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[[caption-width-right:350:[[ChewBubblegum We're here to rock hard and chew bubble gum, and we're all out of gum.]]]]

Dream Theater is a [[ProgressiveMetal prog-metal]] band founded in 1985 by John Myung, John Petrucci, and Mike Portnoy under the name ''Majesty''. They changed the name, but their logo is still known as the Majesty symbol. While not entirely mainstream, they are rather well known among fans of progessive rock. The inclusion of their songs in the ''GuitarHero'' and ''RockBand'' series have increased their fame, but they have still had only one song chart well enough to qualify as a "hit".

They are known for the extreme technical difficulty and complexity of their music, which often includes long instrumental interludes to showcase the skills of the band members. As such, much of it veers heavily into EpicRocking territory. They are also known for their live shows, which are often really long and suitably epic.

Current members:
* James [=LaBrie=] (vocals)
* Jordan Rudess (keyboards)
* John Petrucci (guitar, backing vocals)
* John Myung (bass)
* Mike Mangini (drums)

Former members:
* Mike Portnoy (drums, backing vocals)
* Charlie Dominici (vocals)
* Kevin Moore (keyboards)
* Derek Sherinian (keyboards)
* Chris Collins (vocals)

Studio Albums to date:

* 1989 - ''When Dream and Day Unite'': "A Fortune in Lies", "The Ytse Jam", and "The Killing Hand"
* 1992 - ''Images and Words'': "Pull Me Under", "Metropolis pt.1", "Learning to Live" and "Another Day"
* 1994 - ''Awake'': "Caught in a Web", "The Mirror", "Lie", and the "A Mind Beside Itself" suite.
* 1995 - ''A Change of Seasons EP'': "A Change of Seasons"
* 1997 - ''Falling into Infinity'': "New Millennium", "Trial of Tears", and "Lines in the Sand"
* 1999 - ''[[{{MetropolisPt2ScenesFromAMemory}} Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory]]'': "Home", "The Dance of Eternity", and "The Spirit Carries On"
* 2002 - ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'': "The Glass Prison" and "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence"
* 2003 - ''Train of Thought'': "As I Am", "Stream of Conciousness", and "In the Name of God"
* 2005 - ''Octavarium'': "Panic Attack", "Sacrificed Sons", and "Octavarium"
* 2007 - ''Systematic Chaos'': "In The Presence of Enemies", "Forsaken", and "Constant Motion"
* 2009 - ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'': "A Rite of Passage", "A Nightmare to Remember", and "The Count of Tuscany"
* 2011 - ''A Dramatic Turn Of Events'': "On The Backs Of Angels", "Breaking All Illusions"
* 2013 - ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Dream Theater]]'': "The Enemy Inside", "Illumination Theory"

Official Live Albums to date:[[note]]Not counting releases of Ytsejam Records.[[/note]]
* 1992 - ''Live at the Marquee''
* 1997 - ''Once in a [=LIVEtime=]''
* 2000 - ''Live Scenes from New York''
* 2003 - ''Live at Budokan''
* 2006 - ''Score''
* 2008 - ''Chaos in Motion 2007Ė2008''
* 2013 - ''Live at Luna Park''

Other Albums:
* 2008 - ''[[GreatestHitsAlbum Greatest Hit (...And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)]]''

There's a kind of spinoff of the band, called ''Music/LiquidTensionExperiment'', which started as a solo project of Mike Portnoy, but eventually ended with 3 out of 4 members of the band, as Jordan Rudess was incorporated into DT.

! This band and its music provides examples of:


[[folder:Band tropes]]

