Author Topic: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.  (Read 19341 times)

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Offline Shooters1221

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2017, 10:34:16 AM »
I really dug this from first listen, and even more now. It has grown well for me and is still my goto for a nice 2 or 3 hour gym workout. That's probably because it hasn't reached the spin cycle of other DT offerings yet. As others have said, the only part that really annoys me is that 'crying'. I just think it could have been portrayed much better with a more, hmmmm, subtle approach. I always thought the "mother/baby" spoken word and kiss in "Goodnight Kiss" was done perfectly and makes that piece that much better! Other than that, TA is still  :tup for me.

2112 wasn't a mind blowing concept to begin with.  :lol

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Offline Evai

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #106 on: January 27, 2017, 10:53:36 AM »
Got some new decent studio monitors, what better way to break them in than with The Astonishing  :metal
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Offline Tony From Long Island

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #107 on: January 27, 2017, 10:55:14 AM »
I was looking at the DT Wikpedia page and running down the Discography. 

There are no sales totals for The Astonishing.   Anyone have any idea what the number is approximately after one year?
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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #108 on: January 27, 2017, 12:04:51 PM »
Sucked then,sucks now.
Good insight. Thank you for taking your time.

Yeah why bother posting.

Offline utopiarun

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #109 on: January 27, 2017, 02:08:36 PM »
The first few times I knew there was something there but it took me a little while to get the music and once that happened I loved it.
I haven't listened that much in the past few months as I wanted the new Neal Morse Band album to sink in but it kept me wanting to go back to The Astonishing as I love it so much more than Similitude Of A Dream.

I just threw it on the other day and those feelings of "this is great" came back especially with JP's solo on A New Beginning. That is just epic and I saw the show 2x and that solo was easily one of the best things I have ever seen at a DT show.

The story I couldn't really care less about, yes the crying part is kind of funny to me but you can't accuse DT of just resting on their laurels as they really created something different than anything they have ever done.

I still get angry at the "worst album ever" comments on FB or wherever but I have to just let it be, I love it so that should be good enough. But I still get mad.  :angry:

Offline IDontNotDoThings

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #110 on: January 27, 2017, 02:29:24 PM »
I was looking at the DT Wikpedia page and running down the Discography. 

There are no sales totals for The Astonishing.   Anyone have any idea what the number is approximately after one year?

Most of the Wikipedia sales listed there are first-week sales (at least from SC onwards). I remember finding a source that listed exact sales for the first three weeks of each album, but I'll have to go find it again.

EDIT: Found it!

http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week06-2016.htm - 95K (13/2)
http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week07-2016.htm - 29K (20/2)
http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week08-2016.htm - 23K (27/2)
http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week09-2016.htm - 17K (05/3)
Total - 164K from the first four weeks on this chart
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 02:48:16 PM by IDontNotDoThings »

Offline gzarruk

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #111 on: January 27, 2017, 04:15:08 PM »
...I wanted the new Neal Morse Band album to sink in but it kept me wanting to go back to The Astonishing as I love it so much more than Similitude Of A Dream.

The same exact thing happened to me. I was even considering starting a TA vs TSOAD thread, but decided not to, since it would definitely start the MP vs MM war again.

And not trying to sound harsh to MP in any way, but the truth is he overhyped the crap out of the album (probably trying to overshadow TA?), and even though I've learned to not trust MP's comments about any of his new albums/bands, because he ALWAYS says _________ (insert album name here) is the best album he's done in the recent years, the album ended up being disappointing to me.

I'm a big Neal Morse fan and this was very promising, but it just felt plain and simple in comparison to TA. Of course, all the MP fanboys talked trash on TA and praised TSOAD, but, imo, TA is miles better than the NM album. The only thing they did better than TA, I think, was having more than one vocalist, and probably some of the lyrics. But, other than that, TA is a much better album that hits much more ground musically. Anyone agree?
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Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #112 on: January 27, 2017, 04:19:30 PM »
I prefer TA, but I can't say that it is "much better" than TSOAD, as that is a fantastic album as well. 
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Offline Mosh

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #113 on: January 27, 2017, 04:29:21 PM »
The music player is a miss lyrically but musically it is fantastic. Great buildup and comes at just the right time.

