Special Edition CD includes the full album, a CD of instrumental mixes of the album and a CD of six cover songs.
Personnel: John Petrucci (vocals, guitar, guitars); Mike Portnoy (vocals, drums, percussion); James LaBrie (vocals); Jerry Goodman (violin); Jordan Rudess (keyboards); John Myung (bass instrument).
Audio Mixer: Paul Northfield.
Illustrator: Hugh Syme.
Photographer: Dan Mandell.
Dream Theater's tenth long-player is about as dense and challenging as any album in the band's discography and emphasizes not only the virtuoso members' stupefying musicianship, but also their most aggressive and thoroughly metallic songwriting tendencies. The sixteen-minute opener "A Nightmare to Remember" quickly establishes this agenda via frequently thrash-paced staccato riffing, some of John Petrucci's most blistering guitar solos ever, and the return of drummer Mike Portnoy's syncopated growls, which provide contrast for singer James LaBrie's soaring melodic elegance. "The Count of Tuscany" is a heady prog-metal magnum opus brimming with more ideas, notes, and time changes over 19 minutes than most bands bother with over a ten album career. In fact, "Whither," a tender ballad and mere babe at five minutes in length, is the album's only concession to commerce. Black Clouds & Silver Linings, for all its abundantly positive qualities and minor but clear distinctions from prior efforts, is still an archetypal Dream Theater album; one that's unlikely to broaden their audience all that much, but is conversely guaranteed to thrill their hard core converts with its renewed devotion to the most exigent and stimulating facets of the band's chosen musical domain.
Record Collector (magazine) (p.80) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "'A Nightmare To Remember' kicks things off as you'd expect, with a 16-minute exemplar of the genre -- gothic keys and whirring guitar battling it out with mammoth percussion..."