Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory
Author: Mystery

Here is my analysis of SFAM. I know there are many parts which are not 100% solidly substantiated, but this is the most comfortable conclusion I can come to, based on all the theories that I've entertained. Please feel free to discuss it, but I don't think I will be changing my mind about any of it.

For the sake of less typing and reading, I will refer to the characters as defined below. I know it's pretty straightforward, but this is just so there is absolutely no confusion.

Nick = Nicholas
Hypno = Hypnotherapist
Ed = Senator Edward Baynes (Miracle)
Julian = Julian Baynes (Sleeper)

We start with Nicholas relaxing to the sounds of the Hypnotherapist's voice and entering a hypnotic state in the pursuit of regression therapy. The location is not known, nor is the necessity of the therapy. We are given one piece of possibly important information by the Hypno saying "If at any time you need to come back, all you need to do is open your eyes."

Now Nick is in a hypnotic trance and marveling at the surreal peace and comfort. As he settles into his trance, he begins to focus on what we know learn is the subject of his regression therapy, a girl named Victoria and a life that feels strangely similar to his own.

In Strange Déjà vu, we hear a little more about previous dreams that have led Nick to his therapy, and also continue on deeper in the current trance. We learn that every time he closes his eyes, he is taken to this recurring dream of another very vivid, (yet just out of reach of conscious understanding) life. We are given details about the current dream, which is the recurring dream; therefore this is what he's been dreaming previously that has led him to his regression therapy.

There is a pathway to a house. Inside the house and upstairs is a room where a girl appears in a mirror. All of this seems very familiar to him, but it logically shouldn't. In this dream, probably because this is actually a hypnotic trance and not just an average dream, some things seem clearer than ever before. He can see the face of a young girl and poses the question, "Young girl won't you tell me why I'm here?" He sees that she has something to share with him, that there is a reason she is leading him here, a story to be told, and this story is of something terrible that is "tearing at her soul".

Victoria now expresses her first hint at why she is haunting Nick. She has been searching for a way to reveal the truth about her murder. I believe she is faintly aware of Nick, just as he is faintly aware of her. Neither of them, at this point, actually knows that they share the same soul. She also expresses great lament, "tears my heart into two". This along with the next line, "I'm not the one the Sleeper thought he knew", is her guilt that Julian never knew about her relationship with his brother, which we learn about much later. Julian thought he was going to meet the love of his life and pick up where they had left off, instead…well, we learn what happens later. And this is her lament at this point of the story. Poor Julian never saw it coming, and she feels responsible.

Now Nick is out of his therapy and back in real life. Even though he is awake, the thoughts and events of this other life are beginning to permeate every second of his day, and this is the beginning of his obsession with resolving this whole mess. He desperately wants to know why this is happening and would cross over to this other world consciously if he knew how. Nothing in the current day matters to him, only learning more about his new obsession. It is here that he has his first inclination that he may have actually lived in the world of which he dreams. He knows that this dreamland holds the key to his peace, and he will not rest until he unlocks that door.

In 'Through My Words' Nick realizes fully the link between Victoria and himself. He now knows why he feels so drawn to her and her world as they share the same soul.

'Fatal Tragedy' starts with Nick 'alone at night'. I picture him lying in bed reflecting on all he has learned recently. He knows who Victoria is now, but not why she is so torn or how he is involved. This I would see as a fade to black with the next scene beginning the next morning and Nick is leaving his home. He goes to visit an older man, whom the story makes a point to tell us is 'alone'. Whose house this is, and who the old man is, are things that are never made clear throughout the story. There are many possibilities, but nothing certain and I'm not sure it matters much to the context of the story anyway. The importance of the older man is that he knows a little about a murder that happened at this house long ago and shares what he knows with Nick. We learn that a girl was murdered, and that she was young. Nick sits and listens to the older man's tale and finds that it is still a mystery today. It seems to me that the older man knows more than he tells, both about the truth of the murder and about Nick. This kinda leads me to think he is someone of importance, but there is no conclusive evidence of whom.

The repetition of the "Without…etc" lines must have significance. My guess is that they are two separate statements. "Without Love and Truth, there can be no turning back" is Nick realizing that until he unveils the truth about what happened to Victoria, he cannot live his current life. He is stuck in this obsession and cannot turn back. "Without Faith and Hope, there can be no peace of mind" is Nick encouraging himself to be strong and have faith that he will find the truth, because without that truth, he will never rest. This song ends with the Hypno speaking. I picture Nick back in his office, or wherever the place of therapy is, and he has just explained to the Hypno what has transpired since the last session. So the Hypno starts the next session with taking Nick back to the point of the murder of Victoria/himself.

Here we learn the newspaper account of what happened in 1928. The story is that a witness, Edward Baynes heard a 'horrifying sound' and upon reaching the scene of the sound he discovers a woman who's been shot dead, and the shooter standing over her. The witness tries to help and the shooter commits suicide and falls on top of the dead woman. The newspaper account talks of 'a sad close to a broken love affair'. This indicates that the victim and the murderer are identified as previous or maybe even current lovers. The repetition of 'Our deeds have traveled far'…etc, I don't believe to be taken as part of the newspaper article. Even though it is shown in the sleeve of the CD, I can't see how that would be a part of the account.

The paper goes on to explain that Victoria and Julian were recently broken up due to Julian's decadent lifestyle. There are many possibilities regarding what 'evil way' he had fallen into, gambling and/or drug addiction being the most likely, but the fact is it's irrelevant. It's also indicated that she would have taken him back if he'd straighten up his lifestyle. Then there is the last question…'Was their fatal meeting prearranged?' All of Fatal Tragedy is to be taken as the newspaper account. The question of the murder being prearranged is probably discussion of whether this was premeditated murder or just an argument that escalated to the tragedy. I'll explain this a little more in the next section.

Now we read an account of the physical evidence at the scene. There is evidence of a 'violent struggle' and a switchblade is found. The switchblade causes some confusion, because the victim is a young girl and typically you wouldn't expect a young girl in 1928 to be carrying a switchblade, unless, she was anticipating a need to defend herself…"was the victim unaware?" Also found, in the killer's pocket, is a written note. It's speculated that it is a suicide letter, but not a suicide, after I kill you, letter. It clearly reads that the Julian would rather kill himself than live without Victoria, but it mentions nothing of harming her.

I mentioned above that I'd explain the question of premeditation. What I noticed is that the note was still 'in the killer's pocket'!! Since the note addresses Victoria, 'than live with losing YOU', he must have intended to give it to her. I think what the newspaper account would have us believe is this: Julian meets with Victoria to say his farewell and give her the note. He finds this harder than he imagined and it becomes a heated argument which leads to a physical struggle. Victoria produces the switchblade that she was carrying for just such a situation, and Julian pulls the gun, which he was only carrying because he intended to go kill himself after he gave Victoria the note. Julian shoots her and then himself. All of this happens before he ever even produces the note he has written. Keep in mind…this is what the newspaper account leads the reader, and thus Nick in his hypnotic trance, to believe.

Lastly there is the repetition at the end of 'Beyond This Life'. These lines are deepening Nick's belief that he and Victoria share the same soul. They also indicate that, not only do souls reincarnate, but they also carry the same personality traits with them. 'What we have been is what we are'. Simply put, mean people reincarnate into mean people, and nice people reincarnate into nice people. And your deeds will follow you throughout eternity. So if you screw up in this life, the guilt or paranoia or whatever you feel, will transcend into every future life you will have.

Now Nick is awake again. He has learned that Victoria/he was brutally murdered in 1928. He feels compelled to visit Victoria's grave and basically, face his own death. He expresses the sorrow he feels for her, and how helpless and innocent she was. Not only that but, since he's learning about his life by looking through her eyes, he realizes that this happened to HIM also and the unfairness of it begins to nag him.

Upon reaching her grave, he is overcome with sadness. Even the words on her stone indicate that she was a sweet innocent girl who had her life brutally taken from her at a very young age. He is startled by how much her death feels like his own. He compares it to losing someone you love, as this is as close as you can come to describing how it feels to die. We all know how it hurts to lose a loved one, imagine mourning the loss of your own soul! He continues to let images of her wander through his head, as he just wallows in his sadness for awhile. He thinks of how much more he's lived and again is stricken by the injustice of her young death. Then as the song ends Nick begins to regain his composure and is comforted by the realization that by facing this tragedy and mourning the loss, he can now move on. This time of pain was necessary to accept his death in a previous life and fully comprehend why this other life has beckoned him.

'Home' is full of information…,for us. Nick is not privy to what we learn in this song. We hear Julian talk of his obsession with decadence and how he is only living a charade. Ultimately, as we have learned earlier, Victoria leaves him because of his addiction, whatever it may be. Next we hear Ed, (I picture him as a psychotic and maniacal man who talks to himself when alone, rubbing his hands together and nearly frothing at the mouth). He gives his account of Victoria crying on his shoulder over her break up with Julian. He finds himself falling for her, and at first even feels guilt over deceiving his own blood. But his obsession for her becomes stronger than his guilt and he seduces her in her vulnerable state. Lastly we hear from Nick again, back in present day, and awake. So far he only knows what the older man told him, and what he learned about the newspaper article in his last therapy session. He knows there must be more to the story and he is obsessed with solving this mystery. He yearns for regression, cannot wait for his next therapy session so that he can get back to solving the mystery.

'One Last Time' begins with Nick going over it in his head. He is not convinced, from the evidence given so far, that the newspaper account is the truth. He also appears to have heard some rumors. My guess is that there were rumors of her affair with Ed. Did Victoria wound Ed's soul and bid him farewell? Then we see Victoria, in the past again, saying 'One last time, we'll lay down today.' I think Nick hears this as Victoria telling Ed goodbye, that this will be their last meeting.

Nick visits Ed's house, where he and Victoria had their affair. The house seems to hold many clues and he feels that he is finally shown some confirmation of what he's been thinking. Though he is now awake, as he enters the bedroom, he experiences a sort of revelation, almost as though he's slipped right out of consciousness, the cold returns, as he felt in his recurring dreams before, and he's suddenly outside and hears a woman screaming and a man pleading forgiveness. I think Nick, at this point, has been suspecting that Ed and Victoria were having an affair. That is the suspicion to which the home holds many clues. In his current state of dual consciousness, he is seeing Victoria's memories of the fatal meeting, but he doesn't get enough info yet and the scene fades to black.

In 'The Spirit Carries On', Nick is again, and for the last time, under hypnosis and reiterating his belief that his soul will transcend, and that he need not fear death. He believes now that Ed was involved in the murder. He realizes he may never convince anyone else of this, but he must try anyway. He plans to expose the truth behind a crime that happened over 70 years ago. Victoria pipes up, in the present this time, and tells Nick that he should move on now, she has revealed the truth to him, but he should never forget her. At this point he basks in the peace that he feels as he has appeased Victoria's nagging and his own obsession. Nick now feels that the reason all of this happened, the ultimate message, is that death is not the end, but only a transition, as the Hypno has already pointed out.

'Finally Free' again, I believe is only for our information. Nick is not privy to what is revealed in this song, because the Hypno brings him out of his last hypnotic trance and we hear him get in his car and leave. What we learn is that Victoria and Julian meet by chance and decide to meet up later in secret so they can talk. She is obviously excited because Julian is the one she has always loved, and she's going to break it off with Ed. She is no longer torn between Ed and Julian, who she would rather have been with. But she knows Julian would kill Ed if he knew of her relationship with him.

So they meet up, without anyone knowing, so they think. Ed shows up, begins struggling with Julian who drops a bottle of liquor out of his coat pocket, pulls out the knife, Ed shoots Julian, Victoria screams, Ed tells her "open your eyes Victoria", and he shoots her also. Julian crawls over to her, collapses on top of her and utters his last lines, "one last time…etc'. Now, the beginning of the song, Ed has just shot them both and is standing there kind of saying, that'll teach you to break my heart, very indignant, like they got what they deserved. He plants the letter on Julian and then gets help and plays his part as the witness.

Now back to Nick. He's driving home and thinking about how he is free of the haunting that has plagued him. Also he has learned about his life, that it will carry on after death, through Victoria's nagging. The last line, 'We'll meet again my friend someday soon' this must be Nick speaking of Victoria, however it's one of the things I can't really explain. I don't know why he says this, but I don't feel like it has a great impact on the story, UNLESS, it is related to the ending.

