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Dream Theater => Dream Theater => Topic started by: TheOutlawXanadu on June 26, 2018, 03:36:48 PM

Title: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheOutlawXanadu on June 26, 2018, 03:36:48 PM
Earlier today, I felt the urge to listen to DT12. I then realized that it was released almost five years ago. Looking back on it, what are everyone's thoughts? In my opinion, it is a terrific record that holds a special place in the DT catalog because it has such short songs. It is very listenable on the go, something you can't always say about DT. My personal favorites are The Looking Glass, Behind the Veil, Surrender to Reason, and Illumination Theory. :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dublagent66 on June 26, 2018, 03:45:53 PM
Not too memorable for me.  Mostly disappointing.  Especially the closer.  I like 3 tracks on that album in the following order.

Behind The Veil
The Looking Glass









The Enemy Inside
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 26, 2018, 03:46:28 PM
Bottom of the barrel DT for me unfortunately, only made worse by the terrible production. Even on the first listen I wasn't impressed with this one. Illumination Theory has its moments, The Looking Glass is cool, but the production just makes them not fun to hear, and the rest is too boring for me to bother with. I thought ADTOE was a much better album and The Astonishing actually sounded inspired and fresh.

The last Blu-ray with Illumination Theory was really cool, though. That song is neat (in places) and I love the last few minutes to death with the beautiful strings, Mangini's powerful fills, and the lyrics in the last bit.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: krands85 on June 26, 2018, 04:38:26 PM
It falls towards the bottom of my DT rankings. I mean it's still good really, I just have such high standards when it comes to this band.

Illumination Theory is brilliant and a top 10 DT track - I love how it's all put together - but the rest of the album falls a bit short. The Enemy Inside is an enjoyable rocker/single type song and I really like Surrender to Reason and False Awakening Suite too, though I'd have preferred if they were a little longer.

The Bigger Picture and Behind the Veil are decent, but I don't rank them that highly among the dozens of incredible songs the band has written. Along for the Ride is OK, but generally I prefer the other sides/styles of DT.

Enigma Machine is probably their worst instrumental and doesn't really work for me. Finally, The Looking Glass is a song I've never liked for some reason, it's among my least favourite by the band.

Aside from the individual songs, the production isn't great and I'm also not that keen on self-titled albums, unless it's a debut album. I do like the simple album art though.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: KevShmev on June 26, 2018, 05:09:27 PM
I listened to this a while back for the first time in a while and still loved it.  It is very consistent and easy to listen to from start to finish.  For me, it doesn't have any any top, or even second, tier Dream Theater songs, but it's an album with all 8's and 9's. 

Surrender to Reason was always in my mix of favorite from this, and I think I'd call it my favorite now.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Ben_Jamin on June 26, 2018, 07:28:16 PM
I hat3 responding on phone.. ...
.


But one word....The Bigger Picture is their best song to be produced in the MM era.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dream Team on June 26, 2018, 08:41:12 PM
Earlier today, I felt the urge to listen to DT12. I then realized that it was released almost five years ago. Looking back on it, what are everyone's thoughts? In my opinion, it is a terrific record that holds a special place in the DT catalog because it has such short songs. It is very listenable on the go, something you can't always say about DT. My personal favorites are The Looking Glass, Behind the Veil, Surrender to Reason, and Illumination Theory. :metal

Those are also my 4 favorites. Very good album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Anguyen92 on June 26, 2018, 09:08:01 PM
Love it.  First new DT album I heard from them when I started more of a fan of theirs in 2013.  I even liked Enigma Machine.  Surrender to Reason, Behind the Veil, and The Bigger Picture are really great songs in general.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Lethean on June 26, 2018, 09:35:00 PM
I love it as well.  Great album from start to finish for me, and the songs (that I've seen) come across very well live.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: MirrorMask on June 27, 2018, 01:04:33 AM
Liked it at the beginning, kinda got cooler about it with time. Good album but probably A Dramatic Turn of Events was quite better. All things considered The Bigger Picture and Behind the Veil are my favorite songs.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: the_silent_man on June 27, 2018, 01:45:00 AM
Liked this a lot at first, but as time goes on I feel this is a very DT-by-numbers albums and offers very little new that would make me want to listen to it over other DT albums.
Obviously the production hurt this a lot too.

I will say its one of the most consistant DT albums, though.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Bolsters on June 27, 2018, 02:22:04 AM
It's almost hard to believe it's already five years old. That means I haven't listened to it in at least four and a half years.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 27, 2018, 06:32:35 AM
It's almost hard to believe it's already five years old. That means I haven't listened to it in at least four and a half years.

 :lol
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on June 27, 2018, 08:53:26 AM
Fantastic album.  I still rank it at #4 in their discography, behind Six Degrees, SFAM, and ADTOE, and there are times when I feel it should be ranked higher.  If the ambient section in the middle of Illumination Theory was done differently or was simply shorter, I might rank it higher.  But that said, I'm not complaining about that section either.  5 years later, it still feels jarring and out of place to me.  But at the same time, I get what they were going for and why they did it that way, and it's a cool artistic choice.

It is very consistent and easy to listen to from start to finish.  For me, it doesn't have any any top, or even second, tier Dream Theater songs, but it's an album with all 8's and 9's. 

I don't necessarily agree with the album not having "any any top, or even second, tier Dream Theater songs," but I wholeheartedly agree with the "consistency" and "easy to listen to" points, which is one of the reasons the album ranks so high for me.  If we are defining "top tier" along the lines of a small group of "best of the best" songs, I agree that there arguably aren't any that truly achieve that height compared to the best DT has to offer.  But IMO there are plenty that come close, and plenty more right behind that. 
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: AngelBack on June 27, 2018, 08:58:23 AM
Agree with the Boss(k).  I think because of the number of albums DT have released we get a little accustomed to great music even though it is not "ground breaking".  Had DT self titled come out earlier in their careers, say for instance after Awake, it would be held in much higher esteem.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Destiny Of Chaos on June 27, 2018, 09:01:26 AM
Really like the album... but it's #11 out of 13 as far as DT albums go for me.


IT is one of the best songs that the band has ever done.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheOutlawXanadu on June 27, 2018, 09:04:22 AM
How do you guys feel about Surrender to Reason? In my opinion, it is one of the best songs of the Mangini era. As usual, I love Myung's lyrics. There is also so much going on musically.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: cramx3 on June 27, 2018, 09:05:22 AM
Great album.  Still love it, but it's probably bottom half of album rankings for me.  Not to it's faults, but just because the catalog is so strong.  I really love The Enemy Inside, definitely one of their better singles IMO.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on June 27, 2018, 09:06:55 AM
Still number 3 album for me. When I want a DT Sampler during my hour-long commute, this is my go-to album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on June 27, 2018, 09:08:28 AM
How do you guys feel about Surrender to Reason? In my opinion, it is one of the best songs of the Mangini era. As usual, I love Myung's lyrics. There is also so much going on musically.

Great song.  But as good as it is, it isn't one of my "go-to" songs on the album either.  I put in somewhere in the middle of the pack on that album.  But, again, it's a great song.  Love it.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: devieira73 on June 27, 2018, 09:08:40 AM
Great, great album. I just whish that that the recording, mixing and overall production of this album were like The Astonishing (I feel the same way about ADToE). The Looking Glass is my favorite of all DT's more commercial songs. I like all the songs a lot, but I love TLG, Enigma Machine, Behind the Veil and Illumination Theory. An honourable mention goes to that smoking solo on Surrender to Reason - very impressive interaction between JP, JM and MM (it should be much more longer!)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 27, 2018, 09:14:22 AM
I think that album has a lot of good stuff, lyrically speaking.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: commanderbob on June 27, 2018, 09:21:23 AM
All-time classic.

One of the best rock albums ever made.

The album I've been waiting for them to make since Awake came out and I wore the cassette out.

Incredible song writing.

And I love the production AND the drum sound!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: nobloodyname on June 27, 2018, 09:29:56 AM
All-time classic.

One of the best rock albums ever made.

The album I've been waiting for them to make since Awake came out and I wore the cassette out.

Incredible song writing.

And I love the production AND the drum sound!

Wow. Genuinely never saw that coming.

For me, it was dull on first listen and remains dull five years later with only the latter half of The Bigger Picture, parts of the Illumination Theory (by far their weakest epic) and the aggression of the opening riff of The Enemy Inside standing out.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: nobloodyname on June 27, 2018, 09:30:58 AM
All-time classic.

One of the best rock albums ever made.

The album I've been waiting for them to make since Awake came out and I wore the cassette out.

Incredible song writing.

And I love the production AND the drum sound!

Wow. Genuinely never saw that coming.

For me, it was dull on first listen and remains dull five years later with only the latter half of The Bigger Picture, parts of Illumination Theory (by far their weakest epic), and the aggression of the opening riff of The Enemy Inside standing out.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: commanderbob on June 27, 2018, 09:35:25 AM
All-time classic.

One of the best rock albums ever made.

The album I've been waiting for them to make since Awake came out and I wore the cassette out.

Incredible song writing.

And I love the production AND the drum sound!

Wow. Genuinely never saw that coming.

For me, it was dull on first listen and remains dull five years later with only the latter half of The Bigger Picture, parts of the Illumination Theory (by far their weakest epic) and the aggression of the opening riff of The Enemy Inside standing out.

Yeah, I didn't see it coming either; especially after all of those years. I think the reason that it happened was the intersections of self-editing, musical emotion and lyrical emotion created a powerful effect.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheOutlawXanadu on June 27, 2018, 09:55:09 AM
Back in the mid-2000s, I remember a lot of fans asking for more "self-editing". Albums like Train of Thought and Black Clouds had a lot of soloing, to the point it was almost too much for some people. A Dramatic Turn of Events dialed things back a bit, and then the self-titled album dialed it back even more. I love that approach because DT do short songs well.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheSilentHam on June 27, 2018, 10:14:54 AM
I still love the album.  I remember after a couple of listens, my impression was that it was a good fit for a self-titled album, as they created a "dream theater" - a great cinematic experience.  The tracks take you through all you would experience during a great cinematic epic: action, intrigue, mystery, love, nostalgia, self-reflection, conflict, resolution.. all with that epic climax with soaring heights, and then even the closing credits at the very end.  They did this all with songs that weren't really tied together thematically, which I thought was an interesting concept.  I dug it then, and I still do.

I think it's great that so many enjoy their music by trying to figure out where songs and albums rank and compare, and how that changes over time, but I just don't do it that way.  I usually don't listen to Dream Theater unless I have time for a whole album, and I try to immerse myself in it and hopefully get something new from it each time.  I'm still enjoying this album and finding new experiences, or at least re-discovering moments.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on June 27, 2018, 10:24:30 AM
I still love the album.  I remember after a couple of listens, my impression was that it was a good fit for a self-titled album, as they created a "dream theater" - a great cinematic experience.  The tracks take you through all you would experience during a great cinematic epic: action, intrigue, mystery, love, nostalgia, self-reflection, conflict, resolution.. all with that epic climax with soaring heights, and then even the closing credits at the very end.  They did this all with songs that weren't really tied together thematically, which I thought was an interesting concept.  I dug it then, and I still do.

I like how the flow of this album is like how one could structure a one-hour DT live concert given those songs.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Elite on June 27, 2018, 10:43:08 AM
It's almost hard to believe it's already five years old. That means I haven't listened to it in at least four and a half years.

Honestly, same thing for me.

The Enemy Inside was easily the best track, and I think Enigma Machine is top 3 along with The Bigger Picture. I didn't really care for any of the other songs.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Plasmastrike on June 27, 2018, 11:05:21 AM
I find myself revisiting a lot of the songs. I tend to listen to the HDTracks version.. sounds smoother.

Absolutely love Enemy Inside, Bigger Picture, Surrender to Reason, Illumination. Especially Illumination. It's a tear-jerking song when you play it loud.

DT12 along with TA are just beautiful man.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Stewie on June 27, 2018, 11:18:05 AM
It's my least favorite of theirs. I'm sure my opinion of the album will be considered controversial, but that's okay. I'm glad some fans really enjoy it. Let me provide a backstory, which may help to make more sense.

By the time MP left DT, I had already kinda lost interest in the band's direction, as I was very disappointed with SC and BC&SL - and, to clarify, both those albums had brilliant moments, but as a whole, were very disappointing. So, when they announced Mangini as the new drummer, it kinda got my attention again (having been a fan of his since his work with Steve Vai). Then, they put out ADTOE - I was blown away. It was the first Roadrunner era album that felt fresh and inspired to me, and there seemed to be a much better balance between heaviness and prog. The instrumental sections made a lot more sense, flowed naturally, and didn't feel like they were randomly inserted into the songs. So, ultimately, that album was a breath of fresh air, and sparked my interest in the band again. I started paying attention to their social media posts, overall band news, tour dates, etc. This means I was also, for the first time in a long time, eagerly awaiting the next album.

When "The Enemy Inside" was released (I believe they released it as a single?), I remember sitting there and just really being annoyed. Now, I've never considered DT a "metal" band, even though many others do. To me, they've always been progressive rock, and at times, progressive hard rock. I don't equate "heavy" with automatically being "metal". So, listening to "The Enemy Inside", it just annoyed the hell out of me. It was, once again, everything I couldn't stand from SC and BC&SL. It was that very forced, overly commercial-sounding metal track, as if trying to appeal to Hot Topic teenagers.

