Author Topic: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...  (Read 11351 times)

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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2020, 01:55:12 PM »
I still think Out of Reach is the best song on the album.
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Offline ThatOneGuy2112

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2020, 02:57:13 PM »
Weird opinion: Pale Blue Dot should have been Illumination Theory.

More precisely, the subject matter was more fitting, mood wise, with the music of Illiumination Theory and there should have been a swap of lyrics.

IT lyrics are fine per se and do fit the music, but the way I see the Pale Blue Dot speech by Sagan, that is a celebration of humility, an ode to all the beautiful things we can find on this planet despite our complete cosmic irrevelance. A wonderful "we don't mean anything and that precisely is why we mean so much" speech. That speech would have been adapted way better over Illumination Theory's music, especially the last part. A relatively short song (stretched by an insane solo section) with a couple of menacing sounding verses just doesn't do it for that wonderful, amazing and awe-inspiring Sagan speech.

Absolutely agree. When I saw the tracklist for D/T, I was very excited to hear this song in particular. But the more bleak delivery and the chugging riffs really do not fit the tone of the speech well imo.

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2020, 07:04:57 PM »
Weird opinion: Pale Blue Dot should have been Illumination Theory.

More precisely, the subject matter was more fitting, mood wise, with the music of Illiumination Theory and there should have been a swap of lyrics.

IT lyrics are fine per se and do fit the music, but the way I see the Pale Blue Dot speech by Sagan, that is a celebration of humility, an ode to all the beautiful things we can find on this planet despite our complete cosmic irrevelance. A wonderful "we don't mean anything and that precisely is why we mean so much" speech. That speech would have been adapted way better over Illumination Theory's music, especially the last part. A relatively short song (stretched by an insane solo section) with a couple of menacing sounding verses just doesn't do it for that wonderful, amazing and awe-inspiring Sagan speech.

I don't think that is the point JP was trying to convey in the lyrics and the music.  The music of Pale Blue Dot has this mystical, mysterious, almost bleak, atmosphere. That out of all the planets, this one pale blue dot, houses all life as we know it, from God Creators to Dream Destroyers, and all our troubles.

The way I hear the song is like the point of view of a Satellite, the one that took the famous picture, drifting further and further into space. While we here on Earth are searching for other life out there or in this case "Who's out there, to save us from ourselves?" The lyrics end with that question as you also are left to ponder.  As the satellite continues to drift onwards along. Which the music underneath that section has a drifting kind of atmosphere and mood, with the Drums having a marching type of beat, and the chord choices involved.

But this video does, coincidentally (and I find it, funny), have a music background that has the Illumination Theory String Section type of vibe.

I do really wish they could've kept the live intro they used. It really fits that intro.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2020, 01:09:27 AM »
Well, that's a very nice interpretation and why should I disagree with you, since that's how you feel about it, nice take on it.

As for me, I still think that speech deserve a triumphant and emotional tune and not a dark-ish one, but it's cool that for other people the song and the lyrics fit.
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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2020, 01:22:12 AM »
The Pale Blue Dot music focused on this particular portion of Sagan's speech:

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."

Since this is the focus, the music fits.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2020, 07:21:52 AM »
Since it's not really a speech to be celebrated, I think the music fits.  It's not my favorite song on the record, though.

*I'm not a fan of that idea that we have to be "saved" from "ourselves".   All those things, all that "hubris" that is being castigated by Sagan are also the characteristics that led to our medical breakthroughs, our social breakthroughs, our cultural breakthroughs...   none of us - including Sagan, by the way - have the viewpoint to judge a hundred thousand years of man's existence (out of 4.5 BILLION years of Earth) in that manner.

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #41 on: December 24, 2020, 10:07:36 AM »
Since it's not really a speech to be celebrated, I think the music fits.  It's not my favorite song on the record, though.

*I'm not a fan of that idea that we have to be "saved" from "ourselves".   All those things, all that "hubris" that is being castigated by Sagan are also the characteristics that led to our medical breakthroughs, our social breakthroughs, our cultural breakthroughs...   none of us - including Sagan, by the way - have the viewpoint to judge a hundred thousand years of man's existence (out of 4.5 BILLION years of Earth) in that manner.

It's not my favorite either. That would go to At Wits End, and actually Barstool Warrior is pretty miches tied now with At Wits End.