The ending…. Nick arrives home and goes inside and begins relaxing. Another car pulls up, the Hypno enters the room and says, "Open your eyes Nicholas", the phonograph gets bumped as Nick is startled by the Hypno…..static…..fade to black. The Hynpo, who is Ed's reincarnated soul, has killed Nicholas.

Leo Mulvhill
I like this analysis very much. I was always under the impression that Victoria left Edward for Julian, and once Edward found out about this fact he cracked and killed them both ("He'd kill his brother if he only knew";). I figured that Edward was the one who "fell into an evil way," but never was able to overcome his love for Victoria.

I could also be totally wrong. I have to look over my lyrics again...

B Lowd
Very good analysis..either clarified or reinforced my own thoughts...here's a little I thought I'd add for further consideration.

I might note that I thought the old man in "Fatal Tragedy" was someone important as well..namely, Sen. Edward. I thought he felt guilty about getting away with this...age is never specified...so it could be him. Notice the vague information he gives and the feeling he gives us that he knows more than he says.

Also, we can infer from lines and references in "Home" that Julain's decadence was most likely a matter of cocaine ("Lines take me higher";) and gambling (the rolling dice sound effect during the interlude).

I didn't think the Hypnotherapist had anything to do with Nick's death...why would he be listening to a phonograph in the present? I believe the phonograph indicates this scene occurred back in 1928. Anyway, I still couldn't figure out this cryptic ending...any thoughts, folks?

Leo Mulvihill
I have imagined that the hypnotherapist shares Edward's soul, just as Nick shares Victoria's. This whole experience has made him aware to the situation as well. That explains the death to me well enough :)

To fully understand this song, you must aslo know the story of Metropolis pt.1. I haven't heard it, but it is about a pair of twins (Edward and Julian Bynes, ring a bell?) that are locked in the same mind. Not knowing much more than this I can't say too much about it, but it does indicate that The Sleeper and The Miracle is the one and same schizophrenic person.

On to the comments:
I belive ter is a possibility of Julian's soul being the one that has been reborn in Nick (although not sure about this point). There are some indications on that fact like the end of Finally Free, but there is more evidence to suggest Victoria is the reborn soul.

The end is still cryptic, but consider the possibility that it is from 1928 and then the possibility that this the one and same person: The message on the radio/tv is about the dead senator, the person listening is a mystery.

I know it doesn't make much sense at the moment, but I need to get it sorted out on my own first.


For some intersting clues

Well, if the old men is edward, then is dificult the hypnotherapist is Edward too. Is like a contradiction, except if we think in souls binded and the anciant men(edward) and hypnotherapist have binded souls, but is too strange. Other hypotesis can be he was the sleeper.
I think it was the hypnotherapist the murder, because was a times ago the success, then is dificult edward was alive, and because, the idea of reencarnation is present in the story, then if victoria is nicholas, perfectly the hypnoterapist was Edward reencarnated soul.

sorry for my english, but i speak spanish
And was a excelent analysis.

I like your analysis.
I read a lot of things about this story and at this point I don't know what is the reality of it.
My first thought, when I heard the record, was that Nick is Julian, and Victoria's soul is looking for him.
The part of the hypno is Edward, I never thought that, but I saw it everywhere. If this is true, we can think that the hypno kills Nick, for the same reason in the past.
The fact that the old man could be Ed is reasonable. In the end the comment on the TV is about JFK murder, that lead us to the 60's, that's why Nick is hearing a phonograph.
In my firsts hearings I never thought that Nick was killed, I thought that the hypno couldn¡t wake up Nick and he had to awake him suddenly. But now I'm not so sure.
I must see the DVD for clear too much things.

Great analysis! I also thought Nicholas was Victoria in the past, she had had an affair with Edward and when he found out he killed them both his brother and Victoria.

I think Edward was that mysterious old man but at the end of the story he dies of old age. (that's the news that are heard in 'finally free').

I think thet strannge voice in 'finally free' doesn't say 'Open your eyes Victoria' It says 'Open your eyes Nicholas' because it is the hypnotherapist trying to wake Nicholas up (He must be sweating and shaking as he explains the truth he just found out) but Nicholas hears it as one of the voices in his dream.

About the weird ending.... I still don't get it but don't quite agree with the Hypnotherapist killing Nicholas, it just doesn't makes much sense to me. Why would he do it? Because he found out the truth? So what he still didn't have to, he wasn't Ed anymore.

When he says 'we'll meet again my friend soon' I think he means Julian (or his twin soul) in another reincarnation.

Great Analysis!
This really made things click for me.
Specifically, in response to the last comment, I believe that the ending fits perfectly, because with the spirit of Victoria reincarnated in nicholas and the spirit of ed inside the hypnotherapist, the statement "what we have been is what we are" dooms the hypnotherapist, or ed's soul, to repeat the murder of nicholas, or whoever carries Victoria's soul in this and future reincarnations. Just trying to clarify.

Mystery is pretty much right about everything including the ending. If you want proof then get the dvd of SFAM, watch it with the commentary and the band breaks it all down. The end is the hypnotherapist (reincarnated as Edward) killing Nick(Victoria). And in Finally Free when you hear the gun shot he is saying "Open your eyes Victoria." not nicolas.

Actually, the Hypno says BOTH Nicholas and Victoria simultaneously over one another... both names can be heard, which is supposed to be a hint to the connection of Nick/Victoria.

Well as far as i'm concerned i think the hypnotherapist kills nicolas because he knows he has found out about victoria's and ed 's death.being the reincarnation of the murderer,he probabely suffered the same pschycological problems that nicolas experienced:he might have found out about his previous life and crimes by a therapy.nicolas's therapy has shown him he is the reincarnation of victoria:therefore,he kills him so that he won't expose ed's crime(i.e the hypnotherapist twin soul:nicolas would disturb his own peace of mind).
as for "we'll meet again my friend",this sentence could be attributed to almost every characters:
_victoria and nicolas:i.e in paradise when nicolas will die,and ironically he is murdered by ed's reincanation,therefore it confirms that" our deeds have travelled far,what we have been is what we are",nicolas 'fate was bound to be similar to victoria's,and so is the hypnotherpist's.
_ victoria and ed:meaning that she will get even with ed one day
_the hypnotherapist and nicolas: alluding that he will kill nicolas before he tells the truth,so they will meet once more after his therapy.
at least that's my interpretation.but the analysis is not bad at all,i will just add that julian's addiction is not only cocaine but alcohol ( cf :the bottle that is broken during his fight with his brother reveals that despite his reunion with victoria,he hasn't changed:still gambler,alcholic :"what we have been is what we are"meaning that people can't master or control,change what is part of their being,of their soul.
ps:don't pay attention to my grammatical mistakes,i'm french !!

well at the end of Finally Free, where he says "well meet again my friend, someday soon", i think he speaks about the day he dies, cause they'll get together at the heaven or hell or limbo place. in my opinion i think he's going to get back with her after he dies.

Danny Medle
i don't hear the how the hypno says victoria but i'll try again some other time. i'm also confused about why the baynes are given the names "the miracle" and "the sleeper." i sense that the sole purpose lies in metropolis part 1 which i don't understand AT ALL. sorry that i have no comments to add only more questions lol.

This analysis was a relief for me because I never understood the CRYPTIC ending and it was driving me nuts! I'd like to point out something, though. All of these comments neglect the fact that Julian is also known as "The Sleeper." I'm still convinced that Nicholas and Julian are the ones who share a soul. After all, Nicholoas is undergoing hypnotherapy, so wouldn't it make sense for him to share a soul with Julian, The Sleeper? Sure, the lyrics allude to Nicholas sharing a soul with Victoria, but this does not undermine the fact that Julian is The Sleeper. What do you guys think?

B Lowd
Hey, I'd just like to say the responses to my previous comment have really cleared things up...I am particularly impressed by the fact that this magnificent work of art has united people from all over the globe, some who don't even speak english! It seems that the original analysis is just about right on, but the posted comments help to clarify the most common questions...still, remember that it's what it means to you that is important! One other problem that's missing...what the hell happened to Julian's soul? We know Ed becomes the hypnotist and Vicky becomes Nicky...where's Julian? Is he also in the hypnotist's head ("The both of you will be confined to this mind" from Metro Pt.1)?

This analysis really cleared things up for me. I knew that the cd was about the murder of a young girl but I never knew that Victoria was Nick reincarnated in the future trying to show him about his previous life. I think that this story is very well made and that Dream Theater made a really good job of doing it.

I think the hypno killing Nick seems logical. It is a theme of bad people are always bad people, even in future lives. The reason the murder seems so out of place is that the chances of the two reincarnated souls meeting again and ahving suck a close relationship was very slim. Overall I would say that this is a fantastic analysis.

here it is, Romus and Remulus are the twins that are mentioned in Rome History. They wanted to build a city in image of Victoria. then they called it Metropolis (Rome is a Metropolis City still today). So here, Metropolis isn't New York but Rome. In some cases they called Victoria with "cities" or "metropolis".
And then the love story goes. In my opinion, Miracle kills Sleeper first then Vicoria. They all three, reincarnated into three person in the present, Julian(the old man), Ed(Hypno), and Nicholas. In the end, Hypno kills Nick. what a story...

before reading this analysis i always thought that the hypno was julian's soul getting even with victoria;s soul for betraying him and the old man is edward the "sole survivor", although i never felt sure about nick dying at the end. for example we just listen him screaming. no shots no nothing. i still find some sence in it and even now that i read above that maybe what the phonograph refers to is the old man's death i think i have reason to do so. maybe the hypno/julian didn't have flashbacks and dreams as nick did but when he found the truth through nick's therapy he killed his soul's brother "he'd kill his brother if he only knew". sadly i don't have access to the dvd and the information given there which certainly are enlightning.
well, i think it is an endless game to find the truth unless they reveal it some day. maybe we will have to wait until then!

I just noticed something that could clear up a lot for people... they never state what year Nick's life is in. That explains the broadcast that in real life took place shortly after Kennedy was killed, and the record player. Is there anything that makes my theory improbable/impossible? Also, could the old man be the witness? If it seems like he knew more than he told than it could be that he had thoughts of what could have happened but no proof. He could have hidden his personal opinions due to his lack of evidence. Crazy stuff, I wish the band would eventually clean up the details. It reminds me of the song "You're so Vain", since it could end up with nobody knowing the truth.

Just a thought here, is there any reason why the sharing of souls doesn't happen at the same time? this would lead me to the conclusion that victoria AND nick (who share a soul) are killed at the same time and this is why they are possibly aware of each other. this would mean that the observers (listners) being outside of the action can see both happening at once.

just my thoughts very random, but what is time?

If Nick was in fact killed in the 60s, that would make his soul ready for reincarnation for anyone younger than about 40. How old are the guys in DT?

What if the old man was Edward, who would be the right age if he lived. I mean, they never say Edward died, and Julian actually killed Victoria and was reincarnated as the Hypno.

Hi, another one from europe, I'm german :-)

I don't think the old man neither the reincarnation of Julian nor of Ed, i don't think this would make sense. All he tells Nicholas is what was to read in the newspaper, if he was Reborn Julian he had told him more. So I think he's just some old guy who remembers few of what people thought had happened

Jordan Roepke
It seems to me that everyone points to the twins being "confined in one mind", but no matter what they are always 2 people in analysis. I think that maybe both Edward and Julian were reincarnated into the same body, or (and here's a twist) The Miracle and the Sleeper were always the same person, only schizo. Maybe the sleeper is named so because he was the dormant personality, and only came out once in a while. Hence, Victoria loved Julian more than Edward (personality, that is) which drove Edwards personality to kill them both. Of course, this also leaves alot of questions, but it's good to play devils advocate. Also, I've always thought that Metropolis was Victoria's code name, like Sleeper or Miracle. I don't really think that the Old Man is anyone of consequence, just someone who was around when the murders happened. Although, I also don't really think Nick died at the end. I kind of think that maybe Nick was still in regression when he was watching the T.V., which could mean that the story on the T.V. was about the murder of Julian and Victoria. The last "Open your eyes, Nicholas" was the therapist actually waking him up, and he was startled out of his sleep. Also, If the therapist did kill him with a knife, I would tend to think that Julian was the therapist, as he was the one theorized to be carrying the switchblade, and Nick might actually be the reincarnated soul of Edward, as the lines in Finally free speak from Edwards point of view ion the first person, although the lines in One last time speak from victorias and julians perspective (I think those are the songs I'm thinking of). I don't know. I could just be full of it.

great analysis and comments
i enjoyed every second of reading
i believe that all three souls reincarnate: nicholas-victoria hypnotherapist-Edward and Julia-the old man
but it doesn't really make sense that Julian is the old man, cuz if he was, he would have told nicholas the whole story when he met him, and he couldn't have lived for so long after the murder.
but still, it has alot of sense in these three reincarnations

"One other problem that's missing...what the hell happened to Julian's soul? We know Ed becomes the hypnotist and Vicky becomes Nicky...where's Julian? Is he also in the hypnotist's head ("The both of you will be confined to this mind" from Metro Pt.1)?"

