Poll

Your rating of SC...

One of DT's best
27 (9.6%)
A strong album
97 (34.4%)
Average
81 (28.7%)
Pretty bad, but has some good points
64 (22.7%)
Terrible
13 (4.6%)

Total Members Voted: 274

Author Topic: The Systematic Chaos Appreciation (and explanation of disappreciation) Thread  (Read 17892 times)

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Offline Ben_Jamin

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It's a pretty good album. I don't mind constant motion, the best part is the end of the guitar solo. Too bad he didn't do it that high on chaos in motion. it's like james' woah's on  learning to live
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Offline DarkEternalNight

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It's one of those albums where it's amazing in doses but gets bland if listened to constantly, unlike the other DT albums. I never get tired of ITPOE though.

Offline Perpetual Change

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What's everyone's problem with Constant Motion?

While I love the riffs, the vocal parts (especially Mike and James tradeoff, which works really well here), and the instrumental section, the song is just a little bit too generic for my tastes. Also, like most of the album, the actual trackplacing seems odd. They should have opened the album with it, or switched its place with Forsaken. As it, it pretty much begins a whole run of average to below average (by DT standards) songs.

Offline Gadough

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I absolutely love Myung's tone on that album.  :tup
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Offline AwakeFromOctavarium

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My rating for this album is Average, making it the worst DT album. lol
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Offline tri.ad

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An interesting thing I've noticed is that, despite this over-compressed sound, the drums sound pretty good on SC. They have more punch (the drums on BCASL seriously lack it) and are mixed pretty well (except for the Octobans; they're too loud and I don't really like their sound).
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Offline hefdaddy42

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What's everyone's problem with Constant Motion? It's hands down one of their best straightforward metal songs ever, and I don't see how it counts as bad in any possible way. I can see why someone would not like it if they're not a fan of DT's heavier side, but it doesn't count as bad in any possible way.
Straightforward metal is what I would listen to a metal band to hear.  That's just me.  Also, the lyrics are...well, not DT's best.

- the riffs. From the first second to the very ending, it's basically filled with amazing riffs that just "drive" the song in an amazing way like supposed to. They just flow perfectly, and feel really strong, so the song really manages to grab me that way.
I like the intro riff, but the verses and choruses sound like generic Metallica imitations.  Nothing inspired, nothing different.

- yes, the whole song flows perfectly. Two completely different verses, different chorus, different instrumental section, and it all holds together without a single flaw. It's 6:50 and it feels like 4 minutes or something.
I disagree wholeheartedly.  I find it to drag unmercifully.  It is 6:50 and feels like 10 minutes.  The choruses just grate on my ears.

- one of the best heavier instrumental sections in a DT song ever. Not too long, perfectly constructed. And the way the chorus flows into the first solo, with the incredible bass passage is one of the best moments on the whole album.
While I wouldn't go so far as to call it "one of the best heavier instrumental sections in a DT song ever,"  it is really good, and I like it a lot.  I just wish they had written a better song around it.  While I almost never listen to this song intentionally anymore, if it comes up on shuffle I will endure the first part, listen intently to the solo section, and then skip to the next song.

- vocals. MP's low vocals don't fit for ANTR theme. Here they fit perfectly and the second verse with both James and Mike is perfectly executed. Also, James himself does a great job here overall.
I disagree with all of this.  James doesn't sound like James, and MP, while not sounding awful, doesn't need to be singing lead at any time ever.  And the "Huh!" is just silly.

- and finally, the chorus. If it doesn't grab you, I don't know what can. It's capable of making a zombie sing along, and live it just defeats everything in existence.
I don't get this at all.  I find nothing catchy about this chorus whatsoever.  It's not even the catchiest chorus on Systematic Chaos.

At any rate, you asked, so I answered.  But don't worry, I believe there are a lot more people here who share your opinion than mine (on this song, anyway).

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

Offline ariich

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Oh, it's fantastic. I've gone into this many, many times on here so I'm not going to bother labouring the point again for the umpteenth time, but I think it suffers from being in the context of a much more serious catalogue. You've got a bunch of fairly mature albums, and then sandwiched right in the middle you've got Systematic Chaos sitting there, being thrilling and colourful and bold and vibrant and thoroughly mad. Like a good comic book, it's an adventure rather than an existential musing. It's not what most Dream Theater fans signed up for so I can see why it's not universally accepted, but it feels such a snug fit for the band.

Not in the top drawer of DT output, but a fine figure of an album. So much fun.
Couldn't have said it better!

I think its great how they made a real different approach which i believe to do with roadrunner.
Not actually true, they made the album before they found a record label.

Offline hefdaddy42

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I think its great how they made a real different approach which i believe to do with roadrunner.
Not actually true, they made the album before they found a record label.
Check out ariich, droppin' some knowledge!

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Offline ariich

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Offline Darkes7

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What's everyone's problem with Constant Motion? It's hands down one of their best straightforward metal songs ever, and I don't see how it counts as bad in any possible way. I can see why someone would not like it if they're not a fan of DT's heavier side, but it doesn't count as bad in any possible way.
Straightforward metal is what I would listen to a metal band to hear.  That's just me.  Also, the lyrics are...well, not DT's best.

