Sound — 8
I actually bought this album quite awhile ago, and to be honest, it's taking a lot of getting used to. From the very mainstream "Cosntant Motion" to the epic of In the Presence of Enemies Parts 1 and 2; Dream Theater's 9th studio album brings some new things to the table as well as reminiscing their classic sound. Part 1 opens with a great lick that I was eager to learn when I first heard it, and then going to a power-hungry power chord progression. Part 2 is much longer, having darker lyrics, like the ending to a shakespearean tragedy. But the music is still beautiful. but I love most on ITPoE part one and two is that they a classic retake on past music, but not off a different album. When Petrucci first plays those speedy diminished notes, well that's what we expect of him, right? Then we hear it again at the end of Part 2 and the theme from part 1 is repeated. This quality is really the epitome of dream theater's music as something to be enjoyed again and again.
Lyrics — 9
I found LaBrie's lyrics had a much darker tone overall in this album then that of Octavarium, and, Dare I Say It, Train Of Thought. The whole concept of a heretic and his/her dark master and the possession of this person's soul really underlines a darker side to dream theater. I found a small parallelism in Prophets of War to sacrifiiced sons off Octavarium in terms of overall feeling. Not the most appealing subject to my ears, but LaBrie makes it enjoyable.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, not their best album, imo. Scenes from a Memory is still my favourite but it does have many good qualities, such as aforementioned reminiscing of past music on ITPOE part one and two. Didn't like constant motion: to mainstream (verse chorus, verse, chorus, etc. But I think Prophets Of War, Forsaken and ITPOE makes up for that. If this album was misplaced, I'd definitely buy it again, mostly because I have the non-special edition without the cool traffic light. but other than that, I'd get it again because my love of DT is just super colossal.