Author Topic: "Saved by the EPIC?"  (Read 43867 times)

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Offline The Letter M

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #210 on: December 28, 2014, 05:00:35 PM »
This is the criteria I used for an epic:
No Chorus
At least ten minutes long
A change in musical direction

These things tend to go hand in hand.

By that criteria, then "Stream Of Consciousness" surely is an epic, right? :tup

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Offline chaossystem

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #211 on: December 28, 2014, 06:47:39 PM »
Well,
maybe they count the instrumentals separately.
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Offline Fredo96993

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #212 on: December 29, 2014, 05:16:57 AM »
Octavarium doesn't have a chorus, LTL I don't class as an epic but rather a long song, 6DOIT is a whole argument in itself as to whether it is a song and SoC is an instrumental and I would say an epic has to have vocals.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #213 on: December 29, 2014, 05:45:27 AM »
Octavarium has at least one chorus, SDOIT counts as an epic and has several choruses, ACOS has at least one chorus (cbf checking), ITPOE has at least one chorus, IT has a chorus. I'd say all of DT's epics have choruses in them.

Epic is a pretty arbitrary term, but on DTF the general consensus is that the 20+ minute songs are the "epics", with IT and TCOT in a bit of a grey area, with several other other songs that are considered just as epic, but not considered part of that same small group of songs.

This is the criteria I used for an epic:
No Chorus
At least ten minutes long
A change in musical direction

These things tend to go hand in hand.

That's not the criteria for a DT epic, that's the criteria for maximum pretentiousness. :lol
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #214 on: December 29, 2014, 11:42:30 AM »
Epic is a pretty arbitrary term, but on DTF the general consensus is that the 20+ minute songs are the "epics", with IT and TCOT in a bit of a grey area, with several other other songs that are considered just as epic, but not considered part of that same small group of songs.

We might as well just change the "20+ minute" criterion to either 18 or 19+ because DT haven't done any songs between 16:10 and 19:16 minutes (both songs from BC&SL oddly enough), so there's this huge 3-minute gap of song lengths that they haven't covered, so it would just make sense to be able to include IT and TCOT since they're 19-ish minutes and are much closer to the epics than anything below them.

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Offline ThatOneGuy2112

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #215 on: December 29, 2014, 11:44:43 AM »
^that

I don't think there's much debate that IT isn't an epic either.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #216 on: December 29, 2014, 12:21:20 PM »
^that

I don't think there's much debate that IT isn't an epic either.

Yeah, IT and TCOT both have the (semi-arbitrary) length qualification down, and they both end their respective albums. They just happen to be between 19 and 20 minutes long, and not above 20. Besides, in the days of vinyl, side-length epics still ranged from 18-25 minutes long, and an 18-minute track would take up a side of vinyl with nothing else on it, like Yes' "Close To The Edge" or Rush's "Hemispheres", both in the 18-19 minute range.

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Offline TheGreatPretender

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #217 on: December 29, 2014, 06:07:41 PM »
This is the criteria I used for an epic:
No Chorus
At least ten minutes long
A change in musical direction

These things tend to go hand in hand.

That's not the criteria for a DT epic, that's the criteria for maximum pretentiousness. :lol

We have a whole thread for this, and I do not recall a single song DT has that's over 10 minutes that does not have a chorus... So I guess that means that ACOS and 8VM aren't epics.   :lol
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Offline chaossystem

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #218 on: December 29, 2014, 06:51:59 PM »
I think it's RIDICULOUS to say that "Illumination Theory" isn't an epic because it misses the "20-min. mark" by a minute or less.

At the very LEAST "Learning to Live", "Lines in the Sand", "Trial of Tears", "Beyond This Life", "Home", "The Glass Prison", "The Great Debate", "In the Name of God", "In the Presence of Enemies (at LEAST part two!)", "The Count of Tuscany", "A Nightmare to Remember", "The Shattered Fortress", "Breaking All Illusions", and some others that I've probably left out should ALL be considered epics.

All of the songs that I've named are over ELEVEN minutes long, and I think it is INSANE to say that a song of that length is too SHORT to be considered an epic!

There are other songs that I've mentioned before that are more than 8 or 9 minutes long, but at the very least I think this is a good COMPROMISE!
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #219 on: December 29, 2014, 07:04:28 PM »
Epic is a pretty arbitrary term, but on DTF the general consensus is that the 20+ minute songs are the "epics", with IT and TCOT in a bit of a grey area, with several other other songs that are considered just as epic, but not considered part of that same small group of songs.

