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Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by prman, Jan 27, 2016.
What´s your opinion on Dream Theater´s latest album, The Astonishing?
After one listen broken up over about 6 car rides over two days:
Not nearly enough metal. Like, 2 songs total, and one of them was too short and had no solo. This album is extremely far from being metal.
Not enough technical chops. A few total sections. The only demonstration of prog on this album is the frequent time signature changes.
Relatively boring rhythm work relative to the best DT. Don't need insane riffs every song, but I need them sometimes.
Drum machine drums. Additionally, Mangini wrote extremely safe drums. I can recall exactly one creative drum part, and it lasted about 5-10 seconds. These are really two seaparate negatives.
Many songs were brutally underdeveloped, and many others were totally unnecessary.
Too many piano, soft, "emotional" songs. I would say all but 5 or so of the actual songs fall into this category.
Myung is underused, but I don't really care admittedly.
Not enough guitar soloing.
Awesome vocals. Seriously. I have zero complaints about them.
Beautiful, rich orchestrations and instrumentality. I would even call it astonishing.
Petrucci has become a better soloist. His average phrasing has improved. I really dug some of the solos on here. Were they his best ever? Well, unfortunately things like Under a Glass Moon and As I Am exist, so no, but the average quality is higher than usual. Too bad there weren't enough solos...
No corny Rudess keyboard solos. I can only remember 2 solos from him, and both were at least decent.
Great, clever concept and story.
Lots of great audience moments for live performances.
Favorite Song At the Moment: Moment of Betrayal
I am sure every single one of the opinions I posted above will change. Album pales in comparison to Underworld, IMO. Sadly, I expect Circus Maximus to put out an extremely poor release as well based on the 2 songs I have heard from them, so it's gonna be until SX comes out again when I get a new top notch disc.
Overall rating (so far): 6/10
DT albums I like better: Scenes, Systematic Chaos, Black Clouds, ADToE. Astonishing is probably better than all the other ones, IMO.
better than Awake?
Awake is my least favorite DT album probably. I don't like that one, Change of Seasons, or Falling into Infinity. Don't particularly care for I&W either except Under a Glass Moon. Six Degrees is decent, as is the self titled and Train of Thought.
Finished my second listen. New favorite track is Three Days. Other than that, all opinions are unchanged. Liked it a little better overall, especially disc one. Disc 2, on the flip side, was weaker than it was before to me.
interesting. It's not often you hear people say they don't like Awake. Falling Into Infinity is my least favorite, don't like the vibe of the keyboards. Derek Sherinian is a good keyboardist, but don't think he fit in the style with DT.
What was your first DT album?
Six Degrees was my first album.
Top 9 from Astonishing (I quite like all of these actually) in no particular order:
The Gift of Music
Act of Faythe
A Life Left Behind
Moment of Betrayal
The X Aspect
A New Beginning
Couldn't pick a really solid tenth. There are bunch of decent songs, but nothing stuck out as an obvious tenth. Though, I enjoyed the album more the 2nd and 3rd time through. It's just a shame that it could have been 2-3 times better.
Your opinion is opposite of mine entirely. So since you disliked it, I might like it. And that's rare, since I gave up on DT after 6doit. They went so far off the map into cliche land that I haven't listened to a note since they ripped off Kansas - "The Wall" for the 6doit overture. Not even just a few notes, the whole damn bridge, note for note.
I didn't dislike it. It is still slowly growing on me, in fact. It just could have been roughly twice as good. It has some awesome moments.
When Your Time Has Come
added to my top 10 (or 11 I guess).
I have listened to disc 1 all the way through once. It has some cool stuff on it. LaBrie sounds really good, even has some really cool vocal melodies. I want to listen to the entire album, then make my call for favorite.
listened to all of disc 2, good, but not as good as disc 1. listening to disc 1 again. really digging this album. It is not their best, but really good, and a massive storyline. I feel a little bit of Scenes From A Memory in it. There are a few melodies that are borrowed from it.
favorites so far
Lord Nafaryus (I love the feel of this, very moody)
A New Beginning
2285 (this song needed to be longer, it is really cool)
Moment of Betrayal
Since the departure of Portnoy, have y'all noticed the length of songs has gone down? It seems in the past, when you felt like a song was coming to an end, it would continue on for another 4-5 minutes. Not saying he was the reason for it, maybe losing him as a collaborator has reduced the length cause they don't have more thoughts going on?
The last two albums have definitely been more to the point, with the wanking sessions more restrained. But ADTOE was full of longer songs with instrumental sections that served little to no purpose (Outcry, I'm looking at you). Actually, I guess it was just Outcry and Lost Not Forgotten, which was just one big showoff.
Portnoy's absence definitely shows, but I'm not sure it's a bad thing. I think he was more creative than Mangini, but I was tired of his immature lyrics and grunting tough guy vocals.
It's not bad. I see it more as a 'theatrical' release. It's similar in tone to IQ's Subterranea, but a little less clever. I'm not huge on DT generally but I might buy this one, still thinking about it. Generally I have a high tolerance for cheese with this sort of thing, I really like thematic albums with showtune-style character dialogue and programmatic stuff. If you don't like cheese then steer far, far clear!
Edit: I'm going to be honest and say it's a LOT less clever than Subterranea. It's even a little, well, stupid, as far as the concept goes. But that's okay.
Yeah, I'd had the plagiarism of Kansas pointed out to me from The Wall at some point too, and it was off-putting. Overall I think their sound was a lot more varied in the beginning, drawing more from Iron Maiden, Metallica, Queensryche, and Fates Warning, but as they settled they took a lot from Leftoverture-era Kansas, to the point where it became their sole dominating influence, or that's what it sounds like to me anyway.
I'm amazed that the OP doesn't care for Images and Words -- I think Pull Me Under in particular is really a rare song that can appeal to almost anyone. It's clever, well-composed, pretty, its lyrics are evocative and well-written, it's virtuosic and immediately appealing, it really just is pretty amazing how many different tastes it can appeal to.
Pull Me Under opened the door for sure. I remember hearing that on the radio when it came out. I was blown away. The rest of Images and Words kicks Pull Me Under's ass, though. Take the Time, and Metropolis are gems. The overall production on that album is really good, too.