Dream Theater

JudasMyGuide

The very model of a modern Major-General
I always hated that the strings don't line up on the Octavarium cover (the angle of the last one is just off, it's not right). Once you see that, you can't unsee that.

I actually loved the D/T cover (and still do) and it's probably their best cover since Train of Thought (probably my overall favorite - I've kinda gotten tired of Dave McKean in general).
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I always hated that the strings don't line up on the Octavarium cover (the angle of the last one is just off, it's not right). Once you see that, you can't unsee that.
It's stuff like this that keeps some of the other covers rated low, there's always some weird graphic design flaw that makes the cover look sloppy. Sometimes, in the case of Black Clouds or I&W, it feels like there’s too much going on. My favorites are the more basic ones, like Scenes, Six Degrees, or Train of Thought. I like Distance Over Time especially for its sleekness and the feel it creates.
 

JudasMyGuide

The very model of a modern Major-General
Though even at their worst, at least the DT covers are better than the Symphony X ones. My wife - who is a fan of both bands, actually - asked me after seeing the cover to Odyssey whether it's supposed to be a parody or what. Figure painting (and grand scenes in general) is a bitch.

But that's generally the plague of metal album covers in general. Often it's cheesy, amateurish or both. Or "artsy". DT are actually one of the more consistent bands out there, cover-wise, IMHO.

P. S. - okay, maybe no. I realised there's Mastodon, Opeth, Haken, Epica, Voivod... I take that back, there's a lot of great metal album covers
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I think progressive metal has the best covers in metal because the bands usually go for abstract imagery rather than cartoonish stuff or huge models/scenes.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I like all metal album covers, it’s one of the best things about the genre. The Odyssey is a great cover.
 

JudasMyGuide

The very model of a modern Major-General
I think progressive metal has the best covers in metal because they usually go for abstract imagery rather than cartoonish stuff or huge models/scenes.

This is probably beyond the scope of this discussion/thread, but although I agree with you, it also kinda makes me angry.

Because I see people around me who actually get applause for their visual arts... because people think they have "style" (and maybe they even do), but they completely lack all the "hard" basic skills - anatomy, perspective, texture, composition etc. It annoys me to no end to see some amateurish shit praised to high heavens, while the faults are glaring and obvious.
It annoys me twofold because my wife actualy does her best to study visual arts and does all that boring, "useless" stuff, in order to be able to paint stuff that actually "makes sense" - yet she doesn't have "style" yet, because she's trying to learn the basics, so she's overlooked by most (although she could have style if she wanted - it's just that we both believe "style" is actually the last thing you should work upon)
This kinda paints my approach to visual arts in general, even album-cover-wise.

So while I agree with your sentiment that the abstract is often better than the concrete, I can't help but feel that many of the cover artists are not that skilled and it's definitely easier to make some working, cool, abstract geometry or such instead of actual figure painting, large scenes and so on. I'm not saying all cover artists are like that and I don't want to offend any hard-working, blue-collar metal cover artist, but... you know what I mean? I don't think a lot of them have the background.

Then again

I like all metal album covers, it’s one of the best things about the genre. The Odyssey is a great cover.

De gustibus non disputandum est, or at least it would seem so, so I have to RYO and quietly slip away.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Maiden and DT definitely are my favorites when it comes to album covers. Mastodon (other than Remission) isn’t far behind.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
@JudasMyGuide

I get your sentiment, but craftsmanship and creativity aren't mutually exclusive, I'm afraid. It is therefore possible for someone who has the creativity but is inadequate from a craftsmanship standpoint to achieve a more impressive, beautiful, poignant etc. work of art than someone with the craftsmanship skills. Having a large vocabulary, being able to play complex guitar patterns or having excellent painting skills help you have a wide toolbox for expression, but it doesn't necessitate that you come up with the creative idea.
 

