Dream Theater Wiki
Breaking All Illusions
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Length 12:25
Working title (Unknown)
Release date 13th September 2011
Lyrics John Myung, John Petrucci
Music Myung, Petrucci, Jordan Rudess
First live performance NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, CA, USA, on Sept. 25, 2011
Total live plays 279
Recorded Cove City Sound Studios
Other appearances Live at Luna Park, Breaking the Fourth Wall
Previous song Far from Heaven
Next song Beneath the Surface

Breaking All Illusions is the eighth and longest track on Dream Theater's eleventh album, A Dramatic Turn of Events – a spiralling progressive rock odyssey, with long instrumental passages.

This is the first song John Myung has written the lyrics for in 12 years, his last contribution before this having been Fatal Tragedy, on Scenes from a Memory. Although John Petrucci and former drummer Mike Portnoy have always rewritten John Myung's lyrics to better fit the songs, this is the first time that Myung's co-writer has been credited in the liner notes.

John Petrucci recorded this song using a 6-string guitar in standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E).


With the sun in place
There's a test of faith
Streams of thought awaken

New realities
Breaking all illusions

Sudden burst of heat
Burning source of life
Masterful destruction

Power's not an act
It's understanding truth
Changing my direction

Live in the moment
Breathe in a new beginning
Wisdom revealed
As I unlearn to learn

Life's biggest battles
Often are fought alone
My spirit brings me home

Emerald thoughts flow through my consciousness
Drawn to curses left behind
Test of will the threshold to one's faith
Starts a fire in the mind

Searching out
Reaching in
To arrive
Where I began
Sights remembered
In the light

Searching out
Reaching in
To arrive
Where I began
Sounds remembered
Come alive

Embrace the days
Don't turn away
Life's true intent needs patience
Karma starts the signal


  • Breaking All Illusions' lyrics are the first to be co-written in 6 years, since the title track to Octavarium in 2005.
  • The lyrics are also first to receive a dual authorship credit since You Not Me in 1997. Other such multiple authorships include Caught in a Web, Take the Time, and Status Seeker.
    • (By dual authorship, we mean the entire body of lyrics was collaborated on, as opposed to an anthology format whereby individual authors are credited for separate sections, like Octavarium and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.)
  • The structure of the song is extremely similar to Learning to Live from Images and Words. However the post chorus of Learning to Live's equivalent in Breaking All Illusions is before the chorus. Where Learning To Live has a chorus with a triplet feel, Breaking All Illusions has a poppy section that could easily be the chorus, however, a different section that comes later in 5/4 is used as the chorus. Also, Breaking All Illusions goes straight into the bridge after the first chorus, where as Learning To Live goes through another few verses. Breaking All Illusions' bridge is solely instrumental where as in Learning To Live, LaBrie sings up a scale to hit an F#5.
  • The keyboard main riff is very similar as found in "Dancing Stars on Me", by μ's.