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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 1610
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 11:52 am 
 

What a very Yes/Flower Kings album name

Image

1. The Alien (9:32)
2. Answering The Call (7:35)
3. Invisible Master (6:31)
4. Sleeping Giant (10:05)
5. Transcending Time (6:25)
6. Awaken The Master (9:47)
7. A View From The Top Of The World (20:24)

Out October 22nd via InsideOut

I like the new band member :-P
Spoiler: show
Image
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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Twisted_Psychology
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:11 pm 
 

Going by album art alone, I'm assuming that this will be one of their less heavy albums ala the self-titled or Octavarium. I keep thinking that DT has plateaued creatively so I shouldn't really bother yet I'm still curious to see how this turns out.
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Zelkiiro
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:14 pm 
 

I haven't been too big a fan of anything they've put out since Black Clouds & Silver Linings (which I LOVED).

Please, please, please let this finally break the dry spell. I miss Dream Theater being good.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:16 pm 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
I haven't been too big a fan of anything they've put out since Black Clouds & Silver Linings (which I LOVED).

Please, please, please let this finally break the dry spell. I miss Dream Theater being good.


This is a rare occurrence where we totally agree - though I did find The Astonishing to at least be something intriguing, unlike the last one which was just an emotional flatline.

Haven't really listened to them in a while but somehow I always come back and like some of their stuff. So who knows...
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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 1610
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:17 pm 
 

Twisted_Psychology wrote:
Going by album art alone, I'm assuming that this will be one of their less heavy albums ala the self-titled or Octavarium. I keep thinking that DT has plateaued creatively so I shouldn't really bother yet I'm still curious to see how this turns out.


I'm curious too. The last album was a step forward creatively and I hope there's no more retreading. Octavarium is a good long song though because of how eventfully it plays out. But with the absence of Portnoy, l don't know if they are still doing the little clever Easter eggy type things like he did with that one. This title track just might be a straight up long prog slog (I mean, song)
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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FirebathDan
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:32 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:52 pm 
 

Distance Over Time turned me around on post-Portnoy DT—“Pale Blue Dot” is one of their best ever songs, and Mangini’s drumming on it is a complete mindfuck.

I’ve retrospectively come to enjoy ADTOE and the self titled.

I am actually looking forward to a DT album for the first time in quite a while.

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
What a very Yes/Flower Kings album name


Interestingly enough, Yes is also putting out a new album in October via InsideOut.

Twisted_Psychology wrote:
Going by album art alone, I'm assuming that this will be one of their less heavy albums ala the self-titled or Octavarium.


I would welcome it if it was the case but supposedly this album features 8 string guitars and Mangini has said something to the effect that this album has some of his most aggressive drumming since Annihilator (can’t quite remember where I heard that, though).
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LithoJazzoSphere
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 2:57 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
I like the new band member :-P


8-strings, 8 legs? I kinda want that one for a pet.



FirebathDan wrote:
Distance Over Time turned me around on post-Portnoy DT—“Pale Blue Dot” is one of their best ever songs, and Mangini’s drumming on it is a complete mindfuck...I am actually looking forward to a DT album for the first time in quite a while.


I'm a bit the same. DT was arguably my favorite band for chunks of the early 00s, but by the late 00s I had become really jaded. D/T was the most I'd liked an album of theirs since 8VM. I'm still going in with some reservation and caution, and I know JLB is unlikely to win me back over, but I barely had any anticipation for the last few and didn't even listen to them until months/years after they came out, and I suspect I'll get to this one much sooner than that.

FirebathDan wrote:
Twisted_Psychology wrote:
Going by album art alone, I'm assuming that this will be one of their less heavy albums ala the self-titled or Octavarium.


I would welcome it if it was the case but supposedly this album features 8 string guitars and Mangini has said something to the effect that this album has some of his most aggressive drumming since Annihilator (can’t quite remember where I heard that, though).


And just look at the cover. It's a mountain of rock, i.e., something very hard and heavy.


Last edited by LithoJazzoSphere on Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:04 pm 
 

FirebathDan wrote:
Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
What a very Yes/Flower Kings album name


Interestingly enough, Yes is also putting out a new album in October via InsideOut.


