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worst decision and album Ever!

  • worst decision and album Ever!
    January 17, 2012 - 7:24am

    I have been a die hard dream theater fan for years. From the very first time I saw their performance at a friends house on tv I was hooked. And mike portnoy as well as petrucci were the twomain reasons for it. I never liked labries opera voice but he did a few good songs. Instrumentals were always the best part of DT. Well today I bought the new album popped it in, and although I liked it at first.... I came to quickly realize it was overly simple, and didn't sound like dream theater anymore. I opened the cover to realize why. The off beat master and drum god mike portnoy was gone. Shame on dt for not waiting for a breather and starting this lame effort to kick him out. All I can say is you have lost at least one fan for sure in me. I'm dissapointed beyond words and I hope this album flops because sadly its simply not the same!! You're new album is studio sound garbage compared to the incredible DT of old.... Wow man... Sad.

    2
FlyinGuitar's picture
on January 17, 2012 - 7:24am

I have been a die hard dream theater fan for years. From the very first time I saw their performance at a friends house on tv I was hooked. And mike portnoy as well as petrucci were the twomain reasons for it. I never liked labries opera voice but he did a few good songs. Instrumentals were always the best part of DT. Well today I bought the new album popped it in, and although I liked it at first.... I came to quickly realize it was overly simple, and didn't sound like dream theater anymore. I opened the cover to realize why. The off beat master and drum god mike portnoy was gone. Shame on dt for not waiting for a breather and starting this lame effort to kick him out. All I can say is you have lost at least one fan for sure in me. I'm dissapointed beyond words and I hope this album flops because sadly its simply not the same!! You're new album is studio sound garbage compared to the incredible DT of old.... Wow man... Sad.

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Andreas Cambrand's picture

So, you bought and listened to their new album more than five months after its release and you didn't know that Mike left the band even though it's been one of the scene's most talked about events ever since he himself announced it 16 months ago? Please don't call yourself a "die hard fan" just to put some weight behind your bashing, some would even consider that insulting.

What happened with Mike is both unfortunate and sad to the point of being heartbreaking but if you were a die hard fan you'd also know that Mike wasn't "kicked out", he left the band. He wanted DT to go on an indefinite hiatus, reunite sometime in the future and make a glorious comeback. That's what he was asking for. I don't blame him for wanting a break though, he's been in control over so many aspects of this band for so many years that I understand that he'd want a breather. Dream Theater was his life and I feel truly sorry for him now that he's out but the problem is the band is the life of four other guys as well and they were all eager and ready to start working on the next album when Mike dropped the bomb. I'm sure it would have been different if Mike had said that he wanted to take a break for what would equal one record-release-tour cycle, like 2 years, but he wanted them to go on an [i][u]indefinite hiatus[/u][/i]. This would mean that the other four would have to put their lives on hold for an unknown, unspecified number of years so that Portnoy could join up with Avenged Sevenfold and do whatever he felt like doing, for however long he felt like doing it. The guys are not in their thirties anymore and their entire lives revolve around this band. They didn't kick Mike out, they told him that they didn't want to take a break without even knowing for how long it would last and so Mike decided to leave Dream Theater, even though Petrucci (and I'm sure the others as well) tried to make him reconsider his decision.

The guys were devastated and felt like they had lost a family member but they picked themselves up and started to look for a way to carry on doing what they love. Did you even watch the 1 hour documentary on how they searched for someone to take over after Mike? The documentary that they released for us fans to see, free of charge? It's called "The Spirit Carries On", a very fitting title in my opinion. In it you will see them audition seven of the best drummers in the world and how they finally made their decision. Mike Mangini was not only a friend of Mike Portnoy and some of the others in the band, he's also arguably the most technically advanced drummer in the world. Add to that the fact that Mangini was a full-time faculty member (teaching percussion students) at the Berklee College of Music - the school where it all began, the school in which childhood friends John Myung and John Petrucci met Mike Portnoy back in the 80's and formed Majesty. He also set five World's Fastest Drummer records and oh, he [i]literally[/i] wrote the book on complex polyrhythms and time signatures (in fact he wrote two). His polyrhythmical abilities are more or less unrivaled and people have (jokingly of course) accused him of having more than one brain in that head of his, allowing him to play as if he had one brain dedicated to each limb. In addition to all this they were also on the same page, both musically and personally. To them, and to a lot of us fans, he was the perfect choice. One can love Portnoy and everything he's done for the band, miss him immensely, think that what happened was really sad and [i]still[/i] think that adding Mangini to the line-up was a good thing.

