Author Topic: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.  (Read 44872 times)

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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #385 on: September 20, 2017, 11:25:41 AM »
Production isn't the issue for me at all, one way or another.  I simply do not like the album musically as a whole.  Sure it has moments, but they are too short lived and few and far between.  A progressive metal band should be on the heavy side.  That's what metal is.  I don't think there were nearly as many complaints about ToT being too heavy as there are for TA not being heavy enough.

I think TOT is too heavy just for the sake of being heavy.

Maybe, but TA is too different just for the sake of being different.
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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #386 on: September 20, 2017, 11:43:39 AM »
I might be the only one, but I don't want them to get an external producer. TA I'd one of my favorite DT albums, and I love the two before it as well.  If at some point JP decides he wants to work with someone else, great.  Otherwise, I looking forward to what comes next just from DT.

I love the last 3 albums as well! I rank them very high on my DT list, and donít think thereís anything wrong with JP being the only producer for the band. However, Iíd love to see them bring an outside producer with a fresh approach for the next album. It would still sound like and be DT, but with a different feel to it, and that would be a really nice change, only if itís just for one album. Sometimes itís good to collaborate with someone with a different approach to help you push the boundaries.

I get that, and would be fine with it if that's what JP was moved to do. But I'm not longing for it, and I don't think if it happened it would be guaranteed to produce better results. The Astonishing was like a breath of fresh air to me, and shows that they're capable of creating something new, different, and beautiful all on their own.

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #387 on: September 20, 2017, 11:52:30 AM »
I treat The Astonishing like any Ayreon album. I heard it in full a few times, really enjoyed it, and from there I was able to whittle down which songs are my favorites, the ones I'll put on in any given mood. I haven't spun the entire thing or either disc in full for quite some time but I still listen to Lord Nafaryus and Three Days regularly. Three Days might be the greatest song the band's written in a long time imo - short, sweet, it has it all, I've expressed my love for it here and at MP's forum.

A year and a half later I think The Astonishing is the best Dream Theater album since Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. The production is great, there's beautiful playing from every member, James's voice is on fire, and despite Petrucci bashing you over the head with not so subtle religious messages and nomenclature it's an awesome record with a fun story. Seeing it live really drove the story point home - this is an album meant to be experienced live like theater, this would be so good if they had real actors in the background performing the story.

I agree with pretty much all of the above. I'm glad there weren't actors on the tour, but I do think it would be incredible to see a theater type production one day.

I haven't listened to TA in its entirety for a few months, but that's due to other things. I do often listen to the whole thing when I decide to listen to it - maybe not always all at once, but I pick up where I left off if interrupted.

Quote

Anyone else in the same boat as me? I really love The Astonishing and listen to it loads, but have no interest in DT's next album, as it's probably gonna be more along the lines of DT12.

EDIT: Move over, I'm jumping in. DT12 is one of my least favorite DT albums. Even the couple of songs I like I don't listen to much because the production is somehow worse than on ADTOE. Illumination Theory has its moments but it feels more disjointed and less fluid than their other epics. That string section, and the crack of Mangini's fill before the 'to really feel the joy in life' lyric, hooboy. That's magic.

Well, you're wrong about this album. Just plain wrong. ;)

Or, you could be right about the production - I don't pay attention to that and it probably has to be Vapor Trails for me to notice. But totally wrong that the songs aren't all amazing. :)

Offline ProfessorPeart

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #388 on: September 22, 2017, 10:58:05 AM »
I have actually never finished listening to this album. The first time that I listened to Disc 1 all the way through I kept thinking - 'Is it finally over? Will it move to Disc 2 finally?'. I just remember being so bored by the whole thing. In my mind, the first disc alone felt like a double album. To this day, I have not heard a note of Disc 2. I've had no desire to even go back to it. That doesn't mean I never will, but I have over 25,000 songs in my library to keep me busy.

For me, post MP DT has been like the analogy that many people use for the TOS Star Trek movies. The even numbered ones are really good. The odds, not so much. So yes, that means I only like one album since the event. Here's to hoping the next one is in the vein of the self-titled.
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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #389 on: September 22, 2017, 11:10:20 AM »
Did you only listen to disc 1 that one time, Prof?

I feel like - I dunno. I think there are so many beautiful melodies on that album and if you (general you) start from that and sit with it a bit you'll start to get into it more. 

