Poll

Your rating of SC...

One of DT's best
26 (9.6%)
A strong album
93 (34.4%)
Average
79 (29.3%)
Pretty bad, but has some good points
61 (22.6%)
Terrible
11 (4.1%)

Total Members Voted: 262

Author Topic: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation (and explanation of disappreciation) Thread  (Read 15613 times)

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Offline Darkes7

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There has been plenty of appreciation threads around recently, so I decided it's time to create this one. A great album with many excellent songs and good ideas. But it seems that a lot of people hate it. :-\ So, I'd like to know how many people think like me, and on the other hand - how many don't. To make things even clearer, I decided to make a poll.

I choose option #1, more precisely it's my third favourite, tied with Six Degrees. The Ministry of Lost Souls and Repentance are one of my DT favourites, ITPOE and Constant Motion are great, all the other songs are good. And the cover is nice. :azn:
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 03:18:14 PM by Darkes7 »

Offline Progmetty

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2009, 08:10:31 PM »
A strong album, not on DT top 3 list though.
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Offline tbw2445

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2009, 08:24:50 PM »
i do enjoy this album, but it's not in my top 5. i really love ITPOE and TMOLS a lot.
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Offline SnakeEyes

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2009, 08:55:19 PM »
I voted for "terrible." 
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2009, 08:55:44 PM »
It's a strong effort. A bit disjointed after three albums that, in each album, felt very much the same across the board in terms of feel and idea, and each of which had some sort of theme or concept (SDOIT's battles personal battles of emotions/feeling/mental issues, TOT's balls-to-the-walls heavy metal, and 8VM's musical/interval concept).

Systematic Chaos has some strong songs on it (ITPOE, TMOLS, Repentance), some very good songs (Constant Motion and TDEN), and a couple average/just-under-par songs (Forsaken and POW). I guess it's no coincidence that the three longest songs happen to appeal to me the most (as I do love my epics and long songs), but it's a bit surprising that the shorter songs didn't really (and still haven't) really latched on to me or really impressed me. I like listening to POW every now and then if I'm in a dance-y sort of mood with it's disco-beat, but that's not TOO often.

I will give DT credit for trying to throw in some new ideas and be a bit more experimental with songs like TDEN, Repentance and POW.
With TDEN, the heavy crunching riffs and distorted vocals really put the  :metal into this album, and the lyrics are also pretty f'ing  :metal
With Repentance, it instantly brought to mind softer Opeth, Porcupine Tree and some Floydian tones, something that DT has touched on but never made a full-fledged song out of it, and it really appealed to me.
With POW, the band saw itself engaging in more Muse-influence, but this time, adding MP's vocals to the bridge and excluding a guitar solo (gasp!), as well as adding crowd-chants! Very different, very unusual and very NEW for DT at the time.

The longest songs, TMOLS and ITPOE, are more or less DT-by-the-numbers but with a couple twists. Of course, there's always the discussion of JP's manga-inspired fantasy lyrics which, before fans found out what they were based upon, I thought were pretty interesting in of themselves. To find that JP was influenced (or as some would dare say had plagiarized) was a neat tidbit in my eyes. Maybe he was running out of ideas? Or perhaps that's just what he was into at the time? Every lyricist can go through periods of certain inspiration that influences their creative output, many of which have lead to great (or flopped) lyrical concepts (like those of Neil Peart, who's album's lyrics often carry themes throughout based upon his life's experiences, ideologies and feelings).

Despite all of that, I think the fantasy lyrics are fitting to the music presented here. It'd be kind of hard to imagine any other lyrics to the music of "The Dark Eternal Night" or "In The Presence Of Enemies". Overall, I'd say this was a strong effort, but it falls a bit short in my album-rankings due to some feelings about the shorter songs and it's disjointedness. I'd give it a C+/B-, on par with FII, ahead of WDADU, but just under SFAM and TOT (still leaving IAW, Awake, SDOIT and 8VM above them).

-Marc.

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Offline Scurvy!Dreams

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2009, 09:05:22 PM »
Shit sandwich.

Offline skydivingninja

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2009, 09:35:31 PM »

Offline axeman90210

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2009, 09:37:32 PM »
I enjoyed this album when it came out, but I haven't felt any urge at all to listen to it in months

Offline Jamesman42

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2009, 10:24:02 PM »
Recently, I've come to like this album a bit more than even a few weeks ago. I don't know, it's an album that, while in the bottom three albums of theirs, is an album that is still somewhat good, but not with much replay value. It's just a fun album for the most part, but the kind of fun you reserve once a month (like skinny dipping in your neighbor's pool).

Track ratings:

ITPOE 1: Awesome. 8/10
Forsaken: Meh, good solo, good harmonies. 5/10
Constant Motion: I love it 8.5/10
TDEN: Fun that can be handled any time. 8/10
Repentance: My favorite off of the album 9/10
PoW: Not as bad as people say, but it's still. . .off. 5/10
TMOLS: Huge disappointment overall for an "mini-epc" song. 3/10
ITPOE 2: By itself, part 2 is awesome in some parts, and meh in others. 7/10

I'd rate this album as a whole as a 6.5/10. Not necessarily bad, but they are capable of much better music. Yet, they are the songwriters, not me, as music is subjective.

