Author Topic: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?  (Read 2254 times)

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Offline npiazza91

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What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« on: August 09, 2020, 08:55:20 PM »
Just listened to it again, and honestly...itís still one of my least favorites. I have it at 13/14 in my ranking. It doesnít have one song on it where Iím like ďoh I love this songĒ. ITPOE is good...but not something I jump out of my seat for. Forsaken is good, but imo Paralyzed kinda does the same thing but better. Constant Motion is a cool song, but not anything outstanding or anything. I love thrash more than prog tbh, but I donít really like DT doing pure thrash, they sound their best when theyíre doing stuff like BITS and Voices. Heavy stuff pouring with emotion. TDEN is cool and unique but again...not anything amazing to me. TMOLS is probably my favorite song on the album, but tbh compared to other 12+ minute epics by them, it doesnít really stand out. Iíll listen to something like Endless Sacrifice over it any day. The other two songs on the album...meh. POW is very average and Repentance is boring.

I think to me, this album just lacks emotion. TMOLS is the only song that really conveys that classic DT emotional feel, but even then itís not THAT emotional, itís just more emotional than the other songs on the album. This is a very flat sounding album to me in a lot of ways, it almost feels like a different band to me. Even the other heavy albums like TOT and BCASL, they have a lot of emotion on those albums, they donít sound flat. Idk, SC just doesnít do it for me. If the band sounded like this on every album, this wouldnít be one of my favorite bands, not by a long shot.

But since I just listened to it again and itís still fresh in my mind, I was wondering what all you guys think of it.

Offline SystematicThought

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2020, 09:34:57 PM »
I don't mind it. It's the album that got me into DT, I liked it when I first heard it and some of the faults that I had with it in the beginning, I've warmed up to. The production doesn't bother me as much for one, actually, I like how up front Mike's drums are, especially in TDOE. The fantasy lyrics don't do much for me in TDOE, Forsaken, ITPOE, and TMOLS, but that's not too much of a detractor.

The way I view it, Systematic Chaos is DT having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. They just came off a stretch of albums that all segued into each other, the last album was the thematically heavy Octavarium, played a big tour, Gigantour, and Radio City. I think it's just DT having fun and letting loose. I actually think it's kind of a fun album.
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Offline 54_diplomats

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2020, 09:56:12 PM »
At one point it was my least favorite album, but nowadays its moved up a bit (10/14 if I'm ranking it) Still towards the bottom but I actually kinda enjoy it now. ITPOE is one of my favorite DT songs as well as TMOLS. I don't really like Constant Motion and Repentance, but the rest are fine.

Offline Trav86

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2020, 05:21:25 AM »
I would probably rank it somewhere toward the bottom. However, whenever I listen to it, I find that I like it a lot more than I was expecting to.
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Online Zydar

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2020, 05:30:45 AM »
I remember I became a DT fan around the time of its release, so it was the newest album for me then. It has aged quite well, although it's not one of my favourites. I don't know where I would rank it, but it's in the bottom half somewhere. Personal favourites from it are ITPOE, Forsaken, and Constant Motion. I never cared for Repentance and TMOLS though.

Offline pg1067

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2020, 10:15:16 AM »
Do we really need a second thread on this subject?

https://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=3296.0
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 08:48:43 AM »
It's a strong album indicated by the poll results in the original thread.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2020, 09:35:52 AM »
The poll results in the prior thread indicate that more people chose "a strong album" than any of the other options given.  However, a majority of the responses (215 out of 365) voted the album as "average," "pretty bad, but has some good points" or "terrible."
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2020, 12:07:56 PM »
It's pretty far down my list of Dream Theater albums.  Probably in the bottom 3 or 4 anyway.  It's got some great songs on it and some not so great songs on it.  I rarely listen to it.

Offline a51502112

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2020, 12:16:29 PM »
IMO... I dislike it. Forsaken is cheesy, Repentance and Ministry are awful. Don't think I've listened to it since the year of its release.
 Whenever a song from this album plays on random, I skip it.

Offline Dublagent66

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2020, 04:09:36 PM »
The poll results in the prior thread indicate that more people chose "a strong album" than any of the other options given.

Exactly my point and the only things that matters.
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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2020, 06:15:10 PM »
I find it very front heavy. The first 4 songs are mostly fun and the next 4 songs are mostly plodding.

Plus the hot & dry production doesn't help.

IMO it's in the middle of two better albums.

Black Clouds is less of a slog - apart from the 3rd half of ANTR . But it has nicer sonics too and less plodders.

And Octavarium is my favourite DT album.

