Author Topic: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread  (Read 182789 times)

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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #140 on: January 28, 2016, 11:13:19 PM »
The Astonishing is definitely my top Dream Theater album. I have said earlier that this is not really comparable to the other DT studio albums in that it is written as a musical theater piece than a traditional studio music album. That said, hearing how it really flows so well as a 2-hour musical with the character themes remaining consistent and with a coherent metaphorical story, I can only marvel at the craftsmanship in writing and arranging this album. Other concept albums (including SFAM) really just uses the concept / narrative as an element attached to the songs, but this one really integrates the music and the concept seamlessly. This IS a story told through music, not an album of songs that just happened to have a story tacked onto it.

Offline Nel

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #141 on: January 28, 2016, 11:13:49 PM »
My Youtube subscription feed is currently dominated by the official band channel uploading a shit-ton of tracks from the album.  :lol

Offline pdurbin22

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #142 on: January 28, 2016, 11:16:23 PM »
"Moment of Betrayal" is 10X more badass within the context of the album. My initial opinion was "oh, this is cool, but it reminds me of Behind the Veil". As a kick-off to Act II, it's freaking stellar.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 11:34:56 PM by pdurbin22 »

Offline j

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #143 on: January 28, 2016, 11:21:24 PM »
I haven't listened to much of this yet, just the first few tracks, but Dystopian Overture is the tits!

Unfortunately, though I don't doubt there will be some great music on this album, the very fact that it's over 2 hours long is gonna be prohibitive, since I never really have a chunk of free time that long to commit.  Hopefully enjoyment isn't contingent on an uninterrupted listening experience.

-J
Yeah, I'm hep. This weekend I'm going to drive up to Texoma to visit some friends, which is the perfect length of time to listen to it twice and familiarize myself with it, yet the car I'm driving has no working CD player.  :lol

Bummer!  My car also has no working CD player.  :lol  And just last month I finished interviewing all over the place, plenty of rental car and plane time would have been ideal.  Guess we're SOL for the time being.

-J

Offline evz

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #144 on: January 28, 2016, 11:21:37 PM »
HDJAN29 - code for 15% off storewide at HDtracks...

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #145 on: January 28, 2016, 11:22:34 PM »
"Moment of Betrayal" is 10X more badass within the context of the album. My initial opinion was "oh, this is cool, but remind of Behind the Veil". As a kick-off to Act II, it's freaking stellar.

Yep, it's like it's the emotional release after the build-up from A Tempting Offer, The X Aspect, and Road To Revolution. Works very very well within the context of the story.

Offline As I Am

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #146 on: January 28, 2016, 11:24:14 PM »
VERY good album. Quite different. Major props to JP!
8/10

Offline Bertielee

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #147 on: January 28, 2016, 11:33:13 PM »
VERY good album. Quite different. Major props to JP!
8/10

Well, I didn't think you would rate it that high. Actually, higher than me for that matter. OK, as this is thet thread dedicated to our reviews of TA, will copy-paste what I wrote in the other thread. Of course, my opinion might chhange after multipe listens :

Act 1 :

Down : too many tracks beginning with piano, making them too samey
            the drum sound still bothers me
            where is JM (as far as creativity is concerned)?

Up : some really nice melodies in there
        JLB is really good and has a lot to sing (paradoxically, I sometime found he had too much to sing)
        many new things never heard before in a DT album

Stand out tracks : The Gift of Music, Lord Nafaryus, A  Savior in the Square, Three Days, The X Aspect, A New Beginning



Act 2 : Better for me than Act 1, but it might change. Otherwise, it confirms my initial impressions : too much piano-driven tracks and too many slow (for lack of a better word) tracks. A lot of new things explored but also some things heard before in their catalogue. Ja mes is really really good and it is really his album, more so than Rudess's in my opinion. Frankly, no guitar solo has really grabbed my ear so far.

