Review: Dream Theater - 'Distance Over Time'

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 10:16 AM
Review: Dream Theater -  'Distance Over Time' by Amber Chisholm

While there is no guarantee that part of the band’s name will come true for the minds and ears of its listeners, their new album called “Distance Over Time,” released Feb. 22, serves as a positive change, nonetheless.


For the first track, “Untethered Angel” is somewhat morose and distant yet grows more aggressive and feels somewhat vicious, even sensual and circus-like in a dark way. Voice synthesizers create a somewhat drowned out effect, almost as if they are shouting into rain, so I didn’t feel as liberated the lyrics “set you free” would profess. The back part of my mind felt cheerful, while the front of it was more foreboding.


I also enjoy “Paralyzed,” but the singer declares himself in this state at the most basic level, again with drowned-out and slightly slurred effects.


In some places, the music, mood and lyrics don’t meld well, though I found these instances very rare.


For example, I got the impression from the first track that the album would be a tad wishy-washy in a sense, as in the above factors going from focused one moment to ambivalent the next, and this made it slightly difficult to both absorb and enjoy it.


There is a touch of elegant and masterful piano in “Barstool Warrior;” giving the track a new and slightly hopeful demeanor.


The track that I feel the most in-touch with is “Fall into the Light,” as it highlights personal and romantic stubbornness with lyrics such as “too much love is not enough for us, I was once too blind to see.”


I also enjoy how it is the most aggressive and least circus-like out of all of them.


“Room 137” is the loudest and most frustrating, as it discusses the pointlessness of trying to fight time and death, and the tone is almost mocking in a way.


I was not a fan of the high pitches cast in “S2N” along with the keytar, yet its guitar solos and overall beat feel spot-on. There seems to be more instrumentals than lyrics, which surprisingly makes the track more enjoyable.


Each track inspires a brief daydream for me in which I am confronting my fate for a highly competitive fictional or reality-based game. I feel as if I am being chased by a predator, yet there also lies the feeling that the predator may be trying to help me.


The pleasant and moving echoes of “At Wit’s End,” make the track self-sacrificing as if the protagonist actually deserves the trust they’re asking for through a soft and inspiring but sad melody.


An even sadder melody perfected with similar-natured vocals is present in “Out of Reach,” which I find to be the most depressing of the album, as it refers to two struggling characters, both male and female with the prospect of not necessarily unrequited, but undetermined love from a painful distance.


“Pale Blue Dot” is peaceful and inconspicuous in the beginning, then gets rougher but almost lacks purpose. One typically reimagines a song’s title in a physical way, and both the music and lyrics are elating and interpretive. However, they leave indirect clues as to if this dot represents the sky or a clue towards something else, and apply to the point of not melding well.


“Viper King” is lively and creative with sounds and vocals. Minus the fact that it serves as a bonus track, its change in pace is beneficial as it provides a lively note and cool-down vibe.


Being a tad otherworldly, emotional, and with other various elements mixed in-between, “Distance Over Time” will take listeners to various settings, sometimes making them wonder if and hope that the pauses and fade outs are only temporary up until the end.


This album serves as an ego check as it encourages you to work your imagination yet not at the expense of others and represents the truth that a person, song and band gets respects where it is earned.

Amber Chisholm |

Tags: music, review

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