Offline robbob

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2020, 07:23:40 AM »
Totally agree with this quote from SystematicThought:
"The way I view it, Systematic Chaos is DT having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. They just came off a stretch of albums that all segued into each other, the last album was the thematically heavy Octavarium, played a big tour, Gigantour, and Radio City. I think it's just DT having fun and letting loose. I actually think it's kind of a fun album."

I love listening to this album , can do without Prophets of War though. The fantasy lyrics don't bother me either, never been a big lyric guy and again not to be taken too seriously.

Offline ytserush

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2020, 06:00:16 PM »
Just listened to it again, and honestly...itís still one of my least favorites. I have it at 13/14 in my ranking. It doesnít have one song on it where Iím like ďoh I love this songĒ. ITPOE is good...but not something I jump out of my seat for. Forsaken is good, but imo Paralyzed kinda does the same thing but better. Constant Motion is a cool song, but not anything outstanding or anything. I love thrash more than prog tbh, but I donít really like DT doing pure thrash, they sound their best when theyíre doing stuff like BITS and Voices. Heavy stuff pouring with emotion. TDEN is cool and unique but again...not anything amazing to me. TMOLS is probably my favorite song on the album, but tbh compared to other 12+ minute epics by them, it doesnít really stand out. Iíll listen to something like Endless Sacrifice over it any day. The other two songs on the album...meh. POW is very average and Repentance is boring.

I think to me, this album just lacks emotion. TMOLS is the only song that really conveys that classic DT emotional feel, but even then itís not THAT emotional, itís just more emotional than the other songs on the album. This is a very flat sounding album to me in a lot of ways, it almost feels like a different band to me. Even the other heavy albums like TOT and BCASL, they have a lot of emotion on those albums, they donít sound flat. Idk, SC just doesnít do it for me. If the band sounded like this on every album, this wouldnít be one of my favorite bands, not by a long shot.

But since I just listened to it again and itís still fresh in my mind, I was wondering what all you guys think of it.

Basement dweller though I do like Constant Motion. Repentance, and Prophets Of War.

Offline hunnus2000

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2020, 10:19:51 AM »
Well I like this album. I like the lyrical allusions and themes and I think Forsaken is a pretty cool and straight forward rocker. I love ITPOE especially part II where the keyboard takes over the guitar part from part I.

But I realize - to each their own....

Offline PixelDream

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2020, 12:11:55 PM »
Itís DTís most fun record but also the one with the least depth to it IMO. It has a cartoony feel which they also presented visually during the tour I went to, making it quite a memorable and fun show.

I agree on Paralyzed beating Forsaken in the same game.

Itís kind of a weird album for me, because when it came out, the opener sounded like it was going to outdo 8VM. ITPOE part 1 is such a classic, the way it begins with the unison, that heavenly guitar lead and the raging power chords before the first vocal section. JLB comes in so great on this track over that cool groove ďI saw a white light..Ē. Just an amazing track.

ITPOE pt2 fails to deliver the same thrill for me even though it def has moments. The intro is very cool, but I donít like the Dark Master and the Megadeth-ish sections. But then the ďI judge and I am justĒ really speaks to me again.

Constant Motion is not a fave of mine but the solo section kinda rules. TDEN I feel is quite ugly musically IMO even though it does rock.. Repentence is not one of their most engaging tracks and a too obvious attempt to sound like mellow Opeth. Prophets of War I donít really like but I donít skip it, itís alright.

TMoLS I should like a lot as itís a drawn out mini epic and has a very nostalgic / yearning tone, and I do but somehow this track never really amazed me.

So there. I still like the album a ton, an average DT album is still great and worth listening to. Quite like the production, itís mastered hot but the sound has enough color and depth to it. Like it for the fun factor and the bandís performance is great as usual.

Black Clouds and Silver Linings was an improvement over this, I think. Less goofy stuff and more emotional content. A Rite of Passage is probably my least favorite DT track though.



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Offline drod1985

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2020, 06:10:10 PM »
I've never understood the hate this album gets. Systematic Chaos is in my top 5 Dream Theater albums. Great mix, great tones, solid-to-great songs.

I'll always have fond memories of the first time I listened to the album all the way through. Great experience, especially with the ITPOE bookends.

Offline Adami

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2020, 09:58:50 PM »
Repentance is one of my fav songs of theirs. Prophets of War is pretty cool at times. The rest of the songs have their moments, but nothing I go back to much
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Offline Trav86

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2020, 05:31:31 AM »
I find it very front heavy. The first 4 songs are mostly fun and the next 4 songs are mostly plodding.


I agree with this. The first four tracks are the best, and once Repentance starts, I check out. Notice how those first four are the only ones played live in the ďpost-MP setlistĒ era.
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Offline SeRoX

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2020, 10:59:25 AM »
I remember the days its relase. I said, ok it's not going to work. Especially after Octavarium which is in my top 5 SC didn't give the joy. But interesting enough when I spin that album nowadays I find more enjoyful.

