My Spotify records of late must make curious reading. I swear, I don't really like Dream Theater. I contend that they write absolutely stunning instrumentals (sometimes) and the odd passable tune with vocals (which they seemed to stop doing after 'Falling into Infinity'). I am also of the opinion that nothing they have recorded since the turn of the Millenium is really worth listening to and I await the argument that can change my mind on that. In spite of that, they feature regularly on my Spotify playlist and I am trying my best to learn some of their pieces because it's a bit of a change from my usual fusion leanings, where I seem to spend a lot of time. In particular, '6:00' and 'Erotomania' from the 'Awake' album of 1994 strike me as absolute bangers. I have a lot of history with this album, as my brother and I were frequent readers of MXtabs/Musicianforums.com back when they were active and DT were the 'house' band indeed; beloved by many posters and with members frequently lauded by forum members as being titans of their instrument. I think John Myung has in him in a great bassist, coupled with a lack of creativity or ambition that has seen him become the steadfast rock of Dream Theater's music, without ever really pushing himself to the fore as a soloist or going to any great lengths within the confines of Dream Theater to ever really do more than pounding the root - and in recent years, his style seems to have moved ever closer to simply hitting the roots below Petrucci, whereas he had done a bit of decent harmony and counterpoint work in earlier Dream Theater. Although some of the isolated bass traks I have heard from him rather dispel the m Anyway, I begin to waffle now and I would very much like you to listen to 'Erotomania' as it is here. Dream Theater are never better than when James LaBrie drops that tambourine and leaves the stage entirely, sparing us his awful vocals. On this record, Myung still had a sound which could be described as 'tone', and I quite dig the big, grunty and open sound he gets here. It actually works very well in a mix where the other instruments are tight and middy, giving him a bit of richness that stands out and adds a little Geddy Lee-esque grind to the sound. 'Erotomania' is the sound of a band who could produce real fire when they dropped the tortured vocals and unbending desire to make everything dynamically overwrought. It simply kicks off with a wash of grating keys and ploughs into that driving chromatic riff, subtly shifting the beat at the end of a phrase in the main riff the first time around to give the listener some heads-up that this song is going to be a shifting like sand through myriad time signatures. Though the piece goes through several interludes and solos, it never really loses pace and it's sense of purpose and for that, it should be commended. I believe this to be one the great prog rock instrumentals. I have had a huge amount of fun learning this piece over recent days and hope to record a full version later in the year when I get my home studio put back together. I would very much welcome your thoughts on this piece, or any other Dream Theater songs you would care to mention.