Author Topic: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?  (Read 5084 times)

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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2021, 12:57:42 PM »
SDOIT easily.

Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2021, 01:58:37 PM »
Scenes From a Memory to Octavarium was Dream Theater at their absolute pinnacle.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2021, 03:34:02 PM »
For Systematic Chaos they brought along an opener and so that reduced a bit the room for rotation, and by the time of Black Clouds, given also the package nature of the tour, Mike was by then scraping the bottom of the barrell since basically all the songs were already played in the 2002-2006 rotations.

It couldn't go on forver or better, it could have, but at a certain point the songs would have all returned to the set, after 2 or 3 tours of rest. But what a fun, unpredictable ride it has been in those three tours!
I wouldn't say that MP was scraping the bottom of the barrel by the time they got to the BCaSL tour cycle. He was always good about cycling various songs in and out of the master setlist from tour to tour. And given that the master setlist would total 4-6 hours of material, of course there were going to be songs that would repeat from tour to tour or would be brought back after 2 to 3 tour cycles. As the catalog continued to grow with each album, it would happen less, but there would always be some of that - especially since he tried to make sure that something from each of their albums was always included on the master setlist.

I think the problem with the set lists on the last few tours with Portnoy was that average at best tunes like Constant Motion and Forsaken became mainstays.  The tours from 2000-2006 were mostly pretty money simply because most of the songs getting played on those tours were mostly winners, outside of a few from 8V, and even those weren't bad songs, just not killer ones, but once SC and (to a lesser degree) BC&SL happened, the overall quality of the set lists dipped a bit simply because the newer material wasn't as good and took up big chunks of the set list.

Offline Trav86

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2021, 07:05:17 PM »
As much as I love the stuff before and a lot of the stuff after, I would say SFAM->8V was their peak. On a personal level, this was the height of my fanboyism.
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Offline PixelDream

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2021, 12:58:21 AM »
This isn't as easy as I thought - Awake probably is my favorite DT album - but of course SFAM up until around 8VM is probably their career high when it comes to studio and live.

Actually for me, I became a fan when Six Degrees was just released, and then Train of Thought was a huge hit with me. Then Octavarium had the first songs where I thought there were maybe signs of a decline in quality - I wasn't crazy about The Answer Lies Within, I Walk Beside You and Never Enough although time has since made me appreciate them more, the former two having excellent renditions on Score. And at the end of the day, the title track is one of the greatest, most epic pieces of music ever made IMO.

Come to think of it, I've seen them live on all tours since Train of Thought. ToT and 8VM tour were great shows, but surely their show on the Systematic Chaos tour was absolute fire in terms of extra jams and 'spontaneous' different renditions of sections in songs. I remember Jordan getting the keytar out - was that the first tour he did that stuff?

Also, the Black Clouds show was on Progressive Nation with Opeth, Bigelf etc. and I vividly remember singing along with A Nightmare to Remember and the beautiful ambient/guitar intro to The Count of Tuscany.

In the end when it comes to studio albums, if I'm completely honest, Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds started to have more silly/playful influences which were very fun and really added a nice touch to the live shows (the animations for The Dark Eternal Night etcetera come to mind) - but that's not really what Dream Theater was about for me. Can't really complain though, but that's what makes the last two MP era albums feel a little bit different for me. Also, musically those albums weren't breaking new ground anymore for the band. I can honestly say A Rite of Passage is DT by the numbers in kind of a bad way.

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Offline Skeever

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2021, 05:53:15 AM »
Scenes, easily.

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2021, 04:38:37 PM »
Peak writing - SFAM/SDOIT
Peak live performances - 8vm tour/Score & AFTR Tour
Peak live show production - AFTR Tour & D/T Tour
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Offline IgnotusPerIgnotium

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2021, 07:45:20 AM »
It's hard not to go with  the SFAM era. The were hungry to prove themselves, they were at a great musical form and also they had Jordan joining the band which was a huge deal in reestablishing and expanding their instrumental-progressive side of the band. It was their time to step up and shine. And shine they did.

Offline Volante99

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2021, 02:28:36 AM »
If we are talking DT as a musically relevant, creative, progressive band AND “brand” they had two peaks;

Images and Words brought them into the public consciousness and gave them credibility as a commercially “viable” entity with a fan base. They even had an MTV hit with Pull Me Under. This was their first peak. Despite Awake (in my opinion) being just as strong musically, their brand of metal was really on the down slide by 1994, and they failed to get that second “single” they desperately needed. The weak follow up of Falling into Infinity nearly sunk the ship entirely.