Perhaps the Older man is Julian. He felt that he could trust him as Victoria Trusted Julian (obviously as they had a relationship and she was willing to break off everything with edward and put herself into an obvious danger to meet with Julian.

hey i know that this might be a stupid question but, is that news paper that is on the booklet, like... a real newspaper from january 28, 1928?

would like to know if it is or isnt.

Man that was a good analysis! That's cleared up a lot of issues I had with the album. I think the concept of reincarnation on this album (and in a lot of reply theories here) makes a lot of sense and can even be proved with modern evidence.

Personally, I'm fascinated with the idea of reincarnation, and it has been suggested that a soul will share many of the same relationships with other souls life after life after life. For example, a brother in a previous life may become a best friend or father in the next life, or a wife becoming a sister, and so on. This can easily explain how Victoria, Julian and Edward would all know one another in any subsequent incarnations (as Nicholas, the Old Man perhaps, and the Hypnotherapist).

Anyway, great analysis!

Hey, its obvious that you guys are all big DT fans. Im just getting into them and theres something I noticed about this story which I'm trying to piece together. It seems as if the band may have took from something that took place in their own area of Long Island, not in 1928 but around the turn of the century. If anyone wants to talk about it with me, look up "Edna Woolworth" or "Frank Woolworth" or "Winfeild estate", then e-mail me at SDBSeth@hotmail.com with the subject being FATAL TRAGEDY. Im interested to find more correlations, thanks.

Nope, it was made especially for the booklet photography. It now resides in Mike's basement.

After reading many summaries about this great artwork, i still have a couple of questions.(Btw great analyses).In the analyses/paragraph 17/ lign 6/ "He finds himself falling for her, and at first even feels guilt over deceiving his own blood. " I don't get it why does ed feel guilt? In the ending, when nick is at his house and the phonograph stops when he gets shot by the hypno, if the phonograph was at his house, does this mean the therapy was taken place at his house? I'm lost. Can anyone please clear it out for me? Thank you

man that really helps clear the album up for me. I undeerstood everything but the ending before i read that analysis. i didn't even realize Nick was killed. that makes the story even more interesting to me so thanks a lot. i also think that julian is the old man, and that he doesn't tell nick everything because he wants him to figure it out for himself. or maybe, like nick, he doesn't understand the whole story of the murder because he is reincarnated as well.

Just a thought, this could be wrong... But on the last track when Nicholas comes in and turns on the TV, the newscasters are talking about "a man considered to be a member of American nobility" and "a long string of tragedies" - could he be talking about the death of John F. Kennedy Jr? As in, when he died in a plane crash on July 16th, 1999. I don't think this has any significance to the story, unless MAYBE this news story could also be about Ed, but I highly doubt it.

The good thing, though, is that it confirms the that Nick and Hypno's storyline exists in the present day (or, the present day when the album was recorded)

Oh, and somisdrummer, I tend to agree with you that the old man is actually Julian. If I am correct about the JFK Jr newsstory being played in the background of "Finally Free" then that confirms the events of the present take place in 1999, mid summer. So, 1999-1928 = 70/71 years since Julian and Victoria's death. The Old Man who explains things to Nick could definitely be Julian. I also think its definitely possible that Ed/Victoria could have had other lives between Hypno/Nick... But just a speculation :)

Hi! Greez to all DT fans from Budapest:) One more comment to the story: at the instrumental section of "Home", just before the last refrain, one can hear sounds of a casino and a woman making love simultaneously. This makes me be sure that Julian and Ed are 2 different people and Vic is having sex with Ed while Julian is gambling. Alternatively, there could have been special casinos in the City where one could get "special treatment" while playing but that surely ruined ones chances in both fields:-)
Anyway, the music of the album is also worth raving about. To me, it is the coolest piece of these damn bastards:-)

theater dreamer
just one question, guys. What about the instrumental "dance of eternity"? Why is it here and why this strange title ("dance";) ???

however, as a french man, I understood the whole analysis and approved it thorough. But many questions stay unexplained. What a complex story!!!

Hi everybody; here's a brazilian guy writing now... i started listenning to DT about two months ago max. (but it is already one of my favorite bands far away from plenty others!), and just about an hour ago of this post i realized that Scenes from a memory album was all about one story. I' ve heard some songs of this album before, but hadnt read its lyrics. Right about now im just amazed with the complexity and how wonderful this story is.(I agree with many of the hipothesis sugested before me ... such as the old man being julian, but i think that also it could be ed!). Well, to finish this comment, I'll just say that this whole story and anyother stories or references that exist in DT's mucis is just marvelous.... such as RUSH (another of my favourite bands, as my nick suggests), it has great richness of lyrics and meanings besides the music itself (as an example, Peruvian skies).... JUST AMAZING!!! godspeed to you all !!!!

The explanition was incredible. I had no idea what they were talking about until i read this. The only idea that i have is that maybe the old guy is an older Julian, and that he is unsure of why this person wants to know about the murder and dosn't want to bring up anything having to do with his lover or his brother, feeling guilty about the whole thing. By the way, Rush fan! haha yeah. YYZ is the best. thanks you all!

Quotes from Metropolis I:

"Death is the first dance, eternal

There is no more freedom,
the both of you will be confined to this mind"

This might mean that after their deaths, Julian and Edward end up sharing one body (in their reincarnation).

"It can only take place when the struggle between our children has ended."


"Love is the Dance of Eternity"

Also there is the fact that Victoria is actually talking to Nicholas, adressing him, while neither the Miracle nor the Sleeper do that, they only play their scenes in Nicholas' head.
Also consider the (true) names of Julian and Ed.
Why the Miracle and why the Sleeper? This has made me think that maybe Nicholas is the reincarnation of both Julian and Edward, confined into one mind.

Thanks for clearing this all up. All I had known from the story was there was girl who died, she was so young. I didn't even know the names. It makes me think.. it's such a great story.

Anyway.. it's possible that Julian reincarnated into the old man right away and thirty years later, both Victoria and Edward reincarnated, into a hypnotherapist and a man named Nicholas. But some things don't make sense... why would Edward become a hypnotherapist? Would the old man not live to be ~71 if he was an alchoholic who gambled (assuming those traits passed on, maybe he learnt his lesson)? Again, great story. Also... why would the hypotherapist wait all this time to kill Nicholas? Why not just kill him on the first exchange? o_o Weeirdd..

Did anyone stop to think that Julian and Victoria were killed on the same night. So if the old man was the reincarnation of Julian than Nick should be about the same age. Unless ofcourse Nick is the reincarnation of a reincarnation, which isn't likely. Just thought i'd point out the age difference.

hi, I'm from chile... sorry for my english.

i just have to say that this analysis was amazing! but there are still some things that i can't understand...

if ed killed julian, and then victoria, as you said, then why does the newspaper tells: "the body fell across the poor young girl"? That means that the reporter who wrote the text found julian over victoria, that means that he was killed after vic.. but if you listen to the instrumental part of finally free, you would find really strange that a young girl is shot two times and keeps screaming, so that means that he killes julian first... the only way that this could be true is that ed changed the possition of the bodies... that brings up ideas that are not mentioned on the lyrics...

i have a theory about the hypnotherapist... we never knew his age, so, if the present time of the story is the 60s (remember the ending of the phonograph and everything) it makes possible the fact that ed is the hypnotherapist, it also makes sense with the scene of the murder (open your eyes victoria).
There's the possibility also that hypno is the miracle and the sleeper confined to the same mind, and they're searching for vengance, beacause victoria was the reason of their destiny, so they're looking for the reincarnated spirit. That makes sense with the last part, where the hypnotherapist finds nicholas and kills him. I don't know what's the true.

I think that DT wrote this whole album in a way that made us impossible to have certain points of view of the events that may clear our minds.

Nice analysis!! Venezuela this time, and here are my two cents:

I found the analysis very complete, but the cryptic ending makes us all think a great sort of stuff. In fact, I think that everything is clear BUT the ending. My personal point of view is that in fact, Nick has Victoria's soul, and the hypnotist has Edward's soul and after knowing that Victoria reincarnated in Nicholas, he kills Nick...

Also, I took notice that Julian's soul isn't mentioned anywhere else, what makes me think that if the murder was in 1928... The old man could have Julian's soul, because in Fatal Tragedy Nick says that he felt that "he could trust him"... and if Victoria was so in love with Julian, she could trust him..

Well, I insist that this is a great analysis... Keep up the good work

Freezing hails from FInland :D
Yeah!!! it was a great analysis.....

MY opinion is that Nick was living in sixties... And Hypno was ed.... Who understanded this strange thing.... that nick knows about the murder... Only thing that battles against my opinion is taht in the DVD nick drives home with very nice car :D and there wasnt cars like that in sixties...

Great story great analysis.


Well who's viewpoint do you think that the line in Metropolis Pt. I was (The struggle between...)...do you think it's a ''higher force''? As in the story of Romulus and Remus (which I find the connection amazing with in this)...Rhea Silvia traces lineage back to the gods...then it COULD tie in all the reincarnation business...

wow...this is amazing.

The end is not in the 60's. I've got the Scenes From New York DVD, and you can see the show and hear the band comment on it, and they say that it is about the death of JFK Jr, because that's the only thing that was on TV that day.

Cheers from Portugal

Amazing analysis!!! Yeah i thought that victoria and ed is the hypno, but could it be that julian is reincarnated in nick, the sleeper says "An old soul exchanged for a new" this could be somehow a way of reincarnation...
but i think ill stick to victoria and ed. cheers!

I am of the opinion that Julian was reincarnated as the old man and use the *I felt that I could trust him* reason to back it. Also, I think the news report might be the death of the old man caused by Hypno (the reincarnated Ed). Assuming Nick was telling Hypno everything along the way, he could have told Hypno about the old man. Hypno started being haunted by the Miracle and decided that the two people that know the truth about the murder (the old man *Julian* and Nick *Victoria*) must be silenced if he is to make the Miracle rest in peace. I don't think it is a coincidence that the Hypno walks in while Nick is watching this news.

The Spartan
while it would be nice to think that SFAM is all intertwined so tightly that the old man in the house is Edward, it's impossable. For Eddie to be an adult in 1928, and, assuming, that this story takes place even during the eighties when DT was first founded, our buddy Ed would have to be more than one hundred years old. the oldest person alive is 114, and its a woman. The story itself can't be set in 1928 because at the end of finally free, we hear a TV announcement. Even if this WERE a radio announcement, it came through far too cleanly to be a radio from 1920...did they even HAVE radios in 1928?. The entire mood of the report is far too modern anyway. Plus, was there even hypnotherapy in the '20's? so, back to my point: The Hypnotherapist is the reincarnation of Edward Baynes.

Also: it seems that Nicolas is younger than the hypnotherapist (i base this solely on the sound of his voice, ha ha). One explaination for this anomaly: Nickie was reincarnated twice; He (well actually, because the soul was Victoria's at that point it would be SHE...) could have been reincarnated and subsequently killed as a child and THEN reincarnated as the Nicholas in the story...

This entire story seems very Eastern, with the Satar (or however you spell it) in the beginning of home and the entire "reincarnation" aspect. "Reincarnation" is native to Eastern Indian religions...

