Author Topic: Your Controversial Opinions on DT  (Read 840208 times)

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Offline theseoafs

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3850 on: February 22, 2014, 12:21:05 PM »
What would be the actual advantage to splitting up ANTR into two songs?  It's one thing to say "the heavy part of ANTR sucks, and 'Beautiful Agony' is great, so I only want Beautiful Agony on the album" -- that makes sense.  But what do you get out of ripping the middle part of the song out and slapping it into the middle of the album?

Offline robwebster

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3851 on: February 22, 2014, 12:54:02 PM »
What would be the actual advantage to splitting up ANTR into two songs?  It's one thing to say "the heavy part of ANTR sucks, and 'Beautiful Agony' is great, so I only want Beautiful Agony on the album" -- that makes sense.  But what do you get out of ripping the middle part of the song out and slapping it into the middle of the album?
I think context is huge. I think if you're looking at a song as a collection of disparate images, then yeah, there's no advantage, but pace, momentum, narrative and drive are right at the heart of what makes music brilliant. Music, at best, takes you on a sort of journey, and order isn't just important, it's utterly vital. Otherwise you could pop all the verses at the start of the song, all the choruses at the end. I like the music of ANtR, and if (if!) your take home message from my posts was "the heavy part of ANTR sucks, and 'Beautiful Agony' is great," I need to work on my phrasing! I just don't think the current arrangement quite does either song justice, and I think A Nightmare to Remember has two statements that don't quite sit right together. Why did Hell's Kitchen suddenly flourish when it was ripped from Burning My Soul? Same thing.

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Moving on! I'm not pitching a song that just blanks straight across, I'm pitching a rather more heavy-duty arrangement. I think a lot of the second half is a little flabby. I agree that the "night after night" bit is a lot better than it's given credit for, and that impact would be lessened without the soft section... but the lyrics don't quite match the music, and I think it's a victim of its own ambition. I think, in paring A Nightmare to Remember down to its core elements, you can create two songs that stand strong alone rather than two that sound a little funky together. I get what you're saying about the story, but the way they sit at the moment is a little bit oil and water.

I think the second half is the only part of the song that comes close to excessive, but it think it's actually good as is.

And I do think the lyrics of "Day after day" match the music. I think the issue that people tend to run into there, and it's an understandable one, is putting the emphasis on "Everyone survived" instead of the entire rest of the passage. The passage is about the psychological aftermath of the accident. Most of it is very dark; it's quite an emotionally intense experience Petrucci is describing, especially for a young boy.

Day after day
And night after night
Replaying the events
Did they ever see the red light?
Over and over
Scene by scene
Like a recurring nightmare
Haunting my dreams
How could you prepare
For what would happen next?
No son should ever have to see his father such a mess
It's a miracle he lived
It's a blessing no one died
By the grace of God above
Everyone survived


Most of the passage is about how psychologically damaged he is by the accident and how awful it was for him as a child. Only at the very end does the light at the end of the tunnel come when John tells us that everyone survived. But even that isn't exactly a happy ending—he goes out of his way to tell us how much of a miracle it is that no one died, which implies that they were injured very badly. The last two lines should be read with emphasis on "by the grace of God above" instead of on "Everyone survived"—if only because Mike shows us that the outcome is closer to the negative than to the positive interpretation with his vocal style.
That's true! That's very true, actually, and you're completely right - it's "EVERYONE SURVIVED" that I remember. Memory is a dirty magnifying glass, some things get exaggerated, others are obscured completely, and I've got a hunch we're back to that message board echo chamber! Another week or two in the studio could've ironed that out - but I know they agonised over that bit. I don't think they ever got it to a place where it quite worked at 100%, regrettably, because although it's only a moment's lapse, that moment is sort of the money shot! It's a bit like how everyone complained when JLB missed the note on Live Scenes. ANtR is still pegged in my head as "Very promising, but it needs a little more work," and I think - for all you're absolutely correct and it's mostly great - it is one of the moments that I would go back to and consider tweaking.

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I think, if the song's two identities had a little more in the way of common ground, I'd go easier. It's definitely possible to switch from hard to soft to hard again. Just ask my first wife! You mention the lyrics, but I think the lyrics are the only thing that bring the Jekyll and the Hyde together, and they were the last thing to fit in - and, hence, eminently changeable. A few moments of unity would have made a world of difference. That piano motif could've been a good place to start - the one the song begins with. Work that into Beautiful Agony and you're starting to build a bit of cohesion, but I think it would've taken another week or so in the studio. I adore Beautiful Agony as a stand-alone song, whereas I think A Nightmare to Remember is good in parts - a bit of a curate's egg. I also firmly believe brevity is wit, (not that you'd tell from my posts!) and everything can always be tighter, so I think evicting Beautiful Agony would be more of an opportunity than a sacrifice.

