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Author Topic: Dream Theater  (Read 1328 times)
Prime Mover
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« on: September 24, 2013, 04:24:04 PM »

Got the new album this morning. Woah! I've only heard the first 3 tracks, but talk about a return to form! I really get a good vibe about this one.

I used to be a huge DT fan, but I haven't been particularly thrilled with any of their releases since after Six Degrees, though the last one was probably the best of the lot. But I'm really getting a 90s vibe from this. I always felt like they've been trying to put on a tough guy image since Train of Thought: lots of low 7-string work, simpler riffs, not as keyboard oriented rhythm arrangements, it just never suited them. I think they've been gradually pulling out of that, and I think they've finally done it. I was shocked to hear a "rock" song, "Looking Glass" for a change. They did some good ones back in the day, "Innocence Faded", "Solitary Shell", "Trial of Tears", "Surrounded" (though I hate the intro/outro)... maybe not the best of their work, but it helped to grow the diversity of their sound.

Still not digging LaBrie... never have. During the 90s, I hated his shrill, unenunciated screams. In the 00s they traded that for "chorus of LaBries" which I think always sounds kinda weak and cheesy. There was a time in there where he did neither, and that's probably my favorite period: FII - Six Degrees. Unfortunately, I'm not hearing a return to that and we're still getting loads of "1001 LaBries." I wish he would sit down and listen to some more Iron Maiden, even current Maiden (Bruce is even older than he is!), Dickensen knows how to write and sing a great lead line, and its that kind of stuff that always worked with DT.
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Currently Listening to: Devin Townsend, Dream Theater
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 03:09:48 PM »

Okay, now after listening to the full album, my excitement is even greater than before. This album flies, they really feel like they're into this one. A few things really stuck out:

1) they really let Manginni off the chain with this one. He's much more prominent in the mix, unlike the last album. The drums are nice and hot, just like they were with Portnoy. And he really puts in his own soul to this one... Like when I saw him with Vai about 14 years ago. Lots of tasteful tom work, creative instrument usage, he guy is a true master.

2) Myung is finally coming out of his shell! There is some great bass on this album, and now it's thick and ballsy... Almost reminding me of how the guys sounded with Tony Levin! He's finally using a bit of amp coloration (I wouldn't quite call it fuzz or distortion), but it sounds thick and juicy, words I would never use to describe Myung's playing in the past.

The final epic is easily the best 18min+ track they've done since ACOS. I used to think they'd be good at doing ultra long tunes, but when they finally got around to doing them, I was surprised that I always found them to be fairly weak, or really obviously 5-7 tunes strung together (Six degrees). This one has some nice meat on the bones. I found myself thinking of Deep Purple at times, LaBrie actually sounds pretty good! Even the orchestral interlude, though maybe a little long, wasn't as sacarine and "Disney-esque" as they've been in the past.

I believe that what makes this album successful is that I really think the guys were trying to be themselves this time. Playing with influences is fine, but on a lot of their recent albums I got the feeling that they were trying to force a particular image of themselves on people that really wasn't true. Metal (if you call DT that) often walks that line, often being fairly down-to-earth consummate musicians being cathartic and releasing their inner aggression. For the past 5 or so albums, it just sounded like an obvious act to me. And sort of like Iron Maiden finally saying that they didn't care if they were metal or not, it seem Dream Theater has also decided to stop trying to be, and just be.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 04:48:43 PM by Prime Mover » Logged


eelhouse.net
- order the new album

Currently Playing: Metroid Prime 2, Trails in the Sky, Bioshock: Infinite
Currently Listening to: Devin Townsend, Dream Theater
Watching: Star Trek: TOS, Slayers, Doctor Who (as usual)
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 08:40:20 PM »

I've gotta get my hands on this one. Need to digest the new Gorguts album first though.
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