- Mike Portnoy - Drums
- John Petrucci - Guitar
- John Myung - Bass
- Kevin Moore - Keyboard, lyrics
- Charlie Dominici - Vocals
A suited man smiled said: "It's just a matter of time You can have the world at your feet by tomorrow just sign on this line." Hold tight... limelight! Approaching the paramount with the sun in our eyes fearing family ties, legalies, compromise In a dimly lit room with a stool as his stage a dream-stricken prince of a pauper's descent haunts the eavesdropping silence that presses his window as he sweats a performance to an audience that ticks on the wall To the practical observer It's just a matter of time "You can deviate from the com- monplace only to fall back in line." I understand mine's a risky plan and your system can't miss But is security after all a cause or symptom of happiness? Brave, yet afraid, his eyes on horizon in a steady-set gaze a mariner soon from an open cocoon takes a moment to summon his courage to stifle his grave apprehension and trembling, approaches the surf A father's benediction as his hopeful son departs to brave the sea of rage and conquer at all costs lingers in his memory and visions still surviving in a logic- proof shell that should have been held sacred, safe and hidden well are compromised in usury with every rising sun that yields no sight of land the hesitation cultivates within the tired man and rumors spread of mutiny and though the time will come when dream and day unite tonight the only consolation causing him to fight in fearless faith in destiny Even when plans fall to pieces I can still find the courage with promise I've found in my faith Likely or not, it's a dream that we keep and at odds with our senses we'll climb But if faith is the answer, we're already reached it And if spirit's a sign then it's only a matter of time
Only a Matter of Time is a narrative that uses both literal and metaphorical means to tell the story. The first half of the song is largely literal while the second half largely uses metaphors. The song is about a new talent entering the music industry and being confronted with its commercialistic nature which contrasts his artistic nature.
Only a Matter of Time is quite progressive and heavy, as most of the songs on the album are. The song is quite fast, particuarly the vocal parts of the second half.
The song is notable for the line "and though the time will come when dream and day unite tonight the only consolation causing him to fight is fearless faith in destiny" which the album's title is derived from.
Live performances Edit
Only a Matter of Time is somewhat more commonly performed than some of the songs on the album, though not as much as Ytse Jam, Afterlife and A Fortune in Lies. Live performances are fairly standard, though occasionally with some variation to the instrumental sections near the end. One variation that was popular in the band's early years is to transition the instrumental section into the instrumental section from March of the Tyrant.