Thursday, 6 August 2009

On The Count of Tuscany...

That is to say the last track off Dream Theater's new album Black Clouds and Silver Linings

I've been listening to this album a lot since I bought it a few weeks ago and it really gets better with repeated listens (even though the track they chose to be the single is probably the least good in my opinion.) It is in my own and indeed many fans' opinions their best album for a decade. I personally think The Count of Tuscany is their best track since the 45-minute titular epic from the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence album.

This track is just so balanced. It starts off with a really nice broken chord acoustic theme. In fact, the first chord is a minor 9th! After a wonderfully tasteful lead guitar solo this then leads up to a driving metal section where the vocals kick in. Granted, John Petrucci's lyrics are pretty appallingly bad, but the musical talent makes this not so much of an issue - I even don't mind the slightly unmelodic Mike Portnoy vocals on this track! You then get the obligatory technical wizardry section from all four instrumentalists before another tasteful guitar solo brings in a very, very chilled volume-swelled guitar section which conjured up memories of Pink Floyd and Yes - actually gives me goosebumps!

From there on starts the best ending to a prog epic I have ever heard, building up into a repeat of the opening solo and theme above some beautiful keyboard patch harmonies. I am so buzzed about the prospect of hopefully playing this one day with some friends at university.

Here is the first half of the track. But if you don't have time for an epic 19-minute prog song, just press play on the second half down below and appreciate it while it is on in the background! Also the comments for that video form one of the greatest threads ever...

Oh, and actually go and buy the album! It's a good time to get into Dream Theater!

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