So Dream Theater's new, self-titled release is available both via leaks and via streaming through Soundcloud. You can find it here
. (NOTE: Link is to a stream via prog-sphere.com, NOT the leak. I don't know where the leak is, and I wouldn't tell you where it is if I did know.)
My thoughts: John Myung's best tone since Falling Into Infinity, best playing since Six Degrees or earlier. Maybe his best playing ever. If anybody had any doubts about Myung's ability as a bassist, let this album erase them all.
Chocolate cake guitar tone is...not as mindblowing as I expected. I was really hoping for something different, but more of Petrucci's classic tone isn't necessarily bad. Just a slight disapppointment.
Drums are interesting. In terms of playing they're great, in terms of sound they're polarizing, the snare in particular. I think the cymbals are a bit tinny at times.
James LaBrie is great singing; much improved from earlier days in the band. I think his voice has just gotten better with each album since Octavarium or so.
Jordan is also surprisingly good here, with great orchestration and a minimum of "carnival" parts. His piano coda to Illumination Theory is terrific.