Author Topic: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking  (Read 315 times)

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Offline Kazooie92

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Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« on: November 30, 2017, 01:32:02 PM »
Hello everyone,

I discovered DT around '07 but didn't really become addicted like I am until this past year. I estimate I've listened to each album around 7 times in the past year but that number much higher with the albums that I like. Would love to know what the DT veterans out there think of my list.

1. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
2. Images and Words
3. Scenes from a Memory
4. Awake
*A Change of Seasons
---------------------------------
5. The Astonishing
6. Octavarium
7. Dream Theater
8. A Dramatic Turn of Events
---------------------------------
9. Falling into Infinity
10. Black Clouds and Silver Linings
11. Train of Thought
---------------------------------
12. Systematic Chaos
13. When Day and Dream Unite




Offline bosk1

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 01:47:11 PM »
Welcome aboard.  Interesting user name.

I might quibble just a bit with some of your specific rankings as far as my own personal taste.  But there is certainly nothing shocking about yours.  Your top, middle, lower, and lowest tiers are pretty consistent with overall fan consensus, I would say. 

It would probably provide for a bit more discussion if you say WHY you ranked certain albums where you did.  I am also curious to know whether there are any albums you don't like.  For a lot of us, we generally like all or most of the albums and rank the last ones last simply because we like them less than the others.  For other people, they have a cutoff in their rankings for albums they don't really like.  Curious to know where you fall.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 01:50:30 PM »
Agreed with bosky. But in general, those rankings seem pretty hunky dory to me.
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Online Evai

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 01:53:16 PM »
Yeah, pretty typical list. Differences from the status quo might be that you rated Self Titled over Dramatic Turn, put Train Of Thought a bit lower, and Astonishing a bit higher.
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Offline Kazooie92

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2017, 01:58:05 PM »
My rankings are pretty much in line with the ones I found myself going back to the most. I'd say my top and bottom tier haven't really changed much but I can't really get a firm ranking for those mid tier ones.

Falling into Infinity has definitely climbed its way up the list over time. I think the first time I listened I didn't really go into it with an open mind since it seemed to have such a low ranking on allot of music sites but decided to give it another chance since I noticed it was much more popular among fan forums.

SFAM was number one for a while but I noticed over time I wasn't ever in the mood to listen to it but SDOIT was something I was listening to daily same with Awake which took some time for me to really get into.

The reason I put TOT so low was because I'm not as crazy about their heavier stuff but it totally makes sense to me why someone who likes the heavy would put it much higher.








Offline pg1067

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 02:00:10 PM »
Would love to know what the DT veterans out there think of my list.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think your list is your list and whatever albums you prefer more or less than other albums is not a subject about which I or anyone else should have anything to say.

If you want to know what my list looks like, I would probably switch SFAM and SDOIT.  I'd have ToT much higher.  Systematic Chaos is at the bottom of my list, and I have The Astonishing unranked because I haven't listened to it enough to rank it fairly (i.e., it hasn't grabbed me much at all in the 2 or 3 listens I have given it).

Offline bosk1

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 02:28:30 PM »
Thanks.  I asked for a "why" because we have TONS of ranking threads.  And even outside of those, people end up positng their rankings in plenty of other threads as well.  As PG1067 said, it's all subjective and doesn't really allow for much discussion without the "why." 

For comparison, here is mine, with a bit of reasoning:

1.  Six Degrees:  #1 and #2 are a tossup.  But, well, "more is more."  The only song I don't care for is Blind Faith, and even without that, there is more content I love on this album than any other.  The title song is truly epic, has many individual parts I love, and has a cool concept and nice wrap-up at the end.  The other songs rank very highly on my favorites lists as well.
2.  SFAM:  Fantastic concept album with lots of layers, both in music and story.  The only weakness this album has is also one of its strengths:  the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  It may not have as many individual songs that I would go back to and pull out to listen to.  But as an entire piece, they all work together incredibly well.
3.  ADTOE:  It is quite a feat to rank this and DT12 ahead of I&W, because the latter is just a classic and has some of DT's strongest material.  However, ADTOE is just so incredibly consistent.  Unlike I&W, which has some incredibly high peaks, but also has some valleys, there is not a single song on ADTOE that makes me want to hit the skip button.  And it is a true testament to how amazing this band is that they can put out an album this late in their careers that has a few songs that could make my top 10 list.
4.  DT12:  I would describe this the same way as ADTOE, but just a hair below.
5.  Images & Words:  A true classic.  Pull Me Under, Metropolis, Wait for Sleep, and Learning To Live are essential.
6.  Awake:  Another album that has some VERY strong tracks, but also some skippable ones as well.  But it ranks so high on the strength of 6:00, the Mirror, Lie, Voices, and Scarred.  And a couple of other tracks ain't bad either.
7.  Octavarium:  As with its predecessors, lots of peaks and valleys.  The theme that runs throughout is brilliant and pulls this album up as a whole.  But you also have some really strong tracks.  The only one I don't care for is TALW.  I kinda feel like this one should be higher, but I just love those other albums and can't find a way to bump them down.
8.  Systematic Chaos:  I love ITPOE, Forsaken, and Constant Motion.  TDEN is pretty fun.  And if I'm in the mood, Repentence isn't bad.  But Prophets and Ministry are two of my least favorite DT songs, and I really don't care for them at all.
9.  FII:  When I first heard the album, I wasn't aware of any sort of stigma, so that didn't cause me to rank it so low.  I immediately noticed that it sounded very different, so it took me awhile to warm up to it.  But I have found lots to enjoy since then.  Favorite tracks are Lines, Peruvian Skies, Take Away My Pain, and Trial of Tears.  I don't like You Not Me, Burning My Soul, Hollow Years, or Hell's Kitchen.  The other songs ain't bad.
10.  Train of Thought:  I really like the run of Vacant, SOC, ITNOG.  The rest of the album is hit and miss.  And the overall dark, heavy tone feels a bit too "one-note" by the end.
11.  Black Clouds:  This album held a lot of promise, but fell short.  I really like ANTR, but feel like it overstays its welcome.  TSF is pretty good, but has the same problem in feeling just a tad too long and a tad too reminiscent of the earlier 12SS.  TCOT is pretty good.
12.  WDADU:  I hated this album for the longest.  WDADRU made me begin to appreciate it.  I don't care for the production of the studio album, and while Charlie is an undeniably talented singer, these songs were not written to his strengths, and it shows.  But I can enjoy and appreciate live versions of most of the songs here.

Unranked:  The Astonishing.  Even after having it this long, it is hard for me to rank.  I LOVE Act I.  Act II feels flawed for quite a few reasons that are hard for me to get past.  And its length and the concept make it hard for me to fairly rank.  I feel like it should be somewhere in the upper middle, but I have a hard time figuring out what albums to rank it above and below.  Maybe after another album or two, I'll be able to figure out where it fits in their legacy.  For now, I just leave it out.
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Online Evai

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 02:41:46 PM »
Disc one of Astonishing feels like it goes on forever to me. I usually pop in disc 2 for listening pleasure. Disc one is mostly exposition and buildup, which once I've already heard a bunch of times, gets boring. Meanwhile, disc two has the ACTION. Losing Faythe till the end is when I couldn't zone out even if I tried. The last 3/4 tracks are probably my favourite run of songs in the DT discography.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2017, 04:10:45 PM »
For comparison, here is mine, with a bit of reasoning:

This is very interesting to read (and I agree far more conducive to discussion than just a bare ranking).  I'll give it a whirl.

1. SFAM -- It has everything that makes DT great and very little that I don't like.  It is, of course, an epic concept album.  It has extremely heavy parts (Beyond This Life).  It has great prog epics (Home).  It has ballads (TSCO).  It has great stand alone songs (Fatal Tragedy).  It has an amazing instrumental, which, while perhaps being the most over the top examples of prog wankery, manages not to sound like wankery.  And it has a cool story (regardless of it perhaps being derivative of what I think is a rather lackluster movie).  It also benefits from being preceded by a relatively mediocre album.

2. I&W -- It's the original.  When I heard this album, I was in a period of musical despondency.  Fates Warning was really the only band making what I considered to be GREAT music.  Queensryche was on a downturn.  Rush had recently released what I typically consider to be the band's worst album.  Halford had left Judas Priest.  Fear of the Dark was better than Maiden's prior album, but it still wasn't as good their earlier albums.  My own band had broken up after having started down a road that I like to think would have had us making music similar to that of DT.  I heard songs like Metropolis and Learning to Live and thought they were just about perfect.  Some days, this is #1.  Some days, it could drop to #3, but never lower than that.

3. SDOIT -- This album's biggest challenge was that it was a follow up to SFAM.  I didn't really like disc one at first, and I still consider Disappear and The Great Debate to be throw-away tracks.  The rest of disc one is great, however.  The Glass Prison kicks ass.  Blind Faith is one of my favorite all time DT songs, and Misunstood has a very cool vibe.  The title track almost stands on the same footing as SFAM.  It was amazing to hear what is, at bottom, a metal band come up with something that, in many ways, rivals some of the greatest classical works and rock concept albums of all time.

