Dream Theater

A Change of Seasons

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A Change of Seasons is a strange disc. There are only five tracks but with a total time that approaches an hour anyway. The first track, the 23-minute, seven-part epic "A Change of Seasons," is one of the most impressive pieces of music ever written in the progressive metal vein. With the same heavy sound that marked Awake, but with many other styles mixed in, the track features incredible playing, dramatic, complex instrumental arrangements, and soaring vocals. New keyboardist Derek Sherinian (formerly of Kiss and Alice Cooper) adds his own stamp to the Dream Theater sound as if he'd always been with them. The remainder of the tracks are live cover tunes, recorded from the band's "Uncovered" gig at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club; the material varies widely and includes Elton John's "Love Lies Bleeding" and Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers." The final track, "The Big Medley," has to be heard to be believed; Dream Theater shift musical styles on a dime to cover Pink Floyd, Kansas, Queen, Journey, the Dixie Dregs, and Genesis all in ten minutes.

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