has an amazing way of satisfying their many fans with live recordings. Score: XOX
is a prime example: there are three discs here. The first one is the band at their live, crackling best, playing tunes from throughout their now-lengthy career -- for a metal band -- and including a pair of smoking unreleased cuts in the mix. First there is "Root of All Evil," and "I Walk Beside You," and rounding that are "Innocence Faded," and "Afterlife." The two new cuts, are both hard, riff heavy, labyrinthine journeys that reveal the best in progressive metal. "Another Won," feels more like a suite in its nearly six-minute length, with more parts than one can count easily; next is the drifting, strange and beautiful "Raise the Knife," that is as closely driven to every edge. The set ends with the gorgeous, nearly spiritual anthem "The Spirit Carries On." Discs two and three are the real treats, though, as they feature the band playing its long compositions -- "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence," "Sacrificed Sons," "Octavarium" (of course), and the roiling, sci-fi metal of "Metropolis," with the Octavarium
orchestra, which is 29-pieces strong, conducted by Jill Dell'Abate
. The ability the band has to make the orchestra sound like part of its everyday concert experience is nothing less than thrilling.; the sound is top-notch, and there are no excessive parts -- Dream Theater
always take care of that on their own. If you're a fan, then you'll need it. And if you've ever wondered, this is a great place to start.