Author Topic: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy  (Read 1339 times)

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Online Samsara

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DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« on: March 03, 2017, 08:51:41 AM »
I saw this posted earlier by Skeever, and wanted to expand upon it.

They've dropped a lot of the "modern" metal influences that came with Portnoy ...

What are folks general thoughts on this. In general, I agree, post-Portnoy, Dream Theater seems to have stopped chasing musical trends to incorporate into its music, and generally just sounded like whatever they'd come up with...revisiting their roots to a degree, but less incorporation of other bands' signature sounds.

For me personally, that's a good thing. But I see both sides of the coin. I think some could argue that by taking the direction DT did, they start to mimic themselves, instead of growing.

Interested to see if anyone has some thoughts on the topic. I think DT should continue doing what they are doing, and dropping those more modern influences Skeever talks about is a good thing.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 09:18:07 AM »
I think the outside influence is definitely still there, perhaps just as much as it has always been.  But as I understand it, MP and JP were the primary drivers behind DT blatantly wearing its influences on its sleeves in the songwriting.  Both of them have continued to be influenced by "classic" metal and prog bands.  And while JP does listen to some modern metal, his exposure to it and willingness to incorporate it into DT's writing does seem considerably less than MP's.  I know the Red influence on BMU/BMD was from JP.  And I think a lot, if not all, of the Muse influence on 8VM was him as well.  But by and large, he tends to incorporate more of the "classic" acts into his songwriting, like Yes (as recently as The Astonishing), Rush (pretty heavy doses on the last two albums), Metallica, Queen, etc.  Either that, or I'm not into enough "modern metal" to pick up on the influences.  :lol  But one thing that is more obvious is that JP doesn't seem inclined to push for modern metal influences on the vocals like Mike did.  Some things may show up in the music, but JP doesn't push for that in the vocals department.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 09:30:24 AM »
Man, yeah, the Matt Ballamy falsettos were a bit much.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 09:43:13 AM »
For me personally, that's a good thing. But I see both sides of the coin. I think some could argue that by taking the direction DT did, they start to mimic themselves, instead of growing.

Interested to see if anyone has some thoughts on the topic. I think DT should continue doing what they are doing, and dropping those more modern influences Skeever talks about is a good thing.

I don't mind the less overt "modern" influences we've seen on the last few albums, but I would like to see them take a bit of a step back, and do something softer and more concise. I think now would honestly be the perfect time for DT to do an album that was a return to Falling into Infinity's more straight-forward approach. Or, something like Marillion's Season's End or Marbles. I guess this partly stems from the fact that, while DT can keep doing more metal-centric music with success, we've rarely gotten to hear them do something more atmospheric and reserved, with less "metal" instrumental tones. We've heard flashes of that DT throughout the discography (Lifting Shadows, Disappear, part of Octavarium, "Beautiful Agony") but we've never seen them larely commit to it for a full disc.

Offline devieira73

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2017, 09:50:12 AM »
[quote author=Skeever link=topic=49772.msg2286922#msg2286922 date=1488559393

I don't mind the less overt "modern" influences we've seen on the last few albums, but I would like to see them take a bit of a step back, and do something softer and more concise. I think now would honestly be the perfect time for DT to do an album that was a return to Falling into Infinity's more straight-forward approach. Or, something like Marillion's Season's End or Marbles. I guess this partly stems from the fact that, while DT can keep doing more metal-centric music with success, we've rarely gotten to hear them do something more atmospheric and reserved, with less "metal" instrumental tones. We've heard flashes of that DT throughout the discography (Lifting Shadows, Disappear, part of Octavarium, "Beautiful Agony") but we've never seen them larely commit to it for a full disc.
[/quote]
I don't know, like it or not, I can't imagine a DT album with more of these than TA.
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Online mikeyd23

