Author Topic: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?  (Read 820 times)

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Offline npiazza91

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What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« on: May 19, 2020, 09:58:44 PM »
This isnít a hate topic, Iím just trying to be open minded and figure out what everybody else hears that I donít. I donít know what it is, but I donít really enjoy these two epics that much. I just got done listening to FII the whole way through again so itís all fresh in my mind. And honestly...I donít get it with these two songs. Imo they were both lower points of the album. I tend to love DTís 10+ minute songs...except these two and I just canít figure it out.

Lines in the Sand has a fantastic instrumental section, so from like 5:40 to 10:00 itís A+. But the actual meat of the song...it does nothing for me. It doesnít even sound like Dream Theater, I donít know what it sounds like. The whole ďswept away with the tideĒ...is a very unpleasant sounding section, it just doesnít sound right. Thereís just nothing that hooks me in this song outside of that instrumental section.

Trial of Tears I like even less. I like the last three minutes. Thatís really it to be honest. The whole ďitís rainingĒ part is...itís ok I guess, but itís like, as a main hook it just feels so weak. Itís no ďVoicesĒ (a song that just explodes with atmosphere and emotion while also having fantastic melodies and...yeah itís just perfect to me).

Is it the style they were going for with this album? The epics on FII just feel flat and emotionless to me. I absolutely love New Millennium, Peruvian Skies, Hollow Years, Take Away My Pain and Anna Lee. To me, that IS the album.

I just wanna know what you guys hear that I donít. I donít know, those two epics just feel so disconnected from the rest of their work, like itís a completely different prog band. Does anyone know what I mean, or is it just me? Even if you love these songs, maybe you still know what I mean.

I just wanna say though, that I do recognize them as very well written. Iím not saying theyíre bad songs. I recognize the artistry here, and all band members really do bring their A game. But for something I actually enjoy listening to...no, not really. They just donít do anything for me really. Contrast that to epics like ITNOG, TGP, Octavarium, and Bridges in the Sky (just to name a few examples) all of these songs are literal S tier to me, not a secondís worth of anything slightly less than amazing.

So for those of you who enjoy these songs, what do you like or love about them? Maybe Iíll gain a new perspective. Be as detailed as you like, Iíll welcome a detailed analysis for sure.

Offline wolfking

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 10:47:36 PM »
I like them, but don't rate them anywhere near as high as most do.    Don't feel bad about not seeing the love others do.

Offline bosk1

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 11:28:09 PM »
Both made my top 10 when I did a ranking back in 2009:

Here is my ranking:

1.  Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
2.  A Change of Seasons
3.  Octavarium
4.  Metropolis - Part I "The Miracle And The Sleeper"
5.  Learning To Live
6.  Lines In The Sand
7.  Scarred
8.  The Mirror
9.  Home
10.  Trial Of Tears

Now, they've both been bumped down quite a bit by all the awesomeness that has come since Mangini joined.  But still fantastic songs.  Yes, they are "different" for DT.  But still incredible nonetheless.
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Offline DTA

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 07:32:46 AM »
I love the spaciousness of the songs. Obviously, the production is a big factor in creating that, but even without that, the instruments seem to have a lot of room to breathe whereas later albums had more of a heavy, all-encompassing guitar sound that blocks out the bass. I am obsessed with bass, and any song that is bass-heavy is usually one I love.

-Both songs have really cool, atmospheric intros.

-The first verses have really cool rhythmic and melodic interplay between bass/guitar.

-The choruses are fantastic (I don't know why people hate on LITS chorus, it's PERFECT imo)

-The middle sections feel unique among the rest of the songs in their catalog - Lines has that incredible JP solo, then the "supper with the aliens" vocal part, and then some atmospheric, jazzy sections before wrapping into verse 3. I love how much creativity and variation is packed into it without ever resorting to heavy guitar crunch. It's them at their most "prog-rock" and life before "balls-and-chunk" enveloped a lot of their later material. Trial of Tears is just a guitar/key solo but I love the chord changes underneath and the rhythmic interplay between MP/JM. They've done a million guitar/keyboard solo trade-offs but this one feels unique because of those chords underneath.

-Epic endings...I love the smashing chords at the end of Lines and the way Tears wraps up with the same atmospheric sounds as the intro.

