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I recently noticed something while looking at DTs Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds album arts
Systematic Chaos - Seems to be ants taking over a developed city
The ants - Portnoy's overwhelming ideas of the way the band should take their sound
The city - A metropolis, if you will, possible referencing Metropolis Pt 2, their magnum opus and their previous sound at its greatest
The album name - Possible a reference to the songwriting Hierarchy within the band, where it is well structured but poorly executed
Black Clouds & Silver Linings - A child opening a door to a clear blue skies, against a background of storm clouds
The door and clear skies - A new front for the band to venture towards, free from Portnoy's influence. Also, note that this small sliver of a scene is the same background as the album art of A Dramatic Turn of Events, their most recent album
The storm clouds - Portnoy's ideas of where the sound should go to
The child - Dream Theater itself, in a sense is the child of Portnoy
The elephant in the room - The problem of what they should do about Portnoy (Also back to the child, leaving it behind)
The canvas - This canvas has an eye on it similar to the eye on the cover of Train of Thought, the first of DTs heavy, thrash albums
The name - Black clouds could be Portnoy's ideas and the silver linings could be the song writing experience he left behind
Seems that Dream Theater has been thinking about leaving Portnoy behind for quite a while now
I was listening to Breaking All Illusions recently, and I noticed an interesting thing on there, that it seemed to have a huge stress on "Living life in the moment" and "Starting the cycle," and I couldn't help but think that this stemmed from Octavarium's theme of repeating cycles. Upon looking further into Systematic Chaos. Even further in, "This is the life" seemed to go with Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence's overarching theme of dealing with flaws among your own life, and "Bridges in the sky" seems to deal with spiritual connections among many things, in the sense of Metropolis Pt. 2, Scenes From a Memory. This led to believe this:
A Dramatic Turn of Events isnt a collection of 9 stories, its a recollection of the themes of the past 9 full studio albums, Images & Words, Awake, Falling into Infinity, Metropolis Pt 2, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought, Octavarium, Systematic Chaos, and Black Clouds & Silver Linings.
Keep in mind these lyrics are taken more literally then some prefer.
The songs and corresponding albums are as follows:
On the Backs of Angels - Falling into Infinity - The "angel" could be seen as the recording studio during the time this album was demanded, as they led Dream Theater to write a more popular sounding album, which came to be one of their worst works.
Build me up, Break me down - Black Clouds & Silver Linings - This song could be related to Portnoy's directing of the band, obviously, but could also be seen as voicing the final straw in dealing with his choice of sound and where it was heading.
Lost Not Forgotten - Systematic Chaos - This song has fantasy lyrics, something stemming off the ideas of Systemactic chaos, along with the topic being about a lost greatness, also a possible throwback to how the band felt about the reception of their new sound and ideas.
This is the Life - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - Being about dealing with life as it comes, and being thankful for it, whatever what might happen, this could easily relate to Six Degree's theme of dillemmas in our lives and how we deal with them
Bridges in the Sky - Metropolis Pt. 2 Scenes From a Memory - This song has direct lyrical references to Metropolis, with things such as "Visions come alive," "Reunite my soul," and "Carry me home," to go along with the obvious throws to unseen spritual connections.
Outcry - Train of Thought - One of the more thrashy, powerful songs on the album, this song speaks of a revolution, which I percieved as possibly a viewpoint of the band as the fanbase reacted to such a sudden change in sound, from the prog mastery of Six Degrees to the Thrash metal of Train of Thought, also, it is the sixth song on the album, like Train of Thought being the sixth album.
Far From Heaven - Awake - The majority of this song being about a child, and some lyrics allowing an inference of some things that occured before hand between the couple could be tied back to the couple of which Awake's story was based off of.
Breaking all Illusions - Octavarium - This song has many bases of its lyrics sitting among the topic of cycles and life in the present, somethings that can be held with Octavariums theme of endless cycles.
Beneath the Surface - Images & Words - This song talks about storing away whats paining you, only to let it stay unnoticed for long to come. This could be refering to the making of their first huge hit with Portnoy, and how they simply let their own feelings and musical prowess begin to be overturned by Portnoy's view of the music they should make.
Please tell me below what you think of this theory