Author Topic: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album  (Read 6230 times)

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Offline Stewie

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2018, 11:54:34 AM »
I agree with a whole lot of that post, Stewie, and I appreciate that you took the time to write at such length.

Iím glad someone else here can identify with my sentiments! I know Iíve read other similar opinions before, so Iím not the only one.
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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2018, 12:32:22 PM »
I love DTF, where every fan's opinion is projected on to the band members as their motivation for writing a song/album.

Well, I do have an opinion, and was just sharing it along with everyone else. No, I can't say for certain as far as the band's intentions, obviously. I was just sharing how it came across to me. I'm sorry my opinion wasn't expressed to your liking :)

No, it's all good, Stewie. I should have mentioned that agree with much of what you wrote. Except, I like the metal aspects of the band. Opinions are all part of the charm of DTF.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2018, 12:42:47 PM »
I agree with a whole lot of that post, Stewie, and I appreciate that you took the time to write at such length.

I’m glad someone else here can identify with my sentiments! I know I’ve read other similar opinions before, so I’m not the only one.

I understand the sentiment behind what you wrote even if I subjectively disagree with much of what you wrote.  The only thing I will push back on just a bit is the perhaps unintentional implication that taking fans' expectations or the band's prior history/patterns into account might be incompatible with artistic integrity.  I think that, by and large, the band ARE writing how they want to write. 
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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2018, 12:45:01 PM »
I agree with a whole lot of that post, Stewie, and I appreciate that you took the time to write at such length.

Iím glad someone else here can identify with my sentiments! I know Iíve read other similar opinions before, so Iím not the only one.

I understand the sentiment behind what you wrote even if I subjectively disagree with much of what you wrote.  The only thing I will push back on just a bit is the perhaps unintentional implication that taking fans' expectations or the band's prior history/patterns into account might be incompatible with artistic integrity.  I think that, by and large, the band ARE writing how they want to write.

:iagree:

Offline Herrick

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2018, 04:29:12 PM »
I like it. It's not one of their best albums but it's pretty good methinks.
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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2018, 05:31:44 PM »
Love it and still listen to it on a regular basis. As others have said, it's very consistent and accesible. I'd say ADTOE is slightly better, but both are amazing overall, and feel like they complement each other very well.

The only thing I dislike is the middle section of IT, because it feels out of place and I usually skip it to get faster to THAT bass and drums section. Still, IT is one of my top 10 DT tracks of all time.

DT12 might not be their best album, but I rank it higher than most 2000s DT albums, by far.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2018, 08:14:03 PM »
Better album than people give it credit. Yes production was bad but songs are pretty descent. Surrender to Reason and The Bigger Picture have some of DTs most memorable melodies. Illumination theory has some pretty cool riffs and enemy inside(even though I think itís a weak song) itís a descent song.

The Looking Glass was always my least favorite, even though it was a good song, at the time it came out it felt like it was a song about Justin Bieber and that made it not like it  :rollin

Offline Logain Ablar

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2018, 04:32:12 AM »
It's special to me, in that it's the first DT album I bought, (I only really discovered DT around 2013) but overall a mixed bag. The standout tracks for me are:

The Bigger Picture

I just love the restrained guitar solo section. It just shows that less is more, sometimes.

Illumination Theory

Yes, there's a bit of a lull in the middle, but the end is so emotional and uplifting. Not their best epic, but still good.

The Enemy Inside

I know now that this isn't really a typical DT song, if there is such a thing, but as a short song with fierce riffing to grab the listener's attention, I think it really works.

I do agree that the production doesn't really give the songs much room to breathe. The other slight bugbear I have is the overprocessed vocals, which continued in TA. Once you notice them once, you notice them every time. I hope they get that sorted for the next album.

Offline Polarbear

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2018, 04:50:13 AM »
I was pretty disappointed with the Self-Titled album. I had high hopes for it after ADTOE, which I liked very much.

I did give it a fresh listen a while back, and it was a bit better. But still, I don't find myself revisiting it apart from The Enemy Inside and The Bigger Picture. That closing epic is pretty much the most boring thing they've written.

Still, it has it's moments. Namely the two songs I mentioned first.

