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Media => The Soundroom => Topic started by: Prime Mover on October 20, 2010, 02:02:40 AM

Title: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on October 20, 2010, 02:02:40 AM
I know there's lots of proggers on this site, and quite a few Dream Theater fans. And I know this comes about 6-weeks late, but it just hit me like a ton of bricks, and I never noticed a topic here, so I thought I'd post it:

Mike Portnoy announces his departure from Dream Theater (http://www.dreamtheater.net/news_dreamtheater.php#pressrelease)

Damn... sad to see him leave the dream team, but I don't think I've ever heard a more honest reason for leaving a band. With the Flower Kings turnover with drummers, and how much fun he seems to be having with Stolt, I wouldn't be surprised to hear him on one of their coming albums.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on October 20, 2010, 04:26:50 AM
It's very old news man. Saying that I was shocked is an understatement. It's not DT without MP, even if they still call themselves that. I can't imagine myself going to a DT show and seeing someone else sitting behind the drums. I always thought that they would quit if one of the founding members left, to think that they decided to go on without him instead of giving him a much needed break is surprising for me, the band needed it anyway.
I wish they'd change the singer instead.

I've been listening to a lot of videogame music lately (Meguro, Nier, etc), I guess my favorite bands are letting me down lately. POS' last album was very weak, same for DT and now to make things worse The Man himself quits the band. Oh well, it can't be helped.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on October 20, 2010, 01:27:59 PM
I wish Flower Kings would hurry up and record a new album. I would say that they've been the band "most likely to release a new album that I will like", now for a while. But they're so busy wrapped up in side projects, I worry that they may split. I hope they ask Daniel Gildenlow back, that was a great fit. In the meantime, I've been listening to Devin Townsend, which is really inspiring. I've been writing/recording enough myself, that I find myself listening to my own music now more than other bands.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on October 21, 2010, 08:28:25 AM
I've been listening a lot to Porcupine Tree. It's still prog but it's more... subtle, you know what I mean?
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on October 21, 2010, 01:22:50 PM
Can't stand PT any more. I just can't. I go way back listening to them (him), and I think he just keeps getting worse after about In Absentia. He's become a bitchy curmudgeon who won't shut up about how much he hates the world. It's just all too depressing for me these days. I know PT is pretty popular around here, and I used to be a big fan, but I've just come to loath it. Basically, every time I turn on PT, it just makes me want to play Marillion, as the two bands share a lot of the same aesthetic, but while Marillion has become warmer over the years, PT has become colder.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Dice on October 21, 2010, 01:58:12 PM
Wow - that will be some big shoes to fill, he was an amazing drummer.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on October 21, 2010, 02:55:12 PM
Wow - that will be some big shoes to fill, he was an amazing drummer.

He still is, he didn't die you know ;-)
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on October 21, 2010, 02:56:09 PM
Can't stand PT any more. I just can't. I go way back listening to them (him), and I think he just keeps getting worse after about In Absentia. He's become a bitchy curmudgeon who won't shut up about how much he hates the world. It's just all too depressing for me these days. I know PT is pretty popular around here, and I used to be a big fan, but I've just come to loath it. Basically, every time I turn on PT, it just makes me want to play Marillion, as the two bands share a lot of the same aesthetic, but while Marillion has become warmer over the years, PT has become colder.

It can get old but the music is great. Fear of a blank planet is fantastic.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Dice on October 21, 2010, 06:59:30 PM
Wow - that will be some big shoes to fill, he was an amazing drummer for the Dream Theatre experience..

He still is, he didn't die you know ;-)
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on October 21, 2010, 07:45:12 PM
It can get old but the music is great. Fear of a blank planet is fantastic.

That's the one I wanted to throw against the curb. I've stopped buying PT since. NeoProg always walked a trecherous path IMO, I think Marillion's the last one I listen to, and even then only occationally.

Want great NeoProg? Listen to ChromaKey (Kevin Moore).
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on October 21, 2010, 07:52:47 PM
It can get old but the music is great. Fear of a blank planet is fantastic.

That's the one I wanted to throw against the curb. I've stopped buying PT since. NeoProg always walked a trecherous path IMO, I think Marillion's the last one I listen to, and even then only occationally.

Want great NeoProg? Listen to ChromaKey (Kevin Moore).

I loved the first 2 albums, especially the second, but it's been going downhill ever since imo. The last OSI album was also disappointing. Radiologue is a fantastic song but the rest is very weak.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: D-Rider on October 21, 2010, 08:34:27 PM
Honestly, Portnoy's departure has made me interested in hearing new Dream Theater music for the first time in damn near a decade.  Maybe that's the shakeup they need to make them interesting again.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on October 22, 2010, 05:07:21 AM
Honestly, Portnoy's departure has made me interested in hearing new Dream Theater music for the first time in damn near a decade.  Maybe that's the shakeup they need to make them interesting again.

Changing the singer would've made me interested. Changing the drummer, not at all. Not to mention everything else he used to do for the band. He made the setlists for every individual show based on their previous setlists in the same venue, to avoid repeating songs as much as possible. I saw them 3 times in the same city in consecutive tours and only heard one song twice. One single song in 3 shows! Who does that?
He oversaw all the merchandise, he put together all those fantastic bootleg albums, he directed the dvds, he shot the making offs and all the extras you find on the dvds, he organized the tours and choose the bands they toured with, the prognation tour was entirely his idea and thanks to that I was able to see Opeth and DT in the same show. He did everything in that band, the others only had to play their instruments, the band always felt so close to the fans and it was all his doing, he's constantly on his forum talking to the fans. When they were recording an album he would constantly tease us on the forum and give us hints and descriptions of what they were doing, he was always so into it, his energy and dedication were endless.
Now all this is over, if you want updates, check the official site, that's it, that's just about all the interaction you'll get.
He also did the backing vocals on the live shows and they were a great fit for James' voice, now it will probably be Petrucci and his voice just sucks.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on October 22, 2010, 01:52:18 PM
I dunno about that last part CDFN... I'm not a huge fan of Mike's voice, he thinks he's a tenor, but his high range sucks. Just listen to his singing on Transatlantic, even on a studio album, it's off key. Meanwhile, go back to "Live Scenes from New York", listen to "Silent Man"... that's Petrucci. That's Petrucci LIVE (they said they didn't do any editing to the DVD version, which I have and has the same vocal take there). I'm sorry, but Petrucci has a great voice, Mike just pushes him out of the way in terms of singing. But I think given a chance, John will do better.

Now, in terms of fan interaction and organization, I'm with you totally.

I can't wait to see what band/project Mike ends up in. I hope he doesn't join another Metal band, actually. I get the feeling that the older he gets, the more of a Beattle he turns into, and I think that's great!
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on October 22, 2010, 02:25:55 PM
I like Mike's voice more, I'm not saying he's a good singer, just that it blends well with James' tone.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: daschrier on November 16, 2010, 11:56:29 AM
Honestly, Portnoy's departure has made me interested in hearing new Dream Theater music for the first time in damn near a decade.  Maybe that's the shakeup they need to make them interesting again.

I completely agree. The last 2 albums have been pretty awful and clear that Mike wanted to be "more metal". While Portnoy is a great drummer, his style the last few albums had been very predictable.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on November 20, 2010, 02:36:03 PM
I completely agree. The last 2 albums have been pretty awful and clear that Mike wanted to be "more metal". While Portnoy is a great drummer, his style the last few albums had been very predictable.

Curious, while I wasn't a huge fan of any album since Six Degrees (Black Clouds had some good content though), I hardly think that Portnoy wanted to be more metal. Look at all his side project stuff? He's not doing much metal any more. He said himself that he was having more fun with Transatlantic than Dream Theater, and Transatlantic is a Beatle-influenced progrock band. If I've taken away anything from his departure, it's that he doesn't really want to do metal anymore.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on November 20, 2010, 03:40:35 PM
Everything people don't like about DT is Mike's fault. The next album will be somewhere between the beatles and marillion now that Mike is gone, no doubt about it...
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: daschrier on December 06, 2010, 05:48:52 PM
I completely agree. The last 2 albums have been pretty awful and clear that Mike wanted to be "more metal". While Portnoy is a great drummer, his style the last few albums had been very predictable.

Curious, while I wasn't a huge fan of any album since Six Degrees (Black Clouds had some good content though), I hardly think that Portnoy wanted to be more metal. Look at all his side project stuff? He's not doing much metal any more. He said himself that he was having more fun with Transatlantic than Dream Theater, and Transatlantic is a Beatle-influenced progrock band. If I've taken away anything from his departure, it's that he doesn't really want to do metal anymore.

Then how do you explain Avenge Sevenfold?
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Desert Walker on April 02, 2011, 11:59:30 PM
I'm not a fan of Dream Theater (not fond of their song writing), but Portnoy is a great drummer and it will be interesting to see what he does in the future.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on April 07, 2011, 07:03:28 PM
I completely agree. The last 2 albums have been pretty awful and clear that Mike wanted to be "more metal". While Portnoy is a great drummer, his style the last few albums had been very predictable.

