Dream Theater's eighth studio album, Octavarium, is their most complex, reference and nugget-ridden album yet. In a radio interview, Mike Portnoy admitted that the album is basically one giant nugget.
The overlying theme of Octavarium is the idea of things going in cycles, repeating themselves, and ending in the same place they begin. An octave in music (which the word Octavarium is likely based on) starts and ends on the same note. Octavarium also provides a logical continuation from Train of Thought, as it starts on the same note (F) that the song In the Name of God ends with. This continuation pattern has been going on since the album Scenes From a Memory.
A symbol you might see quite a bit in the Octavarium artwork is an octagon circumscribed around a 5-pointed star. These numbers, 8 and 5, figure prominently in Octavarium and Dream Theater in general, and are littered everywhere throughout this album.
Anyways, on to the main symbolism for the numbers 5 and 8.
- Octavarium - 5 syllables, consonants, and vowels, DT's 8th studio album
- 5 current members of Dream Theater
- 8 total members in the band's history (this does not include Chris Collins as he was only a part of Majesty)
- DT has 5 official live albums (at the point of Octavarium's release)
- DT formed in 1985
- The Octavarium World Tour began with a European Festival series, which appeared in eight countries (Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, France, and Belgium)
- 5 of the 8 songs on this album were recorded with Mike "Hammer of the Gods" kit, the 8th drum kit he has used in his career.
• The Root Of All Evil
- The footsteps are a possible reference to Scenes From A Memory
- The intro with the toms is a reference to This Dying Soul 0:25 - 1:00
- The intro is reminiscent of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine"
- The first guitar chord during the intro before the drums is the same chord played during the When Dream and Day Unite concert intros in 1989. This can also be heard on the menu screen for the WD&DR DVD
- Vocals from 4:55 to 5:16 closely mirror those from This Dying Soul
- Solo break at 5:18 is very similar to the one from The Glass Prison
- Octavarium melody variation appears at 7:33 - 8:02
- The piano starts with F, the same note that In The Name Of God ended with on Train of Thought
The Root Of All Evil discusses steps six and seven of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program.