Now that it's been over ten years since its initial release, Scenes is looked back upon as the most professional, well-rounded and well-developed Dream Theater album in their discography. While it's true that the album was indeed a return to form next to the Infinity album, it wasn't a return to old habits. It contained much of the atmosphere, brilliant composing, and technical difficulty of Awake without being as scatterbrained, uncontrolled, and self-indulging in its deep tracks. This very easily might have been caused by the musical input of Jordan Rudess, whose first studio album with DT was Scenes. In any case, it was by far their most focused effort, and their most accessible album from end to end.

Since Scenes, Dream Theater only released one other concept album - Octavarium in 2005 - to a lesser reception. A Concert DVD called Metropolis 2000: Live Scenes from New York and accompanying triple live album Live Scenes from New York were both released in 2001 which featured Scenes performed in its entirety. The release also included full performances of two classic DT suites: A Mind Beside Itself pts 1, 2, and 3(From Awake), and A Change of Seasons from the EP of the same name.

The theory that the hypnotherapist is the reincarnation of Edward who follows Nicholas home and murders him is true, and confirmed on the live DVD release. Thus 'completing the cycle' of the three spirits in an intrinsic, spiritually divine love triangle. Interesting, to an extent, but somewhat short of fascinating. Though most people who have any real investment in this album is drawn to it by the extreme nature of its music. It's often excessive, and somewhat hard to keep up with, but in the same breath it proves itself to be challenging and rewarding to those who don't get completely lost.

The album's track structural design splits the events of the album into two Acts, in nine "scenes" as it were. The musical climax of the album is the first scene of Act II. Though, Dream Theater chose not to start its scene count over, but instead to roll over its scene count from Act I. Thus, Home does not become Act II, Scene 1: Home as would be logically expected, but Act II, Scene 6: Home.

CD tracklist:

1. Act I Scene I:
Regression

2. Act I Scene II part 1:
Overture 1928

3. Act I Scene II part 2:
Strange Déjà Vu

4. Act I Scene III part 1:
Through My Words

5. Act I Scene III part 2:
Fatal Tragedy

6. Act I Scene IV:
Beyond This Life

7. Act I Scene V:
Through Her Eyes

8. Act II Scene VI:
Home pts 1, 2, & 3: The Sleeper, The Miracle, Nicholas

9. Act II Scene VII part 1:
The Dance of Eternity

10. Act II Scene VII part 2:
One Last Time

11. Act II Scene VIII:
The Spirit Carries On

12. Act II Scene IX:
Finally Free

Like just about everything by Dream Theater, the singles from the album flopped terribly, yet the album was still internationally successful.

Personally, I actually wouldn't recommend this as a starting point for those interested in Dream Theater, or Progressive Music in general. Play around with the really old stuff that still maintained some traditional rock aspects: Yes, Jethro Tull, and Rush. Then when you're ready for a somewhat darker, more elaborate and more modern type of progressive music, try Porcupine Tree, then Dream Theater's Awake or Images and Words. Then maybe if you're really attached to the style you can try slightly heavier things like Opeth or slightly more schizophrenic things like early King Crimson or some of the earlier Genesis records. The most important thing to remember though is that you don't have to enjoy it. There's nothing wrong with living off Steely Dan, Cole Porter, and The Beastie Boys. There's plenty of amazing shit out there.

Scenes is definitely a good album though, if you can tolerate it. 8.4/10.