As far as an abridged version of Astonishing, I prefer to listen to the album as it was intended by the artist whether I like it or not. I might enjoy my own edit more but I'd constantly be aware that I'm listening to a "fake" version.
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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #114 on: January 27, 2017, 04:37:36 PM »
...I wanted the new Neal Morse Band album to sink in but it kept me wanting to go back to The Astonishing as I love it so much more than Similitude Of A Dream.

The same exact thing happened to me. I was even considering starting a TA vs TSOAD thread, but decided not to, since it would definitely start the MP vs MM war again.

And not trying to sound harsh to MP in any way, but the truth is he overhyped the crap out of the album (probably trying to overshadow TA?), and even though I've learned to not trust MP's comments about any of his new albums/bands, because he ALWAYS says _________ (insert album name here) is the best album he's done in the recent years, the album ended up being disappointing to me.

To MP's credit, I don't find TA much better than TSOAD, I think they both are pretty bad!

Also, I haven't followed much of what he's said recently, but he really doesn't say " _______ is the best album I've done" that much.  I think it was when 8V came out and he said it was the best album DT had done or put it on par with Scenes (I could be wrong, maybe it was ToT) and he specified he doesn't say that about every album.  That's true.  He didn't say that about 6DOIT and I don't think he said that about SC and definitely not BCASL (although the latter he said was like a mixture of I&W and two other albums which was way off the mark).  I haven't kept up with his recent projects and what he says about them but i dont think he normally says "this is the best."

Quote
I'm a big Neal Morse fan and this was very promising, but it just felt plain and simple in comparison to TA. Of course, all the MP fanboys talked trash on TA and praised TSOAD, but, imo, TA is miles better than the NM album. The only thing they did better than TA, I think, was having more than one vocalist, and probably some of the lyrics. But, other than that, TA is a much better album that hits much more ground musically. Anyone agree?

Well, I've never been into Neal Morse so obviously this is biased but even though I don't like TA there are still some cool moments on it. 

With Neal Morse, I don't care for his voice and especially not his guitarist's voice.  The whole mood of the album seems very weird and not befitting of the story.

With TA, they really got the mood down and really fits the overall concept...it just happens to be a mood I don't care for.

Offline Lethean

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #115 on: January 27, 2017, 05:10:36 PM »
...I wanted the new Neal Morse Band album to sink in but it kept me wanting to go back to The Astonishing as I love it so much more than Similitude Of A Dream.

The same exact thing happened to me. I was even considering starting a TA vs TSOAD thread, but decided not to, since it would definitely start the MP vs MM war again.

And not trying to sound harsh to MP in any way, but the truth is he overhyped the crap out of the album (probably trying to overshadow TA?), and even though I've learned to not trust MP's comments about any of his new albums/bands, because he ALWAYS says _________ (insert album name here) is the best album he's done in the recent years, the album ended up being disappointing to me.

I'm a big Neal Morse fan and this was very promising, but it just felt plain and simple in comparison to TA. Of course, all the MP fanboys talked trash on TA and praised TSOAD, but, imo, TA is miles better than the NM album. The only thing they did better than TA, I think, was having more than one vocalist, and probably some of the lyrics. But, other than that, TA is a much better album that hits much more ground musically. Anyone agree?

I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #116 on: January 27, 2017, 09:36:32 PM »
...I wanted the new Neal Morse Band album to sink in but it kept me wanting to go back to The Astonishing as I love it so much more than Similitude Of A Dream.

The same exact thing happened to me. I was even considering starting a TA vs TSOAD thread, but decided not to, since it would definitely start the MP vs MM war again.

And not trying to sound harsh to MP in any way, but the truth is he overhyped the crap out of the album (probably trying to overshadow TA?), and even though I've learned to not trust MP's comments about any of his new albums/bands, because he ALWAYS says _________ (insert album name here) is the best album he's done in the recent years, the album ended up being disappointing to me.

I'm a big Neal Morse fan and this was very promising, but it just felt plain and simple in comparison to TA. Of course, all the MP fanboys talked trash on TA and praised TSOAD, but, imo, TA is miles better than the NM album. The only thing they did better than TA, I think, was having more than one vocalist, and probably some of the lyrics. But, other than that, TA is a much better album that hits much more ground musically. Anyone agree?