Curious, while I wasn't a huge fan of any album since Six Degrees (Black Clouds had some good content though), I hardly think that Portnoy wanted to be more metal. Look at all his side project stuff? He's not doing much metal any more. He said himself that he was having more fun with Transatlantic than Dream Theater, and Transatlantic is a Beatle-influenced progrock band. If I've taken away anything from his departure, it's that he doesn't really want to do metal anymore.

Then how do you explain Avenge Sevenfold?

And how do you explain transatlantic? He likes all kinds of music, the beatles are his favorite band ever. He was invited to tour with AX7 after their drummer died, things worked out so well between them that he ended up staying with them longer than he planned. He did the same thing with Fates' Warning and other bands. When people need a drummer they invite him, who he plays with is irrelevant to the nature of his contribution to DT's music.
Metal is a big part of DT's sound, it was there from the start, what really bothers people are the over the top instrumental sections that sometimes don't fit the songs at all and completely break their flow and the endless shredding. Most of the responsibility for this writing style lies with Petrucci and Rudess, not Mike.

The new album is done and they still haven't announced who the new drummer is, shit's ridiculous.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on April 16, 2011, 07:48:51 PM
When I first heard Dream Theater back in about 1992/93 it was the Images and Words album and the first word that came to mind was "epic". I was so tired of hard rock and other genres that didn't really sing about anything. Dream Theater's music was different. The music seemed like an art form, but somewhere after Metropolis II it was all gone. They are now the exact reason I hate hard rock and metal now. It is all the same as everyone else. Instead of DT going far beyond all other musical acts from their earlier form they have lowered their standards to the rest of the mediocre group of music nowadays. They just seem like generic metal. Which is why I have moved on. I wish they would make music again like the old days. I also wish James' singing would be less screaming and more singing like the old days as well.

I now enjoy Nightwish, Delain and bands like Touchstone.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on April 25, 2011, 05:41:30 PM
The Spirit Carries On Episode 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L609JsPFmmI&feature=player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L609JsPFmmI&feature=player_embedded)

Footage of the auditions (pretty much the best drummers in the world all in there) and interview with the band.

My money is on Mangini, he was the first that came to my mind when Mike left. This episode is focused on his audition.

I hate that they turned the search for Mike's replacement into a reality show.

I just watched the trailer they released previously and I can't get over how fucking childish and cheesy this is. WTF DT?


Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on April 28, 2011, 05:41:14 AM
I refuse to watch that shit.

However, I've seen Mangini live in concert, with Steve Vai. Let's just say, Steve is supposed to be one of the greatest guitar players on the planet, and didn't disappoint... and yet, it was Mangini who really stole the show. His fills were inventive, masterful, artistic, and complex, to say the least. Probably the best rock drummer I've seen in concert... and I've seen Portnoy 3 times.

Yeah... I'd be happy with Mangini.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on April 28, 2011, 07:45:52 AM
I refuse to watch that shit.

However, I've seen Mangini live in concert, with Steve Vai. Let's just say, Steve is supposed to be one of the greatest guitar players on the planet, and didn't disappoint... and yet, it was Mangini who really stole the show. His fills were inventive, masterful, artistic, and complex, to say the least. Probably the best rock drummer I've seen in concert... and I've seen Portnoy 3 times.

Yeah... I'd be happy with Mangini.

Watch it man, Mangini playing the dance of eternity is totally worth it. There's also footage from the other drummers, some crazy shit.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on April 28, 2011, 10:47:45 PM
Alright, forget what I said, I just watched the first two, and I'm glad I did. Not only that, but I think it was VERY WELL PRODUCED, and extremely interesting. It didn't feel like the filming was horribly intrusive, either. Also, I think that's probably the most I've ever heard Myung say, I'm used to him looking away from the camera and saying, "Go away, Mike".

I was a little weirded out by Jordan and James worrying about amount of interpretation. For one thing, when Jordan, himself, first came on board, he changed just about everything. For the Moore material, it was fresh and exciting, but for the Sherinian material, I thought it was bland and uninspiring. Now, granted, I wasn't particularly impressed with the interpretations that they did. Thomas's ending for Dance of Eternity was pretty bad taste, putting double-bass blasts between the final three hits... not good, that tune is supposed to come to a grinding hault, and throwing in blast beats in there destroys the pacing. Virgil seemed like a mess, personally, I think they would have serious communication and personality issues with him.

It's hard to judge for youself in these situations, because the guys give their own interpretations so much, I find myself feeling just the way they feel. But if I had been there, without the commentary, I might feel completely differently. So yeah, currently I like Mangini and Marco the best. The only ones I was personally unimpressed with, aside from the comments, were Thomas and Virgil. And yes, that's heresy cuz Virgil's a God... but I just wasn't feeling it.

Then again, my favorite new member in DT was Derek Sherinian, and they hated him, so what do I know?
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on April 29, 2011, 07:40:48 AM
I just watched episode 2 and I agree with everything you said. Like I said my money was on Mangini but Marco blew me away and I think he's going to win, during the jam parts you could tell that it worked out really well and he seems like a really nice guy too.
Roddy's blast beat was insane but it looks like he struggled with the jams.
Lang was pretty good but I agree with what you said about TDOE.
As for Donati, well, many consider him the very best drummer in the world and with good reason but I didn't feel like the chemistry was there.
Marco just rocked, fucking amazing.

I wonder why they devoted an entire episode to Mangini... My guess is that the rumours are true and they picked him. Looks like he recently left Berkley to "pursue other career opportunities"...

But man, I gotta tell you, what an overload of amazing drumming, the guys must feel privileged to have all these amazing drummers wanting to join the band.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Lard on April 29, 2011, 11:08:34 AM
Mangini is official

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=157462
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on April 29, 2011, 11:41:49 AM
Yup, here's the last episode:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QHMQjH17aw&feature=player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QHMQjH17aw&feature=player_embedded)


Mangini was so emotional when he received the news, it actually brough tears to my eyes.
Like I said, he was the first name that came to my mind and I'm happy with the choice. I would've been equally happy with Marco though and his age is a lot closer to that of the founding members. Mangini is 48, I hope he'll be able to maintain the level he has now for many years, DT tours are very exhausting.
Playing TDOE's intro with one hand while doing a stick twirl with the other is pure awesome.
Does Mangini still hold the speed record?
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on April 29, 2011, 03:30:07 PM
I'm happy. makes sense. Actually, I think the DT guys are in their mid-late 40s. They formed DT (Majesty) in 85 when they were at the end of college. So if they were roughly 20, they would be 46 now. Jordan's slightly younger I think. I was actually thinking about age a bit. Marco may be 40, but he really LOOKS young, like 30. he doesn't quite fit the DT image, as bad as that sounds. I know that's the dumbest reason not to pick a bandmate, but DT is a huge institution and they have things to consider that we may not like to think about. Petrucci may now be the CEO of that institution, but there's a lot of people to answer to. Marco may have just not matched up.

That said, Mangini is my pick for DT. I think Marco is probably the best drummer there and will go on to do wonderful things on his own. In fact, I hope he goes on to lead his own group, because I think he's really got something special that could be built into a powerful entity.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on April 29, 2011, 06:11:14 PM
I'm happy. makes sense. Actually, I think the DT guys are in their mid-late 40s. They formed DT (Majesty) in 85 when they were at the end of college. So if they were roughly 20, they would be 46 now. Jordan's slightly younger I think. I was actually thinking about age a bit. Marco may be 40, but he really LOOKS young, like 30. he doesn't quite fit the DT image, as bad as that sounds. I know that's the dumbest reason not to pick a bandmate, but DT is a huge institution and they have things to consider that we may not like to think about. Petrucci may now be the CEO of that institution, but there's a lot of people to answer to. Marco may have just not matched up.

That said, Mangini is my pick for DT. I think Marco is probably the best drummer there and will go on to do wonderful things on his own. In fact, I hope he goes on to lead his own group, because I think he's really got something special that could be built into a powerful entity.

You got it all wrong man, JM and MP are 44, JP is 43, JLB is 47 and JR is 54.
The founding members are pretty much the same age while JLB and specially JR are older. Marco would've been the youngest member with 40, Mangini is the second oldest member in the band now and 4 years older than Portnoy. I think drummers start to feel their age sooner than the other musicians so maybe going with Marco would've been the better choice in the long run. I know there are exceptions like Neil Peart but playing this shit for 2 and a half hours almost every night for months takes its toll on people.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on April 29, 2011, 10:00:06 PM
Neil isn't really an acception, in fact, he sort of proves the point. Through the 90s and on, he's resisted touring greatly, even before the tragedies that happened in his life. Word is that Geddy and Alex are up for touring a lot more, but Neil puts the breaks on. So yeah, you're probably right.

Mangini's in great shape though, in terms of drumming energy. He is the fastest drummer alive, and DT doesn't really require the level of speed that he's capable of when doing solo stuff, so I think he'll be fine.