Well, the music was written before the lyrics, of course, but that's aside from the point. I think it would be awesome if they had added a bit more of connection. I don't think there is really a good way to work the piano motif into the midsection, but I do think the last few minutes of the song, which is a lot of revisiting earlier themes, could probably have hit on some of the themes of the midsection. However, I don't think it was at all necessary for them to do this to make it feel like one song. You praised The Ministry of Lost Souls earlier in this thread. I agree with that praise—it's a top 25 song—but it's really similar to the construction of A Nightmare to Remember in a lot of ways. It's just reversed (light-heavy-light instead of heavy-light-heavy).

And the lyrical concept tying the midsection to the rest of the song is far more tenuous than for Nightmare.

Personally, for me, I think length and brevity in music... Neither is intrinsically better than the other. I think whatever best serves the purposes of the music is better. I think a particular song can be too long or too short, but I don't think long songs are by their very nature better than short songs or vice versa. This is reflected in my top 10, I think, which contains both Far From Heaven and Octavarium. My opinion is simply that Nightmare is good as a long song and that its midsection would not be nearly as good as short song as it is as part of that long song.

And I think we share a penchant for lengthy posts! :tup
I don't think shortness and brevity are necessarily the same thing - if they were, and I was the short song guy, I wouldn't be listening to DT at all! But take Illumination Theory, I think Illumination Theory is incredibly witty, every note in its right place. It's 19 minutes, and while it's not perhaps as compact as it could be, it's as compact as it should be. I don't think that's true of A Nightmare to Remember in the same way. I don't think it's true of any of BCSL, actually, which is probably why I'm a little cold on it. I like your comparison of The Ministry of Lost Souls, though. I think the difference with the Ministry (and Sacrificed Sons before it) is that the mid-section point blank couldn't work on its own. It might not be essential to the rest of the song* but the song is essential to it. That's not true of A Nightmare to Remember in the same way - Beautiful Agony has a structure of its own, threaded in. It's got the traditional verse, chorus, verse, chorus thing, and that gives it its own life, in a way that doesn't work for Ministry.

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I think you can still have ItPoE's arc spread out throughout the album. The second half of Awake forms an arc, musically, and it's got Lifting Shadows off a Dream wedged into the middle of it. Heck, they had an arc split across an entire decade. There's no reason you can't maintain the story and the flow of ItPoE while standing each movement alone as its own episode. I think an episodic feel would've actually been spot on within the context of Systematic Chaos. The whole disc's got that comic book feel, and I think you could tidy it up without sacrificing any of that great music.

I think that's an interesting idea at least, but I think if they'd have done that, I'd just have wound up wishing they'd put all the pieces together in one song. I also think that would kill the pacing that the song works so hard to achieve, particularly on the Part II upswing from Heretic to Salvation—could you imagine them splitting the song into two anywhere else other than exactly where they split it?
To the Slaughter of the Damned - I know what you mean. The Slaughter of the Damned is oh so tiny, and oh so brilliant, but it's also cuttable, and I can't promise that I wouldn't end up deleting it entirely. In fairness, they've never quite got that transition right, live - Heretic stops, and the drums come in on their own, and you're right, it sort of loses something. I'm not entirely sure what I'd do with Slaughter, The Reckoning and Salvation. I think I'd want to tie them together with a sort of overture - more a conclusion - incorporating riffs from all the other songs, but yes, it's weird. There's part of me that thinks, "Well, they've done a lot of big finishes, they've done a lot of instrumental sections, I'm not too hot on The Reckoning anyway..." if I were the band's producer, rewriting them entirely would certainly be something I'd put on the table. I think Heretic is begging for room to breathe, though. It's so good. It deserves its own life.


*although I think both songs would be weaker without their descents into chaos - perfect for the afterlife and perfect for terrorism. then again, I've already noted that the lyrics come later - can I have it both ways? pleeeeeaaaase?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 12:59:18 PM by robwebster »

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3852 on: February 22, 2014, 01:46:16 PM »
That's true! That's very true, actually, and you're completely right - it's "EVERYONE SURVIVED" that I remember. Memory is a dirty magnifying glass, some things get exaggerated, others are obscured completely, and I've got a hunch we're back to that message board echo chamber! Another week or two in the studio could've ironed that out - but I know they agonised over that bit. I don't think they ever got it to a place where it quite worked at 100%, regrettably, because although it's only a moment's lapse, that moment is sort of the money shot! It's a bit like how everyone complained when JLB missed the note on Live Scenes. ANtR is still pegged in my head as "Very promising, but it needs a little more work," and I think - for all you're absolutely correct and it's mostly great - it is one of the moments that I would go back to and consider tweaking.

I think you're right that we're in echo chamber territory again, given that the only lines from that section that seem to have lived on in message board memory are "Day after day" and "Everyone survived."

I think maybe there's a tiny lapse, but I still think it works (and Mike certainly nails the money shot, which actually comes right after in my judgement—"ROOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRR"—and honestly, in my opinion, which is sure to cause more angry responses, that's practically as iconic of a vocal moment as something like "I'm sick of all you hypocrites").

And, interestingly, this is actually a case where the music followed the lyrics—the original vocal melody was a high James one, and Mike and John argued and agonized over what it should be, with the final choice being a compromise between clean vocals and full death growls. I'm sure one of the things they discussed was how that would work with the lyrics, and I'm sure that John had some concerns, but in the end, the lyrics were John's, they were written before Mike's vocal melody was, and as the co-producer, co-composer and lyricist I don't think John would have abided a vocal style that betrayed the intended emotion of his lyrics.

