Dream Theater: James LaBrie (vocals); John Petrucci (guitar); Jordan Rudess (keyboards); John Myung (bass instrument); Mike Portnoy (drums).
While 2005's OCTAVARIUM notched back pure chops for a somewhat more song-oriented treatment, Dream Theater return to their hyper-progressive roots with SYSTEMATIC CHAOS. Opening track "In the Presence Of Enemies Pt. 1" launches the group's ninth studio album with fevered riffing and scorching guitar/keyboard runs. The fearsome fivesome do, however, make efforts to pace themselves a bit more during the vocal sections (as with "Forsaken").
Old school thrash metal stylings are channeled in the verses of "Constant Motion," while "The Dark Eternal Night" follows the heavier course dominant on TRAIN OF THOUGHT. The Pink Floyd-inspired "Repentance" carries forward drummer Mike Portnoy's focus on purging personal demons, while "Prophets Of War" delves into some new political territory for the band. From beginning to end on SYSTEMATIC CHAOS, Dream Theater continues to set the bar for all other prog metal bands.