You mean the tribute band masquerading as Yes? I'll pass. Might as well have a new Thin Lizzy album in 2021. I'm more curious about the upcoming Jethro Tull (also on InsideOut) since that band was always Ian Anderson & Friends anyway.
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:06 pm 
 

LithoJazzoSphere wrote:
Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
I like the new band member :-P


8-strings, 8 legs? I kinda want that one for a pet.


Ahhhh of course :)
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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MawBTS
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:25 pm 
 

Crabcore is out. Spidercore is in.

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Death By Wall of Text
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:18 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:40 pm 
 

Imo they're one of the most consistently rock solid bands ever, last decade included with only The Astonishing giving me somewhat mixed feelings. Distance Over Time was tight, massive and basically single-handedly destroyed the misconception they can't write focused tracks without going off the rails instrumentally. Bring it on.

The titles also look like some kind of a theme going on and I wonder if it's a concept album.

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forestcorpse
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:06 pm
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Location: Norway
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:52 pm 
 

Ha, thats the ''Kjerag'' rock here in Norway.

Image

Never listened to this band to be honest.

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TheLoneForest
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:16 pm
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Location: Quebec
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 5:07 pm 
 

Looks cool but the boots are kinda dumb

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:06 pm 
 

TheLoneForest wrote:
Looks cool but the boots are kinda dumb


Yeah I don't usually mind their album covers. Black Clouds & Silver Linings vinyl was my fave.

This is supposed to be a balls-out heavy album from all incoming reports so that art is a rather interesting juxtaposition cause I was getting Yes-vibes. Thought they'd be all introspective and spiritual with it.

As FirebathDan mentioned, Mangini has gone on record to state this is some of his most ferocious drumming yet.

And you'll never guess who did the mixing/mastering (you could actually, I'm surprised it took this long for Petrucci to succumb)

Spoiler: show
ANDY SNEAP of course


:( It was only a matter of time, I guess
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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LordOfTheGallows
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:36 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:22 pm 
 

They're my favourite band so I'm hyped! Distance Over Time was a huge step up over The Astonishing (their worst album by far and even that has some stuff on it that I like) so I'm as optimistic as ever. The album cover blows though, those shoes are godawful. Their art direction is kinda crap to be honest.

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
I'm more curious about the upcoming Jethro Tull (also on InsideOut) since that band was always Ian Anderson & Friends anyway.


Holy shit what? I thought I'd never see a new Tull album ever.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 1610
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:28 pm 
 

^
Yeah, next year!
http://jethrotull.com/jethro-tull-sign- ... gene-2022/
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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LordOfTheGallows
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:51 pm 
 

Well I'll be damned, that is awesome news.

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LithoJazzoSphere
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:14 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
And you'll never guess who did the mixing/mastering (you could actually, I'm surprised it took this long for Petrucci to succumb)

Spoiler: show
ANDY SNEAP of course


:( It was only a matter of time, I guess


Some people here seem to dislike him, but he's one of my favorites, and has plenty on his resume that would be auspicious for this. The last four Nevermore albums, Opeth's Deliverance, Into Eternity's The Scattering of Ashes, Testament's last few albums, several Masterplan albums, etc. And he also just did JP's solo album last year, so it's not like it's unprecedented either.

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aaronmb666
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:37 am
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:48 am 
 

Shouldve been a double album with the title track on the second cd, split into different tracks. Really curious to hear it as the band members are really hyping it up.

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Fearoth
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:09 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 2:01 am 
 

Judging from the artwork and song titles I'm gonna be a contrarian and say it's going to be their heaviest since Train of Thought.

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MawBTS
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:22 am 
 

Quote:
Some people here seem to dislike him


I don't dislike him but he's the most boring risk-averse choice possible. It's like getting JJ Abrams to direct your movie.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:50 am 
 

Sneap is the expected choice for all the big Nuclear Blast douche bands and DT have always weirdly kowtowed to metal standards so this is no surprise. Those token brutal metal riffs all began to sound the same at some point, that always mildly annoyed me about them. I suppose they became increasingly uncomfortable with the borderline nerdy persona that was thrust upon them because of how many notes they played. But like, deal with it, you're a prog band first.