- the riffs. From the first second to the very ending, it's basically filled with amazing riffs that just "drive" the song in an amazing way like supposed to. They just flow perfectly, and feel really strong, so the song really manages to grab me that way.
I like the intro riff, but the verses and choruses sound like generic Metallica imitations.  Nothing inspired, nothing different.

- yes, the whole song flows perfectly. Two completely different verses, different chorus, different instrumental section, and it all holds together without a single flaw. It's 6:50 and it feels like 4 minutes or something.
I disagree wholeheartedly.  I find it to drag unmercifully.  It is 6:50 and feels like 10 minutes.  The choruses just grate on my ears.

- one of the best heavier instrumental sections in a DT song ever. Not too long, perfectly constructed. And the way the chorus flows into the first solo, with the incredible bass passage is one of the best moments on the whole album.
While I wouldn't go so far as to call it "one of the best heavier instrumental sections in a DT song ever,"  it is really good, and I like it a lot.  I just wish they had written a better song around it.  While I almost never listen to this song intentionally anymore, if it comes up on shuffle I will endure the first part, listen intently to the solo section, and then skip to the next song.

- vocals. MP's low vocals don't fit for ANTR theme. Here they fit perfectly and the second verse with both James and Mike is perfectly executed. Also, James himself does a great job here overall.
I disagree with all of this.  James doesn't sound like James, and MP, while not sounding awful, doesn't need to be singing lead at any time ever.  And the "Huh!" is just silly.

- and finally, the chorus. If it doesn't grab you, I don't know what can. It's capable of making a zombie sing along, and live it just defeats everything in existence.
I don't get this at all.  I find nothing catchy about this chorus whatsoever.  It's not even the catchiest chorus on Systematic Chaos.

At any rate, you asked, so I answered.  But don't worry, I believe there are a lot more people here who share your opinion than mine (on this song, anyway).
Ok, this explains something. But for the first part... well, they have songs which are clearly more prog just as clearly more metal, nothing weird about that. That's the point of diversity.

Offline moffatt

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I think its great how they made a real different approach which i believe to do with roadrunner.
Not actually true, they made the album before they found a record label.
[/quote]
Ah ok didn't know that :p

Offline hefdaddy42

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Their other metal songs aren't what I would call "straightforward metal" or so obviously in the vein of Metallica.  Again, that's just the way I see it.  It's OK that you like it, but I don't.  And like I said, I think there are more here that like it than don't.

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Offline Darkes7

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Well, there's The Mirror, As I Am and Panic Attack, which are also straightforward metal or close (I'd classify CM as "heavy/thrash with a progressive touch", and in fact it fits to the other three as well).

Actually I've had the impression most people don't like it, here and elsewhere. I've seen few actually positive opinions about it, but when they were positive they were very positive. :P

Offline antigoon

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Another thing against this song: "FOREVERMORE! INTO THE NIGHT! BLISTERING!"

If the word "forevermore" is in DTXI, I'm throwing it in the garbage.

Offline Darkes7

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 :lol

By the way, I have exactly zero problem with the lyrics as well. They're exactly what I'd expect in a song which isn't trying to be a deep philosophical epic, and it's a perfect example of how it should be done.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Well, there's The Mirror, As I Am and Panic Attack, which are also straightforward metal or close (I'd classify CM as "heavy/thrash with a progressive touch", and in fact it fits to the other three as well).
Yeah, CM definitely has the thrash overtones (see: Metallica).  The Mirror and As I Am don't suffer from all the other faults I listed for Constant Motion, and don't seem quite as derivative of someone else.  I don't like Panic Attack very much.

Actually I've had the impression most people don't like it, here and elsewhere. I've seen few actually positive opinions about it, but when they were positive they were very positive. :P
Really?  I don't get that at all.

And yes, antigoon is right: FOREVERMORE! INTO THE NIGHT! BLISTERING! is just awful, awful, awful.

And it doesn't matter that the song isn't trying to be a deep philosophical epic.  Bad lyrics are bad lyrics.  A song can be a lighthearted drinking song and still have well-written lyrics.

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Offline Darkes7

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Well, there's The Mirror, As I Am and Panic Attack, which are also straightforward metal or close (I'd classify CM as "heavy/thrash with a progressive touch", and in fact it fits to the other three as well).
Yeah, CM definitely has the thrash overtones (see: Metallica).  The Mirror and As I Am don't suffer from all the other faults I listed for Constant Motion, and don't seem quite as derivative of someone else.  I don't like Panic Attack very much.
Also forgot about Lie. Well, As I Am is definitely far more Metallica-inspired than Constant Motion.

Quote
Actually I've had the impression most people don't like it, here and elsewhere. I've seen few actually positive opinions about it, but when they were positive they were very positive. :P
Really?  I don't get that at all.

And yes, antigoon is right: FOREVERMORE! INTO THE NIGHT! BLISTERING! is just awful, awful, awful.

