Poll

Your rating of SC...

One of DT's best
26 (9.5%)
A strong album
94 (34.4%)
Average
81 (29.7%)
Pretty bad, but has some good points
61 (22.3%)
Terrible
11 (4%)

Total Members Voted: 265

Author Topic: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation (and explanation of disappreciation) Thread  (Read 16535 times)

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Offline Sigz

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 :facepalm: LBS is another album that I always enjoy when I put it on, but rarely ever put on.
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Offline AcidLameLTE

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What a n00b. Lightbulb Sun >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Systematic Chaos.

Offline Sigz

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God you fail. I'm not talking about their quality, just a similar listening habit I have for both.

Noob.
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Offline AcidLameLTE

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Either way, that makes you a n00b.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Are you just not good at the whole "people disagreeing with you" thing?
No, he isn't.

You've really zeroed in on Darkes, haven't you? Just an observation I'm making.
I don't want to be.

Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline Fluffy Lothario

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I'll openly admit I'm quite the fussy listener when it comes to most genres I listen to. One of the things I can't really swallow is fantasy metal lyrics, or only in exceptional cases. So SC was pretty much destined to be a difficult listen for me.

ITPOE - This song is okay. Not my favourite of their epics, not my least favourite. The Dark Master section is bad, and I'm no big fan of the lyrics, but I can sit through them for the music, which is good pretty much the whole way. Unlike most people, I actually like The Reckoning.

Forsaken - I have no real problems with this song.

Constant Motion - as some have said, great solo, but I can pass on the song overall.

TDEN - Pass.

Repentance - one of my favourite DT songs. Perhaps not top 10 anymore, but definitely still top 20, I'd say.

Prophets of War - Pass. Although I think the best part of the song is MP's rap (dunno if that's blasphemy or not)

TMOLS - one of my least favourite DT songs. It's almost ironic that a lot of the complaints surrounding this song are about the solo section, considering that's the only bit of the song that's tolerable to me, but it's still not particularly noteworthy.

Overall? I dunno, it's okay. Not the worst album in the world, but the only songs on there I have much interest in checking out are Repentance and Forsaken, most of the time.

Offline Perpetual Change

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I haven't listened to SC in a while, but going through the songs:

ITPOE 1: Awesome.
Forsaken: Pretty damn good.
Constant Motion: Solid, but nothing special.
TDEN: meh.
Repentance: Some great parts, but it draaaggss
PoW: Fun song.
TMOLS: Basically goes Awesome-Ugh-Awesome
ITPOE 2: meh.


It's strange that on a song by song basis like this I'd say it's a somewhat solid album, but that I still never find myself wanting to listen to it. I guess it suffers from Lightbulb Sun syndrome.

For me, Systematic Chaos is more like DT's Fear of a Blank Planet.  Both albums  have an abundance of wonderful musical passages, but cruddy lyrics and songs that just seem to drag on ruin the experience.

Taking the metaphor one step further, Black Clouds and The Incident are both albums which seem to be a big leap back in the right direction, even if neither can touch the bands' best material. 

Offline orcus116

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I'd say The Incident captures the essence of Porcupine Tree much better than Black Clouds does with Dream Theater but that isn't a bad analogy.

Offline Sigz

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Not for me; I'd probably rate BCSL lower than SC at this point.
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Offline antigoon

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Me either. FOABP is my favorite PT album *runs*

Offline bosk1

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@Darkes7:

1.  I love Constant Motion.  Love it.  Definitely a top-20 DT song (which is saying a lot given the company I put that song in in the top 20)
2.  Even given #1, your posts make very little sense.  And your condescending tone toward anyone who disagrees with you are starting to irritate me.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline Jamesman42

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@Bosk:

1. It's a great song, although I wouldn't rank it quite that high.
2. Even given #1, your opinion makes very little sense to me. And your administrative tone toward anyone who posts here is has nothing to do with what I am talking about.

