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DREAM THEATER

Dream Theater have steadily achieved a startlingly sublime synthesis of soaring and unmistakable melody, progressive instrumentation and aggressive heaviness unrivaled within hard rock music. The legacy established throughout their virtuosic career of astounding aesthetic alchemy has made their very moniker synonymous with the power of talent, ability and momentum when brilliantly forged together.

Members: 4
Latest Activity: Feb 28, 2014

Dream Theater are an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John PetrucciJohn Myung, and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to further concentrate on the band that would ultimately become Dream Theater. Though a number of lineup changes followed, the three original members remained together along with James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess until September 8, 2010 when Portnoy left the band. In October 2010, the band held auditions for a drummer to replace Portnoy. Mike Mangini was announced as the new permanent drummer on April 29, 2011.

The band is well known for the technical proficiency of its instrumentalists, who have won many awards from music instruction magazines. Guitarist John Petrucci has been named as the third player on the G3 tour six times, more than any invited players. In 2009 he was named the No. 2 best metal guitarist byJoel McIver in his book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. He was also named as one of the "Top 10 Fastest Shredders of All Time" by GuitarOnemagazine.[1] Jordan Rudess is considered to be one of the greatest keyboard players of all time by many publications like MusicRadar.[2] Former drummer Mike Portnoy has won 26 awards from Modern Drummer magazine and is also the second youngest person (at the age of 37) to be inducted into the Rock Drummer Hall of Fame. His replacement Mike Mangini has also previously set 5 WFD records.[3] John Myung was voted the greatest bassist of all time in a poll conducted by MusicRadar in August through September 2010. The band was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2010.[4]

The band's highest-selling album is the gold-selling Images and Words (1992), which reached No. 61 on the Billboard 200 chart.[5] Both the 1994 release Awakeand their 2002 release Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence also entered the charts at No. 32 and No. 46 respectively and received mostly positive reviews.Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory was ranked number 95 on the October 2006 issue of Guitar World magazine's list of The greatest 100 guitar albums of all time.[6] It is ranked as the 15th Greatest Concept Album (as of March 2003) by Classic Rock Magazine.[7] and as the number one all-time progressive album by Rolling Stone (as of July 2012). Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence also led to Dream Theater becoming the initial band reviewed in the music section of Entertainment Weekly during its opening week of release, despite the magazine generally preferring more mainstream music. In 2007, Systematic Chaosentered U.S. Billboard 200 at No. 19.[5] As of 2011, Dream Theater has sold over 12 million records worldwide.[8]

The band's eleventh studio album, A Dramatic Turn of Events, was released on September 13, 2011. It entered the U.S. Billboard 200 at No. 8, two positions lower than their previous release Black Clouds & Silver Linings which entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 6. The album is the band's first with Mike Mangini, since Mike Portnoy's departure.[9] On November 30, 2011, On the Backs of Angels, the first single released from A Dramatic Turn of Events, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category, marking the band's first ever Grammy nomination.[10]

On April 9, 2013, Images and Words won Loudwire's fan voted March Metal Madness for world's best metal album beating albums by DioAC/DCJudas PriestMegadeth and Metallica.[11]

History[edit source | editbeta]

Early years (1985–1990)[edit source | editbeta]

Formation[edit source | editbeta]

Founding members (from left to right) John Myung, Mike Portnoy, and John Petrucci in 1985.

Dream Theater was formed in Massachusetts in 1985 when guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, and drummer Mike Portnoy decided to form a band while attending the Berklee College of Music. The trio started by covering Rush and Iron Maiden songs in the rehearsal rooms at Berklee.

Myung, Petrucci, and Portnoy joined together on the name Majesty for their newly formed group. According to the The Score So Far... documentary, they were waiting in line for tickets to a Rush concert at the Berklee Performance Center while listening to the band on a boom box. Portnoy commented that the ending of the song "Bastille Day" (from the album Caress of Steel) sounded "majestic". It was then decided that Majesty would be the band's name.[12]

The trio then set out to fill the remaining positions in the group. Petrucci asked his high school band-mate Kevin Moore to play the keyboard. After he accepted the position, another friend from home, Chris Collins, was recruited as lead vocalist after band members heard him sing a cover of "Queen of the Reich" by Queensrÿche.[13]During this time, Portnoy, Petrucci, and Myung's hectic schedules forced them to abandon their studies to concentrate on their music, as they did not feel they could learn more in college. Moore also left his college, SUNY Fredonia, to concentrate on the band.