So perhaps it could have been a little clearer, but personally, I've never had a problem with it. I just make sure no one's around and then growl along. ;)

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I don't think shortness and brevity are necessarily the same thing - if they were, and I was the short song guy, I wouldn't be listening to DT at all! But take Illumination Theory, I think Illumination Theory is incredibly witty, every note in its right place. It's 19 minutes, and while it's not perhaps as compact as it could be, it's as compact as it should be. I don't think that's true of A Nightmare to Remember in the same way. I don't think it's true of any of BCSL, actually, which is probably why I'm a little cold on it. I like your comparison of The Ministry of Lost Souls, though. I think the difference with the Ministry (and Sacrificed Sons before it) is that the mid-section point blank couldn't work on its own. It might not be essential to the rest of the song* but the song is essential to it. That's not true of A Nightmare to Remember in the same way - Beautiful Agony has a structure of its own, threaded in. It's got the traditional verse, chorus, verse, chorus thing, and that gives it its own life, in a way that doesn't work for Ministry.

I think your point about shortness and brevity is a good one, and I agree about Illumination Theory. I also agree that it's not as true of A Nightmare to Remember, though I don't think that it is so long as to overstay its welcome.

I disagree about all of BCSL, though, and I'm not even going to be a smartass and say Wither, however strong the temptation is. I think the album certainly has moments of excess, and that those include the last few minutes of ANTR, the solo section of AROP, and a few parts of TSF, though none of these excesses are too excessive for me to love all there songs. But... The Best of Times and The Count of Tuscany? I think those songs are as compact as they should be. I'm not in love with all of The Best of Times, but there's no sections that feel superfluous or overlong to me. I've occasionally thought that the song is a bit long but have never found any section that I feel could be cut, so I think my problems with it don't stem from length.

The Count of Tuscany definitely feels to me like Illumination Theory in the sense of being a 19 minute song that's exactly as compact as it should be. TCOT actually feels, despite its length, more compact than IT to me. Not that that's a negative for either song, it just seems like TCOT was written with a shorter song in mind that just wound up getting filled with musical ideas that added to its length (not unlike how Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was written to be a 20 minute song but soon became so filled with musical ideas that it became a 40 minute song), while IT was conceived as a much more ambitious, 20 minute song, and ended up being written exactly that way. Each song is written in a way that is right for what it is, and I think more or less music would only harm either one.

I think your difference between the middles of TMOLS and ANTR could be a relevant difference, but I think there's still a sense in which my comparison is still valid. And I also would argue for TMOLS (but not for Sacrificed Sons) that the instrumental section wouldn't require much more fleshing out than Hell's Kitchen got or Beautiful Agony would need to become a standalone instrumental. I even figured out what I would call it: The Water's Edge. But, as I do agree with and accept your "it works with the lyrics about the afterlife" explanation (and I do think that either John and/or James had in mind the fact that the midsections work with the lyrics or they both got lucky, and that it matters little either way, because they do in fact work), and would leave the instrumental in the song given the choice.

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To the Slaughter of the Damned - I know what you mean. The Slaughter of the Damned is oh so tiny, and oh so brilliant, but it's also cuttable, and I can't promise that I wouldn't end up deleting it entirely.

Angels fall, all for you, you damn heretic! :P I guess it's fortunate for me that you didn't produce Systematic Chaos, because I love The Slaughter of the Damned.

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In fairness, they've never quite got that transition right, live - Heretic stops, and the drums come in on their own, and you're right, it sort of loses something. I'm not entirely sure what I'd do with Slaughter, The Reckoning and Salvation. I think I'd want to tie them together with a sort of overture - more a conclusion - incorporating riffs from all the other songs, but yes, it's weird. There's part of me that thinks, "Well, they've done a lot of big finishes, they've done a lot of instrumental sections, I'm not too hot on The Reckoning anyway..." if I were the band's producer, rewriting them entirely would certainly be something I'd put on the table. I think Heretic is begging for room to breathe, though. It's so good. It deserves its own life.

I've made my peace with The Reckoning. I think it's easily the weakest part of the song, and I would like the song better if they had—just going to be blunt about this—written a better instrumental section (I think I probably need some kind of long dash allowance, to the effect that I can only use them a certain number of times every so many words). But it's not total scrap—there's some good parts in there, especially towards the end, and it transitions exceedingly well into Salvation. The reprise of the main theme there is just so well timed. Salvation I think is a great final section for an epic, not as good as Razor's Edge or The Crimson Sunset, but almost on par with Surrender, Trust & Passion or Losing Time/Grand Finale.