Also the reality is, DT may be around for another decade, but it's hard for me to see them churning out an album every 2 years past their 50s. Though it wouldn't surprise me if they started releasing things more frequently now, Portnoy getting worn out probably put a damper on their album frequency.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on April 30, 2011, 07:01:06 AM
Neil isn't really an acception, in fact, he sort of proves the point. Through the 90s and on, he's resisted touring greatly, even before the tragedies that happened in his life. Word is that Geddy and Alex are up for touring a lot more, but Neil puts the breaks on. So yeah, you're probably right.



I didn't know that but it's still damn impressive. Well, no matter how good you are the years end up catching up with you. I'm impressed Jordan is still at the top of his game at that age, it's not as demanding as drumming but still having that agility with your fingers at 54 is impressive.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on May 01, 2011, 03:05:55 AM
Eh, throughout history, pianists are renown for staying impressive into old age. Asa keyboardist who's played quite a few other instruments, I can vouch that it's one of the least physically demanding instruments out there. Though, surprisingly, G3-caliber guitar playing is not physically demanding too. Steve Vai, John Petrucci, and the like have all learned to play with very little hand motion... it's WHY they can play so fast and accurately, they'll likely be able to play impressively well into their 60s or even 70s. And that goes for most bass players too. It's when you get the big showy guitarists like Pete Townsend where you find musicians who noticeably deteriorate... and even then, Pete's still pretty strong in his 60s.

Though, to be honest, I find that truly great and intelligent musicians will change when they get older, but concentrate on other things that they may have not care about in their youth, like tone and expression, or exploration into new areas that, while not as physically taxing, are fresh. Some musicians I honestly think sound better in their old age. I really like how Geddy Lee's voice has settled in his recent years... he can't do the balls-to-the-walls power screams, but noone really liked those in the first place! Robert Fripp is doing things he never would have done in the 70s.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Desert Walker on May 01, 2011, 07:00:19 AM
Eh, throughout history, pianists are renown for staying impressive into old age. Asa keyboardist who's played quite a few other instruments, I can vouch that it's one of the least physically demanding instruments out there. Though, surprisingly, G3-caliber guitar playing is not physically demanding too. Steve Vai, John Petrucci, and the like have all learned to play with very little hand motion... it's WHY they can play so fast and accurately, they'll likely be able to play impressively well into their 60s or even 70s. And that goes for most bass players too. It's when you get the big showy guitarists like Pete Townsend where you find musicians who noticeably deteriorate... and even then, Pete's still pretty strong in his 60s.

There is definitely some truth to this; in particular in regards to piano.  Pinetop Perkins (blues pianist, former Muddy Waters sideman) released an album last year.  He was 97.  Granted, he acknowledges that his left hand isn't as strong as he used to be, so he has to avoid certain pieces (in particular his formerly signature tune "Pinetop's Boogie") because he can't handle the bass lines any more, but he still put up a hell of a performance.  I imagine one can find other examples, too.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on May 06, 2011, 04:57:35 PM
Check out this interview:

http://www.moderndrummer.com/modern-drummer-blogs/Mike%20Mangini%20of%20Dream%20Theater/ (http://www.moderndrummer.com/modern-drummer-blogs/Mike%20Mangini%20of%20Dream%20Theater/)

I didn't know about his knee injury, sounds pretty bad, I hope it doesn't bother him in the future.

This part really hit me:

"In 2009, I was literally lying on the floor of my garage, completely physically and emotionally drained, unsure where my career was going. I was inventing new techniques and new drumset configurations, but I was looking at my kit, saying: Who can I play with that would allow me to use everything I’ve worked so hard to develop? Who will just let me play and be myself—a band that isn’t going to tell me I’m using too many drums, that isn’t going to tell me I don’t groove, that isn’t going to tell me the kit is too big and too expensive to carry around?"


Damn, I can only imagine the frustration. I'm glad he finally found a place where he can unleash those amazing skills without having these concerns.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on May 06, 2011, 08:21:51 PM
I didn't quite understand how he was arranging his toms. He says "apex" configuration, but as a non-drummer, I don't know what that means. The reason I'm curious is because back when I saw him with Vai 11 years ago, he had his toms setup so they played in to out, instead of left to right. It was really cool and unique, and I took special note of it, because it allowed him to play tom runs without chris-crossing.

In any case, I can't wait to hear the new album. I wonder how much he composed for it. Jordan's compositional addition was immediately felt on Scenes from a Memory, I wonder if Mike will be given a chance to really bring stuff to the table. Obviously he's not melody, but really high calliber drummers can make extrordinary composers... just look at Portnoy to confirm that.

Then again, this is a very different personell switch from any other in the band, except for maybe Moore->Sherinian. They had to let Domanici go, and it was early enough that they hadn't really established a focused identity yet. With Jordan: Petrucci and Portnoy fell it love with his playing during LTE and wanted him in the band... I think it was more that they wanted Jordan than they didn't want Derek (but I've always felt weird about that switch). Moore to Sherinian, I don't know much about. From what I hear is that they had to find a keyboardist very quickly, because Moore left right before the Awake tour. I think Derek was the first one they got, toured with them, and then he stuck around for an album and a half, so there wasn't a big long audition period.

Grrrr, talking about this always gets me mad about them firing Sherinian. I know most fans would not agree, and Jordan is absolutely extrordinary, but I think Derek was used as a scapegoat for the hugely contraversial Falling into Infinity. Funny things is, the songs that everyone hates on that album, he had nothing to do with. I always loved his solos, his organ grooves, and his balls-to-the-walls synth sounds. Some people said, "he just didn't fit in", and from a personality standpoint, I'm sure he didn't, but I thought he added a refreshing energy to their sound.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on May 07, 2011, 05:49:19 AM
Personally I liked Derek's work and I loved the sounds he used. I actually liked his sounds more than Jordan's. Jordan is hit or miss with his sounds. He can come up with things that are absolute genius and stuff that just plain sucks within the same song.
Endless sacrifice comes to mind, I love what he does right after the chorus, it's fucking epic and simple at the same time but then he does that ridiculous break at the start of the instrumental section that is absolutely retarded.
His skills are unmatched though, it's easy to see why the others wanted him in the band at all cost and overall I'm happy with his work, I love SFAM and it just wouldn't be the same without him.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on May 07, 2011, 02:56:24 PM
Six Degrees is the only Jordan album that floors me, it's possibly my favorite DT album. SFAM had it all, drama, intrigue, great construction... but for some reason, it never grabbed me. I love Metropolis, it's one of my very favorite DT songs. It actually changed my life. My friend was playing Images and Words on repeat in the background, he realized that I would like progrock, but I hadn't warmed up to it. It was during a playthrough of Metropolis that I "woke up", had some kind of epiphany or something, and from then on, I was hooked... it got me back into music in a tangible way, where I was sort of floating before, it gave me a home.

Anyway, the myth of "M2" was huge during the mid to late 90s. Then LTE happened, and I was floored... Jordan's material on those albums are incredible. When they announced he would be joining DT, I was extremely happy, since I had loved LTE, and hadn't yet really realized Derek's genius. When SFAM was finally announced, I couldn't have been more excited. I checked online every few weeks for updates, followed Portnoy's home videos of the sessions, and listened through a really low quality live stream that they leaked for 24 hours, about 6 weeks before the album was released. Then it was released, and the situation in which I acquired the album was more epic than I can really describe here (it involved being lost on my bike for 8 hours in the ohio countryside... I love getting lost). But when everything was said and done, I found myself not particularly drawn to any of the tracks. I like some sections of tracks a lot, but not any whole ones. The instrumental sections are incredibly strong, but I find the vocal melodies and lyrics to be largely fairly uninteresting. And since the whole album is so hinged on the story, that's a big problem. But the instrumental sections of Strange Deja Vu, Fatal Tragedy, and Beyond this Life, are excellent. Overture and the first half of Dance of Eternity are great (not crazy about the last 3rd, it kinda goes on too long), and I find myself drawn to the vocal sections of Home and Finally Free. But there's a lot of material I just can't get into... hardly a single track do I like all the way through.

Where-as, Six Degrees, while not as epic, has, pound for pound, the most songs I like all the way through. Pretty much every track on disc 1, with the exception of Great Debate (poop), and half the tracks on the concept album I love. The rest of the tracks on the concept album are quite good too. It features some of the most powerful instrumental sections too, notably Blind Faith, Misunderstood, The Test that Stumped Them All, and Solitary Shell.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on May 22, 2011, 06:13:04 PM
Yesterday I listened to SFAM after a long hiatus and it remains my favorite DT album. I think every single note is genius. 6DOIT is second.

Anyway, here's a video of Mangini demonstrating his setup for DT:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFFdikTwPmg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFFdikTwPmg)
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on May 24, 2011, 05:30:33 PM
Really cool, very cool. I'm surprised, after all that worry that DT had about their drummer semi-emulating Portnoy, that Mangini's setup is so radically different from Portnoy's. The hanging rack is a great idea, with the tube toms (whatever they're called), and specialty cymbals. Portnoy's set was getting so intrusively expansive that by putting much of the accessories above him, Mangini's set feels much more intimate. While I love huge sets, one of the unfortunate problems is that the drummers become so separated from the rest of the band... it's like they're in their own control tower behind the rest of the group. The first time I saw DT I was shocked at how distanced Portnoy was from everything else.

