Author Topic: My thoughts on DT so far...  (Read 4176 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Lethean

  • Posts: 913
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #70 on: November 11, 2017, 10:04:54 AM »
It's amazing that someone can be so right about one thing (Six Degrees) and so wrong about another (Scarred, Voices, Black Clouds). Don't listen to Kattelox about the latter, even though he is dead on about Six Degrees. :)

From a god to god save me *still* gives me chills to this day. Goodnight Kiss into Solitary Shell is total brilliance. Disappear is hauntingly beautiful. And I love The Great Debate too.

Welcome to Dream Theater. :)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 10:59:33 AM by Lethean »

Offline Kattoelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 3322
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #71 on: November 11, 2017, 01:45:07 PM »
Lethean, you so know I am right. I only speak truth. :)

Offline KevShmev

  • EZBoard Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 27474
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #72 on: November 11, 2017, 01:49:09 PM »
Goodnight Kiss into Solitary Shell is total brilliance.

Agreed.  Even though I think the suite doesn't really flow when taking the whole thing into account as a single song (the first three songs are merely cross fades, rather than natural flows, and the end of Test and Solitary Shell sound like song endings), the way Goodnight Kiss flows into Solitary Shell is pretty damn amazing.  If I could count just two those as a single song, they'd probably be my 2nd favorite on the album behind Misunderstood.

Offline fadetoblackdude7

  • Posts: 1894
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #73 on: November 12, 2017, 10:40:40 AM »
Late to this thread, but welcome RKW! I'm happy that you did your research, and I can't really say anything that hasn't been said already!

Although I will say that if you haven't listened to The Astonishing yet, I would definitely save that one for last, given how ambitious/different it is from the rest of their catalogue!

Offline Lethean

  • Posts: 913
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #74 on: November 13, 2017, 09:21:41 AM »
Goodnight Kiss into Solitary Shell is total brilliance.

Agreed.  Even though I think the suite doesn't really flow when taking the whole thing into account as a single song (the first three songs are merely cross fades, rather than natural flows, and the end of Test and Solitary Shell sound like song endings), the way Goodnight Kiss flows into Solitary Shell is pretty damn amazing.  If I could count just two those as a single song, they'd probably be my 2nd favorite on the album behind Misunderstood.

I actually love the whole song, and don't have any issues with the way it flows. The whole thing works really well for me.

Offline RKW

  • Posts: 35
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #75 on: April 21, 2018, 08:04:18 AM »
Hi everyone! I'm sorry I did not take the time to post my thoughts while keeping on discovering others DT albums - I'm afraid I was too busy with other things. So anyway, I will try to remember the best I can my initial reactions to share them. 

Next album I listened to was, as planned, The Astonishing. There is a lot to say about this one. I knew I was going to try to dig it as much as possible despite all the controversial opinions because the simple fact that the band did such a bold move with it got me pretty confident. Now, I have to recognize it has some flaws. I admit I found myself thinking at some point "there are too many ballads". The pacing is sometimes a bit awkward and the fact that songs can sound the same (done on purpose of course) does not help during the first listening session. But at the same time I was not disappointed because there are a lot of surprises and 'wow' moments that are instantly noticeable. Dystopian Overture is absolutely great and the perfect way to start, and the way The Gift of Music follows right after gives me a kind of About to Crash vibe, which is awesome. Songs like Lord Nafaryus and Three Days feels so fresh for the band they are a real joy to listen to. A New Beginning is just such a theatrical song, I can perfectly visualize what is going on, and the ending solo is just sooo tasty it's hard to believe it! The most impressive thing on this album though is the way the band really wrote the music that goes with the story. First of all, the entire recurring themes thing is really well-done, it's almost like a game to try to spot in which songs this theme appears and why... From a compositional viewpoint, it's really, really impressive. And secondly, it really helps creating incredible moments like I have already mentioned. A track like A Savior in the Square does not make any sense if you are not aware of the context, why does it start so gently then goes on with trumpets before being more heavy and then ending once again softly? But when you know what's going on, it just feels completely right and spot-on! This is true for a lot of songs, but the ones that deserve the most praise in my opinion are Ravenskill, The Road to Revolution, The Path that Divides, The Walking Shadow and My Last Farewell. I especially love the way The Road to Revolution ends the first Act like a big "To be continued..." where the situation of every character is resumed. It was not really necessary to do because it doesn't drive the story forward, but if it had not been there it would have felt like something was missing. It shifts moods so naturally it's scary, plus the "road to revolution" theme may be my favorite off the album, so... yeah, I really find that one to be an underrated track. Perfect way to wrap up the first Act.

