Author Topic: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.  (Read 76808 times)

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Offline bosk1

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1015 on: September 22, 2020, 12:23:13 PM »
That said, I like a point that MP had stated in 2002: that they never want to forget their core sound, while still allowing for experimentation by adding different elements to newer songs. To some degree, I think they may have strayed a bit too far with TA, but also with the inclusion of some of the "harsh" vocals that were being added at the end of MP's tenure. Otherwise, I think they've largely done a good job of sticking to that thought process.

I don't know that I'd agree that TA was straying from the core sound, but I'd otherwise agree with all of this.

I don't think they went too far with The Astonishing.

Yeah, I don't feel that it came close to deviating from their "core sound" either.  But here's the thing:  "too far" is entirely subjective.  And I highly suspect that if you asked JP or Mike Portnoy where exactly the line is, you would probably get different answers.  In other words, I'm not even sure the band members themselves at any point in time would have been exactly on the same page about what "straying too far from the core DT sound" would be, even though they may have agreed in concept.
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Offline PMA

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1016 on: September 22, 2020, 02:37:07 PM »
That said, I like a point that MP had stated in 2002: that they never want to forget their core sound, while still allowing for experimentation by adding different elements to newer songs. To some degree, I think they may have strayed a bit too far with TA, but also with the inclusion of some of the "harsh" vocals that were being added at the end of MP's tenure. Otherwise, I think they've largely done a good job of sticking to that thought process.

I don't know that I'd agree that TA was straying from the core sound, but I'd otherwise agree with all of this.

I don't think they went too far with The Astonishing.

Yeah, I don't feel that it came close to deviating from their "core sound" either.  But here's the thing:  "too far" is entirely subjective.  And I highly suspect that if you asked JP or Mike Portnoy where exactly the line is, you would probably get different answers.  In other words, I'm not even sure the band members themselves at any point in time would have been exactly on the same page about what "straying too far from the core DT sound" would be, even though they may have agreed in concept.

I too am in agreement that DT held to their core musical elements with TA even if the focus was on softer, more ballad type material to suit the story.  I am one of those who truly enjoyed TA and it just demonstrated (to me) that DT is talented enough to create something that might eventually show up on Broadway.  Story and some of the lyrics are a bit cheesy but rock operas (what I call this) generally are. 

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1017 on: September 22, 2020, 02:44:20 PM »
I think TA sounds totally like DT, the difference is that the songs are short and lean more to the softer side, but everything about it is DT IMO other than being a rock opera. 

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1018 on: September 22, 2020, 03:43:56 PM »
David Campbell's arrangements made the album more Soundtracky as well. The intro to Act of Faythe being the one I enjoy, and happens to be the one that sounds more like his arrangement style that JP went along with since it sounded perfect for Faythe, being the princess and all.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 03:50:02 PM by Ben_Jamin »
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Offline NoFred

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1019 on: September 22, 2020, 04:58:50 PM »
One thing that would have helped is if the opening few seconds of each track were more distinct. Not a problem for the opening and closing few tracks, but in the middle thereís a lot of slow starts - silence or piano keys - that make it hard to jump around by ear.

Working on an abridged version now, not looking for a coherent story just something I can get into (and through) without noticing.

Offline Lax

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1020 on: September 23, 2020, 02:08:54 AM »
Not here to troll or light a fire, I just came to a terrible conclusion about this album

On the pro side :
-Some strong DT moments, like the first time you hear dystopian overture and hope for six degrees genius to follow
-Some parts are gems and undeniable masterpieces, like heaven's cove
-The mix and master, plus the guest instruments are greatly sounding

On the con side :
-Dystopian romeo and juliette, the story isn't strong enough for me, so it raises the expectations of musical quality of the album
-Maybe inviting 1-2 other singers would have given more texture to the overall, like ayreon
-Too many quiet moments compared to the amount of narration

So I guess nowadays I listen maybe 30 minutes of the album and think it's suffering the following issue : It's emotion focused instead of story driven.
DT are the masters of emotions, you can nearly guess what the song is about without understanding the lyrics.
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1021 on: September 23, 2020, 07:00:10 AM »
I think TA sounds totally like DT, the difference is that the songs are short and lean more to the softer side, but everything about it is DT IMO other than being a rock opera.