Now another cool lyrical song is S2N. Using the Signal to Noise ratio as an allusion for us to distinguish the noise from the music. And then you add the Wow signal for even more awesomeness, which can allude to the lyrics in Pale Blue Dot "Who's out there to save us from ourselves" It's a cool foreshadow if you know what the WOW signal is.

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Offline Skeever

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #42 on: December 24, 2020, 10:34:02 AM »
Not far off two years since this album was released...


• How did you feel about it two years ago ?

• How do you feel about it now ?


I liked it a lot and still play it every once in a while. I'm not tired of it yet because I haven't over played it. Much like The Astonishing.

I tend to listen to new albums on repeat for like a week and then very sporadically after that so they still seem "new".

I think it's easily the best Mangini era album and the closest to the "classic" ( Scenes - Octavarium ) Era since Octavarium.

Pretty much agree with the OP. Worst part is just the epic closer, Pale Blue Dot, which sounds like a song they gave up on halfway to me...

Offline tnphelps

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2020, 08:15:59 PM »
FANTASTIC analogy.

Exactly how I feel. Its actually caused me to take a break from DT. Longest break since mid 90's. Also causing me to branch out and find new interesting music. In the past after I tire of a new release, I just go back to the catalog. This time is different. But I eager to hear the new album when completed and released.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2020, 02:56:07 AM »
How people can find disjointedness in Pale Blue Dot but not in Metropolis Pt. 1 is a mystery to me. The chaos of the PBD instrumental at least can be justified thematically as the feeling of floating in deep space.

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2020, 09:15:04 AM »
How people can find disjointedness in Pale Blue Dot but not in Metropolis Pt. 1 is a mystery to me. The chaos of the PBD instrumental at least can be justified thematically as the feeling of floating in deep space.

All of Metropolis is just non-sense, when you really look at it. The only reason Metropolis is held so high is due to it being, at the time, the craziest instrumental section, mixed with Metal, and prog. It also, has to to do with the Bass solo, and then the last scale section of the instrumental. And you know what else makes that song great, is the tone choice of KM's keys and the melodies.

Pale Blue Dot, is new and the band is already established, and people have an expectation for the band now. And you now have songs that are under what I call the "Classic", "old", "vintage", bias...That is Metropolis pt.1.

The Pale Blue Dot instrumental section reminds me of The Count of Tuscany, the instrumental after the chorus and before the calm part begins. But that Drum breakdown solo is one of the best things DT has done so far with Mangini. I love that section, and it was great to hear live, with the lows coming out nicely.
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Offline hunnus2000

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2020, 01:32:56 PM »
How people can find disjointedness in Pale Blue Dot but not in Metropolis Pt. 1 is a mystery to me. The chaos of the PBD instrumental at least can be justified thematically as the feeling of floating in deep space.

All of Metropolis is just non-sense, when you really look at it. The only reason Metropolis is held so high is due to it being, at the time, the craziest instrumental section, mixed with Metal, and prog. It also, has to to do with the Bass solo, and then the last scale section of the instrumental. And you know what else makes that song great, is the tone choice of KM's keys and the melodies.

Pale Blue Dot, is new and the band is already established, and people have an expectation for the band now. And you now have songs that are under what I call the "Classic", "old", "vintage", bias...That is Metropolis pt.1.

The Pale Blue Dot instrumental section reminds me of The Count of Tuscany, the instrumental after the chorus and before the calm part begins. But that Drum breakdown solo is one of the best things DT has done so far with Mangini. I love that section, and it was great to hear live, with the lows coming out nicely.
To me, the best part of M-P-1 is the intro, hugely powerful and emotional but after that it kind of wanders without purpose. But they were in their band infancy and I chalked that up to (as Rush would put it about their early stuff) "youthful exuberance".

Now, the instrumental part of PBD reminds me of the ending of Cygnus X-1 where the ship goes into a black hole. Not strictly but conceptually.

Offline Pettor

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2020, 01:51:56 PM »
Barstool Warrior solo could be the best Petrucci solo ever imo. That song has stood the test of time extremely well for me.

Offline Trav86

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2020, 01:54:45 PM »
Barstool Warrior solo could be the best Petrucci solo ever imo. That song has stood the test of time extremely well for me.