FII is my favorite DT album...it's the last album before JP's guitar sound changed into riff-heavy crunchy distortion and contained more subtle nuanced playing that supported bass/keys rather than dominating them.

Offline JiM-Xtreme

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2020, 07:34:09 AM »
Trial of Tears is one of my favourite DT songs. That song helped me get through a difficult period in life, and it was that song (along with Hell's Kitchen) that made me finally appreciate FII as an album after several years feeling that it was DT at their worst.

Things I particularly love about it are as follows:

  • The lyrics
  • The bass lines and tone
  • The structure
  • The overall mood and tone of the piece (epic and reflective)

I realise it's difficult to pin down exactly what I mean by that that last one, but by definition this kind of thing is subject to each individual's interpretation. I love the unconventional "epic" song structure, proceeding from one section to the next before returning to that final, epic chorus and ending. It really feels like going on a journey. But as I say, this is one song I really feel a personal connection to and I totally get that it might not be universally loved, even by DT fans.

Interestingly, I've always found Lines In The Sands a bit overrated and to me, these two songs are not even in the same ball park in terms of ranking. I find both the chorus and verses to be rather underwhelming, and of course the DT has done far better and more interesting instrumental passages. I think what really draws people to this song in particular is the guitar solo, which to be fair is pretty epic and probably one of JP's most memorable.

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2020, 07:39:21 AM »
For me, Is not about the vocals, emotions or energy is these songs but about the musicianship.

Lines in the sand has a really good bass line, incredible drums. Funny enough, even though the guitar solo is one of my favorites by JP, as a whole, the guitars for this song is my least favorite part of it. Not saying that is bad, just that the other instruments are so good (including the accompanying piano during the solo). Also, the vocal melodies are very memorable.

Trial of Tears (for the first 2 years I listened to this song I thought the title said Trail of tears  :facepalm:) is on the same territory with great instrumentation. Is not supposed to be a song that takes you off your seat, or put you in tear, but more of a song you enjoy for what it gives you. The instrumental section is great,  the part that starts at around 8:10, it is just fantastic.

That's just me and a little of why I think they are great.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2020, 11:33:44 AM »
The fact that they are different is something I like about them.

For example, Lines in the Sand features rhythms and bass lines closer to funk than to prog, which is enormously tasty, and not visited by the band otherwise except in Take the Time.  Meanwhile, Trial of Tears is airy and open, with plenty of room to breathe.

Another big plus is the lyrics.  Both songs feature some of the best lyrics in DT's entire oeuvre.
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Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2020, 04:41:37 PM »
I personally enjoy the atmosphere of Trial of Tears. It's a nice somber song, that fits perfectly with the lyrics "It's raining deep in heaven." I envision driving down a rainy, bluish, somber city street, staring at the people. Plus, it is one of the songs that got me into Dream Theater, by way of the Live at Budokan version.

I don't really like Lines in The Sand much, mainly the intro but once JM comes in with that bass groove its all good from there. I do prefer having the demo lyrics that were caught from the studio version, it's a neat bridge to the last chorus.
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Offline Northern Lion

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2020, 05:52:36 PM »
Trial of Tears is one of my favorite DT songs.  In fact, if there was such a thing as a perfect song, this would be it.  I like Lines in the Sand, and it is always included in my play lists, but I don't like it nearly as much as Trial of Tears.  But both songs are high lights on FII.
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Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2020, 05:22:06 AM »
I do like JM's lyrics on Trial, but that's about it. (although I have to admit, when I saw DT on the Along For The Ride Tour in 2014, it served as a good piece to catch one's breath after The Looking Glass)
That being said, both LITS and Trial are among the songs I listen to the least (even at the time when I used to listen to Portnoy-era DT albums, FII is just an odd mess of an album to me, it was even then. Then again, my father loves the album and both LITS and Trial, they are among his alltime favourites.) I can't actively remember hearing LITS live, although I checked MP's setlist database, and indeed I heard them play it live once in 2002.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 07:21:35 AM by Max Kuehnau »
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Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2020, 07:14:25 AM »
The fact that they are different is something I like about them.

For example, Lines in the Sand features rhythms and bass lines closer to funk than to prog, which is enormously tasty, and not visited by the band otherwise except in Take the Time.  Meanwhile, Trial of Tears is airy and open, with plenty of room to breathe.

