Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is the sixth full-length studio album by progressive metal band Dream Theater. It was released as a double-disc album on January 29, 2002 through Elektra Records. Excluding the A Change of Seasons EP, it is the first Dream Theater album to feature a title track.
The recording is a type of concept album wherein the five songs which comprise the first disc explore different themes of lifetime struggle, such as alcoholism, loss of faith, self-isolation, and death. The sixth song—a 42-minute track occupying the entire second disc, separated into eight parts—explores the stories of six individuals suffering from various mental illnesses. Particularly represented are bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, post-partum depression, autism and dissociative personality disorder. Furthermore, the title of the album may also allude to the fact that each song on the album could be seen as a different form of inner turbulence, with the six tracks making another reference to the six degrees, along with the apparent reference to the six degrees of separation. The musical styles of each section of the title track are direct reflections of the band’s large variety of influences. Classical, folk, jazz and metal styles are present within the track.
James LaBrie – lead vocals
John Myung – bass
John Petrucci – guitar, backing vocals
Mike Portnoy – drums, backing vocals (co-lead vocals on “The Glass Prison”)
Jordan Rudess – keyboard