I love Heretic—it's my favorite section of the piece by far. But I'm not sure it should stand as its own song. For me, it's like... Someone Like Him, perhaps (just the vocal section proper, minus the intro). It's very good and has a verse-chorus section like a song, but I think it works exceptionally well as a buildup to the next part of a longer song and I'm not sure how much it would benefit from being pulled out and given an outro and forced to stand alone as a 4-5 minute piece. I mean, I'm sure both would be good songs in that context, but I think both are better off as part of Octavarium and In the Presence of Enemies. Though, again, I think it would be at least interesting if they had fleshed some of those kind of things out, like Someone Like Him, Heretic, maybe even Slaughter of the Damned and released those versions as bonus tracks for deluxe editions or something. Just a thought.
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Offline robwebster

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3853 on: February 22, 2014, 02:35:02 PM »
I love Heretic—it's my favorite section of the piece by far. But I'm not sure it should stand as its own song. For me, it's like... Someone Like Him, perhaps (just the vocal section proper, minus the intro). It's very good and has a verse-chorus section like a song, but I think it works exceptionally well as a buildup to the next part of a longer song and I'm not sure how much it would benefit from being pulled out and given an outro and forced to stand alone as a 4-5 minute piece. I mean, I'm sure both would be good songs in that context, but I think both are better off as part of Octavarium and In the Presence of Enemies. Though, again, I think it would be at least interesting if they had fleshed some of those kind of things out, like Someone Like Him, Heretic, maybe even Slaughter of the Damned and released those versions as bonus tracks for deluxe editions or something. Just a thought.
Funnily enough, I just had the exact same thought! Different springboard - I've been filling my mum's laptop with Dream Theater (not as a prank, she bloody loves them), and I noticed I'd tagged Beautiful Agony's album as "Beautiful Agony: A Nightmare to Remember." Instant bells - "Ooh, Nightmare to Remember EP, that's a nice idea." I think I'd sooner have them play them live. They've cut up A Change of Seasons live, they've played Solitary Shell alone as an eleven-minute epic. Give Heretic the Surrounded treatment, chuck a jam in and let her rip.

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To the Slaughter of the Damned - I know what you mean. The Slaughter of the Damned is oh so tiny, and oh so brilliant, but it's also cuttable, and I can't promise that I wouldn't end up deleting it entirely.

Angels fall, all for you, you damn heretic! :P I guess it's fortunate for me that you didn't produce Systematic Chaos, because I love The Slaughter of the Damned.
I know! I agree. I just watched ItPoE from Chaos in Motion after writing that, had so much fun with The Slaughter of the Damned, and felt so guilty. I can't promise I would delete it entirely, either! I think I'd fight to keep it. I'd hope I'd fight to keep it. Maybe I could find a way to cram it into Heretic. Or use it as a songlet, like War Inside My Head. In fact, I know what I'd do --

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In fairness, they've never quite got that transition right, live - Heretic stops, and the drums come in on their own, and you're right, it sort of loses something. I'm not entirely sure what I'd do with Slaughter, The Reckoning and Salvation. I think I'd want to tie them together with a sort of overture - more a conclusion - incorporating riffs from all the other songs, but yes, it's weird. There's part of me that thinks, "Well, they've done a lot of big finishes, they've done a lot of instrumental sections, I'm not too hot on The Reckoning anyway..." if I were the band's producer, rewriting them entirely would certainly be something I'd put on the table. I think Heretic is begging for room to breathe, though. It's so good. It deserves its own life.

I've made my peace with The Reckoning. I think it's easily the weakest part of the song, and I would like the song better if they had—just going to be blunt about this—written a better instrumental section (I think I probably need some kind of long dash allowance, to the effect that I can only use them a certain number of times every so many words). But it's not total scrap—there's some good parts in there, especially towards the end, and it transitions exceedingly well into Salvation. The reprise of the main theme there is just so well timed. Salvation I think is a great final section for an epic, not as good as Razor's Edge or The Crimson Sunset, but almost on par with Surrender, Trust & Passion or Losing Time/Grand Finale.
I'd completely destroy the Reckoning, and devise a new instrumental section. Something a bit Shattered Fortressy, riffing on all the different songs from the album - reprising The Dark Eternal Night, The Ministry of Lost Souls, possibly the cool riff from Prophets of War - and then it'd crash, as it already does, with the theme from Resurrection, right into Salvation, which I wouldn't touch. The Slaughter of the Damned would only get the faintest reworking - basically, a stronger outro, and it'd sit with Heretic as The Mirror sits with Lie. So the new tracklist is...

1. Resurrection
2. Forsaken
3. Constant Motion
4. The Dark Eternal Night
5. Heretic /
6. The Slaughter of the Damned
7. Repentance
8. Prophets of War
9. The Ministry of Lost Souls
10. Systematic Chaos

Boom! That's a killer album. That's my dream SC. I like the album we got - this isn't me slagging SC off, this is me chiseling what I'd describe as a slightly rough diamond and seeing what I can make from it.

And yes, I fear the god of long dashes (all glory to Djumbotep) is probably having a panic attack. Mine aren't even proper long dashes, they're hyphens that got out of hand.

I think your point about shortness and brevity is a good one, and I agree about Illumination Theory. I also agree that it's not as true of A Nightmare to Remember, though I don't think that it is so long as to overstay its welcome.

