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FirebathDan
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 1119
Location: Greensboro, NC, US
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:58 am 
 

Mediocre. Much like "Untethered", there's lots of good individual playing, but it's hardly a mindblowing complete package. Both songs could be called acceptable at the very best. I certainly appreciate the more compact song lengths/structures for not dragging the mediocrity out in a grueling way.

Mangini is playing like a house afire in both songs, can't really deny that.

I would've been crushed if you told the 2005 version of me that in 15ish years from then, the best DT could muster is "acceptable".

They are just very complacent at this point being Dream Theater Industries serving up Dream Theater-like products.
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Dembo
Dumbo

Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:58 am
Posts: 1359
Location: Crippling Velocity
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:06 pm 
 

Part 3 of their in-studio video interview:

Youtube: show

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kluseba
Making Metal Archives Reviews Great Again!

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:36 am
Posts: 626
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:22 pm 
 

The two songs are much better than almost anything on The Astonishing and Dream Theater. That's good enough for me. However, I would really like the band to try out something completely different and step out of its comfort zone like they did throughout the last decade with records like Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought and Systematic Chaos.
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blackmantram
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:51 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Colombia
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:39 pm 
 

I actually liked that song, as others have pointed out it's better than anything on astonishing but it's still average at best. Yeah, that's how low my expectations for this band are.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 6235
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:52 pm 
 

Well this album officially sounds like it'll be about as boring as The Astonishing was. Just because you increased the tempo doesn't mean it's more exciting to listen to, DT.
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PeteGas
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 2:34 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:15 pm 
 

kluseba wrote:
The two songs are much better than almost anything on The Astonishing and Dream Theater. That's good enough for me. However, I would really like the band to try out something completely different and step out of its comfort zone like they did throughout the last decade with records like Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought and Systematic Chaos.

Agreed. These guys are talented enough to play pretty much anything. Doesn’t even have to metal as far as I’m concerned.

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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
Posts: 2028
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:13 pm 
 

I've really enjoyed both new songs, especially 'Fall into the Light'. It's hard to be modern Dream Theater (or Queensryche) in these parts, but consider me excited for 'Distance Over Time'.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 26026
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:48 pm 
 

"Fall Into the Light" isn't bad at all - very safe and signature-sound though. They're clearly just writing stuff for their brand now after the bizarre experiment on The Astonishing didn't work for a lot of people. It's pop Dream Theater - it's how Metallica wrote on Hardwired, just catering to the fans in a way that at least sounds somewhat energized. I'll probably enjoy this as a kind of easy listening thing to play in the car or whatever.
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idunnosomename
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:47 pm
Posts: 245
Location: England
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:04 pm 
 

exsiccation wrote:
It's like music written by the best Dream Theater cover band in the world.

I think that's been Dream Theater since after Scenes From a Memory. They started writing longer and longer songs ("you know Change of Seasons?! Well this song is twice as long woooOOoAah"), with great big long solo sections (the like of which Awake never had), more elaborate concepts, played entire cover albums like Metallica and Iron Maiden. Portnoy kind of acted like the biggest fan of his own band, and propelled this a bit. The way they played extremely obscure material in some ways is commendable (and certainly that Mike would check what they played at a town before so they got different material was great) but it all seemed a bit... self-conscious of themselves. Like a cover band. There's something to be said for "always leave 'em wanting more". When you play three hour shows and everything from all of Change of Seasons, obscure FiI b-sides and Space-Dye Vest, there's not much left to want.

I guess Portnoy had a lot of ideas, some good, some not so. But his five-year break one would have done them a world of good. Shame it was the one time John and James said no and he left.

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exsiccation
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:49 pm
Posts: 242
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:55 pm 
 

idunnosomename wrote:
I think that's been Dream Theater since after Scenes From a Memory.

There was definitely a shift around then, though I think that Six Degrees and Train of Thought are still great albums. They clearly went in a more groove-oriented and instrumental direction, and while it' s pretty obvious there was some trend-seeking going on there, I don't think it led to a reduction in songwriting quality; some of those songs are among the band's best and most memorable.

Octavarium was a real decline, though. Standard verse/chorus structure for almost every song, more conventional melodies, a reduction in interesting transitions and time signatures; even the lyrics were phoned-in. That's been pretty much the story up until now, with the band reheating the same microwaved ideas over and over again.