I think it’s their best song of the last ten years. A spot that Breaking All Illusions had held for me.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #49 on: December 29, 2020, 03:47:31 PM »
Musically, Barstool Warrior is totally bad ass.

Vocally, while James does a good enough job in the studio version, it always feels like the vocal melodies were a tad off the mark at times.  Like, the ending doesn't feel as climatic to me as it could have, almost like the melody they were aiming for was slightly missed.  Not sure if it was the written melody or if James struggled to hit the intended-for mark. That is the best way I can explain it.

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #50 on: December 29, 2020, 04:15:06 PM »
Musically, Barstool Warrior is totally bad ass.

Vocally, while James does a good enough job in the studio version, it always feels like the vocal melodies were a tad off the mark at times.  Like, the ending doesn't feel as climatic to me as it could have, almost like the melody they were aiming for was slightly missed.  Not sure if it was the written melody or if James struggled to hit the intended-for mark. That is the best way I can explain it.

Let me ask you this first....What would the climax of the song be for you? For me, the climax is "No one can save you, and there's no one to save" and the rest is the after-release calm down. With the ending being more triumphant, and not really in the "I finally accomplished" sense, but in the "I realize and will start this change" sense, which is how both characters are where they finally know where they belong, because no one save them but themselves.

I also like how, those lyrics mention an abused women, and later on that subject of an abused women, is presented even further with a song about the mental torment of rape, and how that affects the relationship. It's that same women, in Barstool Warrior, only we are now witnessing the convo of the husband wanting to do his best to help her, and is At Wit's End.
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Offline Trav86

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #51 on: December 29, 2020, 04:20:23 PM »
Musically, Barstool Warrior is totally bad ass.

Vocally, while James does a good enough job in the studio version, it always feels like the vocal melodies were a tad off the mark at times.  Like, the ending doesn't feel as climatic to me as it could have, almost like the melody they were aiming for was slightly missed.  Not sure if it was the written melody or if James struggled to hit the intended-for mark. That is the best way I can explain it.

It had what I call (for lack of the musical knowledge) the “anti-climatic” ending. It seems to be popular with them in the Mangini era. Songs like, Breaking All Illusions, The Bigger Picture, Astonishing and Barstool Warrior. It’s like the melody descends instead ascending. Instead of the big epic cheesy ending that every long song had during the 2000s.  If any of that makes sense.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #52 on: December 29, 2020, 08:51:23 PM »
Musically, Barstool Warrior is totally bad ass.

Vocally, while James does a good enough job in the studio version, it always feels like the vocal melodies were a tad off the mark at times.  Like, the ending doesn't feel as climatic to me as it could have, almost like the melody they were aiming for was slightly missed.  Not sure if it was the written melody or if James struggled to hit the intended-for mark. That is the best way I can explain it.

Let me ask you this first....What would the climax of the song be for you? For me, the climax is "No one can save you, and there's no one to save" and the rest is the after-release calm down. With the ending being more triumphant, and not really in the "I finally accomplished" sense, but in the "I realize and will start this change" sense, which is how both characters are where they finally know where they belong, because no one save them but themselves.

I also like how, those lyrics mention an abused women, and later on that subject of an abused women, is presented even further with a song about the mental torment of rape, and how that affects the relationship. It's that same women, in Barstool Warrior, only we are now witnessing the convo of the husband wanting to do his best to help her, and is At Wit's End.

All you dream
Now I'm cutting the anchor away
And I won't look back
I'm starting a new life today
Now I see where I belong


I get what you are saying, and I like the ending; I just don't love it.  Seems very abrupt.


It had what I call (for lack of the musical knowledge) the “anti-climatic” ending. It seems to be popular with them in the Mangini era. Songs like, Breaking All Illusions, The Bigger Picture, Astonishing and Barstool Warrior. It’s like the melody descends instead ascending. Instead of the big epic cheesy ending that every long song had during the 2000s.  If any of that makes sense.

Makes sense. 

Offline TAC

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #53 on: December 29, 2020, 09:02:08 PM »
Perfectly describes Bridges In The Sky.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Madman Shepherd

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2020, 11:01:57 PM »
Musically, Barstool Warrior is totally bad ass.

Vocally, while James does a good enough job in the studio version, it always feels like the vocal melodies were a tad off the mark at times.  Like, the ending doesn't feel as climatic to me as it could have, almost like the melody they were aiming for was slightly missed.  Not sure if it was the written melody or if James struggled to hit the intended-for mark. That is the best way I can explain it.