An interesting side note: one of my friend's sisters is named Victoria...ITS A SIGN!!!!

ok....what i thought ..origonally:

nick is julian
ed is mad with rage
ending..makes no sense
old man is just someone who lived through it and heard the story

now aftert the analisis i have these veiws

i was alwways stuck on the line on regression" hello victoria so glad to see u my frend"..because i thought he was julian..and if he was..he shood have said my love..not my frend..uno?..so the nick/vick makes much more sense

now i could be compltly wrong about this..but mysatery kept saying he went in and out of his therapy session..i dont see that..i hear it as one long session..because theres nothing..that i hear..to implicazte an eye opening....

now withthe ending...i complelty love ur analisis....the hypno is ed..and he kills nick because ed kills vicky..now there are some contridicting points..if the old man is ed..how can the hypno be him aswell?..or are they in two different time periods?..confusing story."DAMN U PORTNOY!!" but i really like what somewone said abotu the jfk thing so that the phonograph works..but then that wood completly ruin the old man beign ed..let me explainm:..
the timeing woodnt work out....

correct me if im wrong....1928..death..i wood assume ed was in his 30s?rtight..ok for ed to be old enough to be the old man he wood be about 65?67?..thats fourty more years..1963 1965...im not the history wiz but i wood assume jfk was already dead... or soon after...once the old man dies..yeares later..then the hypno wood be reincarted so..he woodnt even be born to cunduct a therepy session....so the jfk thing works if old man is not ed..and it doesnt if he is

now i try to litsen to metropolis one..cuz i no its important to the stoyry...but the lyrics are written so poorly..the dont ryme at all ..and dont go to gether..and ughhh..its annoying to lkitslen to so i really sdont no what happened in that song...

ok..one more thing ..a question..."Metropolis surrounds me The mirror`s shattered the girl"....this line alwatys bothers me..cuz i dont get it!!..whaty the hell is metropolis..thats something i never got..and the mirror..is that a reference to the song?..which talks about somone going crazy form the pressure and streess of sometihng.....that cood work in vickys situation...caought bbetween two loves and crap...but yea..iof someone could helpo me out or coment on someove the stuff i sed it wood be pretty nice...

sorry mike..i didnt mean to insult ur metropilis 1 lyrics..but they are pretty bad..but ur the greates drummer ever...i lovce oyu..im not gay...but id do everyone form dreamtheater..exept lebraire ...hes a messed up dude....


Amir Dan.T
Thanks guys for your summeries, but still i'm confused about the ending of the story but orginally I think same as most of you:

Nick is Victoria
The old man is Julian
and the Hypno is Ed

so generally story of SFAM was about the murder of a young girl which was killed by Edward, She truly loves Julian==>(but if she loves Julian why did she affaired with Ed?)
anyway, her spirit reincarnated in Nicholas and like that, Julian into The old man and Ed into Hypno, and at the end because Ed murdered Vic and Nick, and in the present time Ed's spirit is in Hypno when he understood that Victoria spirit is in Nick he killed him too.

If that's right I'm still confuse...
Why should God do that, to make a event happen twice, one time in 1928 and again in (idon't know for exaple 1960?!

Luke Smith
The news report at the end is from JFK's death, so Senator Baynes probably isn't dead only forty years later. He's probably about 65+ so he could very well be the "older man" who Nicolas talked to. People on here said "if it was Edward Baynes why didn't he say more of the story". It's obvious. A murderer wouldn't tell a stranger about a murder he commited. The first thing out of the old mans mouth is "Lad, did you know a girl was murdered here?" Why would he bring that up out of nowhere unless he had a guilty conscience of something he did. So the older man is probably the Senator, considering we never hear of his death. He is the survivor, he is the one that killed.

As for the Hypnotherapist killing Nicholas, I'm not so sure about that. Seems like a bit of a stretch. I think Nicholas was still in some kind of regression which would explain why we hear the story while he's driving home. But then why would the Hypnotherapist be at Nicholas'? Confusing.

When I first bought the CD I made the connection between Nicholas being the sleeper. Lately I've been listening to it thinking that Nicholas is Victoria. Why else would he see her in a mirror?

Great Album.

There's an interesting hypothesis that no-one has said this far.

In the end, we know that the Hypnotherapist comes to Nicholas' house and says "Open your eyes, Nicholas (it can be seen on DVD as also the facts of Victoria's murder), which is followed by the scream and gramophone sound. And Nicholas is clearly Victoria.

But who says that Nicholas was killed? It cannot be seen or heard. While reading these replies I have been thinking a possibility that the Hypno was in fact the reincarnation of JULIAN. He also knew the truth about the murder of Victoria and himself. And Finally Free is told in the past by Edward (The Miracle), so Nicholas isn't aware of what really happened; all he knows is that Victoria is his former incarnation.

So, Julian/Hypno comes to tell him (after a bit of thinking in his office) "Open your eyes, Nicholas! Can't you see how it really went? Julian didn't kill Victoria, it was a set-up!" Perhaps he wanted to cleanse Julian's bad reputation as murderer and to reveal the truth.

I have never thought about the old man before. "I found an older man, he seemed to be alone." How did he find him? Was he "the witness", thus Edward? And he was alone due to the isolation after the lies and the loss of Victoria? After all, he didn't want to give information to Nicholas. But this means that the events took place in the '50s or the '60s. The John F. Kennedy Jr. news sample is only a sample. This explains also the gramophone and the autoradio (it has some older qualities...) And, as they were twins and maybe having a mind connection (earlier or later), Hypno/Julian would be using the same words as Edward ("Open your eyes";).

I don't think that this hypothesis has any flaws with the lyrics. But do they say in the DVD commentary that Hypno is Edward? I don't remember. If it is so, I wrote this all for nothing.

Amazing analysis and comments.

After reading all this I'mrather split between what DT intended and didn't. Although I am beginning to think that DT meawnt for all this to be thought of (kind of using ambiguity as an art). They leave to each his own opinion about whether or not the Miracle is the hypnotherapist, the old man, or the dead senator on the radio or if Nicholas is Julian or Victoria.

I personally do thing that the old man in Fatal tragedy is just an old man. Although this isn't a firm declaration, I would assume that Julian would tell more about the murder and Edward would tell less. The old man lets on just as muych as somebody would know who happened to live nearby.

There was a question about the Miracle and the Sleeper being a schitzo due to the line in Part 1 about being confined to one mind. I doubt this, seeing as Victoria says 'He'd kill his brother if he only knew.' Nice thought, though. It has got me to think that after the Miracle and Sleeper died, they were 'confined' to the mind of the hypnotherapist.

I do also think that the entire album (minus the beginning and end) are part of one big hypnotherapy session. I could be wrong, but I assume that DT would be clearer about it if it weren't.

The line in Finally free about "Their love renewed They'd rendezvouz..." baffles me. I picture the Miracle and Sleeper as two brothers whould would rip each other's eyes out to get what they wanted.

As always, the names are probably significant. Can somebody dig up some buried meaning behing the name Nicholas? There's also one thing that nobody has touched on--the significance of the site of the murder--Echo's Hill. Any thoughts?

Another recent though that I've had is that the Miracle did not kill Victoria purely of of jealosy. The recurring line "there's a new love born for each one that has died" might allude to the fact that (although jealousy must have been part of it) the Miracle killed Victoria to get rid of her and find somebody else.

I'm not sure about the 'open your eyes Victoria/Nicholas' line, but I speculate that it's not a disguised quote from the hypnotherapist (i.e. Nicholas didn'y hear it from the hypno and misinterpreted in it--the Miracle actually said it). That said, I'm not sure why he didn't say something more threating.

Two questions--where/how did Nicholas get the newspaper in beyond this life, and can somebody delve more into that comment posted a while back about Romus and Remulus?

Great analyses.
Here's some shatters from all the way(Pt.1 & 2)

There are two different sounds of shattering glass in Finally Free (probably insignificant but still) and after them a clinking of metal (Swichblade dropping). In addition, there's something like dogs barking in the background.

In Pt.1 "The smile of dawn arrived early MAY" Is that may supposed to mean something?
"She'll never outgrow"->She's obviously Vicky
Who's the narrator in Pt.1? And to whom he's talkin' to?("Just keep my heart in your eyes and we'll stay alive";)
"The third arrives..." could mean both the third dance of eternity: love, and arrival of another of the brothers to the secret meeting of Vicky and the other.
"Before the leaves have fallen" I don't know when leaves fall in US, but don't think they fall in Januaru or May (I live in Finland and here leaves fall around September-October.)

In Finally Free lines "Their love renewed..." are marked to Victoria. They certainly won't match on Vic.

Btw. what's that lake of fire thing. Is it Hell or something like that. (That must be important because it's said in both of the songs)

that was a great analysis. but upon readin some of the comments i have a few ideas of my own. first off, i agree with nick being victoria. but as for the hypno being ed and the old man being julian, i dont agree there. i feel that the old man was ed, still alive throught all the years, and doesnt tell everything to nick because he doesnt know at the time he is victoria. i think nick could trust him much as victoria fell for him. i feel that the hypno is actually a reincarnation of julian. i feel he kills nick in the end because he is also unaware of the reincarnation untill nicks therapy reveals it. due to nicks therapy he realizes that victoria fell for ed and this angers him so he takes revenge and kills nick. im not sure if any of this holds up because i have not seen the dvd. i have also read through the lyrics of metropolis part 1 and there are a very large number of references to part 2 in there. but thats another thing for another time... if anyone wishes to further discuss this hit me up at zyrrell@hotmail.com

i have come to the conclusion that the original analysis by this guy is right... my evidence is in the news report it tells you what happens right in it "as the skys have grown darker... the people are begining to realize they are about to witness yet "another tragedy " in a long string of misfortunes.. in other words it happens everytime where the soul of victoria gets killed by the senators soul

After reading through so many analysis’s of this story, I have come to the conclusion that many of the assumptions may actually make sense…but there are two very possible endings and both are equally likely…so according to your perception you can choose any one..

one hypothesis suggests that nick is reinc. as Victoria and the hypno is ed reinc. only.. and he kills nick in the end due to his grudge against Victoria…this theory rules out the possibility of the old man being ed and is frankly of little consequence in this theory…there is hardly any evidence to suggest that he could be julian since he takes little active part in the story apart from telling nick about victoria’s murder….so he may have been just an old timer who knew about the incident..

another suggested theory is that julian is reincarnated as nick and he dreams of his love(Victoria)… even in this story it makes the most sense if the hypno is ed only…since he takes both julian’s and victoria’s lives…..hence nick can be both Victoria or julian… both stories being quite logical…

I think that LaBrie or Portnoy said in an interview that Nicholas was victoria.

I now think that the "older man" from Fatal Tragedy could be Julian(Nicholas says he felt that he could trust him).
And anyway, what was the old man doing outside alone?

Another thing that disturbs me is -
The lyrics of "Beyond This Life" are the exact headline from the news paper(even the "Our deeds have travelled far" part that repetes itself!).
Why would that be written on a newspaper?

Nick is Victorias re-incarnation because the lyrics of "through her eyes" and "through my words" show it specifically the line

"im learning all about my life
by looking through her eyes"

and if you watch LSFNY with commentary on the final scene

portnoy says that nick's life is present day because when the were going to tape the news report, it was the same day as JFK junior's plane dissapearance, so they used that report

I really enjoyed the initial analysis as well as the other comments. After listening to this album countless times I always came to the conclusion that Victoria was initially with Edward and realized that she really loved julian. I also thought that the affair in Home was between Victoria and Julian instead of Victoria and Edward.

My initial interperitation was that Edward basically gets his heart broken by Victoria and kills her and then himself. I always thought that edward wrote the suicide note for himself... I also initially thought that he struggled and fought with julian, but never actually killed him thus making julian the witness.. I always pictured edward singing the "one last time" part in Finally free to himself in response to victoria singing it to him.

I realize though that My initial theory has a lot of holes in it..

I still think that The Miracle (Edward) was the one initially with victoria but she left him for Julian, her true love. And I still think that The affair in home was between victoria and julian.
Edward then just goes ballistic, and writes the note, Kills victoria and julian, and plants the note on julian.

I think I'm confusing myself though, Ill have to watch the DVD again.

Just happened across this thread - amazed it is so long running! Nobody has pointed out the similarity between the plot here and the 1991 movie 'Dead Again'...

Great analysis, Mystery! However, I have a hypothesis regarding the most disputed part here, 'Finally Free'.

The original thesis claimed that Nick was never privy to the info about the murder in 'Finally Free' since he's in his car and out of his hypnotized state. I think Nick was very much privy to this info, and in 'Finally Free', he reviews what he saw and placed everything in its proper context. The last regression therapy session was in fact a time where Nick saw it from all perspectives (which he must also have done in 'Home', since I believe all info is seen through Nick) and as such found out about Ed's plot to murder Julian and Victoria. In fact, Ed had plotted this thoroughly, having written the suicide letter ("He'd seem hopeless and lost with this note, they'll buy into the words that I wrote...";) and managed to pull it off without having to worry about DNA tests and all that jazz (this IS 1928, after all).