Another big plus is the lyrics.  Both songs feature some of the best lyrics in DT's entire oeuvre.
you seem to like FII quite a bit (and I wouldn't blame anyone for it, I've always thought that FII is only liked by some select few people, I might be wrong though) and I think they wanted to go for these polar opposites on the album.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2020, 10:24:46 AM »
The fact that they are different is something I like about them.

For example, Lines in the Sand features rhythms and bass lines closer to funk than to prog, which is enormously tasty, and not visited by the band otherwise except in Take the Time.  Meanwhile, Trial of Tears is airy and open, with plenty of room to breathe.

Another big plus is the lyrics.  Both songs feature some of the best lyrics in DT's entire oeuvre.
you seem to like FII quite a bit (and I wouldn't blame anyone for it, I've always thought that FII is only liked by some select few people, I might be wrong though) and I think they wanted to go for these polar opposites on the album.

Having been around these forums a LONG time, I can confidently state that, at least as represented on the DT-related forums since 2001 or so, the consensus on FII is basically:  one of the weaker DT albums, but still a good album overall with some absolute classics.  I don't think it is accurate to say it is liked by a select few people (although probably only a select few would rank it highly in the DT discography). 

I don't remember exactly where Hef ranks FII, but I seem to recall that it is kind of similar to me.  And I can tell you that for me, I rank it near the bottom of the DT discography, but still consider it a very good album.  It has some absolutely fantastic songs (the two that are the subject of this thread, along with TAMP), some very good ones (Peruvian Skies, NM), some decent ones (Anna Lee, JLMB), and some that I don't care for at all (the rest).  I know Hef's individual song ratings would vary from mine, but I think the overall result would be about the same. 
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Offline pg1067

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2020, 11:56:08 AM »
The fact that they are different is something I like about them.

For example, Lines in the Sand features rhythms and bass lines closer to funk than to prog, which is enormously tasty, and not visited by the band otherwise except in Take the Time.  Meanwhile, Trial of Tears is airy and open, with plenty of room to breathe.

Another big plus is the lyrics.  Both songs feature some of the best lyrics in DT's entire oeuvre.
you seem to like FII quite a bit (and I wouldn't blame anyone for it, I've always thought that FII is only liked by some select few people, I might be wrong though) and I think they wanted to go for these polar opposites on the album.

Having been around these forums a LONG time, I can confidently state that, at least as represented on the DT-related forums since 2001 or so, the consensus on FII is basically:  one of the weaker DT albums, but still a good album overall with some absolute classics.  I don't think it is accurate to say it is liked by a select few people (although probably only a select few would rank it highly in the DT discography). 

I don't remember exactly where Hef ranks FII, but I seem to recall that it is kind of similar to me.  And I can tell you that for me, I rank it near the bottom of the DT discography, but still consider it a very good album.  It has some absolutely fantastic songs (the two that are the subject of this thread, along with TAMP), some very good ones (Peruvian Skies, NM), some decent ones (Anna Lee, JLMB), and some that I don't care for at all (the rest).  I know Hef's individual song ratings would vary from mine, but I think the overall result would be about the same.

For me, FII has zero "absolute classics," four really good songs (Hollow Years, Hell's Kitchen, Anna Lee and Trial of Tears), one good song (YNM), a bunch of lackluster stuff, and a bottom-5 DT song (New Millennium).

FII seems to have, for lack of a better term, a "hipster vibe" -- both in terms of its sound and in terms of the opinions expressed by those who like it.  Not sure if that makes sense or if I could elaborate on it.
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Offline npiazza91

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2020, 09:48:10 PM »
The fact that they are different is something I like about them.

For example, Lines in the Sand features rhythms and bass lines closer to funk than to prog, which is enormously tasty, and not visited by the band otherwise except in Take the Time.  Meanwhile, Trial of Tears is airy and open, with plenty of room to breathe.

Another big plus is the lyrics.  Both songs feature some of the best lyrics in DT's entire oeuvre.
you seem to like FII quite a bit (and I wouldn't blame anyone for it, I've always thought that FII is only liked by some select few people, I might be wrong though) and I think they wanted to go for these polar opposites on the album.