I disagree about all of BCSL, though, and I'm not even going to be a smartass and say Wither, however strong the temptation is. I think the album certainly has moments of excess, and that those include the last few minutes of ANTR, the solo section of AROP, and a few parts of TSF, though none of these excesses are too excessive for me to love all there songs. But... The Best of Times and The Count of Tuscany? I think those songs are as compact as they should be. I'm not in love with all of The Best of Times, but there's no sections that feel superfluous or overlong to me. I've occasionally thought that the song is a bit long but have never found any section that I feel could be cut, so I think my problems with it don't stem from length.

The Count of Tuscany definitely feels to me like Illumination Theory in the sense of being a 19 minute song that's exactly as compact as it should be. TCOT actually feels, despite its length, more compact than IT to me. Not that that's a negative for either song, it just seems like TCOT was written with a shorter song in mind that just wound up getting filled with musical ideas that added to its length (not unlike how Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was written to be a 20 minute song but soon became so filled with musical ideas that it became a 40 minute song), while IT was conceived as a much more ambitious, 20 minute song, and ended up being written exactly that way. Each song is written in a way that is right for what it is, and I think more or less music would only harm either one.
TBoT and TCoT - I hear you, but I do think there's bits that could be cut. TBoT, certainly, has glorious moments, but sags a little around the centre, and I think that prevents me from listening to it more often. TCoT is great, I love TCoT, but I don't think it's quite as tight as Illumination Theory. IT feels like TCoT done right. They're structurally very similar, but even though Illumination Theory is more abrupt - The Count has these wonderful segues from moment to moment - The Count feels like it's got more of an identity crisis. Not a major one, it doesn't take me out of the moment, I'm not sat there listening to it and thinking, "Nice try boys but this chorus doesn't quite match the intro," I'm sat there thinking, "III!! I DON'T WANT TO DIIIIE!" I'll defend the lyrics to the hilt, too - I think they work, they're literal, but laced with just a hint of doolally. I do think both tracks fall slightly into BCSL trappings, but less so than some of their album-mates, definitely.

Sorry for the bits I've skipped - it's just I'm conscious that these posts are only getting longer and longer! I like the bit about ANTR, just didn't have anything to add. Funnily, with The Water's Edge (great title!), we've halfway swapped sides. I'd argue that if you can imagine The Water's Edge, Beautiful Agony is a cinch. I'm still not quite seeing TMoLS split in two, but I think we're approaching a common ground. That might be the first time that's happened in any internet discussion, ever. I'll e-mail Tim Berners-Lee with the good news. Then I'll call him names until he blocks me.

Bloody Tim Berners-Leakypants.

Offline JayOctavarium

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3854 on: February 22, 2014, 02:40:57 PM »
I'd completely destroy the Reckoning, and devise a new instrumental section. Something a bit Shattered Fortressy, riffing on all the different songs from the album - reprising The Dark Eternal Night, The Ministry of Lost Souls, possibly the cool riff from Prophets of War - and then it'd crash, as it already does, with the theme from Resurrection, right into Salvation, which I wouldn't touch. The Slaughter of the Damned would only get the faintest reworking - basically, a stronger outro, and it'd sit with Heretic as The Mirror sits with Lie. So the new tracklist is...

1. Resurrection
2. Forsaken
3. Constant Motion
4. The Dark Eternal Night
5. Heretic /
6. The Slaughter of the Damned
7. Repentance
8. Prophets of War
9. The Ministry of Lost Souls
10. Systematic Chaos



I would eat that up like a fat guy eating cake.













So like me eating cake.
I just don't understand what they were trying to achieve with any part of the song, either individually or as a whole. You know what? It's the Platypus of Dream Theater songs. That bill doesn't go with that tail, or that strange little furry body, or those webbed feet, and oh god why does it have venomous spurs!? And then you find out it lays eggs too. The difference is that the Platypus is somehow functional despite being a crazy mishmash or leftover animal pieces

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Offline 425

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3855 on: February 22, 2014, 05:27:05 PM »
Funnily enough, I just had the exact same thought! Different springboard - I've been filling my mum's laptop with Dream Theater (not as a prank, she bloody loves them), and I noticed I'd tagged Beautiful Agony's album as "Beautiful Agony: A Nightmare to Remember." Instant bells - "Ooh, Nightmare to Remember EP, that's a nice idea." I think I'd sooner have them play them live. They've cut up A Change of Seasons live, they've played Solitary Shell alone as an eleven-minute epic. Give Heretic the Surrounded treatment, chuck a jam in and let her rip.

I think that's a great idea, actually. How about a John Myung/Jordan jam in the intro, especially since JMX probably gets the least spotlight out of everyone, then Heretic into Slaughter like your The Mirror/Lie idea (or like how they do WIMH/TTTSTA). I even think they could do those two as a tight little pair without even writing a new outro for Slaughter—just let "It's time for your reckoning" ring after the music stops. I can hear it already.

