Label: Roadrunner Records
Nerd metal torchbearers Dream Theater have been at it since 1985, so with the advent of this, their 10th album, you gotta at least give them credit for staying the course these 20-odd years. On top of that, the band's heady brew of proggy hard rock a la Rush, galloping Maiden metal and, uh, math exists absolutely nowhere else. They display instrumental mastery, they execute flawless in-studio practices, and they are so much cooler than Marillion. Systematic Chaos is fun right off the bat, but things start to really heat up with "Forsaken."