We might as well just change the "20+ minute" criterion to either 18 or 19+ because DT haven't done any songs between 16:10 and 19:16 minutes (both songs from BC&SL oddly enough), so there's this huge 3-minute gap of song lengths that they haven't covered, so it would just make sense to be able to include IT and TCOT since they're 19-ish minutes and are much closer to the epics than anything below them.

-Marc.

While I don't consider them more epic than many shorter DT songs given their structures (moreso for TCOT) and padding (moreso for IT), they do fill the "epic" role of the album, being the longest last track of their respective albums, so that makes some sense.
Since it is such an arbitrary definition, I'm not sure it really matters either way, so I won't debate it further. That's probably getting too trivial even for DTF. :lol
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Offline Rodni Demental

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #220 on: December 29, 2014, 07:40:00 PM »
At the very LEAST "Learning to Live", "Lines in the Sand", "Trial of Tears", "Beyond This Life", "Home", "The Glass Prison", "The Great Debate", "In the Name of God", "In the Presence of Enemies (at LEAST part two!)", "The Count of Tuscany", "A Nightmare to Remember", "The Shattered Fortress", "Breaking All Illusions", and some others that I've probably left out should ALL be considered epics.

All of the songs that I've named are over ELEVEN minutes long, and I think it is INSANE to say that a song of that length is too SHORT to be considered an epic!

Yeah, a lot of those songs are pretty 'epic' per se, but we seem to have such strict definitions here for these otherwise very ambiguous descriptions. Most of the songs you mentioned might as well be considered pretty epic, at LEAST relative to other songs and especially other bands. But I think some of them like The Great Debate and Beyond this Life, also probably Home, I sort of consider as "long songs". They've got fairly standard structures, but generally have a heavily extended instrumental section of some sort which separates them from other standard songs. So it's sort of a case of 'One' Syndrome (Metallica) in a lot of cases. Or Endless Sacrifice syndrome in DT terms as a good example of the type of structure I'm describing. Can also be observed in other songs like The Ministry of Lost Souls, Outcry, Sacrificed Sons. A Rite of Passage sort of goes down that path too. I think that's something to do with why they're not quite in the same category as the "Mega epics" if you will.  :lol

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #221 on: December 30, 2014, 10:09:40 AM »
At the very LEAST "Learning to Live", "Lines in the Sand", "Trial of Tears", "Beyond This Life", "Home", "The Glass Prison", "The Great Debate", "In the Name of God", "In the Presence of Enemies (at LEAST part two!)", "The Count of Tuscany", "A Nightmare to Remember", "The Shattered Fortress", "Breaking All Illusions", and some others that I've probably left out should ALL be considered epics.

All of the songs that I've named are over ELEVEN minutes long, and I think it is INSANE to say that a song of that length is too SHORT to be considered an epic!
No.  This is DT, 11 minutes is pretty average.
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Offline Mosh

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #222 on: December 30, 2014, 09:42:01 PM »
Length is pretty irrelevant imo. Songs like Scarred or Learning to Live or Trial of Tears feel just as "epic" as songs like Octavarium or Illumination Theory to me.
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Offline Fredo96993

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #223 on: December 31, 2014, 07:30:51 AM »
OMG I did not realise that the chorus thing would need to be explained.
I mean a chorus that is used throughout the whole song. So Octavarium doesn't have a chorus running all the way through it whereas Home or The Great Debate do. I agree my length thing means that I have to argue with my myself over "Is Metropolis Part 1 an epic?".
Trial of Tears is an epic IMO but Scarred is not because it has a chorus running through it. ANTR is an epic because even though it reprises stuff from the first few verses it isn't a chorus.

Offline bosk1

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #224 on: December 31, 2014, 09:07:00 AM »
OMG I did not realise that the chorus thing would need to be explained.

Well, it does in this context since you are using the term "chorus" in a way that is very different from the actual definition or the standard usage of the term.  I chorus does NOT have to be used throughout the whole song.  If you don't want to consider it a chorus unless it is used throughout the whole song, that's fine.  But in that case, yeah, you do need to explain what you mean because that isn't how others use the term.