The beginning months of 1986 were filled with various concert dates in and around the New York City area. During this time, the band recorded a collection of demos, titled The Majesty Demos. The initial run of 1,000 sold out within six months, and dubbed copies of the cassette became popular within the progressive metal scene. TheMajesty Demos are still available in their original tape format today, despite being released officially on CD, through Mike Portnoy's YtseJam Records.

In November 1986, after a few months of writing and performing together, Chris Collins was fired. After a year of trying to find a replacement, Charlie Dominici, who was far older and more experienced than anyone else in the band, successfully auditioned for the group. With the stability that Dominici's appointment brought to Majesty, they began to increase the number of shows played in the New York City area, gaining a considerable amount of exposure.

Shortly after hiring Dominici, a Las Vegas group also named Majesty[14] threatened legal action for intellectual property infringement related to the use of their name, so the band was forced to adopt a new moniker. Various possibilities were proposed and tested, among them Glasser, Magus, and M1, which were all rejected, though the band did go as Glasser for about a week, though fans reacted poorly to this decision. Eventually, Portnoy's father suggested the name Dream Theater, the name of a small theater he ran in Monterey, California, and the name stuck.[15]

When Dream and Day Unite (1988–90)[edit source | editbeta]

Dream Theater in 1989:John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, Charlie Dominici, Kevin Moore, John Myung

With their new name and band stability, Dream Theater concentrated on writing more material while playing more concerts in New York and in neighboring states. This eventually attracted the attention of Mechanic Records, a division of MCA. Dream Theater signed their first record contract with Mechanic on June 23, 1988[15] and set out to record their debut album. The band recorded the album at Kajem Victory Studios in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. Recording the basic tracks took about 10 days, and the entire album was completed in about 3 weeks.[16]

When Dream and Day Unite was released in 1989 to far less fanfare than the band had anticipated. Mechanic ended up breaking the majority of the financial promises they had made to Dream Theater prior to signing their contract, so the band was restricted to playing around New York City. The promotional tour for the album consisted of just five concerts, all of which were relatively local. Their first show was at Sundance in Bay Shore, New York opening for the classic rock power trio Zebra.[17]

After the fourth show, Charlie Dominici was let go because the band was starting to feel the limitations of his voice based upon the vocal style they wanted. The band was looking for more of a Bruce Dickinson/Geoff Tate type of singer, and his stage presence was not what they wanted for a front man. Shortly after, however, the bandMarillion asked Dream Theater to open for them at a gig at the Ritz in New York, so Dominici was given the opportunity to perform one last time.[17] It would be another two years before Dream Theater had a replacement vocalist.

The Atlantic years[edit source | editbeta]

Images and Words and the addition of James LaBrie (1991–93)[edit source | editbeta]

James LaBrie joined the band in January 1991 and has been their vocalist ever since.

Following Dominici's departure, Dream Theater fought successfully to be released from their contract with Mechanic, and set about auditioning singers and writing material for their next album. In their search for a new singer, they auditioned over 200 people, among them former Fates Warning front man John Arch. John ultimately decided that his personal commitments were more important; and, he opted not to join the band.[18] In mid-1990, at a gig in New York, Dream Theater introduced Steve Stone as their new singer. They had successfully recorded demos with him, which can be seen on the Demos, though he only performed one live show with them that ended up disastrous, and Stone was fired immediately. The band says he had been dancing around the stage in a rather odd manner, seemingly doing a bad impression of Bruce Dickinson. Also, he had infamously shouted 'Scream for me Long Beach!' several times throughout the show (which Bruce Dickinson shouts several times during the live recording Live After Death), although they were actually performing in Bayshore, embarrassing the band further.[19] It was five months before Dream Theater played another show, this time all-instrumental (under the name YtseJam). Until 1991, the band remained focused in an attempt to hire another singer and writing additional music.[17] It was during this period that they wrote the majority of what would become Images and Words (1992).