I'm not sure I do. I am a big fan of The Astonishing, but as more time goes on, the more I think TSOAD might be better; that one has no weak spots, while disc 2 of TA tends to meander quite a bit.  And I would say the highs on the two albums are about equal.

Also, while Portnoy loves to hype his albums, he never says stuff like he did about TSOAD. I am not sure I agree that it's best album he and Neal have done together (hard to top a couple of those Transatlantic albums), it is still pretty freaking awesome, IMO.

I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.

Why is Eric Gillette being a player similar to Petrucci an issue?  As a big Neal fan, we've never really gotten to hear his music with a guitarist this technically proficient (as great as Roine Stolt is, he is more of a David Gilmour or Steve Howe-type player, not a shredder), so it's getting the best of both worlds.  Plus, Gillette never overplays to where you think, woah, slow down there. :lol  In this case, him being not as fast a player as Petrucci works to his benefit, as he able to channel his style while not sound like a clone.  When you listen to stuff like the end of Sloth, that is totally Gillette's own style.  Gillette seems to have a more bluesy vibe to his playing than Petrucci does.

Offline Lethean

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #117 on: January 27, 2017, 09:58:22 PM »
I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.

Why is Eric Gillette being a player similar to Petrucci an issue?  As a big Neal fan, we've never really gotten to hear his music with a guitarist this technically proficient (as great as Roine Stolt is, he is more of a David Gilmour or Steve Howe-type player, not a shredder), so it's getting the best of both worlds.  Plus, Gillette never overplays to where you think, woah, slow down there. :lol  In this case, him being not as fast a player as Petrucci works to his benefit, as he able to channel his style while not sound like a clone.  When you listen to stuff like the end of Sloth, that is totally Gillette's own style.  Gillette seems to have a more bluesy vibe to his playing than Petrucci does.
It's just the way that I feel about it. I don't think that he sounds like Petrucci 100% of the time, but overall I do think he sounds like a clone. I find it distracting. There are other guitar players  that I have heard that remind me of Petrucci, but not to this extent.  I wouldn't like it if this guy was just in some random band. As it is, I feel like MP should have listened to this guy and said to NM, "there's no way this guy is joining the band."

 I also find the overall Dream Theater isms in the album distracting. Some of it sounds nothing like DT, but there are parts that sound like they come straight from a DT album. I haven't heard all of Neal's solo material, but what I have heard in the past didn't sound this much like DT. I don't think it's only the guitar player to blame. I think MP credited Bill for some or at least one of the parts I thought sounded too much like DT. Again, if this was a random prog metal band, it would bother me. That it's a band that Mike is in kind of baffles me. I think he should have said "no, we're not doing this, let's write something else for this section."

All of the above is just how I feel, and obviously I know that others have a different perspective, and that's fine too.

Offline aprilethereal

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #118 on: January 28, 2017, 12:13:09 AM »
I find it really interesting that most people here on DTF seem to prefer disk 1. For me, disk 2 is actually my favorite, the run from Moment Of Betrayal through My Last Farewell is one of the best things DT have ever done imo, whereas disk 1 contains my least favorite songs on the album (Brother Can You Hear Me and The Road To Revolution, I'm just not a big fan of that theme).

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #119 on: January 28, 2017, 02:09:30 AM »
I still get chills when I hear the opening to The Gift of Music. I'm almost (this) close to it surpassing my favorite album.
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Offline IDontNotDoThings

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #120 on: January 28, 2017, 02:55:32 AM »
Random thought: there should be a mashup called "Brother Can You Not Me"

Offline KevShmev

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #121 on: January 28, 2017, 07:59:23 AM »
I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.

Why is Eric Gillette being a player similar to Petrucci an issue?  As a big Neal fan, we've never really gotten to hear his music with a guitarist this technically proficient (as great as Roine Stolt is, he is more of a David Gilmour or Steve Howe-type player, not a shredder), so it's getting the best of both worlds.  Plus, Gillette never overplays to where you think, woah, slow down there. :lol  In this case, him being not as fast a player as Petrucci works to his benefit, as he able to channel his style while not sound like a clone.  When you listen to stuff like the end of Sloth, that is totally Gillette's own style.  Gillette seems to have a more bluesy vibe to his playing than Petrucci does.
It's just the way that I feel about it. I don't think that he sounds like Petrucci 100% of the time, but overall I do think he sounds like a clone. I find it distracting. There are other guitar players  that I have heard that remind me of Petrucci, but not to this extent.  I wouldn't like it if this guy was just in some random band. As it is, I feel like MP should have listened to this guy and said to NM, "there's no way this guy is joining the band."