The "We'll meet again..." line is quite obviously Nick speaking about Victoria, knowing that they will meet when Nick dies. And now for that cryptic ending: Nick arrives at home, he has left the TV on and turns it off, (it is the JFK Jr. incident, as stated by MP) and then he pours a glass of liquor and puts on the grammophone player (the player may be antique, but some people keep them around for nostalgia) and leans back in a rocking chair when the Hypno comes in and startles Nick.

Yes, the Hypno is Ed incarnate, just as Nick to Victoria, and the Hypno kills Nick because Nick found the truth during the last session. Prior to this, the Hypno never thought that Nick was Victoria incarnate or that he would ever find the truth, and waited until Nick found out. You have to remember, when Ed managed to pull off a murder like he did in 1928, he must be a criminal genius.

And another theory: Prior to 'Home', Nick has only seen the past through following Victoria. However, as he grows accustomed to being in the past, he learns to watch others in the past, namely Julian and Ed. The Hypno gets slightly scared, since he doesn't want the truth about the murder to be known, but he is calm about it until Nick actually learns the truth and THEN, the Hypno decides to kill Nick, not only because of Nick's spiritual connection to Victoria, but because now Nick knows the truth and must not be allowed to live, according to the Hypno and Ed.

So, there's my theory on SFAM.

Làthspell The FairHaired
Greetings to everyone, I'm writing from Italy.

I start pointing out that the SFAM album is probably the best DT release ever (i love Jordan Rudess ;-) ), and the analysis made by Mistery is a grat work. I recently discovered something that a lot of people would find useful to solve some misteries.

The movie Dead Again, by Kenneth Branagh (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101669/), has a plot that has to do with a past murder, unsolved, and reincarnation, it is a wonderful movie.Among the actors there is Emma Thompson, that is one of John Petrucci's favourite actresses. The plot developes differently from the album, and I noticed that the movie hasn't got a music wonder like The Dance Of Eternity ;-)

I hope I helped a bit. And *please* excuse me for my english!

bye, d

I believe that Nicholas being Julian's reincarnation can be ruled out, both because of the lyrics and DT commentary on the songs "Through my Words" and "Through her Eyes" and because of the song "The Spirit Carries On", where he finds out "Victoria's real". If he were Julian, he would already know this.
Nonetheless, the theory of the hypnotherapist being both the Baynes brothers is very solid, because what other explanation could you give towards Julian's future? In fact, not even Edward's (possible) reincarnation is explained by the band (at least according to my knowledge). Both minds being confined in one after their deaths becomes a very interesting thought, but we have to remember that Ed killed Julian, meaning that there was some time in which inlyone of the futurely fused souls was dead. In that case, did Julian's soul get into Edward's then present body?

Don't know if you noticed it on the DVD or not, but when the Hypno walks in at the very end and tells "open your eyes", you can see, for a blink of an eye, an image of Senator Baynes, from the killing scene before. Right after, when Nick freaks out, you can see another blink of Victorias image.
So it's clear the hypno = senator, and nick = victoria.

As for the old man, I think it's just a general "old man", who read the stories and told them back. With no significance whatsoever to the story.
Same for the JFK radio - it just adds to the "creepy" feel. You hear a murder being told on the TV, so you just know that something bad is going to happen.
At the end, the Hypno walks in, says "open your eyes", and Nick freaks out, bumping the phonograph - after which, we only hear the static from it. Like if Nick would freeze and die from fear. It's really an artistic impression or something like that - it does not tell you clearly what happened, but tells it in a figurative sense or so.

Hi DT fans
Great discussion. I´m a DT fan from Peru. I just want to solve a mystery. Have any of you realized that in the SFAM DVD , in the last part when we see Nick getting into his house, it can be read in the cover of the LP his listening to "Massacre 1986
Last Dance"? Does anybody know what does that mean. I think Massacre is a trash metal band from Florida, but I´m not really sure. maybe "Last Dance" is a song and maybe in its lyrics we could find some answers to the mysterys of the story. If anybody knows something please post it here. Thank you all for a great analyses.

DT rules!

Hi again.

Kike, the "Last Dance" info makes sense. It's a reference to a line in Metropolis 1: "There must be the third and last dance..." but whether the song itself holds any relevance I do not know.

As for the Hypno being both Brothers Baynes in one... It's interesting if we again look to Metropolis 1: "The both of you will be confined to this mind..."
It is not confirmed anywhere in Metropolis 2, but if the Hypno was both Ed and Julian, then he must have been suffering from schizophrenia. One part (Julian) wanting Nick to find the truth and cleaning Julian's name, another (Ed) not wanting this at all. This may be why he at first allows Nick to use regression to find the truth, only to kill Nick at the end of Scene Nine.

Again, this is my opinion. I'm open to other theories.

Just thought I'd throw in my opinions here.. Here's what I think.
You have an amazing analysis here. But, I disagree with what a lot of people are saying about the old man being Julian.
Look at Metropolis Pt 1, when it says "The both of you will be confined to this mind." I don't think that refers to the brothers; I think that refers to Julian and Victoria, and when Nicholas is born, both of them share his soul. That is why, when looking at Victoria's grave, he says "And I know what'it's like to lose someone you love, and this felt just the same." Also, then when the Hypnotherapist (Who I agree is Edward reborn) kills Nicholas, he kills Victoria AND Julian, just as he did in the past.
Any thoughts?

Hi everyone, Aido from Australia. Dream Theater are the greatest band around. I have had a night of deciphering this masterpiece.

You cant try solve a puzzle when the manurfacturer hasnt put all the pieces in the one box.

Excellent anaylsis by the way. ok. Everything links everything together in a way, although suttel. Oh and im real lazy at spelling.

Part 1. Minor significance, but its there. Miracle = Ed, Sleeper = Julian. We all know that. Its written on the second page of SFAM booklet. So dont challenge that given info.
The smile of dawn, (the beginning of this story)
Arrived early may, she carried a gift from her home, (her first encounter with the brothers, ed and jul, her gift is love)
Death is the first dance, eternal. yeah this is confusing but, (death is permanent, reincarnation is not coming back to life, but a soul being reborn in a new housing, rarley memory will follow, but thats how nic starts his search, some spark of a memory has travelled across to him with vic.)
There is no more freedom, the both of you will be confined to this mind. (ed and jul are not the same mind, but share the same goal, "the same mind". Fall in love for Vic. there is no more freedom cause two brothers cant share an equal love and expect this equal love back from one girl.)
im just gonna give small snips of the lyrics... its a pain to type it all. but bare with me.
told there was a 'miracle for each day i tryed. (each day ed tryed.....miracle was there...jul, and he was with her).
next couple line are a bit sketchy, i think the new love is born, each one died (kill jul, vic finds love in next in line....ed).
dream of the next world...(part2, future reference, unsure of actuall meaning)
lake of fire, (reused lyrics in 'Home',...Shine - lake of fire. which is set back in this time in nics mind from part2...i think the lake of fire might symbolise a bleeding heart of fire... relate to symbole on images and words back cover of book...heart of fire wraped in barb wire. this is captive love. its eds brother, he cant dishonor him...yet)
the next few lines... unsure but, this song might be placed both past and present much like SFAM. as a child...past(but not actually a child, just acted unwisly, like a child)...as a man its caught up with me...(older, now the hypno, regret perhapse...)
Deceit is the second (dance) without end) ok now this is where it should clear up SFAM, Jul is never reincarnated...he never pursuied deceit, where as Vic, and ed both did. without end, meaning reincarnation)
teh cities cold blood, (again in 'Home' but yeah i cant explain that in words)
The dance of eternity is love. (nice insturmental, and situated between 'Home - the deceit, and 'one last time' - same lyrics in finally free, the last tiem they will be together)

ok now that may be hardish to follow but i think outside the barbwire that traps open minds...and hearts.

ok, the analysis is pretty correct for this. but make the connections to part 1.
the whole album is in one hypnosis state, it goes into it once, and comes out once...and once only. the last song 'finally free' is in the 'real world'.
as hypnosis is in session, nic would be explaining what he is goin through...ed the hypno now (reincarnated) is hearing all this, and these events spur a memory in his soul...yes yes it is extremely unlikley two previous souls will meet again....ITS A STORY... so monkeys with high powered grenade launchers could appear if they wanted them too and really fuck the story up...so yeah...deal with it

ok, yardy yardy later after we accept the vast majority of the analysis at the top of the page, some aspects need to be looked at...
Strange deja vu - 'back on my feet again, eyes open to the real world.... yeah i know what it says... but no..hes still in hypno. its all a thought.

Fatal tragedy - the older man - lad did u know a girl was murdered here, prehapse a consious thought of reason summoned by vic,,, not summoned but induced by vics knowledge and memory, put there to make things easier for nic to understand.

victorias gone forever...yep thats right...only memoryies remain... well guess whats in nic mind right know...

Beyond this life, done in the past... its practicly a news articel in a way. has the view from the wittness ed (killer).. so kinda a false account to cover up ed's real doings.

Home - my favorite song on this album. i still cant quite play the massive run petrucci does goin into the 'chorus' thingy. yeah that one.
its in the past again, and has references to part 1, as mentioned in part 1 analysis. explains the deceit and reincarnartion, well my theory does.

the ending lyrics in the spirit carries on, are similar to regression...butin ending style, concluding the end of the hypno session.

finally free, what happened during the past.
eds the solo survivor, there was no witness..but himself, but hes the killer, so he has a chance to cover it up. and does.
he'd seem hopless with this note..(plants a note on Jul, makin it look like he had intensions to do this, and Ed knows it will work)
the next part in quotation marks in the SFAM cd booklet, woudl be what the note said. "this feeling inside me, ................i'd take my own life before losing you'.

next part is before the evernt from vics eyes...
all happy, i suppose, judge by the music and wording...
ill break free of the miracle... (dump ed)
he'd kill his brother if he only knew, ..(this helps to support why the letter worked, if she assumes jul would kill ed if he knew, he much have that image, making the letter more believable,..kinda like this 'our deeds have traveled far, what we have been is what we are'... he much be the kinda guy people would believe he could murder his own blood...understand)

then comes the breaking bottle, gun shots screaming, stuff the order of events... there both shot and dead (jul and vic)
and you hear open your eye victoria. not nic or both but just victoria. anyways its the last thing she heard ed say to her.
one last time etc etc etc....

ok nic gets home, walks in, step step step, opens door, shuts door...tv is on.. JFK, 1999 news event, put it cause that happened recently. but this was situated in the 60's from my guess. much like all others, but thats not really the issue. tv goes off, and he gets a drink. another car comes up. puts of the music device thingy,...door opens, hypno comes in, and says, "open your eyes nicolas" then the music thing comes off the vinal and make the distorted noise. the same wording but different name, first tim ewas victoria, and the second was nicolas, (both in the same body during SFAM) but none knows what happened.... my guess is nic got killed. because of the exact phrasing but different names, it just fits the scene. ok now the part no ones has said anything about...\

the distortion at the end of SFAM continues into
TSDOIT....the next DT album

first song = the glass prison
the glass prision is the mind.
Been beated to a pulp, (nic got bashed to death kinda)
im powerless have to let go... (nics dead)
then as if ed is speakin... fatal decent...gone to far,to turn back round. (ed's killed nic, and it to late to fix this one)
ed is still obsessed with Vic, as follows in the next lines. desperate attempt .....lift this obsession.
second dance, deceit....first dance, death... now done again and vic has fixed her past, and gone onto the afterlife, Ed is left, and cant ever escape being trapped with this burden.
chasing a lost long friend, i no longer can control, (hes now trapped in his mind/soul forever)
help me - i cant break out on my own
save me - ....
heal me - ....
(those line symbolise hes trapped and noones there to fix his sins)
no get this, the next lines are ed the miracle trying to do good in future lifes or whatever to finish his pain and move onwards. then it says
"we'll help you to perform this miracle (read it like this - we'll help you to perform this, miracle.), but you must set your past free, you dug the hole but u cant bury your soul (he's dug his grave, but cant finish the job with out another,....vic), open your mind and you'll see".
and in revelation...the glass prison's third part, he completes his being good and stuff and is finally free.....

i think Dream Theater has told the story but people stopped looking once the CD stopped. Dissappear also may hold clues but im real tired at the moment and cant hold my head up to share them with you. but have a look. ive yet to analyse octivarium, cause i havent bought it yet, but one song makes reference to the one last time scenario... check it out.

we each have our own interpretations, mainly due to our minds, try explain this to someone exactly how u see it.... there is so much detail yu cant explain from your interpretation, but you know its there... now look at what i have written and do some more lyric reading. maybe we can make it clearer.

i may be wrong, or right, but other aspects will often open new windows for those who cant see without being shown.

