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Dream Theater / Re: Official Distance Over Time discussion thread
« Last post by skydivingninja on Today at 07:48:52 AM »
Yeah, props to the mixing and production. It does sound great.
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I like Mike but to me he seemed like a control freak. I remember when Myung mentioned the way they would get together and write (on the Dream and Day Reunite DVD) and Portnoy basically shut him down. I don't think he meant anything by it..it was just his personality but I felt tension (imagined or not) just by listening to the exchange. Also it seemed that he wanted the band to become heavier and heavier and wanted James to have more edge to his voice. The terrible cookie monster vocals he provided could have been his way of slighting James.  I have no inside info but as a fan that is the way that I perceived things. 
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Dream Theater / Re: Official Distance Over Time discussion thread
« Last post by Skeever on Today at 07:46:36 AM »
Welp. Back from a several-year absence. As someone who haaaaaated DT12 and the Astonishing, this is a pleasant surprise. Mostly. I dig all of Petrucci's solos. I appreciate the audible bass even if it sounds like Myung has fallen into a now-tired "Darkglass pedal metal bass" tone, and I'm always a fan of Rudess on piano.

There are still a bunch of issues. There are only a handful of really catchy choruses, still quite a few tracks that are absolute duds (which I was hoping wouldn't be the case since they made this album shorter), and the vocal melodies on the whole are really lackluster. I imagine its because James needs to hit these live, so he writes stuff that's easier to hit with his current range. Speaking of James, wtf is with all the reverb on his voice? I'm not sure it helps. It buries his voice rather than making it feel bigger (which I imagine was the original intent). Unfortunately I think only Barstool Warrior and At Wit's End are the only tracks that can compete with the best of their pre-DT12 material.

All that being said, it is so much better than DT12 and the Astonishing. 6/10.

Track ranking:

1. Barstool Warrior - Why did they have to give the best song on the album the dumbest name. Lot of Fish-era Marillion vibes on this one but it all works really well. Kind of reminds me of "A New Beginning" in that way, but with better lyrics.
2. At Wit's End - Oh hey DT remembered how to write good long songs.
3. Untethered Angel - Surprisingly good single and one of the better choruses
4. S2N - Lots of great ideas here (it starts off as a real banger except for that stupid robot voice). Could do without the keyboard solo at the end.
5. Out of Reach - Start off with Wither vibes on this one. Pretty good ballad.
6. Fall Into the Light - Big fan of Petrucci's solo but the first half is just okay.
7. Paralyzed - The now-traditional heavy DT single. Its not bad, its not great.
8. Pale Blue Dot - Oh crap DT forgot how to write good long songs. Okay in fairness it starts off well and then just gets bland. I wonder if Jordan has hidden the existence of envelope filter pedals from JM, because if JM ever finds out about them, Jordan's snarling pig patch is basically obsolete.
9. Viper King - I will hand it to DT, "Deep Purple soundalike novelty song" was not something I would ever expect from them. Unfortunately, James has trouble consistently singing in his upper register even in the studio.
10. Room 137 - Boring and bland.

I don't agree with the ranking but otherwise this is pretty similar to my thoughts. For me the keepers are At Wit's End, Out of Reach, and Barstool, and everything else I could take or leave. And really just At Wit's End and Barstool.

I will say it's the best sounding DT album in awhile, James' vocal production aside (which I just find odd, to say the last).
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Dream Theater / Re: Official Distance Over Time discussion thread
« Last post by skydivingninja on Today at 07:39:55 AM »
Welp. Back from a several-year absence. As someone who haaaaaated DT12 and the Astonishing, this is a pleasant surprise. Mostly. I dig all of Petrucci's solos. I appreciate the audible bass even if it sounds like Myung has fallen into a now-tired "Darkglass pedal metal bass" tone, and I'm always a fan of Rudess on piano.

There are still a bunch of issues. There are only a handful of really catchy choruses, still quite a few tracks that are absolute duds (which I was hoping wouldn't be the case since they made this album shorter), and the vocal melodies on the whole are really lackluster. I imagine its because James needs to hit these live, so he writes stuff that's easier to hit with his current range. Speaking of James, wtf is with all the reverb on his voice? I'm not sure it helps. It buries his voice rather than making it feel bigger (which I imagine was the original intent). Unfortunately I think only Barstool Warrior and At Wit's End are the only tracks that can compete with the best of their pre-DT12 material.

All that being said, it is so much better than DT12 and the Astonishing. 6/10.

Track ranking:

1. Barstool Warrior - Why did they have to give the best song on the album the dumbest name. Lot of Fish-era Marillion vibes on this one but it all works really well. Kind of reminds me of "A New Beginning" in that way, but with better lyrics.
2. At Wit's End - Oh hey DT remembered how to write good long songs.
3. Untethered Angel - Surprisingly good single and one of the better choruses
4. S2N - Lots of great ideas here (it starts off as a real banger except for that stupid robot voice). Could do without the keyboard solo at the end.
5. Out of Reach - Start off with Wither vibes on this one. Pretty good ballad.
6. Fall Into the Light - Big fan of Petrucci's solo but the first half is just okay.
7. Paralyzed - The now-traditional heavy DT single. Its not bad, its not great.
8. Pale Blue Dot - Oh crap DT forgot how to write good long songs. Okay in fairness it starts off well and then just gets bland. I wonder if Jordan has hidden the existence of envelope filter pedals from JM, because if JM ever finds out about them, Jordan's snarling pig patch is basically obsolete.
9. Viper King - I will hand it to DT, "Deep Purple soundalike novelty song" was not something I would ever expect from them. Unfortunately, James has trouble consistently singing in his upper register even in the studio.
10. Room 137 - Boring and bland.
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Dream Theater / Re: Official Distance Over Time discussion thread
« Last post by rumborak on Today at 07:33:21 AM »
Rumbo, have you read Pale Blue Dot? Here is an excerpt:

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."