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I know! I agree. I just watched ItPoE from Chaos in Motion after writing that, had so much fun with The Slaughter of the Damned, and felt so guilty. I can't promise I would delete it entirely, either! I think I'd fight to keep it. I'd hope I'd fight to keep it. Maybe I could find a way to cram it into Heretic. Or use it as a songlet, like War Inside My Head. In fact, I know what I'd do --

I'd completely destroy the Reckoning, and devise a new instrumental section. Something a bit Shattered Fortressy, riffing on all the different songs from the album - reprising The Dark Eternal Night, The Ministry of Lost Souls, possibly the cool riff from Prophets of War - and then it'd crash, as it already does, with the theme from Resurrection, right into Salvation, which I wouldn't touch. The Slaughter of the Damned would only get the faintest reworking - basically, a stronger outro, and it'd sit with Heretic as The Mirror sits with Lie. So the new tracklist is...

1. Resurrection
2. Forsaken
3. Constant Motion
4. The Dark Eternal Night
5. Heretic /
6. The Slaughter of the Damned
7. Repentance
8. Prophets of War
9. The Ministry of Lost Souls
10. Systematic Chaos

Boom! That's a killer album. That's my dream SC. I like the album we got - this isn't me slagging SC off, this is me chiseling what I'd describe as a slightly rough diamond and seeing what I can make from it.

I think this would actually be very good, if the pieces of ITPOE could still be put together into one epic (meaning all that would have to be done is work it so TSOTD still went into the instrumental section you use to replace The Reckoning).

ACTUALLY (possible inspiration striking as we speak):

Personally, I can hear TSOTD ending cold on "It's time for your reckoning," with a slightly more conclusive musical ending, played with a brief pause, then going into the intro for TDEN. So reorganize the tracklist to put TDEN after TSOTD. THEN have Systematic Chaos begin with the TDEN riff or something very similar sounding if that doesn't work on account of something musical I don't understand (I'm not at all a musician) so the transition is basically the same whether you do album order or ITPOE as a suite, except maybe have it also begin with the symphonic keyboards from the end of TSOTD so that it's less of a momentum kill than the beginning of The Reckoning. And then just name the tracks that are part of ITPOE the way AMBI is named. So something like "In the Presence of Enemies: III. Heretic."

**Also, just a note, ITPOE Part I is actually two movements: Prelude is the instrumental part up to when it dies down at 4:15, then it's Resurrection.

Quote
And yes, I fear the god of long dashes (all glory to Djumbotep) is probably having a panic attack. Mine aren't even proper long dashes, they're hyphens that got out of hand.

Don't let your hyphens play out of position!

Quote
TBoT and TCoT - I hear you, but I do think there's bits that could be cut. TBoT, certainly, has glorious moments, but sags a little around the centre, and I think that prevents me from listening to it more often.

I feel the same way, basically, but I never listen to it and say "if they cut out the center, this would be a lot better," because the center is important to the song as a whole. It's just... I guess not as good as the rest.

Quote
TCoT is great, I love TCoT, but I don't think it's quite as tight as Illumination Theory. IT feels like TCoT done right. They're structurally very similar, but even though Illumination Theory is more abrupt - The Count has these wonderful segues from moment to moment - The Count feels like it's got more of an identity crisis. Not a major one, it doesn't take me out of the moment, I'm not sat there listening to it and thinking, "Nice try boys but this chorus doesn't quite match the intro," I'm sat there thinking, "III!! I DON'T WANT TO DIIIIE!" I'll defend the lyrics to the hilt, too - I think they work, they're literal, but laced with just a hint of doolally. I do think both tracks fall slightly into BCSL trappings, but less so than some of their album-mates, definitely.

I don't know, to me the intro reminds me of the kind of "stately but a little creepy castle" vibe they have going. It's a little too serious for the joking nature of the lyrics, but I think the transitions carry us well enough from the intro to the silly lyrics to keep from putting that worry in my head.

Quote
Sorry for the bits I've skipped - it's just I'm conscious that these posts are only getting longer and longer! I like the bit about ANTR, just didn't have anything to add. Funnily, with The Water's Edge (great title!), we've halfway swapped sides. I'd argue that if you can imagine The Water's Edge, Beautiful Agony is a cinch. I'm still not quite seeing TMoLS split in two, but I think we're approaching a common ground. That might be the first time that's happened in any internet discussion, ever. I'll e-mail Tim Berners-Lee with the good news. Then I'll call him names until he blocks me.

My position on both of those, really, is that they could work split but work better together. I'm inferring that your position is not quite being able to see TMOLS split but thinking ANTR is somewhat better that way. So yeah, we're rather close and I think we can pretty safely agree to disagree on ANTR with a fairly solid understanding of each other's position. And I think the amount of common ground we've had has in fact increased, which is definitely incredible given that we're on the internet.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3856 on: February 22, 2014, 06:17:00 PM »
This must be the first time in DTF history for me where I deem a whole page as tl;dr.
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Offline Jaffa

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3857 on: February 22, 2014, 06:23:23 PM »
This must be the first time in DTF history for me where I deem a whole page as tl;dr.

