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Official DT Top 50 Thread Mark II (bss4life15 up now - starting page 79)

Started by hefdaddy42, November 12, 2011, 04:17:06 AM

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Good to see Panic Attack on here, I swear nobody talks about it on these boards. Its a great song that is definitely underappreciated


Good picks, and your writeup of As I Am mirrors my opinion perfectly.


Great picks there. Endless Sacrifice, New Millennium, and As I Am are fantastic songs.

By the way, Jaffa, you are going way too fast. Slow down the pace to about one song a week and you'll be good.



Great list except for New Millenium...

As I Am has always held a special place for me.  The lyrics really speak to me :)


I better start writing my list up so,I can be ready by,my turn


POW and Never Enough above Root, Space-Dye Vest and Blind Faith? :tdwn I disagree strongly but this is what makes lists like this interesting! :tup


Thanks again for all the posts, peoples.   :D

35. On the Backs of Angels
Let me start off by saying that this song has one of my favorite outros in any Dream Theater song.  And I don't mean to say that in a sarcastic, 'oh good it's almost over *trollface*' sort of way – it's just a genuinely very cool outro.  And actually, the intro is really cool too.  In fact, when you get right down to it, musically, I think every moment of this song is really cool.  Some say it's somewhat 'DT by-the-numbers', which I can certainly understand, but I would argue that if it is 'DT by-the-numbers', then it is 'DT by-the-numbers' at its finest.  My only real problem with this song is that the vocal melodies have never really done much for me.  Especially in the chorus, which I find to be pretty uninteresting.  This song has never gotten stuck in my head, so I guess I have to describe the vocal melodies as 'forgettable'.  Still, overall, an awesome song. 

34. The Mirror/Lie
Yeah, I'm cheating and counting these two as one song.  I'll do that once or twice more on this list, so get used to it.  Bottom line is, I never listen to one without the other, so they are, for me, basically one song. 

Standout members of Dream Theater in this/these song/s are definitely Portnoy and Petrucci, whose combination drum and guitar work drive the music with a powerfully heavy force.  I also happen to believe that the vocal style in these songs is really cool, although I know not everyone feels that way.  The Space-Dye Vest melody in The Mirror is used superbly.  Also, I have to mention that while a lot of people seem to have a problem with the 'Mother Mary quite contrary' bit in Lie, I actually think that part's really cool.  Odd, I'll grant you, but I think it's delivered very well, one of Labrie's finer moments in terms of that style of vocals.  Anyway, I digress.  These songs are among DT's best headbangers, in my opinion, and great examples of their more straightforward metal tunes. 

33. One Last Time
This is a song that really surprised me the first time I heard it.  Because from the opening, I was really expecting a totally mellow song throughout.  And I guess it delivers on that for the most part, but... I don't know if it's just me, but I think this song builds tension with remarkable skill, and in remarkable ways, especially for such a (comparatively) short tune.   It starts off so soft, and the chorus makes it feel like it's going to stay that way with angelic vocals, but then the guitar kicks and everything just starts building up.  It all leads to what is honestly one of my favorite climaxes in Dream Theater's entire discography, even though it's actually more of a cliffhanger than a climax, "Feeling as cold as outside..."  That part absolutely never fails to give me chills.  Then that haunting little keyboard melody at the end...  For a song that started off so light and innocent, I've always felt like this song does a great job ending with a lot of suspense, a build-up which is really impressive for 3:46.  And that's not even considering this song's role in SFAM, where it really shines...

32. Afterlife
I may be alone in this, but I've always felt like this is one of the songs on WDADU where Dominici's voice actually fits pretty well with the music.  This is one of only two songs off that album where I prefer the original's vocals to those of WDADRU.  They just have a really cool vibe for me, and match the lyrics quite well.  Anyway, aside from that, the biggest thing to mention here is the unison, which is really, really cool.  As a metalhead, shredding's right down my alley, and they do it really well here, with a unique flair to it.  Not to mention the solos, which are definitely very, very cool.  Overall, I think this is a great song, probably the best of its album.