I'm really glad Mangini has kept his alternating tom layout. Even though some other artists use it, for me, it's always been a signature of his sound and style. Not only that, but it allows him to face forward more, since instead of having to turn his whole body, he just moves his arms from in to out when doing ascending and decending tom fills. Everything about Mangini's setup and playing just feels more intimate than most large kit drummers. Where Bozio, Virgil, and Portnoy get lost beneath their equipment, and spend half the show with their back to the audience.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on June 25, 2011, 11:34:17 AM
Mike's new band is sounding awesome, here's the first sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvXJG-Ch3Qg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvXJG-Ch3Qg)

Russel Allen is one of my favorite singers, having him and MP in the same band is really exciting for me. The other members are Mike Orlando (Sonic Stomp), bassist Paul DiLeo and guitarist Rich Ward (Mojo/Fozzy).

Here's a very interesting interview with Mike about the band:

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/interview-mike-portnoy-on-his-new-band-adrenaline-mob-465747/2 (http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/interview-mike-portnoy-on-his-new-band-adrenaline-mob-465747/2)

They just performed their very first show in NY, people say it was awesome.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: D-Rider on June 30, 2011, 09:09:59 PM
I just listened to that new DT song on Youtube.  I can't decide if the drums are mixed too low or I'm just paying way more attention to them than I should be. :P
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on July 02, 2011, 10:59:56 PM
Wow! These new DT songs are amazing! I'm listening to "Backs of Angels" and I heard the first few minutes of "Breaking all Illusions". This is some of the best I've heard from them in years! I'm feeling bits of Awake and 6Degrees, which are two of my favorite albums. Jordan's keys feel more alive to me, somehow.

On the otherhand, I can't stand Russell Allen. I find Symphony X to be a joke (sorry CDFN). Listening to that complication you posted just made me depressed. Mike left DT for THAT???
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on July 09, 2011, 06:01:41 AM
On the back of angels is a good song but I find it hard to get excited for new music these days. In the end I always get that "been there done that" feeling. I was happy with it, especially because they didn't go crazy with the instrumental section (only a nice piano part and a guitar solo) but I wasn't blown away and I probably wont be when I listen to the whole thing.
I also hope that the other songs will make me say "yeah this is definitely different from how MP would've approached the song" because I didn't get that in this one. I hear JP programed the drums for MM so I'm not sure how much freedom he had to come up with stuff for the songs.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on July 09, 2011, 12:14:27 PM
Been a DT fan since '92. Have to say I still think Images and Words is their best album. There are times I love James' singing...Another Day, Wait For Sleep, Wither. I guess I love his singing on slower tracks. His singing style is still very good on harder tracks, but many times it just sounds like he is screaming without carrying notes. It then hurts the instrumentation. Any other thoughts from anyone else on this? Lately, the last few albums in my opinion just sound like any other metal album. The reason I initially got in to DT was because they didn't really sound like metal...if that makes sense. They sounded like an "epic" progressive rock band.

The new track off this new album sounds promising. Maybe, my musical tastes are changing and I'm too picky, but I do hear sounds from the last album in this track. I like James' singing here though. No screaming. He doesn't have to scream...he has a great voice at times.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on July 09, 2011, 01:14:26 PM
Been a DT fan since '92. Have to say I still think Images and Words is their best album. There are times I love James' singing...Another Day, Wait For Sleep, Wither. I guess I love his singing on slower tracks. His singing style is still very good on harder tracks, but many times it just sounds like he is screaming without carrying notes. It then hurts the instrumentation. Any other thoughts from anyone else on this? Lately, the last few albums in my opinion just sound like any other metal album. The reason I initially got in to DT was because they didn't really sound like metal...if that makes sense. They sounded like an "epic" progressive rock band.

The new track off this new album sounds promising. Maybe, my musical tastes are changing and I'm too picky, but I do hear sounds from the last album in this track. I like James' singing here though. No screaming. He doesn't have to scream...he has a great voice at times.

James is very hit and miss. He sounds better on slower tracks, no doubt about it. When he has to sing fast and high simultaneously it's a disaster live, take the time is a good example. His "metal voice" sounds forced, he just doesn't have that growl in his voice like Russel Allen or to use a better known example, James Hetfield. That obviously isn't his fault but the band's musical direction in the last decade has forced him to use that style of singing a lot. In his latest solo album he actually uses another singer (who also the drummer, he actually auditioned for DT) to the growls and screams.

The lyrical content seems to be very political which I think is bad news. I think Myung contributed to fill in for MP, let's see if he hasn't lost his touch.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on July 09, 2011, 02:51:56 PM
Been a DT fan since '92. Have to say I still think Images and Words is their best album. There are times I love James' singing...Another Day, Wait For Sleep, Wither. I guess I love his singing on slower tracks. His singing style is still very good on harder tracks, but many times it just sounds like he is screaming without carrying notes. It then hurts the instrumentation. Any other thoughts from anyone else on this? Lately, the last few albums in my opinion just sound like any other metal album. The reason I initially got in to DT was because they didn't really sound like metal...if that makes sense. They sounded like an "epic" progressive rock band.

The new track off this new album sounds promising. Maybe, my musical tastes are changing and I'm too picky, but I do hear sounds from the last album in this track. I like James' singing here though. No screaming. He doesn't have to scream...he has a great voice at times.

James is very hit and miss. He sounds better on slower tracks, no doubt about it. When he has to sing fast and high simultaneously it's a disaster live, take the time is a good example. His "metal voice" sounds forced, he just doesn't have that growl in his voice like Russel Allen or to use a better known example, James Hetfield. That obviously isn't his fault but the band's musical direction in the last decade has forced him to use that style of singing a lot. In his latest solo album he actually uses another singer (who also the drummer, he actually auditioned for DT) to the growls and screams.

The lyrical content seems to be very political which I think is bad news. I think Myung contributed to fill in for MP, let's see if he hasn't lost his touch.

I know what you mean about James' live voice...hurts my ears actually. I just don't understand why a band would write music that commands a vocal style that their lead singer just can't excel at? Why not write to James' strengths which are the slower tracks. In the more epic tracks try to write segments that don't demand screaming and trying to hit notes that just ultimately don't work. Or dare I say maybe their style of  writing requires a different lead singer. I'd rather see them write music more suited for James' voice strengths.
I recently stumbled across the band Seventh Wonder and I must say I was amazed. Musically amazing and the lead sing can really sing. Love is singing style.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on July 17, 2011, 03:48:09 PM
I never cared for LaBrie. I love DT despite the vocals (maybe one reason I love LTE so much). Sometimes he's okay. I would say he's more technically competent on the slower songs, but I don't like his delivery in them, as he tends to be too melodramatic. I also just hate most of their slower songs. The majority of DTs slow songs are incredibly cheesy. But they HAVE improved. The old Kevin ballads (Wait for Sleep, Space Dye Vest, To Live Forever) were great, but John and James couldn't write a decent ballad if their lives depended on it. I happen to HATE Another Day (sounds like Kenny G) and all the ballads on Falling into Infinity and SfaM. Disappear is where things improve, they tempered the schmaltz in exchange for moody atmosphere, which they do a much better job of.

But back to your basic point, I agree, the "7-String Metal" direction that they've taken doesn't lend itself to LaBrie's voice very well. I'd love to see them do more progrock and genre crossing. What I've heard from the new album sounds very promising, though.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on July 17, 2011, 05:55:11 PM
James must've been really happy with the news of Mike's departure, it becomes more obvious with every interview.

"So it's where things should be on stage, where it's not somebody in the background trying to grab the limelight when maybe they should just be grooving or whatever."

Oh come on, really? So the singers can do whatever the hell they want and the other peasents should just stick to playing their instruments in the most discrete way possible? If I didn't know better I'd think that MP came to the front of the stage and stole James' mic.


http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=160578 (http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=160578)
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on July 18, 2011, 07:18:18 AM
Everyone knows that they just let LaBrie stand out in front, just to be nice.

Seriously, LaBrie isn't even the frontman for Dream Theater. He may talk the most, he may be IN FRONT, but for a band like DT, it's the instruments that do the REAL talking. It's always been John P and Mike.

BUT, for what it's worth, Portnoy is an attention whore. He's always yelling stuff during songs, making goofy faces, trying to do fancy stick tricks (and screwing up, most of the time). LOL, when you get a reputation for doing "stick misses" (as he calls them) several times in the show, you know you're trying too hard. But at the same time, it was fun and mostly harmless. And it really never got in the way of the show or the music.

But LaBrie... the guy has no charisma. He's the least riveting personality on stage, aside from Myung. Sure, he yells a lot between songs. But it's all "pump up" bullshit with no content. Ya know what LaBrie is? He's a fucking CHEER LEADER!