Carpe Diem

Evan C.
Okay, how's this sound:
Lets observe a common beleif that reicarnation is instananeous, that when a person dies their soul is transferred to someone who was being conceived at the very moment of death. This would mean that Nicholas is roughly 36 years old, and the hypnothereapist is probably th same age. Now we'll assume for the moment that Victoria was killed an reincarnated as Nick. Next let's observe Ed, there is little evidence saying he died, in fact, due to the tense used in the track "Finally Free" the Miracle(Ed) states that the blood is still on his hands, and that is when he rights the note, so Im thinking that the first person to talk in the last track, Ed, is talking after the crime, hes talking about his cover up as if he ahd just done it. Now, Victoria's lines say that she is talking about something she is going to do, this is during Friday afternoon, before she meets Julian, (oh and if Ed a Julian are schizo, how can an arranged meeting take place between one peronality and someone else, when the dormant side has no control over when he shows up?) then it goes to when Julian is talking to Victoria, because victoira said the same thing in "One Last Time" and footsteps were heard running away before Julians words, Ed had taken off, and Julian felt safe to say something for closure. So, Ed go gets help, and gives an innaccurate story to the paper.
When Julian and Victoria die together, lets say Victoria gets put into Nick, and Julian (here's one for ya) into the Hypnotherapist. This explains why the hypno contnued the therapy, instead of killing him as Ed would have done when Nick was catching on, the hypno, or Julian wanted Victoria to be at rest. So, Nick goes home at the end, we hear the radio talking about JFk's death, this does more than just set a time, it sets up something else. JFK was assassinated in '64, according to my previous law of reincarnation as accurate, he turns it off as not to set the name, that would ruin it. Why in god's green earth would you turn something like that off in the 60s? He obviously new about the report, so lets assume that american nobility speaks about maybe an old, retired senator? Im going to say the old man was Ed, Nick thought he could trust him because at the time Nick didn't know whio the old man was, and since the old man knew about the subject, Nick got that hint from him, so he felt he could trust him, more specifically, his information. Later, Nick goes to Ed's home, and finds clues, if Ed's been reincarnated, why hasn't his house been changed enough to avoid clues? Let's say the old man met Nick outside his home, Nick later found out the Old Man was Ed, since the news report point out a tragedy, we'll say Ed let this young man find out what really happened for the old retired Ed was tired of having it on his mind. The old man committed suicide, lets just say, and it was being reported on. He committed suicide because he wanted to rid himself of guilt, but did not have the guts to face the consequences. At the end of the album, while Nick is going home, he figures it out, and replays what probably happened in his mind, this is what we hear in "Finally Free". When home, he turns off the news report about something he already knows about and cares little to hear again. He pours himself something to drink, and puts on the phonograph, he sits in a chair, it creeks. In his distracted sate he does not hear a car pull up, and scarcly acknowladges the footsetps, the hypno scares Nick, and kills him. Why? Because Julian wants to be with Victoria, so he kills Nick, who is only holding Victoria's soul, then kills himself, hoping to meet her [Victoria] in a hgiher plane (or lower). The line "We'll meet again my friend someday soon" is Nick saying to Victoria, he considers her a friend, because in a way, he is her. Also, I read above about them using the bit about JFK Junior's plane incident, well, by throwing in the phonograph, they make you think if JFK, since in the 60s phonographs were used and JFK was assassinated.

This here is my theory, beleive it or not, may I hope it leads you down the road to your own conclusion, for I honestly beleive, its not a concrete ending, it's open to the listeners own interpretation. Good work Dream Theater, you have created a masterpeice!

when I first heard this album, i had lots of trouble figuring out what happened. After reading this excelent analysis and some of the comments I have come up with my own theory. here it is.

in 1928, Ed kills Julian and Victoria, and gets away with it. Victoria's soul is reincarnated immediately, but Julian's isn't. (Julian's soul is waiting for Ed to die see metropolis pt 1) The reincarnation of Victoria between 1928 and when Nick lived died, and Nick was reincarnated. Meanwhile, Ed dies somewhere in that time and he and Julian are both reincarnated as the hypno. This works with either Julian or Ed in control for the whole time. (probably Ed (Miracle) in control, and he has Julian, the sleeper, riding in the back of his head)

As Nick goes through his hipnotherapy, the hypno figures out that Nick is Victoria, and after Nick goes home, the hipno, with Ed in charge, follows Nick and kills him.

I like the idea of Ed and Julian being the same person because Metropolis is one story, so part one is like a Prologue and part two is the actual story. I think of "Finally Free" as sort of an epilogue

I think that Nick is living in 1999, and the news report is of JFK jr.'s death (lets go with what Dream Theater says on the DVD)

the only loose end is the old man from "Fatal Tragedy". I have another idea about the whole first part of that song. Maby this is bullshit, but here it goes:
Fatal tragedy tells about Victoria's reincarnation between her life and Nick. The older man who is alone is Ed before he dies. They do not recognise each other because of the age difference.

The Analog Kid
I think I got it all figured out.
Nicky is ofcourse vicky. The old man is Julian (Someone pointed out that Nicholas felt that he could trust him).
And the hypotherapist is actually Ed, but not reincarnated - actually him.
This I say for 2 reasons:
1. This story (the present) happens in the 60's - thus the old photothingy player at the end. And Edward never actually died (at least not that we know) and if he's a hypnotherapist he is probably of age...
2. Later you can hear him come to Nicky's home and say "open your eyes Nocholas" just as he told Voctoria more than 30 years ago...

The only thing that may not make sense is that Nicky didn't recognize Edwards name as his therapist - but he could of switched a name or something of that sort...

Anyway - Great album!

If we judge according to the DVD as we see a reflection of Victoria near Nic we also see a reflection of Ed near the Hypno. So I don\'t think that the Hypno is exactly the same as Ed but just his reincarnated form.

I think that somehow Nick will be saved by the old man.
As wrote before, the old man is Julian. Julian was with Vicky. 'We'll meet again my friend someday soon' and 'One Last Time' is referenced to Victoria and Julian, because he will say before death 'One Last Time'.

I think that this story ends like this:
Nick will return to home,he turns on the TV, takes a glass of whiskey, turn off the TV, turns on the grammophone and sits on the squeeky chair. The hypnotherapist will come and "awakes" Nicholas, with the intention to kill him. If you all remember, Julian before dying says to Victoria 'One Last Time' or/and 'We will meet again soon my friend'. Returning to the present, Ed will try kill Nick, but Julian will save him, killing Ed. Like the legend of Rome. And Victoria (Rome) will stay secure with the remainig brother.

Alright, these is clearly a masterpiece. I love it; the story\'s so intense and emotional.


Personally, I think it\'s pretty clear that Victoria has been reincarnated as Nick, evidenced by all the allusions and the mirror, etc. The Hypno, I believe, is both Julian and Ed, going partially by Metropolis Pt. 1, where it said both would be confined to one mind. I also think this is supported by the name the Sleeper...Julian is not an active reincarnation, although he is perhaps awoken with the knowledge of Victoria\'s incarnation. One theory I have is that he is only in charge for a brief moment, telling Nick to open his eyes; why would the murderer, the Hypno, not just kill him in his sleep? I believe the Hypno is unlocking his own memory via Nick, using him as a springboard for his own remembrance. Also, I believe that the title \"the Miracle\" is sarcastic; Ed is basically nothing more than a liar, decieving his own brother by carrying on an illicit affair with his love, and framing him for homicide/suicide. As for Victoria, I\'m not sure if her title should be Metropolis, or Eternity. Metropolis is probably a person, as Pt. 1 states that he/she/it watches and smiles. It could be that Victoria, killed in the city, is the symbol of its evil and vices; i.e., the Metropolis. Pt. 1 also says that \"Love is the Dance of Eternity.\" Eternity could simply mean its definition, but it could be a person as well. Love is her, if Eternity meant Victoria, dance for sure, as it is what guided her young life. However, I\'m pretty sure that she is the Metropolis, and Eternity is what awaits a reincarnation still tied to this world by loose threads.

This is my theory on the discrepencies people have intelligently and peacefully argued. For everything else, I agree with the main summary, and kudos to the writer. This piece of art is spectacular. I could read it as an epic poem without the music, although the music itself is extraordinary.

I know I am kinda late, but referred to the fact that Nicholas lived in the 60\'s, I may be wrong but isn\'t the car showned at the footage in the DVD (the car in which Nick arrives home after the last session, showned in the DVD footage from the concert) a little too modern for the sixties??, because to me it looks like an eighties or late seventies car.

All in all the review is great!!!, and the complementary info by the band in the DVD is very revealing.

The lord Shaper
VEry nice analyses by nost all posters, but I feel compelled to add something.

Lines from Metropolis Part 1 point to the fact that there is a cycle involving Miracle, Sleeper, and Metropolis. The fact that it is a cycle would imply that the same general theme occurs each time. This theme would be that

- Metropolis must choose between Miracle and Sleeper.
- Metropolis, in the end, chooses Sleeper.
- Miracle kills both Metropolis and Sleeper, after imploring Metropolis to \"Open your eyes.\"

The 1928 sequence of these events is simple, Metropolis is Victoria, Sleeper is Julian, and Miracle is Edward.

If the pattern holds, in the \'present\' day events, Metropolis is Nicholas, and Miracle is the Hypnotherapist. The old man is simply an man who was alive in 1928, and remembers the murders. In keeping with the possibility of two incarnate in one, Sleeper is also Nicholas.

Nicholas is troubled by strange dreams. He tries to sort them out himself, but can\'t, so he goes to the Hypnotherapist. The Hypnotherapist helps him come to grips with these dreams, but in the end, Nicholas no longer needs him. Victoria\'s choice was between Edward and Julian, but Nicholas chose between the Hypnotherapist and himself.

With regards to the discrepancy of ages, I can think of two solutions.

1) Nicholas and Victoria are not sequential incarnations of Metropolis. That is, there is another set of murders that the story doesn\'t tell us about between Nicholas\'s and Victoria\'s. There is no reason to assume that Nicholas\'s dreams would come from the most recent past incarnation.

2) The reincarnations of the three do not depend on when their \'current\' incarnations die. Frequently, in legend, beings are resurected once every set interval of time, often once a century or millennium. There could simply be some downtime between the two incidents, or it is possible that Miracle might need to live out the rest of his/her natural lifespan before all three are reincarnated.

A few other miscellany:

Someone pointed out that in Beyond This Life, the paper said that \"[Julian\'s] body fell across that poor young girl,\" yet in Finally Free He is shot first, while Victoria is still screaming. This is possible because Julian did not die immediately. Julian crawls over to the dead/dying Victoria as he reprises One Last Time, and lies with her one last time.

There was a question Concerning wether or not Nicholas was aware of the exact events depicted in Finally Free and Home. First, Nicholas almost definitely witnesses at least some of Home, because in its last verse, he says \"Her story- it holds the key/Unlocking dreams from my memory.\" The way I read this, as he thinks more and more about Victoria, more of her story reveals itself to him, and he has just realized the events of Home, which cast some doubt on the events related by the newspaper.

I also believe he witnesses Finally Free, because he says he has \"Finally found my life I\'m finally free,\" implying that he has seen the circumstances of Victoria\'s murder. It is unlikely that he saw it while driving, it would have distracted him, but I believe he saw it while still under hypnosis and is thinking about it on the car ride home.

I hope my oppinions clear things up a bit.

Well before really analyzing the lyrics of the album, all I knew was that Victoria was killed and Nick was her reincarnation. I thought that the Sleeper was the one who killed her over an affair with the Miracle, but was never really sure. I also thought the whole thing took place during Nick's hypnotherapy, and he was being brought out of it by the hypno when he said "open your eyes, nicholas!"

Anyway after reading all the lyrics and looking stuff up here and other places, this is what I think:
Metropolis pt. 1 was written about Romulus and Remus, the legendary twins who founded Rome. The band admitted to adding pt. 1 as a joke, but wrote pt. 2 at the request of DT fans who wanted a sequel. This is very important because pt. 1 wasn't meant to explain stuff about pt. 2, and they had to turn it into this complex plot. Keeping this in mind, we can determine that:

-Ed and Julian are the far-off reincarnations of Romulus and Remus. Ed is Romulus and Julian is Remus. The legend says that Romulus murdered Remus to become the king, so Ed is logically Romulus. This also makes sense when considering the "our deeds have traveled far, what we have been is what we are" lyrics. Also, the "senator" title of Ed is a reference to Rome.

