Best Dream Theater Albums

The Top Ten

1 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.

My favorite album of all time. So many amazing moments. Every song is incredible. The only two albums that stand toe to toe with this album are The Wall by Pink Floyd, and Terminal Redux by Vektor. Very few records can truly be described as all out masterpieces, and without a doubt this album is one of them. The story is interesting and dramatic, the music is complex yet emotional, and James' voice is simply magical on this album. The use of spoken word on this album is also really special, because it isn't just a narrator telling you the story, it's a character form the story speaking directly to you/Victoria. AND THAT'S NOT IT, he actually plays a massive role in the story too! I love this album so much.

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!

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2 Images and Words

The only Dream Theatre's album that I can listen to in it's entirety. Albums following this bores me to death with the exception of few tracks here and there (SDOIT, SoC, Panic Attack, & MoLS).

The standard is just so high, it blows my mind every time. Sure, many of their other albums are also good (sometimes great), but none come close to this. The definitive Dream Theater album, a must hear for every music lover!

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.

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.

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3 Train of Thought

Hardest, heaviest and loudest in their catalogue. Also the most enjoyable.

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

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4 Octavarium

Next to Supper's Ready by Genesis, the title track might be my favorite song ever, and I'm not even big on metal. I also loved it before I was really a fan of DT as a whole, which really says something about how good it is. The rest of the album is also very solid, especially in the context of the abstract concept of the whole thing regarding the number 8 and all the little easter eggs. Some of DT's albums are arguably more consistent, but the rest of this album is definitely still good enough to put it in the conversation for the band's best album. The Root of All Evil and Panic Attack are amazing, and These Walls and Never Enough are pretty underrated!

Octavarium is easily their best song (suck it change of seasons)

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.

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5 Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

This albums and black clouds are tied for first for me. Both are very underrated and every single song on both are amazing and top notch.

My personal favorite dream theater album, there's just so much greatness on it, Misunderstood, Disappear, the Great Debate, of course the 7 part 42 minute suite that is Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, and my personal favorite the Glass Prison. This album is criminally underrated in my opinion but honestly is it really a surprise that Scenes From A Memory would take the top spot?

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.

I honestly appreciate this album. No only the combined version of 42 min.not the album with separate track - Vip3r

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6 Black Clouds & Silver Linings

This album is all Dream Theater epics! And it ends with The Count of Tuscany! How can you not love it?

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!

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7 Awake

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.

Space-dye vest is just incredible. But where is train of thought I know it wasn't "Dream Theater" proggy but still amazing. When Dream and Day United blows I don't care what anyone says

Caught In A Web is just so good of a song that this album deserves the number one spot. Just because of that song alone. that's how good it is lol. Then The Mirror + The Lie just makes it even better.

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8 A Dramatic Turn of Events

I vote it because I think it should be higher than 8th. Personally I'll put it on 5, together with Scenes from memory, images and words, ToT, A change of seasons, and SDOIT.
My favourite is Outcry and Bridges in the sky. And I think it's their best after portnoy departure. Easily become a masterpiece

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

This ablum has the best choruses out of all the DT ablums

One of their best albums and the best since Portnoy left.

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9 Systematic Chaos

This album is way too low - V4noM

This album was when I truly fell in love with Dream Theater, there is not a single bad song in here. Starting In the Presence of Enemies with the amazing rhythm breaks. The more "pop" song Forsaken is followed by Constant Motion, a song that is so not-Dream Theater that it is (amazing drumming in this song in my humble opinion) and Dark Eternal Night straight after, gets you banging your head without noticing, both absolutely mind-breaking. Repentance comes next and is a beautiful song in its own away and will help you to chill... Ministry of Lost Souls which comes next was actually my favourite song for a long time!

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!

Only that concluding solo of Ministry of lost soul is good.everything else is a rotten trash - Vip3r

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10 Dream 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.