31. Peruvian Skies
This song's kind of quirky for me.  It's a song where if you listened to the beginning of the song and the end of the song as two separate tracks, you might have a lot of trouble figuring out that they are related.  But at the same time, when you're actually listening to the song, it flows very well, with each section feeling like a natural progression of the one before it.  Like, listening to that intro, and then listening to the 'terror by night,' section, I would expect the latter section to be jarring in context, but it really isn't.  The whole thing maintains an organic feel to it.  It has a very cool build-up, gradually transforming from Floydian ballad to Metallicaish riff-fest.  But every part of the song is great at what it does, and it makes a surprisingly cohesive overall package.  To me, there is very little here not to like. 


A solid group of songs there. I wouldn't rank any of them this high, but I like 'em all. :tup



The last half of one last time is definately one of my favorite DT moments too. I get the chills everytime. :) The first half isn't quite as good though.


Afterlife wouldn't get near my top 50. The other ones might.


Afterlife is great, love that solo, especially Score version  :metal
Love all but Lie, don't like lyrics ang singing.

Pols Voice

I'm probably the biggest fan of Lie on this board. I LOVE IT.

Also, Charlie does well on Afterlife.



Yup One Last Time, the ending to Scenes live is majestic with the tubular bells.



Now that, my friend, is a good update! And I hope you will treat Scene Two as one song as well, higher on your list.

Although Peruvian Skies could have been higher ;)
Quote from: Lolzeez on November 18, 2013, 01:23:32 PMHey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
Quote from: home on May 09, 2017, 04:05:10 PMSqu
scRa are the resultaten of sound nog bring propey


Quote from: Elite on April 09, 2012, 05:47:21 AM
And I hope you will treat Scene Two as one song as well, higher on your list.


30. A Nightmare to Remember
I don't think I really have a unique enough opinion on this one to say much about it.  Opening is awesome and powerful metal, Beautiful Agony section is glorious, song becomes a bit of a mess after that.  I still enjoy the song as a whole, and I think I like the second half of it more than most people do, but on the whole, I don't really have anything to say here.  It's an awesome song that could have been better after some trimming was done to make it more consistent. 

29. Erotomania
I almost counted the A Mind Beside Itself suite as one song for purposes of this list, but I decided to opt out of that.  Despite its obvious connections with Voices and The Silent Man, I think Erotomania on its own is more than strong enough to earn a separate place on this list.  In my opinion, the TSM melody at 3:05 is put to better use here than in TSM itself, for here it serves to take a really fun song to a higher level with a really beautiful soaring melody surrounded by great riffing and inspiring keyboard work.  Even though it goes in several different directions throughout, this instrumental still flows seamlessly from one great musical idea to the next without skipping a beat.  And I really, really love the end of this song – granted, I rarely listen to it as an end, but rather as a transition into Voices, but as an individual entity, Erotomania, has a great ending with a really enchanted feel to it.  In my opinion, this is definitely one of DT's best instrumentals, second only to...

28. Stream of Consciousness
Don't know how two instrumentals ended up back to back on my list, but there you go. 

A lot of people dislike this song for its repetitive nature, and I can't really argue with that: it is quite repetitive at times.  But somehow, that doesn't detract from the song at all for me.  It did the first time I heard it, but over time I've grown to accept and even love that repetitiveness.  I could (and actually have) listen to this song on repeat for an hour or two without ever getting bored of it.  I think part of it is that while a lot of DT songs, and especially the instrumentals and instrumental sections, are very busy, this one tends to have a more simplistic feel to it for me.  Not that it's actually simple, mind you, but... the way the basic melody repeats itself throughout has a way of keeping a consistent feeling and sort of highlighting the more subtle changes in the music.  It also helps to put the spotlight on the keyboards, which are fantastic here.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that for an eleven-minute song which relies so heavily on a single melody, Stream of Consciousness manages to go the whole way without ever feeling dull for me.  And, let's face it: that melody, if repetitive, is damn cool. 

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I feel like this should be higher on my list.  Oh well. 

27. Wither
I'm just going to be bluntly honest here: the main reason this makes my list is sentimental value.  It has a lot of personal value to me.  I know it's about essentially writer's block, and I can relate to it on that level, but the way it's worded also strikes a deeper chord with me, something that applies more to life in general.  So, that's the main reason I love this song.

Still, sentimentality aside, I still think it's a good one.  Simple?  Yes.  Straightforward?  Pretty much.  Good?  Absolutely.  Great melody and pretty nice vocals make for a strong ballad in its own right. 

