favorite progressive rock band. Although many haven't heard of them, they are some of the greatest musicians in the world. Most people think Pink Floyd when they hear prog. rock, I think Dream Theater. The sound is amazing. The vocal, drum, and guitar solo's are simply breath-taking. The guitar and bass riffs are beautiful. Mike Portnoy's drumming blows me away. It's so fast and still rhythmic. James Labrie is a very good singer, and even though his voice isn't that rich, he makes up for it with the notes he sings. He is really a solid singer. John Petrucci is the most talented guitar player I've ever heard. Number one in the progressive rock category in my book. His solo's blow me away. I could never imagine playing as well as he does. John Myung is a solid bass player as well. And the rest of the band raps it up and creates the perfect sound. My one complaint is that the album weakens just a little bit as it goes on, but still, great album. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics tell a story of a troubled man who's wife cheats on him. He can't decide what to do, and he kills his wife. At least that's what I think happens. The lyrics are quite confusing at times, but the story line is beautiful. All of the songs tie into each other, making a really great lyrical album. // 8

Overall Impression: When it come to progressive rock, there aren't many bands. I love this album, I hate almost nothing about it. I love the amazing drawn out guitar and drum solos. I would definitely buy it again. The best songs are, in my opinion, Regression, Fatal Tragedy, and Overture 1928. Great, great album! // 10

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overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: Metal_Militia2, on december 15, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Just like any other DT album: the sound is perfect, with every instrument well articulated. But the real excitement I have about this album is its brilliance. Let me explan: it is unlike no other album I or anyone else has every heard it's like a progressive metal/rock opra. I've probably listened to this whole album from beggining to end without a break 3 times and I still don't get it perfectly, but it's about a guy who starts off at hypnotist's office and when he is put to sleep the songs start to go back into his memory until the end where he wakes up and then something weird happens. This album is so genius because its songs are all connected and if you will listen carefully you can hear some of the same riffs being used in multiple songs, like in overture 1928 and one last time, it pure genius and sounds amazing. // 10

Lyrics: The singer is very talented and he too like the rest of this album sounds amazing. The lyrics like the riffs are also re used in some songs to give the feeling of deja vu (that's a song). This album is call Metropolis Part 2, if you listen to Metropolis Part 1: the Miracle and The Sleeper On Images And Words you will hear for example "I was told that a new love is born for each one that has died" you also hear this in the song Home after the first chorus. The lyrics are also pure genius. // 10

Overall Impression: All the songs kick ass in this album. It is the most well written and well thought out music I've ever heard. Sometimes when listening to this album I ask myself: how did they come up with that? The answer is simple: when you're as talented as DT you can write this stuff. I love everysong on this album and I'd get another copy of it in a heartbeat if it were stolen. Trust me when I say you've never heard anything like this. Buy this album because you've got to hear it to believe it. // 10

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overall: 10
Scenes From A Memory Reviewed by: CaptainSBDA, on june 08, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, the sound is phonomenal. This is their 2nd best album in my opinion, but it has the best sound and musicianship of any of their albums. It's a prog rock opera, and it sticks to prog rock the entire time. It does get a little metal in "Beyond this Life" and "Home," but it still remains primarily prog. The sound is great, Rudess is at prime form with his keys here. John Petrucci cranks out some of his best guitar work on this album. Great sound. // 10

Lyrics: The storyline of the opera is too hard to describe, but it is complex and intriguing. The lyrics reflect the storyline perfectly, they work quite well here. The best lyrical songs on the album are the final two, "The Spirit Carries On" and "Finally Free." "The Spirit Carries On" even incorporates a whole church choir arranged by Jordan Rudess, which just adds to the beauty of the lyrics. // 10

Overall Impression: Pure freakin' ownage, that's what DT delivers with this stunner of an album. Everything is amazing. The music is great, Labrie's voice is in top form, the lyrics are great, and the storyline is wholly unique and original. I love it how they even made it in true opera form, with scenes, acts, and characters. It's brilliant. Great album. The MVP here is Jordan Rudess, the new band member at the time of the recording of this CD. He is the best piano player I have ever heard and this album proves it. Great CD. While not as good as "Octavarium," this album is breathtaking. // 10

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