-The "old man" referenced in Fatal Tragedy is just that... an old man who happens to remember the murder. Nick was probably asking around the city about the tragedy (he claims to have heard some of the rumors in One Last Time) and was sent in the old man's direction.

-The hypno is Ed's (Romulus') reincarnation and kills Nick. Not only is this confirmed by the band in the Metropolis 2000 DVD, but it makes the most sense when analyzing the lyrics.

-The story takes place in the present day. The broadcast on the television sounds more to me like JFK Jr.'s death, what with the tone and clarity of the reporter. The record player thing is just to make the ending more effective. What does a CD Player sound like when it's abruptly stopped? Not a very distinct, jerking sound, so Dream Theater probably made it a record player/monograph to sound more effective. Also, Nick may have had an old one lying around.

This is what I first thought but I know I\'m probably totally wrong. Anyway:

Edward has suspected Julian of having an affair with Victoria.
Edward plans to kill them both and plant a fake suicide letter in Julian\'s pocket.
Edward find Julian with Victoria.
Julian pulls a knife on Edward.
Edward shoots Julian, then shoots Victoria.
Edward however, makes it look like Julian\'s shot Victoria, over an act of jealous rage and shot himself, in suicide.
Many years later, the authorities suspect Edward of having commited the murder, all along.
They insist Edward gets put under hypnosis.
During hypnosis, Edward is in a false state/sense of security and spills the proverbial beans, with the hypnotherapist listening to this confession.
The horror is at the end when Edward still thinks he\'s gotten away with it but realizes that he\'s given the game away, when the hpynotherapist abruptly breaks him out of his trance.
This explains the Kennedy murders being broadcast on the T.V, while Nick\'s in a trance. Not to mention, the phonograph.

Things that still need answers though:

The sound of the car, as whoever it is, closes the door. It doesn\'t sound like an old car. It sounds too comfortable, too well-designed. Like a posh Audi or a decent VW. That sort of thing.
Also, the lyrics \"I met an old man. He SEEMED to be alone.\" I just don\'t think Dream Theater would use the word \"seemed\", so carelessly. Like any great author, every word is painstakingly thought about. \"Seemed\" suggests someone else might have been watching or listening in on the encounter with Edward and Nicholas. I think Ed might have gone to speak with the old man. Use the old man as someone to confide in. Someone to admit his horrible truth to.
Also, the lyrics \"I thought that I could trust him.\" That seems to back up - in my mind - what I\'ve just said. Perhaps that\'s why the authorities have insisted Nick go in to regressive therapy because they haven\'t any \'hard-evidence\', as such.

What I always thought was simple; The Miracle (Ed)reincarnated as the Senator. The Sleeper (Julian) reincarnated as the hypnotist (sleeper, hypno...). Victoria reincarnated as Nick.

The old man is just someone who knows the story.

The line \"He\'d kill his brother if he only knew\" is about Julian. She\'s excited about getting back with Julian, and mentions that Julian would kill his brother if he only knew she had had an affair with Ed.

Julian meets Victoria, both are killed by Ed.

Julian, the Sleeper, learns what happened through Nick. As Nick knows Victoria, the Hypno knows Julian. Once Julian learns through Nick that Victoria had an affair with Ed, and the line \"he\'d kill his brother if he only knew\", I think the hypno/The Sleeper kills Nick/Victoria.

Sorry, I left out a part. To repeat the last couple of sentences with the left out part put in:

Julian, the Sleeper/hypno, learns what happened through Nick. As Nick knows Victoria, the Hypno knows Julian. Once Julian learns through Nick that Victoria had an affair with Ed, and the line "he'd kill his brother if he only knew" is referencing Julian. I think the hypno/The Sleeper kills Senator Edward (The Miracle) (what the TV was talking about), then kills Nick/Victoria.

I\'ve been thinking about the connection between Metropolis Part 1. and SFAM since i got the album. In part 1 it says that the Miracle and the Sleeper (Ed and Julian, or at the time Romulus and Remus) are confined to one mind. This doesnt necessarily mean that the two share one mind.
My theory is that the story exists in the mind of the hypnotherapist. I think the hypnotherapist does not have multiple personalities but is a paranoid schizofrenic. The miracle and the sleeper are the two voices he hears and they adopt the characters of Ed and Julian after the Hypno hears about the murder. When nicholas comes in for therapy complaining of being haunted by Victoria(possibly a totally different Victoria) the Hypno connects Nick with Victoria. The hypnotist wants to explain the murder to Nicholas (probably because Julian, the sleeper told him to) so he plants the story into Nicks mind as a repressed memory. At the end of finally free the Miracle takes over the Hypnos mind and tells him to kill Nicholas so the \"truth\" of the murder is not revealed as well as to get revenge on Victoria.
Just a thought, hopefully that makes some sense to somone besides me.

DT Rules
Just a couple of comments about this amazingly complex story:

I as others here believe the hypno is Ed reincarnated not Julian. He was a Senator so you have to assume that his relatives would be embarassed if the truth of the murder came out (even though it happened long ago)...so he killed Nick to keep him from telling the truth.

Also, I agree with Prophet above regarding the timeline. The TV news account is of JFK Jr. after his plane went missing, not Pres. Kennedy getting shot. The key is they say \\\"a man considered to be a member of American nobility\\\" and the \\\"possibility that they we are witnessing another tragedy in a long string of misfortunes\\\". At the time of the newscast, JFK Jr\\\'s death had not been confirmed, whereas with his dad, it was pretty obvious.

And my final comment/question...why hasn\\\'t this story been turned into a movie. Sure would be more interesting than most the crap out now!

I have only two comments.

\"our deeds has traveled far. what we have is what we are.\" (beyond this life) is just a basic belive in reincarnation. it just means what you have done in a previous life will affectect your next life.

\"we\'ll meet again my friend some day soon\" (finally free)just means that nick will soon die. the hypnotherapist (edward) doesn\'t want nick to know the truth about the murder. therefore he kills him. you hear the hypnotherapist say \"open your eyes nicolas\", just like before edward kills victoria.

almex (germany)
I think that the person who listens to the phonograph and watches TV at the end of the story is Sen. Banes. You can hear the clincing glasses; maybe the TV news are about the death of Victoria and Julian - the tragedy that \"happened to Mr. Banes\", who\'s a poor relative who lost his brother.

But maybe, the reporter talks about the death of Sen. Banes, which would proof that the old man can\'t be Banes for he died long ago.

The past story plays in 1928, and only if the old man\'s older than a hundred years (there has never been a Senator younger than forty), or Nick lives in 1950, it can be possible that the old man is Sen. Banes.

So if you believe that the old man is Edward, why does Nick scream at the end of the album? And why does Edward say \"open your eyes victoria\" before he kills her, just like the Hypno says \"open your eyes Nicholas\" to awake Nick from the hypnosis?


Wow, this quite a good analysis. SFAM is one of my fav albums and it truly is a masterpiece. I tried and tried before to figure out how the story took place, but always eneded up with something totally different. Just wanna congratulate you on how well you did. I hope other DT fans read your analysis and i hope it will make Dt proud. Good job!
A DT fan Forever!

Whoah, MGReight, that\'s some great thinking. Although... If it all exists in the hypnotherapist\'s head, then why would Nicholas travel to Victoria\'s grave and actually see it? And the newspaper... Beyond This Life seems to be about Nicholas discovering the article in some archives at the city library or something.

But really, that makes alot of sense, besides a couple discrepencies.

Another note, Digby made a great point about the old man \"seeming\" to be alone... ia.Boy, that sheds some totally new light on the tale. They put so much emphasis on that line and particularly that word, I remember when I first heard the album that was the one line I remembered more clearly than the others.

It also seems strange how Nicholas would just sort of find this old man randomly. He definitely seems to be important saying Nicholas will \"know the truth as your future days unfold...\"

Maybe he\'s Julian\'s reincarnation, just hasn\'t died yet. He may also have gone through the journey of discovering the truth and knows Nicholas must discover it on his own. It might also explain how they managed to meet... Nicholas seems fated to meet this old man and the hypnotherapist because they are the reincarnations of Ed, Julian, and Victoria.

Great analysis. It really cleared up the confusion.

About the Hypno: . The Hypno, learning about his past life through Nick's dream, must have felt the same connection with Edward as Nick had with Victoria. Even though there is no earthly reason the Hypno killed Nick, there is more of an ethereal one.

Sergey_from Russia
Thanks for such a great analysis!
Well, I'm still wondering why this story is not a film! I think that it may turn into a really cool film. As for me there are still many questions about this story...

Very interesting reading.
I just want to mention some of my thoughts.
I see clear link in “Finally free” with Metropolis I. As we all know there are three dances exist: death, deceit and love.
Three monologues represent these dances in “Finally free”:
Friday evening,
The blood still on my hands…

So this one from miracle represents death

Feeling good this Friday afternoon
I ran into Julian…

This one about lie of Victoria to miracle

This feeling
Inside me
Finally found my life
I`m finally free…

I think, here Nicolas recognize, that love is real eternal dance. That there is no reason to have some fears in this world.

About last words of hypnotist: I really didn’t get that point. Sometimes this trick was used by art-rock bands – to finish story with confusing way.

I dunno if it's been mentioned but I thought this was cool:

The phonograph at the end of the song is playing some weird horn version of the melody to Regression and The Spirit Carries On. So there's a lot of continuity there.

Great analysis, but I think the line 'Our deeds have travelled far, what we have been is what we are' deserves more attention, as it is in my opinion the perfect hint that the hypnotherapist was Ed in the past, and thus, as he learns about it, kills Victoria once again..

My thoughts are simple: nicholas is the reincarnation of victoria, and he was born short time after victoria's death in 1928... The news we hear on the end of the cd are related to JFK, so the "present" of the album is in the 60's... And if the hypnotherapist was Edward, not his reincarnation but him? That can be true, if Edward had 30 years in 1928 he would have 60-65 years in the 60's! And remember, the hypnotherapist of the dvd is a man with that age...

It's a very interesting analysis. It helped me a lot, and I think I have a link between Metropolis Pt.1 and SFAM. Julian is called "The sleeper". I think that he also inhabits Nicholas' body, just like Victoria. The Sleeper means that he is a passive alter-ego...that's why he doesn't surface in the present time. This makes the ending (the Hypno A.K.A. reincarnated Ed killing Nick) even more plausible. As Ed's soul is damned to repeat his crime, "what we have been is what we are", he has to kill both Julian and Victoria. This is done in the end, when Nick is killed. The last line seems to be "Open your eyes Nicholas" but you can also hear "Victoria" superimposed over "Nicholas". This would be another clue regarding this "theory". The story about the politician killed... the politician may be Sen.Banes, if he is indeed the old man, or just a clue regarding the time of the final murder(JFK Junior--> the 60's). Anyway, it's a very intricate story, and it's difficult to find the correct interpretation..

A really great analysis - and I also wanted to point out that this analysis is quoted and yet not credited on the Wiki page of the album itself...Mystery, you might want to go and edit the article if you can in order to get credit.

Also, I wanted to point out a theory that I haven\'t seen anyone else present (although I\'ve just browsed through the comments, someone might have, but I don\'t know). I\'ve noticed that quite a few people are saying that Julian\'s soul was reincarnated as the old man or have no clue what happened to his soul altogether. My personal opinion is that Julian\'s soul was reincarnated as Nicholas\' wife. We are told he has a son and a wife in the song \"Through Her Eyes\". The logic I\'m going by is that if the Hypnotherapist is the reincarnation of Edward and he kills Nicholas, the reincarnation of Victoria, wouldn\'t it make sense that Nicholas\' wife ends up being the reincarnation of Julian? After all, Victoria and Julian did love each other very much, and I find it highly improbable that the old man (who is only mentioned once and probably was just someone who lived in the area at the time of the murder) is Julian. This is just a theory, though, nothing proven, and perhaps offers a new perspective on everything.

What if Octavarium is the continuation of Metropolis 2??? Nicholas could be the one who awakes from catatonic sleep... Does anyone here think a i do?

Victoria > Nicholas.

