The new, self-titled album from progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER sold around 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on September 24 via Roadrunner.
DREAM THEATER's previous CD, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", opened with 36,000 units to land at No. 8. The band's 2009 effort, "Black Clouds & Silver Linings", premiered with 40,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 6. This was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by its predecessor, "Systematic Chaos", which shifted 36,000 copies in 2007 to debut at No. 19. 2005's "Octavarium" premiered with 27,000 copies to land at No. 36.
Speaking to Ultimate-Guitar.com, guitarist John Petrucci stated about "Dream Theater": "I think it's building on [what we did on the "A Dramatic Turn of Events" album], but taking it to the next level. One of the things I really wanted to do on 'A Dramatic Turn of Events' was to create something that was sonically very rich and high-def and powerful and I think we accomplished that. But on this album, I wanted to take that even further…. [I wanted to] get more cinematic with it and more earthy and aggressive and bigger. I wanted a bigger, more forward in-your-face kind of sound. I think that kind of dictated the sounds we went for while we were writing and recording and then ultimately how it was mixed. So yeah, it was kind of building on that, but taking it to the next level. You always need to progress and to try and do something different and kind of have a little bit different take on it and a different perspective. But hopefully make it better as you go."
The nine-track disc was recorded at Cove City Studio in Glen Cove, Long Island, with Petrucci producing and Richard Chycki engineering and mixing. It's the band's second album with drummer Mike Mangini, and the first one on which he was a part of the writing process from Day One.
In January, Petrucci said of Mangini's work: "When people hear the drumming on this album, they're gonna be pretty freaked out. On the last album, he did a great job, but he wasn't there for the writing process and he was interpreting drum parts that I had programmed. Even though he used his creativity, of course, to change them up and do his thing, I feel like now he's just Mike Mangini unleashed. It's all him. It's all his creativity, all his decisions and ideas and man, the guy's an animal."
"Dream Theater" track listing:
01. False Awakening Suite
I. Sleep Paralysis
II. Night Terrors
III. Lucid Dream
02. The Enemy Inside
03. The Looking Glass
04. Enigma Machine
05. The Bigger Picture
06. Behind The Veil
07. Surrender To Reason
08. Along For The Ride
09. Illumination Theory
I. Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire
II. Live, Die, Kill
III. The Embracing Circle
IV. The Pursuit of Truth
V. Surrender, Trust & Passion
"Dream Theater" was made available in a wide range of distinctive versions, including standard and special edition CDs, 180-gram double LP, and a limited-edition boxed set.
The video for the song "The Enemy Inside" was directed by Bill Fishman (RAMONES, STEVE RAY VAUGHAN). The strictly conceptual clip deals with the torment of a soldier who's struggling with reintegrating into his life back home due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Regarding the song's lyrics, Petrucci told Billboard.com: "At the time that we were in the studio working on the [new DREAM THEATER] album and I was writing lyrics, the Boston Marathon bombings happened. There was a lot of discussion of terrorism and PTSD as if affects people who witness traumatic events like terrorism, so it was just very on my mind. It linked very well with the mood of the song, and as we started to get into it, I watched some documentaries and things like that. I was like, 'This is really something that needs to be written about.'"