Awake Review

artist: Dream Theater date: 11/26/2012 category: compact discs
Dream Theater: Awake
Released: Oct 4, 1994
Genres: Progressive Metal, Neo-Prog, Hard Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Heavy Metal
Label: Elektra
Number Of Tracks: 11
Dream Theater's third studio release, "Awake", marks a definite change in the band's tone.
 Sound: 9.2
 Lyrics: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 23 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Awake Reviewed by: clockwork555, on june 05, 2006
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: I couldn't help but noticing that there weren't any reviews for Awake so I had to change that. First off this album is a brilliant follow up to 1992's Images and Words. They are heavier in this album and this is also the beginning of John Petrucci using 7 string guitars. The only real problems with the sound on this album is the production. It is going to sound a bit dry at first and also ull notice that the cleans on the guitar could have sounded so much better. However ull get over that rather quickly. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are the usual DT lyrics that always tackle complex subjects and such. The highlights are voices and silent man for the depth that JP provides on the issue and religion and then Lie for having that Moore brilliance that flows so well. He was definetely the best lyricist out of all of them. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of their best albums if you really like both the prog and heavy side of DT. That being said, it is perhaps their least accesible so I dont recommend it being ur first album however once uve given it a couple of listens ull notice the depth beneath it and fall in love instantly. The previously mentioned highlights of the album will be songs that you will always love. See beyond the production of the albumn and you will notice a great CD that tends to sometimes be looked over. // 10

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overall: 9
Awake Reviewed by: petrucci_owns86, on september 10, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Dream Theater always leaves a lasting impression on you whenever you listen to any of their albums. Their music is unique in many ways. This album has it all: progessive elements, metal elements, rock elements. Everything. Songs like "Erotomania", "Voices", and "The Silent Man" all go together and tell a story. On the one hand, this album can get very heavy, as on "Caught in a Web", but also very mellow, as on "The Silent Man." // 9

Lyrics: For a music fan new to DT, you might find James LaBrie's vocals a little high-pitched. This is something you have to get used to as a listener. Almost all of the lyrics on the album provoke thoughts or ideas for the listener to figure out. The lyrics go well with all of the songs. The singer, James LaBrie, has a very unique voice, and is fairly easy to understand on this album. His voice does get a little on the operatic on "Voices", but only for a few seconds, and then it goes back to normal. // 8

Overall Impression: I think this could be DT at their finest, although all of their albums are great, and one album shouldn't be judged as "better" than the next one. The real standouts are "Caught in a Web", The "A Mind Beside Itself" suite, "The Mirror/Lie", and "Scarred", although all of the tracks are great. I personally love the heaviness of such tracks as "Caught in a Web" and "The Mirror/Lie." You, the listener, might find James Labrie's voice to be a little annoying when it gets operatic, but this rarely happens on this album. If someone stole this album, I'd hunt them down and re-steal my album. And steal some of their albums while I'm at it. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Awake Reviewed by: CaptainSBDA, on august 24, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound for this album is dark overall, even though it has a few patches of light. Songs like "Caught in a Web," "The Mirror," and "Lie" show the band's dark, metal side. "The Mirror," particularily, is a precursor to Mike Portnoy's AA suites ("The Glass Prison," "This Dying Soul," and others) and the music shows; heavy, dark, down-tuned riffs all the way. However, songs like "Innocence Faded" show an 80's-esque pop rock, "The Silent Man" is an all acoustic ballad, and "Lifting Shadows off a Dream" shows U2-like influences. Overall, a good sound. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are all great. "The Mirror" talks about dealing with alcoholism, which Mike Portnoy did. (He's now been sober for many, many years.) The best lyrics, however, come with a top ten Dream Theater song, "Space-Dye Vest." This is the last thing Kevin Moore did for Dream Theater, and boy did he leave an amazing mark behind. One of the darkest things they have ever done, this song talks about lost love. The song also includes sound bites from TV shows and the news that mix with the theme of the song. Brilliant. The only true flaw of the album is Labrie's oversinging; on songs like "Voices," his attempts to go all out are just flat out terrible. His voice is good overall, but he shouldn't try to push the limit. // 10

Overall Impression: A good album; did much better than "Images and Words," in my opinion. Suffered from only three weak tracks and a bit of oversinging, but all of the rest are good enough to give this album a 9. // 9

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overall: 10
Awake Reviewed by: mralexforbes, on july 30, 2012
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This albums sound quality is amazing. Dream Theater take their style to heavier grounds, this is evident with songs like: "The Mirror" and "Lie". John Petrucci uses a 7 string to get that super heavy sound! If you are interested you can see some YouTube footage of the album being made... VERY FUNNY! // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics Amazing! "The Mirror" is a standout for lyrical greatness! James' voice is amazing too, definitely one of his greatest albums when looking at vocals. The lyrics complimented the songs perfectly, especially in the song: "Erotomania". John Petrucci has written most of the lyrics in this, but Mr Myung has contributed with an amazing song entitled "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream". // 10

Overall Impression: I don't know about you guys but whenever I get a DT album it takes time to settle in for me to start loving it, however THIS album you can love it right away with songs like: "Erotomania", "The Mirror", "Lie", and "Caught In A Web"... (Heavier). If you guys love the softer side of this amazing band you would like "Voices", "Lifting Shadows Off A Dream", and "Space-Dye Vest"! AMAZING! // 10

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overall: 8.7
Awake Reviewed by: gabipe15, on november 26, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is probably one of the darkest of Dream Theater, although I consider each one of them to be dark in a way. After all they are Metal-hearted and well, metal is a bit about darkness isn't it? This band always sounds amazing, I mean the connection between the members is outstanding, I love Dream Theater can't stop listening and admiring them, they're actually unique. And if you ever tried sounding like them, or getting near, is impossible, they have such a great sound, its shaped as they like it too, and its great. You can hear almost perfect mixing, and usually guitar and keyboards exchange their leading role, making solos and riffs unique and wonderful. Drums are fantastic, Portnoy is a great drummer, in case you didn't notice. And Myung deserves great credit, especially on early Dream Theater. This is perfect Prog-metal, "Erotomania" is instrumental, "Silent Man" is a beautiful ballad, has a little of everything in my opinion. Excellent! // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on the album keep me wondering, some of them have clear references to religion, the mirror is about drugs or alcohol, space dye vest is about a girl, and many of them talk about silence, and darkness and fear. They're well written, well thought and go great with the music. Almost poetry like. LaBrie is a perfect singer, he has a clear voice and can get to any note, I don't see why people thinks this album is oversang, don't get it. I think is perfect in his work, LaBrie is very talented. Great work. // 8

Overall Impression: Compared to "Images And Words" this album is darker, no doubt about it. With drop-tunings thanks to 7th B string, this actually sound more bass like. Petrucci's soloing is outstansing, top class. Portnoy's top class too. The flowing and transition between heavy riffs, leads, and melodic passages in the album is done to perfection, Dream Theater excel at progressive music, they're maybe the best around. "Caught In a Web", "The Mirror" and "Lie" are great ones here, but the one I like the most, and nobody seems to name it much is "Scarred"! Masterpiece! And great ending with "Space Dye Vest". I love this album, probably Dream Theater best! I don't hate anything about it. If stolen I'd kill the m***f** who did this and beat his a-s up, then take it back home in a safelock. // 9

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