After John Petrucci’s solo album and the Liquid Tension Experiment reunification, it is time for the main event, Dream Theater, and this a satisfying and liberated one from these prog metal legends. It must be said, for anyone that got too carried away based on the aforementioned releases, that this is modern DT we’re talking about, mostly within their comfort zone.
If you happen to like their comfort zone as much as I do, ‘A View from the Top of the World’ features the following: ‘The Alien’, the best opener in the Mangini era, with LaBrie’s lyrics inspired from the most viewed episode of the most popular podcast worldwide, Joe Rogan’s conversation with Elon Musk. ‘Invisible Monster’, their best ‘commercial’ song, for Dream Theater’s standards, in a while. ‘Awaken the Master’, their first eight-string guitar song, resulting in a classic Petrucci syncopated verse riff that makes your beard and biceps grow simultaneously. The title track, 20 minutes well spent, with all their classic elements. It’s not ‘A Change of Seasons’ but I think it is more inspired than ‘Illumination Theory’ for example. And last but not least, vocal lines inspired from LaBrie’s present, not his past, giving him the chance to offer his best performances in years.