* TheBandMinusTheFace: Mike Portnoy founded the band, alongside Petrucci and Myung, arranged much of the music and did the recording, production and most of the interviews - not to mention maintaining and curating a vast back-catalogue of bootlegs.
* TheCameo: Jordan has appeared on a DavidBowie album.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: Most present before James experienced his vocal injury, like the scream during the build up of "Learning to Live".
** That scream is the F# just below soprano C, and is one of the highest notes James has ever reached in his entire singing career.
** The entire ''Live at the Marquee'' album, especially the Charlie Dominici songs, which he sings a whole lot higher just because he can, apparently.
** [[http://jlbscream.ytmnd.com/ This]] YTMND. Listening to it right before or after ''Live at the Marquee'' is hilarious.
* CastFullOfPrettyBoys: Back during the ''Images and Words/Awake'' era.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Jordan played a single show with the band right before Sherinian was hired, and Mike Mangini played a drum duet with Portnoy during a show in 2002.
* FakeBand: During their live shows in the Derek Sherinian era, they occasionally exchange instruments with each other and perform some {{Cover Version}}s as "Nightmare Cinema". Referenced in the "Full Circle" part of the song "Octavarium" with "Day for Nightmare Cinema" in the lyrics.
* LastNoteNightmare: Jordan's response to Mike leaving the band is in the form of a nice, quiet [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgqm8g95wwI piano and vocal improv]]...until he pulls a "Her Majesty" type ScareChord in the last 10 seconds.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly:
** Jordan Rudess has been known to experiment with some interesting instruments, including keyboards that sound like sitars and turntables, keyboard guitars, a Haken Continuum[[note]]a keyboard with no actual keys but a single flat strip that is played by touching with the fingers[[/note]] and even the iPhone and the iPad. He surely has a lot of toys.
** John Myung has also been known to play with a Chapman Stick instead of an ordinary bass from time to time.
* OneSteveLimit: Both averted and enforced. John Petrucci and John Myung were founding members of the band, breaking the limit. However, when Kevin James [=LaBrie=] joined the band before ''Images and Words'', he used his middle name as his stage name to avoid confusion with Kevin Moore.
** Mike Portnoy got replaced by Mike Mangini, so you still have to use a last name to describe Dream Theater's drummer when the context doesn't clear up which one you're talking about.
* PutOnABus: Charlie Dominici and Derek Sherinian. Although both of them returned as guests for the anniversary concert of ''When Dream and Day Unite'' in 2004.
** Their first vocalist, Chris Collins, got this treatment as well. The band were already pissed at him for his poor vocal range, inconsistent live performances, and bad behaviour on stage, which culminated in an incident where Collins was introducing the band and insulted Myung, referring to him as being "from the jungles of Korea". The band ultimately forced him to leave, and ended up replacing him with Charlie Dominici.
* SopranoAndGravel: Mike Portnoy sometimes used a deeper voice than James [=LaBrie=] on songs such as "A Nightmare to Remember" and "Prophets of War". The version of "The Spirit Carries On" on both ''Live Scenes from New York'' and ''Score'' features vocals from Theresa Thomason, and also in their version of "[[PinkFloyd The Great Gig in the Sky]]".
* {{Supergroup}}: Each of the members has been involved with one at some point. For fun, look up any of the members on That Other Wiki and check the "Associated Acts" section of the info-box. To list a few (there are a lot):
** James [=LaBrie=] has provided vocals for {{Ayreon}}.
** John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, and Jordan Rudess are ''Music/LiquidTensionExperiment'', along with Tony Levin, who's no slouch himself and played with KingCrimson and members of {{Yes}} and Music/{{Genesis}}.
* WeReallyDoCare: James [=LaBrie=] contemplated quitting the band after he got really bad food poisoning, which led to him vomiting his guts out, which led to damage to his vocal cords that were never quite the same. The rest of the band talked him out of it.