Offline bosk1

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@James:

1.  LOLWUT
2.  :bosk1:
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline Jamesman42

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Offline Darkes7

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@Darkes7:

1.  I love Constant Motion.  Love it.  Definitely a top-20 DT song (which is saying a lot given the company I put that song in in the top 20)
2.  Even given #1, your posts make very little sense.  And your condescending tone toward anyone who disagrees with you are starting to irritate me.
1) Great to hear.
2) There were two counting maybe as "condescending". Both for the simple reason that explaining something for the 1457th time is tiresome (I tend not to ask for the same explanation again... but that's me), especially if someone is clearly contradicting themselves and I'm getting a very strong feeling it's nothing else than prejudice for the whole album - as it appears in many "you know, I recently listened to Systematic Chaos and it's actually really good" posts in this thread.

Not going to follow this, just wanted to explain. My two-man fanclub recently following me in the DT sub-forum has done a good work at making me stop wanting to post here, you can be happy.

Offline BRGM

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I think consant motion along with forsaken are the weakest songs on SC, rest of the albm is awesome imo though

Offline KevShmev

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The idea that there is a bias or a prejudice against SC is just ridiculous.  I mean, we are all DT fans, so why would a bunch of us randomly decide to gang up and hate on SC for no reason?  It makes no sense.  The idea that many of us either don't like SC that much or think it pales in comparison to most or all of their other albums is much more plausible.  

And sure, some of us can listen to it and think "this ain't so bad," but for me, it has very little replay value, aside from a song or two.  To me, the mark of a truly great record is one that makes you want to listen to it all of the time, and SC appears to not pass that test for a lot of us.  If it does for you, super, but expecting everyone to think the same way about a record that you do is simply not realistic.

Thank goodness for differing opinions! :biggrin: :)

Offline Perpetual Change

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The guys in DT are big boys. I hate seeing them bashed constantly, but no one knows being a fan (and a disappointed fan) better than Mike Portnoy. Really, there is no need to rush to DT's defense every time someone says something negative about one of their songs or albums. Lord knows Mike has been on both sides of that monkey-business plenty of times.   Imagine, for a moment, the Mike Portnoy of Another World getting banned from a Queensryche or Metallica or Rush forum.  It is a very plausible scenario.  So don't feel bad for them, and don't get fired up for things that really don't qualify as needless bashing.

Offline orcus116

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Thank goodness for differing opinions! :biggrin: :)

Get out of here with your devil talk!

Offline TL

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Though SC is probably my second least favorite DT album, I still like it. It's not as amazing as my favorites, but it's still a fun, listenable album.
Almost everything I didn't like about SC was greatly improved upon with BC&SL, so none of it really bothers me.

Also, it happened to come out when I was dealing with some tough times, and it was exactly what I needed, so it has a special significance for me.

Offline LCArenas

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THIS JUST IN: After months of considering TMOLS boring, I decided to give it another chance today. I liked it a lot this time. I think it's just about the mood I was the first moment I heard it. Still, I don't know why I still can't consider the album excellent as a whole when most of the songs are good... I just consider the album good, no less, no more.

Offline chaossystem

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I don't know why, but if I absolutely HAD to pick a favorite DT album, this would be it. Considering that I'm probably one of the bands older fans, (just a few weeks away from my 52nd birthday) it would seem strange that I pick one of their "heavier" albums. the only song I don't like is "The Ministery of Lost Souls' It's just too depressing. But the rest of the songs would still make an excallent full-length disc.
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Offline KevShmev

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My head hurts after skimming through this thread again. :lol :lol

Offline Wither

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Systematic Chaos
« Reply #163 on: March 18, 2016, 05:12:10 PM »
When I saw the ranking the Dream Theater albums, I was shocked to see how low SC was! :o
Why is that?

ITPOE- This is the "epitome" of what Dream Theater is. Twenty five minutes of just pure epic! I've had a thing for "fantasy" songs and it is really epic. I'm not going into full detail until I make the list, but it is awesome.