But that said, granted that when you are talking about progressive music, more traditional usages and definitions of words get tricky because progressive blurs the lines and makes things hard to categorize.  The whole mission of prog is to color outside the lines, so to speak.  So getting overly pedantic about terms is often a futile exercise, and it is next to impossible to get universal agreement on a lot of things.  Heck, we can't even get agreement over things that are completely objective, such as whether Six Degrees is a song.  :lol  But even that is a good illustration of the fact that, because it does not fit traditional notions of what constitutes a single "song," people understandably have trouble with the concept.  More imprecise terms, such as "epic" get even more tricky because there aren't any set rules.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #225 on: December 31, 2014, 10:15:38 AM »
I dunno.  Wait For Sleep is pretty epic, in its own way.
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Offline chaossystem

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #226 on: December 31, 2014, 12:13:29 PM »
At the very LEAST "Learning to Live", "Lines in the Sand", "Trial of Tears", "Beyond This Life", "Home", "The Glass Prison", "The Great Debate", "In the Name of God", "In the Presence of Enemies (at LEAST part two!)", "The Count of Tuscany", "A Nightmare to Remember", "The Shattered Fortress", "Breaking All Illusions", and some others that I've probably left out should ALL be considered epics.

All of the songs that I've named are over ELEVEN minutes long, and I think it is INSANE to say that a song of that length is too SHORT to be considered an epic!

Yeah, a lot of those songs are pretty 'epic' per se, but we seem to have such strict definitions here for these otherwise very ambiguous descriptions. Most of the songs you mentioned might as well be considered pretty epic, at LEAST relative to other songs and especially other bands. But I think some of them like The Great Debate and Beyond this Life, also probably Home, I sort of consider as "long songs". They've got fairly standard structures, but generally have a heavily extended instrumental section of some sort which separates them from other standard songs. So it's sort of a case of 'One' Syndrome (Metallica) in a lot of cases. Or Endless Sacrifice syndrome in DT terms as a good example of the type of structure I'm describing. Can also be observed in other songs like The Ministry of Lost Souls, Outcry, Sacrificed Sons. A Rite of Passage sort of goes down that path too. I think that's something to do with why they're not quite in the same category as the "Mega epics" if you will.  :lol

I forgot "The Ministry of Lost Souls" and "The Best of Times."
I don't really care for either of those songs, but being that they are both over ten minutes long, they should probably be included.

I was actually expecting a lot of people to say that I'm wrong, and don't know what the hell I'm talking about.
But you seem to understand what I"m trying to say.

However, if you were to put "A Rite of Passage" in the epic category, then you would probably have to include "pull Me Under" as well.
As much as I love both of those songs, and while some people might define them as epics, I think of them more as "extra-long singles."

I have previously mentioned that I think "Metropolis" should be considered an epic, but here I'll say not just because of it's almost ten-minute (and often a good deal longer when they play it live!) but also because of it's very elaborate arrangement, and choruses that are worded differently from each other.

But since they have so many songs that are in the six-to-eight-minute range, we probably have to use a different standard when determining what constitutes a "DT epic."

It's a tough call, but I guess it partially depends on the style and arrangement of the song  being taken into consideration before one that is over eight but under twenty minutes in length can be considered an epic...and on it goes...
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #227 on: December 31, 2014, 12:39:25 PM »
At one point, they only had one song that was really considered an epic - A Change of Seasons.  It was much longer than anything else they had, so that was the benchmark.

Then, eventually, came Six Degrees, which even exceeded ACOS in length.  So, finally, another epic.

Then came Octavarium, to create the Holy Trinity.  So, all of these were 20+ minutes.  They basically became the boundary markers. 

Therefore it seems strange to say that songs around the 10-12 minute mark (which aren't that unusual for DT) should be considered "epics" in the same breath that the Holy Trinity are, although I don't for a second hold any illusions that such songs don't have an "epic" feel to them (such as Learning To Live, Trial of Tears, Scarred, etc).
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Offline Rodni Demental

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #228 on: December 31, 2014, 10:00:21 PM »
Therefore it seems strange to say that songs around the 10-12 minute mark (which aren't that unusual for DT) should be considered "epics" in the same breath that the Holy Trinity are, although I don't for a second hold any illusions that such songs don't have an "epic" feel to them (such as Learning To Live, Trial of Tears, Scarred, etc).

I get what you mean about ACOS being the benchmark for where it all stems from. BUT, even ACOS feels like an extension of the suite like structure they'd attempted a few times in the past. Ie. The Killing Hand, A Mind Beside Itself and Trial of Tears. Each part of the suite being one of the change of seasons. Where as the other suites also tell a story or have a progression of themes. So I think that's where these other songs tie in. Then we just start getting confused 'cause some songs seem to have this structure anyway, but aren't deliberately separated into sections.

