A lot of people accuse Dream Theater of being pretentious. That they are nothing more than a bunch of showoffs trying to fit as many notes into each measure as possible. They are certainly guilty of that at times (especially after the departure of Kevin Moore), but I cannot deny that Awake is a solid album, and Dream Theater's musical pinnacle.
This album flows just right, from the first song to the last. There is certainly musical virtuosity here, but none of it seems out of place. The long songs don't seem unnecessarily long, nor do they lack direction. The musicians are technical, but here they can actually be described as "progressive."
This album has strong dynamics, interesting rhythms, and memorable memories. After Awake, Kevin Moore would leave the band, and they never quite had the same creative spark.
- Space-Dye Vest