Author Topic: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.  (Read 10581 times)

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Offline rumborak

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #280 on: February 24, 2017, 03:16:11 PM »
That said, I have the very strong suspicion that the inner dynamics of DT would not really allow a permanent touring member.
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Offline CB

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #281 on: February 24, 2017, 05:25:05 PM »
I think it would have been difficult to find a female singer who fits the style of the songs, the role of Faythe (Lizzy Hale didn't fit imo) and would have had the time to tour with DT AND gets along with 5 guys on the road for a year! Apart from this, it wouldn't have made TA more successful imo. The complaints from DT fans who didn't like TA had nothing to do with the vocals. They complained about the songs being too soft, the music boring, the whole thing being a musical and not a DT album, plus complaints about the story. Different singers for each role or just one female singer for the female parts wouldn't have helped in that regard. The album would have sounded even less like a DT album and more like a musical. It would have worked for the fans who love TA, but it wouldn't have made the album less disappointing for the others.

I love TA (apart from some problems with the storyline and the presentation of the characters), I also would love it with guest singers, though personally I think the way JLB embodies 7 characters with his voice, 2 females included, makes the album more special. Nothing against guest singers but that has been done so often, it would have been Ayreon meets Avantasia to me (I'm a fan of both btw).

One year on, thinking about the sad fact that TA didn't become the success it should have been (with 1, 2 or more singers, whatever) I wonder if it wouldn't have been wiser and more honest to release TA not as a DT album but a project of JP and JR. I know that JP and JR have always been the main writers of DT, but an album written solely by 2 of 5 band members, the others excluded, isn't really a band album imo. They could have hired James and a well chosen female vocalist who really fits, and instead of touring just have done a few special shows, filming one of them if financially possible. They could have done it with JM and MM (if they'd wanted to be a part of it) or with a different bassist and drummer. That way the fans wouldn't have expected a DT album/live show and would perhaps have been more open minded to something different. After that they could have toured I&W as they do now and then write a new DT album with (hopefully) everybody involved ...

Just some crazy thoughts too late at night ...

Offline DragonAttack

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #282 on: February 24, 2017, 05:47:13 PM »
^
An aspect I had not thought of.  Keep posting 'crazy thoughts' like this :tup

Offline Evai

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #283 on: February 24, 2017, 05:53:32 PM »
I feel like this album could have had much bigger success under a different band name, targeted at a different audience. My niece who pretty much exclusively listens to pop/Disney soundtracks loves TA (but no other DT)  :lol
eh

Offline red barchetta

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #284 on: February 24, 2017, 07:14:35 PM »
A bigger success? I don't know about that but yeah I'm not surprised about her reaction. I have read so much about guys bringing their girlfriends to the show but they don't like the rest of DT's music. It's an album of another type of art, could have been great for a movie or some science fiction cartoon for those who likes that.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #285 on: February 24, 2017, 08:40:56 PM »
TA also had an unfortunate amount of DT's infamous "homages". I would argue that an effort like TA, which is trying to draw you into a story, should stay away from reminding you of other songs overtly. The Tempus Fugit clone (A Life Left Behind) is of course the most egregious one, but right before that they're leaning rather heavily on The Wall (Brother Can You Hear Me).
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Offline Adami

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #286 on: February 24, 2017, 08:44:01 PM »
TA also had an unfortunate amount of DT's infamous "homages". I would argue that an effort like TA, which is trying to draw you into a story, should stay away from reminding you of other songs overtly. The Tempus Fugit clone (A Life Left Behind) is of course the most egregious one, but right before that they're leaning rather heavily on The Wall (Brother Can You Hear Me).

Not a Yes fan (mostly because I never checked them out) but that beginning of A Life Left Behind is one of my favorite parts of TA. Just checked out The Tempus Fugit thing. God damn, you're right.
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Offline Herrick

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #287 on: February 24, 2017, 10:55:34 PM »
He wasn't asked to perform all roles. He insisted. JP originally considered hiring other vocalists for the female parts.


Interesting tidbit. More power to him. Glad he did all the parts.