In January 1991, Kevin James LaBrie, of glam metal band Winter Rose, was flown from Canada to New York for an audition. LaBrie jammed on three songs with the band, and was immediately hired to fill the vocalist position. Once recruited, LaBrie decided to drop his first name to avoid confusion with the other Kevin in the band. For the next few months, the band returned to playing live shows (still mostly around NYC), while working on vocal parts for the music written before acquiring LaBrie. Derek Shulmanand Atco Records (now EastWest), a division of Elektra Records, signed Dream Theater to a seven album contract based on a three song demo (later made available as "The Atco Demos" through the Dream Theater fan club).

The first album to be recorded under their new record contract was Images and Words (1992). For promotion, the label released a CD Single and video clip for the song "Another Day", but neither made significant commercial impact. The song "Pull Me Under", however, managed to garner a high level of radio airplay without any organized promotion from the band or their label. In response, ATCO produced a video clip for "Pull Me Under", which saw heavy rotation on MTV. A third video clip was produced for "Take the Time", but it was not nearly as successful as "Pull Me Under".

The success of "Pull Me Under", combined with relentless touring throughout the U.S. and Japan, caused Images and Words to achieve gold record certification in the States and platinum status in Japan. A tour of Europe followed in 1993, which included a show at London's famed Marquee Club. The show was recorded and released as Live at the Marquee, Dream Theater's first official live album. Additionally, a video compilation of their Japanese concerts (mixed in with documentary-style footage of the off-stage portion of the tour) was released as Images and Words: Live in Tokyo.

Awake and Kevin Moore's departure (1994–95)[edit source | editbeta]

Eager to work on fresh material, Dream Theater retreated to the studio in May 1994. Awake, Dream Theater's third studio album, was released on October 4, 1994 in a hail of controversy among fans. Shortly before the album was mixed, Moore announced to the rest of the band that he was simply no longer interested in touring, nor did he favor the style of music Dream Theater performed and would be quitting Dream Theater to concentrate on his own musical interests.[20] As a result, the band had to scramble to find a replacement keyboardist before a tour could be considered.

Jens Johansson, who would go on to become a member of Stratovarius, was among the biggest names to audition, however the band members were eager to fill the position with keyboardist Jordan Rudess. Portnoy and Petrucci had come across Rudess in Keyboard Magazine, where he was recognized as "best new talent" in the readers' poll. The two invited him to play a trial gig with the band at the Concrete Foundations Forum in Burbank, California.[17] For the members of Dream Theater, the show went incredibly well, and Rudess was asked to fill the keyboardist position permanently, however Rudess opted to tour with The Dixie Dregs instead, since it granted him more personal latitude. Dream Theater hired fellow Berklee alumnus Derek Sherinian, who had previously toured and recorded with Alice Cooper and KISS, to fill in for the Awake promotional tour. By the conclusion of the tour, the band decided to take Sherinian on as Moore's full-time replacement.[12]

A Change of SeasonsFalling into Infinity (1995–98)[edit source | editbeta]

Once again finding themselves with a new member, Dream Theater did not immediately start working on new material. Fans around the world, united on the YtseJam Mailing List (the most popular form of communication between Dream Theater fans at that point), had started placing pressure on the band to officially release the song "A Change of Seasons". It had been written in 1989 and was intended to be a part of Images and Words, but at almost 17 minutes, it was deemed too long for studio placement. However, the band did perform it live on occasion while continuing to revise it in the years leading up to 1995.

The petition was successful, and the group entered BearTracks Studios in New York in May 1995 to rewrite and record the 23-minute song with Sherinian contributing significantly to the final product. To disseminate "A Change of Seasons", the band released it as an EP along with a collection of cover songs recorded live at a show they played at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London earlier that year.

After a short run of small concerts to promote A Change of Seasons, Dream Theater took a break for a few months. To keep busy, however, the band released a special Christmas CD through their official fan club, consisting of rare live tracks recorded during the band's early years. They continued releasing a new CD each Christmas until 2005.[21] Also during the break the individual members set out to write compositions for their upcoming collaborative writing sessions.

