Dream Theater

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by p0ke, May 23, 2018.

  1. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    That's a pretty good list.

    In the Presence of Enemies Pt 1. - Favorite overall song (it's what got me into them)
    Lines In The Sand - Favorite live solo (though it's close with Hollow Years)
    Metropolis Pt 2. - Favorite overall album
    Overture 1928 - Favorite Instrumental

    I like so much of their stuff though, since I already admitted to being a huge fanboy. It's hard to pick favorites.
     
  2. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    LaBrie kind of gets a pass with me for his live vocals. I guess he's never been the same since his food poisoning/vocal chord injury thing.
     
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  3. Bdtunn

    Bdtunn SS.org Regular

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    I love dream theatre but have to be in the right mood. However I can put on train of though at any point and enjoy that album!
     
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  4. Furtive Glance

    Furtive Glance "Snaaaake!!!"

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    I love Lie. That song grooves so hard and even though I've seen it live twice I'd welcome it every time here on out.
     
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  5. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    Octavarium is my favourite album of them; not because any of the songs aside from the title one is among my favourites, but because I feel that as an album listened to start to finish, it has a really nice feel to it, a very good sense of coherence. While there still are some good riffs and tasty licks on albums after that one, I don't care for the album themselves.

    I think I generally like their material from WDADU to Octavarium with the exclusion of ToT, which I do not care about at all. I think it's an album that's better live than in the studio, where you can witness the insane musicianship on display, but it marks the beginning of a formula I don't really like about the band: intro-verse-chorus-10minutesofabsolutelyrandomnonsense-verse-chorus-outro. "Falling Into Infinity" is a weird album: it has pretty cheesy lows but really high heights. I also think that the solo on The Best of Times should have never happened. :lol: Aside from the one on Along for the Ride, it's probably one of the cheesiest solos I've ever heard from the band. Not unmemorable, but particularly memorable because of that.

    I also have a hard time tolerating LaBrie, especially his live performances, but I and by contrast find him rather good on his solo albums. Perhaps about great time that the band starts writing his vocals a good fifth lower, where not only he's comfortable singing but also where he sounds good. It's not Winter Rose era anymore, he can't do it, acknowledge it and move on.

    Anyway, there's that tribute band named "Awake" from Romania with a female vocalist that really slays.

     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  6. Exchanger

    Exchanger SS.org Regular

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    I'll also join the "I love Octavarium" club. Maybe I'm biased because the title track is simply the turning point where I got into prog metal and never turned back ever since. At that time I didn't know any prog metal, but I found Pull Me Under and Metropolis Pt.1 in a bunch of other things a friend had copied for me. As time went, the other "non-prog" songs in there felt too repetitive for me while these 2 tracks started to reveal more and mroe hidden treasures. So I looked Dream Theater up, stumbled upon Octavarium (the track) and was totally blown away. I used to like some classical music back then like symphonies but most of it seemed emotionless or too shifty. Octavarium can be listened as a symphonic work but with an emotional load and an energy that I had never found before.
    Then the rest of the album, eventhough some of the songs are a bit too polished has some really good tracks as well with Sacrified Sons, Panick Attack and Never Enough (dat instrumental bridge !)

    For me the earlier stuff was hard to get used too because of the production, but there are some real jewels here, no question. As for post-Octavarium stuff, I think Systematic Chaos is really great once you get used to it's density. I'm a sucker for BC&SL, A Nightmare to Remember is a hell of an opening track and full of treasures, + The Best of Times and The Count of Tuscany.
    I also find A Dramatic Turn of Events very good, but just too cheesy with the Labrie+ piano song, the ending track is barely saved by the cool keyboard solo, and Bridges in the Sky could have been great if not for this very dull chorus. Lost Not Forgotten and Breaking all Illusions are some of the best DT songs imo and On the Back of Angels is pretty solid too.
    The self-titled also has some of that goodness mostly in the instrumental tracks, but somehow doesn't cut it as much and that production was BOTCHED. The guitar sounds terribly weak, the drums like plastic bottles, the bass well it's kinda cool they went or the overdriven sound but...nope. The vocals sound like they've been recorded in a phone booth, too much delay...the only thing that sounds ok is the keyboards, my guess being that a proper keyboard sound is already quite processed and balanced so there wasn't much to fuck-up.
    And of course the dreaded Astonishing...some really nice parts on it to be fair, instrumental but also vocals, nice emotional moments...but admittedly a good dose of cringe too. Tried too hard to sound like broadway show and it so cliché..., the story is cheesy AF, and why the hell not having some guest singers to do different characters, maybe even with several roles per singer and a cast of 3 max. would have been much better, just for the sake of knowing when a different character talks. And it's really a shame cause this album COULD have been good, the musicianship on it is great, it's jsut poor artistic choices that ruin it.