Agreed. He hardly writes lyrics (I don't know if he prefers that) and I'm guessing he doesn't write the vocal melodies. LaBrie has other band members (or maybe one band member now) telling him how to sing...at least let him do all the damn vocals. 
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Offline Architeuthis

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #288 on: February 25, 2017, 02:49:22 PM »
TA also had an unfortunate amount of DT's infamous "homages". I would argue that an effort like TA, which is trying to draw you into a story, should stay away from reminding you of other songs overtly. The Tempus Fugit clone (A Life Left Behind) is of course the most egregious one, but right before that they're leaning rather heavily on The Wall (Brother Can You Hear Me).
The (Brother Can You Hear Me) is more like Hemispheres by Rush.  The "I have memory and awareness, but I have no shape or form" section..  To me, that's awesome and probably unintentional on DT's part. The music came out in JP's subconscious. Lol!
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Offline smegolas

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #289 on: February 27, 2017, 02:18:16 PM »

I think they should've released Act I as it was, (which would've ranked really high in DT's rankings for me), then maybe spending a few extra months on refining what they had for Act II & then going into the studio to record that.


Still ranks as their best for me.  One of my favourite albums of all time.  I agree the second half, particularity the story, feels rushed and not on par with the first half and I think the above idea would have been awesome.  Release the first "half" as an album and then their next album is the second half.  That would have given them more time write new material and really develop things more completely, and would have given us a couple years of debating what was to come next.  That would have been SOOO epic.

Offline Dublagent66

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #290 on: February 27, 2017, 02:42:18 PM »
TA also had an unfortunate amount of DT's infamous "homages". I would argue that an effort like TA, which is trying to draw you into a story, should stay away from reminding you of other songs overtly. The Tempus Fugit clone (A Life Left Behind) is of course the most egregious one, but right before that they're leaning rather heavily on The Wall (Brother Can You Hear Me).
The (Brother Can You Hear Me) is more like Hemispheres by Rush.  The "I have memory and awareness, but I have no shape or form" section..  To me, that's awesome and probably unintentional on DT's part. The music came out in JP's subconscious. Lol!

If anything that DT does sounds like Rush, it's more than likely to be intentional.  However, there is nothing in BCYHM that's sounds even remotely close to Rush.  It's definitely closer to Pink Floyd.
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #291 on: February 27, 2017, 05:07:00 PM »
I like the astonishing a lot. I just don't get a chance to listen to it as much as I would like, just due to its shear length.
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Offline DreamerTV

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #292 on: March 01, 2017, 01:05:53 AM »
A little geeky but that's interesting

"Mitch Gallagher sits down with acclaimed Engineer, Mixer, and Producer Richard Chycki. He talks with Mitch about the microphones used to record the latest Dream Theater album."

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=95Ke8UstPoo

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #293 on: March 01, 2017, 06:44:29 AM »
awesome video, I love watching stuff like that

Offline Peter Mc

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #294 on: March 08, 2017, 06:56:20 AM »
Still enjoy the album but cannot sit down and listen to the whole thing in one sitting anymore, always give up part way through.  Listening in small chunks to and from work though, I always enjoy it.  I would say though that the songs haven't grown on me in the sense that I'm still not keen on the songs that I wasn't keen on in the beginning.

Offline robin5749

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #295 on: March 09, 2017, 11:15:10 AM »
a great achievement lovely music; james shines on this, we are lucky to have a band who can give us such diversity

Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #296 on: March 13, 2017, 07:43:13 AM »
I like TA a lot and everything, but I kind of wish it would have been one disc. I just can't ever seem to make it through the whole thing, even though I want to. And to be 100% honest, the songs blend together a little. Those would be my only nit picks.

Now compare that to something like operation mindcrime. One single disc. I make through the whole thing every time, and there are very distinct, unique and self-contained songs. With TA, I'm never like "oh I like such and such song" its more like. Yeah its a great album

Ultimately, I am still glad they reached for the stars on this one and tried something different.
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Offline CincyE

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #297 on: March 14, 2017, 12:54:56 PM »
The Astonishing has some very good moments. The "DT cheese factor" is pretty strong throughout the whole concept and performance. Seeing creepily animated people flying around on hovering platforms as fake trumpets blare was too cringe worthy....even for DT (Well, maybe it wasn't as cringe worthy a JP making us all think he is about to be raped by a crusty old man sucking on a pipe.  :rollin). For my money, "Far From Heaven" > "Breaking All Illusions" > "Beneath the Surface" is one of their finest string of songs ever!

Anyhow, The Astonishing on first listen was far from my favorite. Today, it has grown on me a little more. I can always appreciate DT pushing new bounds, even if the end result is not to MY taste. In the end, I think we can all agree; Dream Theater is like sex....or pizza..... Even when it is "bad" it is still pretty good.  :)

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #298 on: March 14, 2017, 05:50:56 PM »
Love the album but have not once listened from Descent of the NOMACs all the way through to Astonishing.