"All right New York, we're having a GREAT TIME! Keep those hands in the air! When this comes out on [fucking] DVD this is going to look awesome because of you!" (dumbest line ever)

Best live banter I hear is contextual. Tell me a little about the song, or an interesting story about a recent tour mishap. Give me some idea that you're actually part of the band, and not just shouting generic cheer squad lines. LaBrie's a boring mother fucker, when you think about it. I just try to ignore him live.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on July 27, 2011, 09:30:00 PM
Been listening to (or trying to listen to) a bunch of DT lately. Call it studying for the new album. I actually find myself skip songs on a lot of their albums. I mean maybe my musical tastes are changing also, I don't know what it is but there music (especially over the last 3 albums) doesn't wow me anymore. It just seems so generic metal which is why I liked them so much nearly 20 yrs ago. They didn't seem like generic metal. Why I liked songs like "Another Day," "Space Dye Vest," and "Learning To Live" so much was due in part to them sounding fresh and not like every other band. The current stuff is just so irritating actually to listen to. I feel like each member is just trying to show off without playing cohesive songs. There are so many bizarre sounding guitar solos on Black Clouds that just are all over the map. Doesn't feel like they fit with the song. To this day "Learining To Live" still sounds amazing and James' voice and they way he sings is perfect. He isn't forcing the lyrics.
I do like the new song but again it still has that "Black Clouds" sound. "Wither" in my opinion is the best song from that album. Others had potential, "The Count of Tuscany" started off amazing but then it gets all fast and too fast. And the growl in there I can't stand. The song ends amazing too. It's just the fast middle I can't stand. And I like the chorus except for the growl.
I hope this new album restores my faith in the band I have followed for about 20 years. I think Mike leaving might be good for them. Seemed like he was taking over musically. He is though one of if not the best drummer around. I just don't like when he sings.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on July 28, 2011, 09:21:41 PM
Agreed to a certain extent (about them sounding generic metal recently), however, I think it's just as much Petrucci's doing as Mike's. Petrucci's been the one pushing the 7-string crunch. His 7-String usage started off like Steve Vai's: using the low B for technical efficiency during fast solo material. But now it's just been relegated to Pantera/Korn influenced low chugging, which is cool when done sparingly, but they've practically become a "chug band" as of late. Not so interesting. Because Mike is big, personally loud and aggressive, and does the majority of the growling, people give him the flack for a lot of the recent aggression in DTs sound. But John does quite a bit of growling live too, and quite a bit of the big annoying tunes are his. I'm not saying Mike is blameless, but people are starting to use him as a scapegoat, just like they used Derek as a scapegoat when he was basically the only one coming up with great musical material on FII.

Also, Jordan annoys the hell out of me. He insists on taking the seriousness out of every instrumental section. Now every mid section features ragtime piano, circus music, strange noises, or some such goofball bullshit. It works great for Spock's Beard, but I don't think so much in DT. It feels like he's making every DT song into a mockery of itself. His own albums are horrendous (except for his cover album, which is wonderful), and thank GOD he doesn't write lyrics in DT... and you thought LaBrie's text was cheesy!

I think there's a lot of blame to go around. I'm hoping that Mangini will kick the guys into a new direction, and wake them from their overly-dirivitive self-mockery. But if he succeeds, don't for a second believe that it was getting rid of Mike that fixed it, it's because everyone else shaped up in the processes.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on August 01, 2011, 02:49:37 PM
Very interesting review of the new album:

http://www.rich-wilson.com/ (http://www.rich-wilson.com/)

I agree completely with everything you say Prime.

Others had potential, "The Count of Tuscany" started off amazing but then it gets all fast and too fast. And the growl in there I can't stand. The song ends amazing too. It's just the fast middle I can't stand. And I like the chorus except for the growl.

That song had potential to be one of their very best pieces, the first 3 minutes and the ending are among their finest moments. The vocal melodies are what ruins it for me.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on August 04, 2011, 03:16:48 PM
Very promissing to hear. I thought they had lost their prog edge recently. Most of their songs were either METAL or SOFT ROCK. Ultimately, Dream Theater started as a band that walked the line between Hard Rock and Metal, stylistically: driving, hard, but not really aggressive. Sorta like Iron Maiden, or a heavier Rush. More recently, they've taken on a split personality, neither of which I typically appreciate. Either their material is outlandishly aggressive, or yawningly slow and cheesy. I think they're best when their combining drama with drive, instead of trying to separate the two.

I've just been listening to LTE1 for the last few days, and missing the hell out of the turn of the century DT. In some ways, those were their finest days. As much as I LOVE Images & Words, I'd say that the material from Awake through 6 Degrees is the stuff that I was hoping would become the anchor for their stylistic development. Unfortunately, I think Train of Thought became that, a mediocre nu-metal foray that they've been recreating ever since. But LTE1 (and LTE2 as well), were just amazing works of brilliance, especially between Petrucci and Rudess. Universal Mind, Kindred Spirits, Biaxident... so much brilliance, so much drive, so much FUN! I think that's what they've been missing ever since 6 Degrees, is the shimmering brilliance and FUN: Blind Faith, Hell's Kitchen, Lines in the Sand, Dance of Eternity, 6 O'Clock, Solitary Shell. There's just something really magical about the material from those albums, something playfull, interesting, and sophisticated. Unfortunately, their playfull side died and became idiotically goofy, their sophisticated side became trite, and their interesting side became bland and repeatitive.

Every DT album since, I TRIED to look for a glimmer of the charm that they once had. Black Clouds was the first in a while that had glimpses of that playfullness, but it was still a far cry. At least it wasn't the disaster Systematic Chaos was.

But, I recommend going back and listening to LTE. There's something magical about those albums. Maybe it was because it was one of the first prog albums I got (along with Images & Words), but I think it more had to do with the unbriddled fun that the guys were having with eachother. I miss that. Maybe this new album, having a change in social dynamic, will help to revisit some of that spark.

I'm causiously hopefull... something I really couldn't say since Train of Thought.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on August 04, 2011, 08:05:59 PM
Oh I still listen to LTE regularly, those are my favorite instrumental albums ever. Acid Rain is my favorite track. SFAM and 6DOIT are my favorite DT albums, I enjoyed systematic chaos, I think it's their best post 6doit album.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on August 05, 2011, 12:50:58 PM
Probably Kindred Spirits is my favorite LTE track. That tune was just immensely emotional/joyous for me, and kind of marks a certain part of my life somehow, when I was just getting into prog. I love how it starts with this raucous, almost bluesy, hard rock section, and suddenly, the clouds part and there's this beautiful, uplifting piano melody. From there, they just morph it into a number of directions, and just when you've forgotten it, they bring it back, and build it into a huge, fun climax! Short tune, but so worth it!

Universal Mind is another one, sorta similar. Jordan seemed to love it so much, he used the mid section as his live piano solo for quite a few tours. I used to play it a lot back in college.

LTE2 was just as strong an album... wait, what am I saying... it was a STRONGER album, by far, with less filler. And Acid Rain, Biaxident, and the first 6 minutes of WTWB (which they ALMOST named the album, btw), are absolutely brilliant. But somehow LTE1 has this shimmer on a few of the tracks that I've almost never heard since, with any group.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on August 05, 2011, 02:21:20 PM
Personally I think LTE2 was a big improvement over LTE1.

Here's a snippet from bridges in the sky DT just released:

http://www.youtube.com/user/dreamtheater (http://www.youtube.com/user/dreamtheater)
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on August 06, 2011, 05:06:19 PM
Well, no doubt that LTE2 is much more polished, a bit more of an ensemble effort, and longer (30 minute warning doesn't count). And as I mentioned, I think it's a better album overall, but there's a raw magic that LTE1 had that I'll never forget.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on September 12, 2011, 01:49:27 PM
Here it comes...  I'm psyched.

