Sound — 10
A fantastic mixture of technical Dream Theater feeling songs and softer ballads allow the album to flow. Following through from Train Of Thought, this album mixes some of that feeling so that the momentum of the albums continue (because in a way they all seem linked) but a newer side to Dream Theater is also shown. We still see some signature DT rock outs (and will no doubt see even more when they tour) and John Petrucci, John Myung, Jordan Rudess and Mike Portnoy perform excellently. There are still some fantastic solos, but this album seems much more focused on the actual song writing.
Lyrics — 10
Once again, James LaBrie delivers the lyrics fantastically - his vocal talents only seem to expand and advance with the years. The lyrics also fit perfectly with the direction of the music. The themes and motifs are truly revealed through the lyrics and ties can be made between songs on Train Of Thought, Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence and Scenes From A Memory along with references to Pink Floyd and The Beatles.
Overall Impression — 10
Just like their last four albums (Train Of Thought, Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, Scenes From A Memory and Falling Into Infinity) this album shows an advancement in both the bands skills as song writers and musicians. Although this album doesn't contain the absolute balls-to-the-wall progressive rock feels that were created on Scenes, Six Degrees and Train Of Thought it does make a thoroughly enjoyable album that is another part in the epic tale that Dream Theater are weaving.