And then after Octavarium, well it seems the idea of an epic has slightly become a type of standard for the band, and probably also because they actually enjoy writing these massive pieces. Whether they're defined as an epic or not, there is at least a song on each album that seems to at least serve the role of one of these big pieces. So now there isn't really a 'holy trinity' (unless you're considering subjective quality, but that's a different issue  :lol) because In the Presence of Enemies was clearly written to serve this role even if they ultimately altered it's portrayal on the album and did it a little differently. The Count of Tuscany was a little different again but still seemed to serve the role of "epic album closer". I'm surprised some people have even questioned if Illumination Theory is one because, to me, that one seemed like it was very deliberately trying to be the next Octavarium.

Also, regarding the other part of the discussion about what a chorus is. Can a song have a chorus even if it only plays it once, - if it appears to still serve the 'role' of 'chorus'?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 05:55:56 PM by Rodni Demental »

Offline Mosh

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #229 on: January 01, 2015, 01:05:23 AM »
OMG I did not realise that the chorus thing would need to be explained.
I mean a chorus that is used throughout the whole song. So Octavarium doesn't have a chorus running all the way through it whereas Home or The Great Debate do. I agree my length thing means that I have to argue with my myself over "Is Metropolis Part 1 an epic?".
Trial of Tears is an epic IMO but Scarred is not because it has a chorus running through it. ANTR is an epic because even though it reprises stuff from the first few verses it isn't a chorus.
I dunno. If you extend your rule to other bands, Neal Morse writes huge epics (like 30 minutes) that have one chorus running through it. I don't know how that discounts the "epic" term. Close To the Edge by Yes is another good example and that's a benchmark for prog epics.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #230 on: January 01, 2015, 05:28:46 AM »
Therefore it seems strange to say that songs around the 10-12 minute mark (which aren't that unusual for DT) should be considered "epics" in the same breath that the Holy Trinity are, although I don't for a second hold any illusions that such songs don't have an "epic" feel to them (such as Learning To Live, Trial of Tears, Scarred, etc).

I get what you mean about ACOS being the benchmark for where it all stems from. BUT, even ACOS feels like an extension of the suite like structure they'd attempted a few times in the past. Ie. The Killing Hand, A Mind Beside Itself and Trial of Tears. Each part of the suite being one of the change of seasons. Where as the other suites also tell a story or have a progression of themes. So I think that's where these other songs tie in. Then we just start getting confused 'cause some songs seem to have this structure anyway, but aren't deliberately separated into sections.
I don't understand what you mean, unless you are talking about songs with different sections (I, II, III).  That isn't indicative of a suite at all, it's just a prog rock trope used by lots of bands.  It's just a way to subdivide a song (normally longer than usual, but look at FAS as well) into different parts.  But the only actual suite you listed was AMBI.  The others are just multi-part songs.  That seems like a fairly straightforward thing to see and accept to me, but confusion comes when people attempt to combine these different things together and say they are the same, rather than just accepting them as they are.

And then after Octavarium, well it seems it seems the idea of an epic has slightly become a type of standard for the band, and probably also because they actually enjoy writing these massive pieces. Whether they're defined as an epic or not, there is at least a song on each album that seems to at least serve the role of one of these big pieces. So now there isn't really a 'holy trinity' (unless you're considering subjective quality, but that's a different issue  :lol) because In the Presence of Enemies was clearly written to serve this role even if they ultimately altered it's portrayal on the album and did it a little differently. The Count of Tuscany was a little different again but still seemed to serve the role of "epic album closer". I'm surprised some people have even questioned if Illumination Theory is one because, to me, that one seemed like it was very deliberately trying to be the next Octavarium.
I agree with all of this, TCOT, ITPOE, and IT all are part of the club.  I was just going chronologically to explain how all of this started.
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #231 on: January 01, 2015, 11:43:06 AM »
I dunno.  Wait For Sleep is pretty epic, in its own way.

What you wrote in just a few words, speaks volumes.  Sometimes less is a lot MORE.  :hefdaddy :biggrin:
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Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #232 on: February 02, 2015, 04:09:13 PM »
So to potentially put an end to the "is The Couny of Tuscany an epic" arguement, the band just posted a poll on Facebook asking fans what their favorite epic is and Count was included. Since they consider it an epic, I guess it is.
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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #233 on: February 02, 2015, 04:20:47 PM »
So to potentially put an end to the "is The Couny of Tuscany an epic" arguement, the band just posted a poll on Facebook asking fans what their favorite epic is and Count was included. Since they consider it an epic, I guess it is.

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Offline bosk1

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #234 on: February 02, 2015, 04:50:16 PM »
So to potentially put an end to the "is The Couny of Tuscany an epic" arguement, the band just posted a poll on Facebook asking fans what their favorite epic is and Count was included. Since they consider it an epic, I guess it is.