Then came SFaM, where they found their identity and established themselves as a force going into the 2000s. They would follow this up with two more creatively strong albums, slowly building their fan base, culminating with Octavarium, their second “peak”, and last truly progressive album. The final song, Octavarium, is both a love letter to their influences and confident statement to everything they had spent 20 years building. The whole 20th Anniversary tour and Score showcased a band that was on top of the world. It was a magic time for the band and their fans. In my opinion, they never quite reached that high water mark again.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 02:37:45 AM by Volante99 »

Offline Sebastián Pratesi

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2021, 08:04:15 AM »
It will be in 2285. They will be at Widow's Peak.

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #45 on: April 13, 2021, 03:04:54 AM »
It's complicated and simple to me.

Short answer : SFAM + SDOIT (+ LTE1 + LTE2)
DT Albums : Pure bliss, storytelling, prog to heavy.
I think I listened so much to these 2 (4) albums you can saw through my disks !

Long answer : I&W is a peak of prog on its kind
A change of seasons, octavarium, a dramatic turn of event, D/T, are SUPER solid,
So for me it's like DT got several shockwaves and afterwaves :D, it doesn't just form a pyramid
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Offline bosk1

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #46 on: April 13, 2021, 11:40:08 AM »
I was originally going to say the SFAM - SDOIT era.  They had broken free from what they felt were the "shackles" of label interference with their albums and were free to do whatever they wanted for really the first time in their careers.  They had just brought Jordan into the fold and had a keyboard player that could take them wherever their imaginations wanted (and beyond).  They had the hunger and invigoration of a young band with something to prove.  But at the same time, they had the experience and maturity of a band doing it for over a decade.  To me, it was the perfect storm of chops, creativity, and maturity.  After reading some of the posts above, I still think that holds true, but would probably extend that into the TOT - 8VM cycles as well.  Even though I like those albums less, I think everything I said above still held true during the album 7 and 8 cycles.
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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #47 on: April 13, 2021, 11:53:50 AM »
To me, their highest cliff is the run from Scenes to Octavarium. And to me, the "Meta-Album" idea of each new album beginning from the end of the latest played a lot into this.

The Dream Theater Mountain has peaked there, and slowly dipped and then is now creating a new hill with a peak that is getting close to those highs of the last peak. The new hill is the Mangini Era. And it's brought the mountain back from it's canyon and is growing a to a newer peak, closer to the peak of the other hill, and the tallest point of the mountain.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #48 on: April 13, 2021, 12:41:01 PM »
If we were charting it, it would look like this:

                                              X
             X                            /             X
         /               X              /                           X          X
       /                   \           /                                          \                              X          X
     /                       \        /                                            \                       /                   \                  X
  X                            \    /                                               \                   /                        \             /
                                   X                                                  \               X                            \        /
                                                                                            X                                           X

1989    1992    1994    1997    1999    2002    2003    2005    2007    2009    2011    2013    2016    2019


Hopefully, things continue on an upward trend with DT15, rather than plateauing at the same level as DOT.
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2021, 06:32:51 PM »
I'm in agreement with the apparent general consensus of SCORE representing the zenith. I think in terms of studio albums they peaked at FII or SFAM though.
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Offline JPX

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #50 on: April 20, 2021, 10:47:33 AM »
Even though SDoiT is my favorite album, I consider SFaM as their absolute peak in every capacity.

Offline lovethedrake

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2021, 05:26:39 AM »
To me the peak is SDOIT.   They started to lose “some” of the magic when they began to lean towards metal and a more modern sound.  Also, James didn’t quite sound as powerful on TOT and the style of music didn’t fit him as well.  James voice on SDOIT is pure bliss.

Rather than being inspired yes, genesis, and rush they started being inspired by u2, muse, and some of the Nu metal era. 

With that said, they also gained a new wave of fans and started getting nominated for awards... such is the nature of the music industry.

I’m quite pleased with the direction of the band now though... the last two albums have very little if any of the above issues for me.   They have returned to form and are a band aging exceptionally well now. I hope they continue to climb the mountain.




Offline WilliamMunny

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2021, 08:10:59 AM »
To me the peak is SDOIT.   They started to lose “some” of the magic when they began to lean towards metal and a more modern sound.  Also, James didn’t quite sound as powerful on TOT and the style of music didn’t fit him as well.  James voice on SDOIT is pure bliss.

Rather than being inspired yes, genesis, and rush they started being inspired by u2, muse, and some of the Nu metal era. 

With that said, they also gained a new wave of fans and started getting nominated for awards... such is the nature of the music industry.

I’m quite pleased with the direction of the band now though... the last two albums have very little if any of the above issues for me.   They have returned to form and are a band aging exceptionally well now. I hope they continue to climb the mountain.

