Author Topic: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread  (Read 522883 times)

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Offline adamack

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #210 on: January 29, 2016, 02:11:44 AM »
Let me first say that this album has given me more joy and excitement upon the first listen than any other album I can remember.

It will easily end up in my top 5 DT albums over time, and has a serious shot at the top 3. At this point, I have pretty much just accepted that nothing will ever top SFAM. But TA could end up close!

I do have some gripes with the album so far. (Ahem....another ballad?....ahem....hasn't this song been written before?....ahem....too much Velveeta) Surprising for a DT fan, eh?

But I will reserve them for the moment, and will just focus on enjoying the album for now, because it is awesome!

FAV SONGS

Ravenskill - Fav song at the moment. I am flabbergasted that I haven't seen many people talk about this one. That opening piano?? That huge riff at 2:23?? I suppose the only part I don't like is how the end of the song builds into another epic "finale" sound, which seemed to be overused on this album :(  Amazing song though!!

Three Days - Just awesome beginning to end. My fav LaBrie on the album....so great in character here.

A Better Life - Strong candidate to become my favorite overall.

Dystopian Overture - Better than 1928? Almost impossibly, it might be! It is just too difficult to explain how good this is.

Chosen - When listening to the "Can't climb this mountain without you" chorus, my head keeps telling me, "Come on man. You KNOW this is already a song. This melody has been used at least a thousand times over the years." But my ears don't care. Beautiful song.

My Last Farewell - This was my favorite song on the first listen through. Couple of uneasy chord changes in the beginning which make the mood shift instantly.

Hymn Of A Thousand Voices - So different...great country vibe. Love the church feel of the ending!

The X Aspect - My favorite JR on the album. The intro piece is wonderful! The mood change at around 2:22 is so awesome.

Lord Nafaryus

Brother Can You Hear Me?

A New Beginning

Songs I dislike? Absolutely none. Even my least favorites ("The Astonishing" comes to mind) are still great songs.

Offline Lucien

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #211 on: January 29, 2016, 02:14:26 AM »
1:45 of Dystopian Overture is just so fucking cool, as well as all the major stuff from 2:21 on
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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #212 on: January 29, 2016, 02:15:22 AM »
I think it really is because of a difference in approach. SFAM is written as a music album. It is very enjoyable to listen to. But can you stage it as an actual musical without modifying the content? I think you can not, there are too many lengthy instrumental portions.

TA, on the other hand, really feels like it was written as a musical. I don't think any modification needs to be done and they can already stage this as an actual musical play.

Absolutely. The only comparison I was drawing was that they're both written as a greater whole, but TA truly is a rock opera as opposed to SFAM's concept album. That unfortunately means it's even more difficult for me to enjoy a track here and there on TA, because that's not how it was written and designed to be listened to. SFAM still overall works well as individual tracks despite the story because it was still written to work that way.

I am starting to think that JP may actually have bigger plans for this one because one does not just write a real rock opera if there is no intention for it to be staged as one.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #213 on: January 29, 2016, 02:17:34 AM »

I am starting to think that JP may actually have bigger plans for this one because one does not just write a real rock opera if there is no intention for it to be staged as one.


We're still yet to see how it's presented live. For all we know, JLB will have 56 costume changes during the show. :P
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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #214 on: January 29, 2016, 02:19:32 AM »
I'd love for this album to do for Dream Theater what American Idiot did for Green Day.

Offline Zydar

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #215 on: January 29, 2016, 02:20:36 AM »

I am starting to think that JP may actually have bigger plans for this one because one does not just write a real rock opera if there is no intention for it to be staged as one.


We're still yet to see how it's presented live. For all we know, JLB will have 56 costume changes during the show. :P

Or those costumes where there's two halves (two characters) so he turns left and right depending on which character he is.
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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #216 on: January 29, 2016, 02:25:17 AM »

I am starting to think that JP may actually have bigger plans for this one because one does not just write a real rock opera if there is no intention for it to be staged as one.


We're still yet to see how it's presented live. For all we know, JLB will have 56 costume changes during the show. :P

Or those costumes where there's two halves (two characters) so he turns left and right depending on which character he is.

OMG, we have noontime shows here in the Philippines where performers still do that (for laughs, of course).  :lol

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #217 on: January 29, 2016, 02:26:31 AM »
Our New World intro  :metal :metal :clap:

Offline TioJorge

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #218 on: January 29, 2016, 02:28:38 AM »

I am starting to think that JP may actually have bigger plans for this one because one does not just write a real rock opera if there is no intention for it to be staged as one.