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 09:54:03 AM »
I think the outside influence is definitely still there, perhaps just as much as it has always been.  But as I understand it, MP and JP were the primary drivers behind DT blatantly wearing its influences on its sleeves in the songwriting.  Both of them have continued to be influenced by "classic" metal and prog bands.  And while JP does listen to some modern metal, his exposure to it and willingness to incorporate it into DT's writing does seem considerably less than MP's.  I know the Red influence on BMU/BMD was from JP.  And I think a lot, if not all, of the Muse influence on 8VM was him as well.  But by and large, he tends to incorporate more of the "classic" acts into his songwriting, like Yes (as recently as The Astonishing), Rush (pretty heavy doses on the last two albums), Metallica, Queen, etc.  Either that, or I'm not into enough "modern metal" to pick up on the influences.  :lol  But one thing that is more obvious is that JP doesn't seem inclined to push for modern metal influences on the vocals like Mike did.  Some things may show up in the music, but JP doesn't push for that in the vocals department.

Good post bosk. That's pretty much my view on the topic as well. Although, JMX's recent comments about how they plan to approach the next album have me curious. His statement was about planning on writing the next album in a manner similar to ToT. Basically, where everyone is in a room together and jams and writes together. Now obviously that doesn't mean the next album will sound like ToT, but let's say hypothetically for a second that it does. DT comes out with a heavy, metal-influenced record in the vein of ToT. It will be interesting to see if it ends up feeling more "modern" metal influenced in ways or if it pays tribute to DT's longstanding "classic" metal influences (Metallica, IM, etc...).

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2017, 10:01:14 AM »
When I think "modern metal influences" regarding DT, I think blast beats and harsh vocals, and I'm glad they are gone.

However, I know that another modern metal influence, 8-string guitars, are on the way.  A JP Majesty 8-string model is coming, so that will be incorporated.  I'm interested to see what he can do with it.
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Offline Sycsa

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2017, 10:53:00 AM »
When I think "modern metal influences" regarding DT, I think blast beats and harsh vocals, and I'm glad they are gone.

However, I know that another modern metal influence, 8-string guitars, are on the way.  A JP Majesty 8-string model is coming, so that will be incorporated.  I'm interested to see what he can do with it.
What's wrong with blast beats? Also, MM did one on The Astonishing.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2017, 11:06:22 AM »
Nothing is wrong with blast beats, or with harsh vocals.  But just as I wouldn't want to hear either of them from Billy Joel, neither do I want to hear them from DT.

I don't recall MM doing one on TA, but one key difference between MM doing one and MP doing one is that MM can do one.  Can you point out where it was done?
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Offline bosk1

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 11:07:54 AM »
Can you point out where it was done?
The end of Three Days.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 11:08:41 AM »
Can you point out where it was done?
The end of Three Days.
I will need to relisten (it's not one of my favorite tracks).

But I hold to my stance.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 11:11:48 AM »
I agree with you on the difference being that MM actually can do blast beats.  I'm less rigid about what I "want" in DT music.  If a blast beat works, fine.  The one in Three Days worked.  The one in ANTR did not (mainly because, for all MP's talents, he simply didn't pull that one off well).  If it works well in the song, I'm all for it no matter what it is.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 12:00:12 PM »
Is that a blast beat at the end of Three Days? I don't know too much about what constitutes one or not, but to me this sounds more like a normal 16th bass and snare figure.

That said, I agree, MM would be the one to pull them off convincingly, and live. To my recollection, MP never attempted them live, but rather played something similarly sounding.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2017, 12:06:31 PM »
Yeah, it is.  And it's not really out of place, since blast beats originated in jazz anyway and were coopted by metal. 
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Offline Sycsa

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2017, 12:06:46 PM »
a normal 16th bass and snare figure.
Add a cymbal to that and you got a blast beat.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2017, 12:17:41 PM »
a normal 16th bass and snare figure.
Add a cymbal to that and you got a blast beat.

Uhm... I don't hear any cymbals in that section. That's also why I think I didn't register them as blast beats on hearing, because my mental image of MM has him just using both feet for the double bass, and both hands for the snare figure. If I understand it correctly, the tough part of blast beats is exactly doing the fast stuff with one hand each.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 12:30:57 PM by rumborak »
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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2017, 12:45:01 PM »
a normal 16th bass and snare figure.
Add a cymbal to that and you got a blast beat.