Horrible album as always by a horrible band..the new drummer has a one track mind like a robot, sure skilled but very boring display, makes the material sound unlistenable. - Vip3r

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The Contenders

11 The Astonishing

It is really hard for me to choose a favorite album by these unbelievable artists. Scenes from a Memory was my favorite one for a long time. I absolutely adore Octaviarium and Six Degrees. After hearing The Astonishing several times and then seeing it live, I can honestly say that it is the most creative, organic, and musical piece of art I've ever heard from a band like them. This album really showed me that these guys are literally capable of anything. The production of the show was incredible as well as the overall flow of the album. Each leitmotiv presented in this album complements the characters and situations impeccably well. Thank God for this band. So far this is turning into my new favorite record of theirs.

Half of the songs on this album are plain boring and useless. - YoDa0815

Full blown opera rock. The Astonishing takes everything they've ever done to a higher level. It's a blend of wise mature musicianship, wonderful songwriting and fantastic orchestral work, in support of telling a beautiful and yet uncommon story nowadays. Bringing such deep, wide and dense music to life requires nothing but the best from the best. It's beautiful, moving, captivating, powerful, emotional music.

An incredibly ambitious album. While not immediately rewarding, give it time and few listens and you will see that this is simply a masterpiece. It is also James Labrie's best album since Octavarium, as he fully nails seven different characters, crafting a unique voice for each of them. Sure it's a little long, and the story is fairly cheesy (very Disney inspired), but the overall experience is just perfect.

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12 A Change of Seasons

THIS SONG IS AMAZING! Why is it so low on the list? It's a sad song depending on Portnoy's mother's death in the early 1990s in a plane crash. But its 23 minutes is so good and awesome!

Perhaps this masterpiece has been drowned because it's not an album per se; still, should be rised only because of its title track; everything is perfect there. The sounds show so much feeling, I don't even feel the lenght of the song. Furthermore, it's so full of meaning and has such a beautiful story... That it may even carry this whole EP among the status of real Dream Theater albums.

One word, infact three: LDB (Long, Dull & Boring). - Vip3r

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.

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13 Falling Into Infinity

What, this album should be in the top ten, I think this album is so much better than whatever chaos, I guess those fans just too lazy to listen deeply to each of the songs in this beautiful album, and Hell's kitchen is one of the best instrumental after stream of consciousness, it's simple yet the melody is deep, and the last song trial of tears will touch your heart more softly, I think it's Myung's best song he ever put the lyrics on

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.

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14 Score

I just enjoy how well done the songs are, while I don't think it's 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.

15 Breaking the Fourth Wall
16 Falling Into Infinity Demos

FII would've been DT's magnum opus if it had been allowed to develop properly.

17 Once In a Livetime

A lot of really good live performances by dt I just love it!

18 When 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.

Great album! This is where it all began. The Killing Hand was one of my favorite songs growing up. I'm not sure why this album doesn't get any love.

I find it odd how the best band ever's worst album is their worst according to this

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19 Distance Over Time

Although, this is a great album, it should rank around midway because of the sound-shift, best described as a shift from their grassroots original music style to something more contemporary and mass-appealing. There were definitely some outstanding tracks on the album but the it isn't nearly as unique and creative as some of the music on some of the other albums (just my two-sense)

Extremely disappointing album - being a hard-core DT fan for such a long period of time, I was so taken aback that I had to sell this album on Discogs for a far cheaper price after having bought it with passion straight after the release. Ever since Mike Portnoy left, I'm really not liking any of their albums comprehensively and the worst part is that I really dislike the new drummer they chose. There is no character in his drumming at all, it simply feels like as if the band installed and employed a robot in the studio to do the drum work.
I'm missing Mike Portnoy more than ever.

Fantastic album...tight and meaty, there are no weak tracks, At Wit's End and Pale Blue Dot are masterpieces, in my opinion one of their best albums.

This is their most focused album since Octavarium, and their highest in quality since Black Clouds & Silver Linings.

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List Stats

4,000 votes
19 listings
10 years, 4 days old

Top Remixes (68)

1. Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory
2. The Astonishing
3. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
1. Octavarium
2. Train of Thought
3. Systematic Chaos
1. A Dramatic Turn of Events
2. Octavarium
3. Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory

View All 68


"Octavarium" Album Review
Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Dream Theater: Random Album Review

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