When they joined Roadrunner - so much changed, from one album to the next. I mean, just the band promo pics themselves...ugh. All of the sudden we had music videos again (after the stand they took against it back in the FII era, and then proceeded to put out four of the most amazing, creative albums I've ever heard). It was like they drastically changed course, and instead of truly being progressive, they were writing almost as if to meet a pre-established criteria that fans were expecting. Kinda like, "Hey, long songs with lots of odd time-signatures is kinda our thing, so we need to do that. Also, we need to make sure to include lots of trading solos and unisons." I can't remember which forumite said it, but recently someone posted - in the early years, it seemed like they didn't have rules for themselves when it came to their writing sessions - it was sort of "anything goes", or something to that effect. That is what made them so captivating, and set them apart. That's what stood out to me - every album was different from the previous, and from the next. THAT, to me, is the essence of being progressive. To me, it was never about long songs, or odd time-signatures, or super technical soloing - that's all well and good, but to me, it was about trying new things every album.

After Octavarium, in my humble opinion, that stopped. The first eight albums all sound drastically different from one another, but moving forward, not so much. SC was very much a mixture of "everything we're known for". It was very "been there, done that, a thousand times". Same with BC&SL. So, ADTOE was a VERY welcome album. But, after that, hearing "The Enemy Inside"....I was just like...what the deuce? My mind just went "oh well...so much for that awesome course-correcting album, I guess it was a fluke."

The self-titled album, to me, feels like a direct result of having been nominated for a Grammy on the previous record. All of the sudden, we have an album full of shorter, more concise songs (most that have a cringe-worthy, sappy chorus). You've got your album's worth of short, commercial sounding tunes - but, wait - we've got to include the obligatory long epic track, and of course, the "betcha can't play this" instrumental track! No, no, no, and more no. Again, you're no longer writing freely - you're writing within these set parameters that you've established for yourselves, and that the fans have come to know you by. But, hey - fuck the fans! You are Dream Theater, for god's sake! You are already legends! Just write what you want to write, and who cares about the fans? There will always be an audience out there who likes what you do.

I know some people would argue that they did write what they wanted to write on that album, and that's fine. I can respect that. To me, it doesn't feel that way, but that's okay. If they really were trying to write more commercially, to see if they could win a grammy that time around, that's okay. It's not something I would've done, but that's alright.

Enigma Machine is probably their worst instrumental track. Obviously they're all virtuosos, and obviously they can all play, so of course it's not going to be done poorly. Musically, however - compositionally - it's incredibly boring. The whole track screams of "the rest of the album is short, hopefully radio-friendly tunes, so we need to include this balls-to-the-wall instrumental track, to remind everyone - HEY - it's still Dream Theater!". It's obvious that the track was included to showcase their playing ability, and honestly, this far along into their career - we all know they can play. I would've rather had something that was musically sound, and interesting to listen to (like Hell's Kitchen, or Erotomania - both those tracks showcase playing ability, but they are also beautiful to listen to, and very mature sounding). Enigma Machine just feels like something a band would write for Guitar Hero.

Illumination Theory, ah yes, the obligatory epic. Remember when back in the day they only had ACOS? It was, a stellar track, beautifully done, perhaps my favorite track of theirs...and part of what made it so special, was that it stood alone, a giant among mere mortals. But, then we had more, and more, and more epics... so, it just kinda got MEH and BLAH. Not interested. It just got predictable. Again, yet another example of "We need to have these epics, because fans expect it from us". My biggest problem with Illumination Theory, apart from the recycled riffs from the SC writing sessions, and the very incoherent transitions, and the randomly inserted soft middle section, which had already been done in TCOT and ITPOE....oh wait, yeah, those are all the problems I have with that track. Best part of that track? The hidden easter egg nugget of truth and justice, at the end. Beautiful piano and guitar lead. That's baby makin' stuff, right there. MORE OF THAT, PLEASE.

I will say, I really, really like Surrender to Reason. Maybe it's because it sounds like Breaking All Illusions, Pt. 2, and I love Breaking All Illusions.

I like The Looking Glass okay; it's a solid Rush tribute song.

The production is, as others have pointed out, absolutely terrible. The few times I have tried to force myself to listen to it all the way thru in the car - I can't. My ears literally ache, and are left fatigued. The guitar tone is muddy. The keys are too low. The drums sound...well...just...bad...very bad...the vocals have a weird effect on them, and the bass sounds awesome, which is the only good aspect, in my opinion.

Yes, yes, I may seem nitpicky...but so are most DT fans lol.

I was very pleased with The Astonishing. Who in their right mind puts out a double-disc full-blown rock-opera concept album these days? Fuckin' Dream Theater, that's who. It was a brilliant, absolutely beautiful work of art. Cheesy story? Sure, but who gives a shit. Musically, it was TIP TOP. Can't really complain about the album. I LOVE that it's their softest album. We really needed that, after the several album span of "hey, we are a badass bunch of metal guys, and don't fuck with us" looking promo shot ridiculousness. It's a cryin' shame that so many fans hated it. Although, I have a feeling they are mostly the younger Hot Topic teenager fans who didn't like it. All the DT fans I know personally love it, and they are, for the most part, older fans like me; dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period, if you will.

So, since Mangini joined, we've had: an amazing return-to-form album, a very cringey generic "the spirit of SC and BC&SL has come back to haunt yoU!" album, and a very beautifully written, symphonic masterpiece of an album.

So, here we are folks. Eagerly awaiting for the next. If the above pattern is to continue, this next album would fall under the "generic and forced" category. Now, it's just a coincidental pattern, and it would be absurd to actually put faith in it. BUT...I am concerned, especially since they said it's heavy and aggressive, so far. I'm not into metal. I don't listen to metal. Back when I was a teenager in the 80s, I listened to metal. But, like a lot of teenagers, it was a phase. It gets old, repetitive, predictable, and the overall attitude of most metal seems very adolescent and childish. Dream Theater have always been heavy, but in a very mature, classy, sophisticated kind of way, like Steve Vai.

I am concerned. I'm okay with heavy...it just depends on how it's done, I guess. Look, these guys aren't youngsters anymore. If you ask me, it'd be a shame for them to put out something that feels like it's trying to stay relevant with the times, or be trendy, or that feels like it's them trying to be "badass metal guys". I mean, I'd like for them to age gracefully. If I were JP, for instance, I'd feel like, "look, we've already established a legacy, let's forget about what's trendy or current, and just write whatever we feel like writing! We don't owe anything to anyone, and don't have to prove anything. We've already put out a ton of critically acclaimed albums, so let's not worry about fans being disappointed." True artistic freedom, and integrity. Not to keep mentioning Steve Vai, but one of the things I love about him, music aside, is his work ethic. He does whatever he wants, on his own time, and on his own terms. He's not worried about fans disliking an album, lol, and you can clearly hear it in his music. A lot of it is perhaps a little too abstract or bizarre, but that's okay. The point is, he is satisfying his own urge to create, and finds it fulfilling! And THAT, is where it's at, and all about. True artistic freedom and integrity.

Yeah, yeah...I know...they have to pay their bills, and of course the fans matter, and blah blah blah...

There will always be plenty of folks who DO like what they put out.

Anyway, I'm excited for this new album, but I'm also cautious...I guess we'll see if they give us a heavy, super awesome, super sophisticated, classy sounding album, something that is free from rules and trends and expectations, and that fucks our minds in a good way.... or if they give us a very forced, commercial-metal album for the Hot Topic teenagers....

EDIT - I hope none of the above comes across as rude or disrespectful to the band - I have the utmost respect and admiration for these guys, but, at the same time, I don't worship them unconditionally or think that they can do no wrong. They are just guys, and we root for them, and know what they are capable of! It's like with your favorite sports team - sometimes you may feel like they haven't put out their best, and you feel they could do better - but you still love them. Anyway, controversial as my opinion on the self-titled album may be, I hope it didn't come off as disrespectful :)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Podaar on June 27, 2018, 11:29:41 AM
I love DTF, where every fan's opinion is projected on to the band members as their motivation for writing a song/album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Stewie on June 27, 2018, 11:32:53 AM
I love DTF, where every fan's opinion is projected on to the band members as their motivation for writing a song/album.

Well, I do have an opinion, and was just sharing it along with everyone else. No, I can't say for certain as far as the band's intentions, obviously. I was just sharing how it came across to me. I'm sorry my opinion wasn't expressed to your liking :)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 27, 2018, 11:41:30 AM
I agree with a whole lot of that post, Stewie, and I appreciate that you took the time to write at such length.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Stewie on June 27, 2018, 11:54:34 AM
I agree with a whole lot of that post, Stewie, and I appreciate that you took the time to write at such length.

I’m glad someone else here can identify with my sentiments! I know I’ve read other similar opinions before, so I’m not the only one.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Podaar on June 27, 2018, 12:32:22 PM
I love DTF, where every fan's opinion is projected on to the band members as their motivation for writing a song/album.

Well, I do have an opinion, and was just sharing it along with everyone else. No, I can't say for certain as far as the band's intentions, obviously. I was just sharing how it came across to me. I'm sorry my opinion wasn't expressed to your liking :)

No, it's all good, Stewie. I should have mentioned that agree with much of what you wrote. Except, I like the metal aspects of the band. Opinions are all part of the charm of DTF.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on June 27, 2018, 12:42:47 PM
I agree with a whole lot of that post, Stewie, and I appreciate that you took the time to write at such length.

I’m glad someone else here can identify with my sentiments! I know I’ve read other similar opinions before, so I’m not the only one.

I understand the sentiment behind what you wrote even if I subjectively disagree with much of what you wrote.  The only thing I will push back on just a bit is the perhaps unintentional implication that taking fans' expectations or the band's prior history/patterns into account might be incompatible with artistic integrity.  I think that, by and large, the band ARE writing how they want to write. 
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Podaar on June 27, 2018, 12:45:01 PM
I agree with a whole lot of that post, Stewie, and I appreciate that you took the time to write at such length.

I’m glad someone else here can identify with my sentiments! I know I’ve read other similar opinions before, so I’m not the only one.

I understand the sentiment behind what you wrote even if I subjectively disagree with much of what you wrote.  The only thing I will push back on just a bit is the perhaps unintentional implication that taking fans' expectations or the band's prior history/patterns into account might be incompatible with artistic integrity.  I think that, by and large, the band ARE writing how they want to write.

:iagree:
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Herrick on June 27, 2018, 04:29:12 PM
I like it. It's not one of their best albums but it's pretty good methinks.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on June 27, 2018, 05:31:44 PM
Love it and still listen to it on a regular basis. As others have said, it's very consistent and accesible. I'd say ADTOE is slightly better, but both are amazing overall, and feel like they complement each other very well.

The only thing I dislike is the middle section of IT, because it feels out of place and I usually skip it to get faster to THAT bass and drums section. Still, IT is one of my top 10 DT tracks of all time.

DT12 might not be their best album, but I rank it higher than most 2000s DT albums, by far.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Vmadera00 on June 27, 2018, 08:14:03 PM
Better album than people give it credit. Yes production was bad but songs are pretty descent. Surrender to Reason and The Bigger Picture have some of DTs most memorable melodies. Illumination theory has some pretty cool riffs and enemy inside(even though I think it’s a weak song) it’s a descent song.

The Looking Glass was always my least favorite, even though it was a good song, at the time it came out it felt like it was a song about Justin Bieber and that made it not like it  :rollin
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Logain Ablar on June 28, 2018, 04:32:12 AM
It's special to me, in that it's the first DT album I bought, (I only really discovered DT around 2013) but overall a mixed bag. The standout tracks for me are:

The Bigger Picture

I just love the restrained guitar solo section. It just shows that less is more, sometimes.

Illumination Theory

Yes, there's a bit of a lull in the middle, but the end is so emotional and uplifting. Not their best epic, but still good.

The Enemy Inside

I know now that this isn't really a typical DT song, if there is such a thing, but as a short song with fierce riffing to grab the listener's attention, I think it really works.

I do agree that the production doesn't really give the songs much room to breathe. The other slight bugbear I have is the overprocessed vocals, which continued in TA. Once you notice them once, you notice them every time. I hope they get that sorted for the next album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Polarbear on June 28, 2018, 04:50:13 AM
I was pretty disappointed with the Self-Titled album. I had high hopes for it after ADTOE, which I liked very much.

I did give it a fresh listen a while back, and it was a bit better. But still, I don't find myself revisiting it apart from The Enemy Inside and The Bigger Picture. That closing epic is pretty much the most boring thing they've written.

Still, it has it's moments. Namely the two songs I mentioned first.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Peter Mc on June 28, 2018, 07:15:20 AM
Will have to give it a listen.  Always remember it being a strong album but not listened in a long time.  I think Illumination Theory is one of the strongest of the big epics although I did tire of the quiet middle section with the strings after initially loving it.  Would take IT over Octavarium, ITPOE and SDOIT any day.  Really loved The Bigger Picture, Behind The Veil and The Looking Glass as well.

I find Stewie's post to be a little all over the place to be honest although he does make some decent points about the albums immediately preceeding this one.  He's complaining about the band putting random widdly instrumental sections in songs with unison runs but then not happy when this album had pretty much none of that and was more concise and song orientated.  He also complains about sappy choruses but then goes on to say how he loves The Astonishing which is full of them (I do like sappy choruses!).  I agree that Enigma Machine is not their best instrumental but I prefer it to Raw Dog and Stream Of Consciousness (which goes on way to long for me) and I'm not all that mad on Erotomania apart from a short melodic period in the song.  I also find this one of their least metal sounding albums so again, I'm not sure why he's throwing it in with SC and BC&SL saying it's a bad ass metal album for "Hot Topic" fans.  Yes, The Enemy Inside is a metal song but there's lots of melodic stuff on the record even in a heavier song such as Behind The Veil.