Though, speaking of old favorites releasing new material, I just snagged the new Yes album yesterday, and I gotta admit, it's REALLY GOOD, far better than I was expecting. It doesn't have Jon Anderson, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing, for the first time since Drama, the lyrics are actually coherent! It's got a very moody vibe, but rocks much harder than most of their more recent albums.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 14, 2011, 05:00:16 AM
You can watch the entire metal masters clinic here:

http://www.livestream.com/anthrax/video?clipId=pla_5130e83c-0d81-435e-9bf2-847a123bf80a&utm_source=lsplayer&utm_medium=ui-play&utm_campaign=click-bait&utm_content=anthrax (http://www.livestream.com/anthrax/video?clipId=pla_5130e83c-0d81-435e-9bf2-847a123bf80a&utm_source=lsplayer&utm_medium=ui-play&utm_campaign=click-bait&utm_content=anthrax)

Portnoy, Benante, Ellefson, Bello, King, Ian and Anselmo rocking hard.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 14, 2011, 09:11:00 AM
On the back of angels video:

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.co.uk/page/News?news_id=113323 (http://www.roadrunnerrecords.co.uk/page/News?news_id=113323)
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 14, 2011, 09:29:15 AM
There's a lot to digest here so I'll give my opinion later. First impression is very positive though.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on September 15, 2011, 12:35:37 PM
First impression is kinda neutral here, but I haven't finished "Breaking all Illusions" which is rocking my ass. I'm still not digging their nuMetal guitar sound that's been prevalent since Train of Thought. I just wish they would branch out a little more like in the old days. Some hard rock, some jazzy bits, some Pink Floyd, a little Yes here and there. Breaking All Illusions does a bit more of that thought, easily my favorite on the album.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on September 15, 2011, 07:26:41 PM
I'm actually looking forward to purchasing this album soon. Heard some of it and love it while other parts I'm left with the same feeling I had with the last 3 previous albums...more metal less creativity. Breaking all Illusions is my favorite by far. The other long epic tracks just feel rushed and the tempo changes don't feel like the mesh right. Outcry is pretty good but the other 2 (forget names...oh one is Bridges in the Sky)...that one is okay I guess. I do like On the backs of Angels and I like all the slow tracks. So all in all this album is better than the last 3, but why does James sing so magical and emotional on some tracks and then they have to have a couple tracks where it is just aggressive and angry sounding? To me that isn't DT. It's DT doing what everyone else does. Going to listen to more after I pick up the album. Does anyone know if you can buy the instrumentals of all the tracks without buying the deluxe version? I don't have that kind of cash.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on September 15, 2011, 08:07:05 PM
There's also a vocal production effect that they're doing that's just really obvious. On the slow emotional songs, you can tell that they overdubbed LaBrie whispering the words, and then mixed his breathy whisper sound in over top of the normal vocals. This is a common practice in the music industry today to get really emotional sounding vocals. But they fucked it up here, and it literally sounds like, "Oh, it's a person whispering along", which it's NOT supposed to make you think of. Bad Bad production error, destroys the realism.

Outcry is pretty good too. Doesn't it quote a melody from some previous DT album? like something off of Systematic Chaos or Octovarium (I don't know, those two run together for me). Bridges in the Sky isn't very good... too bad because it's a REALLY cool title. I don't remember Lost Not Forgotten being very good either.

But Breaking All Illusions... possibly the best DT track since 6 Degrees. I mean, Count of Tuscany had some amazing stuff, but it had a lot of fluff too. These Walls and Never Enough off Octovarium were pretty good too, but the latter was SO close to Muse: Stockholm Syndrom (which is better), that it's really difficult for me to really enjoy it.

But fuck, what happened? 6 Degrees was just amazing (though everyone hated it at the time), and had so many different stylistic ideas, but after that, it's like they chopped out half of their stylistic repetoir. Solitary Shell, Blind Faith, Missunderstood, Disappear Test that Stumped Them All... upbeat neoprog, high energy fusion, moody builds, outlandish vocal fun... Peter Gabriel, Yes,  Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Queen, Talking Heads, Radiohead, Iron Maiden, all rolled into one. What happened? They used to be so diverse. Now they're just pigeonholing themselves into a corner. Diversity MADE Dream Theater special... their ability to meld distant styles. Breaking All Illusions has it, but it's pretty much absent everywhere else.

That brings me to an interesting observation. So many artists talk about finding "your own voice"... but at the same time, I think that doing so is what KILLS many artists. The exploration and mad search for ones own character is often what makes music interesting. Many of my favorite bands, if you asked me what they sound like, it's not that they have one particular sound, but it's the way in which they bring different material together that makes them unique. I'd like to count myself among that tendancy too. But it's not a question of age, but of group mentality, either your band memebers or fans or producer think they've got "your sound", and you're stuck. Fire your producer, respectfully disagree with your fans (they'll thank you for it in the end), get new bandmates, and keep searching. I should have seen this was coming when, during the Drum auditions, they were looking down at drummers trying to come up with new material for old songs.

I hope I never find my voice. The day that I feel like I know who *I* am is the day I need to stop writing music.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 16, 2011, 02:36:27 PM
Still haven't found the time to really wrap my head around these songs but here's my early opinion on some songs:

I already said I like on the back of angels, it's a good song.
Build me up, break me down might be my least favorite, the whole thing is driven by a (to quote Prime) nu-metalish riff and there's really nothing interesting going on in it. One thing I like about this album is Jordan's use of orchestral and choire sounds, I think he did a fantastic job from start to finish.
Lost not forgotten is pretty good imo.
This is the life is beautiful, I love it.
Bridges in the sky is fantastic. The chorus is very nice, the main riff is great, there's some great drumming going on, the instrumental section is great, I think this one represents DT at their best. This album also seems to be a step up when it comes to lyrics.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 16, 2011, 02:42:56 PM
Getting some serious LTE vibes from Outcry. There's definitely more prog and less metal in this album.
Far from heaven is basically Vacant 2. I like it, James is at his best in this type of song.
Breaking all ilusions is amazing. What a fantastic instrumental section, it's because of stuff like this that JP is my favorite guitarrist. Their approach to the instrumental sections is so good on this album, there's none of that tasteless and pointless shredding. Jordan also delivers, this is his best performance since SFAM, there's none of that nonsense like that stupid break in endless sacrifice, everything flows and fits. I think flow is the keyword here, the songs don't feel like different pieces randomly thrown together.
The mix is also better than in previous albums.
Fortunately I didn't miss MP, MM delivered like I expected he would.
Beneath the surface reminds me of the ballads James writes for his solo albums, it's a nice ong but nothing memorable.

Looking back on what I wrote there are indeed several highlights and I completely agree with Prime, best album since SDOIT.

Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on September 16, 2011, 03:53:25 PM
Well, I'm glad you're digging it, because it's kinda left me a bit empty. Yes, best album since 6DOIT, but that's really not saying much, since I've pretty much disliked every album since 6DOIT with a few exceptions (Count of Tuscany, These Walls, etc). And I STRONGLY disagree with you about the mix, man. By in large, not terrible (not "Vapor Trails" terrible, anyway), but the drums are mixed low, which is a really tasteless mistake to make when introducing a new member of the band. And the vocal effects I talked about really bother me... and on second listen, I realized it's not just the slow tracks too, they're doing the wisper overdubbing all over the place... bad. And honestly, I can't think of a single non-ballad tune on this album that ISN'T driven by low B-string Korn-style metal riffs, not just "Build Me Up".

Remember when DT was a progrock band with a nice metalic sheen? Now it's a just metal band with a slight progrock hue. What happened to the Trial of Tears? The Blind Faiths? The Six O'Clocks? The Under a Glass Moons? They got funky, they got bluesy, they had fun driving riffs that made you want to run around like a hyper 8-year-old! DT didn't used to be all about METAL METAL METAL... And when they were, it tended to be more Iron Maiden influenced power metal, not uber-aggressive angst-thrash. If I want aggressive shit, I'll listen to Devin Townsend, he's far more unique in that field, and has a much better sense of humor about it all.

I think I'll stop buying DT albums for a while, and check back in 6 years and see if they've gone anywhere I'd like to hear.

The day before I bought ADTOE, I picked up the new Yes album "Fly From Here"... now THAT'S a comeback album if I've ever heard one! Squire and the boys sound fresher and more youthful at 70 than DT do at 45. Instead of regurgitating their old glory days, you can really hear them stretching their stylistic muscles, there are times where it really sounds like old Dream Theater, or Pink Floyd, and there are times when they don't sound like anything I can think of. It's got a darker tone than I've ever heard on a Yes album before, but pops out into really upbeat driving rockers. Possibly their best album since Drama in 1980... though The Ladder is pretty awesome too. I have a feeling this is going to be the year of Yes and Rush for me... "Clockwork Angles" looks to be un-fucking-believable.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 16, 2011, 04:05:06 PM
I really don't hear all that agressiveness you're talking about. For a band that has albums like Train of Thought and Systematic Chaos under it's belt, I think the prog to metal ratio on this album is refreshing. I'll see how it holds up but I think it will age better than DC&SL, I only listen to a nightmare to remember and count of tuscany.
The mix isn't perfect but the loudness war syndrome isn't as bad as it was in SC for example. Drums are lower than usual but some people argue they were too loud to begin with. At least now you hear the bass and the instruments don't seem to be competing with each other, they definitely have more room to breathe. They probably would've lowered the volume of the drums sooner but that obviously wasn't going to happen with MP in the band.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on September 16, 2011, 09:35:21 PM
I remember when BC&SL debuted and I listened to it and was so disappointed...still am after I've forced myself to listen to it thinking it would get better with age. It hasn't nor has SC. Actuallly, over time SC sounds worse now than when I first heard it. Both these albums just say metal with some progressive elements to me. And MP and JL screaming and grunting is just horrible. I'm ashamed to even play them because up until those albums all the others seem so creative and I was proud to introduce someone to DT because I knew how talented they were. Now, BC&SL and SC seem like any metal act with no magic. From SC my favorite track is probably Ministry of Lost Souls followed by...can't even think of the name of it but I believe it was the first track. That's really it for me on that album. BC&SL my favorite track (believe it or not is Wither. Beyond that track there is not one other one I can listen to completely. Not one song gels together. There are parts of them that I love...for instance, the slow part in A Nightmare to remember. Then it gets all thrash metal sounding. No thanks. Count of Tuscany, I thought was magical. The beginning few minutes is awesome then it gets far too fast and aggressive for me. Then I loved its ending. So again, love pieces just not the whole compositions.