And it doesn't matter that the song isn't trying to be a deep philosophical epic.  Bad lyrics are bad lyrics.  A song can be a lighthearted drinking song and still have well-written lyrics.
The point is, what's bad about them? You're giving six words of the chorus, and that's it. What's the problem with everything else? Doesn't it show the feeling of tension and fast thinking well? I don't think you can write it much better than that. They had a good idea for a theme for a fast-paced song, and did it really well.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Well, As I Am is definitely far more Metallica-inspired than Constant Motion.
Opinions vary.

Quote
Actually I've had the impression most people don't like it, here and elsewhere. I've seen few actually positive opinions about it, but when they were positive they were very positive. :P
Really?  I don't get that at all.

And yes, antigoon is right: FOREVERMORE! INTO THE NIGHT! BLISTERING! is just awful, awful, awful.

And it doesn't matter that the song isn't trying to be a deep philosophical epic.  Bad lyrics are bad lyrics.  A song can be a lighthearted drinking song and still have well-written lyrics.
The point is, what's bad about them? You're giving six words of the chorus, and that's it. What's the problem with everything else? Doesn't it show the feeling of tension and fast thinking well? I don't think you can write it much better than that. They had a good idea for a theme for a fast-paced song, and did it really well.
Opinions vary.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 06:15:51 AM by hefdaddy42 »

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Offline ariich

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Exactly. This thread is basically people arguing over their own subjective opinions. :facepalm:

Offline hefdaddy42

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Exactly. This thread is basically people arguing over their own subjective opinions. :facepalm:


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Offline Darkes7

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I'm considering jumping out of the window after reading the last three posts.

Offline ZKX-2099

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ITT: people forget that Dream Theater is prog metal.

Offline hefdaddy42

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I'm considering jumping out of the window after reading the last three posts.
Why?

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

Offline KevShmev

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ITT: people forget that Dream Theater is prog metal.

Who is forgetting that?  Remember, just because some us don't like a particular metal song they did doesn't mean we forgot that they are a prog metal band.  That is a misguided leap on your part.

Also, I pretty much agree with almost everything hef has said about "Constant Motion."  If I had to list the 10 worst moments in DT's career, probably four or five of 'em would come from that song alone, the "huh!" as hef called it being number one, and "forevermore, into the night, blistering" probably being number two.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Guys, just because I (or Kev, or even bosk1 or anyone else) doesn't mean you have to like it any less.  The same works in reverse.

If we all felt exactly the same about everything DT-related, there would be no reason to have this forum.  There would be nothing to talk about.

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Offline Darkes7

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I'm considering jumping out of the window after reading the last three posts.
Why?
You just nicely explained it yourself.
If we all felt exactly the same about everything DT-related, there would be no reason to have this forum.  There would be nothing to talk about.

Offline antigoon

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Isn't that good?

Offline Aniland

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I don't understand how one might call "Constant Motion" generic, because generic means that it sounds like a large number of other songs. I can't think of anything that sounds like that song.

Offline hefdaddy42

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I'm considering jumping out of the window after reading the last three posts.
Why?
You just nicely explained it yourself.
If we all felt exactly the same about everything DT-related, there would be no reason to have this forum.  There would be nothing to talk about.
That doesn't explain considering jumping out of the window.  Your love of Constant Motion and disdain for Images & Words certainly don't make me want to jump out of the window.  

But hey, whatever.

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Offline Darkes7

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It was simply a different version of "facepalm" when you two enlightened me with the amazing statement that this thread is arguing about subjective opinions, which is something I have never thought about. Even when I wanted to find out why you don't like Constant Motion.

Offline hefdaddy42

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It was simply a different version of "facepalm" when you two enlightened me with the amazing statement that this thread is arguing about subjective opinions, which is something I have never thought about. Even when I wanted to find out why you don't like Constant Motion.
Ah.  Well, I guess that when you had originally posted things like

What's everyone's problem with Constant Motion? It's hands down one of their best straightforward metal songs ever, and I don't see how it counts as bad in any possible way. I can see why someone would not like it if they're not a fan of DT's heavier side, but it doesn't count as bad in any possible way.

finally, the chorus. If it doesn't grab you, I don't know what can.

...ariich felt the need to reiterate that. 

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Offline Darkes7

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And it doesn't matter that the song isn't trying to be a deep philosophical epic.  Bad lyrics are bad lyrics.  A song can be a lighthearted drinking song and still have well-written lyrics.
Here you have the exact parallel posted by yourself...

Seriously, arguing about every single detail about how something is written never gets the discussion anywhere, and in my book it usually counts as "can't explain my opinion, so let's derail it a bit".

Offline Plasmastrike

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Or it's considered making sure everyone is on the same page and all bases are covered.

Stop being so silly. :heart

Offline Perpetual Change

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In honor of this thread, I mowed the lawn while listening to SC this morning.

It's still pretty bad. A cheese and mustard sandwich on two very tasty pieces of whole-grain bread, as someone (Maybe Orcus) once said in some less derivative way.