    Maybe I'll also go against the stream when saying that I like Rudess' contributions. Maybe a bit too wonky sometimes but it can be cool in a way, and overall great sounds, he can really enrich the harmonies and make some great solos. I aprticularly like this one for his appearance in Ayreon :

    On the other hand I'm not a fan of Sherinian. He can play, but his sounds are just out of place to me, and he's a bit of a one trick pony to me (of more than one but you get the idea). I tried to stay away form the Sons of Apollo hype but when I ultimately gave it a try, I was really disappointed by his additions, it felt like he was doing the same thing over and over.

    When it comes to lyrics, I'll agree tehy're not always great, but since I usually focus on the music itself, and English is not my mother tongue, so if I stopped apying attention I can hear it without really making sense of it so bad lyrics usually don't bother me so much, although good lyrics are an important bonus for whether I appreciate a song or not. And they do have songs with good lyrics, whether part of the concept stories or inspirational messages or more engaged stuff (Prophets of War, the Great Debate...). I've seen poeple bash Honor Thy Father, and yeah the lyrics are a bit too personal/teenage rebellion stuff but if you can ignore that, it's a pretty kickass song with really good use of keyboards in a heavy context (which is what I find more difficult to do with keyboards).

    And last but not least, I'm a total sucker for JP. Not because he can shred, not just because he can also make beautiful melodic solos, but he can also write really good riffs that are both catchy and complex, and some of them aren't even that difficult, there is a natural flow to it when you play them, and I value this "smartness" (see the Root of all Evil), also some really good voicings/use of open chords (ok he got that from Lifeson, but still). Anyway, I think he's not just about the flashy shreddy things, but also has a deeper understanding of the instrument and music writing. On top of that he seems to be a really cool and humble dude. Of course there's always the artist and the man, but it's always disappointing to find out a musician you like turns out to be a douche. On the other hand, it feels good when someone is both a great player and a great person.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
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  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That was really impressive! Someone really needs to get them some better keyboard patches and some octobans, though.

    Man, starting right around 10 minutes in, that ~3 minute long instrumental part right after "...goodbye," is just the coolest tightest prog rock, isn't it? At least, I really love it. The hammond patch the keyboard player is using almost took me out of the moment, though. :lol: These guys+gal are monster players, though.
     
  8. r33per

    r33per SS.org Regular

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    My mate introduced me to DT with Falling into Infinity back in the late 90s and I LOVED it. I had never heard anything like it at that point, especially an instrumental like Hell's Kitchen - it was the time sigs. I just hadn't even thought that times like 5/8 and 7/8 could even exist. Mind=blown.

    After that I went back and bought the back catalogue, including Live at Marquee. It became very apparent very quickly that FII was a stylistic anomoly... Nonetheless, still love it. Awake - and the follow up ACoS - was the first album that I listened to where I thought "oh: this is how you can use 7-string" - ip to that point (for me and fairly narrow musical horizons), it was either used sparingly (Vai) or to excess (Korn).

    Anyways, then came the side-project Liquid Tension Experiment albums and then Scenes From a Memory. I listened to that album for about 2 years straight, just loved it. Saw the full show in Manchester, England (Spocks Beard supporting - awesome). Loved 6DoIT, ToT, Ocavarium - sure, they're not the 10/10 of I&W, Awake and SFaM, but I still liked them. From there, they kind of lost it for me. Systematic Chaos was a poor album, although the show in Glasgow, Scotland was great with Symphony X supporting.