 I also find the overall Dream Theater isms in the album distracting. Some of it sounds nothing like DT, but there are parts that sound like they come straight from a DT album. I haven't heard all of Neal's solo material, but what I have heard in the past didn't sound this much like DT. I don't think it's only the guitar player to blame. I think MP credited Bill for some or at least one of the parts I thought sounded too much like DT. Again, if this was a random prog metal band, it would bother me. That it's a band that Mike is in kind of baffles me. I think he should have said "no, we're not doing this, let's write something else for this section."

All of the above is just how I feel, and obviously I know that others have a different perspective, and that's fine too.

Well, if that's how you feel, it's how you feel, and that is fine, but to address a couple things:

-Neal Morse Band is NOT by any stretch of the imagination a prog metal band.  Neal is a rock guy, not metal.  While he does slip in the occasional heavy riff, it is pretty rare.  Call it semantics, but it does a discredit to Morse, Portnoy and the rest of the band to imply that they are another prog metal trying to sound like Dream Theater, when they aren't even in that subgenre.  Neal Morse Band is prog ROCK, not metal.

-With the exception of a few Gillette solos (like the one in The Man in the Iron Cage), I cannot think of anything on TSOAD that sounds like it would be on a DT album.  Maybe little bits of The Battle, with its syncopated craziness, but even in that song, the main Gershwin-inspired piano theme doesn't sound like anything DT would do.

Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #122 on: January 28, 2017, 10:58:33 AM »
I have never heard any iteration of Neal Morse's band's play anything that ever made me think, "Oh, wow.  That sounds SO Dream Theater."
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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #123 on: January 28, 2017, 11:16:44 AM »
I have never heard any iteration of Neal Morse's band's play anything that ever made me think, "Oh, wow.  That sounds SO Dream Theater."

Maybe not but MP does have a recognisable style.

I visited Dad once and he was playing a NM album which featured Portnoy and without even knowing who the artist was I asked if it was Neal Morse since I knew it wasn't DT

but MP's style is just so instantly recognisable.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #124 on: January 28, 2017, 12:23:53 PM »
I have never heard any iteration of Neal Morse's band's play anything that ever made me think, "Oh, wow.  That sounds SO Dream Theater."

Well, Rudess did have that one solo on the Question Mark album...;)

Offline Lethean

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #125 on: January 28, 2017, 02:04:09 PM »
I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.

Why is Eric Gillette being a player similar to Petrucci an issue?  As a big Neal fan, we've never really gotten to hear his music with a guitarist this technically proficient (as great as Roine Stolt is, he is more of a David Gilmour or Steve Howe-type player, not a shredder), so it's getting the best of both worlds.  Plus, Gillette never overplays to where you think, woah, slow down there. :lol  In this case, him being not as fast a player as Petrucci works to his benefit, as he able to channel his style while not sound like a clone.  When you listen to stuff like the end of Sloth, that is totally Gillette's own style.  Gillette seems to have a more bluesy vibe to his playing than Petrucci does.
It's just the way that I feel about it. I don't think that he sounds like Petrucci 100% of the time, but overall I do think he sounds like a clone. I find it distracting. There are other guitar players  that I have heard that remind me of Petrucci, but not to this extent.  I wouldn't like it if this guy was just in some random band. As it is, I feel like MP should have listened to this guy and said to NM, "there's no way this guy is joining the band."

 I also find the overall Dream Theater isms in the album distracting. Some of it sounds nothing like DT, but there are parts that sound like they come straight from a DT album. I haven't heard all of Neal's solo material, but what I have heard in the past didn't sound this much like DT. I don't think it's only the guitar player to blame. I think MP credited Bill for some or at least one of the parts I thought sounded too much like DT. Again, if this was a random prog metal band, it would bother me. That it's a band that Mike is in kind of baffles me. I think he should have said "no, we're not doing this, let's write something else for this section."