4. Awake -- Awake had the challenge of following up I&W, and it didn't do as well as SDOIT did following SFAM.  Innocence Faded is one of DT's weakest songs, and I hardly ever listed to Lie or The Mirror.  The rest of the album is really good, however.

5. Train of Thought -- There are a lot of analogies between ToT and Awake.  This Dying Soul and Honor Thy Father are, in my view, much weaker versions of As I Am.  Stream of Consciousness is probably my favorite DT instrumental.

6. Octavarium -- A good follow up to ToT, with it's more prog feel.  Most of MP's "nuggets" are lost on me, and I Walk Beside You is on the same level as Innocence Faded in terms of weak DT songs.  I LOVE Panic Attack, and the title epic is Amazing (especially the second half).  It's even good in the sped up 3x version that's on YouTube somewhere.

We now get into albums that all have some fairly major weak points.

7. DT12 -- Illumination Theory is one of DT's greatest epics.  I love The Looking Glass and Along for the Ride.  Enigma Machine is cool, but not up with their best instrumentals.  The rest of the album is very take-it-or-leave-it.

8. ADTOE -- Very similar to DT12 in terms of overall feeling.  I love Breaking All Illusions and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Bridges in the Sky and Outcry.  I feel like I should like Lost Not Forgotten better than I do, but I don't.  The rest of the album is somewhat lackluster.

9. BC&SL -- This should have been a great album and it wasn't, so it suffers for that reason alone.  A Nightmare to Remember is too Long.  A Rite of Passage is just ok.  I love Wither.  The guitar player in my old band had written a song about the same topic, which I thought was really clever.  Shattered Fortress is good, but it's largely retread.  TCoT really good, and I just don't get all the love for The Best of Times.

10. FII -- I really wanted to love this album so much.  I remember listening for the first time, just waiting for something that made me say "wow!" but that never came.  I think Hollow Years was my favorite song at first.  I occasionally listen to the whole thing, but the only songs that really grab me anymore are Hollow Years, Hell's Kitchen, Anna Lee and Trial of Tears.

11. WDADU -- As flawed as this album is, it was a GREAT debut album, and it has some great moments.  Had I heard it when it was released, I think I would have loved it.  Ytse Jam is an amazing piece of musicianship for a bunch of guys who were barely 21 (same age as me) when they recorded it.  The Killing Hand and Only a Matter of Time remain strong.

12. Systematic Chaos -- Another one that I feel like I should like more than I do.  Admittedly, they were due for a letdown, but....  Repentance and Ministry of Lost Souls are songs I'll probably never listen to unless I try to make an attempt to give the album another shot.  ITPOE has some good parts, but it's ultimately too long and disjointed.  When I first heard the intro, I was excited, and then it got to the hyper-wank section and never pulled out of the nosedive.  Forsaken seems like a bad attempt at a commercial song.  Constant Motion is really the only song I like.

As mentioned earlier and in other threads, I've probably listened to the Astonishing three times all the way through, and it's never hooked me in any way that makes me want to dive in deeper, so I don't think I can fairly rank it.  I probably felt the same way about Tales from Topographic Oceans after the first few listens, but now I probably rank it in the top 4 for Yes albums, so you never know.

Offline The Jester

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 10:19:42 AM »
Dream Theater are one of my favourite bands and there isn't really an album that I dislike. However, I would rank them as follows:


1. Scenes from a Memory
2. Images and Words
3. SDOIT
4. Awake
5. Octavarium
6. Black Clouds And Silver Linings
7. A Dramatic Turn Of Events
8. The Astonishing
9. Falling into Infinity
10. Dream Theater
11. Train of Thought
12. Systematic Chaos
13. When Day and Dream Unite

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 12:57:40 PM »
Give or take it's my ranking too. Biggest difference, I don't love Six Degrees THAT much.
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Online Kattoelox

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Re: Would like to get some opinions on my album ranking
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 01:03:14 PM »
Hello everyone,

I discovered DT around '07 but didn't really become addicted like I am until this past year. I estimate I've listened to each album around 7 times in the past year but that number much higher with the albums that I like. Would love to know what the DT veterans out there think of my list.

1. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
2. Images and Words
3. Scenes from a Memory
4. Awake
*A Change of Seasons
---------------------------------
5. The Astonishing
6. Octavarium
7. Dream Theater
8. A Dramatic Turn of Events
---------------------------------
9. Falling into Infinity
10. Black Clouds and Silver Linings
11. Train of Thought
---------------------------------
12. Systematic Chaos
13. When Day and Dream Unite

This is surprisingly close to my ranking, the only stark difference being how high you have SFAM. Your highs and lows are my highs and lows, pretty much. Good taste. ;)