Let me ask you this first....What would the climax of the song be for you? For me, the climax is "No one can save you, and there's no one to save" and the rest is the after-release calm down. With the ending being more triumphant, and not really in the "I finally accomplished" sense, but in the "I realize and will start this change" sense, which is how both characters are where they finally know where they belong, because no one save them but themselves.

I also like how, those lyrics mention an abused women, and later on that subject of an abused women, is presented even further with a song about the mental torment of rape, and how that affects the relationship. It's that same women, in Barstool Warrior, only we are now witnessing the convo of the husband wanting to do his best to help her, and is At Wit's End.

All you dream
Now I'm cutting the anchor away
And I won't look back
I'm starting a new life today
Now I see where I belong


I get what you are saying, and I like the ending; I just don't love it.  Seems very abrupt.



I dig it. To me, I get what you're saying (or what I think you're saying) about it not quite being an epic way to finish the song. It works though because I think it's not an epic. If it had this big epic ending I don't think it would fit the very casually observant nature of the song.

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #55 on: December 30, 2020, 12:21:09 AM »
Musically, Barstool Warrior is totally bad ass.

Vocally, while James does a good enough job in the studio version, it always feels like the vocal melodies were a tad off the mark at times.  Like, the ending doesn't feel as climatic to me as it could have, almost like the melody they were aiming for was slightly missed.  Not sure if it was the written melody or if James struggled to hit the intended-for mark. That is the best way I can explain it.

Let me ask you this first....What would the climax of the song be for you? For me, the climax is "No one can save you, and there's no one to save" and the rest is the after-release calm down. With the ending being more triumphant, and not really in the "I finally accomplished" sense, but in the "I realize and will start this change" sense, which is how both characters are where they finally know where they belong, because no one save them but themselves.

I also like how, those lyrics mention an abused women, and later on that subject of an abused women, is presented even further with a song about the mental torment of rape, and how that affects the relationship. It's that same women, in Barstool Warrior, only we are now witnessing the convo of the husband wanting to do his best to help her, and is At Wit's End.

All you dream
Now I'm cutting the anchor away
And I won't look back
I'm starting a new life today
Now I see where I belong


I get what you are saying, and I like the ending; I just don't love it.  Seems very abrupt.



I dig it. To me, I get what you're saying (or what I think you're saying) about it not quite being an epic way to finish the song. It works though because I think it's not an epic. If it had this big epic ending I don't think it would fit the very casually observant nature of the song.

Same here...

And it's also why I feel The Bigger Picture also has this type of ending. As it has an observant message as well.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #56 on: December 30, 2020, 09:06:40 PM »
Musically, Barstool Warrior is totally bad ass.

Vocally, while James does a good enough job in the studio version, it always feels like the vocal melodies were a tad off the mark at times.  Like, the ending doesn't feel as climatic to me as it could have, almost like the melody they were aiming for was slightly missed.  Not sure if it was the written melody or if James struggled to hit the intended-for mark. That is the best way I can explain it.

Let me ask you this first....What would the climax of the song be for you? For me, the climax is "No one can save you, and there's no one to save" and the rest is the after-release calm down. With the ending being more triumphant, and not really in the "I finally accomplished" sense, but in the "I realize and will start this change" sense, which is how both characters are where they finally know where they belong, because no one save them but themselves.

I also like how, those lyrics mention an abused women, and later on that subject of an abused women, is presented even further with a song about the mental torment of rape, and how that affects the relationship. It's that same women, in Barstool Warrior, only we are now witnessing the convo of the husband wanting to do his best to help her, and is At Wit's End.

All you dream
Now I'm cutting the anchor away
And I won't look back
I'm starting a new life today
Now I see where I belong


I get what you are saying, and I like the ending; I just don't love it.  Seems very abrupt.



I dig it. To me, I get what you're saying (or what I think you're saying) about it not quite being an epic way to finish the song. It works though because I think it's not an epic. If it had this big epic ending I don't think it would fit the very casually observant nature of the song.

I suppose, but while I don't think it had to have an epic ending per se, a fuller chorus (referencing the part I quoted above) might have giving it a more satisfying ending (for me).  As I said earlier, that final section just feels very abrupt.  *shrugs*

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #57 on: December 31, 2020, 03:17:06 AM »
Dream Theater have never really been all that great at writing memorable/hooky choruses.   Their music is a vehicle for showing off technical prowess, for the most part. 

