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Release Date: 22 February 2019
Label: Inside Out Music / Sony
Genre: Progressive/Metal

Massachusetts’ Dream Theater recently unlocked a treasure chest full of goodies for their 3.6 million + fans around the globe to drool over. These goodies are wrapped up in the band’s new album, Distance Over Time.

At the album’s front gate, “Untethered Angel” and “Paralyzed” lead the listener through a journey of pure beauty. Petrucci opens up the door to this metal masterpiece with his well crafted, signature sound. Not many guitarists, even the most iconic ones, can sculpt such a mysterious progression of notes.

There is an ambient guitar tone dialed in, as “Untethered Angel” unfolds and a weeping lick evolves into a warzone of sophisticated heavy metal. Mangini arrives to highlight the transition by emphasizing the accents, stomping the kick pedal and pulverising the snare. Myung is there all the while, doing the work that should never go unnoticed. “Untethered Angel” includes one of the most beautiful melodies in 2019, hands down. James LaBrie’s voice is the angelic sound heard around the world as the emotional outpour leaves us in awe. “Paralyzed” is a 4-minute song built around rhythmic pulse. Much like an ox carrying a heavy load, it’s a well-oiled machine. This timeframe is a bit of a change from the band’s conventional ilk to push the clock. Nonetheless, this tune holds it own with a powerhouse of haunted chants and bludgeoning riffs.

Reaching the halfway mark of this release, Mangini absolutely shreds on the opening of this distorted intro, with smoke rising off those jumbo-sized bass frets. “S 2 N” initially sparks a bit of curiosity of what’s to come. This is a song that instrumentally, makes me think of a more modernized Rush tune. The bass is a dominating fury within this hit, although Rudess takes the opportunity to showcase his set of skills by gracefully trotting around the keys to deliver some tasty synth licks. Dream Theater’s impressive catalogue is completely re-energized by Distance Over Time and the band has set the bar impossibly high for any other acts to try and reach throughout 2019. Guess what? We’re only in February! Take a look at DT’s prestigious achievements with their unmatched live performance and it’s no wonder they’ve forever carved their mark in rock n’ roll history.

Clocking in at 8 minutes and 25 seconds, “Pale Blue Dot” reels in the closing of a long-awaited record. Mysterious ambience are the words that come to mind with this progressive anthem. Dream Theater dared to push the envelope with a tune from outer space and this is the concise evidence the world needed to see and hear. It’s like Star Wars’ “The Imperial March” meets the gorgeous pipes of LaBrie then toss in an impossible mathematical equation as the cherry on top. “Pale Blue Dot” is a wet dream for Prog fans across the board. Petrucci spreads disaster over his fretboard and takes charge of the song with a blistering solo from hell. This lead guitarist doesn’t simply write solos, he commands lightning with his fingers and crafts arpeggios with an alien-like understanding of any six-string he touches. The anthem marches on towards the finish line, delivering a final bow in the form of musical notation. There is a bonus track, however, awaiting fans after “Pale Blue Dot” completes itself. “Viper King” is a uniquely fashioned tune, positioned perfectly as the caboose of a monstrous train, travelling an infinite Distance Over Time.

Rating: 9/10

Suggested Track: Untethered Angel

Reviewed by Kyle Stough