Forsaken- Who cares how short this song is? The chorus is really catchy, Rudess is fine with his piano playing and James is awesome. Who needs a long, shreddy solo when you have Forsaken's solo? The Forsaken solo reminds me of my namesake, Wither. Short, but delivers the perfect message.

Constant Motion-Heavy riffing. AWESOME SOLO. One of the songs in which I thought Mike sounded badass. Have you seen Rudess' solo on the Making of SC?  :o :o
Seriously. What a talented man. Petrucci's was epic as well as Myung throughout the song, especially the song before the solo.

The Dark Eternal Night-Dee-doo-doo. The introduction riffing is amazing. One of the most technical instrumental section's ever. The band is on FIYAH! Did you see Myung? XD Good stuff. Also, Portnoy's vocals sound so bad ass. I AM THE LAASST! Yeah. this song kicks serious ass. The suck and gay track are at 0. XDDDD

Repentance-IMO, the best song on Portnoy's suite. It's a ballad and may seem bloated to some, I think the length is perfect. I love Labrie's delivery and his voice is so soft and smooth. Petrucci is the real rocker here. That solo with Rudess is just absolutely insane. If I close my eyes, I can feel myself being swayed by the solo. As guest artist's spoke, I was really elated when I heard Steve Wilson. STEVE WILSON had a cameo! The chorus of ahh's are also really charming and draws you in. In no way is this song bloated. Every part was necessary.

Prophets of War-Actually, one of my favorite songs by Rudess. When Portnoy spoke those last words, it sounded so badass. Actually, I find myself enjoying this song more than Blind Faith and I think it's waay better than Blind Faith. Please don't castrate me. The fan chanting is also a nice feature. Really enjoyed it and when Petrucci and Labrie had a duet, it sounded good.

The Ministry of Lost Souls-A ballad. Nice. Another fiction love story and I love it. Love the introduction as everything fades to Petrucci's acou-elec guitar. Also, love the transition to that insane solo. That was really a dramatic turn of events. I enjoyed it nonetheless. The ending was the nice finisher as Petrucci closes it off. I love it so much.

So, it has epics, ballads, and nice single's. Why is it not widely loved? I thought it would be one of people's favorite albums. It has a nice mix of prog rock and prog metal and delivers on all edges. Thoughts?
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Offline bosk1

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Wither, we already have a thread for this album.  If you are going to start a thread for a particular album/song, we probably already have one, so use that.  Use this index thread to help you find them:  http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=34237.0
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Offline Enigmachine

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Really great album, SC is. I think it ranks lower mostly in how it doesn't really have any definable direction (which DT have said themselves) and as such, hasn't got the feeling of coherence that an album like Awake or Octavarium has. It's one of the few DT albums that feels like a collection of songs rather than a singular unit.

Offline bosk1

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I rank this album mid-tier.  It is one of my most listened to since its release.  The "problem," if you want to call it that, with this album is that the quality to me feels very inconsistent.  Much like Images & Words, it contains some of my absolute favorite DT songs and some of my least favorite.  The good songs are among DT's best.  But it has two of VERY few DT songs I actively dislike (Prophets and TMOLS), and one that is brilliant in concept, but that I don't listen to because it just doesn't move me at all in the execution (Repentence).  But my edited version with ITPOE, Forsaken, Constant Motion, TDEN gets a LOT of plays.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline Wither

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Wither, we already have a thread for this album.  If you are going to start a thread for a particular album/song, we probably already have one, so use that.  Use this index thread to help you find them:  http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=34237.0

Thank you so very much! :)
 
Really great album, SC is. I think it ranks lower mostly in how it doesn't really have any definable direction (which DT have said themselves) and as such, hasn't got the feeling of coherence that an album like Awake or Octavarium has. It's one of the few DT albums that feels like a collection of songs rather than a singular unit.

