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Review from Guitar Shop, Vol. 1, no. 4, Winter 1995, page 91.

Awake (East-West)
PERFORMANCE: Fine bombastic shred
GUITARS: Custom Ibanez Solidbodies
RATING: *** 1/2

No question, John Petrucci has come of age as top '90s guitar hero. In contrast to the glut of dropped-D grungers and Stevie Ray-pretenders, Petrucci is keeping the torch of technically proficient guitar burning bright, and fortunately, he does it in a way that isn't overbearing. His tone on Awake is better than ever, too; It's fat and meaty, allowing his blistering phrases to really pop out of the speakers. This guy rips! Musically, this platter doesn't deviate much from Images and Words, and you'll have to make your own call on the singer- some will like his voice, others will find it slick and annoying. But this band has one of the best instrumental line-ups around. My only major gripe is that super-bassist John Myung didn't get enough space to strut his stuff. Hopefully, their upcoming live shows will bear out that Petrucci isn't the only virtuoso in Dream Theater.

-Jeff Vanda

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