We're still yet to see how it's presented live. For all we know, JLB will have 56 costume changes during the show. :P

Or those costumes where there's two halves (two characters) so he turns left and right depending on which character he is.

He just needs to do this every time theres a character change and everything will be right in the world:


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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #219 on: January 29, 2016, 02:29:42 AM »

I am starting to think that JP may actually have bigger plans for this one because one does not just write a real rock opera if there is no intention for it to be staged as one.


We're still yet to see how it's presented live. For all we know, JLB will have 56 costume changes during the show. :P

Or those costumes where there's two halves (two characters) so he turns left and right depending on which character he is.

:lol That would be amazing.
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Yep. I think the only party in the MP/DT situation that hasn't moved on is DTF.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #220 on: January 29, 2016, 02:31:01 AM »
Our New World intro  :metal :metal :clap:

If they released this in the early 1990s, this would shoot up to #1 in the rock charts. What an amazing 4-minute plus song.

A New Beginning compositionally I think is the best song in this album, but Our New World is just so...triumphant. Dream Theater has written some anthemic songs before, but this is THE anthem. The first time I heard it, I teared up, and it still gets me every time I listen to it.

Offline CoT67

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #221 on: January 29, 2016, 02:31:20 AM »
THAT solo on A Saviour in The Square. If anyone knows of Marco Sfogli from JLB solo band, JP seems to have taken a page from his style... it just sounds so close. Quite funny, since Sfogli took from JP first :biggrin: :metal

Also the combo A Saviour In The Square - When Your Time Has Come is probably my favourite right now...
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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #222 on: January 29, 2016, 02:34:50 AM »
Also. Thank Fuck they didn't brickwall this album.

it would have completely ruined it.

Best sounding album since Octavarium ?

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #223 on: January 29, 2016, 02:36:12 AM »
THAT solo on A Saviour in The Square. If anyone knows of Marco Sfogli from JLB solo band, JP seems to have taken a page from his style... it just sounds so close. Quite funny, since Sfogli took from JP first :biggrin: :metal

Also the combo A Saviour In The Square - When Your Time Has Come is probably my favourite right now...

That combo is what sold me to the album. After I listened to that, when I started to entertain the thought that this album could be something really special. And I was not disappointed.

Offline jayvee3

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #224 on: January 29, 2016, 02:45:19 AM »
I know many can often disregard shorter songs, hence why t's been barely mentioned, but wow - "The Answer' is a beautiful 1:53's worth  of music. This is just a superb album.  :metal

Offline Sir Walrus Cauliflower

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #225 on: January 29, 2016, 02:46:12 AM »
Best sounding album since Octavarium ?

I'd say so. I actually prefer the drum sound on this album to octavarium. My biggest problem with octavarium's drum sound is how limp he kick drum is. I like them to sound tight and defined.
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Offline SkiFiX

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #226 on: January 29, 2016, 02:49:42 AM »
It would be amazing if the same production of Theater of Equation was contacted by dream theater for doing a similar project with "the astonishing".



It would be interesting knowing which character James prefers in a full theatrical version.

Offline RaasMah

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #227 on: January 29, 2016, 02:59:00 AM »
The most brutal thing ever is "A New Beginning" fading out in the middle of that incredible Petrucci solo.  :facepalm:

I agree with this completely, so far my only real grump about the album.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #228 on: January 29, 2016, 02:59:04 AM »
Best sounding album since Octavarium ?

I'd say so. I actually prefer the drum sound on this album to octavarium. My biggest problem with octavarium's drum sound is how limp he kick drum is. I like them to sound tight and defined.

The drum sound is actually the major area where I'd give Octavarium the edge. :lol That and the bass. I wish Octavarium (and every album since) had the mastering of TA though.
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Offline RoeDent

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #229 on: January 29, 2016, 03:02:26 AM »
My CD has just arrived! Saving the first full listen for this evening, but I'll listen to bits of it now, to get my bearings a bit.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #230 on: January 29, 2016, 03:08:12 AM »
The most brutal thing ever is "A New Beginning" fading out in the middle of that incredible Petrucci solo.  :facepalm:

I agree with this completely, so far my only real grump about the album.

Would be preferable to extend it if this is a standard music album, but the length is ok in the context of a musical.