Your loss.  As far as I'm concerned, 425 and robwebster can go back and forth as much as they want.    :D
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Offline Lucien

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3858 on: February 22, 2014, 06:29:40 PM »
I like it more when a narrative arc is in a suite: say, 3 songs in an album, that define a story, rather than a 20 minute epic that sometimes can drag on. ANTR drags on for me due to the long, fast, wanky metal sections, that sort of tire me out. In fact, Beautiful Agony is one of the only redeeming sections of that song for me. :shrug:
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Offline rickhawk80

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3859 on: February 22, 2014, 06:32:32 PM »
With as rank-happy as this crowd can be it's only a matter of time before someone ranks how this page of this thread compares to pages of other threads......   :lol

Offline jakepriest

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3860 on: February 22, 2014, 06:33:15 PM »
This must be the first time in DTF history for me where I deem a whole page as tl;dr.

+1

 

Offline GasparXR

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3861 on: February 22, 2014, 06:37:38 PM »
This must be the first time in DTF history for me where I deem a whole page as tl;dr.

ts;dr
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Online ozzy554

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3862 on: February 22, 2014, 06:46:25 PM »
since the topic of splitting songs has popped up, As much as I love octavarium I think someone like him with some tweaking could be a great stand-alone song.
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Offline jakepriest

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3863 on: February 22, 2014, 06:49:49 PM »
I would cut out of IT's ambient and orchestral sections and tossed them into a bin. Then I would actually like IT as a song.

Offline Jaffa

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3864 on: February 22, 2014, 06:58:17 PM »
I would cut out of IT's ambient and orchestral sections and tossed them into a bin put them aside. Then I would actually like love IT as a song.

Fixed for me.  I already like IT as a song, but I think I could love it with a few changes, because I do feel that the ambient/orchestral section derails its momentum.  I think that section is great in its own right, so I wouldn't want to throw it out entirely, but I certainly wouldn't mind editing it out of Illumination Theory. 
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Offline rumborak

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3865 on: February 22, 2014, 07:36:04 PM »
I love that section, because it finally lets the song breathe a bit.
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3866 on: February 22, 2014, 07:36:43 PM »
I think there's an extent to which YNM's probably a victim of the online echo chamber. Mild disdain gets repeated, and amplified, and exaggerated, until it becomes caricatured as this incredible burden that the discography would be better off without.

I just want to take a moment to appreciate this gem of wisdom.  I'm not a big fan of YNM, myself, but the principle here is dead on, and 'online echo chamber' is the best term I've ever seen used to describe it.  :clap:

I hereby declare "online echo chamber" to be an official term. I could use that plenty here! :biggrin:

And basically just agree with whatever else rob has said.
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Shadow Ninja 2.0

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3867 on: February 22, 2014, 07:53:33 PM »
I feel like we should all just add "I agree with robwebster" to our signatures.
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3868 on: February 22, 2014, 07:57:07 PM »
I feel like we should all just add "I agree with robwebster" to our signatures.

I feel like it's just implied, and is assumed unless stated otherwise.
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3869 on: February 22, 2014, 08:08:06 PM »
I feel like we should all just add "I agree with robwebster" to our signatures.

I agree with Shadow Ninja.

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3870 on: February 22, 2014, 08:10:48 PM »
Also the whole echo chamber could be applied to a number of things.

1. Latest thing is not as great as previous things.
2. Not as great becomes - poor.
3. Poor becomes really awful.
4. really awful becomes " Worst thing ever ".

You see this a lot. Especially nowadays where everyone online has a voice and anyone can be a critic . Especially in movies where a slight plot hole or continuity error gets massively inflated as the sole reason the entire film is a steaming turd.

Offline 425

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3871 on: February 22, 2014, 08:11:49 PM »
I feel like we should all just add "I agree with robwebster" to our signatures.

I agree with Shadow Ninja.

Hell, I agree with Shadow Ninja and I just spent several posts having a discussion with robwebster in which we obviously didn't agree on every point.


And I agree with the above from Kotowboy.
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3872 on: February 22, 2014, 08:15:49 PM »
Also the whole echo chamber could be applied to a number of things.

1. Latest thing is not as great as previous things.
2. Not as great becomes - poor.
3. Poor becomes really awful.
4. really awful becomes " Worst thing ever ".

You see this a lot. Especially nowadays where everyone online has a voice and anyone can be a critic . Especially in movies where a slight plot hole or continuity error gets massively inflated as the sole reason the entire film is a steaming turd.

For the last time Kotowboy, Into Darkness was just a bad movie. No echo chamber here. :loser:
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline Shadow Ninja 2.0

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3873 on: February 22, 2014, 08:21:23 PM »
I liked Into Darkness.

Of course, I don't care about any other Star Trek stuff, so I suppose I came at it from a different angle.
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Offline 425

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3874 on: February 22, 2014, 08:23:39 PM »
I liked Into Darkness.

Of course, I don't care about any other Star Trek stuff, so I suppose I came at it from a different angle.

Exactly my perspective on Into Darkness. I came to both Abrams films as a non-fan of the series coming to Abrams films and enjoyed both. I have since seen Wrath of Khan and also enjoyed it, though I could not rank the three since the only one I've seen more than once is the first Abrams film.
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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3875 on: February 22, 2014, 08:25:34 PM »
Also the whole echo chamber could be applied to a number of things.