Offline Peter Mc

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2018, 07:15:20 AM »
Will have to give it a listen.  Always remember it being a strong album but not listened in a long time.  I think Illumination Theory is one of the strongest of the big epics although I did tire of the quiet middle section with the strings after initially loving it.  Would take IT over Octavarium, ITPOE and SDOIT any day.  Really loved The Bigger Picture, Behind The Veil and The Looking Glass as well.

I find Stewie's post to be a little all over the place to be honest although he does make some decent points about the albums immediately preceeding this one.  He's complaining about the band putting random widdly instrumental sections in songs with unison runs but then not happy when this album had pretty much none of that and was more concise and song orientated.  He also complains about sappy choruses but then goes on to say how he loves The Astonishing which is full of them (I do like sappy choruses!).  I agree that Enigma Machine is not their best instrumental but I prefer it to Raw Dog and Stream Of Consciousness (which goes on way to long for me) and I'm not all that mad on Erotomania apart from a short melodic period in the song.  I also find this one of their least metal sounding albums so again, I'm not sure why he's throwing it in with SC and BC&SL saying it's a bad ass metal album for "Hot Topic" fans.  Yes, The Enemy Inside is a metal song but there's lots of melodic stuff on the record even in a heavier song such as Behind The Veil.

It's cool if you don't like the record, we don't all have to like the same thing but I really don't get the comparison to SC and BC&SL, I'd say (apart from The Astonishing) it's about as far away from those albums as DT have gone.  Did you not find On The Backs Of Angels to be a metal song or Lost Not Forgotten, the metal side of DT has always been there.  I agree that it did go in a more commercial metal direction on SC and BC&SL with the more modern metal riffing and less intricate prog song structures but there's still plenty I like on those records and I don't consider DT12 to be anything like that.

I will give it another listen though and see how I feel about it 5 years on.

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2018, 07:22:23 AM »
Can't speak for Stewie, but for me personally, just not having the 'wild, random instrumental parts' doesn't automatically make it good -- what we got in its place was a lot of tepid, slow music without much energy, which is my other big complaint. And it's not because of ballads (Beneath the Surface is my favorite song on ADTOE and top 10 Dream Theater songs), it's just the songwriting on that album doesn't sound very interesting or inspired. Really, it doesn't matter if it's shred or slow, as long as it's done well (which is obviously totally subjective).
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Offline Peter Mc

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #46 on: June 28, 2018, 09:19:16 AM »
And thatís absolutely fine, you donít like the album which happens. Not everyone is going to like everything DT do. It sucks for you that you donít enjoy it. I was just more confused by Stewieís reasoning which seems a little haphazard. We all have our different tastes though, hopefully youíll enjoy the new one.

Offline Destiny Of Chaos

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2018, 09:35:29 AM »
1. IT - Top 5 DT song. Musical perfection.
2. The Enemy Inside -  :metal  :metal :metal
3. Surrender to Reason - Awesome and underrated
4. The Bigger Picture - Very good, not great.
5. Enigma Machine - Lower tiered instrumental by DT's standards, but still good.
6. Behind the Veil - Good song.
7.  False Awakening Suite - Awesome intro
8. Along for the Ride - zzz
9. The Looking Glass - :dnw 

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2018, 10:29:01 AM »
And thatís absolutely fine, you donít like the album which happens. Not everyone is going to like everything DT do. It sucks for you that you donít enjoy it. I was just more confused by Stewieís reasoning which seems a little haphazard. We all have our different tastes though, hopefully youíll enjoy the new one.

Well, I'm a DT fan who absolutely adores The Astonishing, so I'm not hard to please  :biggrin: :biggrin:
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Offline Lethean

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2018, 10:33:54 PM »
Will have to give it a listen.  Always remember it being a strong album but not listened in a long time.  I think Illumination Theory is one of the strongest of the big epics although I did tire of the quiet middle section with the strings after initially loving it.  Would take IT over Octavarium, ITPOE and SDOIT any day.  Really loved The Bigger Picture, Behind The Veil and The Looking Glass as well.

I find Stewie's post to be a little all over the place to be honest although he does make some decent points about the albums immediately preceeding this one.  He's complaining about the band putting random widdly instrumental sections in songs with unison runs but then not happy when this album had pretty much none of that and was more concise and song orientated.  He also complains about sappy choruses but then goes on to say how he loves The Astonishing which is full of them (I do like sappy choruses!).  I agree that Enigma Machine is not their best instrumental but I prefer it to Raw Dog and Stream Of Consciousness (which goes on way to long for me) and I'm not all that mad on Erotomania apart from a short melodic period in the song.  I also find this one of their least metal sounding albums so again, I'm not sure why he's throwing it in with SC and BC&SL saying it's a bad ass metal album for "Hot Topic" fans.  Yes, The Enemy Inside is a metal song but there's lots of melodic stuff on the record even in a heavier song such as Behind The Veil.

