Music: Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory

Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory is a 1999 rock opera/concept album by the progressive metal band Dream Theater. It follows the story of a man named Nicholas and his hypnosis-induced exploration of a past life involving love and murder as a young woman named Victoria Page.

The album is a sequel to Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper, a song from the band's 1992 album Images and Words. Scenes from a Memory greatly expands on the story and thematic concept originally presented in the song using narrative lyrics from the points of view of multiple characters interspersed with technically and rhythmically detailed music and instrumentals.

An in-depth plot summary is available at the Other Wiki.


  1. "Scene 1: Regression" - 2:06
  2. "Scene 2: Overture 1928 / Strange Déjà Vu" - 8:41
  3. "Scene 3: Through My Words / Fatal Tragedy" - 8:00
  4. "Scene 4: Beyond This Life" - 11:23
  5. "Scene 5: Through Her Eyes" - 5:29
  6. "Scene 6: Home" - 12:53
  7. "Scene 7: The Dance of Eternity / One Last Time" - 10:00
  8. "Scene 8: The Spirit Carries On" - 6:38
  9. "Scene 9: Finally Free" - 12:00

Scenes from a Memory provides examples of:

  • Arc Words: The phrase "Open your eyes" appears many times throughout the album. The first person who says this is the Hypnotherapist at the beginning of the album, but the words are later repeated by Edward right before he kills Victoria and by the Hypnotherapist before he kills Nicholas.
  • The Bad Guy Wins
  • Big Bad: Edward and his reincarnation, the Hypnotherapist. It is implied that the entire reason Victoria is communicating with Nicholas is to warn him that the Hypnotherapist will murder him as Edward did Victoria, leading to the further implication that the whole album is part of an endless cycle of murder and rebirth.
  • Break the Cutie: Nicholas starts as a relatively happy man and slowly is broken as he learns about Victoria's life and premature death until the point at which he breaks down crying at her grave.
    • Kill the Cutie: Edward did this to Victoria. The hypnotherapist does this to Nicholas.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Edward.
  • Dark Reprise: "Through Her Eyes" can be seen as a downplayed version of this to "Through My Words". The piano part in the verses and chorus of the former make up the entirety of the latter. Lyrically, the former is much more of a Tear Jerker than the latter.
  • Downer Ending: It's heavily implied that, at the end of "Finally Free", Nicholas is killed by the hypnotherapist, who is a reincarnation of Edward, the man who killed Victoria. Confirmed on the live DVD by the band.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Overture 1928", though it is proceeded by a track with lyrics ("Regression").
  • Epic Rocking: The album is almost 80 minutes long, spread across 12 songs, the longest (Home) at twelve minutes and 53 seconds, followed closely by Finally Free (11:59) and Beyond This Life (11:22).
  • Genre Shift: The last few minutes of "Finally Free" contain no music, playing out like a radio show instead.
  • Gospel Revival Number: "The Spirit Carries On" has shades of this.
  • Grand Finale: "Finally Free".
  • Haunted House Historian: The old man who tells Nicholas about Victoria's murder in "Fatal Tragedy". It's described in "Strange Déjà Vu".
  • The Hero Dies
  • Interplay of Sex and Gambling: In the middle of "Home".
  • Ironic Echo:
    "Open your eyes, Nicholas." *yelp* *static*
  • Ironic Nickname: All the characters. "Metropolis" is Nicholas', as is Victoria's (who also has "Love"); Julian is "The Sleeper"; "The Miracle" is for Edward Baynes, and his reincarnation, the Hypnotherapist.
  • Karma Houdini: As far as we know, neither Edward or the Hypnotherapist ever face justice for their crimes.
  • Last Note Nightmare: See Ironic Echo above
    • "One Last Time" subverts this. The piano part at the end sounds creepy in a way, but the last chord is a happy sounding chord that sets up the next song, "The Spirit Carries On"
  • Murder Ballad: "Fatal Tragedy," "Beyond This Life," and "Finally Free."
  • Mind Screw: It's the easiest way to describe the album.
  • One-Woman Wail: At the beginning of "Through Her Eyes" and the end of "The Spirit Carries On"
  • The Reveal: "Finally Free". Unbeknownst to Nicholas, Edward kills his brother Julian while Julian and Victoria re-kindle their relationship (supposedly) in secret; Edward then tells Victoria to "open [her] eyes" before killing her. He plants a suicide note on Julian and then assumes his role as the witness, reported earlier in the album (in "Beyond This Life") as a newspaper column. The reason Nicholas is unaware of this is because his hypnotherapist ended the session abruptly, right when Nicholas has made peace with being a re-incarnated Victoria, so that Nicholas could not become aware of this revelation, or the fact that his hypnotherapist was a re-incartion of Edward and was preparing to kill him (again) — something Victoria was trying to warn him about.
  • Spoken Word in Music: The album contains voice acting for the Hypnotherapist, Victoria, Julian, and Edward.
  • Triumphant Reprise: "The Spirit Carries On" contains a full-band reprise of the acoustic track "Regression", complete with a gospel-style choir.
  • Uncommon Time: It shows up here and there. "The Dance of Eternity" (the notes of which are the current page image for said trope) is one of the most well known examples of this trope with over a hundred time signature changes in under seven minutes.
  • Wham Line: "Open your eyes, Victoria!" Even if the listener puts it all together, it doesn't make a later line, "Open your eyes, Nicholas!", any less unsettling.
  • Villain Song: Any part sung in Edward's point of view. Examples include the second verse and second chorus of "Home" and the first verse of "Finally Free".
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Nicholas thinks he has solved the murder of Victoria and found out the meaning of his dreams. He goes home happy, turns on some music, and is promptly murdered by the Hypnotherapist.


Alternative Title(s):

Metropolis Pt 2 Scenes From A Memory