Offline metrojam

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #231 on: January 29, 2016, 03:08:31 AM »
Having been a very long time fan of DT (since 1989) and have seen them live 25+ times and every album they have released I have always been able to make my mind up on within 2 or 3 spins of it. Virtually every one I have loved (apart from Systematic Chaos and the weak DT12) but I really am sitting on the fence with this one at the moment. I thought upon initial listen that the more I heard of it, then the more I would enjoy it but now after 5 or 6 spins, I am finding that the lack of outright heavy/metal songs and the over abundance of ballads and piano is dragging my opinion down to the "negative" side of things sadly, and its all becoming a little bit "average" and very un-DT like. In fact, take away James's voice and it could be any Ayreon or Avantasia rock opera concept album, i.m.o.
Its all very well (and fine) having short songs but on the whole each short song is crammed with enough stuff for a song twice as long and hence on the occasion where there is a catchy chorus, there's only room for it once in the song, which is a waste.
Full marks to the band for doing something COMPLETELY different and I will stick with it and give it some more spins in the hope that it will click with me but I fear my longevity with this record is not going to be very long and after the gig on the 18th, it will be shelved for a long time :(
DT12 caused some diverse opinions and arguments between the hardcore DT fans, but I think this one is REALLY going to put the cat amongst the pigeons!!
Sorry for the negative but honest thoughts.

Offline Zydar

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #232 on: January 29, 2016, 03:17:35 AM »
The opening four notes of Ravenskill reminds me of the Tetris theme. Can't stop thinking about it whenever it starts.
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Offline V_R11

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #233 on: January 29, 2016, 03:22:38 AM »
Finally got my copy! Listening to it now, will be posting thoughts this evening
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Offline Rodni Demental

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #234 on: January 29, 2016, 03:32:55 AM »
The opening four notes of Ravenskill reminds me of the Tetris theme. Can't stop thinking about it whenever it starts.

What have you done...!

Offline RaasMah

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #235 on: January 29, 2016, 03:33:34 AM »
The most brutal thing ever is "A New Beginning" fading out in the middle of that incredible Petrucci solo.  :facepalm:

I agree with this completely, so far my only real grump about the album.

Would be preferable to extend it if this is a standard music album, but the length is ok in the context of a musical.

IDK, the lengh is alright, just needed a proper ending. I can see it merrits, but its just not fullfiling. JP did it in TBOT too, but alteast there it was indeed after 3 min ;D Hopefull live he will extend it a bit, and give it a proper finish.

Offline Bertielee

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #236 on: January 29, 2016, 03:35:39 AM »
The most brutal thing ever is "A New Beginning" fading out in the middle of that incredible Petrucci solo.  :facepalm:

I agree with this completely, so far my only real grump about the album.

Would be preferable to extend it if this is a standard music album, but the length is ok in the context of a musical.

IDK, the lengh is alright, just needed a proper ending. I can see it merrits, but its just not fullfiling. JP did it in TBOT too, but alteast there it was indeed after 3 min ;D Hopefull live he will extend it a bit, and give it a proper finish.

I don't think so. Remember it's a rock opera, where everything has a proper place. Seems difficult to change that without changing the dynamics.

B.Lee
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Offline Zydar

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #237 on: January 29, 2016, 03:35:44 AM »
The opening four notes of Ravenskill reminds me of the Tetris theme. Can't stop thinking about it whenever it starts.

What have you done...!

:neverusethis:
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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #238 on: January 29, 2016, 03:36:27 AM »
My favorite song right now after about 10 listens is A Life Left Behind.  The intro is great, but the chorus is what really grabs me.

Other songs that could be #1 fave depending on time of day

Dystopian Overture:   Why not?  An instrumental best of from the entire album

Three Days:  Great stuff.  Take out the ragtime "hell to pay" section and I'd love it even more (I picture a Muppet character here)

A Tempting Offer: Great guitar riff (and Dystopian Overture highlighted it so ... even better)

2285 Entr'acte:  Slightly brings me back to the Craig Goldy instrumental songs I've loved

The Path That Divides: The 2:30 section really stood out to me.  In fact, this was the song that hit me the cleanest on listen one

The Walking Shadow: Great character work here.  Jordan's keys are great.  2:03 is great stuff.  Great.

Our New World:  Reminds me of prime Saigon Kick (a good thing)

I'm assuming they wrote the music to the lyrics/melody as opposed to the usual music jam writing style ... and it did wonders for them.  Possibly it just gave them an inspiration kick beyond what they normally have.    It also made the vocal melodies much stronger and key.

I wish they took the NOMAC songs further because those might have had the most potential for extremely new DT ground.  I'm requesting The Astonishing Part 2: The NOMACs Strike Back with fully developed NOMAC songs.

