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dreamtheater distantmemories liveinlondon
Artist: Dream Theater
Title: Distant Memories (Live In London)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 27th November 2020
Label: Inside Out Music

Album Review

I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this. Perhaps in a past-life I stepped on too many snails, or I was mean and cruel to small children. Perhaps I’m simply unlucky, and not cursed at all, and this is just one of those things that happens, right in the middle of a global pandemic on the third national lockdown having given up alcohol and fast running out of chocolate biscuits. Whatever. The fact is, here is my burden, good people. My Herculean labour. To review an album by American Prog-Rock juggernauts DREAM THEATER (and not to cringe at that trans-Atlantic spelling horror).

But it’s not just a review. It’s a review of a live album. And my feelings on live albums are well documented. These products tend to be over-produced, with the fake high-pitched screams of the adoring crowd aurally photo-shopped into some bizarre kettle-hiss, and all the drama, the lights, smells, camaraderie, and euphoria of a live show, whittled away into something one dimensional and ultimately frustrating. Because you weren’t there. And you aren’t now. As you play it in your headphones in Aldi, or while waiting at the traffic lights on the way to pick up little Merlina from school. Is this live album any different then? Have DREAM THEATER bucked the trend of crap, lifeless, one dimensional live albums? No. They most certainly have not.

But it’s not just a review of a live album. Because clearly the punishment must run deeper, for whatever my past sins may entail. It’s a TRIPLE live album. That’s about 96 hours of music with titles such as ‘In The Presence Of Enemies Part1’, where whole lifetimes can go by before a song even starts, or a guitar solo can test the very boundaries of space, time, and sanity. An acquaintance of mine, who happens to be very much up on the whole Prog-Rock scene, and a bit of a litmus test for what is and isn’t worthy within the genre, told me that DREAM THEATER represented - and I quote - “guitar wanking”. But having listening to the simply never-ending horror of a triple live album by this band, I have to disagree with him. To categorise self-love as something so boringly banal, and tediously pointless is to denigrate a whole world of happy masturbaters to a life of sensual indifference and bland floor gazing.

I’m fully aware of two things here. First, DREAM THEATER have sold a lot of records. But then so did NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK and nobody likes them now, do they? And second, fans of DREAM THEATER won’t be reading this. They will already have purchased this album, and set aside the next ten years to plough through it with fevered brow and eyes closed in ‘bass-players face’ ecstasy. So, no-one will be offended by this will they? And we can all just get back to what we enjoy doing the most….


01. Untethered Angel
02. A Nightmare To Remember
03. Fall Into The Light
04. Barstool Warrior
05. In The Presence Of Enemies Part1
06. Pale Blue Dot

01. Scenes Live Intro
02. Scene One: Regression
03. Scene Two: 1. Overture 1928
04. Scene Two: 2. Strange Déjà vu
05. Scene Three: 1. Through My Words
06. Scene Three: 2. Fatal Tragedy
07. Scene Four: Beyond This Life
08. Scene Five: Through Her Eyes

01. Scene Six: Home
02. Scene Seven: 1. The Dance Of Eternity
03. Scene Seven: 2. One Last Time
04. Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On
05. Scene Nine: Finally Free
06. At Wit’s End
07. Paralyzed (Bonus Track)


James LaBrie – Vocals
John Petrucci – Guitar
Jordan Rudess – Keyboards
John Myung – Bass
Miki Mangini – Drums

Website /

Cover Picture

dreamtheater distantmemories liveinlondon


Music: 4
Sound: 2
Total: 3 / 10

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