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Thread: Dream Theater- The Astonishing

  1. #551
    Member DoubleDrummer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    Wow, I think that's the full collection of stock cliched responses when somebody dares to suggest that, musically speaking, the members of DT are not Lords of All they Survey. ....................in concert they seem to be even more unbearably relentless these days than on record. Personally, I can do without the musical equivalent of being hammered over the head with a mallet for two hours.
    Just as a thought exercise, would you make the same comment about someone who doesn't like the music of Kanye West for example? If not, why not, isn't this an accusation that universally applicable, or does it just apply to those who dare to question your musical darlings? It's certainly hard to imagine them doing anything as good as the quite magnificent 'Learning to Live' again.
    LOL.................I listen to all musical genre and enjoy them................I wasn't trying to imply what you suggest.
    Both you and Kanye exaggerate too much to impress and make a positive argument.
    So many of the posts on this site are long expressions of how much one doesn't like something or someone..............such a negative time-waste...............YAWN.
    BTW, I ran into Eric Johnson last month at a funeral (of a previous band-mate & guitarist) in Wimberley, Texas.............he thinks Petrucci is a virtuoso guitarist.

  2. #552
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by infandous View Post
    I finally ordered it, and it should be here today so I'll have to give my thoughts next week. However, it sounds like I should give FII a listen (never heard it before, mostly because of the bad reviews I heard from DT fans).
    You'll probably end up wondering why you didn't just buy FII first.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  3. #553
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDrummer View Post
    LOL.................I listen to all musical genre and enjoy them................I wasn't trying to imply what you suggest.
    Both you and Kanye exaggerate too much to impress and make a positive argument.
    So many of the posts on this site are long expressions of how much one doesn't like something or someone..............such a negative time-waste...............YAWN.
    BTW, I ran into Eric Johnson last month at a funeral (of a previous band-mate & guitarist) in Wimberley, Texas.............he thinks Petrucci is a virtuoso guitarist.
    I think he explained why it's ok to not like DT and why it isn't rooted in jealousy, but in personal taste. If you don't like the taste of the "meal" it does not matter how snazzy the ingredients are. I think well articulated reasons why someone does not like a band or album or whatever are expected around here. It's a lot easier to take than "This band SUCKS, this album SUCKS and you are stupid to like it". Or some short, from the hip response like that. It may put you to sleep but at least he didn't sit back and let you spin him into something he wasn't.

  4. #554
    Member DoubleDrummer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I think he explained why it's ok to not like DT and why it isn't rooted in jealousy, but in personal taste. If you don't like the taste of the "meal" it does not matter how snazzy the ingredients are. I think well articulated reasons why someone does not like a band or album or whatever are expected around here. It's a lot easier to take than "This band SUCKS, this album SUCKS and you are stupid to like it". Or some short, from the hip response like that. It may put you to sleep but at least he didn't sit back and let you spin him into something he wasn't.
    In my initial reply, I agreed that he had a valid argument. However, the exaggerations to make a point unwittingly defy the same point -- examples :

    "the exhibition of technical dexterity that became the sole point of the music existing at all"
    " I can do without the musical equivalent of being hammered over the head with a mallet for two hours"
    " isn't this an accusation that (sic) universally applicable, or does it just apply to those who dare to question your musical darlings?"
    " It's certainly hard to imagine them doing anything as good as the quite magnificent 'Learning to Live' again."

  5. #555
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    You'll probably end up wondering why you didn't just buy FII first.
    Well, there's no telling when I'll get that album, as it's not really a priority.

    As to the current album, I've almost made it through the first CD, and my assessment of the the two songs I heard on YouTube previously pretty much hold up for what I've heard so far. The lyrics are incredibly cliche, the music is well produced and certainly flawlessly performed, but doesn't seem to have much emotional content to latch onto. It's still early though, and I'll want to give it more time. We talked about Ayeron albums before, and I agree that this is not like an Ayeron album.......his lyrics are not this cliched and cheesy

    That said, I'm REALLY impressed with James LaBrie. Always the part of of DT that I didn't like much at all, he really sings well on this album and I find that I actually enjoy his vocals on this, lyrics notwithstanding (interestingly enough, the only other album where I really liked his vocals was an Ayeron album).