[[folder:Song tropes]]
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: "The smell of stale sweat and [[PrecisionFStrike shit]] steaming throught the night" [[note]]from "The Test That Stumped Them All"[[/note]]
* AlbumTitleDrop: The only exceptions to this are ''Falling into Infinity'', ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'', ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'', and ''A Dramatic Turn of Events'', whose titles do not appear anywhere in the albums. Otherwise:
** ''When Dream and Day Unite'' is a part of "Only a Matter of Time".
** ''Images and Words'': from "Wait for Sleep".
** ''Awake'': from a line in ''Innocence Faded''.
--> ''The faithful live awake''
*** Also in a line in ''The Silent Man''.
--> ''Tonight I'm awake (the silent man)''
** The working title for the ''Falling into Infinity'' album, "Stream of Consciousness", does show up in "Lines in the Sand".
** ''Scenes from a Memory'': from "Scene Six: Home" (the phrase also appeared in Metropolis Part 1 on Images and Words).
** ''Train of Thought'': possibly taken from the song title "Stream of Consciousness".
** ''Octavarium'': from, well, "Octavarium".
** ''Systematic Chaos'': Possibly from a line from "Constant Motion".
--> ''Insane random thoughts of neat disorder''
* {{Arc Number}}/{{Arc Words}}: "Octavarium" uses the idea that "everything ends where it began" and uses the number 8 and the octave as examples. What's more is that it's the eighth track on their eighth album and it's length in minutes ([[EpicRocking twenty-four]]) is divisible by 8. Various other elements in the song also allude to cycles and/or the number 8.
** Hell,the song even references the entire album in one part!
* BookEnds: The first song of the Alcoholics Anonymous Suite, "The Glass Prison", begins with the sound of static, followed by the sound of a church bell, then the actual music starts. The last song in the suite, "The Shattered Fortress", ends with the song fading out to the sound of a church bell, followed by static.
** "The Great Debate" begins with a keyboard riff. Soon, bass is added, followed by drums, then guitar. At the end of the song, these instruments are taken away in reverse order, until only the keyboard riff remains.
** ''Octavarium'' ends with the same piano note and sound effects that it began with on "The Root of All Evil".
* CarefulWithThatAxe: Referenced in the lyrics to "Octavarium" as a ShoutOut to PinkFloyd, in the step 3, "Full Circle". Then PlayedStraight in the last stanza of step 4, "Intervals".
* CallBack:
** Subtle musical call back during The Shattered Fortress from 2009's 'Black Clouds and Silver Linings' at 1.44 min the melody if from the intro to 'This Dying Soul' and again at 3.00min the riff is from the same introduction.
* ChronologicalAlbumTitle: ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'' and ''Octavarium''.
* ConceptAlbum:
** ''Metropolis Pt.2'', which tells the story of a man reliving a past life through hypnosis. [[spoiler:Beware the DownerEnding]].
** ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'' and ''Octavarium'' too, although they rely more on thematic connections between songs rather than telling a story.
* ContinuityNod:
** Every song from the Twelve-Step suite,[[note]]"The Glass Prison", from ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence''; "This Dying Soul", from ''Train of Thought''; "The Root Of All Evil" from ''Octavarium''; "Repentance", from ''Systematic Chaos'' and "The Shattered Fortress", from ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings''[[/note]] barring "The Glass Prison" for being the first, is referenced in the other songs of said suite.
** "Wait for Sleep"-"Learning to Live", from ''Images and Words''.
** Almost the entirety of ''Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory'' by being a ConceptAlbum, both between the songs and the song "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper", from ''Images & Words''.
** The tandems "Vacant"-"Stream of Consciousness", from ''Train of Thought''
** Each of the lines in the "Intervals" step of "Octavarium", from ''Octavarium'', refer back to the previous tracks on the albums.
** "The Best of Times", from ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'' has "Remember, seize the day". This song was written by Mike Portnoy about the death of a relative... and the previous song that was written by him about the death of a relative, "A Change of Seasons", from the ''A Change of Seasons'' EP, contained the words "Seize the day" quite a few times.
** "The Bigger Picture" from the ''Dream Theater'' album makes a reference to 'The Ministry of Lost Souls', with the line 'And Iíll reach the waterís edge'.
* CoverAlbum:
** A special edition of ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings'' comes with a disc with six covers.
** There're also two "official bootlegs" composed of covers called "Uncovered".
* DarkerAndEdgier:
** ''Awake''. Due to various reasons such as a decision to take a more metallic approach and especially the growing rift between the band and then-keyboardist Kevin Moore, it's probably the bands second heaviest album after ''[=ToT=]'' and is definitely the most haunting and darkly atmospheric. This is especially notable considering the general optimism and focus on prog-rock and melodic elements on ''Images and Words'', it's predecessor.
** ''Train of Thought'', probably even moreso. Not only are the lyrical themes much darker, but the music itself is much ''much'' heavier than that of ''Six Degrees'', the previous album.
*** "The Glass Prison" was written after Mike and John went to a Music/{{Pantera}} concert.
** The self-titled album, while not dark thematically, is quite a bit heavier than "A Dramatic Turn of Events" [[note]]which, to be fair, was their lightest album in quite some time[[/note]], featuring an unusual abundance of downtuned guitars.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: The band does this a lot. If a song achieves EpicRocking lengths (see below), it will begin this way.
* EpicRocking: A feature of both this band and its spinoff ''Music/LiquidTensionExperiment'', being ProgressiveMetal bands, of course. The only album to date not featuring a track longer than 10 minutes was the debut ''When Dream and Day Unite'', and the average song length is around 8 minutes. On the extreme end, there're the following songs:
** "A Change of Seasons", from the ''A Change of Seasons'' EP. (23:06)
** "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", from ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence''. (''42:04'', was on its own disc, and was split over 8 tracks)
** "Octavarium", from ''Octavarium''. (24:00)
** "In the Presence of Enemies", from ''Systematic Chaos''. (25:38 if both parts are considered a single song, which is usually true during concerts)
** "The Count of Tuscany", from ''Black Clouds & Silver Linings''. (19:16)
** "Illumination Theory", from ''Dream Theater''. (22:18)
** The five songs of the "Twelve-Step Suite" add up to ''57:16''. Add another 6:47 if you count "The Mirror", which is also about Mike's struggle with addiction.
* EvilSoundsRaspy: During the verses of "The Dark Eternal Night" from ''Systematic Chaos'', James and Mike resemble an Egyptian God with this kind of voice by singing the melody with heavy distortion on their vocals.
** "My soul is yours, dark master. I will fight for you." [[note]]From "In the Presence of Enemies Part 2"[[/note]]
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Their [[GreatestHitsAlbum Greatest Hit album]]. Only one of those songs ("Pull Me Under", from ''Images & Words'') became a hit. All of the others were released singles and re-recordings.
* HauntedHouseHistorian: The Older Man from "Fatal Tragedy", and The Count of Tuscany.
* HeavyMithril: ''Systematic Chaos'' is full of this, including "In the Presence of Enemies", "Forsaken", "The Ministry of Lost Souls", and "The Dark Eternal Night". All of these were written by John Petrucci.
* {{Homage}}: The band has been known to perform "Album Covers" at their concerts, where they play the entirety of a classic album. Some of these albums are ''[[Music/IronMaiden The Number of the Beast]]'', ''[[Music/{{Metallica}} Master of Puppets]]'', ''[[DeepPurple Made in Japan]]'' and ''[[PinkFloyd The Dark Side of the Moon]]''.
* {{Instrumentals}}: Aside of ''Music/LiquidTensionExperiment'', the band has, only counting official studio album recordings:
** "The [[SdrawkcabName Ytse Jam]]", from ''When Dream and Day Unite''
** "Erotomania", from ''Awake''
** "Hell's Kitchen", from ''Falling into Infinity''
** "Scene Two, Part I: Overture 1928" and "Scene Seven, Part I: The Dance of Eternity", from ''Metropolis Part II: Scenes from a Memory''
** "Overture", from ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence''
** "Stream of Consciousness", from ''Train of Thought''.
** "Enigma Machine" and "False Awakening Suite", from ''Dream Theater''.
* IronicEcho: [[spoiler:"Open your eyes, Nicholas"]]
* LastNoteNightmare: Some songs have really weird segues at the end of songs:
** "Misunderstood" from ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'' is notable due to the last third or so of the song fitting under this.
** "This Dying Soul", from ''Train of Thought'', also had a very sudden false ending, then about forty seconds of crazy soloing. (Not really a nightmare, just... weird)
** Octavarium, from ''Octavarium'', has several in there for symbology. The entire album is full of fives and eights, and the weird endings are the five dead spaces that represent the black notes on a keyboard.
** ''Metropolis, Pt. 2'' features the protagonist, Nicholas, [[spoiler:going home, pouring himself a drink and listening to some calming music, before promptly being murdered by the hypnotherapist to the sound of a surprised yelp, the record being dislodged from the player, and static which leads off to....]]
** ''The Glass Prison'' which starts off ''Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence'' starts off immediately where the last song in ''Metropolis Part 2'' ended off (with gramophone static).
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: At the end of "Finally Free" the outro vamp is revealed to be playing on Nicholas' car radio.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Their 90's material is generally a 6 (Surrounded, Innocence Faded, Hell's Kitchen, etc.) or a 7 (Pull Me Under, Metropolis Part 1, 6:00, etc.), while their 2000's material is generally a 7 (The Great Debate, The Root Of All Evil, etc.) or an 8 (The Glass Prison, As I Am, etc.). 2011's ''A Dramatic Turn Of Events'' is mostly a solid 7. Their softer songs are generally in the 3/4 range (except for Level 1 songs such as "Wait for Sleep", from ''Images and Words'', and "The Silent Man", from ''Awake'').
** Some instrumental sections (like the blastbeats in "A Nightmare To Remember") get as high as 9.
** On the whole, it can be hard to classify their songs on this scale due to prevalence of EpicRocking in their work and their corresponding habit of having different sections of their songs fall all over the scale. For example, "Pull Me Under" has sections that get as heavy as 8 (the chorus sections and the coda, most notably) and others that drop down to 1 or 2 (the midsection, the intro). Overall, this songs still is around a 7, though. This is a common problem for ProgressiveMetal bands, not surprisingly.
* MoodWhiplash:
** On ''Awake'', the serene acoustic "The Silent Man" abruptly transitions to the chugging opening riff of "The Mirror", which was the heaviest thing the band had done up to that point.
** In "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", the extremely manic and heavy "The Test That Stumped Them All" [[FadingIntoTheNextSong fades into]] the depressing and rediculously soft-sounding "Goodnight Kiss".
** On ''Octavarium'', the uplifting Music/{{U2}}-esque "I Walk Beside You" is followed by the heaviest song on the album, "Panic Attack".
** On ''Systematic Chaos'', the over-the-top [[HeavyMithril fantasy-themed]] "The Dark Eternal Night" is followed by the somber, reflective "Repentance", part of the AA saga.
** In "Illumination Theory", the end of the serene string section cuts abrubtly to a very dry bass and drum riff.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** "Wither" is about writer's block, of all things.
** The album cover for ''Octavarium'' features a giant Newton's cradle, with one of the balls having the ''Majesty'' symbol on it.
* MurderBallad: Some parts of ''Metropolis, Pt. 2'' fit under this.
** Such as "Fatal Tragedy" and the first parts of "Beyond this Life" and "Finally Free"
* NintendoHard:
** "Constant Motion" in RockBand. "Pull Me Under" from GuitarHero isn't quite as bad on guitar, but bass and drums can be painful. "Panic Attack" is really killer on drums and bass. Both are really not in the absolute top tier of difficulty on drums though.
** For that matter, playing any of this band's music in real life, which is why most of the actual covers and tributes don't make true justice to the originals.
*** John Petrucci said in an interview that one of the ways he keeps himself motivated to improve as a musician is by writing parts he can't actually play. Considering he's a gamer himself, this makes a lot of sense.
* NotChristianRock: On occasion, most prominently with "The Spirit Carries On". "The Bigger Picture" and "Surrender to Reason" have a few such moments, too.
* OneWomanWail: The intro to ''Through Her Eyes'' on ''Metropolis, Pt. 2''.
* ThePlan: In ''Metropolis, Pt. 2'', [[spoiler: Edward kills Victoria and Julian, then leaves a suicide note in Julian's pocket, making it appear as if Julian shot Victoria and killed himself. In other words, Edward literally gets away with murder. And it's not over yet! When Edward finally dies, he is reincarnated as the Hypnotherapist; at the end of the album, he murders Nicholas, the reincarnation of Victoria!]]
* PowerBallad: Quite a few, the best known being "Another Day", "Hollow Years" and "The Spirit Carries On".
* PrecisionFStrike: Generally, the band avoid swearing in their songs, which makes the line "I wish I weren't so fucked" in "As I Am" a classic example of this trope, made even better with the emphasis James [=LaBrie=] puts on "fucked". "Honour Thy Father" also has the lines "And have the balls to blame this shit on me" and "So fucking blind to the damage he has done", as well as a borderline ClusterFBomb in the spoken word section in the middle of the song (though slightly muffled by the music in parts).