JudasMyGuide

The very model of a modern Major-General
I get your sentiment, but craftsmanship and creativity aren't mutually exclusive, I'm afraid. It is therefore possible for someone creative to achieve a more impressive, beautiful, poignant etc. work of art than someone with the craftsmanship skills.

IRYO, but we'll have to agree to disagree here. I don't care about the "vision" of the artist, if the limbs do not fit, if the perspective is completely screwed and someone has midget legs, if the shadows are completely nonsensical etc.

Unfortunately, it's much easier to discern with music - at least there the people actually have to know how to play, because the resulting cacophony would be unpleasant to the ear - in that regard most musicians at least fulfill the basics. Even someone like Dylan (and he had more "vision" than someone like Dream Theater, for example) still followed the standard rules, the songs themselves are actually quite often pleasant to the ear, whichever rules they might be breaking.

I'm saying you need both. If you are a visionary, yet are not able to be disciplined enough so as to at least learn the rules, then fuck you. I find that disrespectful to the art you want to make.

If you're just about craftmanship, well then there's no need for you to add more shit to this already overcrowded world. I guess you can be a teacher, but not an artist.

But like I'll say, we'll probably disagree in that regard.


EDIT: I posted this before you updated the post, I'm not sure whether we actually disagree all that much, but possibly still do. I agree with the last sentence you put there, but I also think it's vice versa.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I don't care about the "vision" of the artist, if the limbs do not fit, if the perspective is completely screwed and someone has midget legs, if the shadows are completely nonsensical etc.

If it's ewoking some sort of positive feeling, an appreciation, then it is doing something right. It's irrelevant whether it fits your high ideal of how that art is supposed to be done. Your sentiment goes against the very nature of artistic evolution, and I regret to say it's the very same mindset that resulted in some of the most flagrant repressions of artistic expression in history. Art isn't stagnant, all of the "classic" art forms, the "orthodox" way of doing those arts are themselves things people simply made up and evolved over the course of time. Andrés Segovia once dismissed the artistic potential of the electric guitar. Many people dismissed the artistic potential of recorded music when it first came onto the scene. It happens, get with the program of change and figure out ways within it, or pretend it's some rigid way - it's up to you.

Unfortunately, it's much easier to discern with music - at least there the people actually have to know how to play, because the resulting cacophony would be unpleasant to the ear

This is not unfortunate, because it's not related to fortune at all. It's not coincidental. Musicians have to stick to some patterns because that's how you can ewoke a positive emotion, it's not any different in any other art form. If you see people appreciating something that you don't think gels together, it might just be that this is a subjective experience and they are doing something that connects with those people.

I'm saying you need both. If you are a visionary, yet are not able to be disciplined enough so as to at least learn the rules, then fuck you. I find that disrespectful to the art you want to make.

You and I are free to dismiss the merits of those intended works of art. However, we can't, or at least shouldn't, pigeonhold expression to a particular set of rules. The "rules" aren't actually rules, they are guidelines. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't. The guidelines indicate the approaches that have been demonstrated, observed and recorded to frequently work - but that's all that is.
 

JudasMyGuide

The very model of a modern Major-General
That cover alone reminds me of a certain horror movie poster, but I can't quite put my finger on it...
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
It says "bonus track edition" with 21 tracks. They played a total of 20 different songs on that tour leg including the rotation of Paralyzed/Fall Into the Light. I wonder what the bonus track could be.
 

JudasMyGuide

The very model of a modern Major-General
I’ll be nice to have a live recording of ANTR. Took a long time to get some Black Clouds material released.

I haven't really been following lately - pray tell, who took over the "DAY AFTER DAY AND NIGHT AFTER NIGHT?" live? Is it still James?

Say what you will, but Count of Tuscany loses something with the weak-ass delivery of "LET ME INTRODUCE --- MY BROTHER!" here


I know most people hate latter-Portnoy pseudo-tough vocals, but they are energetic and hilarious and the alternatives are kinda worse...
 
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