    I also agree with kid_runningfox that Petrucci has been in a rut for a long time now. Not that that makes his playing any less impressive, because it is. It just seems like a very narrow range that he operates in, is all. Overall, of course, the playing by everyone is flawlessly executed with great skill and technique......just not really any emotion that I can detect (aside from LaBrie, that is). I'm not really getting Mike Mangini either. I mean, he plays quite well, of course, but I don't find him anywhere near as interesting as Portnoy (though, to be fair, Portnoy was in quite a rut of his own with DT on the last few albums he did with them). I guess he plays to the material, which is fine, but it just seems like in a band like DT, a little more "flash" would push the music along better. Just my opinion, of course.

  6. #556
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDrummer View Post
    In my initial reply, I agreed that he had a valid argument. However, the exaggerations to make a point unwittingly defy the same point -- examples :

    "the exhibition of technical dexterity that became the sole point of the music existing at all"
    " I can do without the musical equivalent of being hammered over the head with a mallet for two hours"
    " isn't this an accusation that (sic) universally applicable, or does it just apply to those who dare to question your musical darlings?"
    " It's certainly hard to imagine them doing anything as good as the quite magnificent 'Learning to Live' again."
    These aren't exaggerations, they are accurate reflections of how I perceive the state of DT's music in 2016. You may not agree, but that does not make them exaggerations from my viewpoint.

  7. #557
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    This is the first DT release I haven't had any urge whatsoever to go back to, I tried on and off for the first two weeks and Just got less and less interested.

  8. #558
    I've never been a huge DT fan, but one of my friends is and he absolutely loves this album. I on the other hand, didn't appreciate it quite as much, although I do appreciate the ambition, plus there were occasional bits here and there that were pretty cool. Definitely an album for the super "DT can do no wrong" fan, but this won't be making any converts.
    A vie, a mort, et apres...

  9. #559
    What I've found is that you pretty much have to get into the story for the music to have much of an impact. The songs by themselves just aren't quite developed enough to stand on their own, but when taken together in the context of the story they can be considerably moving. The character of Arhys is of particular interest in the story to me. His impossible choice between his son's welfare, sworn to his dying wife, and a gifted younger brother who could help to trigger his lifetime commitment. Consequently, I see "A Better Life" and "The X Aspect" as two of the more interesting tracks. Once Arhys is out of the story it kind of loses my interest. I've come up with a 70 or so minute CD from this that I rather enjoy. One thing that helped me a lot was getting rid of the overture and just starting with "The Gift of Music" as the first track. Here's what I've assembled.

    The Gift of Music
    The Answer
    A Better Life
    A Savior in the Square
    When Your Time Has Come
    Act of Faythe
    A Life Left Behind
    Chosen
    A Tempting Offer
    The X Aspect
    A New Beginning
    Moment Of Betrayal
    Heaven's Cove
    Our New World
    Astonishing

  10. #560
    éí 'aaníígÓÓ 'áhoot'é Don Arnold's Avatar
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    Dutch Prog Rock Pages have published a round table review, with 3 of the 4 reviewers giving The Astonishing a 9 or better.

    http://www.dprp.net/reviews/2016-009.php

    I picked this up a couple Saturdays ago and have given the first disc a scattered listen. I'll take some more time with it then post my thoughts.

  11. #561
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    The fact they all like it that much is indeed- ASTONISHING!

  12. #562
    My problem with this band is that they are very accomplished but I don't find any songs very memorable, it seems a bit samey , in all fairness though I'm not keen on Prog metal so I'm probably not the best to judge their album output. They do get monumental amounts of press though , so am in awe of that!!

  13. #563
    Member Haruspex Carnage's Avatar
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    This has officially come off my phone...my verdict remains the same; at least they reigned it in a bit and actually wrote SONGS this time, played for them, and didn't lose the thread, but they're pretty bland and cheesy.

  14. #564
    South of Heaven trespass's Avatar
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    What I find really unfortunate is the after checking www.setlist.fm I see they are playing the whole album in concert. I can't even get through the first ten songs, much less the last 20. My wife bought three front row seats to this tour, not really knowing what the new DT album was like, and I am inclined to sell them on Stubhub although she may loose a couple of hundred bucks in the transaction.

