With this, we finally move on to the Final Chapter for real. Once the truth is revealed, all one can do is accept it… one way or another.
…Is it just me, though, or is Youmu getting cooler and cooler? ^-^*
In other news:
…Unfortunately not my Ltd. Ed. box yet, as the responsible person apparently phailed to send it on time; and it isn’t gonna be here before tomorrow… upon hearing which, I rushed out to the city in that same moment – and returned in less than an hour with a slightly thinner wallet, and this regular edition CD in my hands. ^-^
Yeah, I’m not always exactly rational when it comes to these things… better not stand between me and music, y’ know. :3
Anyways, this – perhaps one of the boldest in the band’s discography – six songs set starts very, very strong; while Nightmare To Remember might not be the second Change Of Seasons, it sure is pretty darn close. My sole complaint is, it could do with a more distinct finishing touch, perhaps an element of surprise… but now I’m just being ornery, am I not. ^-^; Rite Of Passage is something about which I have already written quite extensively; probably the most upbeat and user-friendly track on the album, it brings quite a neat change of pace after the darker opening track. I must say, I expected the shortest song in the set – Wither – to be some kind of a breather… and while I might not have been completely wrong, the term certainly doesn’t do justice, as it’s turned out – the song is just too heavy to be called simply that.
Which leads us to The Shattered Fortress… the final installment – and a bold journey backwards – in Dream Theater’s epic saga of fall, repentance and redemption; in my humble opinion, the final lines of the lyrics rival Change Of Seasons in terms of awesome. The reference to Octavarium towards the end was a nice touch, as were many other self-citations throughout the song. The Best Of Times was a moment of fright for me; from both the title and the track’s placement after the crushingly heavy Shattered Fortress, I kinda feared it would be another ten minutes of nothing a la Repentance – and the couple first minutes only served to strengthen that fear… well, although I wasn’t entirely correct, some serious ending fatigue was not avoided; and I could not help but think of it as some kind of Ministry Of Lost Souls Lite…
The closing track: Count of Tuscany. The 19-minute monster wasn’t quite what I expected; it had not the mesmerizing power of Change Of Seasons‘ continuous 23-minute assault, nor was it a couple pebbles slowly turning into an overwhelming avalanche – similar to the title track of Octavarium… while I was waiting for the heavier part to start, the song turned into some weird ambience and I realised what had just ended was supposed to be the heavier part… the song just lacked a strong and memorable finale, if you ask me.
Oh well… I guess it might just need a couple more listens. If not anything else, Nightmare… and Shattered Fortress, even on their own, are much, much more than enough to make this album worth the wait!
Still waiting for my pre-ordered L.E., with the top-secret set of six cover songs…