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Author Topic: Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings  (Read 21673 times)
Prime Mover
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« Reply #105 on: July 02, 2009, 02:35:20 PM »

DAH DAH DIDDIT DAH.

Seriously, what's up with that man making up words?  :P

It's morse code. I am the truth!

But seriously, I actually don't mind making up syllables for songs. Sometimes you want to use the sound of the voice as an instrument without text getting in the way. I've done it from time to time. The "Dah Dah" in Close to the Edge actually is kinda badass, IMO. The "Cha Cha Cha" in Sound Chaser is just fucking crazy, but I love it!

BTW: I'm actually a huge fan of Tales from Topographic Oceans, I just know that it has a reputation for putting people to sleep.
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« Reply #106 on: July 02, 2009, 04:22:27 PM »

Just to actually get back on topic briefly, I'm really trying to like this album. Nightmare to Remember would be great if it were 8 minutes long. Rite of Passage is a pretty good straight forward kind of song. Wither is pretty meh. Shattered Fortress is a fucking mess and makes me sad. Best of Times is just dull. Count of Tuscany has an awesome climax.

Now go back to talking about prog.
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« Reply #107 on: July 02, 2009, 10:00:55 PM »

I think that's a pretty fair review of the album. The only one that really gets me is Count of Tuscany, the rest is "meh" to "bleh". Best of Times is so pedantic, terrible lyrical construction, repeatative riffs, no overall progression. It even fucking fades out, just to make sure we realize that the song wasn't going anywhere in the first place. Rite of Passage is alright, probably the second strongest track on the album. Nightmare is alright but it still doesn't sit right with me. Wither is aweful, but then again, very few DT slow tracks aren't.

I just picked up "Magic Pie" Motions of Desire. Wow! Now this is great music through and through. I feel like it's almost a total opposite of DTs new work: maybe one mediocre track (the title track, actually), amongst all killer cuts. Probably best described as Kansas meets I&W era DT, but with the melodic energy of Flower Kings or Yes. It's totally unappologetically progrock, but it's great music!
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« Reply #108 on: July 04, 2009, 02:36:23 PM »

Y'know, the album is growing on me.

I really like A Nightmare to Remember...up until Rudess shows up for the first of several really fucking boring keyboard solos. I'm not a Rudess hater by any means. But is it just me, or is his work with DT getting a bit tired? Honestly, if they'd cut this song down to 8-10 minutes, I'd say it was one of their best songs. Yeah the lyrcs suck, but the central riff kicks arse and the softer part works really well.

A Rite of Passage is just damn catchy, and just about manages to not outstay its welcome. Wither feels very underdeveloped, but isn't a bad song by any means.

The Shattered Fortress is the only track not growing on me. It's got some good parts, but they're all from the previous songs. At some point I'm going to string together all the AA songs and see if it works any better that way. But I doubt it. It's a really shame that the 'saga' has such a directionless ending, when really it should be the most focused considering the steps it encompasses.

The Best of Times is pretty good, I think. It just tries a bit too hard to tug the heartstrings. The intro feels very tacked on. But when it goes all Rush it's pretty fun. The lyrics are awful again. It's supposed to be really personal, but all MP's done is bring together every possible well worn image of an amazing father-son relationship, so the song feels horribly impersonal. JP's guitar work at the end is pretty damn impressive though.

As for The Count of Tuscany...you know what? I love it. Most of the lyrcis are dire. But god damn, they fucking get me in the part after the atmospheric part. Not many songs DT songs have the goosebumps effect on me, but that does. I love it. One of my absolute favourite DT moments. At is it me or does Rudess barely solo in this song? Good times! The whole thing has a really brisk feeling to it. Despite being the longest song on the album, it's pretty much the only one that doesn't feel long.

So overall, I would say it's not a bad album at all. One huge positive for me is that it's their first album in a while where you can hear their influences without having to accuse them of ripping anyone off. Yeah, some parts are very inspired by Metallica and Rush. But there are no Muse-alike songs. This time it's actually influence, rather than directly lifting from other bands. Some might disagree with me here. But regardless, that's a very good thing to me.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #109 on: July 04, 2009, 02:50:27 PM »

Sorry, I just can't get past Best of Time's lyrics... you hit the nail right on the head, I can't believe that JP is actually sincere with those awful cliches, and it really makes me feel very weird. But also, the music is just really repeatative. I always find myself expecting it to go in different directions and it never does, or it scoots into a cool part for 20 seconds before coming back to worn-out material.

As for Count of Tuscany, I'm not sure why everyone thinks the lyrics are so bad. Maybe I need to read them (I can't understand quite a few of them), but I think it's at least a fairly unique concept, and I love some of the imagery. The part about the wine is especially good... and so is the ending. My only problem is that there's no exposition on WHY the main character thinks he's about to die. It sounds like a fantasy where modern guy is taken into an ancient realm, but there's no sign of hostility, why is he so batshit scared?
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« Reply #110 on: July 07, 2009, 02:14:04 PM »

DT were at their best when they wrote songs that had heart and meaning, as has been said, their new found angst from ToT onward has been trite and lame. Everyone knows Portnoy wants to be a badass metalhead, but to turn DT into a badass metal band was a bad idea and doesn't work.

LaBrie gets a lot of flack, but some of the lyrics and melodies he is made to sing are a bit ridiculous.

Petrucci was good when he played the guitar rather than tried to shread every other solo.