All of the above is just how I feel, and obviously I know that others have a different perspective, and that's fine too.

Well, if that's how you feel, it's how you feel, and that is fine, but to address a couple things:

-Neal Morse Band is NOT by any stretch of the imagination a prog metal band.  Neal is a rock guy, not metal.  While he does slip in the occasional heavy riff, it is pretty rare.  Call it semantics, but it does a discredit to Morse, Portnoy and the rest of the band to imply that they are another prog metal trying to sound like Dream Theater, when they aren't even in that subgenre.  Neal Morse Band is prog ROCK, not metal.

-With the exception of a few Gillette solos (like the one in The Man in the Iron Cage), I cannot think of anything on TSOAD that sounds like it would be on a DT album.  Maybe little bits of The Battle, with its syncopated craziness, but even in that song, the main Gershwin-inspired piano theme doesn't sound like anything DT would do.

I didn't mean to imply that I thought the Neal Morse Band was a prog metal band.  I just meant that if I was hearing it from a prog metal band, it would bother me in that situation too so it isn't that it only bothers me when it's a band that MP is in.  Also, even if I was calling them a prog metal band, it wouldn't be an insult coming from me, as I generally prefer prog metal over prog rock.  Not always, but usually.  :) 

I don't think that Neal Morse has any desire to sound like Dream Theater, probably wasn't much influenced by them, and it probably doesn't enter his thoughts when he is writing music.  This album just has parts that sound too much like DT for me.  I'm not commenting at all on previous NM albums, but I suppose maybe I could have been a little bit clearer. 

So now I'll try to be.  It's only Similitude that I'm talking about, and I don't think the band, as a whole, is "trying" to sound like DT.  Maybe the guitar player is, or he isn't anymore but perhaps he tried too long to sound like JP that now he can't help it.  I don't know the background of the bass and keyboard players, maybe they have some DT influence that they brought to the table unconsciously, or maybe it's all the guitar player alone.  Though I could have sworn MP said Bill wrote a DT sounding part in the play through he did on Facebook.  Maybe some of it came from MP.  I don't know.  But again, the last thing I think is that Neal Morse is trying to sound like DT. 

For me, it's not only guitar solos that reminded me of DT; it's guitar leads, certain parts of songs... the Overture has DT all over it to me.  I know I'm not the only person who feels this way, but maybe I am the only one here that does. :)

Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #126 on: January 28, 2017, 03:00:10 PM »
I have never heard any iteration of Neal Morse's band's play anything that ever made me think, "Oh, wow.  That sounds SO Dream Theater."

Well, Rudess did have that one solo on the Question Mark album...;)

Oh, right.  Forgot about that.  But then again, I usually skip that album and only listen to the good ones, so...
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Offline SwedishGoose

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #127 on: January 28, 2017, 03:16:55 PM »
It grew on me for the first listens and after a while became my favorite Dream Theater album. Seeing it live twice only reinforced it's hold on me.
Still love it, still think it's the Dream Theater I hold dearest.
I do love Images and Words and I do cherise the memory of seeing them live on that tour. I will thoroughly enjoy seeing Images and Words and beyond tour but would actually rather see the Astonishing live for a third time. That is how much I love it.

Offline gzarruk

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #128 on: January 28, 2017, 03:59:13 PM »
Maybe it's just me, but I don't find TSOAD that interesting musically. There were just a few "wow" moments for me on the album, TA has much more of the "wow" factor to me. I still like the album for what it is, a double concept album with great writing and playing, and still have it full on my phone to see if I like it more on the next listen, but it hasn't happened yet  :-\

I haven't kept up with his recent projects and what he says about them but i dont think he normally says "this is the best."


...The whole mood of the album seems very weird and not befitting of the story.

He doesn't say that all the time as in "Look, I've made the album of my career here" (which he did say for this album), but he's always overhyping his new albums/bands. He did that for AMOB, TWD, MA... and the results aren't always that good, just look at AMOB  :facepalm:
With this one, though, he just went nuts with the "This is better than anything I've ever done" thing and, to me, he was just trying to take advantage of the big split TA made on the DT fanbase, as in "If you didn't like their album, don't worry, we've come up with a much better one that you'll definitely like because I was the soul of DT, not them." (of course he didn't say that, but that's the way it looks to me).