Uhm... I don't hear any cymbals in that section. That's also why I think I didn't register them as blast beats on hearing, because my mental image of MM has him just using both feet for the double bass, and both hands for the snare figure. If I understand it correctly, the tough part of blast beats is exactly doing the fast stuff with one hand each.

Eh, I think you can hear a ride cymbal during that pattern. I always assumed that to be a blast beat between kick, snare, and ride.

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2017, 12:59:15 PM »
a normal 16th bass and snare figure.
Add a cymbal to that and you got a blast beat.

Uhm... I don't hear any cymbals in that section. That's also why I think I didn't register them as blast beats on hearing, because my mental image of MM has him just using both feet for the double bass, and both hands for the snare figure. If I understand it correctly, the tough part of blast beats is exactly doing the fast stuff with one hand each.
At 3:34. The ride is loud, cuts through the mix. It's also very noticeable because it comes in a beat later than the snare and kick.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2017, 01:03:26 PM »
a normal 16th bass and snare figure.
Add a cymbal to that and you got a blast beat.

Uhm... I don't hear any cymbals in that section. That's also why I think I didn't register them as blast beats on hearing, because my mental image of MM has him just using both feet for the double bass, and both hands for the snare figure. If I understand it correctly, the tough part of blast beats is exactly doing the fast stuff with one hand each.
???  You don't hear the ride bell?
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Offline rumborak

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2017, 01:04:23 PM »
I don't hear it on the record (or rather, while I think I hear what you guys mean, it could just as well be an artifact of another instrument), I stand corrected though because this live video shows him playing the ride:

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DLuWeGK_nZtU&h=ATN77Ci_1DhWt_iQrC5XfxpOAF0x_JqfWk8A9RSxRrHqGVv-Djo9FQiytOlhAUuN0FZOq8vk1fnIos457nibpcM9zLEz75B3ch_-jdRsiv9Y0HBxbD8BAm0D23didml_U5Q

EDIT: Now I disctinctly hear it on the record too. I think it's a function of the ride bell sounding "uncharacteristic", to my ears that is.
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Offline Sycsa

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2017, 01:13:33 PM »
I don't hear it on the record (or rather, while I think I hear what you guys mean, it could just as well be an artifact of another instrument), I stand corrected though because this live video shows him playing the ride:

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DLuWeGK_nZtU&h=ATN77Ci_1DhWt_iQrC5XfxpOAF0x_JqfWk8A9RSxRrHqGVv-Djo9FQiytOlhAUuN0FZOq8vk1fnIos457nibpcM9zLEz75B3ch_-jdRsiv9Y0HBxbD8BAm0D23didml_U5Q

EDIT: Now I disctinctly hear it on the record too. I think it's a function of the ride bell sounding "uncharacteristic", to my ears that is.
For a second I thought you were deaf to the higher frequency of the ride, which can happen to musicians. MM once said that he can't hear his splash cymbals at all because of his hearing loss.   
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Offline rumborak

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2017, 01:15:31 PM »
Nah, I hear it alright, but it's not really the bell, it's the main part of the ride cymbal, which has a much less cutting sound. The bell has a true "ding!" to it. That's what I was expecting to hear. Also, MM's cymbals are wafer-thin on TA.
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Offline Siddhartha

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2017, 01:39:43 PM »
The Astonishing is Alan Menken meets Dream Theater, so yes, they still let their influences show in their music.

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2017, 02:45:23 PM »
What's wrong with blast beats? Also, MM did one on The Astonishing.

The difference being that the Blast Beat that MP did was absolutely forced and out of place....and in no way belonged in that song...sounded atrocious to me.