Offline TheLordOfTheStrings

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #299 on: March 27, 2017, 09:59:50 PM »
I absolutely love it still. Has not gotten old. I still make sure to listen to it in it's entirety. I VERY RARELY go straight to a song out of context. Usually it's after I've just listened to it from start to finish. It's superb. Still hearing new things here and there.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #300 on: March 27, 2017, 10:03:14 PM »
To me it's already entirely out of my consciousness, and filed as an odd chapter in DT's history.
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Offline nattmorker

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #301 on: March 27, 2017, 11:03:02 PM »
I still love it, even more because I've discovered new things that I haven't before. I usually don't have the time for music anymore to listen to it in one go but I take chunks of 4-5 songs. I'm glad they tried something so different this time.
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Offline bill1971

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #302 on: March 28, 2017, 10:28:56 PM »
Still love if as well. It's been a few months since I've heard it top to bottom. Glad they took the chance to try something different and I'm very glad I got to see the live performance.

Offline Shattered Glass

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #303 on: March 30, 2017, 11:12:16 PM »
Favourite bit - "Evangeline" - epic.
Worst WTF bit - Daryus being pardoned for murder. It's a bit scary if JP thinks murder with the level of calculation by a member of the ruling class as portrayed in this musical is a pardonable offence. It basically recalls to me the Catholic Church using confession as a means to "forgive" child molestation in the clergy
Best dramatic bit - "Saviour" -  "When your time has come" - lots of dramatic meaning for all the (dramatic) players here. Awesome JLB vocal.
Favourite DT-y bit - end of New Beginning (JM FTW!)
Most poppy bit - "new world" - this reminds me of something, but I don't know what ...

I went through a long time not listening to this but now listen to it again.  The questionable morality behind it is something that undermines it but there is an emotional truth to it. There are more fun sci-fi epicy concept albums (i.e. Slough Feg's Traveller, and everything ziltoid) and songs (i.e. 2112)that kind of make this thing look a bit po faced; and as a mere mortal it's hard to relate to a chosen one genius guitarist singer. I don't really buy JP as a sci-fi fan I guess...

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #304 on: March 31, 2017, 01:08:02 AM »
Worst WTF bit - Daryus being pardoned for murder. It's a bit scary if JP thinks murder with the level of calculation by a member of the ruling class as portrayed in this musical is a pardonable offence. It basically recalls to me the Catholic Church using confession as a means to "forgive" child molestation in the clergy

Keep in mind however that Daryus is deaf, so that's already a punishment in a sense.

Furthermore, no sympathy for me for the character in the story, but technically Daryus had a pact with Arhys and it was Aryhs who broke it, and then the sword fight ensued. If Arhys had sold out Gabriel, he wouldn't have killed him.

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #305 on: March 31, 2017, 03:10:36 AM »

Most poppy bit - "new world" - this reminds me of something, but I don't know what ...


The vibe of Our New World reminds me of You're The Voice by John Farnham.

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #306 on: April 01, 2017, 02:09:51 PM »

Most poppy bit - "new world" - this reminds me of something, but I don't know what ...


The vibe of Our New World reminds me of You're The Voice by John Farnham.

 It reminds my of something off of a recent Journey album..
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Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #307 on: April 10, 2017, 12:24:33 PM »
One thing I notice after the passage of time is that, while I think my affinity for Act I has grown stronger since release, I pay less attention during Act II.  And emotionally, I tend to lose interest after Our New World and not really care about the closing track.  I mean, in a live setting, Power Down and Astonishing are a pretty epic finish.  I enjoyed them immensely both times I saw the show.  But when listening to the album, I find myself tuning and out thinking about what else I can listen to once Our New World is over.
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Offline Evai

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #308 on: April 10, 2017, 12:44:34 PM »
Interesting. I find disc one to drag a lot on repeat listens; it's mostly focused on the story and I kind of tune out listening to it nowadays. Whereas disc two grabs me from start to finish (besides Our New World which repeats the same thing over and over, Astonishing is like a reward for sitting through it  :lol )
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Offline RoeDent

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #309 on: April 10, 2017, 01:33:44 PM »
Worst WTF bit - Daryus being pardoned for murder. It's a bit scary if JP thinks murder with the level of calculation by a member of the ruling class as portrayed in this musical is a pardonable offence. It basically recalls to me the Catholic Church using confession as a means to "forgive" child molestation in the clergy

I went through a long time not listening to this but now listen to it again.  The questionable morality behind it is something that undermines it but there is an emotional truth to it.

In fairness, in the album he was pardoned for the stabbing (obviously unintended) of Faythe, not the murder of Arhys. And you're overthinking things. It's a work of fiction. Just enjoy the music.