Meanwhile, there were several changes at EastWest, and Dream Theater's main contact within the label was fired. As a result, the new team at the company were unaccustomed to the relationship Dream Theater had with former EastWest personnel, and they pressured them to write an album that was more accessible. In mid-1997, they entered the studio to write their next album. In addition to pressuring the band to adopt a more mainstream sound, EastWest recruited writer/producer Desmond Child to work with Petrucci on polishing the lyrics to his song "You or Me". The whole band substantially reworked the music to the song, and it appeared on the album as "You Not Me" with a chorus that was barely reminiscent of the original. Child also had a noticeable impact on the album, with a shift towards compositions that were less complex and more radio-friendly.

The band wrote almost two CDs worth of material, including a 20-minute-long follow-up to the Images and Words song "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper". The label, however, did not allow the release of a double album because it felt that a 140-minute record would not be digestible by the general public. James LaBrie also felt that the CD should be a single disc.[22] The unused songs were later released in the Ytsejam Records release The Falling into Infinity Demos.[23]

The material that made it onto the album proper was released as Falling into Infinity, which received a mixed reception from fans who were more familiar with the band's earlier sound. While the album was moderately progressive-sounding, tracks such as "Hollow Years" and "You Not Me" prompted some to believe it was the dawn of a new, mainstream-sounding Dream Theater. Overall, the album was both a critical and commercial disappointment. Although Portnoy did not speak out publicly at the time, many years later, in the 2004 DVD commentary for 5 Years in a Livetime, he revealed that he had been so discouraged during this period he'd considered disbanding Dream Theater altogether.

During the European leg of the Touring into Infinity world tour, two shows were recorded for a live album entitled Once in a LIVEtime, in France and The Netherlands. The album was released at around the same time as the video 5 Years in a Livetime, which chronicled the time from when Kevin Moore left the band up to the Falling into Infinity promotional tour.

Addition of Jordan Rudess and Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory (1999–2000)[edit source | editbeta]

In 1997, Magna Carta Records' Mike Varney invited Portnoy to assemble a progressive 'supergroup' to work on an album, which would become the first in a long string of side-projects for the members of Dream Theater.[24] The lineup consisted of Portnoy on drums, Petrucci on guitar, Tony Levin on bass, and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, who had finished with the Dixie Dregs. The band assumed the name Liquid Tension Experiment, and would act as a medium through which Portnoy and Petrucci could once again court Rudess to join Dream Theater. In 1999, he accepted an offer to become the third full-time Dream Theater keyboardist, replacing Sherinian.[12]

With yet another new member, Dream Theater entered BearTracks Studio once again to write and record their next album. As a result of an ultimatum from Portnoy, the label gave the band complete creative control. The follow-up to "Metropolis Part 1", which was written during the Falling Into Infinity sessions (but not used on that album), was taken off the shelf for reworking. They decided to expand the 20-minute song into a complete concept album, with a story revolving around themes such as reincarnation, murder and betrayal. To avoid stirring up the fan base, a tight veil of secrecy enveloped the writing and recording process. The only things fans were privy to prior to its release were a track list that had been leaked against the band's wishes, and a release date. In 1999, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memorywas released to high critical acclaim, being lauded as the band's masterpiece, despite only reaching No. 73 on the US album chart.[5]

The album was mixed by David Bottrill, but only a few of his mixes made it on the final album. The bulk was remixed by Kevin Shirley. The rest of the mixes can be heard in the band's official bootleg "The Making of Scenes from a Memory".

A massive world tour followed recording the album, taking over a year to complete, by far their largest to that point. The concerts reflected the theatrical aspect of the album. They played the entire Scenes From a Memory album from start to finish, with a video screen on the back wall of the stage showing a narrative companion to the story of the album. In addition to playing the album in its entirety, the band also played a second set of Dream Theater songs, as well as a few covers and improvisations of old Dream Theater material. For one extra special show, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, actors were hired to play characters in the story, and a gospel choir was enlisted to perform in some sections of the performance.

This show, the last North American date of the tour, was recorded for the band's first DVD release. After many technical delays, the DVD, titled Metropolis 2000, was released in early 2001. Shortly after, the band announced that an audio version of the concert, with the entire four-hour long set-list (some of which had to be cut from the DVD to save space), would be released.