Of course it is an epic.  But no matter what the band says, it will not stop fans from arguing whatever they want to argue.
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Offline metrojam

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #235 on: February 04, 2015, 05:44:03 AM »
I don't think that any Epic has ever really needed to "save" any DT album, i.m.o. they enhance and put the icing on the cake of the albums. The only exception being IT which didn't put any icing on the cake but merely papered over the huge cracks on the very poor overall album that DT12 was/is.

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #236 on: February 04, 2015, 07:11:00 AM »
Correct. I don't think any Epic has saved an album.


Take off any Epic from the tracklist and I don't think any DT album would be dreadful without it.

Offline The Presence of Frenemies

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #237 on: February 04, 2015, 04:02:48 PM »
For my taste, the only DT album for which the longest song(s) completely overshadowed shorter ones is Octavarium. SC is maybe second because ITPOE and TMOLS are the best music on the album, but the rest is great too (save Repentance) even if it doesn't approach the top-5 greatness of the last two tracks. With DT12, IT is one of the better tracks, but it doesn't overshadow TBP and STR (due both to issues with IT and high quality of the other two).
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #238 on: February 04, 2015, 06:52:07 PM »
Correct. I don't think any Epic has saved an album.


Take off any Epic from the tracklist and I don't think any DT album would be dreadful without it.
Octavarium would be woefully mediocre without the title track.

It's still kind of mediocre even WITH it.
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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #239 on: February 04, 2015, 08:08:55 PM »
Correct. I don't think any Epic has saved an album.


Take off any Epic from the tracklist and I don't think any DT album would be dreadful without it.
Octavarium would be woefully mediocre without the title track.

It's still kind of mediocre even WITH it.

Octavarium has plenty of other amazing tracks to save it, even if it does have a few really bad clunkers. Substitute Octavarium with DT12/IT and you've got a point though.
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Offline ThatOneGuy2112

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #240 on: February 04, 2015, 08:31:35 PM »
None of the other tracks on 8V besides the title track itself are really that great or outstanding...with the possible exception of TROAE.

DT12 has plenty else going for it. Taking out IT, you'd still have a pretty strong album.

While I don't think 8V (the album) is mediocre as is, I agree with this wholeheartedly:

Octavarium would be woefully mediocre without the title track.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #241 on: February 04, 2015, 08:39:23 PM »
I wouldn't call DT12 a strong album even with IT tbh. There's not a single song on the album I'd come back to at this point, not even IT. Octavarium still has TROAE, PA, TW, and SS. TW is probably top 10 for me, it's that good. I'd take any one of those tracks over anything on DT12. At best a couple of tracks might just nudge into my top 50.
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline ThatOneGuy2112

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #242 on: February 04, 2015, 08:48:39 PM »
Eh, different strokes and all I guess.

DT12 has plenty I'd gladly come back to, most notably TBP, BTV, and of course, IT.

TROAE is good, I'll give you that one. PA I'd honestly love to like more, but I think it kinda just goes on a little too long after a certain point, and I have that same issue with SS. A lot of the verses and instrumental passages in that one just really fail to grab me.

I wouldn't call any of the songs in 8V besides the title track bad at all. It just kinda struggles to maintain a fine momentum and consistency IMO. If you dig it, all the more power to you.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #243 on: February 04, 2015, 08:58:21 PM »
Eh, different strokes and all I guess.

DT12 has plenty I'd gladly come back to, most notably TBP, BTV, and of course, IT.

TROAE is good, I'll give you that one. PA I'd honestly love to like more, but I think it kinda just goes on a little too long after a certain point, and I have that same issue with SS. A lot of the verses and instrumental passages in that one just really fail to grab me.

I wouldn't call any of the songs in 8V besides the title track bad at all. It just kinda struggles to maintain a fine momentum and consistency IMO. If you dig it, all the more power to you.

I absolutely agree that as an album, the momentum on 8V is not good, because the tracks other than the ones mentioned are so badly placed to disrupt that flow. But as individual songs, the good tracks are as good as anything else for me.
DT12 does have a consistency of style to it, but nothing about the style of that album appeals to me, even though I'm usually a huge fan of DT's relatively shorter songs.
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 hefdaddy42

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Re: "Saved by the EPIC?"
« Reply #244 on: February 05, 2015, 10:36:16 AM »
8VM has some other good things going for it, but its unevenness rivals that of FII.

TW is fantastic, TROAE is really good, and I like IWBY a lot.  PA, NE and SS are mediocre, and TALW is just awful.  So, minus the epic, I only care for 3 of the remaining 7.  It the epic wasn't on there, I would NEVER listen to this album.
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