I picked up the new Dream Theater CD today. It's called Systematic Chaos and IMO it's easily their best release in about 10 years.
I've been listening to them since 1992 when I was in the midst of my huge progressive rock/music rut that began in 1987 and lasted until the late 90's during which I realized that a good portion of that progressive stuff sucked. My tastes were changing, and all I wanted anymore was a really well written song with top notch musicianship backing it.
But I've stuck with Dream Theater through thick and thin. While I know that they have about as many detractors as they do admireres, I really think that they're the best at what they do which is progressive rock/metal.
I'm a musician myself (I've played classical piano since age 6, electric bass since age 14 and saxophone & drums since age 16) so I love to hear people excel on their respective instruments still. While Dream Theater lots of time puts songwriting incorrectly in 2nd place behind constant noodling, they've been getting better about leveling out the playing field starting with the last album Octavarium and this new CD.
As far as my favorite Dream Theater release that would have to be 1994's Awake. Though I must admit that the new CD is quickly growing on Awake as being my favorite thing that they've done to date.
I think that they're most underrated CD is 1997's Falling Into Infinity and that they're most easily overrated (and word) CD is Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.
But they've been on an upwards swing lately and this new CD is just great from start to finish.
Though I must admit, if you're not already a fan, there's nothing on this new CD that'll make you jump for joy.
BTW, I didn't include 1995's A Change of Seasons as that is basically just 60 minute E.P. with the over 20 minute title track and then live versions of cover songs to fill it out.