Now, as for the story itself, I understand it is kind of clichť, cheesy, whatever you want, and I agree, it's absolutely true. The ending is such a happy resolution it can get a bit ridiculous, especially considering character development (Nafaryus anyone?). The way the fight with swords in 2285, how it is completely unrealistic for such small-scale events to really change the state of things... really the point is not to take it that seriously. But it does not mean that when the album wants to get emotional it fails because it is hard to take seriously. When the tension builds in the second act and then explodes with a big twist with "The Path that Divides", I really feel completely drawn in and I feel what the story wants me to feel, just like a good concept album shall do. In some weird way, how the story is conveyed is just so good that even if the story itself is a bit awkward it does not hinder a lot; kind of the opposite compared to what happens with other concept albums, and to be honest, I prefer it this way - even though the best of all is to have both the really great story and the right way to put it into music.

In the end, I really love The Astonishing, even though I listened to it from one end to the other without any big pauses only twice. What I try to do is to listen to some strings of songs that kind of form a "scene" on their own, like from A Savior in the Square to Three Days, and it works well this way to keep on listening to it on a regular basis. I've also come to really appreciate all tracks, the slow ones which kind of interfered with my enjoyment the first time I now really like. Finally, a word on the sound: the production is great even though I know some complain about the drums (but they sound a bit like I&W, don't they?) and I love the way there is a LOT of piano and acoustic work, it is feels like a gentle "stream of sound" (best instance of this, the begininng of Ravenskill!). Finally James does a good job trying to portray all these characters even though for some it can be hard to tell who's who, but I really like what he did with Nafaryus. I just think there are some moments where he tries a bit too much, like Act of Faythe, where the instrumental ending bit is better for my ears!  :lol Anyway, enough said about the Astonishing, time to move onto the next record!

...Which is SFAM. Yeah, I guess I just wanted to keep on going with concept albums while I was at it. Now, what can I say? I perfectly understand why it is the favorite of a lot of people, I was just mind-blown by the creativity, the musicianship, all the different moods... Each track is a classic. The emotional impact is big. What I can tell I remember the most from my first listening session is how I was NOT prepared for Finally Free. At all. You know, after the enlightened conclusion brought by TSCO, I was expecting it to be the last epic track which feels glorious to go on with Nicholas finally feeling at peace with himself, and the title seemed to suggest that. Then I heard those bright arpeggios and was like "yeah this is it, epic happy ending"... but... then... something stranged happened... in a subtle and yet fascinating manner, the air arround me started to feel colder... and I could not move and was not even premitted to think about what was happening to me... then I heard the piano coming in and took a look at the lyrics booklet and went completely "oh my god"... then everything felt completely surreal 'till the end... and the words "finally free" got a completely new meaning in my mind... Yeah I know I am exaggerating a bit, but really, this is something I'm not soon to forget. Might be my favorite track just because of that...

I don't really know what else to add about SFAM, when I wrote so much for the Astonishing in comparison, sorry if you would have liked more detailed thoughts. So I will continue with the next one...

Octavarium. This one really feels like more like a collection of songs like Systematic Chaos, the big difference being that they flow much better into each other than they do on SC. Well, it was done on purpose of course, to go with the theme of the album. I really like the heavier songs, TROAE does a great job as an opener and as a part of the 12-step Suite, being more concise than the others. The references to TDS are great and the chorus is one of the most tasty DT has done, with the guitar doing this kind of distorted effect behind, this "I am ready" bit really is unique. Also, already knowing the Octavarium song, I can tell you I was surprised by the ending! Panic Attack really conveys well the feeling of urgency it describes and the Muse-influenced part that comes in the second half is really well-done, it is incredible to hear JLB sing this way. However, I feel that the influence really goes too a bit too far on Never Enough - I don't know the Muse songs it was most probably inspired by, but even without that I can tell it does not feel as natural as Panic Attack... still sounds absolutely great and interesting to listen to, but it is one I will most probably only hear whenI give the whole album a spin. Now, you must wonder what I think of I Walk Beside You which is also heavily influenced? Well, I do like it, it is a fine little song with really simple melodies but where you can tell the band is confident with the mood they're aiming for and JLB does a great job, especially on the last chorus. The only part I like less is the bridge where the "oooh"s feel a bit forced. Now, I would like to speak about the other ballad, The Answer Lies Within, which I find really wonderful. It is also simple and straight-to-the-point (I don't know how Portnoy managed to restrain himself so much for a whole song!) but the chemistry really works for me. I just find it really inspiring and it was a totally unexpected grower for me. These Walls is another song I was pleasantly surprised with, the verses are wonderful with this hit-hat work going on and the smooth keyboard, whereas the rest of the song really has a great more energetic vide. And I really like the lyrics. Finally, Sacrificed Sons is the classic 10-minute DT song with an instrumental break in the middle and JLB totally owns it, he's absolutely stellar to convey this feeling of tension, oppresion and sadness at the same time. The orchestra really adds to the intensity and overall it really is that: an intense song. It took time to grow on me as well.