1. Latest thing is not as great as previous things.
2. Not as great becomes - poor.
3. Poor becomes really awful.
4. really awful becomes " Worst thing ever ".

You see this a lot. Especially nowadays where everyone online has a voice and anyone can be a critic . Especially in movies where a slight plot hole or continuity error gets massively inflated as the sole reason the entire film is a steaming turd.

For the last time Kotowboy, Into Darkness was just a bad movie. No echo chamber here. :loser:

I don't care what anyone else thinks. What's important is *I* liked it. And I wasn't talking about Star Trek.

I was on about YouTube comments and such like.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3876 on: February 22, 2014, 08:38:03 PM »
I don't care what anyone else thinks. What's important is *I* liked it. And I wasn't talking about Star Trek.

I was on about YouTube comments and such like.

I thought maybe you were referring to Trek, so I was just messing with you. :lol
I find it's best to just completely ignore Youtube comments. And Blabbermouth. And Facebook. Heck, just most of the internet really.
Not so much on forums, especially closer communities like this, probably because everyone is a little closer, with a bit less of the anonymity that seems to create that atmosphere. And being a forum, people put a bit more thought and time into a post than just a 1 line "it's shit" response too.
Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Online kingshmegland

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3877 on: February 22, 2014, 10:15:20 PM »
You take your whore mouth Blob and your "Into Darkness" agenda somewhere else!! :lol
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Offline rude boy

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3878 on: February 24, 2014, 03:08:02 AM »
Adding to the recent ''how awful is YNM'' debate- I'm watching Score right now and i gotta say that I Walk Beside You is a far, far worse song than YNM but it doesn't seem to get any hate.

I really do not like that song.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3879 on: February 24, 2014, 04:08:19 AM »
Adding to the recent ''how awful is YNM'' debate- I'm watching Score right now and i gotta say that I Walk Beside You is a far, far worse song than YNM but it doesn't seem to get any hate.

I really do not like that song.

I rarely if ever see IWBY get positive comments, so maybe you just need to stick around longer. :biggrin:

IWBY is actually a very well written and constructed pop rock song, and I think it's a much better song than YNM. YNM feels like a song that never really worked as a whole, and they didn't know what they were doing with it, even though it has some good ideas in there.

Only King could mis-spell a LETTER.
Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline GasparXR

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3880 on: February 24, 2014, 04:39:13 AM »
Adding to the recent ''how awful is YNM'' debate- I'm watching Score right now and i gotta say that I Walk Beside You is a far, far worse song than YNM but it doesn't seem to get any hate.

I really do not like that song.

I'm definitely one of the few who really enjoy IWBY. It doesn't anything like DT really, maybe some of the drum parts and the vocals. I think it's one of DT's better short, poppy songs. It has one of my favourite JLB moments in the last chorus. "No mAAAAter how far"
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Offline Bolsters

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3881 on: February 24, 2014, 05:38:44 AM »
I rarely if ever see IWBY get positive comments, so maybe you just need to stick around longer. :biggrin:
This. It doesn't get the hate You Not Me does, but almost no one praises the song.

I like both of them though. :loser:

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3882 on: February 24, 2014, 08:18:24 AM »
Oh, I'LL step up!!

I freakin LOVE IWBY!   When 8V came out, I thought it was just good...but being at the Score show really raised the bar for that song.  Now I think it's pure awesome sauce.   

If 8V has a weak point at all (it's my favorite DT album and I think it's very nearly flawless from start to finish) it's the lyrics to TALW.   And yet, I still love that song.  It's just that the lyrics sound so cliche.   Like they were pulled straight out of "Chicken Soup for the Soul".    Terrible.   

But even those lyrics show a far greater maturity than, "Forevermore....into the night....blistering..."  *twitch*
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Offline Jaffa

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3883 on: February 24, 2014, 08:29:47 AM »
But even those lyrics show a far greater maturity than, "Forevermore....into the night....blistering..."  *twitch*

Question: do people have a problem with the lyrics of Constant Motion in general, or is it literally just that one part that bothers everybody?  Personally, while I fully admit that the quoted line feels a bit ridiculous and out of place, I actually like the rest of the song, lyrically.  I'm just curious as to how other people feel about it.  Is it just the one cheesy line that ruins it, or what?

By the way, jammindude, I'm not trying to single you out, it's just that your mentioning it reminded me of it. 
Sincerely,
Jaffa

Offline RodrigoAltaf

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Re: Your Controversial Opinions on DT
« Reply #3884 on: February 24, 2014, 08:38:51 AM »
 When it comes to lyrics, for me ignorance is bliss. I understand their meaning, but with me not being a native English speaker, it´s hard for me to pick up the tone and the cheesiness in lines like the one in Constant Motion. Also, "but I don´t give a shit, noooooooooo" on Burning My Soul doesn´t bother me at all.

 With all thjat said, I´d be lying if I said the lyrics on the new Adrenaline Mob album didn´t catch my attention for all the wrong reasons!  :tdwn :tdwn