Though progressive rock is known for its complexities, few bands take their role in the genre as seriously — and successfully — as Dream Theater. With several concept records and generally massive records under their belt, Dream Theater are set on a new goal in their new record. While maintaining their songwriting prowess, Dream Theater dig into their heavy side in Distance Over Time, offering giant riffs, complex tracks, and lots of energy.
Distance Over Time treads away from the Dream Theater norm of a lengthy concept (and, after 2016’s extensive The Astonishing, it’s not unwelcome), but it’s just as powerful as any other record. Short for Dream Theater still means 57 minutes of playtime, and they have more than enough time to show their complex writing style. ‘Fall Into The Light‘ is built from many different parts, the initially energetic track featuring a beautiful guitar solo during the bridge and a very intense end. There’s no concept attached to this record, but the theatrics are just as expected, with opening track ‘Untethered Angel‘ bringing the record to a huge start with its massive riff. The dark atmosphere pushes forward with a confident drive, Dream Theater jamming all along the way. Tracks like ‘Room 137‘ and ‘Paralyzed‘ live off of much the same energy, electrifying riffs and awesome groove keeping the record going.
There are few moments of reprieve on Distance Over Time, but there’s plenty of things going on that keep the record flowing. Dream Theater step away from darker moods with songs like ‘Barstool Warrior,’ an uplifting and beautiful instrumental track, and ‘Out Of Reach,’ a sweeter song with warmer melodies. Similarly, ‘At Wit’s End‘ resolves in an almost hopeful way after its initial heavy start. No track is as heavy, however, as ‘S2n,‘ which is almost ridiculously electrifying with its huge riffs and massive drive. The record ends as dramatically as it began with the punchy and dynamic ‘Pale Blue Dot,’ ending the album on a massive note.
Few bands are as grandiose as Dream Theater, and that shows even in their simpler records. Dream Theater show off their songwriting and jamming prowess in their massive new effort Distance Over Time, delivering in every regard. Dream Theater never do anything short of impressive, and this record is no exception.
Favorite Tracks: Fall Into The Light, S2n, Untethered Angel
Least Favorite Track: Out Of Reach
Rating: 87 / 100
Stream or buy Distance Over Time on Apple Music, and follow our 2019 Playlist on Spotify: