Dream Theater close their eponymous twelfth album with this epic five part suite, which comprises: I. Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire II. Live, Die, Kill III. The Embracing Circle IV. The Pursuit of Truth. V. Surrender, Trust & Passion
Guitarist John Petrucci told Ultimate-Guitar.com how he wrote such a multi-part song with multiple movements. "The first thing you start with is that you know you're gonna do that kind of piece," he said. "You go in knowing, 'OK, this is gonna be an epic piece. It's gonna be 20 minutes long.' You know you have room for parts to develop and grow. Once you do that you can get a good idea of the type of shape of it that you want." He added: "For example in this case, I knew I wanted us to do an atmospheric breakdown in the center with almost like a ballet-sounding string thing just to be totally, totally different in the middle. If you kinda know that thing you have a little bit of a blueprint."
Petrucci told Ultimate Guitar that he already had the main theme for "Illumination Theory" before he started working on it in earnest. "It was, 'OK, this is going to be the theme. This is happening at the start,'" he said. "Similarly with the ending progression that's repeating, that's something we had worked on at a soundcheck in Asia at one point. As soon as we did that, I'm like, 'This will be used for the ending of a song somewhere on our next album.' So you have an idea and you have these little pins like on a map. It's a matter of shaping what happens in-between those moments."
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