After the band had gone through all this, after they had mourned the loss of life-long friend and founding member Mike Portnoy, after they had auditioned the drummers and recorded the documentary, after they had brought Mike Mangini into the family and after they had made him a permanent member of Dream Theater - Mike Portnoy changed his mind and wanted back in. They were already fully committed to Mangini, who quit his job at Berklee and made all the arrangements to be a full time member. No matter how sad I was when Portnoy left and no matter how sorry I feel for him for not being a part of Dream Theater anymore I still feel that the guys made the right decision.

You bring up "the incredible DT of old" and that this sounds nothing like it. That makes me wonder what that is to you, is it [i]Train of Thought[/i]? In this album they took a step back to their melodically driven, progressive roots - producing something more in line with albums such as [i]Images & Words[/i] and [i]Scenes From a Memory[/i], which would be "the incredible DT of old" in my book. You say that it's "overly simple" which leads me to think that perhaps you don't quite know what you're talking about. You seem to think that inserting lots of drum-fills is more complicated than implementing some insane polyrhythmical runs to drive and emphasize the other instruments and what's going on melodically in the song. It's more like the other way around. It's a bit less "in your face" than Portnoy's drumming though (and I still love his drumming). Some of the material on this album easily qualifies as being among the most technical and progressive material they've ever written. The technical break-down in the middle of [i]Outcry[/i], just to name one thing, is truly insane and the only song I can think of that's that crazy would be [i]The Dance of Eternity[/i]. A lot of us fans loved that they took a step in this direction but some of course disliked it, it's a matter of personal preferences and taste in the end but to call the new material "overly simple" comes off as ignorant if you ask me.

As for Mike Mangini I think that he has already made DT sound less like a collection of insanely skilled individuals and more like a band consisting of insanely skilled individuals. Those who have seen the new line-up live tend to agree. He utilizes his entire monstrous kit and takes full advantage of having lots of drums with different tones to emphasize the melodic movements in the songs in a way that I've never seen any other drummer do, ever. This however doesn't really come across on the album itself as I feel the drums are too low in the mix, something I'm hoping will change for the next record. They don't have to be overly loud like Portnoy's drums used to be, almost drowning out Myung's bass among other things, but I think it would sound even better if they were turned up a bit for the next album. Oh and about those drum tracks; Mangini didn't write with the guys on this record, it was written without a drummer. Petrucci programmed the drums on the computer when they wrote the songs and later they sent them to Mangini to learn so he could come in and record. But as a die hard fan I'm certain you already knew all about that.

Look, I'm not saying that you have to enjoy the new record or acknowledge Mike Mangini as being a more technically advanced drummer than Portnoy. This is music and in the end it boils down to preferences and opinions. It's perfectly valid to prefer Portnoy's drumming to Mangini's drumming and you are just as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. When you come on though, claiming to be a die hard fan even though you're surprised by the fact there's a new drummer in the band when you first listen to the new material five months after release, and then move on to calling the band's latest effort (which many fans and even critics consider to be the best they've released since [i]Six Degrees[/i] or even [i]Scenes[/i]) "studio sound garbage" you kind of set yourself up to be perceived as a troll. Perhaps I just fed you and if so, joke's on me.

FlyinGuitar's picture

P.s. I don't care that there were conflicts. This entire conflict is childish and immature. Friends of 25+ years shouldn't talk through lawyers. And to not allow him back.. NO EXCUSE. HE BUILT DT. HE IS ARGUABLY THE MAIN PART OF DT.
if you have forgotten the influence and hardships mike has gone through to simply make you Dream Theater... Then watch the 20th anniversary documentary dvd. I'm speechless to hear of this.