I have been a big fan of the progressive metal band Dream Theater since I first read about them in Modern Drummer. One of my favorite albums of theirs is Falling into Infinity, which was released in 1997. This album gets a bad rap from Dream Theater fans. I can understand that if you are expecting an epic prog album such as Images and Words or Scenes from a Memory you are not going to find it here and will surely be disappointed. Falling into Infinity is not as proggy or as heavy as other Dream Theater albums. However, this is still a great album and I think that if any other band but Dream Theater would have released it then it would have been more appreciated. The album has the typical lineup of James LaBrie (vocals), John Myung (bass), John Petrucci (guitar), and Mike Portnoy (drums), but has Derek Sherinian on keyboards. I like Derek Sherinian’s keyboard work, especially on “Lines in the Sand” and am looking forward to checking out Sons of Apollo, the new project he has with Mike Portnoy. I understand why they parted ways with Sherinian and went with Jordan Rudess on keys, but I thought that he fit in great especially during this era of the band. While this album isn’t as epic as other Dream Theater albums I think it still has some great songwriting on it. I particularly like “New Millennium”, “Peruvian Skies”, “Lines in the Sand”, and “Trial of Tears”. If you like the first track, “New Millennium”, you should enjoy the rest of the album.
This album also shows the great chemistry that John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy had together. This is really shown in the instrumental track “Hell’s Kitchen”. If you like this version of Dream Theater I also recommend checking out the live album Once in a LIVEtime. It has the same lineup of band members and they play a lot of the songs off this album and previous albums. Since it is live the band has a bit more room to stretch out during their solos, though that also means LaBrie can stretch out a bit with his vocals which can be annoying. While Falling into Infinity isn’t a career defining moment for the band I still think it deserves more love than it gets.
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