Change of Seasons to me has the best of what made DT good in the first place.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #111 on: July 08, 2009, 05:13:38 AM »

Honesty, I don't know why Portnoy takes all the flack, I think it's Petrucci and Rudess who have been watering things down the most. First of all, the guitars and keyboards have become full of self-quotations, where-as the drums seem like they're actually improving. When Portnoy's not with DT, he's not a hardcore metalhead at all, and turns into a raging Beatles and prog fan! LaBrie's full of shit, always has been. His vocals are improving because he doesn't over-strain as much as he used to, but his delivery is still insipid and unbelievable. His lyrics are nothing short of terrible... with a few exceptions with some interesting metaphors in Bind Faith, but aside from that, they're horrible.
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« Reply #112 on: July 08, 2009, 12:31:25 PM »

I don't know, it always seems to me that Portnoy is the one with greatest creative control. Petrucci just seems too passive. There's numerous studio videos showing the band writing/recording the new album, and one of them has MP and JP debating an instrumental section of A Nightmare to Remember. Petrucci is insistent that the main riff progresses and then moves on, but Portnoy absolutely insists that Rudess has a solo followed by another solo and then the riff. Petrucci kind of holds his ground, but eventually gets browbeaten into it.
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« Reply #113 on: July 09, 2009, 06:21:13 AM »

Man, remember when John Myung could play bass?  I miss you, Falling Into Infinity and before!
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« Reply #114 on: July 10, 2009, 05:11:57 PM »

Man, remember when John Myung could play bass?  I miss you, Falling Into Infinity and before!

A-men, brooder! Speaking of which, why in the hell when they play Metropolis these days, and Dance of Eternity (album or live), does Myung sound totally muddy on the lighting-fast bass sections? The original Metropolis recording was clean as a whistle. Now it sounds like Shiite!

"Hello, my name is John Myung. I'm timmid, have no confidence, and am not particularly creative. I get around it, somewhat, by practicing 12 hours a day. Someone, please put me out of my missery."
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« Reply #115 on: July 10, 2009, 07:38:33 PM »

Seriously.  The only time I've heard a bass line from him recently has been on a little section in Octavarium.  Previously not after Metropolis 2.  Man...  He used to be so awesome.
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« Reply #116 on: July 15, 2009, 06:46:30 AM »

Here's the review I posted on MP's forum. Count has grown on me but I just can't get over fortress, it's a mess, no 2 ways about it.


ANTR: my favorite track on this album. The clean middle section is breathtaking and the rest is just kick ass, one of the best heavy DT songs ever. Mike's drumming is insane, the lyrics are great and flow really well throughout the song (unlike other songs on this album), the riffs are great, the whole thing just works very well.
 
AROP: typical 10 minute DT song. Great chorus. JP's solos are great but I don't like JR's parts. Some of his stuff just sounds like random notes. Good song but nothing to write home about.
 
Wither: I think this is the best short song they have ever written. Not a single second is wasted, it's amazing how such a short song can have so many highlights. JR's orchestrations, JP's solo, James singing, everything is perfect. Good lyrics too. Very tight song, it's impossible not to like this one.
 
TSF: OK, I'll try to say this without sounding too harsh. First of all, I can't believe they actually made a song where 80% of what we hear is rehashed from other songs. I mean, using a riff is alright and works in this context but the whole friggin' song?! Seriously?! To make matters worse, everything seems to have been thrown together randomly, this is the worst song writing I have ever seen. It just doesn't flow, it's a mess. I can see what MP was trying to do but it just doesn't work. There's a scream somewhere in the song that sounds atrocious. And what's with the ending? It's so anticlimatic. That drumming at the beginning of TROAE is great for a build up, not to end a song. Ending it with the glass prison intro would have made a lot more sense. JR's parts are terrible. There's no redeeming quality imo. It's a shame that the last part of the AAA saga is also the worst. I've never been so disappointed with DT.
 
TBOT: Listening to this song and knowing what it's about almost made me cry, specially the part with JR's orchestrations. The intro is beautiful and so is the solo at the end of the song. Fantastic song.
 
TCOT: First of all, this song has some of the best music this band has ever created. Everything is mindblowing. Everything. It's perfect, the sounds they used, the solos (specially the last one which proves once again that JP is god) and the riffs.
Actually, this had potential to be DT's best ever but the vocal melodies, which sound so forced in some places really stop the song from reaching another level. The lyrics aren't great but it's the way some of the lines are delivered and how they seem forced into the song that bothers me. And some lines are just plain cheesy. "I don't wanna die!" Really? Considering how well they flow in ANTR I really wasn't expecting this. But it's still an amazing song.
 
 
 
 
If TSF had been up there with TGP and TCOT's lyrics had been given more work this could have been one of their top 3 albums. As it is, I think it's inferior to SC but better than OV.
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« Reply #117 on: July 18, 2009, 05:43:46 PM »

I just bought the album and only had one listen, but my initial impression is garbage.

ANTR at around 11 minutes when the "metal" vocals came on make me roll my eyes...give me a break guys.

Portnoy's drumming is so predictable these days.

There are many bright spots on this album, but most of them are dragged down by stupid keyboard samples or pointless shreading.
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« Reply #118 on: July 18, 2009, 09:15:17 PM »

*Puts on Images and Words.*

...*Turns it off when he remembers how shit the drum sound is.*

Man, wait, why did any of us like DT at ANY point?  :P
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« Reply #119 on: July 30, 2009, 01:44:59 PM »

So it turns out that tuscany is actually a real story that happened to JP. What exactly scared the shit out of him remains unclear though.

Wither is also by JP and is about writer's block, which apparently he experienced for the first time last year.

ANTR is also a real story, JP was involved in a car accident when he was a kid. It must have been very traumatizing for him since it took him so long to write about it.

So all the lyrics on this album are actually very personal with no fantasy elements whatsoever which is a huge departure from SC, though I think that overall they worked better with the songs on that album. It definitely has some brilliant moments though you can say that about all of them. Tuscany has some really amazing music.
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