    I've seen them three times since then, the last one being the I&W25 tour: seated, like listening to a recital. It sounded really good (they NAILED Hell's Kitchen, so that made the night for me!), but so distant from the feeling I had - still have - listening to those 90s albums cranked up in the car stereo or playing along to Learning to Live. The character of the live show is reflective of the character of the recent albums - high class musicianship; totally sterile. I don't want to do the "I'll never buy another DT album again" but at this point, I've no desire to get a new DT album.

    They should have taken that hiatus like Portnoy apparently suggested.
     
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  9. Frosty the Snowperson

    Frosty the Snowperson Weirdo

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    I cannot choose a favorite song. If I can choose two, "The Mirror" and "Lie."
     
  10. lurè

    lurè Can't buy skill so I buy gear

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    sad.jpg This is so sad
     
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  11. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Why is it sad?

    Band makes what they want and ignores feedback = backlash
    Band asks what people want and tries to do that = backlash

    There is no winning.
     
  12. scrub

    scrub SS.org Regular

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    yeah that isn't sad at all.
     
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  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I think people want a band to like the same things they like, and therefore make the album they want to make and also have that album be the album fans want the band to make. When the band drifts away from what the fans want to hear, there is no winning.

    I think that when DT makes something that they think fans want to hear, they end up making songs like "You Not Me," which a lot of people didn't like, and when they make whatever they want to make without outside influence, they end up making The Astonishing, which fans didn't like.

    But really, when you are making your 14th studio album, you are going to either piss off a large portion of your fans by making something bold or you are going to bore half of your fans by making the same old same old. If DT came out with another Scenes from a Memory, they'd probably not get the widespread acclaim that people would immediately think. If they released an album of Klesmer music, they'd probably start a riot, but also reach a wider audience through the controversy. If it happened to also be the best damned Klesmer album ever made, they might just gain respect among a branch of listeners they had not yet reached.

    But yeah, I think that, by the time you've accomplished what these guys have accomplished, there is not going to be any way to make everyone happy - expectations are soaring super high and, with such a diverse fanbase, people's tastes will always contradict each other.
     
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  14. scrub

    scrub SS.org Regular

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    personally, put me in the camp of really admiring a band that has the versatility and musicianship to create music that can fall into that many different categories.
     
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  15. lurè

    lurè Can't buy skill so I buy gear

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    To me sounds more like "we want to make a new album but we're afraid It will end up like The Astonishing".
    I hugely respect DT even if I'm not a big fan, but attempts like this makes me think how much value you give to your music after so many years.
    It's also just a FB post so I'll take it with a grain of salt.
     
  16. scrub

    scrub SS.org Regular

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    they posted it on twitter as well.
     
  17. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I think that LaBrie needs to adapt as Ray Alder did to his diminishing range. Alder no longer sings in that upper range in pathetic attempts to retain what is no longer there. He does indeed sing very well with the range that he has left. LaBrie needs to adapt in this way. When he pushes his range in the upper register, I cringe every time. It's all upper back of the throat/head voice, sounds weak/thin, and dangerous to the vocal chords. I also think that they need to scale back from the 3 hour shows back to 90-120 minutes in order to retain the quality of voice that he has left. Doing Pull Me Under at the 2.75 hr mark is not healthy in my opinion.
     
  18. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    I thought about that in my previous post, but considering that his voice sounds better on his solo albums, there's a probability that his parts are written that high regardless of what he's able to do (or thinks he's able to do).
    Well they just signed with InsideOut Music (Sony), so hopefully they won't just mail it in like they did with ADToE. Even if I found that the Astonishing was a big bowl of insipid soup, I won't resent them for doing what they truly want and won't expect something that will rock me out of my chair. But for the love of all what's Holy, don't mail it in through obligation.
     
  19. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    LaBrie = The Cheese
    This is just their management posting something in the name of "fan engagement" and to generate some hype for the album. They're just going to make the album they want to.
     
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  20. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    I can't choose between Awake and Metropolis Pt. II, but this thread made me to listen Awake. Also my user name should tell something about my relation to band of this topic :D
     
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