Offline ResultsMayVary

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2009, 10:26:50 PM »
A Strong Album. My 3rd favorite DT album. I don't know why this album gets SO much hate! :facepalm:
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Offline Chagny

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 12:48:50 AM »
I picked for option #2

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2009, 01:19:20 AM »
I chose strong album. Forsaken is a good song, CM and TDEN are probably top 10 for me, PoW sucks, Repentance is a good song (with the only problem being that it drags a bit), TMOLS has some great sections even if the instrumental section is a bit long, and I love ITPOE. Compared to other DT albums it's lower down, but I still consider it a pretty good album.
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Offline Valdor

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2009, 02:46:16 AM »
Definately a strong album for me. The only songs I don't really care for are Forsaken and PoW.
Surely one day they'll work out it would be simpler and far more legal just to suckle on each others' teats in a kind of wonderful 69 of eternal calcium goodness.

Offline SPNKr

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2009, 04:09:38 AM »
It's a strong effort. A bit disjointed after three albums that, in each album, felt very much the same across the board in terms of feel and idea, and each of which had some sort of theme or concept (SDOIT's battles personal battles of emotions/feeling/mental issues, TOT's balls-to-the-walls heavy metal, and 8VM's musical/interval concept).

Systematic Chaos has some strong songs on it (ITPOE, TMOLS, Repentance), some very good songs (Constant Motion and TDEN), and a couple average/just-under-par songs (Forsaken and POW). I guess it's no coincidence that the three longest songs happen to appeal to me the most (as I do love my epics and long songs), but it's a bit surprising that the shorter songs didn't really (and still haven't) really latched on to me or really impressed me. I like listening to POW every now and then if I'm in a dance-y sort of mood with it's disco-beat, but that's not TOO often.

I will give DT credit for trying to throw in some new ideas and be a bit more experimental with songs like TDEN, Repentance and POW.
With TDEN, the heavy crunching riffs and distorted vocals really put the  :metal into this album, and the lyrics are also pretty f'ing  :metal
With Repentance, it instantly brought to mind softer Opeth, Porcupine Tree and some Floydian tones, something that DT has touched on but never made a full-fledged song out of it, and it really appealed to me.
With POW, the band saw itself engaging in more Muse-influence, but this time, adding MP's vocals to the bridge and excluding a guitar solo (gasp!), as well as adding crowd-chants! Very different, very unusual and very NEW for DT at the time.

The longest songs, TMOLS and ITPOE, are more or less DT-by-the-numbers but with a couple twists. Of course, there's always the discussion of JP's manga-inspired fantasy lyrics which, before fans found out what they were based upon, I thought were pretty interesting in of themselves. To find that JP was influenced (or as some would dare say had plagiarized) was a neat tidbit in my eyes. Maybe he was running out of ideas? Or perhaps that's just what he was into at the time? Every lyricist can go through periods of certain inspiration that influences their creative output, many of which have lead to great (or flopped) lyrical concepts (like those of Neil Peart, who's album's lyrics often carry themes throughout based upon his life's experiences, ideologies and feelings).

Despite all of that, I think the fantasy lyrics are fitting to the music presented here. It'd be kind of hard to imagine any other lyrics to the music of "The Dark Eternal Night" or "In The Presence Of Enemies". Overall, I'd say this was a strong effort, but it falls a bit short in my album-rankings due to some feelings about the shorter songs and it's disjointedness. I'd give it a C+/B-, on par with FII, ahead of WDADU, but just under SFAM and TOT (still leaving IAW, Awake, SDOIT and 8VM above them).

-Marc.
Dude, that's pretty much how I feel about the order of the albums and this album (SC).

Offline Zantera

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2009, 04:25:41 AM »
I voted for the first alternative, i'd say i rank SC the 4th best DT album.
ITPOE, Forsaken, Constant Motion, TDEN and Repentance are all masterpieces imo. (maybe a bit less on TDEN :P)
POW has a somewhat cool chorus imo, and TMOLS is really the only track imo that stands out as a bit weaker.
Overall, a 9/10 album.

Offline briang

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2009, 05:41:16 AM »
their worst album
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Offline Darkes7

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2009, 06:24:19 AM »
Wow... I'm pretty surprised to be honest, after reading a bit here (and not just here) I expected options #3 and #4 would be dominating, and I see this isn't the case.

I like it a lot that they took a pretty experimental approach with SC and did some things they had never done before - and I guess this is also the reason some people dislike this album, as it's probably a faster evolution than in case of any of their previous albums (ok, not counting WDADU->I&W :lol ). But in general, I remember I loved it at the first few listens (though the song it took me the most time to get used to was ITPOE Pt. 1 - I liked part 2 instantly, especially the awesome chorus, but couldn't get used to part 1), and the feeling hasn't really changed since. I was pretty surprised to find out a few months later that there's a lot of people who consider it to be one of the worst albums.