Overall, a really great album where the band really focuses less on technique apart from some moments. It was one that clearly had to grow on me, but now I find that it is one of their most balanced, well thought-out, regular album, a little breather between ToT and SC. It is great to listen to it as a whole and end with the glorious title track. Now, the last one I've listened to so far is...

Black Clouds and Silver Linings. I got it last week, so it is still fresh in my mind. I find that it kind of fills in the shoes of the most "classic" DT album and most representative of what they are overall. That's what struck me the most upon first listening. It clearly was not one that surprised me that much now that I am used to their sound, but it still high-quality. ANTR is one of those songs that feels like 100% trademark DT but at the same time that has its own caracteristics, its own flavour, still making it unique in the whole discography. The same goes for TBOT and TCOT and those two are really, really beautiful, I think they could be a great introduction to the band. Once again, it's like completely classic but really inspired, with absolutely wonderful melodies. AROP and Wither are the two more simple songs and they are great at doing their own respective job, even though after being pleasantly surprised by the catchiness of the chorus of AROP, the one of Wither disappointed me a bit. Finally, I really liked how TSF concluded the 12 Step-Suite and I tried to catch as much references as I could. Some transitions could have been better but I still really dig it, it may be my second favorite of the suite, at least because those last two steps are really, really awesome! I am a fan of the "I am responsible" part, the way JLB sings it is incredible, "I am res-PON-sible!'  :metal Also, the reprise that really surprised me the most and that I find absolutely incredible is the one from TDS "time to break through the prison wall" section - I was really glad they chose to re-use that one because it is one of my favorite parts of the suite and it appeared only once, and they arranged it in such a brillant way that it really feels fresh and new.

So, here's what I had to say about those 4 albums, I wish I had done a post for each one as soon as I could after listening to it for the first time, like I did for SDOIT. I hope this thread is still relevant - but if not I can understand, there are individual ones for each album after all and it's not as though I had been really active on DTF sharing my DT experience. Anyway, I will try to post more regularly if possible, and I'll try to write my thoughts on the next album I get as soon as I can (it should be Awake unless I change my mind) so that I don't end up writing such a long post like this one once again when I have listened to the whole discohraphy, it takes waaaay too much time!  :rollin


Offline Lethean

  • Posts: 913
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #76 on: April 21, 2018, 06:59:08 PM »
I enjoyed reading your thoughts.  :)  What is your favorite album so far?  (Totally fine if you can't pick just one).

Very happy to see that you enjoyed The Astonishing and Scenes from a Memory so much - two albums that I really love as well.  And I completely agree with you about the "I am responsible" part of The Shattered Fortress. :)

Did you have any thoughts/issues with the lyrics to The Count of Tuscany?  I've never liked them that much, and yet, it's a case for me of the music being *so* good that it completely overrides the lyrics for me.

Offline RKW

  • Posts: 35
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #77 on: April 22, 2018, 02:23:51 AM »
My favorite album at the moment would be either SFAM or Six Degrees, but it's really hard to choose...

Regarding the lyrics of The Count of Tuscany, as I always take the time to sit down with the booklet, I really chose to follow it like a story. When I realized where it was heading, and when the ending came, it was the kind of twist which made me smile, I was like "it's pretty humorous, it changes from the usual 'epics' ". So perfectly fine with me, it ain't anything poetic for sure but I like how Petrucci chose to go down that 'odd' direction, for me it was also part of the surprise of the song as well as the music, so 100% proggy I would say!  ;) But yeah I listen to Ayreon on a regular basis so I may be biased on that... Still, I suspect that the encounter between JP and the count did not really happen this way, it's too much of a ridiculous misundestanding. I see him better having a good time with the guy and then say something like"Man thank you for what you've shown me, I may write about you in one of our songs one day!"  :D I can understand why the lyrics could bother some people though because they feel like they don't belong with the almost too beautiful music which deserved more than 'this'... but I have already Illumination Theory structured in a similar way if I want that, so I don't mind. Yeah, really cool lyrics, different from the usual.