It's cool if you don't like the record, we don't all have to like the same thing but I really don't get the comparison to SC and BC&SL, I'd say (apart from The Astonishing) it's about as far away from those albums as DT have gone.  Did you not find On The Backs Of Angels to be a metal song or Lost Not Forgotten, the metal side of DT has always been there.  I agree that it did go in a more commercial metal direction on SC and BC&SL with the more modern metal riffing and less intricate prog song structures but there's still plenty I like on those records and I don't consider DT12 to be anything like that.

I will give it another listen though and see how I feel about it 5 years on.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 28, 2018, 07:22:23 AM
Can't speak for Stewie, but for me personally, just not having the 'wild, random instrumental parts' doesn't automatically make it good -- what we got in its place was a lot of tepid, slow music without much energy, which is my other big complaint. And it's not because of ballads (Beneath the Surface is my favorite song on ADTOE and top 10 Dream Theater songs), it's just the songwriting on that album doesn't sound very interesting or inspired. Really, it doesn't matter if it's shred or slow, as long as it's done well (which is obviously totally subjective).
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Peter Mc on June 28, 2018, 09:19:16 AM
And that’s absolutely fine, you don’t like the album which happens. Not everyone is going to like everything DT do. It sucks for you that you don’t enjoy it. I was just more confused by Stewie’s reasoning which seems a little haphazard. We all have our different tastes though, hopefully you’ll enjoy the new one.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Destiny Of Chaos on June 28, 2018, 09:35:29 AM
1. IT - Top 5 DT song. Musical perfection.
2. The Enemy Inside -  :metal  :metal :metal
3. Surrender to Reason - Awesome and underrated
4. The Bigger Picture - Very good, not great.
5. Enigma Machine - Lower tiered instrumental by DT's standards, but still good.
6. Behind the Veil - Good song.
7.  False Awakening Suite - Awesome intro
8. Along for the Ride - zzz
9. The Looking Glass - :dnw 
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 28, 2018, 10:29:01 AM
And that’s absolutely fine, you don’t like the album which happens. Not everyone is going to like everything DT do. It sucks for you that you don’t enjoy it. I was just more confused by Stewie’s reasoning which seems a little haphazard. We all have our different tastes though, hopefully you’ll enjoy the new one.

Well, I'm a DT fan who absolutely adores The Astonishing, so I'm not hard to please  :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Lethean on June 28, 2018, 10:33:54 PM
Will have to give it a listen.  Always remember it being a strong album but not listened in a long time.  I think Illumination Theory is one of the strongest of the big epics although I did tire of the quiet middle section with the strings after initially loving it.  Would take IT over Octavarium, ITPOE and SDOIT any day.  Really loved The Bigger Picture, Behind The Veil and The Looking Glass as well.

I find Stewie's post to be a little all over the place to be honest although he does make some decent points about the albums immediately preceeding this one.  He's complaining about the band putting random widdly instrumental sections in songs with unison runs but then not happy when this album had pretty much none of that and was more concise and song orientated.  He also complains about sappy choruses but then goes on to say how he loves The Astonishing which is full of them (I do like sappy choruses!).  I agree that Enigma Machine is not their best instrumental but I prefer it to Raw Dog and Stream Of Consciousness (which goes on way to long for me) and I'm not all that mad on Erotomania apart from a short melodic period in the song.  I also find this one of their least metal sounding albums so again, I'm not sure why he's throwing it in with SC and BC&SL saying it's a bad ass metal album for "Hot Topic" fans.  Yes, The Enemy Inside is a metal song but there's lots of melodic stuff on the record even in a heavier song such as Behind The Veil.

It's cool if you don't like the record, we don't all have to like the same thing but I really don't get the comparison to SC and BC&SL, I'd say (apart from The Astonishing) it's about as far away from those albums as DT have gone.  Did you not find On The Backs Of Angels to be a metal song or Lost Not Forgotten, the metal side of DT has always been there.  I agree that it did go in a more commercial metal direction on SC and BC&SL with the more modern metal riffing and less intricate prog song structures but there's still plenty I like on those records and I don't consider DT12 to be anything like that.

I will give it another listen though and see how I feel about it 5 years on.

Definitely agree with most of this (except I have listened to the album pretty regularly).  To not like the album is one thing, but I think suggesting that it was written for "Hot Topic" teenagers is a bit over the top.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: The Letter M on June 29, 2018, 08:45:55 AM
In retrospect, it's pretty okay-to-good. I just listened to the HD Tracks versions of SC, BC&SL, ADTOE, and DT12 a couple of weeks ago in my car during my daily commutes, and when I got to DT12, I found myself humming to the melodies, remembering some words and what not, but outside of that, I didn't feel very much of a connection to most of the material. Like, it's good, but it just hasn't settled in the way the other 3 aforementioned albums have. I remember liking it a lot when it came out, but on recent listen, it's more OK than Good or Great.

Other than AFTR, I really only enjoy the songs after Enigma Machine, but maybe that's because the band were really channeling Rush-vibes in many of those songs (as well as The Looking Glass). There's a lot of Rush-ness across the album, and I think it helps AND hurts the album, but as a Rush fan, I can't be TOO mad at them for asking "What Would Rush Do"?

I also still have mixed feelings about "Illumination Theory" - there are parts of it that are awesome, gorgeous and beautiful, but parts of it are just "meh" or cringey to my ears all these years later. I don't really like the part after the the orchestral break, which sounds so derivative of Rush's "The Necromancer" (musically) and "Didacts And Narpets" (lyrically). Like, I get it Petrucci, you love Rush and Caress Of Steel... :lol

Anyways - TL:DR, it's mid-tier DT, and I find the 3 albums prior to it better by comparison, though given what came after it, I'd rather like to DT12 over TA any day.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: don_waka on June 30, 2018, 03:27:39 PM
I actually kinda liked it when it came out. Haven't listened to it in a couple of years now, though. Anyways, I still rate it way higher than Systematic Chaos. I actually rate anything higher than SC. My morning poop was higher than SC.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheLordOfTheStrings on June 30, 2018, 03:33:07 PM
I hat3 responding on phone.. ...
.


But one word....The Bigger Picture is their best song to be produced in the MM era.
I think that ending part where the solo piano comes in all the way to the end is some of DT's best writing of all time. Vocally, it's completely different than anything they've really done, and it's all beautifully done. Definitely the album highlight for me, as well as a DT catalogue highlight. Reminded me of how I felt the first time I heard the "beautiful agony" section from ANTR or the "just like him" section of 8vm.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: hockeydude25 on June 30, 2018, 06:29:18 PM
The worst DT album in my opinion.  Everything sounds dull and generic.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Destiny Of Chaos on June 30, 2018, 06:38:20 PM
I actually kinda liked it when it came out. Haven't listened to it in a couple of years now, though. Anyways, I still rate it way higher than Systematic Chaos. I actually rate anything higher than SC. My morning poop was higher than SC.  :facepalm:

No need for that
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on June 30, 2018, 06:51:34 PM
Systematic Chaos is awesome, and might be the most fun and loose album in their discog.

So..


My morning poop was higher than SC.   

You're obviously real happy with your morning poop.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 30, 2018, 07:27:00 PM
Systematic Chaos actually has aged pretty well in my opinion, and I never realized it until now but all of the epics on that album are epics I dig from start to finish, with the exception of Repentance (good tune but just way too long for the tempo and mood). Ministry has aged phenomenally well, even with its weird shreddy midsection, I still like it more than any epic on SFAM for example. Both ITPOE parts kick major ass and every member of the band has a few spots where they really shine and have some of my favorite DT moments. Dark Eternal Night is kind of whatever but it's really fun live and the instrumental parts are incredible. Constant Motion I think is really fun but the lyrics are extra corny, and I personally really like Prophets of War, Portnoy's part and all, even if the theme makes some people roll their eyes, which I understand.

Really even though SC ranks close to the bottom for DT albums, it's only got one track I dislike, and that is Forsaken. I've often wondered how many other people get a strange vibe from this album, though. 'Fun and loose' is one way to describe it, but this one is unique in that I don't get the same feeling from any other DT album. The combination of the yellow and brown artwork with the tense vibe of a lot of the music just has a strange effect on me that is exclusive to that album. Some strange modal stuff going on in those songs, makes me uncomfortable in a good way.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on June 30, 2018, 07:32:44 PM
To me after Score, Systematic Chaos was basically one big exhale from the band. It's as if with Score, it represented all the band had worked for to that point. SC seems so much less serious, and I think that's what sets it apart, and maybe why people don't like it generally. I mean, perhaps there's a ton better DT albums, and that's fine. But it's by far the most fun DT album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Kattelox on June 30, 2018, 08:28:20 PM
To me after Score, Systematic Chaos was basically one big exhale from the band. It's as if with Score, it represented all the band had worked for to that point. SC seems so much less serious, and I think that's what sets it apart, and maybe why people don't like it generally. I mean, perhaps there's a ton better DT albums, and that's fine. But it's by far the most fun DT album.

I agree 100% with TAC  :)  :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: The Letter M on June 30, 2018, 08:45:33 PM
I can get in on that sentiment - after Octavarium, they had closed the stream of segues they began with SFAM's ending static going into "The Glass Prison", then the orchestral fade, and finally the low-F on the piano, but closing the loop seemed like a way for them to go into SC with nothing on the table, and they did just that. Released from any expectations, they allowed themselves to have fun and be loose and enjoy the music, and for as silly as it all was, especially with JP's questionably-sourced lyrical material, it was all a great amount of fun in general. It showed that they didn't have to be super serious with their music and lyrics, though they would get into some serious and emotional material on their next album anyway (car accidents, secret societies, whatever "Wither" is about, finishing AA, dealing with parental loss, and a scary Italian road-trip).

-Marc.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Scottjf8 on June 30, 2018, 11:24:43 PM
The Bigger Picture is their best song to be produced in the MM era.

FYI, you missepelled "Breaking All Illusions"
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Scottjf8 on June 30, 2018, 11:27:43 PM
Oh, and I love DT12.  The only songs I don't love are behind the veil, and surrender to reason.  Love I.T. all the way through (well, except the stupid 60 second nature sounds part.)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Ben_Jamin on June 30, 2018, 11:54:41 PM
The Bigger Picture is their best song to be produced in the MM era.

FYI, you missepelled "Breaking All Illusions"

I like that song pretty much the same as TBP.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: KevShmev on July 01, 2018, 08:27:33 AM
To me after Score, Systematic Chaos was basically one big exhale from the band. It's as if with Score, it represented all the band had worked for to that point. SC seems so much less serious, and I think that's what sets it apart, and maybe why people don't like it generally. I mean, perhaps there's a ton better DT albums, and that's fine. But it's by far the most fun DT album.

I agree that Systematic Chaos is their "fun" album. It's just too bad the songwriting isn't better.  None of the songs are outright bad (Constant Motion is pretty close, but the main riff and guitar solo are good enough to where I can't call the song outright bad, although I never listen to it), but the album has the lowest highs of any Dream Theater album to date, IMO, and that includes the debut.  The Dark Eternal Night or In the Presence of Enemies would be my favorite, and neither would have a prayer of cracking my DT top 50 at this point.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: goo-goo on July 01, 2018, 08:34:49 PM
Just revisited to the complete DT12 album after 2-3 years without listening to it. 

A few observations
-Intro suite: JR's orchestral parts are the highlights of the song. Nothing else stands out imo.
-Enemy Inside - Overall, good rocking song, but the sound is very muddy with the guitar overtaking everything else. Probably the only song on the record where the song just doesn't breathe.
-The looking glass - Overall great song, however, the ending feels a little bit anti-climatic.
-Enigma machine - Very disappointing instrumental. Feels like a lot of noodling for the sake of noodling.
-Bigger picture - Great song, probably the best on the album. Feels like a complete constructed song.
-Behind the veil - Good song, Rush-like intro, love the heavy main intro riff, the chorus is pretty cool, and I enjoy the outro a lot for some reason.
-Surrender to Reason - Very solid song. I like the intro, very Rush-esque, like the acoustic sections, very memorable JP solo (the not too many notes solo and the Lifeson tribute solo with JM and MM behind that solo).
-Along for the ride - Good "ballady" song overall but the keyboard solo is cringeworthy imo. And not the solo itself (it's a very nice solo), but JR's choice of patch is what irks me. Maybe something more subtle...
-Illumination Theory - Middle section goes a bit too long. Overall, I like the song. Wish they would have included some passages like the hidden nugget in the main song.

Overall, for me, the core of the album is from Enemy Inside and forward (without Enigma Machine).  I can live without Awekening Suite and Enigma Machine. The production of the record is very disappointing in this one, with the guitars drowning/overtaking the rest of the instruments (very noticeable in Enemy Inside and some of JR's parts can't be heard clearly, unlike ADTOE) and the snare drum. But the highlight (production wise) was JM's bass. Sounded amazing.  Now that I have revisited this album after a few years without listening to it, it's a middle of  the pack album for me (but definitely higher than the last DT/MP efforts) and it's probably DT's tribute to Rush. A lot of Rush moments going on in this album (which is something that I personally like). DT12 is a nice contrast to ADTOE but ADTOE sounded more fresh and more dynamic (even with the I&W song structure similarities), while DT12 just sounds balls to the walls, even on the Along for the Ride ballad. I do regret not seeing this DT12 tour....

Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: KevShmev on July 01, 2018, 08:49:31 PM
The Looking Glass is before Enigma Machine ;), but while DT has better instrumentals, I am surprised at how many do not care that much for Enigma Machine.  JP's main riff is awesome, and the riff that kicks in after the keyboard intro, and then is reprised at the end, just sounds so big and evil. Just a fun rocker, if you ask me. :metal :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on July 01, 2018, 09:00:58 PM
Enigma Machine sounds like a fun jamming session that's not supposed to be overthought like their other instrumentals. I've always viewed it that way.

Just listened to the album again the other day. The spirit of the album really is that it is some sort of a sampler of what DT's music is about. An introduction to the uninitiated.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on July 01, 2018, 09:21:49 PM
The Looking Glass is before Enigma Machine ;), but while DT has better instrumentals, I am surprised at how many do not care that much for Enigma Machine.  JP's main riff is awesome, and the riff that kicks in after the keyboard intro, and then is reprised at the end, just sounds so big and evil. Just a fun rocker, if you ask me. :metal :metal

Love EM. It isn't their best instrumental, but I enjoy it a lot. It's fun, technical and heavy, and manages to let each member (except James :D) get the spotlight. To me, it's a version of Ytse Jam on steroids :metal

Just listened to the album again the other day. The spirit of the album really is that it is some sort of a sampler of what DT's music is about. An introduction to the uninitiated.

And that's why it's the self titled album :tup
Seriously, I remember watching the Score documentary and JP saying that Octavarium was the best album to get an idea of what DT is about, but I think DT12 works much much better at that than OV.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: KevShmev on July 01, 2018, 09:29:18 PM

Seriously, I remember watching the Score documentary and JP saying that Octavarium was the best album to get an idea of what DT is about, but I think DT12 works much much better at that than OV.

Octavarium probably has more variety and the best song from either album (its title track), but DT12 is a far more consistent record, IMO. 
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on July 01, 2018, 09:36:31 PM

Seriously, I remember watching the Score documentary and JP saying that Octavarium was the best album to get an idea of what DT is about, but I think DT12 works much much better at that than OV.

Octavarium probably has more variety and the best song from either album (its title track), but DT12 is a far more consistent record, IMO.

In terms of what JP said, DT12 does give listeners more of an idea of what the DT sound is. 8VM for me has three songs that are really "out there" that do not sound close to the so-called DT sound (TALW, IWBY and NE).
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on July 02, 2018, 09:38:25 AM
I like what goo-goo did, and will post some song-by-song observations as well:

-False Awakening Suite: I can't rate it really high if rating it as a typical stand-alone song.  But that wouldn't be fair.  It has a specific role to play, and I feel that it plays that role very well.  As an intro track, it is a VERY cool little piece that captures a TON of mood and atmosphere for such a short piece.  And it really does have that "cinematic" vibe that the band was going for.
-The Enemy Inside - Upon first listen, it didn't really grab me.  It felt a lot like AROP in terms of being sort of the "generic metal single" type of song.  But it really grew on me.  The only problem I have with it is that I feel like the song could have benefitted quite a bit from a different mix.  The guitar sound is muddy and results in some guitar parts being indistinct and difficult to hear.  There are also a few big background moments in terms of big chords and cymbal hits for emphasis under the riffing in the intro section that have much less impact than they should because they are buried too low in the mix.  Still, really cool song.
-The Looking Glass - I'm not even a Rush fan, but this song SCREAMS Rush to me.  And that isn't a bad thing.  I feel like this song showcases DT being able to write in a solid, compact, accessible form.  The song rocks and has great hooks.
-Enigma Machine - Very fun instrumental. Feels like a lot of noodling for the sake of showcasing how fun noodling can be.  And it has a nice, catchy repeating theme that ties it all together nicely and makes it feel a lot less random than some other instrumentals.
-The Bigger Picture - This song and Surrender To Reason have a very similar feel to me.  I like them both, and appreciate how they are longer than the typical radio-friendly song structures that most bands have always followed since the beginning of radio-friendly music, and yet they don't feel overly long. 
-Behind the Veil - This was one of my favorites from the get-go, and still probably up near the top.  It goes from dark and sinister to melodic and catchy and back again in very cool ways.  Really interesting subject matter as well. 
-Surrender To Reason - Another solid song. Along with The Looking Glass and The Bigger Picture, I hear lots of moments that invoke Rush comparisons. 
-Along for the Ride - I love this song.  I wrote a long time ago that it's really cool and unconventional how this song sort of masquerades as a ballad, but has a lot of very busy, rocking moments that also take it out of ballad territory.  It's almost as if the song can't really decide what it is supposed to be, and is perfectly comfortable being a mashup of several different things that typically don't go together.  JP said that was exactly what he was going for.
-Illumination Theory - This one didn't click immediately, but I love it.  Sometimes, I still feel that the song would be better of without the middle section, or at least shortening it.  But I get what they were going for, and it's a cool idea.  That aside, the song has a LOT of really terrific moments.  I could also do without the "easter egg" at the end.  But it does have that "roll credits" vibe to it that makes it feel fitting for the end of the album, so I don't mind it too much.  And the fact that we basically have some "dead air" before it actually starts allows me to just shut it off if I don't want to hear it.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Tick on July 02, 2018, 12:49:30 PM
I absolutely love it! :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on July 02, 2018, 10:55:21 PM
bosk1's opinions on Behind The Veil was what made me listen more intently to the song. It's been a favorite ever since and it's now on my CD-length ultimate DT playlist.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: ? on July 03, 2018, 01:39:13 AM
*snip*
Nice post, I agree with a lot of your points. I became a fan right after BC&SL had come out, but even then I always found the classic albums the best, so I was delighted when ADTOE came out and brought back some of that melodic vibe and balance and focused less on the modern metal sound - I still consider it by far the best post-6D album. After that, I was really excited by the studio updates and all the talk about "chocolate cake guitars" and Mangini being unleashed. Then The Enemy Inside dropped and I was thinking: "That's it?" It sounded like a stock, DT-by-numbers metal single and a step back in the SC direction, and I already noticed that something was off about the production. Along for the Ride was better, but the only other track that I liked right away when I got the album was Behind the Veil.

After multiple listens I grew to like The Bigger Picture (one of my favorite modern DT songs) and The Looking Glass, even though the latter is a bit of a Rush pastiche. Enigma Machine, on the other hand, is the band's worst instrumental besides Raw Dog, and I'm pretty indifferent towards the remaining songs. The whole record is fatiguing to listen to and lacks dynamics, not just because of the infamous drum sound, dry guitar tone and brickwalling, but also the music itself: there are some mellow moments, but even AFTR - the sole ballad - turns into a chugfest in the bridge.

That said, DT12 is still more consistent than the last three albums with MP, and I saw DT for the first time on the supporting tour and the show was fantastic (due in no small part to the Awake material), so that era wasn't all doom and gloom to me. I thought TA was alright when it came out, but in the end it's quite overlong and a bit too saccharine, and I haven't felt the urge to revisit it. Here's to hoping that the new record deal and the different writing environment can give DT a shot in the arm and help them deliver another album on par with ADTOE.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Indiscipline on July 03, 2018, 06:18:17 AM
Let's try a not surreal kind of review, for a change.

I tend to consider the 12th as the most balanced album in DT's catalogue, featuring everything the guys are about without sacrificing any aspects in favour of others.

The introductory instrumental is magnificently pompous without losing discipline and musical narrative, while the technical one is able to satisfy the need for complexity and prowess without the burden of an overly mathematicl flow.

The long epic has the pace and nobility of a classical symphony, its movements always meaningful and every note is absolutely ancillary to the lyrics' philosophical thesis. I totally get how the yoga relaxation section may suggest a sense of wasted space, yet I feel it's very useful in order to maximise the following beautiful melodic explosion's effect.

Where this album really shines though is in the "regular" songs. They're all extremely mature and successful compromises between DT's hystorical musical facets. Heavy riffs, catchy hooks, crazy rythms, languid melodies aren't pidgeon-holed inside target songs anymore (as often has occurred), but they live inside every track in amazing harmony, rotating on the forefront by virtue of light and wise touches of arrangement.

Top 5.

EDIT: Typo Demon, the bane of my existence.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on July 03, 2018, 08:46:17 AM
First off, consider this a formal warning that hacking into and using another forum user's account is strictly forbidden and carries severe consequences.  Indiscipline will be notified immediately while our investigation team looks into this. 
:bosk1:







































Second, all joking aside, what am amazingly concise yet brilliant review.  Nailed it.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: robwebster on July 03, 2018, 11:10:35 AM
Pleasantly surprised to see so many positive responses - I thought people were a bit ambivalent about this one, shows how bad I am at reading a room.

I think the thing that doesn’t get touched on enough is how well they did at writing concise songs without cutting the progressive bits of their style. The Enemy Inside is like Panic Attack / Constant Motion / A Rite of Passage in espresso format - the pace of that thing is bloody relentless, and it makes the song better. Whole disc’s neato. The strongest Mangini album. (...so far!)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on July 03, 2018, 11:18:18 AM
Pleasantly surprised to see so many positive responses - I thought people were a bit ambivalent about this one, shows how bad I am at reading a room.

Well, I think that in order to effectively read the room, one has to actually be in the room.  You have been conspicuously absent for quite some time, mon ami.  Good to see you here.  Hopefully, this is more than just a fly-by.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: robwebster on July 03, 2018, 11:39:21 AM
Pleasantly surprised to see so many positive responses - I thought people were a bit ambivalent about this one, shows how bad I am at reading a room.

Well, I think that in order to effectively read the room, one has to actually be in the room.  You have been conspicuously absent for quite some time, mon ami.  Good to see you here.  Hopefully, this is more than just a fly-by.
Hey, I've spent a lot of that time in rooms

Maybe more than just a fly-by! I wanted to be in Dream Theater world for a bit - I loved the Q&A, it seems like a nice time to be a DT fan, might as well do some being a DT fan.

PLUS - I have some DT related projects I've been thinking of setting up (spoilers: it may never happen) and getting back into the community felt like a nice way to get back into DT mode. But mostly it's just exciting innit.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Madman Shepherd on July 03, 2018, 11:41:28 AM

I tend to consider the 12th as the most balanced album in DT's catalogue, featuring everything the guys are about without sacrificing any aspects in favour of others.



This is probably the most succinct statement about DT12 and I agree with it completely.  At the same time, I think that is also what makes it a little underwhelming because each song is great and very few go beyond that.  With each DT album you expect many "wow" moments and this one just didn't have many. It also had few if any low moments. 


-False Awakening Suite: Would have been much cooler with a full orchestra.  The keyboards feel kind of cheesy to me and just doesn't set a great tone for the album. 
-The Enemy Inside - Somewhat basic.
-The Looking Glass - This is an excellent song that I just don't feel like listening to much.  When I do, I think, "Man, this is a great song." 
-Enigma Machine - Honestly, I feel this is their best instrumental.  I think I'm in the minority that thinks Dance of Eternity is very overrated and boring.  Enigma Machine is full of great riffs, showmanship, and feels like you're taken on a journey.
-The Bigger Picture - One of Dream Theater's best songs, bar none.  This has absolutely everything you could ask for in a DT song without it becoming a bloviating mess.  Was surprised to hear JLB also considers it possibly DT's best song. 
-Behind the Veil - Much like looking glass, this is an excellent song I don't have a desire to listen to much. 
-Surrender To Reason - Another excellent song I have no desire to listen to often.  I also think it's interesting how, without fail, people praise Myung's lyrics and for good reason, they're excellent.  There's hardly been any talk about this one though and I have to admit they don't reach me like the others.  Still great lyrics though and I would much rather have this than no Myung lyrics at all. 
-Along for the Ride - Much like The Bigger Picture, I think this is one of DT's great songs and it bums me out that more people don't love it like I do.  I think this could replace The Spirit Carries on as an anthem for the band, something to sing along to that they could play at a lot of their shows but I get the feeling most people just feel it is sort of average.  I love Jordan's patch he uses for the solo (the same one  he uses for Beneath the Surface).  The eerie guitar intro helps to set a great tone for the song.
-Illumination Theory - An amazing epic that stands apart from all of the others.  It almost has too different of a feel that I don't know if it is a good thing overall or bad.  I have nothing bad to say about the song so I guess it's good, and I love every single second of it, but it is a bit more conventional than a lot of their others which makes it somewhat unconventional for DT.  Perhaps I'm overthinking it because in the end I love the hell out of it and that should be all that matters for music. 
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: MirrorMask on July 03, 2018, 11:53:59 AM
Now that I think of it.... the "False Awakening Suite" theme, with the three sub-sections, was kinda wasted for an intro. Think what an actual full song about it could have sounded like!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on July 03, 2018, 12:05:04 PM
Now that I think of it.... the "False Awakening Suite" theme, with the three sub-sections, was kinda wasted for an intro. Think what an actual full song about it could have sounded like!

I will kind of disagree, simply because I really like it as-is and feel that it is a GREAT intro.  I love how it sets up the album.