Offline Kattelox

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #390 on: September 22, 2017, 11:16:06 AM »
I hope you can find time at some point to listen to disc 2, or even play the whole thing again someday, PP.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #391 on: September 22, 2017, 11:23:39 AM »
I have actually never finished listening to this album. The first time that I listened to Disc 1 all the way through I kept thinking - 'Is it finally over? Will it move to Disc 2 finally?'. I just remember being so bored by the whole thing. In my mind, the first disc alone felt like a double album. To this day, I have not heard a note of Disc 2. I've had no desire to even go back to it. That doesn't mean I never will, but I have over 25,000 songs in my library to keep me busy.

To really "get" this album, I think you have to (1) put it in context of what it is, and (2) immerse yourself in it for at least one listen to try to figure out how the music and story relate.  To do that, I think it is helpful to first take a moment and read the song-by-song plot summaries on DT.net, and then listen to the album once through in its entirety where you can sit and just pay attention to the music and story together, with the plot summaries in mind.  And I think you have to keep in mind that, structure-wise, it is meant to follow the broadway musical two-act structure.  That is why certain songs are the way they are, including the final song, which isn't the story's climax and isn't the big, epic ending one might expect for a concept album.

That is what I think it takes to understand and appreciate the album.  Whether or not you want to make such an investment in time is another story, and I fully get it you aren't inclined to do so.  That is entirely your prerogative.  But I will say that if I hadn't taken the time to do that, I don't think I would have nearly the appreciation that I have for the album, and I might not like it much either. 
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Offline Evai

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #392 on: September 22, 2017, 03:03:01 PM »
What made me 'get' the album, was watching the (now gone) Youtube video that had lyrics and pictures of the backgrounds and characters when they were 'talking'. The visual aspect helped be immersed in the story a bit more. Having a face attached to each lyric makes the characters seem more 'real', and not just some esoteric idea placed in a normal DT song. After that, I could listen to the album normally and listen for all the reocurring themes, and start to get an appreciation for all the drum and guitar parts. :) A few more listens after that, I was all ready to nitpick and complain on the forums
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Offline metrojam

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #393 on: September 24, 2017, 05:37:47 AM »

To really "get" this album, I think you have to (1)

...........Totally forget it's by Dream Theater and treat it as a "project involving some very talented musicians from all different genre's of rock".
It's the only way I can even begin to listen to it without destroying my memories and love for what DT have done in their brilliant career.

Offline TAC

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #394 on: September 24, 2017, 09:19:25 AM »
Not even.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #395 on: September 24, 2017, 10:11:00 AM »

To really "get" this album, I think you have to (1)

...........Totally forget it's by Dream Theater and treat it as a "project involving some very talented musicians from all different genre's of rock".
It's the only way I can even begin to listen to it without destroying my memories and love for what DT have done in their brilliant career.

Really? I understand not liking the album, but it's so clear listening to it that it's still Petrucci and Rudess behind the music. It's a very different kind of Dream Theater, but it's still obviously Dream Theater, it's not that the music, even though oriented to the "rock opera" format, is completely and totally removed from anything they've ever done.
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Offline SwedishGoose

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #396 on: September 24, 2017, 10:17:49 AM »
Yeah I don't get that ... saying that it is not Dream Theater. It's not that different from their earlier catalogue.
It definiteley caters more for the prog fans than the metal fans but it's not like they have done a polka rap record....

Offline Dreammajesty

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #397 on: September 24, 2017, 10:41:04 AM »
I wish they make an 5.1 surround bluray,that should be awesome!! The Astonishing was my favorite over the year played it 2 times a day.

Offline metrojam

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #398 on: September 24, 2017, 01:25:07 PM »

To really "get" this album, I think you have to (1)

...........Totally forget it's by Dream Theater and treat it as a "project involving some very talented musicians from all different genre's of rock".
It's the only way I can even begin to listen to it without destroying my memories and love for what DT have done in their brilliant career.

Really? I understand not liking the album, but it's so clear listening to it that it's still Petrucci and Rudess behind the music. It's a very different kind of Dream Theater, but it's still obviously Dream Theater, it's not that the music, even though oriented to the "rock opera" format, is completely and totally removed from anything they've ever done.

Of course it's clear it's DT and I'm not saying that I don't think it's their album at all. I was saying that the only way I can listen to it is to forget it's by a band I have loved for nearly 30 years as I don't want to accept that my heros can produce such a piece of garbage (to my ears) and if I try to listen to it and don't distance myself from the reality that it IS a DT album, then I just can't stomach more than a few mins of it before I get bored silly.