I still think TMOLS is most boring song that DT ever made and Constant Motion is just awful I like the rest. ITPOE is a great epic song and PoW is such a fun song to listen.

My Rank would be:

1- In The Presence Of Enemies (Both Part)
2- Repentance
3- Prophets Of War
4- Forsaken
5- The Dark Eternal Night
6- The Ministry Of Lost Souls
7- Constant Motion
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Offline pg1067

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2020, 02:15:08 PM »
I guess since we're going to continue with this thread despite the other thread, I'll give my thoughts.

When I first heard ITPOE, I liked the beginning.  Then, just when I thought it should start to transition into a vocal section, JP and JR went into the full wank mode Flight of the Bumblebee section....  ITPOE has a couple decent sections, but as a whole, I find it dull and unmemorable.  Other than the opening 5 and 7 riff, I can't think of any riff from the song.

Forsaken is fine.  Not bad, but also nothing great.

Constant motion is a great song.  Love the intro riff and the way it progresses.  The only thing I don't care for is vocal alterations in the second verse.  Otherwise, I love it.

The Dark Eternal Night is also fine.  I don't care for how down-tuned everything is, and it's a bit cartoonish (as evidenced by The Dark Nintendo Night video).  It's good live.

Repentance is the single worst song DT has ever done.  Long, boring, plodding.  I have nothing good to say about it.

I don't dislike Prophets of War as much as a lot of folks do, but I don't like it either.

After a couple recent re-listens, I don't dislike The Ministry of Lost Souls as much as I used to, but I still don't like it.  Nothing memorable about it.

It's a bottom three album (along with FII and TA, and probably a notch below WDADU).
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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2020, 02:31:40 PM »
I go back and forth with SC / BC&SL about which I prefer.

But I think I prefer BC&SL on the whole.

Offline pg1067

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2020, 06:21:53 PM »
I go back and forth with SC / BC&SL about which I prefer.

But I think I prefer BC&SL on the whole.

I agree.

BC&SL has two great songs (Wither and TCOT), one good song (TSF), a couple of meh songs (ANTR and AROP), and a bottom five all-time DT song (TBOT).

SC has one great song (CM), DT's all-time worst song, and a bunch of stuff that ranges between meh and ok.
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2020, 07:24:39 PM »
Might be the only one here, but to me SC is miles better than BC&SL.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2020, 03:42:50 AM »
I think apart from A Nightmare to Remember - I think Black Clouds is less plodding overall.

Repentance and Ministry are both quite slow and overly long and they add up to 25 mins combined.

Offline Dream Team

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2020, 06:46:12 AM »
So I guess we canít combine the 2 SC threads . . .

Offline gzarruk

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2020, 09:01:34 AM »
So I guess we canít combine the 2 SC threads . . .

Or the 2 Terminal Velocity threads :lol
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline pg1067

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2020, 09:54:08 AM »
So I guess we canít combine the 2 SC threads . . .

Or the 2 Terminal Velocity threads :lol

There are only 2?
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Offline darkshade

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2020, 05:37:24 PM »
ITPOE1 -> TMOLS -> ITPOE2 is the best latter era DT album they never put out.

Offline TheOutlawXanadu

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2020, 12:29:40 PM »
I think that ITPOE is criminally underrated. It tends to get lost in the shuffle amidst their other epics, which to be fair are amazing. But I think that ITPOE stands out because of the Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 dynamic. You can enjoy it as one huge song or listen to Pt. 1 as a one-off, which is very enjoyable even by itself.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2020, 01:00:49 PM »
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Offline TheOutlawXanadu

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2020, 02:30:51 PM »
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Offline JiM-Xtreme

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2020, 03:13:20 PM »
I'll tell you what I can't enjoy. The fact that there are currently TWO threads ongoing about this one album which is... not my favourite...

Offline Dublagent66

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2020, 02:24:51 AM »
After a couple recent re-listens, I don't dislike The Ministry of Lost Souls as much as I used to, but I still don't like it.  Nothing memorable about it.

Outside of an utter lack of taste, a short memory is most likely the probable cause. :p
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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: What do you think of Systematic Chaos?
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2020, 05:49:27 AM »
The Ministry of Lost Souls is a perfect example of what should have been a 5 minute song ssssstttttrrrrreeeeetttttccccchhhhheeeeeddddd out to be a 15 minute song.


Another is A Nightmare To Remember which is WAY too long for how many parts it has. It should have wrapped up after the Beautiful Agony section.


But Instead it has 5 more solo sections and a pointless cookie monster section.