About the album itself, the songs have a smooth flow, but, to me, it doesn't have too much interesting parts to justify a making a double album. Even the songs I like more have parts that just don't work there. For example: I really like "So Far Gone" untill the "you can turn, you're not too far part" and I just loose it.

I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.

I'm not on the "they should've had multiple singers for each character" boat, I think James nailed it perfectly and TA is one of his best albums vocally. What I'm saying is that having a couple more voices on your band can be a great advantage. Look at SFAM, for example. James sang 99% of the vocals, but still JP and MP had great backing vocal moments, like in Fatal Tragedy or Beyond This Life. That's one of the very few things I miss of the MP era, the extra vocals by them, even though Mike went WAY TOO FAR with his vocals on DT (ROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHH)  :facepalm:
I wish JP recorded backing vocals on the studio albums again, and that his vocals weren't as buried on the live mixes as they are now.


I am not sure I agree that it's best album he and Neal have done together (hard to top a couple of those Transatlantic albums), it is still pretty freaking awesome, IMO.

Very hard to top The Whirlwind and Sola Scriptura   :D

About Eric sounding too much like JP, I have to agree with Vakaren, the guy is just another JP clone. He does have his own style, and is a very skilled player, but his approach to the instrument is way too similar to JP's and uses the same guitars  :lol. Even Portnoy said something similar:

"BRACE YOURSELVES FOR A NEW GUITAR HERO IN ERIC GILLETTE! HE IS THE NEW KING OF SHRED AND FEEL! HE REMINDS ME A LOT OF MY OLD PARTNER IN CRIME (IF YOU KNOW WHO I MEAN!)"
- MIKE PORTNOY

Source: http://www.ericgillettemusic.com/blog/mike-portnoy-weighs-in-on-the-neal-morse-bands-guitarist-eric-gillette


Phew! That was a long post, guys. Sorry for taking the thread a bit off topic with my thoughts on TSOAD vs TA  :biggrin:
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline KevShmev

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #129 on: January 28, 2017, 08:35:34 PM »
I didn't mean to imply that I thought the Neal Morse Band was a prog metal band.  I just meant that if I was hearing it from a prog metal band, it would bother me in that situation too so it isn't that it only bothers me when it's a band that MP is in.  Also, even if I was calling them a prog metal band, it wouldn't be an insult coming from me, as I generally prefer prog metal over prog rock.  Not always, but usually.  :) 

I don't think that Neal Morse has any desire to sound like Dream Theater, probably wasn't much influenced by them, and it probably doesn't enter his thoughts when he is writing music.  This album just has parts that sound too much like DT for me.  I'm not commenting at all on previous NM albums, but I suppose maybe I could have been a little bit clearer. 

So now I'll try to be.  It's only Similitude that I'm talking about, and I don't think the band, as a whole, is "trying" to sound like DT.  Maybe the guitar player is, or he isn't anymore but perhaps he tried too long to sound like JP that now he can't help it.  I don't know the background of the bass and keyboard players, maybe they have some DT influence that they brought to the table unconsciously, or maybe it's all the guitar player alone.  Though I could have sworn MP said Bill wrote a DT sounding part in the play through he did on Facebook.  Maybe some of it came from MP.  I don't know.  But again, the last thing I think is that Neal Morse is trying to sound like DT. 

For me, it's not only guitar solos that reminded me of DT; it's guitar leads, certain parts of songs... the Overture has DT all over it to me.  I know I'm not the only person who feels this way, but maybe I am the only one here that does. :)

You might be. :P

We can agree to disagree on this, regardless.  :tup :tup

I have never heard any iteration of Neal Morse's band's play anything that ever made me think, "Oh, wow.  That sounds SO Dream Theater."

Well, Rudess did have that one solo on the Question Mark album...;)

Oh, right.  Forgot about that.  But then again, I usually skip that album and only listen to the good ones, so...

...so you are admitting to epic fail once again in regards to that record. :P

Very hard to top The Whirlwind and Sola Scriptura   :D
 

Of the albums Neal and Portnoy have done together, I think The Whirlwind is in the top 5 (along with the first two TA albums and the two Neal Morse Band records). 