TA sounds like DT not sounding like DT.  :lol
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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1022 on: November 16, 2020, 08:15:15 AM »
Here's what Ross Jennings from Haken recently said about TA:

Quote
I have huge admiration for Dream Theaterís 13th album, The Astonishing not least for itís hugely ambitious nature of fusing music, theater and science fiction literature, but indeed by inviting the listener into a whole universe of multimedia in order to consume their story, it is suddenly so much more than your average rock íní roll concept album.

As someone who also writes music and lyrics through a very visual perspective, I truly appreciated the layers that were packed into forming the concept, and anyone who cared to explore this world in details that transcend the music and lyrics were truly rewarded.

After all, The Astonishing is a difficult record to appreciate casually, and while itís not devoid of many signature Dream Theater musical traits, and contains a handful of really strong stand alone singles, it is, and must be approached as, a fully fledged piece of musical theater that demands the listener's time, effort and close attention. I always appreciate the record more with this in mind.

ďPeople just donít have the time for music any moreĒ was the ultimate statement here about how music is consumed in a modern age and with an album as involved and epic as The Astonishing, I feel it proved its own case in point.

Iíve always wondered if The Astonishing may have polarized the hardcore fanbase less had this been approached as a more collaborative project a la Ayreon or even if the focus had been steered more toward an elaborate stage production with a variety of actors, singers, props and pyro? Having said this, James LaBrie gets a special mention from me for his truly admirable performance and portrayal of various characters.

And as for the legacy this album will leave, I guess time will really tell. I still return to this album and discover new things to take away from the experience, and while at the point of release we all may have been expecting another Scenes from a Memory, time has allowed us to reflect upon and appreciate the versatility this band has at communicating concept albums in unique ways.

(https://loudwire.com/best-13th-albums-rock-metal-bands/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral)

I think this is spot on and I bolded the last part because it echoes something that I had been thinking about TA for a while. I think The Astonishing would've been far better received by the general fanbase if DT had made more concept albums throughout their career, before 2016. Let me explain: up until DT12, their only real concept album was SFAM, which is largely considered one of their best albums, if not their best. Then, announcing TA as another concept album inmediately brought up comparisons between it and SFAM, because it was the "standard" for DT concept albums. Had they made one or two more concept albums before TA, there wouldn't have been that much pressure to make an album that tops, or is in pair with, SFAM (which the band wasn't trying to do anyway, but fans' expectations surely went that road), as they would've been much more "common" in DT's catalog.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline Mladen

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1023 on: November 16, 2020, 08:29:00 AM »
It's always great to see someone appreciating The Astonishing.  :tup

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1024 on: November 16, 2020, 08:56:07 AM »
Here's what Ross Jennings from Haken recently said about TA:

Quote
I have huge admiration for Dream Theaterís 13th album, The Astonishing not least for itís hugely ambitious nature of fusing music, theater and science fiction literature, but indeed by inviting the listener into a whole universe of multimedia in order to consume their story, it is suddenly so much more than your average rock íní roll concept album.

As someone who also writes music and lyrics through a very visual perspective, I truly appreciated the layers that were packed into forming the concept, and anyone who cared to explore this world in details that transcend the music and lyrics were truly rewarded.

After all, The Astonishing is a difficult record to appreciate casually, and while itís not devoid of many signature Dream Theater musical traits, and contains a handful of really strong stand alone singles, it is, and must be approached as, a fully fledged piece of musical theater that demands the listener's time, effort and close attention. I always appreciate the record more with this in mind.

ďPeople just donít have the time for music any moreĒ was the ultimate statement here about how music is consumed in a modern age and with an album as involved and epic as The Astonishing, I feel it proved its own case in point.