That said, what would have been cool and is along the lines of what you mentioned is if they would have revisited some of the themes elsewhere on the album to kind of tie it together.  But even that is a bit of a problem for me, because I wouldn't cut a single song to make room for some other potential song utilizing those themes, so it would either need to be relatively short (under 10:00) or work into another existing song.  Illumination Theory seems long enough already, but it might have been cool to work them into that song.  Or maybe have them as short interludes between songs and do it that way?  Actually, I could be dead wrong about this, but isn't the "easter egg" at the end of Illumination Theory a variation of the first theme in Sleep Paralysis?  If so, then they actually did revisit the FAS, although they could still definitely have done more with it.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Indiscipline on July 03, 2018, 12:14:10 PM
First off, consider this a formal warning that hacking into and using another forum user's account is strictly forbidden and carries severe consequences.  Indiscipline will be notified immediately while our investigation team looks into this. 
:bosk1:

Don't know what the fock happened, I swear.

I just woke up in the middle of the message board aching, lacking my wallet and smelling of making sense.


Madman Shepherd, I concur about the greatness leveling. I'd chalk it up to production. The nuances are somewhat lost in the compression and the big moments sometimes struggle to breathe (That's another reason why the ambient segment is felt like a foreing body compared to the rest). Maybe some kind of FII sounding depht could have helped the wow factor to emerge.

robwebster, there's a mayhem of a thread a little below screaming for your kind presence since 2011.   
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: MirrorMask on July 03, 2018, 12:14:30 PM
Now that I think of it.... the "False Awakening Suite" theme, with the three sub-sections, was kinda wasted for an intro. Think what an actual full song about it could have sounded like!

I will kind of disagree, simply because I really like it as-is and feel that it is a GREAT intro.  I love how it sets up the album.

That said, what would have been cool and is along the lines of what you mentioned is if they would have revisited some of the themes elsewhere on the album to kind of tie it together.  But even that is a bit of a problem for me, because I wouldn't cut a single song to make room for some other potential song utilizing those themes, so it would either need to be relatively short (under 10:00) or work into another existing song.  Illumination Theory seems long enough already, but it might have been cool to work them into that song.  Or maybe have them as short interludes between songs and do it that way?  Actually, I could be dead wrong about this, but isn't the "easter egg" at the end of Illumination Theory a variation of the first theme in Sleep Paralysis?  If so, then they actually did revisit the FAS, although they could still definitely have done more with it.

Well, I was mainly talking about the potential lyrical concept. I remember back in the time when the tracklist was announced, that it took actually the first reviews or the lenght of the songs announced to realize it was an intro, that seeing a track called "False Awakening Suite" with three subsections looked like it could be a mini epic to open the album, to balance the other big epic at the end of the disc. I was anticipating a full song with lyrics, not an intro. I never thought it could have been just an intro until it was specifically said it was so.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on July 03, 2018, 12:17:14 PM
Ah, gotcha.  Yeah, that makes sense.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on July 03, 2018, 02:49:09 PM
I think the False Awakening Suite is as cool of an album intro as I've ever heard. Couple it with Blob's video and it's really incredible.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on July 03, 2018, 06:07:12 PM
Now that I think of it.... the "False Awakening Suite" theme, with the three sub-sections, was kinda wasted for an intro. Think what an actual full song about it could have sounded like!

I will kind of disagree, simply because I really like it as-is and feel that it is a GREAT intro.  I love how it sets up the album.

That said, what would have been cool and is along the lines of what you mentioned is if they would have revisited some of the themes elsewhere on the album to kind of tie it together.  But even that is a bit of a problem for me, because I wouldn't cut a single song to make room for some other potential song utilizing those themes, so it would either need to be relatively short (under 10:00) or work into another existing song.  Illumination Theory seems long enough already, but it might have been cool to work them into that song.  Or maybe have them as short interludes between songs and do it that way?  Actually, I could be dead wrong about this, but isn't the "easter egg" at the end of Illumination Theory a variation of the first theme in Sleep Paralysis?  If so, then they actually did revisit the FAS, although they could still definitely have done more with it.

Well, I was mainly talking about the potential lyrical concept. I remember back in the time when the tracklist was announced, that it took actually the first reviews or the lenght of the songs announced to realize it was an intro, that seeing a track called "False Awakening Suite" with three subsections looked like it could be a mini epic to open the album, to balance the other big epic at the end of the disc. I was anticipating a full song with lyrics, not an intro. I never thought it could have been just an intro until it was specifically said it was so.

When the tracklist was first revealed, I thought FAS was a suite like A Mind Beside Itself, with three separate tracks and a common theme through them. It obviously didn't happen as I imagined, but I really like the end result. As others said, it helps set the tone of the album and is a very nice intro for it and the live shows.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: The Letter M on July 03, 2018, 07:53:08 PM
I like the "False Awakening Suite" quite a bit - it's short and concise, and does a lot in such a short time. It's definitely the best instrumental on the album, that's for sure!  :tup

-Marc.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Pettor on July 04, 2018, 01:35:05 AM
-False Awakening Suite: Feels quite generic standard dramatic intro for a concert sort of thing. Doesn't do much for me tbh. Could be any power metal band intro.
-The Enemy Inside: It's confusing how much I like this one. Usually these typical standard single songs (like Constant Motion) aren't my cup of tea but this one is very well crafted! Specially on Breaking the 4th Wall where the energy is captured.
-The Looking Glass: Good but once again somehow passes me by. It sounds like it should be more exciting that it is  :|
-Enigma Machine: Can't listen to this. Nothing inspires me about this instrumental.
-The Bigger Picture: This is the first really great DT song on the album. Haven't stood the test of time as well as as I hoped but still great. I think the production is at fault somewhat.
-Behind the Veil: Once again it should do something but it doesn't. Just passes by.
-Surrender To Reason: Behind The Veil 2 basically. Passes me by without any impact.
-Along for the Ride: I love DT ballads. ADTOE has To Far From Heaven and Beneath The Surface which I can't stop listening to. This one just does nothing. It's so standard. Never builds to that emotional point that I expect.
-Illumination Theory: Finally something awesome! This song is cool as hell! Sadly one of the problem I had with the DT album is the sound of it. I never listen to the CD version of Illumation Theory but often listen to the Breaking 4th Wall one. It captures the energy of this song so well. I was blown away hearing this one live. The whole crowd went crazy just by the intro. I knew Awake and SFAM songs would be played on that concert so I thought that would be the absolute highlight but this stole the whole show.

I think my problem mainly with the album is that it doesn't try to do something more than standard. I like how it's called DT because it fits the whole lack of inspiration I feel when listening to it. It just feels like every song is "yeah sure this is good enough" and naming it DT (which is soooo booooooring) just fits that. I know this is most likely not how the band feels but I can't escape the feeling myself.

Except Illumination Theory there aren't any big highs or big lows (maybe Enigma Machine could qualify). Also the sound of the album is a big problem for me. It sounds like oatmeal feels.

I actually like that some describe the album as mature. It's an interesting thing. Because what I think I lack is the youthful aspects of it. That crazy imagination with wonderful colors that DT can use. It is a mature album and that is maybe my problem. I wish there was some youthful energy to it, some crazy colors, some chaos, something. It's mature in the way that you now got yourself a house, family and pay your bills every month.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Madman Shepherd on July 04, 2018, 10:33:13 AM

-The Enemy Inside: It's confusing how much I like this one. Usually these typical standard single songs (like Constant Motion) aren't my cup of tea but this one is very well crafted!


That's how I feel about Constant Motion but not Enemy Inside.  In fact, Constant Motion is one of my favorite songs and I always feel like, "I should like this as much as I do."
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: RoeDent on July 04, 2018, 10:40:11 AM
DT12 is very solidly in the middle of my album ranking. Not a mindblowing classic like ADTOE or The Astonishing (my opinion), but a solid, very good bunch of songs.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: nikatapi on July 05, 2018, 08:05:30 AM
I can't help but feel that i would enjoy this album even more if the production was better. Lots of great ideas, songs are concise and JM is dominating which i really enjoy.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Plasmastrike on July 05, 2018, 09:08:03 AM
I can't help but feel that i would enjoy this album even more if the production was better. Lots of great ideas, songs are concise and JM is dominating which i really enjoy.

I know it's not the fix you're looking for, but check out the HDTracks version of DT12. It's a much more smooth listen. I also like it for SC, BC&SL, and ADTOE.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Architeuthis on July 05, 2018, 12:11:21 PM
Still love the album!  Easily in my top three favorites of all DT albums..
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: nikatapi on July 06, 2018, 04:18:55 AM
I can't help but feel that i would enjoy this album even more if the production was better. Lots of great ideas, songs are concise and JM is dominating which i really enjoy.

I know it's not the fix you're looking for, but check out the HDTracks version of DT12. It's a much more smooth listen. I also like it for SC, BC&SL, and ADTOE.

I have bought this version, but it's more like an issue with the general direction of the mix.
SC is a great improvement i think.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dublagent66 on July 09, 2018, 04:22:04 PM
STR came up on shuffle today.  Normally skip but decided to listen.  Just 1 of the 6 reasons I don't like this album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Ben_Jamin on July 09, 2018, 04:26:02 PM
STR came up on shuffle today.  Normally skip but decided to listen.  Just 1 of the 6 reasons I don't like this album.

Why is Surrender to Reason one of the reasons you don't like the album?
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on July 09, 2018, 09:47:15 PM
STR came up on shuffle today.  Normally skip but decided to listen.  Just 1 of the 6 reasons I don't like this album.

Why is Surrender to Reason one of the reasons you don't like the album?

STR is one of the reasons I LOVE the album ;D
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dublagent66 on July 10, 2018, 11:53:05 AM
STR came up on shuffle today.  Normally skip but decided to listen.  Just 1 of the 6 reasons I don't like this album.

Why is Surrender to Reason one of the reasons you don't like the album?

Well, let's see.  It's a collection of cut & paste callbacks, generic melodies, and Rush ripoffs.  Most of the album is like this.  Doesn't flow at all.  We had On the Backs of Angels from ADTOE(which I actually liked).  Then STR has a reference to "restless angels".  Now, TA talks about "angels deceiving my eyes".  Enough about the goddamn angels already!!  What's with DT's obsession with angels anyway?
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on July 10, 2018, 01:37:12 PM
Well, let's see.  It's a collection of cut & paste callbacks, generic melodies, and Rush ripoffs.  Most of the album is like this.  Doesn't flow at all.  We had On the Backs of Angels from ADTOE(which I actually liked).  Then STR has a reference to "restless angels".  Now, TA talks about "angels deceiving my eyes".  Enough about the goddamn angels already!!  What's with DT's obsession with angels anyway?

Yeah, right!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on July 10, 2018, 08:32:07 PM
It’s either that or water’s edge :lol
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: MirrorMask on July 11, 2018, 01:07:00 AM
New song off the new album: Angels on the Water's Edge  :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dreamer on July 11, 2018, 01:11:29 AM
Still love the album!  Easily in my top three favorites of all DT albums..

The same for me, great album!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on July 11, 2018, 07:52:39 AM
New song off the new album: Angels on the Water's Edge  :metal

OTBOA has both, so...
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Mebert78 on July 11, 2018, 10:31:51 AM
The self-titled release is still my third favorite DT album behind I&W and Awake. 
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Progmetty on July 11, 2018, 07:29:07 PM
My least favorite DT album, behind their WDADU. I only like Illumination Theory and the intro suite. Otherwise pretty much what Stewie said, especially about Enigma Machine.
I wish we had a BR release from The Astonishing tour instead of this one, although SDV from Breaking Fourth Wall is boss.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Robo4900 on July 11, 2018, 08:14:01 PM
I love it.

Knew it'd be an instant classic for me when I first heard it, and I've never gone back on that. While Dramatic Turn was an exercise in delivering the most clasically Dream Theater album they could produce, ironically enough the self-titled album went a bit more outside the box, exploring a wider range of sounds, and giving more of a feeling of the band moving forward into new territory.
DT12 isn't exactly the band's most different album(No-where near as much of a lateral move as Astonishing would be, for instance), but it was a breath of fresh air after the somewhat samey(Though still really awesome for what it was) Dramatic Turn album, and honestly, I really like every song on the album. Wouldn't skip a single track, and would be happy to hear any of them come up on shuffle, or just to listen to the whole album.

Really, my only complaint with DT12 is the fact the CD release is too compressed, muddy, and loud. But even through this poor mastering, the songwriting and performances shine through, and I'm very happy with it. Self-titling it was a bold move, but made a statement I can totally understand and get behind.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: LCArenas on July 11, 2018, 09:33:22 PM
I revisited it a year ago and I found it better than what I expected. It may not be ADTOE, which is a top 5-6 DT album for me, but a year ago I thought it had aged well. I'll revisit again now and post impressions.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Trav86 on July 14, 2018, 06:40:21 AM
A top 5 DT album for me. I think they succeeded in what they set out to do with it.  Along with I&W and ADTOE, it’s one of their most consistent albums.  Every song is solid, and it flows really well. It’s always an enjoyable listen for me!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on July 14, 2018, 08:41:07 AM
A top 5 DT album for me. I think they succeeded in what they set out to do with it.  Along with I&W and ADTOE, it’s one of their most consistent albums.  Every song is solid, and it flows really well. It’s always an enjoyable listen for me!