Offline Kattoelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 3322
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #78 on: April 22, 2018, 06:18:21 AM »
The decision will become easier with time. Clearly SDOIT is the band's magnum opus...

Glad you're enjoying the band so much dude. I love reading thoughts from enthustiastic new fans who are just loving the music. Makes me wish I could go all the way back and experience the band for the first time.

Offline gzarruk

  • Posts: 1406
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #79 on: April 22, 2018, 08:36:58 AM »
The decision will become easier with time. Clearly SDOIT is the band's magnum opus...

Glad you're enjoying the band so much dude. I love reading thoughts from enthustiastic new fans who are just loving the music. Makes me wish I could go all the way back and experience the band for the first time.

Agree with all of this :tup
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline TAC

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 27872
  • Gender: Male
  • Just a decent, normal metal-head fellow
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #80 on: April 22, 2018, 08:53:26 AM »

Black Clouds and Silver Linings.   The same goes for TBOT and TCOT and those two are really, really beautiful, I think they could be a great introduction to the band. Once again, it's like completely classic but really inspired, with absolutely wonderful melodies.

I feel that these two songs are two of Dream Theater's finest, and they both sit in my DT Top 15.


I am a fan of the "I am responsible" part, the way JLB sings it is incredible, "I am res-PON-sible!'  :metal

I love this part too. The ending to TSF. I don't love the song that much with all of the reusing of old stuff, but sometimes I think of the individual reliving everything he's been through and THEN coming to the realization that he is "responsible", I find it makes a little more sense. Not sure if that's how it was intended or not.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline Lethean

  • Posts: 913
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #81 on: April 22, 2018, 10:48:47 AM »
My favorite album at the moment would be either SFAM or Six Degrees, but it's really hard to choose... 

Those two are my favorites as well. :) Although after two years I might be ready to throw The Astonishing into that mix too.

Quote
Regarding the lyrics of The Count of Tuscany, as I always take the time to sit down with the booklet, I really chose to follow it like a story. When I realized where it was heading, and when the ending came, it was the kind of twist which made me smile, I was like "it's pretty humorous, it changes from the usual 'epics' ". So perfectly fine with me, it ain't anything poetic for sure but I like how Petrucci chose to go down that 'odd' direction, for me it was also part of the surprise of the song as well as the music, so 100% proggy I would say!  ;) But yeah I listen to Ayreon on a regular basis so I may be biased on that... Still, I suspect that the encounter between JP and the count did not really happen this way, it's too much of a ridiculous misundestanding. I see him better having a good time with the guy and then say something like"Man thank you for what you've shown me, I may write about you in one of our songs one day!"  :D I can understand why the lyrics could bother some people though because they feel like they don't belong with the almost too beautiful music which deserved more than 'this'... but I have already Illumination Theory structured in a similar way if I want that, so I don't mind. Yeah, really cool lyrics, different from the usual.

That's cool. :) I like that approach.  I kinda got to that point as well, but it was only because I think the song is so good musically.  Now I kinda laugh, in a positive way, at "now wait a minute man," whereas at first I found it more cringey.

Offline RKW

  • Posts: 35
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #82 on: April 22, 2018, 01:01:43 PM »
I feel that these two songs are two of Dream Theater's finest, and they both sit in my DT Top 15.

Completely agree, the music here is just plain beautiful. It is too early for me to speak about a top 15 though, but I'm curious what's yours, if you don't mind?

I love this part too. The ending to TSF. I don't love the song that much with all of the reusing of old stuff, but sometimes I think of the individual reliving everything he's been through and THEN coming to the realization that he is "responsible", I find it makes a little more sense. Not sure if that's how it was intended or not.

I get that feeling two, but surprisingly TSF is starting to get a lot of appreciation from me even though I was not expecting it because it is such this kind of medley-thing and some transitions felt a bit too abrupt at first. I'm now starting to find it flows really well and covers all the ground of the 12-Step suite in term of mood and that all of the motives reused are really awesome and not just simply 'put in there'... I don't know, it might be my nį1 or 2 of the suite at the moment.

Those two are my favorites as well. :) Although after two years I might be ready to throw The Astonishing into that mix too.

I think TA is right behind those two for me!




Offline TAC

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 27872
  • Gender: Male
  • Just a decent, normal metal-head fellow
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #83 on: April 22, 2018, 01:25:13 PM »
I feel that these two songs are two of Dream Theater's finest, and they both sit in my DT Top 15.

