Since their first studio release in 1989, Dream Theater has notched up record and DVD sales in excess of six million and headlined to audiences of 20,000. Having undertaken seven world tours across 42 different countries, they have established a live reputation that has swept them to arena-status around the globe. They have appeared alongside acts such as Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and Yes.
Recognized by peers and public alike for their advanced musical expertise, the band (Mike Portnoy, drums; John Petrucci, guitar; John Myung, bass; James LaBrie, vocals; Jordan Rudess, keyboards) has long held the ability to combine complex arrangements with unadulterated songwriting skills, the material often underpinned by riffs as heavy as anything in the Metallica repertoire.
"This album's got all of the elements we've become known for," reveals Portnoy. "The focus on musicianship, the skull-crushing riffs, the big progressive epics and the heart-wrenching melodies. We've got one of the strongest and most devoted fan bases in the world, and they should certainly be happy with the new material. By working closely with the label we hope to turn a great many new heads, too."
Prior to teaming up with Roadrunner Records, Dream Theater was signed to a seven-album deal with Warner Music Group worldwide. The deal commenced with the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Images And Words (1992), a Gold-certified US release, and concluded, in equal style, with Octavarium (2005), a Top 40 Billboard outing. In August of last year the band issued Score, a live album/DVD (recorded at Radio City Music Hall in New York), which went straight to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard DVD charts, knocking Pink Floyd from the top!
By the following month, the five were holed up at Avatar Studios in New York, working on the new album with veteran engineer/ mixer Paul Northfield (Rush, Queensrÿche, Porcupine Tree). As usual, Portnoy and Petrucci chose to co-produce the project, which features seven compositions (one a 25-minute epic), and word on the grapevine is that the Dream Theater/Roadrunner alliance looks all set to kick off with a classic.
Systematic Chaos, Dream Theater's ninth studio release, arrives at a time when the band is casting a longer-than-ever shadow across the rock and metal landscape. Their influence is being acknowledged by an increasing number of contemporary, cutting-edge acts such as Stone Sour, Trivium, Shadows Fall, Opeth as their fan base continues to grow.
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