I agree. Consistent seems to be the right word to use when describing this album. Not their best album, but all of it is very very good.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheLordOfTheStrings on July 16, 2018, 12:38:10 AM
Listened the other day - still hate the snare sound. I honestly don't know what the fuck any of those guys were thinking with that. Other than that, it still ranks pretty solid for me. I think the ending to TBP is still one of the greatest things DT has ever written. The whole song is fantastic, but that ending is unlike anything they've ever really written (lyrically and vocally). James sounds great on the album. I like everything except the way his voice sounds on the harmonies towards the end of AFTR, and the riffing he doesn't over JP's solo at the end of IT. But that's just due to my own personal taste.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Pettor on July 16, 2018, 01:23:48 AM
Ok so I know nothing technical about drums really. I know I love the SDOIT drum sound and I&W not as much by ear. But can someone explain the snare issue on this album to me? Like an example when the snare sound in DT is good and when it sounds bad on this album. I am not questioning, just really interested to understand what everyone is talking about.

I do remember listening to Enemy Inside (on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDTYWwqchhQ) and thinking it sounds a LOT better in general. The snares are less "heavy" and more of "imph" instead of "omph". But is that really the big problem? I think the cymbals are what really stands out in that video compared to the album. They sound so clear and dynamic and the general sound i more "lively". I guess that's why I favor listening to the DT album songs on The 4th Wall because they sound alive and awesome :)

Edit: Starting to analyze the album and Youtube video I must say that the drum sound at 4:15 is bad on the album and quite different on the Youtube video. It's hard to understand what's even going on the album at that time because it's all muffled but on the video it's crystal clear.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on July 16, 2018, 01:57:16 AM
The issue with the snare sound is that it is tuned so low. It's becoming some sort of trend nowadays, with Icefish doing it with Virgil Donati's drums, but the snare in the DT album is really low. The problem with it, as noted by Mangini, is that he really can not play ghost notes too much with that tuning, which is why he experimented and transferred many of the ghost notes to his ride sources.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: ytserush on July 17, 2018, 03:53:38 PM
Still think it's pretty solid. Is it Dream Theater by numbers?  Yeah. It's a pretty safe record for them.

They seem to be getting more adventurous more recently, and for me, that's a good thing.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Drinktheater on August 04, 2018, 08:26:46 AM
I love it and kinda wish I was able to attend the tour for it.

For me it is as better as their classic stuff I prefer it than Asthonishing
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: RandalGraves on August 04, 2018, 09:48:38 AM
Some really cool opinions in this thread. I just gave it a quick listen to "refresh" and I actually really love the album (production aside)...up until the latter half. Illumination Theory is great, but the three tracks that really kill it for me are Behind the Veil, Surrender to Reason and Along for the Ride (the former of which is one of my least favorite DT songs). Looks like I'm in the minority on that one, as I've seen BTV and STR show up on a lot of people's 'favorites' lists. While I'm at it, I also really enjoy Enigma Machine, which looks to be a lot of people's least favorite.

Despite the majority of tracks I like, there's just something about the album that doesn't pull me back in like ADTOE or even The Astonishing.

Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Drinktheater on August 04, 2018, 12:16:33 PM
Some really cool opinions in this thread. I just gave it a quick listen to "refresh" and I actually really love the album (production aside)...up until the latter half. Illumination Theory is great, but the three tracks that really kill it for me are Behind the Veil, Surrender to Reason and Along for the Ride (the former of which is one of my least favorite DT songs). Looks like I'm in the minority on that one, as I've seen BTV and STR show up on a lot of people's 'favorites' lists. While I'm at it, I also really enjoy Enigma Machine, which looks to be a lot of people's least favorite.

Despite the majority of tracks I like, there's just something about the album that doesn't pull me back in like ADTOE or even The Astonishing.

I guess its because the Album is sort of fragmented its like the SDOIT but shorter  while the ADTOE has some grand vibe to it. And offcourse the Astonishing is a huge concept Album. 

My most favorite in DT12 is "Illumination Theory"  the last part literally made me cry when I tried to analyze and feel the Music!  Or maybe I am just crazy and alcoholic  ???
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Logain Ablar on August 05, 2018, 06:48:42 AM
My most favorite in DT12 is "Illumination Theory"  the last part literally made me cry when I tried to analyze and feel the Music!  Or maybe I am just crazy and alcoholic  ???

I’m not sure if you’re an alcoholic (though your username is a bit of a giveaway  :lol), but I do agree about the last section of IT. The “To really feel the joy in life” section is very emotional. My only nitpick with it is the ad-libbing on “never know” is just a bit too much for me. It’s in danger of spoiling it.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on August 05, 2018, 07:35:16 AM
It's funny because even though I was not this album's greatest fan, I find myself listening to it pretty often (more than other DT albums that I like more than this one).

It's really enjoyable if you just turn off your mind (nugg8t?) and just let it be what it is without constantly thinking of DT's other work and going like "hey, obviously this ISN'T DT's greatest instrumental!".

It's just a fun record. Illumination Theory is incredible, tho.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dream Team on August 05, 2018, 04:09:37 PM
Yes, it’s very accessible. Very clearly a focus on concise song-writing featuring strong melodies. Because of the song-writing I can tolerate that horrible snare.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Valor on August 05, 2018, 09:14:38 PM
Most underappreciated DT album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dellers on August 06, 2018, 02:49:25 AM
I don't like this album at all, really. I may listen to Illumination Theory once a year, and that's about it. Surrender To Reason is decent, but not more. The other songs are boring to me, perhaps too Rush-like (I find Rush to be very boring). The production is the weakest I've heard from any band this side of 2000, and the CD version even has severe audio issues like clipping. I had to buy the version available at HDtracks to be able to listen to the record, my ears simply couldn't take the normal version. I love ADTOE (except that there's a couple of ballads too many), so I was surprised that they released something I genuinely don't even like so shortly after.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Addy on August 06, 2018, 04:20:38 AM
Decent. I like a couple of songs - TBP is 10/10 great, BTV is cool, so is TLG. The rest... well I don't know, let's say I'm not crazy about it. IT has it's moments, but the middle part is so outta place it's like there's three separate songs in one. Same problem that "Tuscany" had. Nowhere near their older epics. It almost feels like they lacked ideas but really wanted to hit 20:00 mark.

TEI is so below their capabilities, EM lacks something that i.e. SOC had and the rest of the songs sound like fillers.

It's by far the worst sounding DT album though. The loudness and DR are horrible, drums sound like samples, bass is almost inaudible and everything is so overcompressed. And what happened to JP's tone on this one? I loved his sound on BC&SL and ADTOE, but this one and The Astonishing sound muddy and boxy in the guitar department. Yes, I struggle listening to it even in the HDTracks version.

I like Mangini's work on this one. It'd be really enjoyable with the right production.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on August 06, 2018, 09:15:07 AM
"Bass is almost inaudible" is the weirdest thing I have read somebody say about the self-titled.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheOutlawXanadu on August 06, 2018, 01:34:29 PM
"Bass is almost inaudible" is the weirdest thing I have read somebody say about the self-titled.

Has always been audible to me, but then again, my car stereo makes the bass in And Justice for All audible, so it's probably a bad reference point.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on August 06, 2018, 01:57:08 PM
"Bass is almost inaudible" is the weirdest thing I have read somebody say about the self-titled.

Has always been audible to me, but then again, my car stereo makes the bass in And Justice for All audible, so it's probably a bad reference point.

Bass is very audible (and rocking :metal) on DT12.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Adami on August 06, 2018, 05:05:13 PM
"Bass is almost inaudible" is the weirdest thing I have read somebody say about the self-titled.

Audible? Yes.

Terrible tone? Yes.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on August 07, 2018, 02:33:07 AM
"Bass is almost inaudible" is the weirdest thing I have read somebody say about the self-titled.

Audible? Yes.

Terrible tone? Yes.

It is too trebly. But it is audible.

JMX reportedly liked the sound of his bass in this album, calling it aggressive. For me, the tone did work in songs like Surrender to Reason.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Addy on August 07, 2018, 02:36:45 AM
"Bass is almost inaudible" is the weirdest thing I have read somebody say about the self-titled.

OK, let me rephrase that. You can feel the low end for sure. But can you hear the actual bass parts? It's hidden behind the wall of guitars and also mostly follows JP. I like present bass, but there's very little of it on DT12.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on August 07, 2018, 03:00:00 AM
Is the bass indeed hidden behind the wall of sound and just follows what JP's guitars are doing? It's not what I am hearing in Surrender to Reason. Nor in The Looking Glass (especially in the guitar solo part). Or Enigma Machine (the trebly tone might throw you off but the rhythm part is mostly JMX's bass)? How about the bass playfully playing a counter-melody to the keyboard solo in Along For The Ride? Or the bass playing counterpoints in the instrumental of the Live, Die, Kill section of Illumination Theory? Or the bass line that matches Mangini's wicked odd meter intro to the Pursuit of Truth section of IT?
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Addy on August 07, 2018, 04:59:25 AM
Ok, you mentioned 6 sections of a 70 minute album. I didn't state that he follows guitar the whole time.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Fritzinger on August 07, 2018, 06:24:12 AM
I wish they’d remix and remaster this album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Addy on August 07, 2018, 06:48:00 AM
I wish they’d remix and remaster this album.

Try HDTracks master. It's more dynamic, not limited as much and has higher bitrate. Check this out:

https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/108210

vs

https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/108208

HD version doesn't solve all the problems, but it's better: https://www.hdtracks.com/dream-theater
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on August 07, 2018, 07:01:26 AM
Ok, you mentioned 6 sections of a 70 minute album. I didn't state that he follows guitar the whole time.

Well, thr bass is audible to me the whole album, I just highlighted these parts that clearly contradict your claim that the bass is inaudible in this album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Sebastián Pratesi on August 07, 2018, 07:18:06 AM
Or the bass line that matches Mangini's wicked odd meter intro to the Pursuit of Truth section of IT?
Isn't it the other way round, though? Doesn't Mangini always look for ways to match what the others are playing?
(That's a great section, anyway!)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on August 07, 2018, 04:47:45 PM
It's because Mangini reportedly is the one who came up with the idea in that part.  :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheOutlawXanadu on August 08, 2018, 07:50:53 AM
I wish they’d remix and remaster this album.

Try HDTracks master. It's more dynamic, not limited as much and has higher bitrate. Check this out:

https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/108210

vs

https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/108208

HD version doesn't solve all the problems, but it's better: https://www.hdtracks.com/dream-theater

While there is probably some placebo effect going on, I have always felt that the HD Tracks version sounds significantly better, especially the drums. The sound of the album does not bother me as much.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: RoeDent on August 08, 2018, 08:16:07 AM
Still think it's pretty solid. Is it Dream Theater by numbers?  Yeah. It's a pretty safe record for them.

They seem to be getting more adventurous more recently, and for me, that's a good thing.

And people hated them being adventurous (The Astonishing), so I suspect they're going to revert to DT by numbers for album 14.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Sebastián Pratesi on August 08, 2018, 11:51:13 AM
It's because Mangini reportedly is the one who came up with the idea in that part.  :metal
Oh, I didn't know that! Thanks!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: borzo on August 12, 2018, 02:33:09 AM
I still find it bad and can't listen to it. So far the worst they did in my opinion.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: jammindude on August 13, 2018, 08:05:40 AM
I saw this thread, and it made me spin it again. I was immediately impressed with how well it’s aged. I wouldn’t call it a “safe” album...ADTOE was the safe album to me. But this is “comfortable”.

It may not be adventurous, but the individual songs are so strong, well written, and arranged that the end product is extremely strong.

This is easily my favorite Mangini album, and maybe even a top 5 DT album. It’s certainly climbed my ranking list after this spin.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Nekov on August 14, 2018, 09:05:16 AM
I saw this thread, and it made me spin it again. I was immediately impressed with how well it’s aged. I wouldn’t call it a “safe” album...ADTOE was the safe album to me. But this is “comfortable”.

Same for me on the bolded part. I hadn't listened to the album in a long while and I'm finding myself enjoying it a lot. However I do think it was a safe album, while ADTOE was more experimental. But hey, opinions  :)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on August 14, 2018, 09:07:07 AM
My issue is that I just don't think it really extends DT in any direction.  I actually find ADTOE more diverse.
I mean, I do like it a lot, though.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Nekov on August 14, 2018, 09:09:20 AM
Still think it's pretty solid. Is it Dream Theater by numbers?  Yeah. It's a pretty safe record for them.

They seem to be getting more adventurous more recently, and for me, that's a good thing.

And people hated them being adventurous (The Astonishing), so I suspect they're going to revert to DT by numbers for album 14.

To me the problem with TA is not that they tried being adventurous, I'm all up for experimenting and looking for new ways to do music. But I felt like it was a bland album. I listen to it and nothing sticks out or catches my attention.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on August 14, 2018, 09:17:54 AM
Nekov, I love TA. I understand what you are saying. If anything, they moved the music along too quickly. I mean, there are 30 seconds of just about very track, that is fleshed out a bit longer, would be amazing.


 
When Indiscipline gets around to TA in his Scenes thread, he'll point these out very succinctly.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: erwinrafael on August 14, 2018, 10:27:19 AM
My issue is that I just don't think it really extends DT in any direction.

For me, at least, the self-titled was the step DT needed to take in order to remove the idea of bloat = progressive that crept into their writing from SDOIT onwards (with BC&SL as the posterboy of that phase).
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Indiscipline on August 14, 2018, 10:29:43 AM
When Indiscipline gets around to TA in his Scenes thread, he'll point these out very succinctly.