Having been around these forums a LONG time, I can confidently state that, at least as represented on the DT-related forums since 2001 or so, the consensus on FII is basically:  one of the weaker DT albums, but still a good album overall with some absolute classics.  I don't think it is accurate to say it is liked by a select few people (although probably only a select few would rank it highly in the DT discography). 

I don't remember exactly where Hef ranks FII, but I seem to recall that it is kind of similar to me.  And I can tell you that for me, I rank it near the bottom of the DT discography, but still consider it a very good album.  It has some absolutely fantastic songs (the two that are the subject of this thread, along with TAMP), some very good ones (Peruvian Skies, NM), some decent ones (Anna Lee, JLMB), and some that I don't care for at all (the rest).  I know Hef's individual song ratings would vary from mine, but I think the overall result would be about the same.

For me, FII has zero "absolute classics," four really good songs (Hollow Years, Hell's Kitchen, Anna Lee and Trial of Tears), one good song (YNM), a bunch of lackluster stuff, and a bottom-5 DT song (New Millennium).

FII seems to have, for lack of a better term, a "hipster vibe" -- both in terms of its sound and in terms of the opinions expressed by those who like it.  Not sure if that makes sense or if I could elaborate on it.

Reading this is making me wanna rank the songs lol. See for me, I think DT does a fantastic job with emotion, and it can really turn an otherwise weak song into a great one. FII is a weird album to me in that I think the average length songs are some of the best theyíve ever done, but a few of them are also some of the worst songs theyíve ever done, and the epics are some of my least favorite epics in their discography. Itís why I made this thread actually. The album is very all over the place for me. Anyway, hereís my ranking.

1. Peruvian Skies

2. New Millennium

3. Take Away My Pain

4. Hollow Years

5. Anna Lee

6. Lines in the Sand

7. You Not Me

8. Trial of Tears

9. Burning My Soul

10. Hellís Kitchen

11. Just Let Me Breathe

The first five are high level DT for me, all amazing songs. Peruvian Skies has one of the best buildups in any DT song, with a nice soothing first few minutes, and then just smacks you in the face with some of the most badass riffs theyíve ever done. Iím a huge thrash fan as well as prog, so this song resonates with me in every way. This is up there with The Mirror for me.

New Millennium has such a great vibe, it feels like Iím on the beach, itís so breezy, but also has this quirky vibe that I really like a lot. Itís such an awkward song, but it all works for me. I love its weirdness.

#3-5 can be interchangeable, I love them all equally, they bring the emotions in such a perfect way. From there thereís a big drop off. Like I said, i do like LitS, but I donít love it, itís still a weaker epic to me.

You Not Me has the worst chorus Iíve ever heard in my life, but I absolutely love that grunge riff, especially after the first chorus, itís so Alice in Chains. And I dig the bass and drums in the verses. If it didnít have such a terrible chorus it would be near the top of the album for me. I already covered TOT, I donít really get the love for it. I know Iím gonna get crucified for putting YNM above it lol, but hey...opinions.

The last three...are rough, to say the least. Burning My Soul is just a complete mess. Not only does it have an annoying chorus, but James completely loses his shit as the song goes on, and itís very unappealing. Eventually he screams the name of the song so loud and his voice kinda cracks, I was like wtf was that, chill out dude. But it does have cool riffs so itís not all bad. Hellís Kitchen is just forgettable to me, it feels more like an intro to LitS. And JLMB is...not good. It sounds like some late 90s / early 2000s hipster metal that would be on a Burnout soundtrack (I loved those games).

Offline Northern Lion

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2020, 11:27:05 PM »

For me, FII has zero "absolute classics," four really good songs (Hollow Years, Hell's Kitchen, Anna Lee and Trial of Tears), one good song (YNM), a bunch of lackluster stuff, and a bottom-5 DT song (New Millennium).

FII seems to have, for lack of a better term, a "hipster vibe" -- both in terms of its sound and in terms of the opinions expressed by those who like it.  Not sure if that makes sense or if I could elaborate on it.

I've been called a lot of things in my life, but never a hipster before  :lol
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Offline Setlist Scotty

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2020, 12:01:00 AM »
To answer the OP, I just happened to gravitate to both of those songs, and it has been this way since FII was released, and in fact LitS even before that, since I had a bootleg from the first Fix for '96 show where the song was premiered by the beginning of 1997. In both cases, the songs take me on a journey, and I love it. What's interesting to note is that ToT was always my favorite from this album for the longest time. But in recent years, I've realized that LitS now is my favorite from FII.
 