It's cool if you don't like the record, we don't all have to like the same thing but I really don't get the comparison to SC and BC&SL, I'd say (apart from The Astonishing) it's about as far away from those albums as DT have gone.  Did you not find On The Backs Of Angels to be a metal song or Lost Not Forgotten, the metal side of DT has always been there.  I agree that it did go in a more commercial metal direction on SC and BC&SL with the more modern metal riffing and less intricate prog song structures but there's still plenty I like on those records and I don't consider DT12 to be anything like that.

I will give it another listen though and see how I feel about it 5 years on.

Definitely agree with most of this (except I have listened to the album pretty regularly).  To not like the album is one thing, but I think suggesting that it was written for "Hot Topic" teenagers is a bit over the top.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2018, 08:45:55 AM »
In retrospect, it's pretty okay-to-good. I just listened to the HD Tracks versions of SC, BC&SL, ADTOE, and DT12 a couple of weeks ago in my car during my daily commutes, and when I got to DT12, I found myself humming to the melodies, remembering some words and what not, but outside of that, I didn't feel very much of a connection to most of the material. Like, it's good, but it just hasn't settled in the way the other 3 aforementioned albums have. I remember liking it a lot when it came out, but on recent listen, it's more OK than Good or Great.

Other than AFTR, I really only enjoy the songs after Enigma Machine, but maybe that's because the band were really channeling Rush-vibes in many of those songs (as well as The Looking Glass). There's a lot of Rush-ness across the album, and I think it helps AND hurts the album, but as a Rush fan, I can't be TOO made at them for asking "What Would Rush Do"?

I also still have mixed feelings about "Illumination Theory" - there are parts of it that are awesome, gorgeous and beautiful, but parts of it are just "meh" or cringey to my ears all these years later. I don't really like the part after the the orchestral break, which sounds so derivative of Rush's "The Necromancer" (musically) and "Didacts And Narpets" (lyrically). Like, I get it Petrucci, you love Rush and Caress Of Steel... :lol

Anyways - TL:DR, it's mid-tier DT, and I find the 3 albums prior to it better by comparison, though given what came after it, I'd rather like to DT12 over TA any day.

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Offline don_waka

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2018, 03:27:39 PM »
I actually kinda liked it when it came out. Haven't listened to it in a couple of years now, though. Anyways, I still rate it way higher than Systematic Chaos. I actually rate anything higher than SC. My morning poop was higher than SC.  :facepalm:

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2018, 03:33:07 PM »
I hat3 responding on phone.. ...
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But one word....The Bigger Picture is their best song to be produced in the MM era.
I think that ending part where the solo piano comes in all the way to the end is some of DT's best writing of all time. Vocally, it's completely different than anything they've really done, and it's all beautifully done. Definitely the album highlight for me, as well as a DT catalogue highlight. Reminded me of how I felt the first time I heard the "beautiful agony" section from ANTR or the "just like him" section of 8vm.

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #53 on: June 30, 2018, 06:29:18 PM »
The worst DT album in my opinion.  Everything sounds dull and generic.

Offline Destiny Of Chaos

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #54 on: June 30, 2018, 06:38:20 PM »
I actually kinda liked it when it came out. Haven't listened to it in a couple of years now, though. Anyways, I still rate it way higher than Systematic Chaos. I actually rate anything higher than SC. My morning poop was higher than SC.  :facepalm:

No need for that

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #55 on: June 30, 2018, 06:51:34 PM »
Systematic Chaos is awesome, and might be the most fun and loose album in their discog.

So..


My morning poop was higher than SC.   