That leaves Julian and Edward as the two 1928 characters, and the two modern characters are the hypno and the old man. It\\\'s an OLD man, therefore, I think he\\\'s Edward, the sole survivor.

Which means the hypno is Julian, and you\\\'re definitely right about the hypno killing Nicholas. If I\\\'m right, Julian\\\'s modern character would want to kill Victoria\\\'s for sleeping with his brother after breaking up with him.

Assuming the newscast refers to the JFK assassination, that would place the regression in 1963. Assuming Victoria was reincarnated immediately, that would make Nicholas\\\'s birth in 1928, or age 35 at the time of the hypnotherapy.

The weird part: James LaBrie was born in 1963 and was 35 years old when the album was being recorded! (1998-99)

I also think the \\\"third and last dance\\\" line applies here: James is the third incarnation, and the reason he\\\'s still alive is because he\\\'s the one who broke the cycle.

-The First Dance: Victoria\\\'s death
-The Second Dance: Edward\\\'s deception toward Nicholas
-The Third Dance: The love of the audience (?) toward James. Or possibly love refers to James\\\'s peace of mind at having broken the cycle of death.

This, of course, leads me to believe that Hypno is not Edward reincarnated, but just plain Edward.

My take on what happened to Julian: When Nicholas is counting his blessings in Through Her Eyes he says \\\"I\\\'ve got a son / I\\\'ve got a wife.\\\" Given the parallels between Edward/Hypno and Victoria/Nicholas, I think it\\\'s plausible that Julian\\\'s reincarnation is Nicholas\\\'s wife; Victoria and Julian continued their romance after they were reincarnated.

Elanor Pam
You know - I always thought that the ending meant Nicholas, in the present, was regressing to the life of someone in the 60s who regressed to Victoria's life. So, in the beginning of "Finally Free", the 60's guys is awakened, goes back home, we get the story, etc... then the guy chilling at home, and then the hypnotherapist wakes Present-Nicholas up. Makes sense?

I also wonder about Julian's fate, too.

One thing i can´t understand is this:


"Now it is time to see how you died. Remember that death is not the end but only a transition."

Strange that he says that it's time to see how nicholas died! I think htis indicates that he's aware of what Nicholas sees in his regressions.

But i think it's strange that he can target this regression in particular towards a newspaper article!

Any thoughts on that?

(Greetins from Portugal)

P.S.: interesting to see that this discussion started almost 5 years ago and there's still no definitive answers in every subject.

Very good, it cleared a lot up for me. But I do disagree with one thing: I think Victoria haunted Nick because she needed her/their murder to be solved, and his realization that his soul will transcend was more of a bonus.

Very good analysis nonetheless.

Great stuff. I love this album. My favourite ever. I have just noticed that the screams and shouts from Finally Free are recordings from a 'Heroes' Episode - Chapter 11 - '6 months ago'.

(I found Victoria's dying screams and Nicholas's Wake up cry)

I think Nicolas killed the senator when he found out what happened years ago. And the CNN report was reporting on the senator's murder. The Hypnotist put the pieces together and then confronted Nicolas at the end, knowing he was involved.

Stephen D.
Mike Portnoy has said that the movie Dead Again was his inspiration. If you go along the plot line there, then the old man IS the hypnotist, and he IS Edward. I do see the date problem... he'd have to be like 99. Either way, I believe the hypnotist IS Edward and does kill him again. And the TV broadcast is in fact from the death of JFK +JR+. On top of the admission by Portnoy in the DVD commentary, I remember that particular broadcast. I was watching.

Lastly, there was an EXCELLENT analysis done online (newsgroup?) back when the CD was releases, that originally pointed out all the subtle clues - musical, lyrical, and sound effects. He pretty much nailed it. Wish I could find it...

It could be that the old man is Edward, who is still alive at the time (assuming it plays in the 60s). The hypnotherapist could be Julian, who takes revenge on Victoria (Nick), for cheating on him in their former life, which also ended up getting him killed. Doesnt Victoria at one point say about Julian: \"He d kill his brother if he only knew\", which makes me think Julian isnt a guy to cross?

On the other hand I also saw Nicks lines in Home at the end show a bit of an easily addicted character. Which means he could be Julian... But then the rest of the story doesn\'t make sense to me anymore!

I will just buy the live DVD to get some more answers. Nevertheless this story is awesome!

The Miracle
I realise that these comments have literally gone on for years, but I still feel that I have more to add. Besides, what matter is time when dealing with issues of eternity?

Anyway, here\'s my interpretation: the three eternities mentioned in metropolis part 1 are referring to three eternal spirits. These spirits are characterised by death, deceit and love respectively. Here\'s my list of who/what each of the spirits are:

1. The Sleeper is Death. The name sleeper refers to rest in death as well as his dormant personality (I\'ll get to that later).
The bodies this spirit inhabits are: Remus, Julian Baynes, and finally the hypnotherapist.

2. The Miracle is Deceit. The name Miracle refers to the success that each person inhabited has in his life.
The bodies inhabited are: Romulus (successful in becoming ruler of Rome after killing Remus), Senator Edward Baynes (successful as a senator) and also the hypnotherapist.

Both the Miracle and the Sleeper are confined to the one mind of the hypnotherapist in their 1960s incarnation. They are confined as punishment for being constantly at war with one another, so they lose their freedom and are forced to share one body. The ones who punish them could be the Roman Gods, since the Miracle and the Sleeper are referred to as \"our children\" in Metropolis part 1, and Romulus and Remus were children of the Gods.
After this punishment, \"the third arrives\" - the third eternal spirit.

3. Metropolis is Love. This spirit was sent by the Gods, possibly to stop the eternal fighting between Romulus and Remus, but they only fight harder, fighting over her. There was no woman involved in the original Roman story because this spirit arrived later.
The bodies inhabited are: Victoria, Nicholas and possibly James LaBrie (see the comment by Yun about 5 above).

Another interesting thing to note is that the line \"the both of you will be confined to this mind\" occurred before \"the third arrives\", meaning that the Miracle and the Sleeper could have been forced into the same body before Victoria was around.

In this case, Edward and Julian are the same person, but with a split-personality. Edward (Miracle) was a respectable New York senator, while his brother Julian (the Sleeper) was a dormant dark side of his own personality, who tried to ruin his other life\'s success through alcohol and drug abuse. This was until he met Victoria, who tried to settle him down.

Victoria - having an eternal spirit herself - knew about the split-personality but only loved the Sleeper. The Miracle knew about this though, and took advantage of a fight between the Sleeper and Metropolis as an opportunity to seduce her and try to claim her for himself.

After this, Victoria goes back to Baynes, who at this point is Julian (split-personality, remember) and wants to meet with him again because she loves him and not Edward. Edward, being in the same body, hears this and plots to kill Victoria. So when Baynes goes to meet Victoria, it is actually Edward who is in control and he kills her.
He then realises Julian will kill himself when he finds out, so writes a fake note (with \"blood still on [his] hands\";). This is why it is the Miracle who says \"I\'d take my own life before losing you\" because he knows Julian dying will kill him too. The Sleeper then takes over control of the body, says \"open your eyes Victoria\", but it is in vain because she is dead. At that moment a witness runs in, but Julian kills himself. (so the witness did not lie at all, but was unaware of the split-personality).

The death of the Sleeper here was indirectly caused by the Miracle\'s actions, mirroring the situation in Roman mythology where Romulus kills Remus. Hence the line \"our deeds have travelled far. / What we have been is what we are.\"

On to the present time of the song (sorry for the long post but bear with me): it is the 1960s and the witness has grown up to be an old man. He is described as \"alone\" as he has no eternal spirit in him, unlike every other character. He tell Nicholas all he knows, but that isn\'t very much.

Nicholas then finds out about one of his past lives through hypnotherapy, and the therapist learns about his own eternal spirit at the same time. The Sleeper is present in the therapist during his sessions with Nicholas, but at the very end the Miracle takes control and kills him after Nicholas has gone home.

I place the present scene in the 1960s because of the old record player Nick uses, as well as the news report on the death of JFK Jr., which I think is supposed to be representing the death of JFK Sr.

The final line \"Open your eyes Nicholas\", I think, is said by the Sleeper in an effort to wake him, to save him from the Miracle. Nicholas does wake up, but it is not enough and he dies. Hence the cycle repeats again, the Miracle having killed Metropolis.

I think the story of this album is showing how the eternal cycle cannot end, but it changes when Metropolis enters and tries to stop things. The Miracle is no longer forced to kill his brother the Sleeper in every lifetime, but to kill Metropolis instead.

Well, thanks for reading, I hope this helps somebody to understand. Typing this has certainly helped me.

Just one thing to say, to Augustin. Probably incredibly obvious to you all (it is to me) but as he says "open your eyes, victoria!" before killing her, it seems clear that "open your eyes, nicholas!" means he is, at least attempting to, kill Nicholas.

You clearly plagiarized a good chunk of the \"Fatal Tragedy\" analysis from Wikipedia\'s SfaM plot synopsis (specifically, the \"Beyound This Life\" part).

You clearly plagiarized a good chunk of the "Fatal Tragedy" analysis from Wikipedia's SfaM plot synopsis (specifically, the "Beyound This Life" part).

To be fair, Dan, this article was created in 2004. Here's what the wikipedia page looked like in 2005: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Metropolis_Pt._2:_Scenes_from_a_Memory&oldid=11685106

and 2006: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Metropolis_Pt._2:_Scenes_from_a_Memory&oldid=34626278

So who plagiarized who?

well, I always thought that the cryptic ending means senator Edward, the sole survivor, is chilling in his place after the murder of his brother and ex-lover, while the radio reporting the incident. "open your eyes Nicholas" is how the hypnotherapist wakes Nicholas up, indicating that Nicholas is in fact the reincarnation of the senator, and not Victoria, which explains why Nicholas is so horrified when he's awake: he finds out that he is the murderer, and not the victim. also, the ghost of Victoria is actually haunting him, and is not his friend at all...

Very good analysis. I always thought that Edward had the suicide letter written for himself...she broke up with him, the letter says "I'd sooner take my life away than live with losing you." As the reviewer says, this mentions nothing of hurting HER.

Maybe he was planning on committing suicide because he was unaware about her going back to Julian, then when he found out he went over the edge and killed them both in a "if I can't have you, no one will" sort of way in a fit of rage, then panicked and put the letter in Julian's pocket to sort of close the case before it even started. If that makes sense.

Ah, also a thought. In Metropolis Pt. 1 it says they're "confined to one mind."

In a non-literal way, that could just be a way to say they're very alike...which would make sense as they both love Victoria, both seem like they're not one to cross (I believe Victoria says at one point that "he'd kill his brother" about both of them), etc.

Hi folks,

I have 2 different explanations for the old man:

1. It is in fact Julians reincarnation. But since he doesnt know Nicolas, it's only the feeling of trust between the two, that makes them talk to each other. But still, the old man knows the whole truth, as he says: " you'll know the truth as you future days unfold."he just doesnt tell nic everything. why should he?

2. the old man is the real, aged edward. as soon as he realizes something is strange about nic, he stops telling him more, since he is the killer of victoria and julian. he is old, yes, BUT: remember the news at the end? someone of the nobility has died! ed was nobility! after this death he reincarnates into the hypno, drives to nick... clear what i mean?

anyway, i dont know which explanation fits better into the context...

and at the end, when it says "we'll meet again my friend someday soon" it could refer to the moment, when nick is killed by the hypno.

and what i also found veery interesting. read the lyrics of "the glass prison" (sdoit) with the eyes of Ed!

keep it heavy!

Hi folks,

I have 2 different explanations for the old man:

1. It is in fact Julians reincarnation. But since he doesnt know Nicolas, it\'s only the feeling of trust between the two, that makes them talk to each other. But still, the old man knows the whole truth, as he says: \" you\'ll know the truth as you future days unfold.\"he just doesnt tell nic everything. why should he?

2. the old man is the real, aged edward. as soon as he realizes something is strange about nic, he stops telling him more, since he is the killer of victoria and julian. he is old, yes, BUT: remember the news at the end? someone of the nobility has died! ed was nobility! after this death he reincarnates into the hypno, drives to nick... clear what i mean?

anyway, i dont know which explanation fits better into the context...

and at the end, when it says \"we\'ll meet again my friend someday soon\" it could refer to the moment, when nick is killed by the hypno.

and what i also found veery interesting. read the lyrics of \"the glass prison\" (sdoit) with the eyes of Ed!

keep it heavy!

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