The cover for the CD version of the concert, titled Live Scenes from New York, depicted one of Dream Theater's early logos (the Images and Words-era burning heart, modeled on the Sacred Heart of Christ) modified to show an apple (as in "Big Apple") instead of the heart, and the New York skyline, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in the flame above it. In an unfortunate coincidence, the album was released on the same date as the September 11 attacks. The album was quickly recalled by the band and was re-released with revised artwork later,[25] though some copies were sold, and have since become rare collectors items for fans.

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2001–02)[edit source | editbeta]

Putting the whole ordeal behind them, Dream Theater once again entered BearTracks Studios to record their sixth studio album. Four years after they first petitioned EastWest to allow them to release a double album, they finally got their chance with Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. The first disc consisted of five tracks of 7–13 minutes in length, and the second disc was devoted entirely to the 42-minute title track, which is to date the longest song Dream Theater has written. The genesis of that song came when Rudess wrote what would become the "Overture" section of "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", and the band took some different melodies and ideas contained within it and expanded them into chapters of a complete story.[12]

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence ended up being received very well by critics and the press. It was the most publicized of Dream Theater's albums sinceAwake, debuting on the Billboard charts at No. 46[5] and the Billboard Internet charts at No. 1.[26] Throughout the next year and a half they toured the world once more, with an expanded live show including a select few special "album cover" gigs (see Cover songs section, below), in which they played Metallica's Master of Puppets and Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast in their entirety.

Train of Thought (2003–04)[edit source | editbeta]

During 2003, Dream Theater entered the studio to write and record another album. Since Scenes from a Memory was written and recorded simultaneously in the studio, in the spirit of change, the band took a different approach by setting aside three weeks for writing prior to recording. In the middle of the recording sessions for the album, a special tour with two other progressive metal bands, Queensrÿche and Fates Warning, was undertaken in North America. The "Escape from the Studio American tour", as it was referred to in Dream Theater's promotional material, featured Queensrÿche and Dream Theater as co-headlining acts with Fates Warning performing supporting act duties. As a finale for each concert there was an extended encore in which both Dream Theater and Queensrÿche performed together on stage simultaneously, often playing cover songs.

At the completion of the tour, Dream Theater returned to the studio to finish the recording of their seventh album, Train of Thought, the follow-up to sixth double disc album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. They concentrated more on writing a great song-oriented album, a mindset inspired by covering Master of Puppets and Number of the Beast on their previous concert tour. As a result, the more straightforward metal sound of those two albums seemed to creep into Train of Thought.[27] The album was a critical success, but it alienated a fair proportion of Dream Theater's fans who preferred traditional progressive rock, such as Yes or King Crimson. Regardless, it seemed to expand Dream Theater's fan base into new territory, capturing many more metal fans.[12]

Another world tour followed, during which Dream Theater performed support act duties for one of their major influences, Yes. A modest North American tour was completed by the two bands, after which Dream Theater continued to tour the world with their so-called "An Evening With Dream Theater" shows.

Their next move was to release another live CD/DVD combination, this time recorded at the famous Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan on their Train of Thought World Tour. Live at Budokan was released on October 5, 2004.

Octavarium (2005–06)[edit source | editbeta]

The five members of Dream Theater standing together in front of a drum kit and some amplifiers on a stage.
Dream Theater after a concert in Paris during the first European leg of their tour (2005). From left to right: Mike PortnoyJohn PetrucciJames LaBrieJohn Myung and Jordan Rudess

Upon the completion of their Train of Thought promotional tour, Dream Theater entered the Hit Factory studios in NYC to record their eighth album. As it turned out, they would be the last group ever to record in that famous studio, and after they wrapped up their final session, the lights were turned off at the studio forever.[28]

Octavarium was released on June 7, 2005, and took the band's sound in yet another new direction. Among its eight songs is a continuation of Portnoy's "Twelve-step" saga ("The Root of All Evil", steps 6-7 in the 12-step plan), as well as the title track, a musically versatile 24 minute epic rivaling "A Change of Seasons".Octavarium received mixed reviews from fans and has been the subject of spirited debate. Octavarium was the last album under their seven-album deal withElektra Records, which had inherited the contract upon its absorption of EastWest Records.