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #399 on: September 24, 2017, 05:05:11 PM »

To really "get" this album, I think you have to (1)

...........Totally forget it's by Dream Theater and treat it as a "project involving some very talented musicians from all different genre's of rock".
It's the only way I can even begin to listen to it without destroying my memories and love for what DT have done in their brilliant career.

Really? I understand not liking the album, but it's so clear listening to it that it's still Petrucci and Rudess behind the music. It's a very different kind of Dream Theater, but it's still obviously Dream Theater, it's not that the music, even though oriented to the "rock opera" format, is completely and totally removed from anything they've ever done.

Of course it's clear it's DT and I'm not saying that I don't think it's their album at all. I was saying that the only way I can listen to it is to forget it's by a band I have loved for nearly 30 years as I don't want to accept that my heros can produce such a piece of garbage (to my ears) and if I try to listen to it and don't distance myself from the reality that it IS a DT album, then I just can't stomach more than a few mins of it before I get bored silly.

Thats odd. So if you heard a song in a certain style, didn't know who made it and found it great, then find out your favorite band did it which isn't their style you'll dismiss it as its not their style?

I'm glad I don't care about stuff like that. Or view bands as my heroes. Theyre just people making music that I happen to enjoy.
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Offline PixelDream

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #400 on: September 28, 2017, 10:36:00 AM »
I tried to get into it when it came out, and it was the first album of DT where that just wasn't happening for me. 'The Astonishing' as a title means for me that it actually WAS possible to actively dislike a DT album. I have no problem with stories, musicals and the like but this just wasn't all that good, was it? Unfortunately the TA show in Carre Amsterdam was as boring as the album, with DT standing still whilst performing against a backdrop of amateuristic cardboard fairytale characters.

Please note that the above is my opinion, not facts even though I may present them as such. The I&W&Beyond show earlier this year was great, and I'm looking forward to the next album. If you feel like me, the next album just can't be a disappointment as I feel this is the absolute lowpoint of their career.
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Offline SwedishGoose

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #401 on: September 28, 2017, 10:43:15 AM »
Well for me it can almost not get better as I find The Astonishing to be the highpoint....

Offline gzarruk

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #402 on: September 28, 2017, 10:49:57 AM »
Well for me it can almost not get better as I find The Astonishing to be the highpoint....

Completely agree. Lowest point, for me, would be FII era or BC&SL era. Maybe FII.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #403 on: September 28, 2017, 10:50:11 AM »

To really "get" this album, I think you have to (1)

...........Totally forget it's by Dream Theater and treat it as a "project involving some very talented musicians from all different genre's of rock".
It's the only way I can even begin to listen to it without destroying my memories and love for what DT have done in their brilliant career.

Really? I understand not liking the album, but it's so clear listening to it that it's still Petrucci and Rudess behind the music. It's a very different kind of Dream Theater, but it's still obviously Dream Theater, it's not that the music, even though oriented to the "rock opera" format, is completely and totally removed from anything they've ever done.

Of course it's clear it's DT and I'm not saying that I don't think it's their album at all. I was saying that the only way I can listen to it is to forget it's by a band I have loved for nearly 30 years as I don't want to accept that my heros can produce such a piece of garbage (to my ears) and if I try to listen to it and don't distance myself from the reality that it IS a DT album, then I just can't stomach more than a few mins of it before I get bored silly.

I will second the flaws in your reasoning that others have posted, but also need to point out that referring to an album as a "piece of garbage" doesn't even remotely fall within the bounds of keeping criticism "constructive" as required by Rule 12.  http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=7.0  If you cannot abide by the forum rules, you will not be permitted to post here.
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Offline Herrick

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #404 on: September 28, 2017, 12:19:20 PM »
To really "get" this album, I think you have to (1) put it in context of what it is, and (2) immerse yourself in it for at least one listen to try to figure out how the music and story relate.  To do that, I think it is helpful to first take a moment and read the song-by-song plot summaries on DT.net, and then listen to the album once through in its entirety where you can sit and just pay attention to the music and story together, with the plot summaries in mind.  And I think you have to keep in mind that, structure-wise, it is meant to follow the broadway musical two-act structure.  That is why certain songs are the way they are, including the final song, which isn't the story's climax and isn't the big, epic ending one might expect for a concept album.