The only thing that's genuinely surprised me has been The Astonishing, and that was only because it was such an incredibly awful, overblown piece of self-indulgent shit. I don't think I've heard a more genuinely awful, blindly self-obsessed album from such accomplished musicians.

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Dembo
Dumbo

Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:58 am
Posts: 1359
Location: Crippling Velocity
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:33 am 
 

Some talk about Falling into Light:

Youtube: show

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Dembo
Dumbo

Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:58 am
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Location: Crippling Velocity
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:37 am 
 

A studio walk-in interview for the album:

Youtube: show

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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 4359
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:30 am 
 

Youtube: show


I put this on in another tab and forgot it was even Dream Theater playing until LaBrie started singing.
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:52 am 
 

Snooooooore. I mean, I'd rather have this over The Astonishing, but I'd also rather have a big fat nothing over this.
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FirebathDan
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 1119
Location: Greensboro, NC, US
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:03 am 
 

So basically a melding of "Forsaken" with "Build Me Up, Break Me Down"? No thanks.

Zelkiiro wrote:
Snooooooore. I mean, I'd rather have this over The Astonishing, but I'd also rather have a big fat nothing over this.


Very well put.

DT has lost their way without Portnoy. Should be crystal clear at this point.
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Temple Of Blood
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:47 pm 
 

Why do we assume Portnoy can help right this ship? His projects on his own suck, and most of the albums he recorded with DT sucked.

I think only the rejoining of Kevin Moore can fix anything in this camp. So in other words, only the impossible.
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Temple Of Blood
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
Posts: 2120
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:11 pm 
 

idunnosomename wrote:
But his five-year break one would have done them a world of good. .


Not to their bank accounts. DT is not the kind of band who has made it to the point where they can sit on their butts for five years. This is their bread-and-butter, and in order to stay profitable they have to keep releases coming and stay on the road at a regular pace.

It's one thing to be in a band and be single, and be content being broke. It's another when you have a wife and kid counting on you to keep the money coming in just like it was before.
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kluseba
Making Metal Archives Reviews Great Again!

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:36 am
Posts: 626
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:13 pm 
 

''Paralyzed'' is a pretty generic half-ballad. It's fairly average. I like LaBrie's more natural vocals even though they had to throw in some effects again to weight the track down, especially towards the end. The keyboard work is solid and features some emotional melodies. The drum play has a few interesting technical fills and breaks. On the other side, the guitar work is terribly unspectacular. The bass guitar also fails to shine. The song writing is bland as the track sounds much longer than it actually is. And the video looks like it tries hard to jump on the bandwagon of dystopian videos. This looks like the mixture of Stryper's music video for ''Take It to the Cross'' and a trailer for ''Cloud Atlas''. This is the weakest song I have heard from the new record so far.

I have to agree that I start missing Portnoy's input as well. A Dramatic Turn of Events was a decent record and Bridges in the Sky might be among Dream Theater's greatest tunes ever but what followed so far was disappointing.
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DarthVenom
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:56 am
Posts: 635
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:47 pm 
 

Quote:
Not to their bank accounts. DT is not the kind of band who has made it to the point where they can sit on their butts for five years. This is their bread-and-butter, and in order to stay profitable they have to keep releases coming and stay on the road at a regular pace.


On a related note, there was an interview pretty recently where LaBrie cited this as a reason he decided to keep touring in the 90s after the impact of the food poisoning tore his throat. He talked about how he might have actually been able to regain his full range from the glory days of his first two DT records, if he had stayed at home and gotten better, but financially the band couldn't have tanked the loss of revenue and still kept at it as a full-time job. (at least, with LaBrie on singing duties) So he quite literally played through the pain, and ended up permanently destroying his upper range and taking a decade to restore his live pitch control. On one hand, it's refreshing to see an older singer be completely honest and say "yeah, this is what happened, and this is how much range I lost", but on the other hand, it's a reflection of just how much you need to devote completely to this in order to be a musician living off your music.
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exsiccation
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:49 pm
Posts: 242
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:12 pm 
 

I kinda like the new song. The main is alright, the verse riff has a cool little progression, and the drum sound is pretty huge.

Unfortunately, it goes absolutely nowhere after that. Running on autopilot, simple song structures, and unchallenging to listen to. That's not really the prog I expect. Maybe this is an over-correction?

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