Death By Wall of Text wrote:
The titles also look like some kind of a theme going on and I wonder if it's a concept album.


I wouldn't mind that at all. Petrucci writing some alien sci-fi story sounds better than The Astonishing's 2112 throwback. I enjoyed the somewhat goofy Dark Eternal Night (Petrucci likes Lovecraft??) and In the Presence of Enemies which really is just amazeballs - including the live performances from that era.

Spoiler: show


The highs on Systematic Chaos were really high. This album just might be a heady mix of heavy and light. Fingers crossed.
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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Death By Wall of Text
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:18 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:49 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
Sneap is the expected choice for all the big Nuclear Blast douche bands and DT have always weirdly kowtowed to metal standards so this is no surprise. Those token brutal metal riffs all began to sound the same at some point, that always mildly annoyed me about them. I suppose they became increasingly uncomfortable with the borderline nerdy persona that was thrust upon them because of how many notes they played. But like, deal with it, you're a prog band first.

Hardly true and they often set standards more than followed them. They pretty much pioneered the downtuned heavy groove-prog metal wave in the 00s which hardly existed before then, and were one of the very first to use 7-string guitars for actual regular riffs and not pure shred nor nu-metal 0-1-0-1. And it's not surprising they did that when they did because if they just followed down the same path as Scenes From a Memory they would have painted themselves into a corner very quickly.

They were always a prog and metal band equally, they were never "prog first". Literally their only albums that are more prog than metal are I&W and The Astonishing. (I tend to get easily annoyed about this, as the prog snob part of the DT fanbase fucking loves to look down on actual metalheads who appreciate their properly heavy stuff, I have way too much annoying experience with this.)

Either way, I find Sneap an actually surprising and interesting choice, I associated him with more classic straightforward metal like Judas Priest. I don't think they ever picked a producer/engineer who so clearly belongs on the metal side of the spectrum rather than somewhere in between.

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MawBTS
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:53 pm 
 

You know, I still think of Systematic Chaos as "the new DT album".

Then I think "wait, it's actually nearly the middle point of their discography now."

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Lord_Of_Diamonds
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:26 pm 
 

The album cover looks cool. I can't imagine that the album will be that great, though, mostly because Labrie's rusty old pipes aren't getting any younger, yet I imagine he'll continue to try vocal stuff that's beyond his capabilities at this point and just get drowned in effects.

That, and the last album had precisely one great song (At Wit's End), and for a band this old, I expect to see a similar level of engagement/creativity on new efforts.
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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:20 am 
 

Lord_Of_Diamonds wrote:
The album cover looks cool. I can't imagine that the album will be that great, though, mostly because Labrie's rusty old pipes aren't getting any younger, yet I imagine he'll continue to try vocal stuff that's beyond his capabilities at this point and just get drowned in effects.

That, and the last album had precisely one great song (At Wit's End), and for a band this old, I expect to see a similar level of engagement/creativity on new efforts.


I personally thought LaBrie sounded just fine on the last two studio albums and Pale Blue Dot, Fall Into The Light, Viper King (off the top of my head) were all memorable songs in addition to At Wit's End.

Death By Wall of Text wrote:
stuff


They were following trends, come on! "The Mirror" one of their earliest heaviest songs mimics that Pantera style, "Peruvian Skies" nods towards "Enter Sandman", you can almost draw a line through "Pull Me Under" to "The Mirror"'s heavy riffs. I call them token brutal riffs because they sound sort of similar except for their tempos. I like John Petrucci but he's not a great riff-maker.

Train of Thought, their extremely heavy album successfully melded their prog tendencies with....nu metal? Meshuggah-lite? Dream Theater's actual metal leanings are derivative, I'm sorry not sorry. It was great on Six Degrees (Glass Prison, The Test That Stumped Them All are fresh and exciting as all hell) and earlier but it was always a callback to thrash of some sort. Petrucci and Portnoy jamming on some Rust In Peace-bred ideas, the constant Metallica influence and so on.

Petrucci being hip to newer guitar innovations before most metal players is where I agree with you but I don't think he wrote original riffs with it. I've always (mostly) appreciated their self-admitted "Yes meets Metallica" persona. It works.