Iíve always wondered if The Astonishing may have polarized the hardcore fanbase less had this been approached as a more collaborative project a la Ayreon or even if the focus had been steered more toward an elaborate stage production with a variety of actors, singers, props and pyro? Having said this, James LaBrie gets a special mention from me for his truly admirable performance and portrayal of various characters.

And as for the legacy this album will leave, I guess time will really tell. I still return to this album and discover new things to take away from the experience, and while at the point of release we all may have been expecting another Scenes from a Memory, time has allowed us to reflect upon and appreciate the versatility this band has at communicating concept albums in unique ways.

(https://loudwire.com/best-13th-albums-rock-metal-bands/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral)

I think this is spot on and I bolded the last part because it echoes something that I had been thinking about TA for a while. I think The Astonishing would've been far better received by the general fanbase if DT had made more concept albums throughout their career, before 2016. Let me explain: up until DT12, their only real concept album was SFAM, which is largely considered one of their best albums, if not their best. Then, announcing TA as another concept album inmediately brought up comparisons between it and SFAM, because it was the "standard" for DT concept albums. Had they made one or two more concept albums before TA, there wouldn't have been that much pressure to make an album that tops, or is in pair with, SFAM (which the band wasn't trying to do anyway, but fans' expectations surely went that road), as they would've been much more "common" in DT's catalog.

Well, I have been listening to many other concept albums before The Astonishing was released, so I knew what to expect. I read JP's descriptions and followed the album release, and understood right off the bat, this wasn't going to be anything remotely similar to how they portrayed their last concept album, SFAM. Other fans did expect another SFAM, because people hold SFAM highly, and immediately began making comparisons to it. Maybe, if the fans listened to more concept albums, and really comprehended what JP was saying, they would've understood and not had their Expectations set so high for another SFAM, basically they wanted another SFAM.

What Ross said, is exactly, pretty much, what I have been saying this entire time about The Astonishing. Particularly, these two quotes...

Quote
After all, The Astonishing is a difficult record to appreciate casually, and while itís not devoid of many signature Dream Theater musical traits, and contains a handful of really strong stand alone singles, it is, and must be approached as, a fully fledged piece of musical theater that demands the listener's time, effort and close attention. I always appreciate the record more with this in mind.

ďPeople just donít have the time for music any moreĒ was the ultimate statement here about how music is consumed in a modern age and with an album as involved and epic as The Astonishing, I feel it proved its own case in point.


Remember, it isn't a regular music album or a regular concept album. I imagine, the characters, the setting, the acting, and the music being played, all within a musical atmosphere. I have been to Operas, and I imagine that.

I just love how Ross agrees with the lyrics he quoted. Because that is the truth. If you take the time to dig into the concept and story, you would find how intricate, and rewarding, it can be to understand it all.
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Offline ThatOneGuy2112

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1025 on: November 16, 2020, 09:35:53 AM »
The Astonishing is my least favorite DT album by a considerable margin, but Ross' assessment of it is remarkably well-worded and fair, even to someone who doesn't really like the album much at all, and I totally understand the point of it being a difficult album to appreciate on its surface. For me, it came down to the fact that I simply didn't find the music on the album itself all that interesting. I felt the songwriting was weak, and that the story it had to tell was not very compelling. But I also recognize that it was an ambitious feat, what with the multi-media ventures surrounding it and the promotion leading to its release.

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1026 on: November 16, 2020, 09:52:58 AM »
The Astonishing is my least favorite DT album by a considerable margin, but Ross' assessment of it is remarkably well-worded and fair, even to someone who doesn't really like the album much at all, and I totally understand the point of it being a difficult album to appreciate on its surface. For me, it came down to the fact that I simply didn't find the music on the album itself all that interesting. I felt the songwriting was weak, and that the story it had to tell was not very compelling. But I also recognize that it was an ambitious feat, what with the multi-media ventures surrounding it and the promotion leading to its release.

How do you define weak songwriting, in this case of The Astonishing?