Completely agree, the music here is just plain beautiful. It is too early for me to speak about a top 15 though, but I'm curious what's yours, if you don't mind?

Something like this:


1. Learning To Live
2. Octavarium
3. Scarred
4. The Killing Hand (LATM version)
5. Space Dye Vest
6. Take The Time
7. Through My Words/Fatal Tragedy
8. Breaking All Illusions
9. The Count Of Tuscany
10. A Change Of Seasons
11. Disappear
12. Lost Not Forgotten
13. The Best Of Times
14. Outcry
15. Endless Sacrifice
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline KevShmev

  • EZBoard Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 27474
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #84 on: April 22, 2018, 01:32:12 PM »
I loved Black Clouds... a lot when it was first out, and while I don't think it's fair to say it hasn't aged well, it still sits as my 2nd least favorite DT record.

I am still trying to wrap my head around where I would rank The Astonishing, but I think 5th or 6th still sounds about right.  The top 3 are set in stone - Awake, Images and Words and Scenes from a Memory - and 6DOIT has 4th place locked down.

Offline RKW

  • Posts: 35
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #85 on: April 22, 2018, 01:40:53 PM »
Something like this:


1. Learning To Live
2. Octavarium
3. Scarred
4. The Killing Hand (LATM version)
5. Space Dye Vest
6. Take The Time
7. Through My Words/Fatal Tragedy
8. Breaking All Illusions
9. The Count Of Tuscany
10. A Change Of Seasons
11. Disappear
12. Lost Not Forgotten
13. The Best Of Times
14. Outcry
15. Endless Sacrifice

Wow, I'm kinda surprised to see the Take the Time here and that ES is your favorite song from Train of Thought. Good to see LtL number 1 though instead of ACOS! ;)

Offline TAC

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 27872
  • Gender: Male
  • Just a decent, normal metal-head fellow
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #86 on: April 22, 2018, 01:46:27 PM »
Wow, I'm kinda surprised to see the Take the Time here and that ES is your favorite song from Train of Thought. Good to see LtL number 1 though instead of ACOS! ;)

Love TTT. Always have. Seems I forgot Metropolis Pt1. 

I had ES a lot higher, but the ADTOE tracks have jumped ahead of it. ES is such a great live song, and I am a huge fan of the instrumental section. My second fave is This Dying Soul, which is still Top 20, but it has also been a bit displaced by the ADTOE tracks.


I loved Black Clouds... a lot when it was first out, and while I don't think it's fair to say it hasn't aged well, it still sits as my 2nd least favorite DT record.

I'm just not sure where to put it. I could not live without TBOT & TCOT, so using the desert isle test, I'd have to take it over a half of their other albums, yet, I probably wouldn't rate it as high. I'm not in love with anything else on the album.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline Kattoelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 3322
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #87 on: April 22, 2018, 03:00:53 PM »
TTT will forever hold a special place in my heart. Nothing else on I&W sounds like it, and when I first got into DT, that was the first album I checked out (after hearing A Change of Seasons), and there have been very few songs that blew my mind the way TTT did. And it still sounds so unique in their catalogue, it has this cool, confident groove, every second of that song is fantastic. And James is a big part of it: nails every note, every syllable!

Offline fadetoblackdude7

  • Posts: 1894
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #88 on: April 22, 2018, 05:53:41 PM »
RKW, which albums have you not heard yet?

Offline RKW

  • Posts: 35
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #89 on: April 22, 2018, 10:53:43 PM »
RKW, which albums have you not heard yet?

WDADU, Awake, FII and ADTOE (even though I already know two songs from this one).

Offline fadetoblackdude7

  • Posts: 1894
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #90 on: April 22, 2018, 11:23:28 PM »
RKW, which albums have you not heard yet?

WDADU, Awake, FII and ADTOE (even though I already know two songs from this one).

All of those are great albums, although I consider WDADU to be their weakest by far (for obvious reasons). Hope you enjoy them!!

Offline RKW

  • Posts: 35
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #91 on: May 09, 2018, 12:30:39 PM »
So I've received Awake today, and had the time to listen to it twice so far, I'm currently listening through it for a third time.

And to be honest, I feel like I am a bit disappointed, something that had not really happened so far. It's kind of hard to explain, but it feels "off" for the most part. The first three songs feel like they have some interesting bits but are overall just bland, the chorus are a really weak point, I mean I'm hearing the chorus of Innocence Faded right now and it just feels forced to me, like they put one because they had to, even though I obviously know it wasn't the case. JLB singing also seems weird to me, like trying to reach that "edgy" sound they sometimes have now but without reaching its goal ; and when he goes with his more classical singing like I&W it doesn't feel as passionate.

