Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by Anonymous, Oct 26, 2005.
This just happened over the weekend:
I'm concerned by how happy I am that 2 people I've never met say they are still friends.
So, I had a weird thought that probably doesn't make much sense - what if ADTOE and I&W switched places in the Dream Theater timeline? As in, ADTOE is their second album instead of I&W. I&W instead becomes the first album they release after Portnoy's departure.
...okay, that sounds a LOT more stupid than I was initially expecting. But regardless of that, I do wonder how different the reception would have been for both albums respectively...
There was a thread on DTF with a similar premise, what if ADTOE was the first album and DT started with the Mangini era basically.
I'm saddened that no one in that thread ever decided to do a fake retrospective of the era and say that Portnoy was a great replacement drummer but nothing could replace Mangini in the hearts of the fans.
...that sentence sounds wrong on so many levels.
Did anybody watch the trailer for the album yet? I think it probably previews every song on the album.
I have, and I'm liking a lot of what I'm hearing
I saw that teaser and I like the songs but not the mix. You know what’s epic? I dreamed about the new album and heard a preview of a song where JP uses an 8-string. I can’t remember the exact riff but it was ball-dropping heavy.
Is it any good?
From what I'm listening to, it creates a much better first impression than The Astonishing... However, to me, DT has been -since Train of Thought- what Metallica has been to many people since Load: a shadow of its former, great self. Let's give it time, so as to get a clearer picture, then.
A few agreable ideas here and there ("Room 137" and "S2N"), but also cheesiness ("At Wit's End" and especially "Out of Reach").
- "Pale Blue Dot" is not particularly interesting at first listen, in the sense that they have done it before (rehash of SFAM aplenty... oh, plus an end à la "Octavarium" that has been tacked there).
- I like "Viper King" much more than the "traditional" contents, too bad it is just a bonus track. Some Deep Purple feel in there. Hunting on Sons of Apollo's territory, are we?
Well, I'm not one who gives up on bands they used to like a lot (though it has been a long time now since I can still consider myself "a fan"), so I'm going to listen to it again soon.
I’ll see if I can find it a bit later tonight. I may just end up waiting though.
Spoiler: Distance Over Time first impressions
Okay the first three I have heard quite a bit, so I'll sum up my thoughts. As for the rest, I'm just jotting down my thoughts as I go.
1. Untethered Angel: I don't like this song. The middle part is really cool, however those verses and choruses are so uninspiring and dull it's kind of hard to take seriously. It's also a poor opening track. 6/10
2. Paralyzed: The vocal melody on the verse is the same as Breaking Benjamins 'Diary of Jane'. I think it's in the same key too so that doesn't help. It definitely has some cool parts though. Pretty decent groove. 7/10
3. Fall Into the Light: Amazing song. Sounds like Metallica in some parts which I like. The slow middle is so unexpected and works nicely. Jordan has a fantastic solo. JP's solo at the end is orgasmic. I fucking love this song. 10/10
4. Barstool Warrior: Weird and happy opening. Reminded me of 'New Millennium' kind of. Great solo in the beginning too. Like the previous track this one has a slow middle too, but with piano instead, and JP returns with a great solo. The last half of the song is better than the first. But nothing else sticks out too much to me. 7/10
5. Room 137: This is a heavy one. What is this song about?! There is some very metal lyrics. The chorus also has an unexpected switch to a grungy sound. Another great JP solo too. The overall feel of this song reminds me of 'Lord Nefaryus'. I'm gonna have to listen to this one a bit more. 8/10
6. S2N: BASS INTRO WTF!?!?!?! S2N also means Signal to Noise. This one is chaotic, lots of time changes in the verse. Excellent guitar + keyboard unisons in the middle. I like the chorus too. THAT FUCKING SOLO TOO. WOW. The end is pretty similar to the ending of TDEN. Heavy riff with a keytar solo. I fucking love every bit about this song. 10/10
7. At Wit's End: Chaotic intro. Reminds me of 'The Test That Stumped Them All'. Verse riff is heavy af. Lot's of different parts up to the middle are fucking great. Jordan and JP each have another great solo, then the song has a slow middle piano section. The song kind of takes a different shape from there. A lot more emotion. JP has another solo which is considerably longer. Jordan does a bit of soloing over the top of it. It's also a weird choice to fade out on a solo. I like the song a lot though. There is a hidden piece at the end (kind of like Illumination Theory), so this song barely reaches 8:00. However I still give it high marks. 10/10
8. Out Of Reach: Token DT ballad. Lyrics seem kind of cheesy, but I can also hardly hear James. (Probably due to leak quality). This one doesn't really go anywhere at all. 5/10 That's generous too.
