Sound — 10
Dream Theater. What can I say about them. Every album has an un-believable amount of effort put into it. Every song is a new experience for me, And I've listened to the majority of DT albums. Sure, some of it sounds rather similar to their other songs, but lets admit it. This is dream theater, and they sure don't like to disappoint. It would be unfair to say that, despite the fact that this may come out to be weaker than their other albums, they didn't put any effort into this. The whole sound and feel of it, shoots this album up into my top 3 along with Scenes, and SDOIT. Octavarium being replaced into 4th.
Lyrics — 8
Ah, the one thing that has been commented on the most. One thing that is rather strange for dream theater, is this lyrics. But to be honest, they are easily forgotten. After a few listens of the album, I had pretty much memorized all the lyrics, and I was finding some very.. Awkward, and weird lyrics that, although fitting to the whole theme of a song, just could have been conceived better. I think this may be because the lack of Myung writing the lyrics; and from what I've seen, the lyrics were Petrucci and Portnoys Doing. If Myung had a little more say in the lyric side of things, I think this album would get better overall reviews. If we skip a few albums back, you can see that Myung has had some contribution to the lyrics- on this album he didn't. Maybe that's the reason, maybe not, because in the past, John and Mike have Proved that they can make amazing and Poetic Lyrics, but they are just a little weak in this album. Shame.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I love this album. The count of Tuscany is the most beautiful song on here, with a nice ambient section 11 minutes in- it's the one thing that caught me, and it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. My Least Favorite would probably be Wither, but then again, that's because I like the epics that this band makes. it's not their best album, but saying that; it should please old and new fans alike. Although over the years the music has gone a little heavy, the Progressive in them is still there, and going strong. If this album was stolen I would Go out and buy another copy, no 2 words about it. A Fantastic and Beautiful album.