Considering I'll be 87, my prostate time-outs will warrant amazing prose brevity.

By the way, TA is my favourite DT album excluding I&W, which is my favourite album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on August 14, 2018, 10:57:03 AM
My issue is that I just don't think it really extends DT in any direction.

For me, at least, the self-titled was the step DT needed to take in order to remove the idea of bloat = progressive that crept into their writing from SDOIT onwards (with BC&SL as the posterboy of that phase).

This may seem like a small point, but I don't think "bloat = progressive" was ever part of the equation.  I think it is more along the lines of, "'progressive' can unintentionally facilitate bloat."  Again, it may seem like a small point, but I don't think it is an insignificant one.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: jammindude on August 14, 2018, 11:40:30 AM
I saw this thread, and it made me spin it again. I was immediately impressed with how well it’s aged. I wouldn’t call it a “safe” album...ADTOE was the safe album to me. But this is “comfortable”.

Same for me on the bolded part. I hadn't listened to the album in a long while and I'm finding myself enjoying it a lot. However I do think it was a safe album, while ADTOE was more experimental. But hey, opinions  :)

My only reasoning on that is the similarities to IAW....which, for the record, I thought was a rather good idea. Let people know we’re still Dream Theater.  It was The Force Awakens that they needed at the time.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: CDrice on August 14, 2018, 01:00:02 PM
It is still my favorite Mangini era album, and it definitely stands in the upper half of the band's discography for me. I personnally think Enigma Machine is one of their best instrumental. I find the main riff just so fun and catchy. The long drum fill that connects Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire and Live, Die, Kill in Illumination Theory is one of my favorite moment in the band's catalog. With that said I can get the production issues that people frequently bring up. Like I hear that the snare doesn't sound like an usual snare or that the whole album is kind of loud, but fortunately for me it never got to a point where it bothered me at all.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on August 15, 2018, 11:10:20 PM
My issue is that I just don't think it really extends DT in any direction.

For me, at least, the self-titled was the step DT needed to take in order to remove the idea of bloat = progressive that crept into their writing from SDOIT onwards (with BC&SL as the posterboy of that phase).

This may seem like a small point, but I don't think "bloat = progressive" was ever part of the equation.  I think it is more along the lines of, "'progressive' can unintentionally facilitate bloat."  Again, it may seem like a small point, but I don't think it is an insignificant one.

Well, I don't mean bloat. I definitely don't mean bloat.  I just mean....I don't know what the right word is..interesting, maybe. Challenging? I mean, I wouldn't want to take for granted what DT does, and it's not that I don't like it, but it just feels a bit too concise for me.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: MirrorMask on September 04, 2018, 01:43:01 AM
Been wanting to hear again the album after this thread, finally did it yesterday.

I'm still not totally convinced about The Looking Glass.

I still think The Bigger Picture and Behind the Veil are the best songs in here.

I didn't remember Surrender to Reason was SO good, damn.

Illumination Theory is quite good but there's some bloat here and there (intro and solo before the final part), not their best big epic but still a good song with a wonderful climax.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on September 05, 2018, 08:44:03 AM
Surrender to Reason is definitely super underrated, IMO. I remember it was one of my favorites when it came out back in 2013. I love the melodies and even the dirty guitar solo-ish thing in the middle.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Architeuthis on September 05, 2018, 10:28:02 AM
Surrender to Reason is definitely super underrated, IMO. I remember it was one of my favorites when it came out back in 2013. I love the melodies and even the dirty guitar solo-ish thing in the middle.
The dirty guitar solo reminds me of the solo in By-Tor and the Snowdog from Rush's Fly by Night album. 
I also agree MirrorMask that The Bigger Picture and Behind the Veil are the two best tracks on the album besides the epic.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: DP_Gumby on September 05, 2018, 01:28:32 PM
5 years in, I have no real issues with the album other than the mix, it could perhaps be a tad clearer like on ADTOE. But I'm fine with what we got.
Though I'm still waiting for Behind The Veil to be played live, after 5 years, when DT are playing in Norway.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on September 05, 2018, 07:42:35 PM
Surrender to Reason is definitely super underrated, IMO. I remember it was one of my favorites when it came out back in 2013. I love the melodies and even the dirty guitar solo-ish thing in the middle.

My favorite on the album after IT. It's :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: jammindude on September 05, 2018, 07:46:36 PM
The last few weeks, I have not been able to get enough of this album.  The more I'm spinning it, the more I'm enjoying it, and the more it climbs my list.   They wanted to make a statement by calling the album Dream Theater, and I think they achieved that.   It's one of those small handful of releases where there is not even one skip track to me.   

This may have just gone up to #4 on my list.   Not sure anything will ever topple 8V, SFAM, and IAW at this point.    All other albums have a low spot for me.   Awake has Lie, SDOIT has The Great Debate....and don't get me wrong.  Those aren't *BAD* songs at all.  If I hear them once every few years I think they are kindof "neato", but repeated listens just make me "meh".   
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on September 05, 2018, 07:47:31 PM
I love Surrender To Reason, but it somehow seems lost on this album. And no, I cannot explain this comment.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on September 05, 2018, 07:52:20 PM
The more I'm spinning it, the more I'm enjoying it, and the more it climbs my list.   They wanted to make a statement by calling the album Dream Theater, and I think they achieved that.   It's one of those small handful of releases where there is not even one skip track to me.   

Completely agree, specially the bolded part. Even ADTOE has some songs that I don't like that much (FFH and BMU, BMD  for example), but the self titled is just pure awesomeness from start to finish :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: jammindude on September 05, 2018, 08:23:11 PM
I love Surrender To Reason, but it somehow seems lost on this album. And no, I cannot explain this comment.

It's interesting because this is by far the song that took the longest to grow on me.   The rest of the album has a genuine and beautiful "flow" to it.  But it hits a bit of a bump on that song.   Not in a "not as good" kinda way, but more like a "we had this really kick ass song that didn't really fit the feel of the rest of the album....but we had the space, and the JM lyrics, so...."
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: YtseJam on September 05, 2018, 08:47:52 PM
I'm going to give it a re-listen because of this thread. I've found myself very distant since the departure of Portnoy and not for that reason. Very indifferent on the albums as a whole whereas I seldom skipped tracks prior. I do feel as though this album had the potential to be refined into a masterpiece or maybe it was just on the cusp of having catchy tunes but fell short after it blew it's load.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: jammindude on September 05, 2018, 08:52:18 PM
I'm going to give it a re-listen because of this thread. I've found myself very distant since the departure of Portnoy and not for that reason. Very indifferent on the albums as a whole whereas I seldom skipped tracks prior. I do feel as though this album had the potential to be refined into a masterpiece or maybe it was just on the cusp of having catchy tunes but fell short after it blew it's load.

My personal favorites are Behind the Veil and The Bigger Picture (the *endings* of both those songs in particular are among the most amazing endings I've ever heard from the band).
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Mark Levinson Jr. on September 07, 2018, 11:38:03 AM
I love Surrender To Reason, but it somehow seems lost on this album. And no, I cannot explain this comment.

Wasn't that a "lyrics by Myung" song?
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Max Kuehnau on September 07, 2018, 11:39:38 AM
Yes.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Trav86 on September 07, 2018, 01:59:51 PM
Though I'm still waiting for Behind The Veil to be played live

It was played on the summer 2015 tour.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on September 07, 2018, 02:10:05 PM
I love Surrender To Reason, but it somehow seems lost on this album. And no, I cannot explain this comment.

It's interesting because this is by far the song that took the longest to grow on me.   

It could just be a song placement issue.  I was just saying the same thing in the Redemption thread the other day about The Last of Me.  Perfectly fine song.  But being buried in "the middle of side 2" just made me take longer to notice it.  It's so late in the album.  IT is the gratuitous mega-epic to finish the album.  AFTR is the only "ballad," was a "single," and had the tour named after it, so would get noticed for those reasons.  It's hard to immediately notice and pay attention to the third song from the end, no matter how good it might be, if it doesn't have something specially calling attention to it.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: MirrorMask on September 07, 2018, 03:25:40 PM
I don't want to sound as an elitist who thinks his tastes in music are more sophisticate, but.... isn't song placement something important just for pop / easy music casual fans who need to have all the singles at the beginning of the album? if you have enough attention span to listen to 10 minutes long songs, I guess you'd notice if a particular song is to your liking no matter of its place in the tracklist, or how "big" are the songs near them. Sacrificed Sons gets a lot of praise on Octavarium and it's right before the show stealer (the title track).
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on September 07, 2018, 03:51:57 PM
No
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: jammindude on September 07, 2018, 06:16:24 PM
No

This.

There is still such a thing as the “flow” of an album. Imagine if all the songs on Dark Side of the Moon were rearranged in random order. The songs would still be great, but the presentation would suffer tremendously.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on September 07, 2018, 06:58:17 PM
Yes, flow is very important.


When I say it seems lost, I'll try and explain. I consider DT12 a somewhat bombastic album. I mean it sounds loud compared to ADTOE, but the songs themselves are very powerful. But Surrender To Reason just doesn't hit as hard, and kind of sneaks up on you. It's an amazing song.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dream Team on September 07, 2018, 07:34:48 PM
Yes, flow is very important.


When I say it seems lost, I'll try and explain. I consider DT12 a somewhat bombastic album. I mean it sounds loud compared to ADTOE, but the songs themselves are very powerful. But Surrender To Reason just doesn't hit as hard, and kind of sneaks up on you. It's an amazing song.

Yes, it competes with IT as my favorite.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: DP_Gumby on September 08, 2018, 09:04:26 AM
Though I'm still waiting for Behind The Veil to be played live

It was played on the summer 2015 tour.

Fair enough, I stand corrected. But I have yet to see it performed live besides the summer festivals. And as a side note, I didn't go to any of those shows, therefore I have never heard the song live yet.  ;)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Trav86 on September 08, 2018, 09:14:39 AM
Though I'm still waiting for Behind The Veil to be played live

It was played on the summer 2015 tour.

Fair enough, I stand corrected. But I have yet to see it performed live besides the summer festivals. And as a side note, I didn't go to any of those shows, therefore I have never heard the song live yet.  ;)

There’s a pro-shot video on YouTube of them playing it at Wacken.  You should check it out. It’s pretty good!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: DP_Gumby on September 08, 2018, 09:16:02 AM
Though I'm still waiting for Behind The Veil to be played live

It was played on the summer 2015 tour.

Fair enough, I stand corrected. But I have yet to see it performed live besides the summer festivals. And as a side note, I didn't go to any of those shows, therefore I have never heard the song live yet.  ;)

There’s a pro-shot video on YouTube of them playing it at Wacken.  You should check it out. It’s pretty good!

That I might do.  :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: mikeyd23 on September 08, 2018, 02:02:35 PM
All this Surrender to Reason talk has me happy, killer song. Underrated IMO.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: dparrott on September 08, 2018, 02:10:36 PM
I haven't listened to the album since then, but I still wear the shirt with the cover on it!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: KevShmev on September 09, 2018, 07:35:35 AM
All this Surrender to Reason talk has me happy, killer song. Underrated IMO.

Absolutely.  The more I listen to it, the more I think it has to be in the "best songs of the Mangini era" discussion. :hat
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on September 09, 2018, 04:55:40 PM
Without a doubt.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Drinktheater on February 21, 2019, 11:47:40 AM

Listened to it again and I appreciate it more now.

And  Surrender,Trust and Passion make me more emotional now.

Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Zydar on February 21, 2019, 11:51:06 AM
Still my favourite album from the MM era. Let's see if D/T can take its place.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on February 21, 2019, 11:54:28 AM
Still my least favorite of the MM Era.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Zydar on February 21, 2019, 11:56:20 AM
For me that honor will always belong to TA :P
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on February 21, 2019, 11:57:06 AM
I don't like things

Yes, we know.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: CirclesSquared on February 21, 2019, 12:01:21 PM
Surrender to Reason is fantastic. I also like The Looking Glass, Enigma Machine and a good part of Illumination Theory. The opening suite is really decent, too, very pompous in a good way. The rest I just cannot connect with.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on February 21, 2019, 12:02:01 PM
Hah!

It's honestly an album where I have no idea what they were going for.

Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: KevShmev on February 21, 2019, 01:05:46 PM
I can do without Along for the Ride, but otherwise I still enjoy everything on this record a lot.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: bosk1 on February 21, 2019, 01:07:11 PM
Funny, I am just listening to that song as we speak.  Still one of my faves.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gmillerdrake on February 21, 2019, 02:06:28 PM
I am hoping that they plan 'Surrender to Reason' in the opening set of the tour. Such an awesome song. I don't believe they've played it live yet.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on February 21, 2019, 02:09:00 PM
I am hoping that they plan 'Surrender to Reason' in the opening set of the tour. Such an awesome song. I don't believe they've played it live yet.

They haven't, and I agree, this song NEEDS to be played :metal
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on February 21, 2019, 02:51:05 PM
I'd be surprised if it's not in the set.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Progmetty on February 21, 2019, 03:50:35 PM
100% with TAC on the self titled. I only revisit the album's first and final tracks anymore.
I'm slightly worried since a lot of people have been likening D/T to it but we'll see, there's more positive vibe than negative.
And as far as the set for the next tour, I'd make an easy bet that False Awakening is all we're gonna see from the self titled.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: CirclesSquared on February 21, 2019, 03:57:46 PM
I'm slightly worried since a lot of people have been likening D/T to it but we'll see, there's more positive vibe than negative.