26. These Walls
Here's another pretty simple song, at least as far as DT goes.  But despite that, it's still a really rocking song, with some great riffage and some powerful drumming.  I absolutely adore the intro – everything up to the first vocals is positively great, in fact.  And the vocals themselves are really, really good.  Labrie doesn't really do anything special with his voice in this one, but he conveys the lyrics really well, and the lyrics themselves are quite good, with a very relatable message.  This might be one of my very favorite choruses in a DT song.  Also, as a side note, I thought this was an excellent live song. 


A great batch of songs, and also underrated with the exception of Erotomania.
I'd put ANTR top 20, but nice to see it listed. :) I really like Wither, although I wouldn't put it that high though. And These Walls is one of DT's underrated "shorter" songs, very well constructed with its catchy keyboard riff and restrained solo, and probably my favourite from Octavarium. I'd rank it about the same, I'd think.

Nice batch, Jaffa. :tup


Hmm, ANTR is a shame; it wouldn't touch my top 50, but the rest are good choices :)
Especially Stream and Wither are underrated for some reason, as Blob said, and are two songs I really like, both my favourites from the respective albums.
Quote from: Lolzeez on November 18, 2013, 01:23:32 PMHey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
Quote from: home on May 09, 2017, 04:05:10 PMSqu
scRa are the resultaten of sound nog bring propey


My initial thought when I see "A Nightmare to Remember" is that it's not very good and it's weird that it's this far up but I always forget that it actually has some cool moments.

And These Walls is great, good choice.


Quote from: BlobVanDam on December 11, 2014, 08:19:46 PMHef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.


Nice choices, I agree that A Nightmare to remember is a great song that could have used some trimming. These walls isn't one of my favorites, though, but it really was a fine live song.


Pols Voice

Stream of Consciousness is fantastic. It builds and flows really well, and Portnoy's drum work on it is great.

Mind Trail

Quote from: BlobVanDam on April 09, 2012, 07:49:58 AM
A great batch of songs, and also underrated with the exception of Erotomania.
I'd put ANTR top 20, but nice to see it listed. :) I really like Wither, although I wouldn't put it that high though. And These Walls is one of DT's underrated "shorter" songs, very well constructed with its catchy keyboard riff and restrained solo, and probably my favourite from Octavarium. I'd rank it about the same, I'd think.

Nice batch, Jaffa. :tup

Is it really possible to not have the title track as one's favourite song from that album?  :o

I pretty much agree with the ranks you gave these five tracks. Loving the daily updates.


I have a feeling this will be a pretty controversial group.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if I'm told that these all need to be ranked higher.   :lol

25. Finally Free
I originally told myself that in these write-ups, I would stick to discussion of the individual merits of each song, without talking about their roles on their albums or anything like that.  In the case of Finally Free, I have to break that resolution; the song's role on SFAM is simply too big a part of why I love it so much.

As an individual song, Finally Free isn't necessarily a favorite of mine, but in the context of listening to SFAM, it is an obvious standout.  This is the song that brings the story to a close and fills in all the gaps.  It does an excellent job of wrapping everything up and tying the whole album together, both musically and conceptually.  In terms of storytelling, it is simply marvelous, with the 'Open your eyes, Victoria/Nicholas' segments never failing to give me chills, and the 'then came a shot out of the night' line coming with an ominous sense of dread it'd be difficult to put into words.  Truly, this is the climax of the story, and it is executed absolutely brilliantly.

In its own right, putting SFAM aside, this song also has an excellent build-up and a singularly great chorus, each repetition of it changing slightly to match the tone of the story in a way that adds a really cool layer to the continuity of the song.  Pretty much everyone in the band is on fire in this one.  So, though it is at its best as a closer to SFAM, this song shines no matter how you look at it.  Great, great song.

24. Surrounded
Ah, Surrounded.  It's really a shame this song doesn't get more attention.  I mean, I never really see anyone with anything bad to say about it, but I also don't often see it getting much praise.  Maybe it just gets overlooked sometimes, being surrounded by greatness on Images and Words – I don't know.  What I do know is, this little gem of a song is absolutely positively gorgeous.  I remember the first time I listened to Images and Words, this was one of the songs that really jumped out at me.  Because as I listened, I kept thinking, "Wow, that's beautiful."  There's not a single moment in this song that isn't at least pretty to me, and for a shorter song, it packs a ton of moments that simply take my breath away.  The opening notes are very pretty – and they inspire beauty even by their disappearance, because I've always felt that the moment when the intro melody fades away is really lovely.  I adore the soothing guitar tones when the song starts to pick up the pace a little bit.  And then when the song really comes to life at around the 1:50 mark, the way the melody just sort of explodes... utterly beautiful.  That's what this song is throughout: utterly beautiful.  Great lyrics, great vocals ("Light to dark, dark to light..."), fantastic instrumental work all around...  A truly dazzling song.