As for the two "weird songs" - The Dark Eternal Night is an awesome song when all I look for is fun, though this is progmetal fun :P it's great with all its insane "wankery", weird ideas and the lyrics which really makes me feel like singing along. Prophets of War - though in general I think it's one of the weaker songs, it still has some very nice - and new - ideas, and I remember that for a few days I could seriously play the song over and over because of the great guitar in the chorus. And finally Constant Motion - it was instant love for me. Together with Repentance it's become my favourite after the first listen, and I'm aware of all the Metallica influence and everything, but this song is really awesome - they said they wanted it to feel like "driving", and it really works. It feels moving forward all the time, and the instrumental part (especially the beginning with the piano) is one of my favourites. And finally... it's a real killer live. I've heard it live twice, and it was an unforgettable experience both times. :)

Glad to see I'm not alone in thinking this is a great album, then.

Offline Zantera

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2009, 08:00:10 AM »
I really think SC is a strong album, since pretty much every song has some part i remember.
ITPOE has that amazing DT-intro, Forsaken has the catchy chorus, Constant Motion has that evil riff and an amazing chorus. I also love the soloing on that song. :)
TDEN has apart from the killer intro riff, fast beats and the chorus, that piano part (that sounds like it's from a western movie).
Then the list goes on :P

Offline 2twins

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2009, 08:15:21 AM »
Love it to pieces!!!
Awakened my interest in the band.
ITPOE 1 & 2 stunning
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2009, 08:18:35 AM »
SC is a strong album, but not one of their best.  I think PoW bumps it down a few notches.
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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2009, 08:28:14 AM »
'Tis not strong. 'Tis terrible.
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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2009, 08:33:23 AM »
You 'Tis wrong
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Jamariquay

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2009, 09:39:16 AM »
I really like In The Presence Of Enemies, Pt. 1 and Repentance.

I think Constant Motion, The Dark Eternal Night and ITPOEp2 are all very fun songs.

I have no particular issue with Forsaken, but it is a little generic. Love the second verse and guitar solo though.

The Ministry Of Lost Souls starts and ends strongly, but everything in between contains some of the most vapid and uninteresting material Dream Theater has ever written. Hell of an intro and outro though.

Prophets Of War is.... Well, I give them credit for trying something new.

Overall, not even close to my favorite record, but it's certainly worth a listen every now and again.

Offline PixelDream

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2009, 09:54:49 AM »
It's one of my least favorite DT albums. That doesn't keep it from being awesome nonetheless! I love ITPE the most, cool to see they're still playing part 1 live this tour.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2009, 09:57:45 AM »
It's OK.  There is some strong stuff, and some not-so-strong stuff.  One thing it has going for it is that many of the songs are fun to sing along with, in a way that many DT albums aren't.

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Offline emindead

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2009, 10:40:16 AM »
Pretty bad.

Offline ariich

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2009, 10:45:35 AM »
Certainly not one of DT's best, but still a strong album. The only song I'm not a fan of is POW, and even that has a good bit (the really crunchy version of the chorus riff at the end). The rest of the songs range from good to excellent. Aspects of the album aren't great, but it has some excellent moments, and as hef said, it's a really good album for singing along to. I definitely consider it DT's most fun album.

Offline faemir

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2009, 11:51:39 AM »
Dream Theater are the only band that I know that I like every single song that they have ever done. Yup.

And no, i'm not a fanboi, they are only my third favourite band after all.

Offline orcus116

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2009, 12:12:34 PM »
Voted pretty bad, though I'm curious as to why an appreciation thread has any negative options.

Offline Darkes7

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2009, 02:57:35 PM »
Every appreciation thread has had some, afaik. And here positive opinions definitely dominate, which is a pleasant surprise for me.

Offline MetalManiac666

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2009, 03:03:33 PM »
Definitely a solid album...

Offline julien

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2009, 04:41:12 PM »
this is a great album

Offline MirzekDT

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2009, 03:14:03 PM »
Strong album...

I used to love it very much but it didn't age very well for me like for many other people. However I listened to it recently after a long break and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. So I think it's great album. I will never get "hate" for this album I can get disliking but why hate?

Voted pretty bad, though I'm curious as to why an appreciation thread has any negative options.

I agree this is more a "let's rate SC I think it's a great album" thread than appreciation thread but it doesn't matter that much

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OK, so I created v. 1.1 of the thread name. ;)

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Re: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation Thread
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2009, 04:55:51 PM »
Prophets Of War is.... Well, I give them credit for trying something new.

I voted average, but to be perfectly honest, I think every Dream Theater album is a strong album. I tend to rank Systematic Chaos eighth on my list, above Octavarium and Falling into Infinity respectively. Systematic Chaos gets way too much hate around here; while a few songs may not be as great as some of Dream Theater's others (see above quote), the vast majority of them are solid and dynamic tracks.
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