I have been following Mike mangini's work for a few years now. That man is almost inhuman when it comes to his ability to not just exemplify how great his technique is...but also give the song the feel that it deserves. When I had heard Mike portnoy had left the band....I HOPED Mike mangini would get the spot. Not only is he one of the best drummers in the music scene right now(specifically for his limb independence and sense of time and rhythm) but also because from the interviews I have seen with him...he is a generally down to earth nice guy.
One thing that stood out for me on this album was the amount of emotion that you can feel exemplified through the tones and note structure. I have always loved dream theater because of their technical ability when it comes to music composition...but with this album I Literally felt emotionally connected with almost every note and tone being played...This album is a work of art that I think is the epitome of what I personally enjoy in progressive metal
1.) Unique use of odd time signatures
2.) GREAT dynamics
3.) Unbelievable emotional appeal
4.) Solid song structure
I really felt like with this album that Mike Mangini's comming into the band inspired all of them in a way that I have never heard on any of their albums...and its rare that when I hear and album that it inspires me to better my craft in music (Drums).
I was EXTREMELY impressed with Jordan rudess's work as well on this album...well Im always impressed by that mans ability behind keys...but for some reason on this album...his use of notes had sort of a methodical/Struggling sound to it...thats the best way I can put it...alot of it is dark in that sense and I found my self picking his use melodies out specifically because they were so enjoyable to listen to.
so in a nutshell...GREAT JOB DREAM THEATER!!!!! You made the right choice in a drummer and I am so impressed with this album..keep up the great work!!..I know you guys have tons of albums in you...and us fans will be there with you cheering you on!!.