Yes I have, from time to time, downloaded an album that has not yet been released – via bitTorrent. I have also downloaded released albums, if only to see if I like it (but I do end up buying them if I like it). Take NIN‘s new “With Teeth” album – I thought it sucked, so I deleted it from my computer. Or take Ra‘s new album “Duality” – it is not as good as “From One“, but is a definite keeper. Given the fact that it doesn’t come out until next month, I will continue to listen to my leaked copy, but once it is available I will buy it and rip good quality versions to my iPod.
Now for the reason I am writing this post: Last night, I was able to download the new Dream Theater album, “Octavarium“. For those who don’t know my musical tastes and such, this is my favorite band. It is the band that my band looks to for inspiration (particularly due to their amazing musicianship). And even though the new album comes out in just about 10 days, I found it impossible to pass up the advanced screening.
I want to give a semi-review and attempt to not give anything away in terms of what a song could mean to a fellow DT fan. After 2 listens to the album, I can definitely say that this is not their finest work. Of course, with each listen, the songs start to grow on me more. I thought on my first listen that the album was good, but not great. And that’s to be expected when you have an album like “Scenes from a Memory” to compare everything to (it’s my personal holy grail of DT albums).
There are 3 songs in particular that got a “Holy Shit!” from me, 1 more notably than the others, but I will let you find them once listening to the album. There are a few songs on this album that I got a very strong Neal Morse vibe from. I think that Neal’s amazing writing skills are rubbing off on Mike Portnoy (considering that MP has played drums on every solo album that NM has released). And I think it’s a good thing – It really adds another depth to DT’s music.
Also, It really seems to me that they are trying to close a major chapter in their history book with this album. The titular song “Octavarium,” has some themes that make it sound like they are ready to move into the next realm of music – most likely by moving to a new record label (God, I hope they don’t break up).
Right now, I am going to give the album a 3 out of 5 stars. That is not my final verdict though. I will update you all on what I think after I have listened to the actual CD.
UPDATE: I have now listened to the album for a 3rd time, and it has raised to a 4 out of 5 stars.
BTW – I got this site HTML 4.01 Transitional compliant, so there should be no issues in either Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers. You can see the validation image in the bottom left corner of the website.Â