18. Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory (1999)
What the critics say about it: “This album is classic in every sense of the word. Every note, every riff, every lyric, every drumbeat works perfectly… highly recommended to any music fan out there.” - Jorn van Schaïk, Sputnikmusic
Why it’s such a great album: It’s a concept album with an imaginative story, written and performed by a group of prodigious musicians. Without giving too much away, the story here follows Nicholas, a man who uses hypnotherapy to explore the memories of a past incarnation to solve the mystery of their murder. Everyone here puts in a magnificent performance, most notably on the jam in Beyond This Life…if anyone doubts that Dream Theater are some of the finest musicians on earth, this will quickly put those doubts to rest. Truly an experience from start to finish, I’d go so far as to say that this is the greatest concept album of all time.
Must hear: It all blends together, so it’s hard to recommend any parts in particular. Home or Finally Free would be good places to start.