The rock opera announcement put the fear of cheese in me, and I'd hardly say this album is cheese free.  Broadway musicals just tend to have a cheese base.  I can see the live action being a lot of solitary characters staring out a window singing monologues ... ending with the broadway musical cadence as the lights dim just enough time to establish a new solitary character.

But once you get past all that, it is probably some of the best DT work post-Portnoy.  Don't see this as a breakout album outside the DT / prog community however.  This seems made for the longtime fan base as opposed to trying to win over new fans.

Offline Moor

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #239 on: January 29, 2016, 03:37:12 AM »
Is it just me, or does the melody, most prominently featured in "Brother Can You Hear Me?" remind anyone of the vocal melody from the middle of Rush's "Hemispheres, Part IV: Cygnus, Bringer Of Balance"? The lyrics in that song go -
."I have memory and awareness
But I have no shape or form
As a disembodied spirit
I am dead and yet unborn
I have passed into Olympus
As was told in tales of old
To the city of Immortals
Marble white and purest gold..."

The melody in BCYHM is VERY reminiscent of that verse for me, and I'm hoping I'm not the only one who felt that way
-Marc.


Absolutely felt this...
Check this video at 12:44 mark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uXCfDRddC0

Offline RaasMah

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #240 on: January 29, 2016, 03:38:44 AM »
The most brutal thing ever is "A New Beginning" fading out in the middle of that incredible Petrucci solo.  :facepalm:

I agree with this completely, so far my only real grump about the album.

Would be preferable to extend it if this is a standard music album, but the length is ok in the context of a musical.

IDK, the lengh is alright, just needed a proper ending. I can see it merrits, but its just not fullfiling. JP did it in TBOT too, but alteast there it was indeed after 3 min ;D Hopefull live he will extend it a bit, and give it a proper finish.

I don't think so. Remember it's a rock opera, where everything has a proper place. Seems difficult to change that without changing the dynamics.

B.Lee

A man can dream :-[

Online ariich

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #241 on: January 29, 2016, 03:43:16 AM »
I actually look at the story now as consisting of three acts. Act 1 is up to Three Days, all of this is set-up and intro the world being built (10 songs, 37+ minutes). Act 2 is Hovering Sojourn up to Road to Revolution, which contained the plot twists (Faythe and Gabriel, Daryus vs. Road to Revolution, Faythe and Nefaryus) (10 songs, 42+ minutes). Act 3 is the current Act 2 up to Our New World (12 songs, 43+ minutes)which is the climax and resolution of the plot developments in "Act 2" . Power Down and Astonishing is the curtain call. The album looks more balanced to me that way. :)
Yes yes yes, absolutely! Narratively and musically, it really feels like 3 acts, and that's how I'm treating it basically. First part is Descent to Three Days, second part is Hovering Sojourn to Road to Revolution, and third part is basically Act II minus Astonishing which is more of a coda/epilogue, and frankly pretty unnecessary in my opinion.

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Offline CoT67

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #242 on: January 29, 2016, 03:48:14 AM »
I feel like Lord Nafaryus and Faythe were interpreted almost like some Disney characters, specifically Grand Vizier Jafar from Aladdin and Elsa from Frozen... from a certain point of view, it shows that they don't want to take themselves too seriously this time around, which is great by the way.
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Offline jayvee3

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #243 on: January 29, 2016, 03:54:21 AM »
I know many can often disregard shorter songs, hence why it's been barely mentioned, but wow - "The Answer' is a beautiful 1:53's worth  of music. Then it's like the 'full version' of it comes in and gets ramped up in Act II with 'Begin Again'. Brilliant. This is just a superb album.  :metal

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: *Official* The Astonishing discussion thread
« Reply #244 on: January 29, 2016, 03:56:10 AM »
Yes yes yes, absolutely! Narratively and musically, it really feels like 3 acts, and that's how I'm treating it basically. First part is Descent to Three Days, second part is Hovering Sojourn to Road to Revolution, and third part is basically Act II minus Astonishing which is more of a coda/epilogue, and frankly pretty unnecessary in my opinion.

Astonishing really seems unnecessary from the story POV, but if you imagine this as a real musical, Astonishing serves a purpose as the piece where the actors come back one by one to the stage to take their bow as the audience gives them a standing ovation. That is basically how the opening music of the song sounds like. Then the characters sing one by one, and ends in a chorus for the final bow before the curtain falls.