    I don't hate the album, but after the first 5 songs I'm pretty done with it. What happened to Mangini? Did they replace him with a drum machine? This album is a disaster. Too long, been there done that concept, not enough "metal", and way too many ballads. And nothing memorable. Only fragments to latch on to.

    So many prior bands, including DT, have done so much more with their concept albums. This album can't stand up to "Scenes of a Memory", and other artist have already done the true gems, Moody Blues, LLDoB. TfTO, Mindcrime, and so many others. This album just doesn't hold a candle to those.

    If I can't listen to the whole thing at home, how am I going to get through the whole album live? It will be worse for my wife, who will probably loose all interest four songs in.

    Cheers
    Last edited by trespass; 03-17-2016 at 05:33 PM.

  15. #565
    I'm probably waiting until the week- or day-of in hope of scoring some cheap seats to this for either New York, Philly, or upstate New York. Doesn't seem like this is a hot ticket.

  16. #566
    So I've managed to give this thing 4 full listens. I suppose if Disney Princess ballads performed by Poison are your thing, this is the album for you. Seriously, I played some of this for my girlfriend and she asked me which 80's hair band this was (then agreed about my Disney Princess move ballads comment). And she loves 80's hair bands, so she would know.

    Honestly, I just keep wondering what Petrucci was thinking when he wrote most of this. Even the more typical DT songs (typical of the post-Portnoy DT anyway) seem rather bland to me, or just more of the same. I guess it's good they tired something different, but this is just silly. Now, having said that, the performances are flawless, as you might expect and everyone plays with fine skill and technique. Although, Mangini really sounds like a drum machine to me, rather than a human being playing drums. I suppose it's good he plays to the song, but I think with music like DT usually makes, you need something more. I don't know if that is on him or Petrucci (my guess is Petrucci tells him what to play), but it's disappointing. I find myself missing Portnoy's usual over the top bombast.

    The bright spot for me is still, astonishingly (lol), LaBrie. The guy normally gets on my nerves, but on this album he is singing incredibly well. I just wish the music was a match for his much improved vocals. I don't know what he did since the last album I heard (the one before the self titled one), but he sounds fabulous. So it's not all negative for me.

    Anyway, I thought I might enjoy this because they were trying something different. Really though, if their idea of trying something different is two hours of Disney Princess ballads in the style of Winger, I think I'd rather they go back to the same old same old.

  17. #567
    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric View Post
    My problem with this band is that they are very accomplished but I don't find any songs very memorable, it seems a bit samey , in all fairness though I'm not keen on Prog metal so I'm probably not the best to judge their album output. They do get monumental amounts of press though , so am in awe of that!!
    DT tunes are 'ruminating in my head' as I type this. They are more than well known for writing some great 'memorable' melodies and tunes!

  18. #568
    Every time D.T releases a new album i listen to the same old trite remarks.

    "They sound too heavy... they sound too mellow... they sound too technical"

    "Scenes from a memory pt2 is not as good as the classic Images and Words"... After a few years "scenes is classic but the new cd is awful"... after a few more years "octavarium is classic but the new album sucks"... and this goes on for years!!

    IMO the still release from solid to great material. Few albums can be considered weak.

    As for Mangini, i think he's a good and precise drummer, but not as imaginative as Portnoy.
    Last edited by expresso; 06-23-2017 at 01:28 PM.

  19. #569
    Just as 'Dramatic Turn' kind of got me back on the DT bus, 'Astonishing' got me back off again. Not for me. Obviously others will feel differently. Plenty of room in the world for both groups
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  20. #570
    I liked s/t even better than Dramatic Turn - thought their song editing showed great maturity - but haven't got The Astonishing yet. I DID see it all performed live though, which was truly jaw dropping.

  21. #571
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    I love The Astonishing, the last 3 DT albums are my faves and got me back into the band again.

  22. #572
    I sold my copy of The Astonishing. Astonishingly bloated and corny.

    Maybe the next album will have a "back to basics" concept, because they could use a little of that.

  23. #573
    I'd consider The Astonishing to be a masterpiece if not for those lyrics.

    I wish there was a live document of the tour but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    Last edited by ytserush; 07-22-2017 at 10:19 PM. Reason: adding more thoughts

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