01 December 2021


This is a special, not-quite late-night, musical interlude. I usually try to keep the songs I feature to a "reasonable" length. But this song is an unreasonable length. That is the nature of Progressive Rock. It is 24 minutes long, so plan accordingly.

Dream Theater is either Progressive Rock, or Progressive Metal, depending on the song, and who is doing the labeling. Today's song strikes me as old-school progressive rock. It is not quite the maximum length of a song that could fit on one side of an LP record, but was the in-practice maximum used by most jazz and progressive rock musicians back in the bad days of vinyl.

The keyboards remind me in some ways of Yes from the 1970s. The drumming is complex in the way Genesis was when Phil Collins was "only" the drummer for that group. Sometimes I think they are trying too hard, but it is one of the closest things to 70s progressive rock produced in the last 20 years.

Dream Theater has had some personnel changes over the years. The people on this album are James LaBrie as lead vocalist, John Petrucci on guitar and backing vocals, Jordan Rudess playing keyboards and continuum lap steel guitar, John Myung is the bassist, and Mike Portnoy plays drums, percussion and providing backing vocals. I'm pretty sure this is the current lineup of the band as well.

This is "Octavarium" by Dream Theater from their 2005 album Octavarium.

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