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: '''TIME! FOR! CHANGE! FIGHT! THE! FEAR! FIND! THE! TRUTH!'''[[note]]From "Prophets of War".[[/note]]
** "'''I! Am! The! LAST!'''"[[note]]From "The Dark Eternal Night".[[/note]]
** "'''I! WILL! LIVE ON! LIVE ON!'''"[[note]]From "A Change of Seasons".[[/note]]
** "'''TRAPPED INSIDE! THIS! OCTAVA! RI! UM!'''"[[note]]From "Octavarium".[[/note]]
** "'''BUILD! ME! UP! BREAK! ME! DOWN!'''"[[note]]From "Build Me Up, Break Me Down", natch.[[/note]]
* RockOpera: ''Metropolis, Pt. 2''.
* SelfTitledAlbum: Their 12th studio album.
* SdrawkcabName: "Ytse Jam" is really just the band's first name written backwards. Doubles as PunnyName.
** The "Majesty Demos" bootleg actually has a track on it called "Gnos Sdrawkcab", which is just a reversed recording of John Petrucci shredding for a few seconds.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: The ending to ''Metropolis, Pt. 2''.]]
* ShoutOut: "Full Circle", the third step of "Octavarium", from the namesake album, it's basically a countdown of {{Shout Out}}s to every kind of stuff which influenced DT in one way or another.
** In the ''Once in a [=LIVETime=]'' live album, there are plenty of these. "Trial of Tears", for example, has shoutouts to Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind, [[{{Rush}} "Xanadu", and "The Trees"]]; "Peruvian Skies" to [[PinkFloyd "Have a Cigar"]] and [[Music/{{Metallica}} "Enter Sandman"]]; "Take the Time" to [[LynyrdSkynyrd "Free Bird"]] and [[Music/LedZeppelin "Moby Dick"]] and "Voices" has a fragment of "Just Let Me Breathe" containing a reference to [[StarWars the Force theme]].
** ''Live Scenes from New York'' has two shoutouts in "A Change of Seasons" to TheSimpsons and Major League Baseball themes.
* SpokenWordInMusic: Featured heavily. Notable songs include "Take the Time", "6:00", "Voices", "Space Dye Vest", "A Change of Seasons", "Regression", "Finally Free", "The Great Debate", "Goodnight Kiss", "Honor Thy Father", "Sacrificed Sons", "Repentence", and "Breaking All Illusions".
* StartMyOwn: Charlie Dominici, former vocalist (though only hardcore fans even know they ''had'' a vocalist other than James), started his own band called Dominici in the early 2000s.
* TakeThat: "As I Am", wrote by John Petrucci, is directed to {{Queensryche}}'s Mike Stone. Specifically, it was written after Mike tried to give John some tips on playing guitar (hence the line "Don't...tell me how to write").
** "Honor Thy Father" is basically 10 minutes of [[CallingTheOldManOut Calling The Step-Old Man Out]], from Mike Portnoy's part.
** "Never Enough" was wrote by Portnoy as one towards their Unpleasable Fanbase.
** Kevin Moore wrote "6:00", which was about being sick of working with the band.
** The unreleased "Raise the Knife" is a bitter rant from Portnoy about Moore leaving the band before ''Awake'' was released.
* Theremin: Briefly in "A Nightmare to Remember".
* TomatoInTheMirror: ''The Killing Hand'' ends with the narrator coming back from the past only to discover that in destroying the Killing Hand, he ended up killing another version of himself.
--> I laugh at what I've done
--> I am the Killing Hand
* UncommonTime: The band '''loves''' using odd time signatures in their songs, especially during instrumental sections.
** "The Dance of Eternity" is particularly infamous for this with [[UpToEleven over a hundred time signature changes in just over six minutes]]. The page image for the trope is Mike going over the many time signature changes in the second half of the song.
* WhereItAllBegan:
** Played straight in "The Killing Hand".
** To an extent in "A Change of Seasons".
** "Octavarium" is about this trope.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: "Conscience" in place of "consciousness" in both "Vacant" and "Octavarium".

[[folder:Misc tropes]]
* AnimatedMusicVideo: "Forsaken", from ''Systematic Chaos''.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: "Open your eyes, Nicholas"]]
* EchoingAcoustics: The electronically-triggered snare and kick Mike Portnoy was forced to use on ''Images and Words'' by producer David Prater.
* FanCommunityNickname: European fans refer to themselves as "Dreamers". North American fans are the "North American Dream Squad" (shortened to NADS).
* {{Homage}}: There is a suspicious similarity between the story told in "In the Presence of Enemies" and the plot of the Korean comic ''Priest''... comparison of the ''Forsaken EP'' CD cover with one of the comic's volume covers might also help.
** Not to mention the fact that John Petrucci outright admitted he was inspired by reading ''Priest''.
* RickRoll: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5egA3dZ91Dc Never gonna wither you up]]. It works so well you'll never listen to "Wither" again without thinking of Rick Astley.