Dream Theater toured extensively throughout 2005 and 2006 to celebrate their 20th Anniversary as a band, including a headlining spot on Gigantour alongsideMegadeth and put together by frontman Dave Mustaine, also featuring Fear FactoryNevermore and Symphony X. During a show on August 2, 2005 in Dallas, the band paid tribute to Pantera's late guitarist Dimebag Darrell by performing the song "Cemetery Gates" as an encore. In addition was the unexpected appearance of fellow musicians Russell Allen (Symphony X vocalist), Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory vocalist) and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth vocalist/guitarist), who joined the band on stage to perform parts of the song.

Dream Theater later departed from Gigantour a few dates before it ended and continued on with their own series of concerts. Several concerts were recorded and released for the Fanclubs. The 20th anniversary tour concluded with a show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 1, 2006. Though the show had minimal promotion, it was sold out days after tickets were made available. This show, which was recorded for a CD/DVD called Score released on August 29, 2006 through Rhino Records, was the band's first concert accompanied by an orchestra (the "Octavarium Orchestra").

The Roadrunner years[edit source | editbeta]

Systematic Chaos and Greatest Hit (2006–08)[edit source | editbeta]

Dream Theater playing live March 8, 2008

After the show at Radio City Music Hall, the band decided to take the summer off for the first time in the band's career. Dream Theater later entered Avatar Studios in September 2006 to record their follow-up to Octavarium (2005), once again being self-produced by John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy, with legendary Studio Engineer, Paul Northfield handling engineering and mixing duties. Dream Theater's 9th studio album, Systematic Chaos was released on June 5, 2007. The record marked their first with new label Roadrunner Records, which in 2010 would become a wholly owned subsidiary of the band's previous label Atlantic Records. Roadrunner implemented increased promotion for the album, and as a result, Systematic Chaos reached number 19 on the Billboard 200. It also saw the release of a video for "Constant Motion" on July 14, the band's first music video since Hollow Years in 1997. An authorized book entitled Lifting Shadows, detailing their first twenty years, was also released in 2007, with an updated and expanded edition released in 2009[29] Systematic Chaos contains eight tracks, but technically only seven songs. The album contains an epic titled "In the Presence of Enemies", bookending the album as tracks 1 and 8, Portnoy's continuing AA Saga with the song "Repentance", and a song of political nature, "Prophets of War".

The 2007/2008 Chaos In Motion World Tour started off in Italy. Dream Theater played in the Gods of Metal concert on June 3, 2007.[30] Dream Theater also appeared at the Fields Of Rock Festival in the Netherlands on June 17, 2007.[31] They also played at various other European festivals including the UK's Download Festival and the French festival Hellfest Summer Open Air with other bands such as MegadethKornMastodon and Slayer.

Dream Theater returned to perform the North American leg of the tour on July 24 in San DiegoCalifornia and wrapped up on August 26 in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania. They played with opening acts Redemptionand Into Eternity. The "Chaos In Motion" tour continued for the rest of the year and into 2008, playing shows in AsiaSouth America and, for the first time, Australia.[32]

On April 1, 2008, a two-disc compilation album entitled Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) was released by the band. The title jokingly references the song "Pull Me Under", the band's only significant radio hit. It also includes three song re-mixes from their second album, Images and Words, five edited versions of previously released songs, and a track from a single B-side. Unlike most greatest hits compilations, Dream Theater was actively involved with the album, coming up with the tracklisting that they felt best represented their musical careers.

Mike Portnoy, after the release of Greatest Hit, organized a new tour called Progressive Nation 2008. Unlike previous Dream Theater tours, performances were held in cities that they had not visited before in the past (such as Vancouver, Canada) or cities they had not played in for several years. This tour also marked the first time, since the release of Images and Words, where the group performed in small venues and performance halls.

After this tour, the band released a DVD set called Chaos in Motion 2007–2008, a compilation of songs from the tour supporting their 9th album, Systematic Chaos. There were two sets of DVDs released. One was a regular two disk set while the Special Edition set contained three CDs of music that went along with the DVDs. It was released on September 30, 2008.

Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2008–10)[edit source | editbeta]

On October 7, 2008, Dream Theater again entered Avatar Studios to begin work on their 10th album, resuming their relationship with Paul Northfield to engineer and mix the record. The album, titled Black Clouds & Silver Linings, was released on June 23, 2009.[33] In addition to the standard CD, the album is available on vinyl LP, as well as a 3-disc Special Edition CD that includes the full album, a CD of instrumental mixes of the album and a CD of six cover songs from artists such as Queen and Rainbow. On July 1, 2009, the album debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, with first week sales totalling 40,285, making their highest entry on the chart.[34]

Mike Portnoy spoke to Metal Hammer about the new album and commented the song 'The Shattered Fortress' was the last in a series of songs about his 12 Steps recovery from alcoholism, 'The Best of Times' "is a real heavy personal subject about my dad who passed away during the making of the album," adding, "He was battling cancer throughout its making."[35]

The band also embarked on a second Progressive Nation tour, including the tour's first performances in Europe. OpethUnexpect and Bigelf supported Dream Theater in Europe, while Zappa Plays ZappaPain Of Salvation, and Beardfish were slated to perform on the North American leg. However, Pain of Salvation and Beardfish were unable to tour with Dream Theater and Zappa Plays Zappa because of financial troubles within their respective record labels. The two new bands that filled the vacated slots for the Progressive Nation 2009 tour in North America were Bigelf and Scale The Summit with Bigelf performing on both European and North American legs.

After the Progressive Nation Tour, Dream Theater entered the studio right after New Year's Eve to write and record a brand new instrumental track for inclusion on the God of War III soundtrack EP God of War: Blood & Metal. Titled "Raw Dog", God (of) War reversed, the instrumental was sent to Roadrunner Records January 8, 2010. This marked the first time that the band has written and recorded an exclusive track for an outside project.[36] "Raw Dog" includes the first ever commercially recorded harpejji track, performed by Jordan Rudess, as well as Dream Theaters final recorded performance with Mike Portnoy on drums. In December 2009, during their Black Clouds & Silver Linings tour whilst visiting Australia, Dream Theater appeared with one support act, Pain of Salvation.[37] In March 2010, they toured South America with Bigelf. Afterwards, during the summer of 2010, Dream Theater supported Iron Maiden on the US and Canadian legs of their summer tour which were the last shows DT played during 2010.[38]

Mike Portnoy's Departure (2010-11)[edit source | editbeta]

Mike Portnoy announced that he would be leaving Dream Theater on September 8, 2010.

On September 8, 2010, Mike Portnoy announced that he would be leaving Dream Theater, citing better relationships in other projects, burnout, and his desire for a break as reasons.[39] Elaborating on the situation for MusicRadarJohn Petrucci revealed that originally, Portnoy did not want to leave the band; he only wanted to take a five-year break.[40] He eventually dropped this number to around one year.[41] Only after the rest of the band rejected his proposal did Portnoy decide to quit.

After Portnoy left Dream Theater, relationships between him and his former bandmates became strained. In February 2011, Portnoy complained that no one from the band was returning his calls and e-mails.[42] Tensions became especially high when Portnoy called James LaBrie "disrespectful" for comments LaBrie made during an interview,[43] stating that Dream Theater were "not sad at all" that Portnoy was no longer a band member. As of July 12, 2011, LaBrie has not remained in touch with Portnoy.[44] At one point, false reports surfaced that Portnoy had sued Dream Theater.[45] However, later Portnoy commented that both Petrucci and Rudess were the only members that stayed in touch with him.

A little more than a month after Portnoy's departure, Dream Theater began auditioning for a new drummer in New York City. The drummers invited to audition wereMike ManginiDerek RoddyThomas LangVirgil DonatiMarco MinnemannAquiles Priester, and Peter Wildoer.[46] The candidates were notified whether they had been chosen on November 5;[47] however, the results of the audition were not made public until April 2011 via a three-part YouTube documentary series called The Spirit Carries On.[48] In the last episode of the series, it was revealed that Mangini was the drummer selected.