Stand out tracks : Moment of Betrayal, The Path that Divides, Our New World (OMG! What a treat! Much too short anyways), Astonishing

All in all, kuddos to the guys for having tried something like that so late in their career. May not be their best album, but it's really a great effort to expand theit musical universe.

B.Lee
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Offline DragonAttack

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #148 on: January 28, 2016, 11:34:40 PM »
I get chills at times.  There's just soooo much to take in.  Almost wish it was three hours, because there's plenty of melodies that could have been repeated a few more times.  This is going to be great on stage.

note to those without car cd players or sitting in airports and airplanes:  get a Walkman.  The perfect travel companion.

Offline pdurbin22

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #149 on: January 28, 2016, 11:38:59 PM »
So is Act II being overlooked by many simply because of fatigue?  I gotta say - it's edging out Act I for me.

Offline Pragmaticcircus

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #150 on: January 28, 2016, 11:39:44 PM »
So DTF, DT are uploading the album to their YouTube but the video is still locked on the website. WHAT THE HELL IS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"The thing that kills me is all these bands that use huge words in their lyrics, 'I'm swimming in a vortex of apathy.' I'm like, 'What?' I don't walk up to a friend and go 'That's a stylin' looking vortex of apathy you've got there pal. I was swimming up a river of deceit myself."
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Offline lovethedrake

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #151 on: January 28, 2016, 11:41:53 PM »
The moment has finally come!!!!         Some quick thoughts:   

I am through the song "Chosen" and have only listened to everything once so I expect my opinions to change drastically as is usually the case with DT.   Not to mention the fact that I still have 19 more tracks to go!!!

The Good:

 Sound is excellent, its beautiful to listen to a DT album that sounds great again.   
 Labrie sounds fantastic
The musicianship and creativity is top notch
There are already plenty of moments where I thought "wow thats the best thing they have done since SDOIT"
Dystopian Overture is FREAKING AWESOME!
I love the theatricality of the voices etc...   although I am hoping there is more of this as the album progresses.   

The Bad:

Its extremely ballad heavy.  There are moments when you expect the songs to be up beat and rock out and then it just goes right back to a ballad.  As good as JLB is on this album there is almost too much of him and Petrucci is surprisingly low in the mix at times.   I am someone who loves the prog side of DT and prefers the less metal side but even I think they could have rocked out a bit more so far through 15 tracks.


One thing is for certain, this is the different, unique, and fresh sounding album we have all been pining for since SDOIT.    Overall the good far outweighs the bad and I am sure that many of the songs that feel like "fluff" to me right now will grow on me a ton.

 




Offline pcs90

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #152 on: January 28, 2016, 11:45:19 PM »
Its extremely ballad heavy.  There are moments when you expect the songs to be up beat and rock out and then it just goes right back to a ballad.  As good as JLB is on this album there is almost too much of him and Petrucci is surprisingly low in the mix at times.   I am someone who loves the prog side of DT and prefers the less metal side but even I think they could have rocked out a bit more so far through 15 tracks.
After Chosen is actually where a lot of the more upbeat / heavier tracks are.

Offline RoeDent

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #153 on: January 28, 2016, 11:45:44 PM »
I'm waiting until the CD drops onto my doormat before listening. But still, the big day is finally here! Happy Release Day, everyone!

Offline Lucien

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #154 on: January 28, 2016, 11:46:25 PM »
I've spoken a lot about my wish for change, stuff "outside the box" of DT's standard prog metal.

Well, holy shit, I've gotten my wish. This album is fantastic.

Offline lovethedrake

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #155 on: January 28, 2016, 11:46:47 PM »
Nice!  Excited to hear that!

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #156 on: January 28, 2016, 11:54:11 PM »
So is Act II being overlooked by many simply because of fatigue?

