Comprising of just six tracks, four longer, two shorter (the word "shorter" being used in a different context here - I mean less than 10 minutes), "BC&SL" is one of Dream Theater's darker albums, dealing with subjects such as car crashes, scary cannibalistic Italian royalty, and of course - now a staple of the 2000s Dream Theater Album - alcoholism. However, "The Shattered Fortress" deserves special mention as it is the final part of the so-called "Twelve Step Suite", and it's also the best track on the album. Full of little references to previous twelve-step songs, it brilliantly ends the saga, as well as Mike Portnoy's time in the band. As for the other songs, "A Nightmare To Remember" starts brilliantly but drags on, "A Rite Of Passage" is decent, "Wither" is the token Dream Theater ballad, "The Best Of Times" is a wank but well-meaning tribute to Portnoy's dad, and "The Count Of Tuscany" could have done with being about 5 minutes shorter. Still though, it's a good album and you can really enjoy it if you let it grow on you like I did.
M4a, ~320 kbps VBR