Ah, I can see why. What about Images and Words? Isn't that basically like a collection of songs also? Yet, it is highly, highly loved.

I rank this album mid-tier.  It is one of my most listened to since its release.  The "problem," if you want to call it that, with this album is that the quality to me feels very inconsistent.  Much like Images & Words, it contains some of my absolute favorite DT songs and some of my least favorite.  The good songs are among DT's best.  But it has two of VERY few DT songs I actively dislike (Prophets and TMOLS), and one that is brilliant in concept, but that I don't listen to because it just doesn't move me at all in the execution (Repentence).  But my edited version with ITPOE, Forsaken, Constant Motion, TDEN gets a LOT of plays.

Do you the edited version for all to hear? If so, may I listen to them?  :biggrin:
You don't like Prophets and TMOLS? How come? I personally think Prophets is one of James' best.
I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down. And all my best creations, burning to the ground. The thought of starting over, leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again, another one that got away.

Offline chaossystem

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I'm surprised we agree on this as much as we do, bosk. I've always said I don't like Minstry, and while I like Prophets, it is the WEAKEST of all the songs that I like, with Repentance coming in a close second. I don't mind Repentance being a "slower" song, and I'm aware of WHY it's the way it is, but there are parts of it that should be reworked or omitted. I like the version of it Portnoy did with it with Flying Colors.
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Offline TAC

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Bosk, Systematic Chaos is definitely not:
  Much like Images & Words,

You may have to turn in your keys to the DTF Car if continued infractions occur.

 ;D


...And I like SC.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline MirrorMask

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Since I don't really like this album, as the title suggests, here's my explanation... it has too much of those elements I like the least about DT, namely the random solo sections and them "trying too hard" to be heavy in a "contemporary" way, or whatever was contemporary at that time and that may feel dated after some years.

Never before or since I had in the heavy songs the least liked tracks on an album, and the double punch of Constant Motion and The Dark Eternal Night really drags the album down for me. Constant Motion is too much "modern metal", too much "Hey James sing like Hetfield", too much dominated by Portnoy's vocals. And the song after that has atrocious lyrics, a kind of heaviness I don't really feel attracted to (and I do love heavy stuff, I'm a metalhead first and foremost, not a progster), and the mandatory (at the time) solo section that I would assume lasts the exact time it took them to write it, 5 minutes. I must admit however that when played live, they actually get you rocking so it's not all gone to waste, but still I hope with an always growing back catalog to never ever listen to any of these songs live, give me You Not Me instead.

This "Hey let's put on our LTE hats and conjure up a solo section to stick in the middle of the song" approach drags down songs already long (In the Presence of Enemies, which overall isn't bad, it has some great and catchy moments) or ruins songs that could have been awesome - The Ministry of the Lost Soul is a beautiful, touching and emotional somber slow piece, and gets hijacked for 5 minutes just because. I have a 8-9 minute edit version that completely cuts out the instrumental detour and it works just fine.

So what remains? on a DT album I should never like the most the "easy" song, but that's what happens here with Forsaken, given the failure of the heavy songs and the bloated solo sections dragging down the others, I like Forsaken the most, this song truly rocks. Prophets of War has a nice catchy punch as well, but come on, second "Muse" song in a row after Never Enough? Repentance is something different for them and I don't really mind the spoken section, but it's really part of a bigger structure anyway.

It's not that I hate this album, it's still DT, but the aforementioned things really leave me too little to appreciate compared on the basically complete and uninterrupted love I felt for the other albums from beginning to end. To those of you who like it, well, good for you, I won't say you're wrong, you have one more DT album to love than me (but then again, those who love Systematic Chaos may, for example, loathe The Astonishing that I madly love, so it's all balanced out I guess).
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 05:44:06 AM by MirrorMask »

Offline Enigmachine

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Ah, I can see why. What about Images and Words? Isn't that basically like a collection of songs also? Yet, it is highly, highly loved.

