Released: 2001, Magna Carta
Yet another the almost never-ending string of Dream Theater side-project, solo CD, super-group, all-star bands. You know those cool, family tree’s that came with Kiss-ALIVE III and Iron Maiden’s- A REAL DEAD ONE? Someone should do one for DT. By my count there are about 12 related projects of one form or another. If ya wanna know who they are e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
, I’m not to bother listing them here!
Mr. Rudess is the third keyboardist in the mighty DT and of the 2 or 3 other keyboardists (Kevin Moore &, Derick Sheridan) solo projects, this is my favorite. Everything we come to expect from the Magna Carta label is in place. High quality packaging, presentation , production and recording. A great package!
The usual all-star cast is ever present with the usual suspects checking in namely , T. Bozzio, S. Morse, J. Petrucci, B. Sheehan, M. Wood, and a few others. The whole thing ,although instrumental, has a concept feel or theme running through it, kind of a outer-space, sci-fi deal with everything being inter-related in the wheel of time, space, life and so forth. Song titles would bear that out with songs like, Quantum Soup, Crack the Meter and Dreaming in Titanium.
Musically, ultimately it is a keyboardists solo project, so that could be a damnation or adventure in listening depends on your inclination to instrumental keyboard solo CD’s. I have a soft spot for them, a nice break from the black-metal that often infests my stereo. It is heavier than many of them out there but not at the same level of Vvitalij Kubrij. The songs range from heavy rock to straight acoustic piano. Track lengths are all over the map from a 1.5 minutes to 11 minutes. The song-writing is a little less than stellar, but that is always a very individual perception. Overall I would say the musicianship is of the highest quality, how could it not be with a line-up like that?
Normally, I don’t like giving a point five in my rating. Essentially it takes the 5 point scale and makes it a ten point scale, which defeats the purpose. However in this instance, I felt that this CD really did not have something extra special to offer therefore my desire to bestow a three. However, in context of what this CD is, it is a four, hence the split rating. If you are a casual prog fan it is a three. If you are Dream Theater nut and buy every side project ever affiliated with the band, this is a 4! Either way, check it out and enjoy.