Dream Theater open their eponymous twelfth album with this three part instrumental, which comprises:
I. Sleep Paralysis. II. Night Terrors III. Lucid Dream
It was the first vocal-less track the band had recorded since "Stream of Consciousness" from their 2003 LP, Train of Thought.
Guitarist John Petrucci explained to Ultimate-Guitar.com that the band were trying to set a mood with an instrumental track. "It's kinda like the idea was when we play live and before we hit the stage, we like to have some sort of like you said dramatic piece of music and something cinematic to bring us onstage," he said. "We've used the music from Psycho before and Hans Zimmer. The last tour was a piece from the movie Inception and just stuff that really sets the mood and you know the band's coming onstage. It was kinda like, 'Well, let's write our own. We can do this. How hard could it be?' So we wrote our own cinematic opening and the cool thing is it has real strings on it and it has that cinematic vibe but it's in the style of metal and it's kind of a progressive version of it. It's our spin on that type of opening."
The strings were arranged by Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess. They were played by a string ensemble, who were conducted by a young protégé of Rudess, Eren Basbug.