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #310 on: April 10, 2017, 01:42:08 PM »
Worst WTF bit - Daryus being pardoned for murder. It's a bit scary if JP thinks murder with the level of calculation by a member of the ruling class as portrayed in this musical is a pardonable offence. It basically recalls to me the Catholic Church using confession as a means to "forgive" child molestation in the clergy

I went through a long time not listening to this but now listen to it again.  The questionable morality behind it is something that undermines it but there is an emotional truth to it.

In fairness, in the album he was pardoned for the stabbing (obviously unintended) of Faythe, not the murder of Arhys. And you're overthinking things. It's a work of fiction. Just enjoy the music.

Let's also not forget that Daryus true penalty for his crimes was losing his hearing so he could not enjoy what Gabriel brought to everyone else.  Whether you think that is just or not for the crime is one thing, but within the context of the story, it felt fine to me.

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #311 on: April 13, 2017, 01:02:46 AM »
I sing this song for freedom

I fucking love this album.
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Offline DragonAttack

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #312 on: May 02, 2017, 03:17:28 PM »
I keep wanting to say something new or relevant regarding this album.  Then I read some of the other threads recently, and so much that's posted has been better than I could write.....good or bad.

Having said that, as for what would be on my 'Best of DT....IV'....the last minute of the overture, 'The Gift of Music', the intro for 'Saviour in the Square', 'Our New World', and the final 2:34 of TA are all that merit inclusion.  I like 'Chosen', would have preferred 'A Better Life' as its own song, and enjoy some of the fun moments throughout. 

But, it is boring, repetitive, and 'preachy'.  A shame that a bass, drum, and/or guitar solo were not used for 'battle' sequences.  And, as mentioned so often, it is just too long.  I try to listen to my less than 100 minute edit, but after about 10-15 minutes of various segments, I listen to other artists.  I'll try again a week later, and then play some of SFAM, or my edited FII or 8vm or Six Degrees, or any of my greatest hits versions.  A shame, because the there is so much to enjoy on TA.  The effort and so many parts are enjoyable, the album as a whole (or edited) is something I cannot listen to.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 03:57:43 PM by DragonAttack »

Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #313 on: May 02, 2017, 04:14:09 PM »
I like 'Chosen', would have preferred 'A Better Life' as its own song, ...   

???  A Better Life is its own song.  What do you mean?

But, it is boring, repetitive, and 'preachy'. 

I don't understand.  How is it preachy?


Anyhow, those questions aside, I have seen many people reference their "abridged" versions.  The only abridged version I heard was the press promo I get prior to release.  That was good in terms of giving a good intro to the music.  It did leave quite a bit to be desired as to the story itself, however.  So I made a new version trying to pare down as much of the album as possible to 1 single CD length and preserve as much of the story as possible.  It isn't perfect, but I enjoy it.  Here is what I came up with:

Descent of the NOMACS (because intro)
Dystopian Overture (because intro x2)
The Gift of Music
The Answer (not critical to have, but helps the introduction of the characters flow, and is so short that it's not a problem to keep)
A Better Life
Lord Nefaryus
A Savior in the Square
When Your Time Has Come
Three Days (I get why we get Faythe's introduction before this song, and it is super important.  But for an abridged version, skipping right to Three Days works so well)
Ravenskill
Chosen (just because it's a great song)
A Tempting Offer
The X Aspect (sets up Moment of Betrayal so well)
Moment of Betrayal
The Walking Shadow
My Last Farewell
Astonishing
Our New World (I fully agree with Astonishing being the closing track on the album. But for an abridged version, this works better as a closer.  And the music flows nicely doing it this way)

That is about 74 minutes.  I could add another song, but don't feel the need.  And, yes, I know I left off A New Beginning.  As nice as that solo section is at the end, I don't mind losing the song because this is already long, and it flows well without that song.  This collection also really marginalizes Faythe because we lose virtually every song that has any major character development for her.  But for a single album's worth of songs, it works well emphasizing Arhrys, Gabriel, and Nefaryus, and pushing the other characters to the background. 
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Offline cramx3

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #314 on: May 02, 2017, 04:48:46 PM »
Yea I dont know, I get the idea of an abridged version, but I feel like if I am going to lsiten to the album, not just sections like I typically do, then I want the whole thing.  I get it, it's long and people just don't have the time for music anymore, but it's really hard for me to listen to an abridged version and be cool with it.  I just prefer to listen to groupings of songs or each disc.  Having said that, the last time I listened to the whole album at once was probably when I last saw them perform it in October.