Offline IgnotusPerIgnotium

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2020, 06:26:55 AM »
So looking back at this album, it's easily the best of the MM era. It's what DT12 should have been in all levels. It improves everything over the self-titled album..it's heavy and the songs are better composed and structured..They clearly achieved what ever plan they had to do for sure, making it sound more concise..The only thing is that it's an album that doesn't stick to you and it doesn't contain the classic progressive instrumental sections that the band is known for..Now, that's something that they left behind clearly from DT12 and maybe they'll bring it back with the new record, who knows..let's hope it would really sound like the new DT record and not so much as a DoT part 2..
« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 11:13:43 AM by IgnotusPerIgnotium »

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2020, 11:03:59 AM »
let's hope it would really sound like the new DT record and not so much as a DoT part 2..
I'd be ok with that myself,  d/t sounds fabulous!  If they expand on that direction it could be a good thing.  :tup
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Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #60 on: December 31, 2020, 11:08:22 AM »
I still think Out of Reach is the best song on the album.
I agree. That and PBD.
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Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #61 on: December 31, 2020, 11:09:24 AM »
let's hope it would really sound like the new DT record and not so much as a DoT part 2..
I'd be ok with that myself,  d/t sounds fabulous!  If they expand on that direction it could be a good thing.  :tup
My guess is that this will not happen, given that DT never made (and never will make) the same record twice. (and to me that's a good thing)
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Offline Sebastián Pratesi

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #62 on: December 31, 2020, 12:13:29 PM »
Dream Theater have never really been all that great at writing memorable/hooky choruses.   Their music is a vehicle for showing off technical prowess, for the most part.

I don't know. The choruses in "Barstool Warrior" and "Behind The Veil" are really good to me.

Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #63 on: December 31, 2020, 12:21:09 PM »
Dream Theater have never really been all that great at writing memorable/hooky choruses.   Their music is a vehicle for showing off technical prowess, for the most part.

I don't know. The choruses in "Barstool Warrior" and "Behind The Veil" are really good to me.
I agree. Add any chorus on ADTOE too.
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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #64 on: December 31, 2020, 12:34:32 PM »
I still feel strongly about this album. It's my favorite Mangini era album and perhaps it's controversial to say, but I'd say it's my favorite since Six Degrees. I still listen to it fairly regularly. It doesn't reach the classic status that Six Degrees, Images & Words and Scenes have, but I find it so consistently good that I'd rank it just below those three. I look forward to the next one!

Offline hunnus2000

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #65 on: December 31, 2020, 12:49:50 PM »
Dream Theater have never really been all that great at writing memorable/hooky choruses.   Their music is a vehicle for showing off technical prowess, for the most part.

I don't know. The choruses in "Barstool Warrior" and "Behind The Veil" are really good to me.
I agree. Add any chorus on ADTOE too.

I'd say their sense of melody was redefined in the MM era.

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #66 on: December 31, 2020, 12:56:13 PM »
I always thought Dream Theater is one of the best bands out there when it comes to catchy choruses. Pretty much every song on 8vm qualifies.  Same goes for most DT albums.  :coolio
 
You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fast, you can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance first you've got to last....... NP

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #67 on: December 31, 2020, 12:57:21 PM »
Yeah DT for me are the exact opposite of most virtuoso bands who can do all the widdly widdly but cant write a song FOR. SHIT.

Offline gzarruk

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Re: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #68 on: December 31, 2020, 01:15:19 PM »
Yeah DT for me are the exact opposite of most virtuoso bands who can do all the widdly widdly but cant write a song FOR. SHIT.

Yep. I can't understand people who say "DT are just a bunch of wankers", they have a lot of sense of melody and write for the song, specially in the MM era.
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: Distance Over Time - TWO Years on...
« Reply #69 on: December 31, 2020, 01:18:33 PM »
Yeah, I agree with you guys. DT wouldn't have lasted this long and kept such a large (by underground standards) fanbase if they didn't write good melodies.  I remember hearing Scenes from a Memory for the first time and being struck by how strong the hooks were.  Same with Images and Words.  Their musicianship and need to wank is certainly often at the forefront, but they have always cared about writing good songs.