That is what I think it takes to understand and appreciate the album.  Whether or not you want to make such an investment in time is another story, and I fully get it you aren't inclined to do so.  That is entirely your prerogative.  But I will say that if I hadn't taken the time to do that, I don't think I would have nearly the appreciation that I have for the album, and I might not like it much either.

Admittedly, that is a problem with me. I usually don't care about lyrics so I'm really missing out on a big part of The Astonishing. The only time I even start to care even a little bit about lyrics is when I absolutely love the music. I have a trip coming up in November. I may play the whole album and read the lyrics during the flight.

...........Totally forget it's by Dream Theater and treat it as a "project involving some very talented musicians from all different genre's of rock".
It's the only way I can even begin to listen to it without destroying my memories and love for what DT have done in their brilliant career.

If I pretended this wasn't a DT album then I probably wouldn't even bother giving it more chances.
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Offline Evai

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #405 on: September 29, 2017, 12:47:38 AM »
Ya, listening to The Astonishing without following the story is like watching star wars with the sound off
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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #406 on: September 29, 2017, 05:21:01 AM »
Please note that the above is my opinion, not facts even though I may present them as such. The I&W&Beyond show earlier this year was great, and I'm looking forward to the next album. If you feel like me, the next album just can't be a disappointment as I feel this is the absolute lowpoint of their career.

I think disliking it is ok, we have different tastes after all. But to call a more than 2-hour musical that has well thought-out musical themes that make a coherent story, music that fits the story being told, with unconventional arrangement choices as a low point from a songwriting standpoint seems too...extreme? I don't know. Can't we at least respect that a lot of creativity poured into this work, it just happened not to suit your taste? Because for artists that make a living out of creative work, I would imagine that the low point would be when they stop being creative and produce work that is very much been-there-done-that or is very much derivative of what others have done.

Offline Drinktheater

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #407 on: September 29, 2017, 09:47:55 AM »
Please note that the above is my opinion, not facts even though I may present them as such. The I&W&Beyond show earlier this year was great, and I'm looking forward to the next album. If you feel like me, the next album just can't be a disappointment as I feel this is the absolute lowpoint of their career.

I think disliking it is ok, we have different tastes after all. But to call a more than 2-hour musical that has well thought-out musical themes that make a coherent story, music that fits the story being told, with unconventional arrangement choices as a low point from a songwriting standpoint seems too...extreme? I don't know. Can't we at least respect that a lot of creativity poured into this work, it just happened not to suit your taste? Because for artists that make a living out of creative work, I would imagine that the low point would be when they stop being creative and produce work that is very much been-there-done-that or is very much derivative of what others have done.

I agree here, I may not entirely like the Astonishing at all but I will not consider it a disappointment or a low point of their career.

In fact I am really thankful they tried this and I am kinda impressed that they are not afraid to try new ideas to delve in the world of Musicals and Opera its not a very easy thing to do at all.

I think over all it makes sense to have lots of songs in that album since a Musical has lots of them. And it is short because some is used as a filler for some scenes where a character breaks into a song mid conversation and I think thats where all the short songs falls into place.

imagine a Musical like Les Misrables where one scene the lead actor breaks into a song that lasts 12minutes!

Offline Anxiety35

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #408 on: September 29, 2017, 12:41:44 PM »
Not my favorite by the band but I do give them a lot of credit for going into the area of concept/score type of album. Personally, I like a few tracks with "The Path That Divides" as my favorite. I will give the entire thing a listen if I have a long drive but it has never really clicked with me as a whole. Oh well. I'm not going to cry about it.

It's a strong release for James LaBrie. He shines on the album.

Offline DougMasters

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #409 on: September 29, 2017, 01:13:07 PM »
I still come back to it to try to listen and enjoy it.

I've listened to the whole thing twice, and a few times I've skipped around.

It's another example of solid musicianship with songs that I find completely uninteresting. Maybe uninteresting is the wrong word. It's "interesting" just not enjoyable. At least not enjoyable to me. It may be my least favorite album from the Dream Theater catalog.


Offline KevShmev

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #410 on: September 30, 2017, 08:36:56 AM »
Even though Disc 2 meanders a bit, I still think the album overall is pretty damn good.  I think had it been condensed down to about 100 minutes, instead of 130, it would have been a perfect record from a musical standpoint (not factoring in the story, which seems rather hokey).