 
You Not Me has the worst chorus Iíve ever heard in my life, but I absolutely love that grunge riff, especially after the first chorus, itís so Alice in Chains. And I dig the bass and drums in the verses. If it didnít have such a terrible chorus it would be near the top of the album for me. I already covered TOT, I donít really get the love for it. I know Iím gonna get crucified for putting YNM above it lol, but hey...opinions.
Since you don't like the chorus in YNM, what are your thoughts on the demo version, You or Me, which has a different chorus that doesn't have the same hook, but also doesn't feel shoe-horned into the song either. As for your opinion that YNM is better than ToT, that's your opinion. It's wrong, but it's your opinion!   :biggrin:


The last three...are rough, to say the least. Burning My Soul is just a complete mess. Not only does it have an annoying chorus, but James completely loses his shit as the song goes on, and itís very unappealing. Eventually he screams the name of the song so loud and his voice kinda cracks, I was like wtf was that, chill out dude. But it does have cool riffs so itís not all bad. Hellís Kitchen is just forgettable to me, it feels more like an intro to LitS. And JLMB is...not good. It sounds like some late 90s / early 2000s hipster metal that would be on a Burnout soundtrack (I loved those games).
I know BMS will never get much love, and I wouldn't personally rank it very high, but I still like it. However, I personally prefer the original demo version of the song that has the mellow intro and first half of what became Hell's Kitchen in it. It kept it from just being a straightforward rock song and had more variation. Maybe it's because I became familiar with the demo version long before FII came out (remember, I had the Ff96 bootleg), but I much prefer that arrangement to the album version. And honestly, of the 5 songs they premiered on those Ff96 dates, BMS was my second favorite behind LitS.
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Offline krands85

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2020, 06:06:04 AM »
Generally, I don't really know exactly why I like or dislike certain songs, or prefer one great song over another great song. Normally, my tastes in DT songs/albums broadly align with people on here, so it can be a bit perplexing when there are outliers - like ToT and LitS are for you. The main one for me is 6DoIT (the song and the album), as I don't rank it anywhere near as highly as most. No idea why, but there's no answer really, that's just the way it is I guess.

I suppose I could point to a few things I like about ToT and LitS specifically - the solos in both, the lyrics and 'atmopshere' in the former and the guest vocals in the latter (which I know some don't really care for). It did take me a bit longer to warm to both songs than to many others in the catalogue, but both are now in my top 20 DT tracks, though just below the real top tier songs.

Anyway, ranking time ;D

1, Trial of Tears
2. Lines in the Sand

3. Hell's Kitchen
4. Peruvian Skies
5. Hollow Years
6. New Millennium
7. Anna Lee
8. Take Away My Pain


9. Burning my Soul
10. Just Let me Breathe
11. You Not Me
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2020, 06:50:51 AM »
I don't remember exactly where Hef ranks FII, but I seem to recall that it is kind of similar to me.  And I can tell you that for me, I rank it near the bottom of the DT discography, but still consider it a very good album.  It has some absolutely fantastic songs (the two that are the subject of this thread, along with TAMP), some very good ones (Peruvian Skies, NM), some decent ones (Anna Lee, JLMB), and some that I don't care for at all (the rest).  I know Hef's individual song ratings would vary from mine, but I think the overall result would be about the same.
:tup You're exactly right,pal.  The only one that you mentioned that I don't really care for is JLMB.  And really, if I'm being honest, it's not bad, especially musically; just not my favorite lyrics in the world.
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Offline 54_diplomats

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2020, 08:11:59 PM »
Lines in the Sand is a top 10 DT song imo. It's really unique among their discography. JM and MP complement each other so damn well in here, as someone else said in this thread its just tasty. Great guitar solo by JP too. The song overall just has a lot of groove and special feel to it.

Trial of Tears is a very atmospheric song and I dig tracks like that. Has a very melancholy tone that I appreciate. Top 20 song for sure. FII is one of my favorite DT albums.

