Best Dream Theater Albums

The Top Ten

1 Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory Product Image

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!

I will choose this album over every single piece of music ever made on the planet earth.

2 Images and Words Images and Words Product Image

Honestly the best DT has ever put out. Great production, great songwriting, and James Labrie's voice on this album was something else. The earlier albums were all great, especially Images 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.

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.

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.

3 Train of Thought Train of Thought Product Image

Metropolis never really clicked with me. Trains of Though however sounded great the first time I listened to it. Every song is perfect, the guitars sound amazing, and the lyrics are very meaningful. It is easily the heaviest and loudest Dream Theater album, but that's why I love it!

I love Dream Theaters heavy sound on this record. Easily has some of the best of DT's songs.

As I Am
Endless Sacrifice
In The Name of God

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

4 Octavarium Octavarium Product Image

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 is the first Prog Metal album I ever listened to and it still holds up today. Especially that title track.

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.

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!

5 Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Product Image

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 love this album, songs like Misunderstood, The Great Debate and Six Degrees are just unbelievable! Dream Theater forever!

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.

6 Black Clouds & Silver Linings Black Clouds & Silver Linings Product Image

Truly masterpiece, the last album of Mike Portnoy in Dream Theater but this is the last best album of Dream Theater.

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.

A massively underrated album amongst most fans. While A Rite of Passage is pretty mediocre, the rest of the album is near perfection. The Count of Tuscany's ending is on the same level as A Change of Seasons', The Best of Times has one of Petrucci's best solos, A Nightmare to Remember has a great energy and The Shattered Fortress is the best way they could've ended the 12-Step Suite. Awesome.

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.

7 Awake Awake Product Image

you simply cannot justify AWAKE positioned at 7th place. Album definitely belongs to the top 3 alongside Metropolis 2, and Images.

Caught In A Web
The Silent Man
The Mirror
Lie I need to say more?

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.

8 A Dramatic Turn of Events A Dramatic Turn of Events Product Image

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

A personal favourite and my father has this one as a favourite as well

This album is way too underrated. Every song on this album is so melodic and full of emotion. This is the Life is such a beautiful song, and Breaking All Illusions is a near perfect track. Coupled with the fact that every other song on this album is pure gold, I gotta rate this higher

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

9 Systematic Chaos Systematic Chaos Product Image

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!

I feel like some of the songs on Systematic Chaos get far too much hate for what they are.

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

10 Dream Theater Dream Theater Product Image

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.

A really great progressive metal album. Definitely Dream Theater's best. Lord willing, I'm going to see them in Boston in March. Hope they play the whole album through!

The Contenders

11 The Astonishing The Astonishing Product Image

You guys sure this belongs outside the top 10? I would like to agree with the guy who motivates you to listen a couple of times, this could easily be in top 4 if everyone really gets it.

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.

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.

12 A Change of Seasons A Change of Seasons Product Image

I think it's funny that the song itself (A Change of Seasons) is longer than other bands EP's. Easily one of the best EP's of all time.

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.

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!

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

13 Falling Into Infinity Falling Into Infinity Product Image

My favorite album. It has Lines in the Sand which is my favorite Dream Theatre song. Trial of Tears is also a phenominal finish to the album. The entire album represents the pinnacle of 90's progressive rock-metal.

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!

14 Distance Over Time Distance Over Time Product Image

Easily their best album since Portnoy left. Deserves top 10 without a doubt

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)

This album is great, definitely their best album since they have Mike Magini as drummer. At Wits End, is one of my new favorite songs by them. In my opinion I actually think they're getting better and better by album Mike Magini as drummer. I actually really liked the Astonishing, and the self titled album especially Illumintion Theory. Honestly, I like all their albums, I even like Falling Into Infinity I think it's underrated not their best but it's not as bad as people put it out to be.

Are you kidding, this is a great album, only hated because Dream Theater fans are stuck in the past...

15 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.

16 Falling Into Infinity Demos Falling Into Infinity Demos Product Image

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

17 Breaking the Fourth Wall Breaking the Fourth Wall Product Image
18 Live in Budokan
19 Once In a Livetime Once In a Livetime Product Image

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

20 When Dream and Day Unite When Dream and Day Unite Product Image

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

21 Cleaning Out the Closet
BAdd New Item