Whenever a band announces a change in the line-up, fans do one of two things; furrow their brows and declare the group off limits or become very understanding and realize that as time moves on, so do people's priorities. With the changes in the current Dream Theatre line-up, most fans should be quite accepting and after just one listening of this album, they should be VERY happy. Drummers are too easily dismissed as legitimate muscians and for all the credit due to Mike P. over the years, you just can't help but say "the new guy is pretty good".
The chops from the band are still mesmerizing...long, extended musical journeys with lyrics that are both mystical and earthy...they are from the heart. The melodies and signiture time changes only enhance each piece and at the end there is complete satisfaction. A fine blend of rock solid Prog-Metal and moments of quiet introspection. A well made, well conceived album that delivers satisfaction over the whole album.
The DVD is a nice addition as fans can join the band in their search for the new family member. Yeah, some of it is contrived and feels like one of those popular television searches for talent but the insights provided make it a worthwhile 60 minutes of your life. This is a band who sees that the future can't be predicted but you sure can adapt to it.