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Distance Over Time by Dream Theater - Album Review

The fourteenth studio album from the world's premier purveyors of progressive metal, (for those unfamiliar with the genre imagine equal parts Yes and Metallica), arrives 3 years after their double concept album "The Astonishing". 

This time the band went back to basics, setting up, playing and writing as a band in a room. If this is the result, more please. Tight and focused, with a return to punch-the-air riffs like "Outcry" from 2011's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" or "The Looking Glass" from their eponymous 2013 album.



Things kick off on a high with lead single "Untethered Angel", a brief moody intro before it erupts with a riff that says buckle in for the ride.
Given that these are some of the finest practitioners  in the world on their respective instruments what you get is the standard, for Dream Theater, impeccable musicianship with jaw-dropping feats of virtuosity. Gone is the bloat of "The Astonishing",  and in its place are catchy riffs, memorable choruses and stunning instrumental sections.

Amongst the highlights are the aforementioned opener with guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess going full Iron Maiden with some dual lead work. 
"Fall Into Light" begins with another great riff to kick off before taking it down for a moody and expansive lead section. 
"Out Of Reach" provides a nice change of pace, with a big chorus and more nice lead work.
"At Wit's End" again has some furiously quick riffage before the big chorus comes in, leading to pyrotechnics from Rudess and Petrucci again in the solos.

After being hugely disappointed with "The Astonishing", this is a real return to form and I hope the band will at least taking the writing approach used for this album again, even if they will inevitably want to keep pushing forward in different directions. I really feel that the "live band" feel that they've managed to capture shows them in their best light.

"Don't leave me now, don't leave me now...."



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