Part of it may be that IaW is about 20 mins shorter. Also, I'd say that IaW is more carefully paced. It's hard to explain what I mean by that, though. Maybe it's also that all IaW songs have the same sort of mindset while songs like TDEN and Repentance have a very different mindset. IaW has quite a consistent mystical vibe to it, probably due to the production and keyboard sounds.

Offline DragonAttack

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A fan of only four years at the time of this release.  Their first studio album that I knew about ahead of the release date, and had time to anticipate.  But it was also following 'Octavarium', which remains my favorite, and 'Score'.   The heaviness and darkness of SC seemed almost like 'Train of Thought: Part 2'.   So it meant that two of the three studio releases after discovering the band were nowhere near my 'comfort zone'.    With that in mind............   

ITPOE Pt.1  - 9+  A higher grade due to it following 'Psycho' and 'Ant Odyssey' when I saw them in DC in '08.   
Forsaken - 7 - In spite of the vampire lyrics.
Constant Motion-8.5  it lives up to its name in a whirlwind fashion.   MP vocals work for me here.    Short and to the point.   I am surprised when I see comments from many that I share similar likes/dislikes, but really hate this one.  Such is music.                             
Repentance - 7 (if all spoken parts are deleted, otherwise it would be removed).  MP's spoken words are too loud and too in my face.  I don't like to be preached to.  The rest of it sets a mood, lets one drift, soothing solo, nice 'choir' ........       
Prophets of War - 7.0, short, to the point, with a nice play on words. MPs vocals and the shouts work.  It's an anti-war machine song, it should be angry.  This one also worked out well live.       
Ministry of Lost Souls - 8.5  All of it works well for me.  The ending is too long in concert, but works fine as an album closer.

Grade:  oh, let's say B-.  Total time: approx. 52 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Oh, almost forgot                                                                                                                                                                       
TDEN......I'm too old, those beginning vocals are an instant headache, and there's nothing appealing to me.  As mentioned earlier, I know from concerts that it has its fans.  I probably listened to it twice when it first came out, and twice since.  One time in concert, once on the Luna cd.   
ITPOE PT2.......I listened to this a LOT when it first came out.  I love the vocals, most of the music (especially parts V and VI, which are my 'bonus tracks' on my edited version), but I'm not into that style of lyrics.  I just listened to it in its entirety for the first time in about five years.  Neither of us has aged that well.     

I know my version doesn't work for some/many.  But it works for me, and was 'acceptable' for playing in the car with my wife when SC came out.  And some DT on long car trips is better than no DT.

Offline namgalsipsclar

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Not a great fan of this one, had to go with the "Some good bits but mostly bad" option.

ITPOE Pt.1 - 4/10 Pretty bland, and unfortunately there's nine minutes of it and a sequel.
Forsaken - 5.5/10 It's listenable but not catchy, and LaBrie's voice starts to grate here. Cool piano intro but uninspired chorus
Constant Motion - 8.5/10 Excellent all round. Hardly a work of absolute genius but has a lot of energy
The Dark Eternal Night - 6/10 Cheesy but not as bad as some say. Too long and bloated though.
Repentance - 3/10 Very forgettable. Solo isn't as amazing as many would say
Prophets of War - 7.5/10 Catchy and I like the chorus. Solid song.
The Ministry of Lost Souls - 7/10 Individual parts of this song are really good, if only they could cut it down by eight minutes or so....
ITPOE Pt.2 - 5/10 "Dark Master" chorus is cool, but they can't fill 17 minutes with it. Every bit as forgettable as Pt.1, but at least has one good part

Constant Motion is the only song I wouldn't skip if it popped up on shuffle, most of the album is very mediocre. ITPOE is probably the worst epic in their catalogue, although Illumination Theory might have something to say too.

Offline erwinrafael

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For me, SC was like DT finding themselves a bit confused as to what DT is. It was band at the crossroads.