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Dream Theater have an intimidating discography to wade into. The prog-metal wizards have 15 studio albums to their name, as well as a shit-ton of semi-legit "bootleg" material consisting of live records, demos and a cover series that features full album play-throughs of Master of Puppets and Number of the Beast. Not to mention these guys' LP's are long, routinely clocking in at well over an hour a piece. Where should a curious new listener even begin?
For them, Revolver is here to help with our "Point of Entry" series, in which we ask artists to pick the one standout cut from across their entire catalog that they believe is the best place for virgin listeners to begin their journey. Below, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci does the honors. It's a tough choice.
If people have the patience, I'd say listen to the 22-minute track "A View From the Top of the Worl.," To me, that is like everything Dream Theater is about in one song. [Laughs] It takes you on a journey. It has all the stuff about us that made us sound the way we do, that we've had from the beginning. It has the progressive elements of odd time signatures and weird instrumental stuff and there's a storytelling element.
There's tons of guitar solos and keyboard solos. There's very pretty and melodic sections, there's vocal hooks and of course, this thing that we infused into the prog thing: this metal side. It's played on seven-string guitar and it has all the heavy riffs. It kind of is everything we do in one piece. So, if somebody has the patience, I'd say, Okay, you've never heard the band and you want to hear something? Sit down and listen to this.
Below, watch Petrucci talk Portnoy, Periphery, how progressive rock breaks all the rules and much more during an appearance on our "Fan First" podcast.