I don't get that at all. To me D/T doesn't sound or feel anything like self-titled.
Perhaps they mean that it's all s/t aspired to be but fell short. Though I'm not sure many people made that link in the first place.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Progmetty on February 21, 2019, 03:59:49 PM
Good deal!
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: rab7 on February 21, 2019, 04:01:28 PM

Perhaps they mean that it's all s/t aspired to be but fell short. Though I'm not sure many people made that link in the first place.

Yes I think this is what they mean.

If I had to guess it's because John Petrucci described the S/t as having all of DT's elements, and being what DT is today.

And those who have heard the album say that D/T has exactly that.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on February 21, 2019, 04:04:40 PM
I'm slightly worried since a lot of people have been likening D/T to it but we'll see, there's more positive vibe than negative.

I don't get that at all. To me D/T doesn't sound or feel anything like self-titled.
Perhaps they mean that it's all s/t aspired to be but fell short. Though I'm not sure many people made that link in the first place.

I feel like D/T ties the three previous albums together.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: CirclesSquared on February 21, 2019, 04:10:59 PM
I'm slightly worried since a lot of people have been likening D/T to it but we'll see, there's more positive vibe than negative.

I don't get that at all. To me D/T doesn't sound or feel anything like self-titled.
Perhaps they mean that it's all s/t aspired to be but fell short. Though I'm not sure many people made that link in the first place.

I feel like D/T ties the three previous albums together.

That may be, but D/T does more than just that, it cuts deeper and goes way back further than those three.

But I digress, let us stay on topic here. :)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: (nothing) on February 21, 2019, 04:34:07 PM
I don't think it's one of their strongest albums, but I still like most of it and I think the approach they took after ADTOE was interesting. What I mean by that is that they played it safe with ADTOE in my opinion (which made sense, given the circumstances), then in DT12 they took some controlled risks with going for more concise songs, as far as structure at least because there are still lots of layers in terms of instrumentation.

Production-wise, the drums and in particular the snare... let's just say it's not for me.

In my mind, I have the tracks separated in tiers:

Tier 1 - Excellent
Illumination Theory
The Bigger Picture

Tier 2 - Very Good
The Enemy Inside
The Looking Glass

Tier 3 - Good
Enigma Machine
Behind The Veil
Surrender To Reason

Tier 4 - Meh
False Awakening Suite
Along For The Ride

Overall I think it's definitely in the lower half of their discography. I haven't listened to the new one yet and it will be a while before I form an opinion anyway but out of their first 13 I would put those in the Top 6:

I&W, Awake, SFAM, SDOIT, ToT, 8V

and although I'm not sure about #7, DT12 wouldn't be a strong contender so there's that. At that point it would be a die roll between FII, The Astonishing and ADTOE I think. I have WDADU the lowest by far so DT12 is somewhere in that tier with BC&SL and SC. All these albums have many things I like and some things I don't like... but mostly things I like.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: adamack on February 21, 2019, 06:02:25 PM
One of my least favs. Really enjoyed it when it came out, but it has not aged well at all to me.

Really not a fan of the album's mix, particularly the way MM is mixed. His snare is sounding SO much better in the DoT song's I've heard so far might I add. Hell, his whole kit is sounding worlds better!

As for the songs on DT12, I actively dislike AFtR, TLG, EM, and FAS. Illumination Theory isn't as bad as those other 4, but it's their worst epic IMO and I never listen to it.

I love TEI and STR, and TBP and BTV are good.

For a DT album, I'd give it around a 6.7.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: DarkLord_Lalinc on February 21, 2019, 06:05:52 PM
I only listen to The Bigger Picture, Surrender to Reason and Illumination Theory. It's not a bad album by any means, but hey. I think DoT is what this album tried to be, just better lol.

I loved this tour, tho. That show was so incredible.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: jayvee3 on February 21, 2019, 08:05:30 PM
I really love a large portion of it, but definitely think the mix is actually an issue. For instance, I think MM’s drums in TLG are fucking amazing, but think it lacked appreciation due to them being buried in the mix.

The other issue I have with this one as well, is I can’t help but feel a few songs through the middle of the album - STR and BTV in particular - have these great moments and killer openings, but then feel somewhat “unfinished” and kinda go nowhere if that makes any sense? STR from that opening could have been an all time fave, but it’s barely repeated until the very closing moments which are the two best moments of the song. The middle kind of meanders a bit I feel. I actually also have this criticism of A Life Left Behind from TA to put it into context.

However, I also really like IT, TEI, TLG, AFTR and think EM is a heavily underrated instrumental. So a heck of a lot to like in there.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Volante99 on February 21, 2019, 11:42:37 PM
DT12 - some of DT’s best material (The Bigger Picture, Surrender to Reason, The Looking Glass) more or less ruined by a limp production. What were they thinking on those drums sounds?! Oof

Illumination Theory has some great moments but really has no business being that long. Along For the Ride is also one of their cringiest songs.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Phoenix87x on February 22, 2019, 05:47:01 AM
I love most of this album.

Illumination theory is one of my favorite DT songs in a long time.
Through the looking glass rocks and has a great flow
I LOVE surrender to reason
Bigger picture and Behind the veil sound decent as well

I just don't like Enigma machine which feels a little disjointed, and not well constructed. Just listen to The dance of eternity immediately after and you can hear a difference.

I also don't like the enemy inside, but Besides those minor nit picks, I love this album
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: KevShmev on February 22, 2019, 08:32:51 AM
I am always a little surprised at how many weren't wild about Enigma Machine; I think it is great.  That evil riff that JP plays after the opening keyboard part, and then again at the end, is so awesome.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TAC on February 22, 2019, 08:44:09 AM
I am always a little surprised at how many weren't wild about Enigma Machine; I think it is great.  That evil riff that JP plays after the opening keyboard part, and then again at the end, is so awesome.

It's much better live. The studio version really has never jumped out at me.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Dream Team on February 22, 2019, 05:25:24 PM
Played a bunch of it today after a second listen of D/T. Still a great album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Drinktheater on February 23, 2019, 07:31:49 AM
Surrender to Reason is fantastic. I also like The Looking Glass, Enigma Machine and a good part of Illumination Theory. The opening suite is really decent, too, very pompous in a good way. The rest I just cannot connect with.

I love the illumination theory Musically specially the orchestral part and lyrically the Finale, But the pursuit of truth just feels lazy, along for the ride seems shallow and cliche to be honest atleast lyrically

Surrender to reason in terms of song writing is superb.

I like the bigger picture too it connects to me.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: lovethedrake on February 23, 2019, 07:56:06 AM
I think its James' best vocals since SDOIT so I love it.  The songs are a bit generic but they are generally well written.

I VERY rarely put on False Awakening and I never liked The Enemy Inside so I usually start with the looking glass. 

I think its a pretty great album starting from the Looking Glass with the Enigma Machine the only occasional skipper.

I also think Behind the Veil is one of the most underrated DT songs.   Killer opening, great versus, one of the best modern JP solo's and a catchy chorus.

I place the album 8th on my album rankings for DT.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: SleeperAwake on March 10, 2019, 06:06:02 PM
My least favourite DT album, mostly because of the production. But the songs are pretty weak as well.

The Bigger Picture, Behind the Veil and Surrender to Reason are the highlights. I seem to remember that there are a couple of worthwhile minutes in Illumination Theory. Along for the Ride is also on this album.

I have no need to listen to the rest of the album ever again.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: DT1138 on March 12, 2019, 07:34:10 PM
I am always a little surprised at how many weren't wild about Enigma Machine; I think it is great.  That evil riff that JP plays after the opening keyboard part, and then again at the end, is so awesome.

+1

My favorite track on the album.  That riff is awesome.

I also love the part where JP plays that slow solo section starting at 3:37, the first time I heard it it gave me goosebumps.

Other tracks I like are The Enemy Inside and Illumination Theory.  The rest are just OK to me.

D/T is a new favorite by comparison.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Jay T on March 12, 2019, 08:43:01 PM
Of the four Mangini era albums, it’s my least favorite. But, it has grown on me quite a bit since being released into the wild.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: gzarruk on March 12, 2019, 09:48:56 PM
I still love this album. I was going through hard times around the time it was released and listened to it A LOT. Very underrated album.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: spw5150 on March 12, 2019, 11:51:05 PM
still love the album,  Surrender to Reason and The Bigger Picture are highlights as well as Illumination Theory.  Production wise then drums are dull ( Especially compared to Distance over Time)
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Drinktheater on March 13, 2019, 05:18:57 PM
still love the album,  Surrender to Reason and The Bigger Picture are highlights as well as Illumination Theory.  Production wise then drums are dull ( Especially compared to Distance over Time)

And I feel Johns rhythm guitar tone sounds so harsh and to over powering. I like heavy music and all but eh sometimes there is just so much wall of sound that is grating to the ears, the bigger picture could use a better mix along with Surrender to Reason
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Jay T on March 13, 2019, 08:14:22 PM
One of my complaints for this album is the overall production, particularly John’s guitar tone. His rhythm crunch tone is very muddy, and not nearly as tight and articulate as it is on other albums. The drums sound slightly off to me, and I am typically not a fan of low tuned snares. Keys seem a little buried in the mix, although the bass does sound awesome, I have to admit. Favorite track off the album is Surrender to Reason.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: adamack on March 13, 2019, 08:14:42 PM
Probably my second to least favorite. I still love Surrender To Reason, and I actually really like the Enemy Inside a lot. The Bigger Picture and Behind The Veil are also really good.

But I hate Along for the Ride, I HATE The Looking Glass, The Enigma Machine is easily their worst instrumental IMO, False Awakening Suite is eh, and Illumination Theory is my least favorite of their epics.

Also, the  album may have aged a touch better with a proper drum mix
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: Trav86 on March 14, 2019, 01:24:51 PM
It's actually aged very well for me. I would say it's my second favorite of the New Era, right behind Distance Over Time.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: goo-goo on March 14, 2019, 02:24:54 PM
For me, it hasn't aged well. The production kills it for me. My favorite song off the S/T is The Bigger Picture

I would put it dead bottom

1- d/t
2- ADTOE
3- TA
4- S/T
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: 1neeto on March 17, 2019, 02:12:36 AM
Loved it at first, but as the years went by it has lost its charm. IT and TEI stand out, and I enjoy TBP, especially the solo.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: TheGreatPretender on March 17, 2019, 10:39:00 AM
When it first came out, I was pretty stoked on it. I called it my 4th favorite, behind SFAM, Images & Words, and Systematic Chaos. Not sure I'd rank it quite as high now, but I still listen to it regularly and still very much enjoy it. I'd say it's one of their more consistently good albums, overall, so it still tops the majority of their discography for me. It probably helps that I exclusively listen to the HD Tracks version, but even just in terms of sheer composition, I think it's excellent.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: The Letter M on March 17, 2019, 11:46:35 AM
In retrospect, it's pretty okay-to-good. I just listened to the HD Tracks versions of SC, BC&SL, ADTOE, and DT12 a couple of weeks ago in my car during my daily commutes, and when I got to DT12, I found myself humming to the melodies, remembering some words and what not, but outside of that, I didn't feel very much of a connection to most of the material. Like, it's good, but it just hasn't settled in the way the other 3 aforementioned albums have. I remember liking it a lot when it came out, but on recent listen, it's more OK than Good or Great.

Other than AFTR, I really only enjoy the songs after Enigma Machine, but maybe that's because the band were really channeling Rush-vibes in many of those songs (as well as The Looking Glass). There's a lot of Rush-ness across the album, and I think it helps AND hurts the album, but as a Rush fan, I can't be TOO mad at them for asking "What Would Rush Do"?

I also still have mixed feelings about "Illumination Theory" - there are parts of it that are awesome, gorgeous and beautiful, but parts of it are just "meh" or cringey to my ears all these years later. I don't really like the part after the the orchestral break, which sounds so derivative of Rush's "The Necromancer" (musically) and "Didacts And Narpets" (lyrically). Like, I get it Petrucci, you love Rush and Caress Of Steel... :lol

Anyways - TL:DR, it's mid-tier DT, and I find the 3 albums prior to it better by comparison, though given what came after it, I'd rather like to DT12 over TA any day.

-Marc.

Going back and reading my response to this thread from last June, I still feel kind of the same. I just listened to the album a couple weeks ago in my car, again on a run of the HD Tracks versions of SC, BC&SL, ADTOE, and DT12, and I think I like it a bit more than I remember, but as I said above, I really only like the second half of the album, except some of IT. After EM, the album really picks up for me, with a killer three-song-run of TBP/BTV/STR.

If the album had been the following track list, it would've made for a killer single LP (with roughly 27 minute sides, which is stretching the limits of a side of vinyl):
Side A
The Enemy Inside
The Bigger Picture
Behind The Veil
Surrender To Reason

Side B
Along For The Ride
Illumination Theory

Maybe in a few more years, I'll finally come around to enjoying the whole album, but compared to ADTOE and d/t (and not counting TA), it's easily my least favorite of the MM-era albums. I just enjoy ADTOE and d/t more, and I get that the band were trying new things with DT12, but some of it just doesn't stick the landing for me still.

-Marc.
Title: Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
Post by: ytserush on March 19, 2019, 07:01:46 PM
Liked it then.

Still like it now although The Enemy Inside and Behind The Veil are just OK.