I hate the prog snobs too but they win out in the end as Dream Theater still is the quintessential Progressive Metal band even after all these years of Opeth, Between the Buried and Me and Periphery. And they didn't get that status for them riffz! Despite the fact that they've not actually "progressed" by much since the initial heyday, they did invent that style of drawn out token thrash riffing with olde proggy nooodling (Symphony X bringing their own neo-classical take on it but SX/DT heavy riffs are interchangeable).
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:24 am 
 

MawBTS wrote:
You know, I still think of Systematic Chaos as "the new DT album".

Then I think "wait, it's actually nearly the middle point of their discography now."


Haha, me too. It's because of how that album is still fresh and youthful, I guess. I really like it (the Metallica tribute "Constant Motion" included). Portnoy's growled vocals and those backing gang shouts on "Prophets of War" are part of the youthful charm hehe.
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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MetalVermont
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:10 am 
 

Looking forward to this. The only mis-steps in DT’s career IMO were Falling Into Infinty’s commercialism and succumbing to too many Portnoyisms from 2003-2009. Everything else I like or love.

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An Ferbasach
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 12:52 pm 
 

I love everything from Images and Words to Octavarium but started to lose interest with Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds & Silver Linings.

I'll check out the post-Portnoy albums before this one comes out.

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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:04 pm 
 

I'll give it a listen, but I'm not really super excited.
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Death By Wall of Text
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:18 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:40 pm 
 

Lord_Of_Diamonds wrote:
The album cover looks cool. I can't imagine that the album will be that great, though, mostly because Labrie's rusty old pipes aren't getting any younger, yet I imagine he'll continue to try vocal stuff that's beyond his capabilities at this point and just get drowned in effects.

That, and the last album had precisely one great song (At Wit's End), and for a band this old, I expect to see a similar level of engagement/creativity on new efforts.

Actually imo he's still a damn good singer precisely because he knows his limits and doesn't pretend he's 29 anymore. The vocals on Distance Over Time are rock solid and he doesn't attempt anything crazy, he just sticks to his strengths. I've seen them live in 2019 and (January) 2020, and he's definitely doing fine and knows how to use the voice he currently has, better than quite a few singers his age (reminder: he may not look or act the part, but he's 58).

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
They were following trends, come on! "The Mirror" one of their earliest heaviest songs mimics that Pantera style, "Peruvian Skies" nods towards "Enter Sandman", you can almost draw a line through "Pull Me Under" to "The Mirror"'s heavy riffs. I call them token brutal riffs because they sound sort of similar except for their tempos. I like John Petrucci but he's not a great riff-maker.

Train of Thought, their extremely heavy album successfully melded their prog tendencies with....nu metal? Meshuggah-lite? Dream Theater's actual metal leanings are derivative, I'm sorry not sorry. It was great on Six Degrees (Glass Prison, The Test That Stumped Them All are fresh and exciting as all hell) and earlier but it was always a callback to thrash of some sort. Petrucci and Portnoy jamming on some Rust In Peace-bred ideas, the constant Metallica influence and so on.

Petrucci being hip to newer guitar innovations before most metal players is where I agree with you but I don't think he wrote original riffs with it. I've always (mostly) appreciated their self-admitted "Yes meets Metallica" persona. It works.

I hate the prog snobs too but they win out in the end as Dream Theater still is the quintessential Progressive Metal band even after all these years of Opeth, Between the Buried and Me and Periphery. And they didn't get that status for them riffz! Despite the fact that they've not actually "progressed" by much since the initial heyday, they did invent that style of drawn out token thrash riffing with olde proggy nooodling (Symphony X bringing their own neo-classical take on it but SX/DT heavy riffs are interchangeable).

Uh, sorry but this is the same weird approach as that thing that came out in the Black Sabbath thread in some time ago, when it was said "Children of the Grave" is nothing special because it's just a jazz gallop played heavier or something. Yes, they've always taken influences from other metal bands like just about every metal band ever, but they way they fused it with other styles in their songwriting is what makes it unique. Six Degrees which you highlighted was literally the album when they started exploring much heavier styles than the more classic heavy/thrash sound, and I don't think anyone was doing it that way in a prog format before they did (and then of course half of prog metal bands followed them).