This. As a HUGE James fan, 6 Degrees is by far my favorite performance from him.

Offline darkshade

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2021, 07:32:05 AM »
To me the peak is SDOIT.   They started to lose “some” of the magic when they began to lean towards metal and a more modern sound.  Also, James didn’t quite sound as powerful on TOT and the style of music didn’t fit him as well.  James voice on SDOIT is pure bliss.

Rather than being inspired yes, genesis, and rush they started being inspired by u2, muse, and some of the Nu metal era. 

There's a lot of truth to this, with Octavarium being the last gasp of the old DT.

Also, all the Mangini albums have the 'issues' you describe.

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2021, 08:25:44 AM »
6DoIT.  Not only might this be my favorite all-around album from them but the tour was amazing.  Having gotten to see them at the small warm-up show at BB King's, you couldn't help but see how locked in they were and how much fun they were having.  James sounded great.  They started doing the "Evening with" shows with the ever-changing set lists and occasional cover album sets.  Even if you cheated by looking online at the previous setlists, you didn't really know what you were gonna get.  So much fun!  It was definitely a challenge for the band.

Offline Enigmachine

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2021, 08:37:52 AM »
There's a lot of truth to this, with Octavarium being the last gasp of the old DT.

Also, all the Mangini albums have the 'issues' you describe.

Two things I don't get with this. One being that Octavarium probably has less in common with their 90s era (other than FII maybe) than their non-TA MM era albums. It's also part of their attempts to modernise, given how the album tries to strike a similar tone to a lot of contemporary alternative rock/metal. How would These Walls, practically a 7 minute Linkin Park song, be at home on Images, Awake or Scenes? Another thing is that, whatver one may think of the quality, the MM era reversed a lot of the trends that people tended to not like about the first two Roadrunner albums. Sure, they're still pretty heavy generally but the nature of that heaviness is different and the vocal character is much more melodic than gritty. The influences are also generally much more closer to the band's roots, with the distinctly Rush esque sound of the self titled being a pretty stark example, with stuff like The Enemy Inside being more of an exception than the rule.

Offline TAC

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2021, 08:44:14 AM »
To me the peak is SDOIT.   They started to lose “some” of the magic when they began to lean towards metal and a more modern sound.  Also, James didn’t quite sound as powerful on TOT and the style of music didn’t fit him as well.  James voice on SDOIT is pure bliss.

Rather than being inspired yes, genesis, and rush they started being inspired by u2, muse, and some of the Nu metal era. 


I can understand someone thinking 6D's was DT's peak. It's not an uncommon opinion.

Yes, James didn't sound as powerful on ToT, but none of the band did really. That album was recorded like ass and sounds like it. It's practically unlistenable to me, though it contains a ton of great tracks.

But it's the second paragraph that I'm having trouble understanding. It's pretty easy to hear Rush in pretty much every album after 6 D's, and they were channeling U2 long before 6 D's. They covered Red Hill Mining Town, and also Speak To Me has a total U2 influence. Other than I Walk Beside You, I haven't felt a U2 influence at all.

They're still channeling Yes in their instrumental sections, and Nu Metal? I guess I don't understand. Forsaken has a modern feel, but that's a great song. BMUBMD has it too, and does indeed blow.








There's a lot of truth to this, with Octavarium being the last gasp of the old DT.

Also, all the Mangini albums have the 'issues' you describe.

Two things I don't get with this. One being that Octavarium probably has less in common with their 90s era (other than FII maybe) than their non-TA MM era albums. It's also part of their attempts to modernise, given how the album tries to strike a similar tone to a lot of contemporary alternative rock/metal. How would These Walls, practically a 7 minute Linkin Park song, be at home on Images, Awake or Scenes? Another thing is that, whatver one may think of the quality, the MM era reversed a lot of the trends that people tended to not like about the first two Roadrunner albums. Sure, they're still pretty heavy generally but the nature of that heaviness is different and the vocal character is much more melodic than gritty. The influences are also generally much more closer to the band's roots, with the distinctly Rush esque sound of the self titled being a pretty stark example, with stuff like The Enemy Inside being more of an exception than the rule.


Thank you EM, I agree.


would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2021, 10:51:07 AM »

Yes, James didn't sound as powerful on ToT, but none of the band did really. That album was recorded like ass and sounds like it.

It’s firmly in DT’s bottom half (perhaps even bottom 3-4?) for me, though I can see why people DO like it. For me everything went in the wrong direction on this album.
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Offline TAC

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2021, 10:55:56 AM »

Yes, James didn't sound as powerful on ToT, but none of the band did really. That album was recorded like ass and sounds like it.