I listened to Awake today and it still sounds great. Okay, there are a couple tracks where James' singing is anything but...for an example, parts of Voices(think that was the title, it was the second part of 3 pieces), there are moments when he sings beautifully in that song and then later in the same song he's screaming or sounding real angry. It just ruins songs in my opinion. There's a couple like that on Images and Words too. Still I&W, Awake and A Change of Seasons are probably my favorite albums by DT. I can get through the whole thing without skipping pieces or tracks.

Enter the new album ADTOE. Now a few more listens in and On the Backs of Angels is good. Build me up, Break me Down is okay or would be okay if it wasn't for that annoying scream in the background. Why? Why is that necessary. Take it out and nothing is lost in the song at all. The rest of the album is generally good to great in spots. The real problem I had and still have with DT other than the screaming at times, angry yelling and the generic metal junk is the overall sound. It sounds distorted. Awake and Images sound so crisp and clean and still a lot is going on in those songs. But it sounds so much better.

I know nothing really about making music but I know what sounds like art to me. Older DT (6DOIT and prior) sounds creative, inspiring, rocking and just pure art. MOST everything since sounds like generic metal. Only now with this album has my decision been swayed back a little more to the positive where I find myself saying "Okay, they are really trying to get back to their roots while still exploring new territory." But for whatever reason they still find the need to put songs like BMUBMD on a mostly well crafted album. Heck, I wouldn't even have minded another beautiful slow or slower song instead of BMUBMD. Is it possible to have a slow but yet long progressive epic song? Without 2 guitar solos for a total of 5-7 minutes. Maybe a ballad sounding song with an orchestra. A song that still runs 10 minutes maybe. I know JP is probably the best guitarist on the planet I just don't need to be remind every other song.

Recently, I have discovered other bands that seem more creative and inspiring (Touchstone, Seventh Wonder and even Nightwish). But I am happy that DT seems to be headed back in the direction I had hoped they would. I just hope they continue on this path and get more creative and loose even more metal weight.

Oh, and is it possible to purchase the instrumental versions to the new album without buying the dexluxe $100+ set? I would gladly pay around $20 for the original album and the instrumentals. Didn't BC&SL have a release like that for under $20? Thought they did.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 17, 2011, 05:05:43 AM
The I&W influence is obvious, some people who know more about music than I do say that they even borrowed the structures of some songs. MP said that it's almost a remake of I&W.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on September 17, 2011, 03:49:24 PM
That really is bull. He's just trying to subtly bitch about things. There's very little of I&W on this album. I&W had a lot of upbeat songs, everything was warm and playful, even if it was driving and metallic. Also, I&W did a lot more sectional changeups, one song went through a lot more material on I&W than on ADTOE, so even if there was a section that didn't float your boat, they didn't repeat it to death like they do now. Again, stylistically it's also worlds apart. Tempo feels slower: less driving, more brooding.

There's no DT album that comes anywhere close to I&W, even SfaM. Now, I&W is probably not my favorite DT album (That would probably be Awake, FII, or 6DOIT), but to say that they've recaptured it is just flat out wrong IMO.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 17, 2011, 04:02:57 PM
I think there are some parts that are reminscent of that album but saying that they tried to write another I&W is way over the top. Some people apparently found bits and pieces that are almost identical to parts of I&W songs. If it's true I guess MP spotted them right away and that's why he made that comment.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: daschrier on September 17, 2011, 08:41:05 PM
Why do many tracks have a drum machine/synth drum opening? What's with the nu-metal guitars? Why is James so lifeless the last few albums?

I think Octovarium was a great release after Train of Thought, but it seems ever since they signed with Roadrunner, they've been trying to prove they're real metal or something like that.

I&W and their earlier works had emotion. I feel nothing from these latest releases. Yes, some songs kick ass, but there are many more bands who kick more ass than Dream Theater, and that's not what Dream Theater (used to) be about.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 18, 2011, 05:15:40 AM
MP interview where he goes deep into the whole DT issue:

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=163433 (http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=163433)

As for the album, I think people expect too much from this band. Besides, it's obvious that Kevin Moore was a huge part of the unique sound and writing style they had in the first 3 albums.


It's really sad that Mike and the others stopped having a personal relationship though, I really have to wonder how it came to this, you'd think that after all those years that friendship wouldn't be so easy to destroy, I find that quite shocking.
When Mike tried to reach an agreement with JP a month later he only answered through his lawyer. After 25 years of beeing like brothers this shit is fucked up.
It's time to burry this whole thing though, what's done is done, they are very happy with MM and there's obviously no turning back.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: daschrier on September 18, 2011, 09:37:58 AM
The same thing happened to Live. Ed basically cut himself off from the rest of the band, inner turmoil, and now they don't talk. The rest of the band has decided to keep on without him.

In regards to expecting too much from DT, it's most likely the same with any band. They're young, have desire and emotion, and as you get older that raw energy is harder to capture.
Title: Re: Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on September 18, 2011, 07:35:11 PM
I, for one, am proud of Portnoy for following his personal goals and not just his pocketbook. Having said that, there are many sides to the same story. I can also understand that the band members had very different personal feelings about what they wanted to do. While Portnoy might have felt drained and exhausted (probably because it sounds like he is a workaholic), Petrucci and the guys may have felt that they were on a roll and couldn't afford to lose the opportunity to keep on driving. I fault neither side for their decisions. The fact that it's put a personal rift between them is the real shame. But once again, there are many sides. It's fairly clear to me that Portnoy is a really difficult man sometimes, he's the most controlling, and possibly quite aggressive, socially. The guys may have been quietly sick of it.

He mentions Roger Waters and David Gilmour. Waters was a right asshole towards the end of his stay with Pink Floyd. He was throwing his weight around far more than any band leader should ever do, making the band a solo project, firing members for no good reason, snubbing people: media, fans, and band mates alike. It was time for him to leave. And whatever you think of Gilmour's revival (I personally love Momentary Lapse), he made it work. It's very possible that DT and Portnoy were similar, though there hasn't been nearly the control freakishness of Waters.

****

I'm starting to really warm up to the album more. On the Backs of Angles is really good, I've come to realize, and yes, it's got A LOT of similarities to Pull Me Under. However, I haven't heard any other I&W comparisons yet though.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 21, 2011, 10:40:49 AM
It just hit me how much lost not forgotten sounds like under a glass moon! I can't believe it took me 4 listens to realize this! The riffs, melodies, rythms, even the friggin' guitar solo, it's like they are ripping themselves off lol!
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on September 21, 2011, 07:22:12 PM
Eh... while I see what you mean, the similarities are only superficial. In the end, Lost Not Forgotten doesn't "feel" anything like Under a Glass Moon. It's much more visceral, dark, and angsty. Under a Glass Moon is etherial and anthematic. UAGM is a lot more structurally coherent as well. Listening with a new ear, LNF is a lot better than it first sounded, but I'm still put off by the bone-crunching guitar tone and angry vocals.

Look, UAGM was no lyrical powerhouse, I'll be the first to say that Myung's lyrics were often trite and insipid, but even if the meaning and metaphors were silly, they had a wonderful feeling to them. UAGM is very Yes inspired, to say the least. But its much more enjoyable than:

ANGRY BADASS!
EVIL BADASS!
IMORTAL BADASS!
BADASS BADASS BADASS BADASS!
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on September 22, 2011, 05:15:57 AM
UAGM's lyrics were written by Petrucci.
I don't mean literally how it sounds, I mean that they borrowed a lot from it. Several parts of the song are right there.

Anyway, Bridges in the sky and breaking all illusions are fantastic songs, though the first half is weak, overall it's a very good album.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: daschrier on September 27, 2011, 02:17:21 PM
I feel like Lost Not Forgotten was written after playing lost odyssey...
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on September 30, 2011, 08:34:12 AM
I have listened more to the new album (ADTOE) and I have to say I am more impressed each time I listen to it. I feel like it is DT of old with some new contemporary elements added in. No ridiculous angry screams. 5 minute guitar solos that don't feel like they gel with the rest of the song. Just a great album. Greatest song for me is Breaking All Illusions while the weakest would be Build Me Up, Break Me Down...it is that scream in the background that kills it for me. Actually, I was wrong saying no screams.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: daschrier on November 10, 2011, 04:38:09 PM
Already bored of this album.