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Offline ThatOneGuy2112

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1027 on: November 16, 2020, 10:49:08 AM »
In short, I found that the instrumentals for most of the songs to be middling. None of the riffs or even many vocal melodies really stuck with me, and when it tried to go for something anthemic, it came with mixed results. Coupled with the onslaught of mid-paced ballad tracks one after the other, it resulted in what I felt to be a rather bloated tracklist. There are highlights for me, such as that groove that ends off A New Beginning, and Dystopian Overture has a lot of good moments too, but these highlights came few and far between for me.

Offline JRuless

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1028 on: November 16, 2020, 11:34:41 AM »
The Astonishing is my least favorite DT album by a considerable margin, but Ross' assessment of it is remarkably well-worded and fair, even to someone who doesn't really like the album much at all, and I totally understand the point of it being a difficult album to appreciate on its surface. For me, it came down to the fact that I simply didn't find the music on the album itself all that interesting. I felt the songwriting was weak, and that the story it had to tell was not very compelling. But I also recognize that it was an ambitious feat, what with the multi-media ventures surrounding it and the promotion leading to its release.

How do you define weak songwriting, in this case of The Astonishing?

Yeah, nothing wrong in stating that TA is not your cup of tea, fair enough. But to say that it is weak songwriting? I think that the songwriting skills on TA reaches a high level with recurring sections and interesting transitions. Take The X-Factor: the way the song changes from minor to major chording is very well done! I'm in the camp of liking TA as it is.

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1029 on: November 16, 2020, 12:31:09 PM »
In short, I found that the instrumentals for most of the songs to be middling. None of the riffs or even many vocal melodies really stuck with me, and when it tried to go for something anthemic, it came with mixed results. Coupled with the onslaught of mid-paced ballad tracks one after the other, it resulted in what I felt to be a rather bloated tracklist. There are highlights for me, such as that groove that ends off A New Beginning, and Dystopian Overture has a lot of good moments too, but these highlights came few and far between for me.

Cool  :tup

But, that doesn't mean the song writing is weak. It's just not what you expected it to be, and it wasn't to your preferences.

The Astonishing is my least favorite DT album by a considerable margin, but Ross' assessment of it is remarkably well-worded and fair, even to someone who doesn't really like the album much at all, and I totally understand the point of it being a difficult album to appreciate on its surface. For me, it came down to the fact that I simply didn't find the music on the album itself all that interesting. I felt the songwriting was weak, and that the story it had to tell was not very compelling. But I also recognize that it was an ambitious feat, what with the multi-media ventures surrounding it and the promotion leading to its release.

How do you define weak songwriting, in this case of The Astonishing?

 I think that the songwriting skills on TA reaches a high level with recurring sections and interesting transitions. Take The X-Factor: the way the song changes from minor to major chording is very well done! I'm in the camp of liking TA as it is.

I agree

For me, it's the mood. The way the songwriting enhances the mood of the characters. Especially, Faythe's Theme. The reason I feel, it's ballad heavy is due to Gabriel and Faythe being the main characters of the story. It revolves around them. And with the mood of the characters being shown through the music, Faythes Themes and Gabriels Themes are going to be the highlights and main focus of the music, The main Story revolves around those themes. Each character has their own Musical Theme, even Evangeline, and is intertwined within the Main Story Themes. And sometimes, the music sets the scene, As in the end of The Walking Shadow, where it goes silent and all you hear is the choir and Bass thump, that sets the scene for Faythes theme and Darrius' theme, where Faythe is in the dark forest area (It's a forest area because that's how it's topography is on the map), walking into Heaven's Cove, the Choir singing Faythes Theme there let's, us the audience, know this mysterious figure is Faythe through the music, while the Narrator narrates to us what happens, as we then hear the stabbing of Fatyhe, by her own brother.
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Offline Lax

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1030 on: November 17, 2020, 03:12:45 AM »
Honestly, the more time passes by the less I listen to TA (last years I was only listening to the middle of disk 2).
I like my DT very proggy and epic, so the album was supposed to get immediate praise from me.

