Best Dream Theater Albums

Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
Seriously, everything about this album is just too good to be true. 77 minutes of pure beauty. Not to mention it even has a story to follow. Sure I might not call it the greatest album of all time. Dark side of the Moon has that honor. I find it sad that this album will never get the sheer amount of respect it deserves. Dream Theater is just without a doubt the current gods of music. But sadly, the media don't want to see them for what they are and are calling little teenaged boys who's voice haven't even broken and busty woman who like to dye their hair pink "Superstars". It just makes me sick.
This is the soundtrack of my life. On my funeral they will play "Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On"
If someone tells me: "If it would be the end of the world, which album of Dream Theater would take with you on your trip to another planet? ". Then the answer would be Scenes From A Memory, without second thought!
Amazing album, all the songs are extraordinary. I have a doubt though, if you search here on TheTopTens the best SONGS of DT you won't find any of metropolis pt 2 why? (Beyond this Life is amazing in my opinion)
More comments about Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory

2Images and Words
There are so many good Dream Theater albums that it was a hard decision but I really had to go with this one. It had the best atmosphere. Songs as Pull Me Under or Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle And the Sleeper had influenced so many following DT songs. Really really killer album. Systematic Chaos, Metropolis Part 2, Train of Thought and Black Clouds And Silver Linings are awesome as well.
Oe of my top 5 albums of all time, no song can get even close to Learning to live and metropolis part 1. This album will forever hold my childhood memories.
Never heard about this band, but since they say Jon Petrucci is such an awesome guitarrist and Theater is an innovative band... I had to try it out. Don't be startled by the size of the tracks, you'll be wanting they were the triple of their size because they are so awesome! If you're into awesome riffs, solos, and keyboarding, that's just it. There's even a legendary bass solo! Just downloaded this album and I'm already downloading another, because Dream Theater won a place in my heart.
This album has such beautiful songs that deserves to be at top position. Every song I keep on listening has a deeper meaning to discover.
Try Surrounded and Learning to live.
More comments about Images and Words

3Train of Thought
While it isn't a progressive masterpiece such as Metropolis or Octavarium, ToT is on a new level of musicianship. Stream of Conciousness has to be the greatest instrumental I've ever heard, while In the Name of God... Just wow. There isn't a song on this album that I don't listen to over and over again. Honor Thy Father, This Dying Soul... So many memorable and badass moments with riffs and incredible guitar work.
I love all of DT albums. But train of thought is by far my favorite, probably followed by awake. Every song in it is just so damn amazing. As I am, endless sacrifice, stream of consciousness, in the name of god all rape
Definitely Dream Theater's heaviest album they've ever made with incredible solos and great lyrics
More comments about Train of Thought

When I listened to Pink Floyd's "The Wall", I thought at the time I'd never come across another album that made me feel so much emotion. But then, "Octavarium" came around, and I was blown away. Next to "A Change of Seasons" and "Train of Thought", this album is very high on my all-time favorite list.
This album is a journey, from the first note of Root of All Evil, to the last note of Octavarium, you find that your journey starts where it ended, and leave utterly satisfied that you have lived life to its fullest. After listening to this album you feel a sense of liberation, freedom from what has been trapping you inside. This is progressive metal at its finest.
Octavarium was like a journey, the deep emotions can't be explained, you have to hear it from start to finish to understand what a gem it is.
Octavarium is one of the best pieces of progressive music ever made.
More comments about Octavarium

5A Dramatic Turn of Events
Frankly might just be a masterpiece? Takes a few listens perhaps but give it a chance and it WILL reward. It definitely needs to be high up on a list - even though it's very difficult to list in an ordered sense great DT albums because they are all pretty much awesome, just in different ways. I can name less than perfect ones, falling into infinity, Once in a lifetime but even they are not exactly terrible
To think what they went through to get this album out, its a masterpiece. Took a little while to get into it, but it has the perfect mix of metal and progressive roots. Every song is better than amazing. Made me want more already
Handful of songs on this album that are as good as any songs written by DT. Total departure from recent albums, going back to more progressive routes, and less new metal. Lost not forgotten is my personal favorite

I loved all the songs from this album
More comments about A Dramatic Turn of Events

6Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
I love this album, songs like Misunderstood, The Great Debate and Six Degrees are just unbelievable! Dream Theater forever!
7?! 7! REALLY?! This is, in my opinion, their third best album, after Scenes From a Memory and Octavarium. When I first saw that this had a 40 minute song, I was too scared and overwhelmed to spend the time listening to this masterpiece. But 6DOIT is so easy to listen to. Every song is pure gold. It's worth your time.
Blind Faith, best song with the best, both agressive and chilling drumming, and a mind-blowing Keyboard. Not to mention James charming voice, Petrucci's guitar and Myung's bass, of course. One of my favorites and definitely, my favorite album.
More comments about Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

7Systematic Chaos
This album deserves more recognition, for many reasons. The diversity, from The Dark Eternal night to Repentance. It has multiple epics, like In the Presence of enemies, and my favorite DT song, The Ministry of Lost Souls. Some of it is heavy, some of it is soft. Another huge part of this album, are the compositions. Some of these songs have the best compositions I have ever listened to. For example, listen to The Ministry of Lost Souls by Symphonic Theater of Dreams. It is amazing!
By far the deepest album, with the most emotional relatability! The instrumentality is on a whole nother level as well
Every song in this album is a masterpiece. Is the most balanced album, not hard to hear but heavy and prog. The arrangements are top and most of the tracks are some of the must listen.
This album deserves a better place on this list.
More comments about Systematic Chaos