Offline Volante99

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2020, 09:03:01 PM »
Is it weird I love the Trial of Tears live (including on Budokan and Bt4W) but I donít like the version on FII? It just doesnít seem to have the atmosphere needed.

Lines in the Sand is awesome though!

Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2020, 09:45:14 AM »
Is it weird I love the Trial of Tears live (including on Budokan and Bt4W) but I donít like the version on FII? It just doesnít seem to have the atmosphere needed.

Lines in the Sand is awesome though!
no, I actually prefer the live versions (either one, although the one on BT4W is my favourite) over the studio version on FII and I don't think it's surprising for you to like LITS (assuming you like the looser nature of the piece, for lack of a better descriptive. That's my perception of it anyway, similarly to how Take The Time has these as well. Again, lack of a better descriptive).
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Online lovethedrake

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2020, 09:51:27 AM »
I would rank them like this:

1. Trial of Tears




2. Anna Lee
3. Peruvian Skies
4. Lines in the Sand
5. Take Away my Pain (One of the best bridges in the DT Catalogue)
6. Hells Kitchen

7. New Millennium

8. Hollow Years







9. Just Let me Breathe



10. Burning My Soul
11. You not me

Offline pg1067

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2020, 10:37:42 AM »
1. Trial of Tears
2T. Hollow Years
2T. Hell's Kitchen
2T. Anna Lee

5. You Not Me








6. Peruvian Skies
7. Burning My Soul
8. Lines in the Sand
9. Take Away My Pain

10. Just Let Me Breathe








11. New Millennium
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung

Offline Peter Mc

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2020, 05:11:43 PM »
I like Lines In The Sand mainly for the epic intro, the guitar solo and some of the instrumental moments. Not actually all that much of a fan of the song in terms of the vocal melody.

Trial of Tears, I love everything about it.  Itís a top 10 (at least) DT song for me. Really catchy chorus by DT standards, great lyrics, cool solos and then that windswept epic ending.  By an absolute mile the best song on that album for me.

Online lovethedrake

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2020, 01:57:31 AM »
I like Lines In The Sand mainly for the epic intro, the guitar solo and some of the instrumental moments. Not actually all that much of a fan of the song in terms of the vocal melody.

Trial of Tears, I love everything about it.  Itís a top 10 (at least) DT song for me. Really catchy chorus by DT standards, great lyrics, cool solos and then that windswept epic ending.  By an absolute mile the best song on that album for me.

This sums it up beautifully for both songs.  I share your opinions on both.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2020, 01:45:13 PM »
I love the spaciousness of the songs. Obviously, the production is a big factor in creating that, but even without that, the instruments seem to have a lot of room to breathe whereas later albums had more of a heavy, all-encompassing guitar sound that blocks out the bass. I am obsessed with bass, and any song that is bass-heavy is usually one I love.

-Both songs have really cool, atmospheric intros.

-The first verses have really cool rhythmic and melodic interplay between bass/guitar.

-The choruses are fantastic (I don't know why people hate on LITS chorus, it's PERFECT imo)

-The middle sections feel unique among the rest of the songs in their catalog - Lines has that incredible JP solo, then the "supper with the aliens" vocal part, and then some atmospheric, jazzy sections before wrapping into verse 3. I love how much creativity and variation is packed into it without ever resorting to heavy guitar crunch. It's them at their most "prog-rock" and life before "balls-and-chunk" enveloped a lot of their later material. Trial of Tears is just a guitar/key solo but I love the chord changes underneath and the rhythmic interplay between MP/JM. They've done a million guitar/keyboard solo trade-offs but this one feels unique because of those chords underneath.

-Epic endings...I love the smashing chords at the end of Lines and the way Tears wraps up with the same atmospheric sounds as the intro.

Trial of Tears is one of my favourite DT songs. That song helped me get through a difficult period in life, and it was that song (along with Hell's Kitchen) that made me finally appreciate FII as an album after several years feeling that it was DT at their worst.

Things I particularly love about it are as follows:

  • The lyrics
  • The bass lines and tone
  • The structure
  • The overall mood and tone of the piece (epic and reflective)

I realise it's difficult to pin down exactly what I mean by that that last one, but by definition this kind of thing is subject to each individual's interpretation. I love the unconventional "epic" song structure, proceeding from one section to the next before returning to that final, epic chorus and ending. It really feels like going on a journey. But as I say, this is one song I really feel a personal connection to and I totally get that it might not be universally loved, even by DT fans.