I'm wondering that myself, and I think time will tell if that's the case or not. Personally I've found very little that grabs me from Act II so far, aside from Our New World, but I'm not sure whether I'm just worn out after 80 minutes of Act I.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline gm5k

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #157 on: January 28, 2016, 11:57:36 PM »
JP and JR are such geniuses  :lol

Who else creates some of their best work ever 30 years in?  I haven't been this floored by the band since watching LAB for the first time.  Not even close.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #158 on: January 29, 2016, 12:00:04 AM »
So is Act II being overlooked by many simply because of fatigue?  I gotta say - it's edging out Act I for me.

I actually look at the story now as consisting of three acts. Act 1 is up to Three Days, all of this is set-up and intro the world being built (10 songs, 37+ minutes). Act 2 is Hovering Sojourn up to Road to Revolution, which contained the plot twists (Faythe and Gabriel, Daryus vs. Road to Revolution, Faythe and Nefaryus) (10 songs, 42+ minutes). Act 3 is the current Act 2 up to Our New World (12 songs, 43+ minutes)which is the climax and resolution of the plot developments in "Act 2" . Power Down and Astonishing is the curtain call. The album looks more balanced to me that way. :)

I also find it amusing that the NOMAC tracks appear to mark Daryus moments.

Offline LCArenas

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #159 on: January 29, 2016, 12:04:03 AM »
Listening right now. Fuck me, this might be JLB's best performance since SFAM, but I don't want to make judgments this soon. I'll wait and hear.

Offline kneepel

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #160 on: January 29, 2016, 12:09:44 AM »
On another listen through, getting more into it and I can definitely say it beats DT12.

There are some really cringe moments lyrically though, and it's way too heavy on the ballads and orchestral parts

Offline thosava

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #161 on: January 29, 2016, 12:10:41 AM »
I'm about to leave for lectures. I really hope i see the CD in the mailbox when i walk outside. I just can't wait anymore to listen to it :lol
Brace yourself, bow down to Nafaryus!

Offline LCArenas

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #162 on: January 29, 2016, 12:11:36 AM »
On another listen through, getting more into it and I can definitely say it beats DT13.
Glad to hear! Every DT album needs to best itself :neverusethis:

Offline Thierry

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #163 on: January 29, 2016, 12:14:04 AM »
I've listened it in full over Spotify. I have to say I don't like it at all, too much ballads.

Hopefully this is a grower, I'll try to listen to it again later.

Very weak.

Offline bankshot

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #164 on: January 29, 2016, 12:16:32 AM »
"A New Beginning." Holy f**k are you serious? Dream Theater in a groove? Yes!
This could be an early favorite for me. I could listen to them jam that last part for like 20 minutes. In fact, it would be awesome if they did that in the live show to give James a little break before the end of Act I.

Offline Pragmaticcircus

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #165 on: January 29, 2016, 12:16:48 AM »
I've listened it in full over Spotify. I have to say I don't like it at all, too much ballads.

Hopefully this is a grower, I'll try to listen to it again later.

Very weak.

Can't say I've ever liked the ballady side of DT, and I've heard the album 3 times. I can't say I'll be listening to them much  :'(
"The thing that kills me is all these bands that use huge words in their lyrics, 'I'm swimming in a vortex of apathy.' I'm like, 'What?' I don't walk up to a friend and go 'That's a stylin' looking vortex of apathy you've got there pal. I was swimming up a river of deceit myself."
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Prog for life, all hail metal, I'm very Avant Garde,  God give me back my razor, and all that shit!

Offline TempusVox

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #166 on: January 29, 2016, 12:17:45 AM »
I know it's hard to do, but try and give it a listen without comparing it to anything else they've ever done. Imagine you'd never heard DT until now.

I'm blown away. Just blown away.

Listening to Act of Faythe.  Lord Jesus!

Love it.

JLB is brilliant.


