Sound — 10
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.
Lyrics — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.