You're obviously real happy with your morning poop.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Kattelox

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2018, 07:27:00 PM »
Systematic Chaos actually has aged pretty well in my opinion, and I never realized it until now but all of the epics on that album are epics I dig from start to finish, with the exception of Repentance (good tune but just way too long for the tempo and mood). Ministry has aged phenomenally well, even with its weird shreddy midsection, I still like it more than any epic on SFAM for example. Both ITPOE parts kick major ass and every member of the band has a few spots where they really shine and have some of my favorite DT moments. Dark Eternal Night is kind of whatever but it's really fun live and the instrumental parts are incredible. Constant Motion I think is really fun but the lyrics are extra corny, and I personally really like Prophets of War, Portnoy's part and all, even if the theme makes some people roll their eyes, which I understand.

Really even though SC ranks close to the bottom for DT albums, it's only got one track I dislike, and that is Forsaken. I've often wondered how many other people get a strange vibe from this album, though. 'Fun and loose' is one way to describe it, but this one is unique in that I don't get the same feeling from any other DT album. The combination of the yellow and brown artwork with the tense vibe of a lot of the music just has a strange effect on me that is exclusive to that album. Some strange modal stuff going on in those songs, makes me uncomfortable in a good way.
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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #57 on: June 30, 2018, 07:32:44 PM »
To me after Score, Systematic Chaos was basically one big exhale from the band. It's as if with Score, it represented all the band had worked for to that point. SC seems so much less serious, and I think that's what sets it apart, and maybe why people don't like it generally. I mean, perhaps there's a ton better DT albums, and that's fine. But it's by far the most fun DT album.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Kattelox

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #58 on: June 30, 2018, 08:28:20 PM »
To me after Score, Systematic Chaos was basically one big exhale from the band. It's as if with Score, it represented all the band had worked for to that point. SC seems so much less serious, and I think that's what sets it apart, and maybe why people don't like it generally. I mean, perhaps there's a ton better DT albums, and that's fine. But it's by far the most fun DT album.

I agree 100% with TAC  :)  :metal
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2018, 08:45:33 PM »
I can get in on that sentiment - after Octavarium, they had closed the stream of segues they began with SFAM's ending static going into "The Glass Prison", then the orchestral fade, and finally the low-F on the piano, but closing the loop seemed like a way for them to go into SC with nothing on the table, and they did just that. Released from any expectations, they allowed themselves to have fun and be loose and enjoy the music, and for as silly as it all was, especially with JP's questionably-sourced lyrical material, it was all a great amount of fun in general. It showed that they didn't have to be super serious with their music and lyrics, though they would get into some serious and emotional material on their next album anyway (car accidents, secret societies, whatever "Wither" is about, finishing AA, dealing with parental loss, and a scary Italian road-trip).

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Offline Scottjf8

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #60 on: June 30, 2018, 11:24:43 PM »
The Bigger Picture is their best song to be produced in the MM era.

FYI, you missepelled "Breaking All Illusions"

Offline Scottjf8

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2018, 11:27:43 PM »
Oh, and I love DT12.  The only songs I don't love are behind the veil, and surrender to reason.  Love I.T. all the way through (well, except the stupid 60 second nature sounds part.)

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2018, 11:54:41 PM »
The Bigger Picture is their best song to be produced in the MM era.

FYI, you missepelled "Breaking All Illusions"

I like that song pretty much the same as TBP.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2018, 08:27:33 AM »
To me after Score, Systematic Chaos was basically one big exhale from the band. It's as if with Score, it represented all the band had worked for to that point. SC seems so much less serious, and I think that's what sets it apart, and maybe why people don't like it generally. I mean, perhaps there's a ton better DT albums, and that's fine. But it's by far the most fun DT album.

I agree that Systematic Chaos is their "fun" album. It's just too bad the songwriting isn't better.  None of the songs are outright bad (Constant Motion is pretty close, but the main riff and guitar solo are good enough to where I can't call the song outright bad, although I never listen to it), but the album has the lowest highs of any Dream Theater album to date, IMO, and that includes the debut.  The Dark Eternal Night or In the Presence of Enemies would be my favorite, and neither would have a prayer of cracking my DT top 50 at this point.

Offline goo-goo

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2018, 08:34:49 PM »
Just revisited to the complete DT12 album after 2-3 years without listening to it. 