There are definitely some genius songwriting moments, but at the end of the day the cons wins.
-Quiet songs are too folkish/cheesy
-There is no narrator and the limitation to one voice is FAR from Ayreon styled dialogs. I'm French and without the booklet it's hard to guess who is talking.
-Sounds like only JP and JR had fun and collaborated
-It's super long, some parts are just fillers. The build ups doesn't lead to epic explosive songs except some in disk 2 when people die.
-It's not an album you can share a listen with anybody.

Over time, I really have an issue with the identity of the album, I think it lacked a decisive choice like one of those :
1) Making it aimed to the mass : Easy songs, catchy themes and tunes.
2) Having several singers : That would have emphasized on the Broadway side of it
3) Making it heavier and proggy : A dystopian story played by such virtuosos should have become a staple with famous concept albums
4) Getting a director to bring the project upper

Honestly, it's what I felt watching Score, I was like "Metallica called Michael Kamen, this is not as good as S&M"

That was only about the astonishing, I'm still a hardcore fan of 60% of DT's work :D
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1031 on: November 17, 2020, 07:49:19 AM »
5 years later and I'm still totally, completely, absolutely, and utterly astonished.  ???  :yeahright  :|
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Offline MoraWintersoul

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1032 on: November 17, 2020, 09:29:32 AM »
The Astonishing is my least favorite DT album by a considerable margin, but Ross' assessment of it is remarkably well-worded and fair, even to someone who doesn't really like the album much at all, and I totally understand the point of it being a difficult album to appreciate on its surface.
Yeah, that's the catch. I like Ross and he has a point, but if an album itself makes a point that people won't like it because of *reasons* and people don't end up liking it, it's not always because of *reasons*. A two-hour DT album sounds fantastic to me. Hey, put Images and ACOS and the surplus material together and that's something I'd take two hours out of my life to listen to. But TA isn't that album, and they've made it kind of difficult to enjoy if you don't like the whole package, and so I skip it.

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, TWO YEARS On.
« Reply #1033 on: November 17, 2020, 06:23:52 PM »
The Astonishing is my least favorite DT album by a considerable margin, but Ross' assessment of it is remarkably well-worded and fair, even to someone who doesn't really like the album much at all, and I totally understand the point of it being a difficult album to appreciate on its surface.
Yeah, that's the catch. I like Ross and he has a point, but if an album itself makes a point that people won't like it because of *reasons* and people don't end up liking it, it's not always because of *reasons*. A two-hour DT album sounds fantastic to me. Hey, put Images and ACOS and the surplus material together and that's something I'd take two hours out of my life to listen to. But TA isn't that album, and they've made it kind of difficult to enjoy if you don't like the whole package, and so I skip it.


That is the risk.

But those of who do like the whole package, It's really....Astonishing.


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Offline Lupton

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1034 on: November 18, 2020, 11:34:39 AM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1035 on: November 18, 2020, 12:35:23 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

 :rollin :rollin

Sorry but I just find that funny. They did the same thing with Scenes From A Memory. At the end when Nicholas returns home, he goes into his house, which has no tile, but a dirt floor. The sound effect here sounds like someone walking on dirt. Also, the Wilhem Scream.

These are usually stock samples, or sounds that they happen to find somewhere. You could do them yourself, but it takes time to do actually go out, find the right sound you want, record it without any other noises, make sure it sounds good, and then you can put it in as a sample. With the band having deadlines to meet, they didn't have the time do that, and instead found the best samples they could find that best suited the sound and scene they wanted to convey.

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Offline pg1067

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1036 on: November 18, 2020, 12:45:53 PM »
Also, the Wilhem Scream.


Huh??  I mean, I know there's a "scream" at the end (although it's really just a startled reaction), but it's Nicholas.
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Offline WilliamMunny

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1037 on: November 18, 2020, 12:49:50 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

This. I couldn't agree more. I think that, given the prominence of said samples (I feel they work so much better on SFAM) along with (in my opinion) a convoluted, heavily derivitive storyline and a bunch of redundant songs makes this a 'bottom of the barrel) release for me.

I respect the band (and all the fans that dig it), but this is just such a miss (for me).