MM's blast beat works with the song, doesn't sound out of place or forced and sounds 'good'.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2017, 03:05:39 PM »
It wasn't out of place.  It would have been awesome in that part of the song if it was actually done correctly.  But he unfortunately couldn't keep proper time on it.
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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2017, 03:28:03 PM »
Yeah, he really slows down towards the end. Funny to hear a mistake like that in a studio album.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 03:38:51 PM by Sycsa »
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Offline rumborak

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2017, 03:34:36 PM »
I still have a hard time referring to them as blast beats, despite them, according to the technique, they are. To me, blast beats serve a distinct purpose, that is to create a wall of sound. That's why they became popular in extreme metal. The blast beats in 3 Days are not trying to be a wall of sound (that's why it works in that section).
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Offline Evai

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2017, 04:49:41 PM »
Eh, I enjoy the sloppy blast beat section in ANTR, stuff like that adds character. I get so bored listening to records where everything is made to be 'perfect'.
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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2017, 05:44:54 PM »
It wasn't out of place.  It would have been awesome in that part of the song if it was actually done correctly.  But he unfortunately couldn't keep proper time on it.

It's true the performance was a bit sloppy, but, to me, that's not what ruined that part, but rather the fact that it was placed on a section they forced to be long just for the sake of being long. The last couple minutes of ANTR are spent repeating the same section/riff over and over, just adding or changing small things, it sounds repetitive and just very long, so when the blast beat comes, it doesn't have the impact or momentum it should've had. If you listen to that part, the blast beat doesn't blend at all with what JP is playing, it all sounds empty and just wrong.

The Three Days blast beat works so well because it appears on the climax of the song and was used to enhance the dark tone of that particular section and the narrative of the story.

About the OP, I think MP was the one trying to incorporate more modern elements to their albums, which can be good in many cases, but sometimes it was just too much (ROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH). Also, about the Muse influences on OV came mostly from MP, since he's the one who ranks Absolution as one of his all time favorite albums, not JP.

The thing with JP is that he isn't very interested in listening to new bands/new music as Portnoy is. I remember a few recent interviews where JP was asked about new, young bands he was into and he didn't answer any. Like someone said earlier, he's much more into their old influences such as Metallica, IM, Rush, etc.

To me, it seems that Jordan is the only DT member that really goes out there looking for cool new bands and albums. He's the one that had videos in 2013 playing parts of The Mountain by Haken, for example.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2017, 05:55:35 PM »
What is the time stamp for the blast beats in A Nightmare to Remember that people always talk about?

Offline rumborak

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2017, 06:21:35 PM »
14:32-14:40 approximately. When the snare goes fastest.
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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2017, 06:37:49 PM »
I really like the metal side of DT.  I hope their next record is heavier than their average release. When they do get heavy, it's tastefully done. I also like their atmospheric softer side just as much. They seem to balance the two quite well on most of their albums.  I'm sure whatever they put out next will be very good, regardless.  I do like the fact that they are letting JLB be himself and hope the next record will be no exception.
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Offline Schurftkut

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2017, 08:22:44 PM »

The thing with JP is that he isn't very interested in listening to new bands/new music as Portnoy is. I remember a few recent interviews where JP was asked about new, young bands he was into and he didn't answer any. Like someone said earlier, he's much more into their old influences such as Metallica, IM, Rush, etc.

To me, it seems that Jordan is the only DT member that really goes out there looking for cool new bands and albums. He's the one that had videos in 2013 playing parts of The Mountain by Haken, for example.

not true, petrucci recently said something about really liking Muse/animals as leaders/some other new/recent bands i forgot the names of..

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2017, 10:54:24 PM »
Which "modern metal" are we talking about? I'd rather not hear them do a bunch of Djent stuff. I like Meshuggah a lot don't get me wrong but I could do without that random riffing stuff and harsh vocals. I don't know. Maybe they could make it work. Awake was certainly darker and heavier than Images and Words :metal

That is a blast beat at the end of Three Days. Sounds fine to me.
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Offline Adami

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Re: DT dropping "modern" metal influences post-Portnoy
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2017, 10:58:09 PM »
Yes, the end of Three Days was definitely a blast beat, it was just used in a very unusual context, which was awesome.
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