Preview Dream Theater’s New Album with the Epic, 9-and-a-Half-Minute “The Alien” (Pre-Order LP, Out 10/22)


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Fear not, hard-rock fans: Dream Theater is still doing its thing — and the prog/metal icons‘ latest song will go a long way toward emphasizing that.

“The Alien,” shared Friday as a preview of the band’s new album, A View from the Top of the World, clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, soaring guitars and jagged rhythmic jumps swirling around throughout. Vocals don’t even kick in until after the two-minute mark, the thunderous beginning setting the tone:

“It’s the first one we wrote together,” said guitarist John Petrucci of the epic track. “It gives people a window into what it was like when we initially met up after all of those months off. It has the adventure, the untraditional structure, the heaviness, and the hooks. It really set the tone for the album. James wrote the lyrics about the idea of terraforming and looking beyond our Earth for alternative settlements. Since we’re going beyond our planet, ‘The Alien’ turns out to be us. I thought it was a cool and creative lyric by James.”

Click here to pre-order A View From the Top of the World on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order A View From the Top of the World on 2-LP+CD from our Rock Cellar Store

“The Alien” kicks off the record, which will be the 15th full-length from Dream Theater to date and will be released on October 22nd via InsideOutMusic/Sony Music. As you might expect, part of its inspiration came about during the COVID-19 pandemic. Per a news release:

Dream Theater – comprised of James LaBrie, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung and Mike Mangini – was in the middle of a sold-out world tour in support of their last release Distance Over Time and the 20th anniversary of Scenes From A Memory when a Global Pandemic brought the world to a stop. The musicians found themselves at home with LaBrie in Canada and the rest of the group in the States. As fate would have it, they’d just finished construction on DTHQ (Dream Theater Headquarters) —a combination live recording studio, rehearsal space, control room, equipment storage, and creative hive. With LaBrie in Canada, he initially wrote with the band via ZOOM on a monitor in DTHQ. In March 2021, he flew down to New York, quarantined, and recorded his vocals face-to-face with Petrucci. The album ultimately threaded together lean and uncompromising hooks with tried-and-true technical proficiency.

“We approach every album like it’s our first,” adds LaBrie. “It’s been such a great ride, but we’re not going to stop.”

The 7-song album’s track listing, which looks rather epic:

1) The Alien (9:32)
2) Answering The Call (7:35)
3) Invisible Monster (6:31)
4) Sleeping Giant (10:05)
5) Transcending Time (6:25)
6) Awaken The Master (9:47)
7) A View From The Top Of The World (20:24)

A tour in support of the new album is set to start on Oct. 28 in Arizona and carry Dream Theater into mid-December. Visit the band’s official site for more details.


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