Local Wire

Dream Theater

In movies, metal bands and their fans are often portrayed as anti-eggheads — note the knee-high nihilists and simpletons of Airheads, This Is Spinal Tap, and The River's Edge. Well, dig this, Movie Producers of Hollyweird: Those who play metal have also attended music school. That's right; the core members of Dream Theater — guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, and drummer Mike Portnoy — attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music together. And they aren't a lot that scream of licking maggots from some Stygian beast-god's hooves; they sing about redemption as much as its antithesis. Dream Theater not only fills the requisite quota of instrumental pyrotechnics but has the moxie to integrate its accomplished barrage with a 29-piece orchestra, as their 2006 disc Score: XOX proudly attests. Best of all, they've been at this awhile (since 1986), and they've yet to sully themselves with any cheesy sellout dreck (unlike those prog-refugee "artistes" of Asia and GTR, remember them?). For that alone, this Dream deserves respect.
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Mark Keresman