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Accepting Disappointment

  • Accepting Disappointment
    October 23, 2011 - 4:50am

    Let me start off by saying that I have been a lifelong fan of Dream Theater. I‘ve had the opportunity to enjoy their unique vision since they were a bar band on Long Island named Majesty. I have their entire discography loaded into my iPod and I’ve seen them in concert dozens of times. I was very sad when I first heard that Mike Portnoy was no longer part of the group, though Mike Mangini is certainly a tremendous drummer and a great choice for a replacement.

    However, I have to admit that I have been steadily losing interest in their music. Don't get me wrong, the level of musicianship is always incredible and I have tremendous respect for them, but their last few records have started to sound the same to me. I've always leaned more toward the lushly-orchestrated side of Dream Theater (which they seem to be abandoning), rather than the heavier side. Usually when I would get a new DT album, it would require about 10 listens before the main themes and melodies would emerge and get stuck in my mind. After listening to this latest album for about a month straight, it has just gotten stale for me. I think that the band used to have a much better balance between what is technically hard to play and what is catchy. After multiple listens, I’ve found that many of the riffs on the new album were becoming tedious and irritating to my ear, often sounding more like guitar picking exercises than musical motifs. Unfortunately, I've kind of felt the same about their last three studio albums, though I tended to overlook my disappointment because of the band's rich history. This last album has really epitomized that disappointed feeling in me.

    I don’t write this easily. Dream Theater has long been one of the few bright spots in a music scene that is mostly barren. I still love their earlier work and revere it as some of the best music ever made; however, they just don’t feel like a vital entity anymore.

    74
Phrygian Sunshine's picture
on October 23, 2011 - 4:50am

Let me start off by saying that I have been a lifelong fan of Dream Theater. I‘ve had the opportunity to enjoy their unique vision since they were a bar band on Long Island named Majesty. I have their entire discography loaded into my iPod and I’ve seen them in concert dozens of times. I was very sad when I first heard that Mike Portnoy was no longer part of the group, though Mike Mangini is certainly a tremendous drummer and a great choice for a replacement.

However, I have to admit that I have been steadily losing interest in their music. Don't get me wrong, the level of musicianship is always incredible and I have tremendous respect for them, but their last few records have started to sound the same to me. I've always leaned more toward the lushly-orchestrated side of Dream Theater (which they seem to be abandoning), rather than the heavier side. Usually when I would get a new DT album, it would require about 10 listens before the main themes and melodies would emerge and get stuck in my mind. After listening to this latest album for about a month straight, it has just gotten stale for me. I think that the band used to have a much better balance between what is technically hard to play and what is catchy. After multiple listens, I’ve found that many of the riffs on the new album were becoming tedious and irritating to my ear, often sounding more like guitar picking exercises than musical motifs. Unfortunately, I've kind of felt the same about their last three studio albums, though I tended to overlook my disappointment because of the band's rich history. This last album has really epitomized that disappointed feeling in me.

I don’t write this easily. Dream Theater has long been one of the few bright spots in a music scene that is mostly barren. I still love their earlier work and revere it as some of the best music ever made; however, they just don’t feel like a vital entity anymore.

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yogi's picture

I ABSOLUTELY love this album. It has replaced Octovarium as my favorite Dream Theatre album. It is a masterpiece.

Styx's 'Equinox' & 'Pieces Of Eight' along with Journey's 'Infinity', Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' Glen Burtnik's 'Welcome To Hollywood' , and Drem Theatre's 'Octovarium' & 'Images & Words' are my all time favorite albums.

Currently, they all have slid down a notch because I just cant listen enough to A Dramatic Turn Of Events. Every song is good and I would consider a minimum of 5 being classics.

I get to see them live tomorrow in Grand Prarie, TX. My first Dream Theatre show and I cant wait!!!

KirksNoseHair_2's picture

Well, this album, for me, as a person who has followed Dream Theater since they put out their first album, is the best thing they've released since 6DOIT.

Fact is, you just can't please every fan.

Wolfpacker96's picture

[quote=Psygnosis99]Couldn't disagree more in every way. No need to elaborate, if you call yourself such a fan why on and cry about things almost no one else agrees with?[/quote]

Huh, because this is a forum and that's what forums are for!! I don't agree with his analysis either, but if we all just agreed with everything, this would be a pretty damn boring forum!

reo73's picture

I've been a fan since I&W and seen them about 5 times. I was always more into the older era of DT music but really do like all their output. With that said I was also growing a bit tired of their last few albums. Not since Six Degrees have I really been obsessed with a DT album. However, though I am not going as far as to say I am obsessed with ADTOE I believe it to be a big step in the right direction for me. The only song that i am not into is BMU/BMD. Bridges and Outcry are absolutely fantastic songs.