About a year ago I made a 'final' mix (after multiple listens) that amounted to all of 8 songs. Now, mind you, it's a super solid 40 minutes of music, and I enjoy it thoroughly, but I have no intentions of ever listening to this all the way through again.

All of that being said, I am so proud of the for digging deep this late into their career. Much respect.

Offline hunnus2000

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1038 on: November 18, 2020, 12:57:42 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

This. I couldn't agree more. I think that, given the prominence of said samples (I feel they work so much better on SFAM) along with (in my opinion) a convoluted, heavily derivitive storyline and a bunch of redundant songs makes this a 'bottom of the barrel) release for me.

I respect the band (and all the fans that dig it), but this is just such a miss (for me).

About a year ago I made a 'final' mix (after multiple listens) that amounted to all of 8 songs. Now, mind you, it's a super solid 40 minutes of music, and I enjoy it thoroughly, but I have no intentions of ever listening to this all the way through again.

All of that being said, I am so proud of the for digging deep this late into their career. Much respect.

DT has been using samples their entire career. From Awake to SDOIT. Hell even TOT so I don't understand the big deal - unless you just don't like TA in which case just say you don't like it. You would have much more credibility if you just said it. (My comments are meant for a wider audience in general and are not aimed at anyone in particular.)

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1039 on: November 18, 2020, 01:00:00 PM »
Also, the Wilhem Scream.


Huh??  I mean, I know there's a "scream" at the end (although it's really just a startled reaction), but it's Nicholas.

It's in Finally Free "Open Your Eyes, Victoria"
I don't know how they can be so proud of winning with them odds. - Little Big Man

"We can't rewrite history. We can learn our own history, and share it with other people. While, we learn, from them, their history." -Me,Myself,I

Offline WilliamMunny

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1040 on: November 18, 2020, 01:01:53 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

This. I couldn't agree more. I think that, given the prominence of said samples (I feel they work so much better on SFAM) along with (in my opinion) a convoluted, heavily derivitive storyline and a bunch of redundant songs makes this a 'bottom of the barrel) release for me.

I respect the band (and all the fans that dig it), but this is just such a miss (for me).

About a year ago I made a 'final' mix (after multiple listens) that amounted to all of 8 songs. Now, mind you, it's a super solid 40 minutes of music, and I enjoy it thoroughly, but I have no intentions of ever listening to this all the way through again.

All of that being said, I am so proud of the for digging deep this late into their career. Much respect.

DT has been using samples their entire career. From Awake to SDOIT. Hell even TOT so I don't understand the big deal - unless you just don't like TA in which case just say you don't like it. You would have much more credibility if you just said it. (My comments are meant for a wider audience in general and are not aimed at anyone in particular.)

Yeah man, I basically said just that. Respectfully, I might add. But, this being a forum, I feel entitled to expound upon 'why' I don't like it, hence the discussion.

Not sure how offering an explanation reduces one's credibility.

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1041 on: November 18, 2020, 01:03:46 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

This. I couldn't agree more. I think that, given the prominence of said samples (I feel they work so much better on SFAM) along with (in my opinion) a convoluted, heavily derivitive storyline and a bunch of redundant songs makes this a 'bottom of the barrel) release for me.

I respect the band (and all the fans that dig it), but this is just such a miss (for me).

About a year ago I made a 'final' mix (after multiple listens) that amounted to all of 8 songs. Now, mind you, it's a super solid 40 minutes of music, and I enjoy it thoroughly, but I have no intentions of ever listening to this all the way through again.

All of that being said, I am so proud of the for digging deep this late into their career. Much respect.

DT has been using samples their entire career. From Awake to SDOIT. Hell even TOT so I don't understand the big deal - unless you just don't like TA in which case just say you don't like it. You would have much more credibility if you just said it. (My comments are meant for a wider audience in general and are not aimed at anyone in particular.)


I agree...

More about The Astonishing. I still haven't finished that damn book.  :facepalm: :facepalm:

I don't know why. I read it, put it down, and then don't pick it back up again. I should really just do that now. Today will be Astonishing book for me. I really want to post more about the concept, but I need to read the book.  :lol :lol
I don't know how they can be so proud of winning with them odds. - Little Big Man

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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1042 on: November 18, 2020, 01:11:19 PM »
Also, the Wilhem Scream.