It’s firmly in DT’s bottom half (perhaps even bottom 3-4?) for me, though I can see why people DO like it. For me everything went in the wrong direction on this album.

Well, I think they were going for a certain "thing" on this album, and I understand people not liking it. While I hate the way it sounds, I really like a number of tracks from it, and go for the Live At Budokan versions for them.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2021, 11:17:09 AM »
There's a lot of truth to this, with Octavarium being the last gasp of the old DT.

Also, all the Mangini albums have the 'issues' you describe.

Two things I don't get with this. One being that Octavarium probably has less in common with their 90s era (other than FII maybe) than their non-TA MM era albums. It's also part of their attempts to modernise, given how the album tries to strike a similar tone to a lot of contemporary alternative rock/metal. How would These Walls, practically a 7 minute Linkin Park song, be at home on Images, Awake or Scenes? Another thing is that, whatver one may think of the quality, the MM era reversed a lot of the trends that people tended to not like about the first two Roadrunner albums. Sure, they're still pretty heavy generally but the nature of that heaviness is different and the vocal character is much more melodic than gritty. The influences are also generally much more closer to the band's roots, with the distinctly Rush esque sound of the self titled being a pretty stark example, with stuff like The Enemy Inside being more of an exception than the rule.

To me, Octavarium is the most overrated DT album. Not saying it's bad or anything like that, but I'd never put it in the top half of DT's catalog. They tried to present a "back to roots" album then and they didn't suceed with that, imo. The MM era albums achieved this much much better than OVM.

- TROA is really cool, but nothing too mindblowing.
- TALW is as uneventful as it gets.
- TW is one of my favorite DT songs ever, but it does sound much more "modern" than ""classic" DT.
- IWBY sounds a lot like U2, but not like inspired-by-U2 classic DT, like To Live Forever, for example. Not really a fan of this one.
- PA is amazing too, but there's a lot of Muse influence in the vocal melodies. Also, them being heavy for the sake of being heavy.
- NE is basically a Muse song re-writen.
- SS I like a lot, but it has the same issues as TMOLS or Endless Sacrifice, where you have a short song with a long, completely unrelated instrumental section with trade-off solos. Some people here call it the copy-paste instrumental section thing.
- Title track is amazing, but the album as a whole shouldn't try to rely just on it or a couple more songs.

The overall mood of the album feels a bit off to me, too. I can't really describe what it is, but it doesn't feel like it's a cohesive piece of art, but rather a bunch of different songs with different approaches put together in a disc and with some random sounds in between to connect them. In contrast, I listened to Awake a couple days ago and it sounds full, the mood is consistent. Not all the songs sound the same, but there's a cohesiveness to it that makes it a very enjoyable listen, even though the album has quite a dark-ish feel.

Sorry for the long post, btw, I got carried away :laugh:
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Offline Enigmachine

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2021, 12:56:35 PM »
I do like Octavarium quite a bit, but yeah, it's perhaps the band's most derivative album (or at the very least up there, in terms of having so many songs that ape another band's style) and certainly doesn't have the vibe of a back to roots album. I think because the music itself is so streamlined, it probably puts into focus just how different each song is from each other as well, hence why it might not feel as cohesive as something like Awake, an album notably more intricate musically on average.

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2021, 01:16:47 PM »

Yes, James didn't sound as powerful on ToT, but none of the band did really. That album was recorded like ass and sounds like it.

It’s firmly in DT’s bottom half (perhaps even bottom 3-4?) for me, though I can see why people DO like it. For me everything went in the wrong direction on this album.

Well, I think they were going for a certain "thing" on this album, and I understand people not liking it. While I hate the way it sounds, I really like a number of tracks from it, and go for the Live At Budokan versions for them.

Oh, they were definitely going for something specific, I just don't really enjoy the end result myself. It's a very consistent album sound-wise, maybe even their most consistent one to date. In that sense, they've done really well. The only tracks I personally enjoy from this album are As I Am, Vacant and Stream of Consciousness.
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Offline lovethedrake

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2021, 01:52:27 PM »
There's a lot of truth to this, with Octavarium being the last gasp of the old DT.

Also, all the Mangini albums have the 'issues' you describe.

Two things I don't get with this. One being that Octavarium probably has less in common with their 90s era (other than FII maybe) than their non-TA MM era albums. It's also part of their attempts to modernise, given how the album tries to strike a similar tone to a lot of contemporary alternative rock/metal. How would These Walls, practically a 7 minute Linkin Park song, be at home on Images, Awake or Scenes? Another thing is that, whatver one may think of the quality, the MM era reversed a lot of the trends that people tended to not like about the first two Roadrunner albums. Sure, they're still pretty heavy generally but the nature of that heaviness is different and the vocal character is much more melodic than gritty. The influences are also generally much more closer to the band's roots, with the distinctly Rush esque sound of the self titled being a pretty stark example, with stuff like The Enemy Inside being more of an exception than the rule.