23. Trial of Tears
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this might be Myung's best work overall.  Of the songs with JM lyrics, this isn't my favorite song, but it does contain some of my favorite lyrics of his – and besides that, he is incredible on bass here.  He adds a LOT to this song with his grooves, and... well, JM's just terrific in this song.  Of course, that's not to take anything away from the other members of the band.  This contains arguably one of Petrucci's greatest guitar solos, and a couple of truly excellent keyboard solos from Derek.  And Labrie is pretty great here, too; he managed to cater his voice really well to the sort of majestic tone the song strives for.  He's also magnificent at the 'welcome to the wasteland...' line.  So, everyone does great in this song, and the result is a really great piece of music.  I guess I don't rate it quite as highly as some people do, but it's still a damn good song.  Also, I have to give special mention to the chorus, which I adore to pieces. 

22. In the Presence of Enemies
To clarify, I'm listing it as a whole, parts one and two included.  For a long time I didn't like part two much, but at this point I really think it's a lot better than most people give it credit for.  The Heretic section contains some of Labrie's best vocal work from the era.  Admittedly the dark master section is pretty cheesy lyrically, but musically it's still captivating.  The Slaughter of The Damned is awesome to me, with a really cool rapid-fire feel to it.  Even The Reckoning is... okay, well, admittedly, that section is weaker.  I don't think it's necessarily bad, but it does disrupt the flow of the song.  But then, at the same time, one of my favorite parts of the whole song is the moogy reprise of the melody from part one, and I think part of the reason that moment is so epic is because of the wacky instrumental leading up to it – without The Reckoning, I don't think the reprise would have quite the same impact.  So, I forgive The Reckoning's shortcomings because of what it leads to: Salvation.  The closing movement of ITPOE is, in my opinion, incredible.  And all this is just part two.  Getting back to part one, we're talking about a fantastic intro and instrumental section followed by some really solid vocal work, with Petrucci and Rudess on fire all over the place. 

I'm trying not to throw words like 'masterpiece' and 'epic' around too much, but this one truly is both of those, for me.  ITPOE has its flaws, which is why it's not ranked higher, but nevertheless it is an amazing piece of music. 

21. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Yeah, I don't rank this is as highly as some people do.  Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful piece of music – a masterpiece, really – and it arguably showcases Dream Theater's various styles better than any other individual DT song.  But for me, that's a double-edged sword.  I'm a person who likes to listen to different music depending on my mood – and for all its merits, SDOIT is not mood music.  Because it's a rollercoaster of different moods and emotions.  Which is great, don't misunderstand.  It's incredibly cool that they managed to accomplish so many different feelings with a single piece of music that flows so well.  But at the same time, it also means that if I'm in the mood to listen to a specific style, SDOIT as a whole isn't going to be what I turn to.  Basically, its variety makes it a masterpiece, but also restricts it for me, because I only really listen to it as a whole when I'm just in the mood for 'good music'. 

Now, if I were to split the song up into its individual tracks, this list might look a lot different, with some sections placing much higher and others not quite making the list at all.  But as it is, as a whole package, SDOIT just barely misses my top twenty.  Still, I can't stress the point enough: there is some truly wonderful music in this song.

If anyone needs me, I'll be hiding from BlobVanDam and FlyingBIZKIT.


All great choices, though they're all a bit lowly placed (except for ITPOE, which, for my money, shouldn't be in any top 50).


Surrounded :hefdaddy

I would rank it in my Top 5, but it's still nice to see it on your list. 24th place isn't too shabby.


I would probably rate everyone of those higher than that :). Especially 6DOIT. That is probably a top 3 song for me.


Nice list, aside from SDOIT being lower than its correct place of no. 1. :biggrin:

I'd put that and ToT much higher, the rest might be a bit lower, but I love them anyway. I really can't rank anything from SFAM that highly individually, despite it being my second favourite DT album. It's an all or nothing album for me.


The better ones are that low! That's really controversial.  :lol