What's really missing from new DT is the magic. All of their older stuff, up until 6DOIT, had a nice "romantic musical" quality to it, while still being metalish. Now they're just another metal band.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on November 16, 2011, 02:15:41 PM
Yeah, I miss 6DOIT... that really was the end of an era, and went out with a bang. Funny thing, at the time of its release, so many people complained about 6DOIT, bitched about this and that. Now, many DT fans rank it up with their favorite albums, or like me, their very favorite DT album. Not so sure why the change of heart.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on November 16, 2011, 05:09:40 PM
I fucking loved it from the start, it blew me away. I actually stopped going to DT's forum because of all the bitching, I couldn't believe all the hate I was seeing for such an amazing album. It definitely grew on people though, great albums do that.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on November 17, 2011, 01:14:01 PM
That was the first album that I got a few tracks before release. I think Glass Prison and Misunderstood. I only had a minidisc player at the time, and threw those on it. I road my bike around campus listening to it constantly, and was blown away. Then when the album was released, I road to Elyria, the next town over (about 40 minutes) and grabbed it. Happy day.

Speaking of which, I used to always have an adventure every time DT released an album during college. SfaM was the first time I biked to Elyria. I got lost, and spent 5 hours looking for the bike path back... I ended up really far away. Live Scenes from New York was the 9/11 cover debacle. It was released on 9/11 and depicted a stylized picture of the NYC skyline inside the flames of a burning apple. Portnoy made a public apology and it was all over the news, immediately the album was pulled from stores. So I rushed in to grab the last few copies with the original's cover. Should be DT collectors item someday.

But yeah, 6DOIT never ceases to amaze me. These days, probably Blind Faith and Solitary Shell are my highlights. SS, IMO, is the #1 pop song that DT has done, and they've never come close since. Blind Faith has this cool crazy celtic vibe in the middle section that just FLIES!
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Anime & RPGl and on November 18, 2011, 09:23:58 PM
I'm still listening to the new album and still enjoying it. There are a couple things I'll bring up though. James has a good voice and there will be songs where that is really displayed such as Far From Heaven, Breaking All Illusions and the other two slower tracks on the album (their names escape me). Then you have songs like BMU BMD...why does it need to sound angry and then have that screaming running through the chorus? I don't think I've listened to that song 2 times through yet. I find it incredibly out of place on this album. I used to think DT was above songs like that. It almost seems like a left over song from SC or BC&SL. Two albums which I have to say for the most part I don't like at all
.
Someone here said that DT was missing the "Magic" of old. I agree partly. I have to admit I prefer the lighter brighter more positive side of DT rather than the angry heavy metal side. I feel like any band can write that kind of music but DT has been above that that from time to time. I recently listened to some songs from 6DOIT. While musically I like most of it but the way James sings some of them I find it hard to listen to. Blind Faith is probably my favorite track on that album musically, but the way he sings the chorus Blind Faith is just painful to listen to. Why does he have to scream it? Even some of their older stuff...the songs are gorgeous but the singing is hard to understand at times what is actually being sung. Take a song like Another Day from I&W. It is a beautiful song...very emotional and a slower song by DT. There are parts that get to a point I can't really understand the lyrics because James is kind of singing/screaming them. I guess it was just his style back in the day. Today, mostly except for 80-90% of the new album he seems to sing in an angry style. Why? Lost Not Forgotten is a prime example and so is BMU BMD.  I think a song like The Count of Tuscany would be one of my favorites if it wasn't for the speed and angry sound of the middle section. The beginning and ending are so creative and magical sounding.

The funny thing about all this is that for most bands for whatever reason I wouldn't care this much. I don't know why that is other than I can say when I discovered DT their music made an impression on me. It sounded so fresh and creative from all the mindless rock and metal out there. DT wasn't afraid to do what wasn't popular. They wanted to be original and have a sound their own. I just wish they would still fully embrace that instead of now some 20+ years later trying to sound like other bands. I will say the new album is a step in the right direction. I just hope on the next album they push forward down this same path. Leave all the generic metal cliches behind and be themselves again.

Only time will tell. But one has to wonder how many albums do they actually have left in them. I mean, the older we get I would imagine it gets harder and harder to play such complex music. Aren't most of the guys in their mid or late 40s now?
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on November 19, 2011, 08:16:48 AM
I agree but like you said, it's a step in the right direction. Breaking all ilusions and bridges in the sky show DT at their best, unlike the count of tuscany where they fell into the trap of partially destroying the song's potential with a very uninspired and generic middle section, I think these 2 songs manage to fully realize the band's potential to write great prog epics in the vein of classics like learning to live.
I also have to say that this is the life might actually be their best ballad, it's really good. I'm glad that out of all these songs only one suffers from "the over the top unnecessary instrumental section" syndrome, that song obviously being outcry, but it's still a decent track and let's not forget that there are also people that go into a DT album looking for that kind of stuff.
That old sound people seem to be looking for was how DT sounded with Kevin in the band, it's pointless wanting that back, this is how DT sounds with Jordan just like falling into infinity was how DT sounded with Derek. The keys make up a huge part of the band's sound and when you change the person playing them the end result will be different.

I do like a lot of their metal output though. A nightmare to remember, the glass prison, in the presence of enemies... but I was a metalhead before getting into DT. I understand that people coming from bands like Rush, Yes, etc have a hard time getting into that stuff. But I was listening to Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura when I got into them so at first I was attracted to the heavy stuff though they ended up opening my mind to the fantastic world of prog, just like they did for so many people.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on November 19, 2011, 07:17:22 PM
Well, I started with progmetal and progrock, but the metal that I've always liked is usually either powermetal, or extreme/death (Devin Townsend and Opeth, respectively). The one black hole in my book is thrash metal... I've never been into it. Never really liked Metallica, for instance. It's always had this "asshole" quality to it that most other metal styles seem to avoid. Death is so extreme and over the top, there's nothing "badass" about it, it's just crazy... and I can appreciate that. Powermetal is all drama and energy, two things I love. But there's this "look how fucking badass I am" about thrash metal that I've always disliked. Post 6DOIT DT has a lot of thrash influence, and has that "look how fucking badass I am" quality to it, worse yet... DT aren't badass, their 40+ family men who built their reputation on institutional musical virtuosity... so it's kind of fake.

About Jame's scream choruses. Go back and listen to Under a Glass Moon and Take the Time. Those have some awful high scream sections that put Blind Faith to shame. BF is absolutely tame in comparison to TTT for instance. At least you can understand what he's saying in BF, and it's basically an operatic recitative: it's one/two notes used to deliver a spoken phrase, so it's pretty clear. It doesn't hurt that you get a cool call/response with Mike/James.

Only a few albums completely forgo the high pitched chorus screams: Falling into Infinity really. Awake has a few (end of Voices, and parts of Scarred), SfaM definitely has it's share. So Blind Faith really is pretty status quo. But on top of that you get great instrumental passages, some solid lyrics (one of DTs weaker elements).
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on November 19, 2011, 07:28:11 PM
I never liked power metal. It's just so damn cheesy, most of it just makes me cringe.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on November 20, 2011, 02:51:29 PM
I'm mostly talking the old stuff like Iron Maiden, and old bands which eventually became prog (like Fates Warning). Not really that cheesy. It's when it got taken in by hairmetal bands did it really get terrible. Arguably, PM was the original precursor to Prog Metal. Old DT is pretty much like an Iron Maiden clone with more virtuosity. Iron Maiden went on to do epics, concept albums, and odd time sigs, effectively becoming prog (Bruce Dickenson uses the term quite often).
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: CDFN on November 20, 2011, 04:05:03 PM
Oh, I love IM and FW, I was thinking about stuff like stratovarius.
Title: Re: Everything Dream Theater
Post by: Prime Mover on November 21, 2011, 03:48:03 AM
Strat isn't power metal. Well... I mean, I guess they are, but they're kind of a horrible offshoot: "virtuoso metal", I guess I would call it. I used to have a number of albums from bands like that back in the day... I hated all of them (not sure why I got them in the first place). Rhapsody, Strat, and a few others I can't remember. Horrid stuff. But most powermetal fans will be quick to disassociate themselves with those.

The cornerstone powermetal bands are probably Iron Maiden, Helloween, and Iced Earth, along with a lot of bands that are now classified as prog (Symphony X, Fates Warning, to name a few). Obviously, there's a fine line with powermetal into complete and utter cheeseball rock. Quite a few powermetal bands cross into that, but the good ones are able to mostly stay away from it.

I guess the definition of powermetal are things that would probably be considered, by today's standards "hard rock". It's more a direct descendant of the old 1970s metal bands like Sabbath and Deep Purple. It's dramatic, often pretty "fun", and tends to stay away from personal angsting.

I really feel that if you're going to be that angry sounding, it should be done with a large grain of salt. Power Metal bands are all about over-the-top drama, where-as I think thrash bands really get caught up in actually being aggressive and angry, at least it sounds like it to me.

Anger and aggression can be a fun means to high energy, but at the end of the day, it's really hard to believe that it's REAL, there-for I prefer a large dose of "nudge nudge, wink wink" with my metal. Devy and Maiden offer that in spades, which is why I love both, even if they're really different.