This whole thing was amazingly well said... it’s like your brain is the same as mine haha

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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2021, 03:19:36 PM »
- SS I like a lot, but it has the same issues as TMOLS or Endless Sacrifice, where you have a short song with a long, completely unrelated instrumental section with trade-off solos. Some people here call it the copy-paste instrumental section thing.

Also in all of those cases, the mood of the lyrics got completely discarded by the solo section.

- Man, long distance relationship is a drag.... well, let's forget about it with some circus music, that should cheer you up!
- So, there's this girl that was drowning but the guy who saved her drowned instead and.... you know what, let's forget about it and let's think about this jam for five minutes straight
- What a horrible tragedy 9/11 was... best compensate it with another juicy jam

I don't say to skip the solo sections entirely, but at least keep the mood of the song or change it gradually, also Trial of Tears has a long solo section that goes on quite a bit, but it doesn't make you forget it the feel of the song...
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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2021, 04:14:04 PM »
Yeah, you just picked some fine examples of DT’s bad songwritng choices. Add In the Name of God to that list too, and Illumination Theory.
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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #65 on: April 26, 2021, 04:56:38 AM »
Peak DT for me was Images and Words through to Scenes From a Memory. They've had some high points since, Octavarium especially, but that was their peak for me. Yes, I know that includes FII, it's a great album, bite me.
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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #66 on: April 26, 2021, 04:57:25 AM »
Yeah, you just picked some fine examples of DT’s bad songwritng choices. Add In the Name of God to that list too, and Illumination Theory.

On the other hand, example of a good one: ItPoE Pt. 2, which sounds like a literal battle against demons. Not Pt. 1 though.
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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #67 on: April 26, 2021, 07:26:35 AM »
There's a lot of truth to this, with Octavarium being the last gasp of the old DT.

Also, all the Mangini albums have the 'issues' you describe.

Two things I don't get with this. One being that Octavarium probably has less in common with their 90s era (other than FII maybe) than their non-TA MM era albums. It's also part of their attempts to modernise, given how the album tries to strike a similar tone to a lot of contemporary alternative rock/metal. How would These Walls, practically a 7 minute Linkin Park song, be at home on Images, Awake or Scenes? Another thing is that, whatver one may think of the quality, the MM era reversed a lot of the trends that people tended to not like about the first two Roadrunner albums. Sure, they're still pretty heavy generally but the nature of that heaviness is different and the vocal character is much more melodic than gritty. The influences are also generally much more closer to the band's roots, with the distinctly Rush esque sound of the self titled being a pretty stark example, with stuff like The Enemy Inside being more of an exception than the rule.
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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #68 on: April 26, 2021, 09:50:40 AM »
- SS I like a lot, but it has the same issues as TMOLS or Endless Sacrifice, where you have a short song with a long, completely unrelated instrumental section with trade-off solos. Some people here call it the copy-paste instrumental section thing.

Also in all of those cases, the mood of the lyrics got completely discarded by the solo section.

- Man, long distance relationship is a drag.... well, let's forget about it with some circus music, that should cheer you up!
- So, there's this girl that was drowning but the guy who saved her drowned instead and.... you know what, let's forget about it and let's think about this jam for five minutes straight
- What a horrible tragedy 9/11 was... best compensate it with another juicy jam

I don't say to skip the solo sections entirely, but at least keep the mood of the song or change it gradually, also Trial of Tears has a long solo section that goes on quite a bit, but it doesn't make you forget it the feel of the song...

I’ve been saying this for years! TMoLS isn’t as egregious to me because the lyrics are rooted in fiction, and ES is one of my least favorite DT songs from beginning to end, but as a native New Yorker who saw the smoke from the towers out of his classroom window in third grade and lost a relative in the towers, the instrumental section in SS is a total mood shift from what is a very personally heavy set of lyrics, and even though musically the song works, the lyrics just do not fit as bookends to a wacky instrumental section.

Outcry suffers from this problem as well, with an instrumental section for the sake of having an instrumental section. These are all examples of songs trying to be Metropolis, and really the only song in that style that I feel succeeds is Blind Faith.
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Re: What Era/Album do You Consider to be Dream Theater at Their Peak?
« Reply #69 on: April 26, 2021, 10:23:16 AM »
How the heck is ITNOG a "bad songwriting choice"?
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