8Dream Theater
An amazing and memorable album, with a lot of new flavors and experiments. False Awakening Suite is just the ultimate opener, The Bigger Picture is beautiful, and Illumination Theory is up there with Six Degrees and Octavarium!
The Looking Glass, The Bigger Picture, Behind the Veil, Along for the Ride and Illumination Theory are all brilliant. A new dream Theater classic.
Incredible album. A progressive gem, as well as a metal meltdown that we don't see enough from Dream Theater. Enemy Inside, Behind the Veil, The Bigger Picture, Along for the Ride, really every song on here is among their best of all time.
More comments about Dream Theater

9Black Clouds & Silver Linings
you just cannot hate this album in any conceivable way. with such epics as a nightmare to remember, a rite of passage, wither, the shattered fortress, the best of times, and the count of tuscany (heck, I just named every song on the album! ), it is a masterpeice in every way, shape, or form.
Each of the songs in this album are very long, and each one tells a story through the lyrics. There are major tone shifts throughout each song that depict changes in mood in the story, an example being "A Nightmare To Remember", which is 16 minutes of great music that leaves me captivated each time I listen to it.
all song are great. Every note will never be forgottn by your mind. I think the best dream theater album, I really like the count of tuscany, a nightmare to remembr, and shatterd fortress. The mindblowing album, you hav to listen before you die!
More comments about Black Clouds & Silver Linings

It does not surprise me that Awake is only at number 8 (as I write this). When you first listen to it, this album is not nearly as accessible as say, Images or Metropolis pt2. It takes a few run throughs to realize what a masterpiece the band has come up with. I actually believe vocally this is James' best album, he really adds color to the dark tone and combined with some awesome lyrics, after a while you really understand what Dream Theater is trying to show. In my opinion their best album, and undoubtedly top 3 with images and metropolis part 2.
Awake is a major standout in Dream Theater's discography because it represents the beginning of their progressive metal tendencies but unlike later albums, it balances its songs really well, there are songs for nearly every genre and they don't take that many liberties for heavy soloing which is why this album should be higher up the list.
In all honesty, I think this album is the closest that DT has come to achieving a perfect balance of great songwriting and virtuosic musicianship. Also, I think that Kevin Moore's keyboard playing and Kevin Shirley's mixing give this album a certain sonic uniqueness that the other DT albums don't have.
It has scarred one of my favorite dt songs
More comments about Awake

The Contenders

11A Change of Seasons
A Change of Seasons is easily their best song (suck it octavarium) Plus all of the covers are nice... I actually think that SFaM is their best, very closely followed by Images and words. But I couldn't stand to see this ranked last.
Honestly this album is very proggy and very emotional. There's a part close to the end where you could feel what mike portnoy was feeling, the disturbance, the stress, the single word "goodbye" uttered which shattered his life into pieces. I LOVE THIS SONG
A change of Seasons must be the best concept song ever written. Amzing drumming and guitarplay throughout the entire song. Just worldclass!

I just enjoy how well done the songs are, while I don't think its the best, I just really would hate to see this album be so far down on this chart. It's obviously not nearly as good as most albums, including their latest release, but its still really good.

13Falling Into Infinity
Great songwriting and dynamics. Sounds more alive an less produced than the other albums. Lines in the sand is probably their best track to date.
So underrated album, but why?! Mike Portnoy got his own piece of soul into this it should be higher!
Very good album. Consistently great songs with lots of replay value. The keyboards have a different, more upfront sound which is really good. Has a beautiful, simplistic feel. Definitely one of if not the best Dream Theater albums. Also very underrated.
More comments about Falling Into Infinity

14When Dream and Day Unite
This and Falling Into Infinity are incredibly underrated while Octavarium and Train Of Thought are overrated in my opinion. Especially Octavarium was extremely cheesy and poppy (except for the title track which I love).
But let's talk about When Dream And Day Unite: The songs just sound "fresh" and alive, not as overproduced as for example Octavarium. This is Dream Theater in its purest form! The playing may not be as perfect as on other albums, but still... When Dream And Day Unite has soul!
I think this album greatly portrays their 80's sound. Very underrated album. I liked the whole album. My favourite song has got to be The Killing Hand, Ytse Jam, Afterlife and Status Seeker. They have momentum, build up, soul and dynamics. I like it. Of course James voice sounded shrilly on the non-remaster album, I don't know why maybe it's my player, but James voice never sounded better on Awake album. That's his best in my opinion.
A great album. Everyone may forget about this album a lot, but it's one of DT's best. Awesome 80's sound/production (not a very good production, but great "feel"), lovely instrumentation, heavy without trying (see ToT), Dominici is arguably a better fit, in my opinion. A lot to love about this underrated, excellent masterpiece from an overly excellent band.
More comments about When Dream and Day Unite

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List






see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 5 years, 123 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 31 times.

Updated Thursday, September 18, 2014

List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.