CDs coming. Couldn't wait, bought it on Amazon Prime.  :biggrin:
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Offline Pragmaticcircus

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #167 on: January 29, 2016, 12:21:17 AM »
Lord Nafaryus sounds so much like a Muse song but I can't pin down what (because I'm not a muse fan and don't really like them) but I though it was 'Butterflies and Hurricanes', any Muse fans recognize what it is?
"The thing that kills me is all these bands that use huge words in their lyrics, 'I'm swimming in a vortex of apathy.' I'm like, 'What?' I don't walk up to a friend and go 'That's a stylin' looking vortex of apathy you've got there pal. I was swimming up a river of deceit myself."
- Devin Townsend
"poop" - Ziltoid
Prog for life, all hail metal, I'm very Avant Garde,  God give me back my razor, and all that shit!

Offline Bertielee

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #168 on: January 29, 2016, 12:39:25 AM »
Lord Nafaryus sounds so much like a Muse song but I can't pin down what (because I'm not a muse fan and don't really like them) but I though it was 'Butterflies and Hurricanes', any Muse fans recognize what it is?

At the same time, Muse sound alot like Queen at times. And for me, LN sounds more like Queen than Muse.

B.Lee
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #169 on: January 29, 2016, 12:43:49 AM »
Lord Nafaryus sounds so much like a Muse song but I can't pin down what (because I'm not a muse fan and don't really like them) but I though it was 'Butterflies and Hurricanes', any Muse fans recognize what it is?

At the same time, Muse sound alot like Queen at times. And for me, LN sounds more like Queen than Muse.

B.Lee

It's the vibrato that does it. The vocals sound more Freddy Mercury inspired to me, similar to how JLB sang on their Queen cover.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Cyclopssss

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #170 on: January 29, 2016, 12:44:00 AM »
Mine's still 'in the mail', so reading all these comments is Grrrrrr......severe case of blue balls over here....  :'(
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Offline Pragmaticcircus

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #171 on: January 29, 2016, 12:45:52 AM »
Lord Nafaryus sounds so much like a Muse song but I can't pin down what (because I'm not a muse fan and don't really like them) but I though it was 'Butterflies and Hurricanes', any Muse fans recognize what it is?

At the same time, Muse sound alot like Queen at times. And for me, LN sounds more like Queen than Muse.

B.Lee

It's the vibrato that does it. The vocals sound more Freddy Mercury inspired to me, similar to how JLB sang on their Queen cover.

Well, I'm talking musically, Its the piano/strings part around 0:45
"The thing that kills me is all these bands that use huge words in their lyrics, 'I'm swimming in a vortex of apathy.' I'm like, 'What?' I don't walk up to a friend and go 'That's a stylin' looking vortex of apathy you've got there pal. I was swimming up a river of deceit myself."
- Devin Townsend
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Prog for life, all hail metal, I'm very Avant Garde,  God give me back my razor, and all that shit!

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #172 on: January 29, 2016, 12:48:14 AM »
Lord Nafaryus sounds so much like a Muse song but I can't pin down what (because I'm not a muse fan and don't really like them) but I though it was 'Butterflies and Hurricanes', any Muse fans recognize what it is?

At the same time, Muse sound alot like Queen at times. And for me, LN sounds more like Queen than Muse.

B.Lee

It's the vibrato that does it. The vocals sound more Freddy Mercury inspired to me, similar to how JLB sang on their Queen cover.

Well, I'm talking musically, Its the piano/strings part around 0:45

Oh, ok. I didn't get a strong Queen vibe from the music, but the vocals reminded me of Freddy Mercury. I kinda understand it though, with the very theatrical and eclectic nature of it.
And I've never listened to Muse, outside of the DT comparison songs.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Zydar

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #173 on: January 29, 2016, 12:56:15 AM »
Am I the one only who finds it hard to distinguish when James changes vocal style between the characters? After all the talk about him being brilliant in portraying serveral different characters throughout the album, I am glad to have the lyrics to see where he switches from character to character. It's probably just my hearing though :P

Offline Tabs

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #174 on: January 29, 2016, 12:58:07 AM »
Can someone tell me who Evangeline is in relation to the other characters?

She's Arhys's wife who died giving birth to Xander. Arhys pledges to always protect Xander and win the war against the empire to give him a better life.