A few observations
-Intro suite: JR's orchestral parts are the highlights of the song. Nothing else stands out imo.
-Enemy Inside - Overall, good rocking song, but the sound is very muddy with the guitar overtaking everything else. Probably the only song on the record where the song just doesn't breathe.
-The looking glass - Overall great song, however, the ending feels a little bit anti-climatic.
-Enigma machine - Very disappointing instrumental. Feels like a lot of noodling for the sake of noodling.
-Bigger picture - Great song, probably the best on the album. Feels like a complete constructed song.
-Behind the veil - Good song, Rush-like intro, love the heavy main intro riff, the chorus is pretty cool, and I enjoy the outro a lot for some reason.
-Surrender to Reason - Very solid song. I like the intro, very Rush-esque, like the acoustic sections, very memorable JP solo (the not too many notes solo and the Lifeson tribute solo with JM and MM behind that solo).
-Along for the ride - Good "ballady" song overall but the keyboard solo is cringeworthy imo. And not the solo itself (it's a very nice solo), but JR's choice of patch is what irks me. Maybe something more subtle...
-Illumination Theory - Middle section goes a bit too long. Overall, I like the song. Wish they would have included some passages like the hidden nugget in the main song.

Overall, for me, the core of the album is from Enemy Inside and forward (without Enigma Machine).  I can live without Awekening Suite and Enigma Machine. The production of the record is very disappointing in this one, with the guitars drowning/overtaking the rest of the instruments (very noticeable in Enemy Inside and some of JR's parts can't be heard clearly, unlike ADTOE) and the snare drum. But the highlight (production wise) was JM's bass. Sounded amazing.  Now that I have revisited this album after a few years without listening to it, it's a middle of  the pack album for me (but definitely higher than the last DT/MP efforts) and it's probably DT's tribute to Rush. A lot of Rush moments going on in this album (which is something that I personally like). DT12 is a nice contrast to ADTOE but ADTOE sounded more fresh and more dynamic (even with the I&W song structure similarities), while DT12 just sounds balls to the walls, even on the Along for the Ride ballad. I do regret not seeing this DT12 tour....

« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 09:52:58 AM by goo-goo »
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #65 on: July 01, 2018, 08:49:31 PM »
The Looking Glass is before Enigma Machine ;), but while DT has better instrumentals, I am surprised at how many do not care that much for Enigma Machine.  JP's main riff is awesome, and the riff that kicks in after the keyboard intro, and then is reprised at the end, just sounds so big and evil. Just a fun rocker, if you ask me. :metal :metal

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #66 on: July 01, 2018, 09:00:58 PM »
Enigma Machine sounds like a fun jamming session that's not supposed to be overthought like their other instrumentals. I've always viewed it that way.

Just listened to the album again the other day. The spirit of the album really is that it is some sort of a sampler of what DT's music is about. An introduction to the uninitiated.

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #67 on: July 01, 2018, 09:21:49 PM »
The Looking Glass is before Enigma Machine ;), but while DT has better instrumentals, I am surprised at how many do not care that much for Enigma Machine.  JP's main riff is awesome, and the riff that kicks in after the keyboard intro, and then is reprised at the end, just sounds so big and evil. Just a fun rocker, if you ask me. :metal :metal

Love EM. It isn't their best instrumental, but I enjoy it a lot. It's fun, technical and heavy, and manages to let each member (except James :D) get the spotlight. To me, it's a version of Ytse Jam on steroids :metal

Just listened to the album again the other day. The spirit of the album really is that it is some sort of a sampler of what DT's music is about. An introduction to the uninitiated.

And that's why it's the self titled album :tup
Seriously, I remember watching the Score documentary and JP saying that Octavarium was the best album to get an idea of what DT is about, but I think DT12 works much much better at that than OV.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #68 on: July 01, 2018, 09:29:18 PM »

Seriously, I remember watching the Score documentary and JP saying that Octavarium was the best album to get an idea of what DT is about, but I think DT12 works much much better at that than OV.

Octavarium probably has more variety and the best song from either album (its title track), but DT12 is a far more consistent record, IMO. 

Online erwinrafael

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Re: Five Years Later: Self-Titled Album
« Reply #69 on: July 01, 2018, 09:36:31 PM »

Seriously, I remember watching the Score documentary and JP saying that Octavarium was the best album to get an idea of what DT is about, but I think DT12 works much much better at that than OV.

Octavarium probably has more variety and the best song from either album (its title track), but DT12 is a far more consistent record, IMO.

In terms of what JP said, DT12 does give listeners more of an idea of what the DT sound is. 8VM for me has three songs that are really "out there" that do not sound close to the so-called DT sound (TALW, IWBY and NE).