And this:
Quote:
I like John Petrucci but he's not a great riff-maker.

Sorry, but in that case you're just not listening. The way everyone just obsesses over his lead playing and ignores how fucking great his riffs are is the most frustrating thing about it. Fall Into The Light from DOT is single-handedly one of the best metal riffs I've ever heard, and stuff like Bridges in the Sky or the aforementioned Glass Prison or The Dark Eternal Night are masterpieces of writing riffs that are both technical and intricate while staying catchy and headbangable. The reason why they're still so big and there's 1000 new clips of people covering Dream Theater riffs and solos every week is because they write music that's challenging while still actually music, and few bands do that as well as they do, unlike dozens of tech death bands who sound like a Guitar Pro tab written by a cat. If you have a better standard of what a really good riff is than "intricate, powerful and catchy at the same time", let me know.

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Lord_Of_Diamonds
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:36 am 
 

Death By Wall of Text wrote:
Actually imo he's still a damn good singer precisely because he knows his limits and doesn't pretend he's 29 anymore. The vocals on Distance Over Time are rock solid and he doesn't attempt anything crazy, he just sticks to his strengths. I've seen them live in 2019 and (January) 2020, and he's definitely doing fine and knows how to use the voice he currently has, better than quite a few singers his age (reminder: he may not look or act the part, but he's 58)

I saw them live in late 2019 and Labrie was atrocious. First song of the night was Untethered Angel (good God, that song title is so dumb it actually hurts to type), and Labrie had absolutely no pitch control in the higher sections, even though that song is not very vocally demanding compared to what the Theater has turned out in the past. It seemed like he just tried to fly his voice as high as he possibly could and waver around, and maybe hit a few correct notes in the process. His vibrato was way too wide. He sounds like someone's slapping him vigorously on the back whenever he does a lengthy high sustained note. Not to mention his tone of voice (admittedly, it has always been very nasal) was dreadful; he sounded like a dying parrot.

The only good parts that came out of Labrie that night were the mid range parts on the ballads from Scenes from a Memory (they played that album in its entirety). He sounded fine on those. But he cannot sing high notes anymore with a proficient degree of control or accuracy, and I find it ironic that you say that he knows his limits and doesn't try to do shit that he can't do, because that night I saw them on was full of that. Labrie's singing almost ruined it for me, but the visuals and musicianship were so stunning that I stayed interested and look back on it as a great show.
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HeavenDuff
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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:50 am 
 

It's been a while since I've felt hype for new Dream Theater. But I've actually revisited some of their material over the last year, but also some Yes, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, and I don't know, I guess I'd be happy to listen to some new prog epics with soaring build-ups and nice stories being told. I guess I'll look into it when it comes out :)

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LithoJazzoSphere
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:09 am 
 

Death By Wall of Text wrote:
Six Degrees...was literally the album when they started exploring much heavier styles than the more classic heavy/thrash sound, and I don't think anyone was doing it that way in a prog format before they did (and then of course half of prog metal bands followed them).


What do you mean by this? In one sense, you could say it's actually Awake. The 7-strings and the production give it a much heavier, darker edge than I&W, and arguably even more so than anything since then. Someone earlier mentioned Pantera, and while that's obviously a big influence they freely admit to, it's contextualized in a much more nuanced and intricate way with DT, and there's nothing in metal before then that sounds like that album. SDOIT doesn't have anything particularly different to me. It's possible I'm overlooking something since I haven't heard it in full in years, but I heard it many times in the early-mid 00s. But in terms of the more extreme metal influences, those didn't really start cropping up until the late 00s when they were touring with Between the Buried and Me and Opeth and were increasingly influenced by that sound. Mike would start adding a few blast beats into his parts and harsher backing vocals (even some full on growls for a verse of an alternate take of "A Nightmare To Remember" if memory serves me).