Now I was looking forward to this album "big songs", and the mind beside itself suite feels like it their worst strings of connected songs, erotomania being the worst instrumental I've heard so far. My first thought when it started was "wait, it sounds like that little ACOS section that is one I always thought didn't fit and should have not been included..." and it keeps on going giving me the same vibe. Even when it tries to get more emotional near the end, somehow, I don't feel it, like the keyboards which should provide atmosphere are a bit buried behind the drums. Voices does sound more interesting and I hope it will be a grower. The others songs 'till Scarred I don't know what to think of them yet, they have failed to really draw my attention even though I was doing nothing but listening completely focused. Oh, I remember thinking LSOA sounded rather great. Scarred is another one I hope will be a grower, for now I've noticed interesting ideas like the beginnng and the end, kind of obvious, but I still feel like it wants to create something unique but does not really reach its original vision. Space-Dye Vest is at least the one I surely liked, it feels like a really great closer, has a real sad vibe I was expecting due to its reputation, still I wished the piano (I guess it's keyboard?) sounded better, it deserves a more grandiose and less "cheap" feel.

Overall, I am kind of surprised, but not in a good way... I know it has still to grow on me and I sincerely hope it will, but man a song like CIAW is probably my least enjoyed DT song so far, and one I don't feel like listening to again, which never happened till now. DT has alaways had some songs I have to be in the right mood to listen to, but this doesn't even seem to be one of them. The production, even though from an objective point of view it sounds great, feels completely cold and even the great moments here and there are not on par with the listening experience I expect of DT partly because of it. I feel that the best vocals from JLB here are his soft ones, but it feels like they are "distant" and you kind of have to struggle to hear them because they are on the same level as the instruments.

In the end, it feels like a debut album to me, and since I&W was really great (even though it had some of the things that Awake suffers from, but in a negligible proportion), I was not expecting that from an album that came after! (except FII but it seems that one did not end up like the band wanted it because of the label). It has some good parts, not awsome ones, but also what I find to be a lot of filler right now. It's like the band had this vision for this dark, moody, completely unique, otherworldly, sometimes more classic and fun album but failed to reach it. And that's something I did not thought was going to happen, because so far, no matter what the "vision" they had in mind for a song was, I always found that, in the end that, they pulled it right or at least the best they could, and were always like creating songs that are more like true compositions you have to respect despite what you may think of it... I don't know if you understand what I mean... I hope I will one day draw the same conclusion from Awake, but right now it don't see it coming, especially for the first part of the album.

I know some of you here really love that album so I hope you won't be disappointed by my initial thoughts, what I can promise you for sure is that I will keep on listening anyway to have a more firm grasp of this album. It seems I'm just the kind who wants to really have a detailed opinion of these kind of things I guess!

Offline Kattoelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 3322
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #92 on: May 09, 2018, 12:54:14 PM »
Nothing wrong with different opinions! I for one like a lot of Awake, but sometimes think James's inflection and delivery are too obnoxious and over-the-top. I also think Voices and Scarred are two of DT's worst songs, so I'm in the minority there. It's fun to read your thoughts on the albums. Awake has this distinctly 90s vibe to it, not even Falling Into Infinity has it, and I can't really describe what it is. The sound makes me think of dirty city streets on a cloudy, slightly rainy day. Not sure why, but that's what the whole album makes me think of. I kind of like that.

It's nice to hear you like Space-Dye Vest a lot. One of my favorite DT tunes. :)

Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #93 on: May 09, 2018, 12:57:39 PM »
I would recommend Live At Budokan. TOT was brand new and they really featured and expanded the songs on that album.

Offline pg1067

  • Posts: 893
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #94 on: May 09, 2018, 02:00:09 PM »
So I've received Awake today, and had the time to listen to it twice so far, I'm currently listening through it for a third time.

It's interesting, I think, to hear/read someone else's reactions to these albums out of order.

Keep in mind that, when Awake was released, most folks had only heard I&W.  I don't remember when I first got WDADU in relation to Awake, but it wasn't really available where I live (Southern California) until after I&W was released.  On the other hand, you wrote a couple weeks ago that you had heard everything other than WDADU, Awake, FII and ADTOE.