Is that not what the song is about?

I can only speak for myself and my personal interpretation of Sagan's speech here. While Carl indeed uses a lot of words like destroyer, blood, war etc, the point of the speech is to show the exact opposite it, the futility of our local feuds. There is a vibe of serenity, standing above those earthly things, and when I heard about the topic of the song I expected that vibe to be reflected in the music. Again, just my personal opinion, but I mostly get the ITPOE war-like vibe from the song. That doesn't make it bad or anything, I was just looking forward for a DT "space epic".
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Dream Theater / Re: Official Distance Over Time discussion thread
« Last post by MirrorMask on Today at 07:30:50 AM »
Just unpacked the Deluxe Collector's Box Set. Looks awesome!
Hope the new music gets me back into DT (being a fan since I & W came out).

Even the standard digipack version is cool. A vast improvement over the self titled (booklet glued to the case, gaaaah!) and The Astonishing (booklet glued, lyrics in very standard Arial font and white writing on a white background on the back cover. Ugh)
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Last song is Skylight, no idea on the band.

Atoma
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Dream Theater / Re: Official Distance Over Time discussion thread
« Last post by Grappler on Today at 07:24:24 AM »
Ok, thanks. So, I am clear to discuss it then.

I'll stay vague and just personally reflect on my feelings after listening to it a few times, more because I still want folks to enjoy it themselves the first time and not rely on other peoples' descriptions of each individual songs. Hopefully my comments help pump up the excitement and anticipation for DoT a little more.

I really, really like this album, and its the first one, for me personally, in FOREVER that continues to grow on me the more I listen. The record, for me, clearly has this combination of Images & Words, Awake, SFAM, and Train of Thought going on that hits a sweet spot for me. The songs are shorter, but aren't any less technical. There's a warmth to the recording that really makes it come alive.

A few individual song comments that I'll keep brief: At Wit's End is every bit as good as the hype. The outro solo on it is not overly technical, and repeats the same riff motif, but its SO emotional. It just pegs something musically to match the topic, and I love it. I really enjoyed Barstool Warrior as well. Viper King doesn't really fit stylistically, but it was fun to listen to. It could have fit really well onto FII with the Jon Lord-inspired keyboards.

If you've followed my posts over the years, you know I haven't been a big fan of what Dream Theater has done post-Train of Thought. And that wasn't the heaviness. I am not sure how to describe it, but I felt like the influences of the band came to the surface too much, the songs were more focused on technicality and lost some mood and feeling, etc. I know all of that is really personal to each person, and that's how I thought. Even with the switch to Mangini, I wasn't blown away, and I drifted a bit further from DT.

I'm from Long Island. Lived there the first 25 years of my life, and I still consider myself a Long Islander, and I'm proud of the musicians from my home. I became a Dream Theater fan with ACOS and then FII, going backwards to get Awake and Images. I saw them live for the first time (twice) in 1998 (opening for Deep Purple and ELP, and then the 12/29/98 holiday show in NYC). I've seen them 13 or 14 times total, all across the United States. So, what I'm trying to say is, I beat the drum as a fan of theirs through Train of Thought. And even after that, when I really wasn't a fan of what they were doing, I still was a Dream Theater supporter. But I haven't been a FAN in quite some time.

Thankfully, thanks to DoT, I am again a FAN of what the band is doing. It brilliantly captures Dream Theater's past in a way that makes it completely modern, without sacrificing both technicality and melody. I liken it to the same feeling I got with Fates Warning's Theories of Flight a couple years back. It expertly weaves all eras of the band's sound and presents it in a way that sounds fresh, exciting and inspiring.

My personal favorites (so far):

At Wit's End
Paralyzed
Pale Blue Dot

Thanks Dream Theater. I needed this one. If you're an old school fan that really separated from DT over the last decade or so, give this one a spin. You won't regret it.

This really echoes my feelings on the album.  I've only listened to it full through twice and have to spend a lot of time with it, but that first listen made me feel like I was really listening to a classic Dream Theater album again.  The last time I felt like that was when Train of Thought came out.  Ever since then, each disc has a few songs I like and I have trouble connecting to or even enjoying the rest - it always comes across like Dream Theater paint by numbers.

Absolutely loving this disc!
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Dream Theater / Re: Stupid Dream Theater factoids.
« Last post by romdrums on Today at 07:21:58 AM »
Owen Wilson has now appeared in two Dream Theater albums

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Dream Theater / Re: Stupid Dream Theater factoids.
« Last post by Orbert on Today at 07:16:53 AM »
Wait, what?
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