Sola Scriptura is middle of the pack for me as far as Neal solo/NMB albums go.  Better than Testimony, It's Not Too Late, Lifeline and Songs from November, but cannot touch The Similitude..., ?, One, Grand Experiment or T2.  I think it's in the same tier with his self-titled debut (which I still think is very underrated) and Momentum.

Offline Lethean

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #130 on: January 28, 2017, 09:42:31 PM »
It grew on me for the first listens and after a while became my favorite Dream Theater album. Seeing it live twice only reinforced it's hold on me.
Still love it, still think it's the Dream Theater I hold dearest.
I do love Images and Words and I do cherise the memory of seeing them live on that tour. I will thoroughly enjoy seeing Images and Words and beyond tour but would actually rather see the Astonishing live for a third time. That is how much I love it.
I like it better than Images and Words too. :) I am excited for the I&W tour, but I too would like to see another Astonishing leg (and especially DVD).

Offline Lethean

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #131 on: January 28, 2017, 10:14:50 PM »
Maybe it's just me, but I don't find TSOAD that interesting musically. There were just a few "wow" moments for me on the album, TA has much more of the "wow" factor to me. I still like the album for what it is, a double concept album with great writing and playing, and still have it full on my phone to see if I like it more on the next listen, but it hasn't happened yet.
I'm with you on this. I try not to compare them too much because The Astonishing is just so different and it has become one of my favorite albums, and I'd rather listen to other albums on their own.

Quote from: gzarruk
I agree with this almost 100% - I just disagree about the vocals. I am so glad that they did not use multiple singers on TA. We're on the same page with everything else. I did buy into MP's hype tiny bit, but not enough to be disappointed. I think it is a good album, but far from the best of MP's career, and the guitar player sounds way too much like JP.

I'm not on the "they should've had multiple singers for each character" boat, I think James nailed it perfectly and TA is one of his best albums vocally. What I'm saying is that having a couple more voices on your band can be a great advantage. Look at SFAM, for example. James sang 99% of the vocals, but still JP and MP had great backing vocal moments, like in Fatal Tragedy or Beyond This Life. That's one of the very few things I miss of the MP era, the extra vocals by them, even though Mike went WAY TOO FAR with his vocals on DT (ROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHH)  :facepalm:
I wish JP recorded backing vocals on the studio albums again, and that his vocals weren't as buried on the live mixes as they are now.

I don't feel the same way. I am glad it's (pretty much) only James on the albums now, and I actually wish it was only him on Scenes and everything else. If I had to have another voice, I would prefer JP over MP. I think JP's voice just goes better with JL's voice than MP's does, and I like his voice better too.  When I listen to Scenes with headphones and I'm listening very intently, I feel that it would be that much better without MP's voice. I think we're the opposite here - there are things that I miss about MP, a lot, but I don't miss his vocals at all - not on the albums and certainly not live. I was very upset when he left, but when I started coming to terms with it, my first "look on the bright side" thought was that maybe the vocals would be left to James in future. When the new drummer candidates were announced, I was hoping it would not be Peter Wildoer and I looked to see if any of the others also sang. As much as I loved MP, and I really did, I could only put up with his vocals at best, and at times really hated them.


Online Madman Shepherd

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #132 on: January 28, 2017, 11:50:37 PM »

He doesn't say that all the time as in "Look, I've made the album of my career here" (which he did say for this album), but he's always overhyping his new albums/bands. He did that for AMOB, TWD, MA... and the results aren't always that good, just look at AMOB  :facepalm:
With this one, though, he just went nuts with the "This is better than anything I've ever done" thing and, to me, he was just trying to take advantage of the big split TA made on the DT fanbase, as in "If you didn't like their album, don't worry, we've come up with a much better one that you'll definitely like because I was the soul of DT, not them." (of course he didn't say that, but that's the way it looks to me).


Yeah, he really did hype the hell out of Winery Dogs and Adrenaline Mob.  To be honest, it probably played a role in me not liking those that much.  I guess I was expecting much more. 

With TSOAD, I think it's interesting that he says it's the album of his career but he doesn't know anything about the story.  I've seen two interviews where he just said that was all Neal's department.  He even admitted one or two other guys in the band had read the book it was based off of.  Just seems like if this truly was the album of his career, he would know a little bit more about the thing that actually makes this a concept album. 