As best I can recall, I really like 6:00 and Caught in a Web right out of the gate.  I've never liked Innocence Faded.  It's easily my least favorite song on Awake, and probably a bottom 10 DT song.  In my view, it was a bad effort to write a "hit single."  It took me quite a while to really wrap my arms around A Mind Beside Itself.  Erotomania was only DT's second instrumental, and I think it compares favorably to Ytse Jam, although I agree that it was eclipsed by most or all of the later instrumentals (which you were already familiar with).  The Silent Man is good, but nothing special.  Only after a number of years did I really embrace Voices -- and, by extension, the entirety of AMBI.  For me, the second half of the album starts out with two huge duds, but LSoaD is a REALLY cool song, and Scarred is a top ten DT song.  SDV is cool, but it's certainly an outlier among DT songs (for obvious reasons if you know the story behind it).  Like you, I remember feeling like the keys took too much of a backseat on the album, but I can see how it could be off-putting to someone listening to the albums out of order.

I can only imagine how disappointing you'll find FII to be!  ;-)
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung

Offline gzarruk

  • Posts: 1406
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #95 on: May 09, 2018, 03:03:29 PM »
My opinions on Awake have changed a lot over the years. Some years ago, I would rank it in my top 3 DT albums, but now I find more things I donít like about it than I did back then. TSM is one of my least favorite DT songs, and itís not a matter of it being an acoustic, because I love Wait of Sleep, for example, but it just doesnít click with me.

Innocence Faded feels disjointed and itís not a song I want to listen too often. The Mirror is good, but I think itís overrated, Lie is much much better, but people usually prefer TM.  SDV is cool, but I donít think itís the best song to close the album with.

The real highlights for me are LSOAD, Scarred and Voices. The rest of the songs are great, but donít reach the level of the 3 I just mentioned.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline Peter Mc

  • Posts: 172
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #96 on: May 09, 2018, 06:49:28 PM »
I remember buying Awake after hearing Images & Words and ACOS and I actually returned it and got my money back.  When Falling Into Infinity was finally released, and I enjoyed it, I went back and bought Awake again and loved it.  I can understand a bad reaction to the album though as I had a bad reaction as well at first.

Offline Dream Team

  • Posts: 2960
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #97 on: May 09, 2018, 07:19:22 PM »
I had the exact same reaction to Awake as I had previously only heard Images. Since then it has moved up and then back down in my rankings, and Lifting Shadows is about the only song Iíd go out of my way to listen to.

Offline fadetoblackdude7

  • Posts: 1894
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #98 on: May 09, 2018, 11:15:32 PM »
I was disappointed with Awake when I first heard it all those years ago. But over time, the beauty and passion of that record came to life for me all of a sudden. I love it now, such an amazing album!

Offline RKW

  • Posts: 35
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #99 on: May 10, 2018, 06:00:09 AM »
It's interesting to read your different opinions! I gave the album a few more spins and here's what I think now, you will see it has not changed that much:

I'm starting to like Voices better, it's probably the best song after SDV, but it's still weaker than most of their material. Erotomania is also growing on me even though I still find that it sounds to similar to a section of ACOS in the beginning and that there are unmemorable moments. The same goes for the middle section of Scarred where I find the riff to be a bit like one in ACOS and I'm not really fond of it. The song is rather good though, the "how come" section is the best, there is a good guitar solo near the end, but apart from that I still find it a bit bland, the riffs, the chorus, it doesn't do anything special for me. LSOA is definitely also a highlight there, but I still find that it could have somewhat been better, but maybe that's just really due to the production.

6:00 is just okay, the vocal delivery is still bugging me though. IF has a lot of great ideas but the chorus just ruins everything, and the instrumental section at the end just feels kind of there, it had the potential to be a great song but failed. The duo The Mirror/Lie is pretty interesting but doesn't feel like it gets anywhere, there are some great instrumental bits though like the SDV reprise I noticed. CIAW and TSM are the worst I've heard of DT. TSM just has one interesting vocal line, but I really don't understand how JP ever thought this was going to be a good song and a good conclusion to a 20-minute string of songs. CIAW intro is enough to turn me off, it just does not sound good, at all.

Overall, the second half of the album starting with Erotomania is obviously better, but it still sounds like a demo album to me, sounding all kinda the same, with ideas thrown here and there, some great, some a bit lame, and trying to make it all stick together without a clear direction. It does not feel as professional from a songwriting point of view as the rest of their discography, at least from what I know. The 90s feel itself does not bug me because I also find that I&W has it, but here it only works from time to time.

I can only imagine how disappointing you'll find FII to be!  ;-)

Well I don't intend to buy it, like I don't think I will get WDADU. I will still give it a listen obvisouly because it seems there are some memorable songs nonetheless. I am already expecting it to be pretty disappointing according to the general opinion, but the background of that album at least gives it some extenuating circumstances.