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:21 am 
 

Lord_Of_Diamonds wrote:
a rant about LaBrie


Yeah, no. Wall of Text was entirely right about James knowing his limits. The band has since acquiesced and changes the keys to suit him accordingly (for some songs). The wailing vocal thing he does is all technique so he can power through a massive 2-plus hours set of music. Watch any interview of his on YouTube, I'm too lazy to dig one up for you and we've had this argument one too many times. He's humble enough to admit he has bad nights. I don't want a new Dream Theater singer at this point and I'm glad we're not getting one. Glad to see that even Mike Portnoy has gone on record to say James' voice is as definitive of DT as their other hallmarks after people trying to start beef between the two.

Death By Wall of Text wrote:
Uh, sorry but this is the same weird approach as that thing that came out in the Black Sabbath thread in some time ago, when it was said "Children of the Grave" is nothing special because it's just a jazz gallop played heavier or something. Yes, they've always taken influences from other metal bands like just about every metal band ever, but they way they fused it with other styles in their songwriting is what makes it unique. Six Degrees which you highlighted was literally the album when they started exploring much heavier styles than the more classic heavy/thrash sound, and I don't think anyone was doing it that way in a prog format before they did (and then of course half of prog metal bands followed them).

And this:
Quote:
I like John Petrucci but he's not a great riff-maker.

Sorry, but in that case you're just not listening. The way everyone just obsesses over his lead playing and ignores how fucking great his riffs are is the most frustrating thing about it. Fall Into The Light from DOT is single-handedly one of the best metal riffs I've ever heard, and stuff like Bridges in the Sky or the aforementioned Glass Prison or The Dark Eternal Night are masterpieces of writing riffs that are both technical and intricate while staying catchy and headbangable. The reason why they're still so big and there's 1000 new clips of people covering Dream Theater riffs and solos every week is because they write music that's challenging while still actually music, and few bands do that as well as they do, unlike dozens of tech death bands who sound like a Guitar Pro tab written by a cat. If you have a better standard of what a really good riff is than "intricate, powerful and catchy at the same time", let me know.


My simple answer to this is; I'm not saying the riffs are bad, they're functional and intricate, for sure. They're like intricate versions of what the thrash/groove bands DT is influenced by were playing. But they are informed by that style, for better or worse. DT are good at songwriting and not just crafting killer riffs, that's their forte but I can't point to Petrucci riffs as stand out as more than that they are shaping a song. This is obviously subjective. I don't go to DT for the riffs.
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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Death By Wall of Text
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:18 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:23 am 
 

Lord_Of_Diamonds wrote:
I saw them live in late 2019 and Labrie was atrocious. First song of the night was Untethered Angel (good God, that song title is so dumb it actually hurts to type), and Labrie had absolutely no pitch control in the higher sections, even though that song is not very vocally demanding compared to what the Theater has turned out in the past. It seemed like he just tried to fly his voice as high as he possibly could and waver around, and maybe hit a few correct notes in the process. His vibrato was way too wide. He sounds like someone's slapping him vigorously on the back whenever he does a lengthy high sustained note. Not to mention his tone of voice (admittedly, it has always been very nasal) was dreadful; he sounded like a dying parrot.

The only good parts that came out of Labrie that night were the mid range parts on the ballads from Scenes from a Memory (they played that album in its entirety). He sounded fine on those. But he cannot sing high notes anymore with a proficient degree of control or accuracy, and I find it ironic that you say that he knows his limits and doesn't try to do shit that he can't do, because that night I saw them on was full of that. Labrie's singing almost ruined it for me, but the visuals and musicianship were so stunning that I stayed interested and look back on it as a great show.

All I can say is that I've probably seen them live close to a dozen times now, and I've never had that experience - and I definitely can hear when that does happen (like in parts of the Chaos in Motion DVD when his performance really isn't that great). He's not held up as well as Dickinson or Halford maybe (and there's a health reason behind that), but 90% of the time he sounds completely solid live and the new albums don't go into some crazy vocal ranges that he knows he can't consistently pull off anymore. Listen to the vocals on, say "Falling Into Infinity" when his voice was damaged but the vocal parts on the album were still written as if he could sing Learning to Live in his sleep, and the vocals on DOT which sound more mature in every way.