A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011–12)[edit source | editbeta]

Dream Theater entered Cove City Sound Studios to begin working on a new album on January 3, 2011.[49][50] Writing was completed on March 2 and done without Mangini.[51] On April 14, LaBrie began tracking vocals and by June 28, the album's mixing and mastering by Andy Wallace were finished.[52][53][54] Released worldwide on September 12 and in the United States on September 13, A Dramatic Turn of Eventsdebuted at number one in some countries and attained the eighth position on the Billboard 200,[55] the band's second ever top ten debut position on that chart after Black Clouds & Silver Linings.[56] Although the album received mixed reviews,[57] it won numerous awards from music publications and its lead single, "On the Backs of Angels", was nominated for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the 2012 Grammy Awards,[10] representing the band's first ever Grammy nomination.

Dream Theater kicked off their tour in support of A Dramatic Turn of Events on July 4, 2011 in Rome, Italy.[53][58] The second leg of the tour took place in North America, where the band headlined withTrivium.[59] After a short break to conclude 2011, the band returned to Europe with Periphery,[60] to Asia with Andy McKee, to North America with Crimson Projekct and then to South America for the final leg of the tour.[61] On August 19 and 20, they filmed two shows at Luna Park in Buenos AiresArgentina for a live Blu-ray release set for release in May 2013.[62][63][64] The tour concluded on September 1 in Brasília,Brazil.

Dream Theater and further (2013–present)[edit source | editbeta]

Writing for Dream Theater's twelfth studio album commenced on the A Dramatic Turn of Events tour.[65] During soundchecks, the band would jam and record their ideas, and John Petrucci would bring in material he wrote independently. Following the conclusion of the tour, the band took a break but continued writing. They reconvened in early 2013 to enter the studio.[66]

In July 2012, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory was listed as the number one all-time progressive album by a Rolling Stone readers' poll, beating 2112 by Rush and Close to the Edge by Yes.[67]

In December 2012, Dream Theater re-signed with Roadrunner Records; the band soon began recording a new album as part of the new agreement. The band commented: “Roadrunner's dedication and commitment to Dream Theater has been evident to all of us from the very beginning, and is consistent in all departments and on all levels, right on through to the top. Roadrunner is a record label that is not only great at what they do but who truly understand what Dream Theater is all about as well as the amazing people who support us all around the world whom we proudly call our fans. They are a record company we relate to as an organization firmly rooted in its ideals and mission, while always pushing the envelope in an effort to keep things moving ever forward. We’ve reached many career defining milestones while at Roadrunner and are all incredibly pumped in anticipation of our continued future together!”.[68]

On February 1, 2013, the band's seventh live album, Live at Luna Park, was announced.

In a YouTube Q&A with the band members, John Myung has confirmed that he'll be contributing lyrics again for the new album and that there will be a new instrumental for the band, the first instrumental to appear on a Dream Theater studio album since "Stream of Consciousness" from Train of Thought, the instrumental "Raw Dog" composed for the God of War III "Blood & Metal" EP, released in 2010, notwithstanding. He also stated that the new album may see a release date of late summer or early September.

In another YouTube Q&A with the band, John Petrucci has announced the twelfth studio album is completed in recording and will be released in late summer, also that the band will begin touring again in 2014, taking a much needed break from the constant summer tours. On June 6, 2013, a pop-up message was revealed while entering the official website, which prompts the release date: September 24th, 2013. That same day, the official Dream Theater Twitter account announced that the album will be an eponymous release, Dream Theater's first self-titled album.[69] Dream Theater started mixing on June 10 and concluded on June 28, 2013. On July 9, 2013, the band posted Dream Theater's cover art and track listing on their official facebook-page. The upcoming world tour is called "Along For The Ride 2014".

On August 5, 2013, the band posted a preview release of the track "The Enemy Inside." This was a new venture in that the song was released officially through USA Today (Gannett) and Soundcloud.com.

 

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Comment by Niels (Mod) on August 7, 2013 at 1:59pm
You're welcome, my friend.
Comment by RJhog (Admin) on August 7, 2013 at 1:23pm

Thanks for creating this Niels.

 

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