Huh??  I mean, I know there's a "scream" at the end (although it's really just a startled reaction), but it's Nicholas.
The Wilhelm Scream is the name of a stock scream sound effect.  It's been used in hundreds of films and TV shows.  My kids and I pick it out whenever we hear it.
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Online gzarruk

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1043 on: November 18, 2020, 01:23:40 PM »
I'm not the biggest fan of those stock sounds on TA, but I'd take them any day over the moaning in Home :eek
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline hunnus2000

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1044 on: November 18, 2020, 01:38:05 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

This. I couldn't agree more. I think that, given the prominence of said samples (I feel they work so much better on SFAM) along with (in my opinion) a convoluted, heavily derivitive storyline and a bunch of redundant songs makes this a 'bottom of the barrel) release for me.

I respect the band (and all the fans that dig it), but this is just such a miss (for me).

About a year ago I made a 'final' mix (after multiple listens) that amounted to all of 8 songs. Now, mind you, it's a super solid 40 minutes of music, and I enjoy it thoroughly, but I have no intentions of ever listening to this all the way through again.

All of that being said, I am so proud of the for digging deep this late into their career. Much respect.

DT has been using samples their entire career. From Awake to SDOIT. Hell even TOT so I don't understand the big deal - unless you just don't like TA in which case just say you don't like it. You would have much more credibility if you just said it. (My comments are meant for a wider audience in general and are not aimed at anyone in particular.)

Yeah man, I basically said just that. Respectfully, I might add. But, this being a forum, I feel entitled to expound upon 'why' I don't like it, hence the discussion.

Not sure how offering an explanation reduces one's credibility.

One man's dinner is another man's indigestion. I just think arguing that samples are going to make or break an album, is a pretty weak argument. Yes, one doesn't like what one doesn't like and I guess I'm saying that letting the samples they use, to determine whether you like a musical piece or not, is like saying that you don't like the brush strokes Van Gough used on A Starry Night so therefore I don't like the painting.

Seems short-sighted to me.

Offline Dublagent66

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1045 on: November 18, 2020, 02:34:17 PM »
I'm not the biggest fan of those stock sounds on TA, but I'd take them any day over the moaning in Home :eek

Oh, C'mon man.  Nothing's better than the sound of a woman moaning while she's getting plowed.  :biggrin:  :lol
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Offline NoFred

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1046 on: November 18, 2020, 03:00:01 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

This. I couldn't agree more. I think that, given the prominence of said samples (I feel they work so much better on SFAM) along with (in my opinion) a convoluted, heavily derivitive storyline and a bunch of redundant songs makes this a 'bottom of the barrel) release for me.

I respect the band (and all the fans that dig it), but this is just such a miss (for me).

About a year ago I made a 'final' mix (after multiple listens) that amounted to all of 8 songs. Now, mind you, it's a super solid 40 minutes of music, and I enjoy it thoroughly, but I have no intentions of ever listening to this all the way through again.

All of that being said, I am so proud of the for digging deep this late into their career. Much respect.

DT has been using samples their entire career. From Awake to SDOIT. Hell even TOT so I don't understand the big deal - unless you just don't like TA in which case just say you don't like it. You would have much more credibility if you just said it. (My comments are meant for a wider audience in general and are not aimed at anyone in particular.)

Yeah man, I basically said just that. Respectfully, I might add. But, this being a forum, I feel entitled to expound upon 'why' I don't like it, hence the discussion.

Not sure how offering an explanation reduces one's credibility.

One man's dinner is another man's indigestion. I just think arguing that samples are going to make or break an album, is a pretty weak argument. Yes, one doesn't like what one doesn't like and I guess I'm saying that letting the samples they use, to determine whether you like a musical piece or not, is like saying that you don't like the brush strokes Van Gough used on A Starry Night so therefore I don't like the painting.

Seems short-sighted to me.