Trial of Tears is in top top tier of DT songs and I share many of the thoughts of the two gentlemen I quoted above.
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Online goo-goo

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2020, 02:23:40 PM »
I love the spaciousness of the songs. Obviously, the production is a big factor in creating that, but even without that, the instruments seem to have a lot of room to breathe whereas later albums had more of a heavy, all-encompassing guitar sound that blocks out the bass. I am obsessed with bass, and any song that is bass-heavy is usually one I love.

-Both songs have really cool, atmospheric intros.

-The first verses have really cool rhythmic and melodic interplay between bass/guitar.

-The choruses are fantastic (I don't know why people hate on LITS chorus, it's PERFECT imo)

-The middle sections feel unique among the rest of the songs in their catalog - Lines has that incredible JP solo, then the "supper with the aliens" vocal part, and then some atmospheric, jazzy sections before wrapping into verse 3. I love how much creativity and variation is packed into it without ever resorting to heavy guitar crunch. It's them at their most "prog-rock" and life before "balls-and-chunk" enveloped a lot of their later material. Trial of Tears is just a guitar/key solo but I love the chord changes underneath and the rhythmic interplay between MP/JM. They've done a million guitar/keyboard solo trade-offs but this one feels unique because of those chords underneath.

-Epic endings...I love the smashing chords at the end of Lines and the way Tears wraps up with the same atmospheric sounds as the intro.

FII is my favorite DT album...it's the last album before JP's guitar sound changed into riff-heavy crunchy distortion and contained more subtle nuanced playing that supported bass/keys rather than dominating them.

Pretty much nailed it. I would emphasize the spaciousness. But I would also add that they are very focused on the song writer and placement of notes. Both songs are very well constructed and there's no noodling for the sake of noodling.
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Offline TheOutlawXanadu

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2020, 12:14:57 PM »
Trial of Tears has long been in the running for my favorite DT song. It's hard to put a finger on exactly why, but I think it ultimately boils down to atmosphere, lyrics, and a truly beautiful chorus. The song is somehow both unlike anything else they've ever done and trademark DT all at once. I really hope to see it live one day.
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Online HOF

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Re: What makes you love Lines in the Sand and Trial of Tears?
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2020, 03:25:53 PM »
I donít venture into this part of the forum very often, but when I do itís to talk about FII!

For my money, these are two of the most meaningful lyrics the band have put out. Introspective and searching, touching on spiritual and religious themes in a way that doesnít come off as cheesy or trite, and the lyrics and music compliment each other well. In a songwriting sense they are mature works that avoid a lot of the more cliched metal and prog topics and approaches, so thatís a big plus.

Musically, they are moody and emotional, and they connect with me on that level in a way that some of the more technical DT stuff just doesnít twenty plus years later.

They both feature well constructed and composed drum parts that I feel are kind of the last of their kind from MP. Beginning with SFAM I feel like his drum parts became a bit more free form and groove/jam bases  if that makes sense. Not necessarily bad, but I think LTE encouraged him in that direction for sure and away from parts that at least sound more composed.

They also feature some of my favorite bass parts by Myung. Heís buried a little on the unison lines in LITS, but on TOT he gets a lot of breathing room and really asserts himself melodically. Heís an amazing player and I wish he did that more.

John Petrucci really nails both solos, which are among his most soulful and emotive. The instrumental portions of each track seem to really bring out the best in both JP and Derek. Just really great, interesting stuff instrumentally that avoids metal cliches and stands out from other DT stuff as well (I feel the same way about the instrumental portions of New Millennium, though not the verses so much).

Iíll give kudos to James for his performances here as well, though Iíll admit he gets a little strained in portions of both songs. And I love the addition of Doug Pinnick to LITS.

Ultimately, they are each unique songs in the DT catalog that showcase the band being a little more soulful and less focused on metal riffs and high speed passages, though they donít lack for instrumental flair either. LITS is more of a classic rock/fusion thing and ToT is more of a prog epic, and neither are especially metal (though they both have somewhat heavy passages). That may be why I like them so much and fans who are more metal oriented may not.

Of course, all of the above is my humble opinion.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 03:36:13 PM by HOF »