Prog Report Ranking – Dream Theater Albums

Ranking of Dream Theater’s studio albums.

10- A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011)

The fact that the band released an album after Portnoy’s departure was shocking but what was more surprising was how good it was. All of the long, heavy tracks are great and the closer Breaking All Illusions is one of the group’s best songs.

 

9- Distance Over Time (2019)

The band lived together in a studio in NY for over a month and recorded their best album in years with the vibrant and exhilarating Distance Over Time, which features some amazing tracks like Barstool Warrior. At Wit’s End, and Pale Blue Dot.

 

8- A View From The Top Of The World (2022)

The band recently released their 15th studio album after having to cancel their tour due to the global pandemic. The result was their best album in over 10 years. This is a heavy and proggy affair with no short songs and no ballads, but a number of incredible sounding tracks, including the 20 minute title track, Sleeping Giant, the 8-string Awaken the Master, and opener The Alien, which resulted in their 3rd Grammy nomination.

 

7- Black Clouds and Silver Linings (2009)

The last album with Mike Portnoy was a welcome return to form after the detours with Octavarium and Systematic Chaos. It is worth a listen simply for the bookend tracks, A Nightmare to Remember and Count of Tuscany, which stand among the best songs in their catalog.

 

6- Octavarium (2005)

This album seems to hold up better as the year pass. There are some amazing, epic tracks on here like Root of All Evil, Panic Attack and Sacrificed Sons, but the brilliant title track ranks among the band’s finest moments.

6 comments

  • 1) Scenes From a Memory
    2) Images & Words
    3) Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
    4) Awake
    5) Train of Thought
    6) Octavarium
    7) Systematc Chaos
    8) Black Clouds & Silver Linings
    9) A Dramatic Turn of Events
    10) Dream Theater
    11) Falling into Infinity
    12) The Astonishing.

  • I rate the top to as Images and Words and then Scenes from a Memory. I also think Distance Over Time is an incredible album and my favorite since Scenes from a Memory. Train of Thought, Octavarium, Systematic Chaos, and Black Clouds and Silver Linings had some incredible songs, but several songs I don’t like. The one album I guess I completely agree with most is Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. I almost never listen to that album and don’t get how people put that near the top. I would put that album 2nd to last only in front of When Dream and Day Unite (which has good music but I don’t like the vocals and the production quality isn’t good).

  • Meh:
    The Astonishing

    Good:
    A View From The Top Of The World
    Distance Over Time
    Dream Theater (S/T)
    Black Clouds & Silver Linings
    Octavarium
    Falling Into Infinity

    Very Good:
    A Dramatic Turn Of Events
    Systematic Chaos
    Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
    Awake
    When Dream And Day Unite

    Best:
    3. Train Of Thought
    2. Scenes From A Memory
    1. Images And Words

  • I mostly agree with this ranking but I’d swap “Awake”, which has never really resonated with me and feels like a retread of “Images & Words”, with “The Astonishing” which is a phenomenal album and doesn’t get nearly enough respect from DT fans. I’d also probably flip “Falling into Infinity” which has a couple of genuinely *bad* songs, with “When Dream & Day Unite” which, while rough around the edges, is a really exciting, fun album.

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