For a band who can outplay pretty much everyone across any genre you have to hand it to no-fuss geniuses Dream Theater for not losing the run of themselves - songs not showmanship are the top priority. Sure, the did-they-really-just-play-that? double takes arrive by the half-minute on their latest magnum opus (self-titled for extra definitiveness), but chances are you will come away from Dream Theater singing a chorus rather than throwing air guitar/bass/drums/keyboards/violin/conductor's baton shapes.

This is a truly uplifting celebration of resilience and humility with super-lunged singer James LaBrie anchoring a sound that mixes heart-on-sleeve AOR, classical passages, tightrope time changes, crushing thrash metal riffage and smartphones aloft balladry and will set you up to face whatever is further up the road in your own, no less remarkable life.

Here, you've got a friend - bring a packed lunch, park your cynicism and let them uncrumple your soul along the way.

Harry Guerin