Sound — 10
This is an interesting album to say the least. Sound wise, the first song reminds me greatly of the way that the album "Train Of Thought" took off. The song itself is actually yet another follow up to the epic track "The Glass Prison" which appeared on "Six Degrees." Some songs on this album have a strong influence from the likes of U2; I can actually picture Bono singing one of the sections on the 4th track, "Walk Beside You." Other tracks are more "Muse" inspired, and he does a fair imitation of Matt from "Muse," whether or not that's a good thing. Overall it isn't as heavy as the previous album, and they appear to have lost some of their progressive edge, although arguably it can be said that the songs have simply become more refined. Petrucci once again delivers some incredible guitar work.
Lyrics — 10
LaBrie is a great singer and song writer. Every person in Dream Theatre is extremely talented. I've been hearing that his voice has been slipping, but in my opinion he sounds better than he has in a while on this album. Lyrics are as always quite poetical and clever: "Sailing on the seven seize the Day!" Dream Theatre songs tend to be focused around the human mind or emotions, but on this CD they deliver one of their few political tracks, "Sacrificed Sons," which brings in to question people who take their lives because of their religious beliefs. It's interesting, and is one of the highlights of the CD.
Overall Impression — 8
It is overall a very good album, but I can't say that I consider it to be one of their best. In comparison to other albums the progressive element which makes Dream Theatre who they are has faded away even more, aside from the title track, "Octavarium." The most impressive songs on the album are: "The Root Of All Evil," "These Walls," "Sacrificed Sons," "Panic Attack" and the title track itself. It is easy to appreciate just how well refined this latest album is. Dream Theatre have never been what anyone would consider a mainstream band, but I feel that through this album they are trying to change that. A lot of the songs are shorter and more accessible to people who haven't listened to them before. That isn't a bad thing, because it would be great if more people appreciated this truly amazing band, however I feel that it shouldn't come at a cost of their musical expression. As I am a huge DT fan, I would buy this album again straight away if it was stolen. It is an exceptional album by anyone's standards, and is possibly one of the best releases of this year so far.