LithoJazzoSphere wrote:
What do you mean by this? In one sense, you could say it's actually Awake. The 7-strings and the production give it a much heavier, darker edge than I&W, and arguably even more so than anything since then. Someone earlier mentioned Pantera, and while that's obviously a big influence they freely admit to, it's contextualized in a much more nuanced and intricate way with DT, and there's nothing in metal before then that sounds like that album. SDOIT doesn't have anything particularly different to me. It's possible I'm overlooking something since I haven't heard it in full in years, but I heard it many times in the early-mid 00s. But in terms of the more extreme metal influences, those didn't really start cropping up until the late 00s when they were touring with Between the Buried and Me and Opeth and were increasingly influenced by that sound. Mike would start adding a few blast beats into his parts and harsher backing vocals (even some full on growls for a verse of an alternate take of "A Nightmare To Remember" if memory serves me).

Awake definitely introduced that darker and low-tuned side, but Six Degrees introduced that more techy, aggressive riffing style that they'd never done before - I'd argue "The Glass Prison" is one of the most groundbreaking songs in their discography in how it sounds like nothing on the prior albums and it was a direction they followed afterwards (and still present to this day). Then yes, they clearly took on some more modern metal(core?) influences in the "late Portnoy era", while at the same time it seemed a lot of prog metal bands were trying to do the Glass Prison and Train of Thought thing (until the Meshuggah influence really caught on, in turn).

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
My simple answer to this is; I'm not saying the riffs are bad, they're functional and intricate, for sure. They're like intricate versions of what the thrash/groove bands DT is influenced by were playing. But they are informed by that style, for better or worse. DT are good at songwriting and not just crafting killer riffs, that's their forte but I can't point to Petrucci riffs as stand out as more than that they are shaping a song. This is obviously subjective. I don't go to DT for the riffs.

Well, for me it's kind of the other way around, I always enjoyed their riffs first and foremost, and digging into them deeper more recently as a guitarist I only found them more impressive. I think there's way more to them than just functional, which actually is the traditionally "prog" approach (usually simple riffs as a foundation for leads and such) - DT riffs are often actually somewhat spectacular by themselves, without going into that technical chromatic wankery territory most of the time. I love tracks like Paralyzed or Bridges in the Sky exactly because the main riffs sound actually spectacular, complex and intense while still remaining headbangable as hell. I have to say always enjoyed that more than the leads, which I in turn consider to be "functional" most of the time and just occasionally really amazing (e.g. At Wit's End from DOT which actually wins in both the riffs and leads department).

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:35 am 
 

Huh. We're indeed on separate ends of this. Far easier for me to name my favorite Petrucci solos than riffs. In The Name of God, Under a Glass Moon, Voices, The Root of All Evil, the leads on Ministry of Lost Souls etc. But in general I enjoy the melodies and the way they work as a band - The Test That Stumped Them All and Beyond This Life being two examples that are so good in this regard.
_________________
Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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LithoJazzoSphere
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
Posts: 2478
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:39 pm 
 

Death By Wall of Text wrote:
Awake definitely introduced that darker and low-tuned side, but Six Degrees introduced that more techy, aggressive riffing style that they'd never done before - I'd argue "The Glass Prison" is one of the most groundbreaking songs in their discography in how it sounds like nothing on the prior albums and it was a direction they followed afterwards (and still present to this day).


It's just kind of an elaboration of the sorts of riffs John had been working on already though, "Caught in a Web", "The Dance of Eternity", LTE's "Acid Rain", etc.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:29 pm 
 

John Myung on the album's title track;

John Myung wrote:
What makes this a challenge to play for me would be that it's a 20-minute epic, so the memorization aspect is the first part of the challenge. And then there are certain sections that I have to focus on. For instance, there is a classical Mozart-like section that happens in the second half of the song. It's the type of part that definitely takes a bit of practice, when taken out of context it turns into a cool little exercise all by itself.


https://www.revolvermag.com/music/dream ... world-2021
_________________
Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 1610
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2021 9:17 am 
 

Off-topic, but I wanted to share this Iranian band Hyper Planet that are teasing material for a new album. Pretty cool stuff but TOTALLY influenced by Dream Theater;

_________________
Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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