I took the point being the quality of the samples on TA, not their inclusion. The sword fight in particular is late 90s Age of Empires fidelity. Iíd much rather have most of these songs without.

OTOH Homeís samples are just fine

Offline emtee

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1047 on: November 18, 2020, 03:16:31 PM »
I respect the band immensely for the sheer effort that went into it. However, after trying too many times to count, I have to accept that it is my least favorite DT album. While many people love James performance, I just can't get into it. Also, far too many uber slow sections, which isn't a bad thing if they hold my interest but on this album, they don't grab me or keep me interested.

Offline WilliamMunny

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1048 on: November 18, 2020, 05:49:20 PM »
Don't know how much this get commented on around here but...for me one of the worst aspects of this record was all the so called "foley" stuff. OTOH, before I listened to the Astonishing I didn't know that futuristic/neo-fuedal militias waged their battles by banging tin cups together. Nor did I realize that combat would involve so much consternated straining, or that the ground of the NeoAmericanEmpire consisted of so much squelchy (vaseline sown?) top soil. And of course, there's that mighty scream so powerful and heart-rending that it was said to pierce eardrums! And why would the royal family find it so fuckin' hilarious that they just lost their daughter at the hands of their son?

Overall, I find the sound FX on this release are on the "how could they have put this out without noticing this?" level of bad. A shame when someone puts so much effort and time into creating something and in the end something that seems like it would be a minor details ends up helping to pull the whole thing down several notches. It just takes me out of the story each time. My brain goes "I get what you're trying to do there. Bless."  It's like an underfunded student production.

This. I couldn't agree more. I think that, given the prominence of said samples (I feel they work so much better on SFAM) along with (in my opinion) a convoluted, heavily derivitive storyline and a bunch of redundant songs makes this a 'bottom of the barrel) release for me.

I respect the band (and all the fans that dig it), but this is just such a miss (for me).

About a year ago I made a 'final' mix (after multiple listens) that amounted to all of 8 songs. Now, mind you, it's a super solid 40 minutes of music, and I enjoy it thoroughly, but I have no intentions of ever listening to this all the way through again.

All of that being said, I am so proud of the for digging deep this late into their career. Much respect.

DT has been using samples their entire career. From Awake to SDOIT. Hell even TOT so I don't understand the big deal - unless you just don't like TA in which case just say you don't like it. You would have much more credibility if you just said it. (My comments are meant for a wider audience in general and are not aimed at anyone in particular.)

Yeah man, I basically said just that. Respectfully, I might add. But, this being a forum, I feel entitled to expound upon 'why' I don't like it, hence the discussion.

Not sure how offering an explanation reduces one's credibility.

One man's dinner is another man's indigestion. I just think arguing that samples are going to make or break an album, is a pretty weak argument. Yes, one doesn't like what one doesn't like and I guess I'm saying that letting the samples they use, to determine whether you like a musical piece or not, is like saying that you don't like the brush strokes Van Gough used on A Starry Night so therefore I don't like the painting.

Seems short-sighted to me.

Man, that Van Gogh, what a hack, am I right!  :P

Yeah, as far as the samples, I wasn't really hanging my hate on the samples, merely citing them as one of many issues I have with the record. All in all, I like the odd sample in my tunes.

Online cramx3

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Re: - " The Astonishing " - One Year -- er, FIVE YEARS On.
« Reply #1049 on: November 19, 2020, 12:55:19 PM »
Also, the Wilhem Scream.


Huh??  I mean, I know there's a "scream" at the end (although it's really just a startled reaction), but it's Nicholas.
The Wilhelm Scream is the name of a stock scream sound effect.  It's been used in hundreds of films and TV shows.  My kids and I pick it out whenever we hear it.

Wow, I mean, I knew there were sounds bites used over and over throughout different media, but I didn't know about this specific one, in so many of the movies I've seen.  This video has me cracking up right now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdbYsoEasio It makes me wonder if this is done to just add in an easily findable sound bite of a scream or if it's like a cult classic thing where it's added purposely just to have the Wilhelm Scream in the movie.