The overall length can make it hard to get through, but I still say this record has some of the best music they have ever done. 

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #411 on: September 30, 2017, 10:49:27 AM »
Still love the whole album!
 It will be cool when the title of this thread changes to "The Astonishing, Two Years On"  :coolio
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #412 on: September 30, 2017, 11:05:03 AM »
I still listen to the album regularly and love it. My only complaint is that Myung is too low on the mix. DT12 had perfect bass level/tone, imo.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline ytserush

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #413 on: September 30, 2017, 11:50:26 AM »
Probably said this before, but the music is great. It's just the lyrics that kill me.

Offline mikeyd23

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #414 on: September 30, 2017, 07:46:47 PM »
Even though Disc 2 meanders a bit, I still think the album overall is pretty damn good.  I think had it been condensed down to about 100 minutes, instead of 130, it would have been a perfect record from a musical standpoint (not factoring in the story, which seems rather hokey).

The overall length can make it hard to get through, but I still say this record has some of the best music they have ever done. 

As usual, Kev knows whatís up.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #415 on: September 30, 2017, 09:18:15 PM »
Even though Disc 2 meanders a bit, I still think the album overall is pretty damn good.  I think had it been condensed down to about 100 minutes, instead of 130, it would have been a perfect record from a musical standpoint (not factoring in the story, which seems rather hokey).

The overall length can make it hard to get through, but I still say this record has some of the best music they have ever done. 

As usual, Kev knows whatís up.

Posts like this make me wish we had the feature where we could "like" posts. :biggrin:

Along those lines, this is the only message board I look at regularly that still doesn't have the "like" button feature.

Offline Herrick

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #416 on: September 30, 2017, 09:51:11 PM »
Even though Disc 2 meanders a bit, I still think the album overall is pretty damn good.  I think had it been condensed down to about 100 minutes, instead of 130, it would have been a perfect record from a musical standpoint (not factoring in the story, which seems rather hokey).

The overall length can make it hard to get through, but I still say this record has some of the best music they have ever done. 

As usual, Kev knows whatís up.

Posts like this make me wish we had the feature where we could "like" posts. :biggrin:

Along those lines, this is the only message board I look at regularly that still doesn't have the "like" button feature.

Herrick likes this  ;D
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Offline Drinktheater

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #417 on: October 03, 2017, 12:06:56 PM »
Some people make fun of the Disney vibe some of the ballads have but I think its really beautiful, I really love "Begin Again" I say its one of the best ballads they have written.

That is Dream Theater for me they will write Ballads like "Begin again" to the point you would not think they are the same band behind "The Mirror" or As I Am!


Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #418 on: October 09, 2017, 11:31:33 AM »
Some people make fun of the Disney vibe some of the ballads have but I think its really beautiful, I really love "Begin Again" I say its one of the best ballads they have written.

That is Dream Theater for me they will write Ballads like "Begin again" to the point you would not think they are the same band behind "The Mirror" or As I Am!



Thats one if my faves from the album as well. The ending always gets me.

I'm still loving this album. The concept relates to me a lot as well, being a person whom just loves music. After reading the prologue, I'm more interested in the story.

I don't know how they can be so proud of winning with them odds. - Little Big Man

I Love You...Poppin Fresh

Offline DougMasters

  • Posts: 78
Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year On.
« Reply #419 on: October 09, 2017, 12:02:51 PM »
I have actually never finished listening to this album. The first time that I listened to Disc 1 all the way through I kept thinking - 'Is it finally over? Will it move to Disc 2 finally?'. I just remember being so bored by the whole thing. In my mind, the first disc alone felt like a double album. To this day, I have not heard a note of Disc 2. I've had no desire to even go back to it. That doesn't mean I never will, but I have over 25,000 songs in my library to keep me busy.

For me, post MP DT has been like the analogy that many people use for the TOS Star Trek movies. The even numbered ones are really good. The odds, not so much. So yes, that means I only like one album since the event. Here's to hoping the next one is in the vein of the self-titled.

ive listened to the whole thing a few times, and I gotta be honest, the "is it finally over" feeling never goes away.

we'll eventually do a podcast on it and I wanna know what I'm talking about so I'm going to listen to it a lot, but I'm not looking forward to it, every time I go back, I find I dislike it just as much.

Maybe, maybe I like 10 tunes, MAYBE.