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #133 on: January 29, 2017, 02:55:02 AM »
Happy anniversary, The Astonishing!

Online Kotowboy

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #134 on: January 29, 2017, 03:36:15 AM »
Happy anniversary, The Astonishing!

 :metal :metal :metal

Offline Setlist Scotty

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #135 on: January 29, 2017, 04:50:27 AM »
I don't feel the same way. I am glad it's (pretty much) only James on the albums now, and I actually wish it was only him on Scenes and everything else. If I had to have another voice, I would prefer JP over MP. I think JP's voice just goes better with JL's voice than MP's does, and I like his voice better too.  When I listen to Scenes with headphones and I'm listening very intently, I feel that it would be that much better without MP's voice. I think we're the opposite here - there are things that I miss about MP, a lot, but I don't miss his vocals at all - not on the albums and certainly not live. I was very upset when he left, but when I started coming to terms with it, my first "look on the bright side" thought was that maybe the vocals would be left to James in future. When the new drummer candidates were announced, I was hoping it would not be Peter Wildoer and I looked to see if any of the others also sang. As much as I loved MP, and I really did, I could only put up with his vocals at best, and at times really hated them.
I disagree with you to some extent. I think what MP brought to SFaM was excellent. I love how, unlike IaW, it was possible for the band to replicate live what the vocals sounded like on the album. But I will agree that some of MP's vocals, particularly his pseudo-cookie-monster vocals on ANtR were completely unnecessary, and that's one thing that I was glad they got rid of. And for that reason alone, I too was hoping Wildoer wouldn't get the job for fear they'd capitalize on that style of vocal even more.
 
 
With TSOAD, I think it's interesting that he says it's the album of his career but he doesn't know anything about the story.  I've seen two interviews where he just said that was all Neal's department.  He even admitted one or two other guys in the band had read the book it was based off of.  Just seems like if this truly was the album of his career, he would know a little bit more about the thing that actually makes this a concept album.
I don't find it so hard to believe. The man has never been all about the lyrics, unlike JP. Yeah, he wrote some, and certainly he was heavily involved in directing the story of SFaM. But otherwise, he seems to have a pretty hands off approach to lyrics. I think for him (and I believe he's made comments in interviews stating this), it's all about the music - the lyrics don't mean much to him. That's one of the reasons why he can be doing all sorts of stuff with NM and still love Slayer and all sorts of other bands that are diametrically opposed. And I don't think he's much of a book reader either - he's all about movies. So for that reason, when he says he knows little about the story that makes up this album of his career, it's really not surprising or strange.
As a basic rule, if you hate it, you must solely blame Portnoy. If it's good, then you must downplay MP's contribution to the band as not being important anyway, or claim he's just lying. It's the DTF way.

Offline RoeDent

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #136 on: January 29, 2017, 05:39:18 AM »
Happy 1st Anniversary, you incredible thing!
*smash cut to a bleached white skeleton*

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #137 on: January 29, 2017, 06:15:45 AM »
Yeah, happy Astonishing birthday!  :metal
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Offline Iceyice

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #138 on: January 29, 2017, 06:56:00 AM »
I bought it day one.
Of course, i heard 'The gift of music' & 'A moment of betrayal' as the first singles.
I felt they were pretty good.
Then i listened to the album and right away noticed how soft it was. I think it is
a very impressive effort, but too many cheesy moments. 'The path that divides,
'Three days,' and 'The walking shadow' emerged for me as the three slam dunk
kick ass songs. I should add 'A new beginning,' but those 3 are special to me.
A year later, i don't listen much, but that may only be because i have so much
music that i'm listening to now.
Like an earlier poster, it's extremely hard to rank this. No way it ever cracks my
top 3 (Awake, Metropolis 2 SFAM, Falling into infinity) though.
'Just when you're through hanging on......you're saved.....'

Offline Lethean

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #139 on: January 29, 2017, 09:36:57 AM »
Happy anniversary, The Astonishing!

+1 I don't know how many times I've listened to it over the last year, and it's meant so much to me. Now that I think about it, I don't know that I've ever really thought about an album's anniversary before, in terms of celebrating it on the exact day. I'll listen to it today for sure.