Psygnosis99's picture

Couldn't disagree more in every way. No need to elaborate, if you call yourself such a fan why on and cry about things almost no one else agrees with?

troyofyort's picture

To be perfectly honest this is the first album since Scenes I can actually listen to all the way through....and frequently too

johncal's picture

[quote=Soulfire][quote=johncal]Sorry, your opinion is wrong![/quote]

What kind of comment is that dude? An opinion is an opinion. Guy doesn't like ADTOE, fair enough. It's not their strongest work that's for sure. I like it, but its definitely not right up there for me either.[/quote]

My comment is the oldest joke in the world..... glad to see people still fall for it.

Obviously an opinion can't be wrong.

lak89's picture

^No love for Lost Not Forgotten?

Wolfpacker96's picture

I personally love the new album. I never really got into Black Clouds fully for whatever reason, but the new one, to me, is a breath of fresh air. Lyrics are outstanding and the songs just feel right. I actually thought they sounded less like musical exercises than the previous album. Backs of Angels is a decent song but I don't care as much for tracks 2&3, but tracks 4-9 just leave me sitting here with a stupid grin my face.

DragonAttack's picture

PSun....I haven't been a fan as long as you, but I'm with you on the more melodic DT and your comments regarding the last two albums (which have their moments). I prefer 'Scenes', the 'Six Degrees' title track, Octavarium, and, I will admit....almost all of 'Infinity'. Yet I never tire of tracks such as 'As I Am', 'Enemies', or 'Constant Motion'.

I had very low expectations for this album. Took quite a few listens, some personal edits, going over the much better lyrics than the last two, and I'm quite satisfied with it. Seeing them in DC on Monday certainly added to my enjoyment. Seeing them all having fun after what looked like work the last two times helped (a great light show works wonders too). I do hope you have seen or plan to see them on this tour.

I try to listen to their releases as pretend 'album' sides, or I may just delete a track or three. And I may not listen to the whole thing at once. For 'Events', my always deleted tracks are 'Lost Not Forgotten' and 'Outcry', those these two in the place of 'The Shattered Fortress' and 'Best of Times' would make for a much improved 'Black Clouds'. (yeah, I know, I can feel the rolling eyes and feel the stones from here;-)). There's so much that I do like in these....just feel they could have been tightened up and shortened slightly.

Two track listings: Angels/Life/Build Me Up/Bridges/Heaven/Illusions/Surface.....when the wife is around.
Angels/Build Me Up/Bridges (minus the chants) as side one, and a few hours later, ...... Life/Illusions/Surface.

Seven well done, and not certainly not boring tunes. I'm still surprised that 'Bridges' and 'Illusions' are 11+ minutes, since they fly by to me. I won't go into how the keyboards and guitars generally seem to fit, rather than distract. No annoying cookie monster vocals, growling, or spoken speeches to ruin things. James is in fine voice. And I notice the bass again. It was a band effort. Looking forward to the next release, when MM gets to add a bit more of his talents.

Hell, take a break from them for a day or a week. Or listen to the same track over and over before listening to the next one...over and over.... That's what I did to get ready for the concert. It worked for me.

my boring two cent opinion

Sabian's picture

Couldn't disagree more. I also have been a fan since the beginning, and this is the first CD in some time that I just can't stop listening to. Eventhough I admire, respect, and like MM...Dream Theater will only be Dream Theater with Portnoy. I looked forward to listening to whatever amazing thing MP would pull off next, not taking away from MM...it was always the "right" fit. I don't like the mixing of the new CD...other than that it's great. I just hope that with this break, they will somehow be able to get back together. I hear some peoples expectations of new material, and I don't think that anybody could achieve it. All bands grow, DT is no exception. I always appreciate the effort that goes into each record. This one is one of their best....IMO.

lak89's picture

There's no such thing as a wrong opinion, but anyway, I love all eras of DT, maybe a little more towards their metal side because I'm more metal inclined myself, I enjoy ADTOE but it won't be in my top 3.

Soulfire's picture

[quote=johncal]Sorry, your opinion is wrong![/quote]

What kind of comment is that dude? An opinion is an opinion. Guy doesn't like ADTOE, fair enough. It's not their strongest work that's for sure. I like it, but its definitely not right up there for me either.

johncal's picture

Sorry, your opinion is wrong!

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