9. Pale Blue Dot: Eerie intro. Tricky and oddly timed intro. The verse was really fucking good, and all parts in the first half are trippy. I think the Pale Blue Dot is earth. The middle instrumental bits are in such an odd time signature. Definitely some wanking, which may be good as they seem to be growing with Mangini, he still sounds pretty robotic on most of these songs though. We come back to the chorus and it's as good as it was before. Somewhat emotional JP solo to end the song. I wish there was a better outro. 9/10
10. Viper King: Intro is heavy Deep Purple. Not a DT'ish track until we get to the middle. JP has a good solo, Jordan too. Some odd lyrics in here. Probably should have been included with the rest of the album though. 8/10
All in all it's pretty good so far. I still really dislike 'Untethered Angel', and 'Out Of Reach' was on the same level as 'Anna Lee'. There is a really good flow between all the tracks apart from the opener. My favorite track is still 'Fall Into the Light' but 'S2N' might be better. 'Pale Blue Dot' will likely grow quite a bit. I'll give it another listen tomorrow to see how it grows. It's better than The Astonishing but definitely not as good as ADTOE. It's on the same level as DT12.
I wasn't fond of any of the songs they've dropped and the first impressions here have effectively dropped my expectations to a weak album. Too bad.
Can't say I'm surprised though. Dream Theater haven't done anything exciting in ages. It boggles my mind that a group of musicians with such a wide palette has failed to create anything exciting for one and a half decades.
Also got the new album. First impressions are good.
Here are some more thoughts after my third listen.
Spoiler: Three listens in
- ‘Barstool Warrior’ is a grower. It’s a solid song
- ‘At Wit’s End’ is now my favorite track on the album. So much emotion packed into one song.
- ‘S2N’ still kicks ass!!
- I somehow managed to dislike ‘Room 137’ even less. It’s fillerish
- ‘Pale Blue Dot’ should’ve been like 20 minutes long.
- ‘Out Of Reach’ is bottom 5 DT.
This is a solid album but it’s going to end up being ranked towards the bottom in comparison to the other albums. This is album was really missing a good 19-25 minute track. ‘Pale Blue Dot’ should have been that song. The album manages to miss the mark that most other DT albums make. It’s for sure better than The Astonishing but ADTOE kicks it in the teeth. I can really only compare it to the self titled album as they’re both pretty similar in style, however Distance Over Time has way better song writing and flows really well.
I'm in the process of my second listening... and it feels a little better. It doesn't right all the wrongs (i.e Rudess is still here and I've always preferred artists to instrument demonstrators) but it appears to be the first album I enjoy listening since ADTOE (which doesn't say alot compared to their 1992-2002 period, but still).
Two major reasons why I like what I hear is that the writing is slightly better (less "fat") and we can hear the importance of the bass guitar.
It depends if you're speaking about "A Change of Seasons" or "The Count of Tuscany"... that is: on your definition of a "good" track.
And if those 19-25 minutes feature a three-to-five minute atmospheric filler sequence or not to pad out the length.
Haven't heard the new album yet but with each passing DT album I grow even more appreciative of their earlier output. Images and Words, Awake, Scenes from a Memory and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence are truly great records, can stack up favorably against most bands' Top 4 albums.
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