Offline Kattoelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 3322
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #100 on: May 10, 2018, 07:12:20 AM »
CIAW's beginning has always sounded off to me, there's something about the way the keyboard melody rises and falls the way it does that isn't satisfying to me. That said, I've come to enjoy it over time - maybe you will too, but it's fine if you don't  :) I love the rest of that song. Shame you don't like 6:00, that's one of my favorite DT songs ever with a killer chorus (imo). That's one of the songs where James's delivery is perfect to me, so it's interesting to read the opposite from someone who's hearing it for the first time(s).

Offline Lethean

  • Posts: 913
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #101 on: May 10, 2018, 09:28:37 AM »
I really enjoy reading about your discovery of the band, RKW.  I'm glad you've found them and I remember how great it was when I found them for myself.

Awake is one of my favorite DT albums, but it definitely did take some time to grow on me.  The vocals especially because his singing was different from what I'd gotten used to with Scenes.  But as I kept listening my feelings changed.

Offline bosk1

  • Bow down to Boskaryus
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4077
  • Shopping Cart Apologist
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #102 on: May 10, 2018, 09:46:16 AM »
TSM just has one interesting vocal line, but I really don't understand how JP ever thought this was going to be a good song and a good conclusion to a 20-minute string of songs.

I take it you aren't a fan of Yes then, or else the connection and the reason for doing a song like that to conclude the suite would be obvious.

For me, Awake was a unique sort of animal.  Like you, I discovered it later.  But not THAT later.  It was in late 2001, maybe early 2002.  I had I&W since '92, but wasn't a HUGE fan.  DT pretty much dropped off the map for me until SFAM.  So at this point, I had I&W, SFAM, and LSFNY.  I bought Awake and FII at the same time and listened to both.  FII was offputting at the time (although it would really grow on me).  I liked the songs on Awake, but the production was very dry and different, and it took me awhile to adjust.  I immediately liked 6:00, The Mirror, and Lie.  I did NOT like IF, CIAW, and Scarred, although Scarred would later become a top 10 song for me.  Scarred and The Mirror are easily my two favorites from the album.  But Scarred took awhile to click.  A Big part of that was the REALLY abrupt transitions.  Once I got over that, I began to appreciate all the other great stuff that is going on in that song.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline pg1067

  • Posts: 893
  • Gender: Male
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #103 on: May 10, 2018, 10:13:24 AM »
TSM just has one interesting vocal line, but I really don't understand how JP ever thought this was going to be a good song and a good conclusion to a 20-minute string of songs.

I take it you aren't a fan of Yes then, or else the connection and the reason for doing a song like that to conclude the suite would be obvious.

Interesting...I'm a huge Yes fan and any connection between TSM as the concluding section in AMBI never occurred to me.  What are you getting at with this?
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung

Offline geeeemo

  • Posts: 42
Re: My thoughts on DT so far...
« Reply #104 on: May 10, 2018, 11:45:50 AM »
How exciting for you to be discovering DT! I too am very recently there. It has been 2 years and 4 months, and this Mother's Day will be my 2 year anniversary of seeing them for the 1st time. I have been to 3 concerts and 1 G3 :heart

I discovered DT mostly on Spotify as I was coming back into music after being totally into my mom thing and was wrapped up in pirates :yarr, kings, baseball, soccer and homework. Great days. But my new great days have been listening to this band!

After the initial discovery, I noticed my hubby had awake in the CD tower. I plopped it in and wondered, "who the hell is singing?".  It took a bit to grow, although I really liked Voices and the Mirror right away.  A quite a bit later discovery - just had to get past the opening sounds which I wasn't used to with DT yet - was 6:00! What a cool and groovy song.  One of my faves to be sure.

I see you haven't tried ADTOE, which has now become my favorite! lol! I have had several favorites along the way, as when I first listen (SFAM!) I cannot get enough! But for now anyway, I have settled here. I Love Every Song. The ones I kinda went 'Meh" at first I gave more time to and then, just oh..Far From Heaven makes me cry - I learned from an interview it is about how a child feels inside when parents have their own expectations. I wondered about my kids.....And so on..

Now I have pretty much learned all the albums (not so much WDADU, because I need JLB). I have just in the last couple of months been able to listen to other bands, but I still really only love DT at this point.  I am sooo excited to wait for the first album from them to be new to the world and to me at the same time! I love all their stuff - even FII - it's all so different, and yet so only DT.