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Victor_Of_The_Void
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:19 am
Posts: 84
Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:46 am 
 

I have been listening to a lot of Dream Theater lately and although I have to concede they get a bit redundant sometimes, they are generally an exciting and innovative lot.
However I have noted on several forums that most metalheads don't care much for this band. Some of them downright loathe them. I find this a bit hard to comprehend since when anyone talks about Progressive metal, there is hardly a band out there that has taken that style or subgenre or whateveruwannacallit and owned it as Dream Theater has.

These days, I like my Prog with a more traditional metal feel, stuff like Hammers of Misfortune and Brutal Hand but if we're talking ultimate prog in the 70's style meets 80's metal, no band did it like Fates Warning and Dream Theater. *there's Presto Ballet these days who are a bit more forceful with their 70's influences but since they're given to obscurity, influentially they are unimportant* And where Fates was a bit more restrained, DT took the keyboard fueled style of Yes and married it well with Metallica/Iron Maiden riffology.

So I'd like to know from all you DT haters, what is it about this seemingly monumental band that puts you off and DT lovers, what is it about the band that you think makes them worth mentioning in the metal spectrum.

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Blizk
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:30 am
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:57 am 
 

Victor_Of_The_Void wrote:
So I'd like to know from all you DT haters, what is it about this seemingly monumental band that puts you off and DT lovers, what is it about the band that you think makes them worth mentioning in the metal spectrum.

Often the negativity is centered around vocalist James LaBrie, who I guess met the founding members' Geddy Lee perversions when he auditioned back in early 90s. His voice tends to give Dream Theater's music an overly cheesy effect sometimes, but I'm not generally put off by a vocalist that easily. For me DT is a pretty consistently good band.

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TheLiberation
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:58 am 
 

Woah, now this is interesting.

For me, Dream Theater were a band that completely changed my approach to metal and music altogether; the first album I heard was Octavarium, and while some songs instantly clicked as great metal songs (The Root of All Evil or Panic Attack), some things were kind of... alien, but still somehow managed to keep me very interested. They're basically a band that showed me two things: first, metal can be very complex (I had been mostly into classic heavy/thrash metal before that) and still remain powerful and energetic as hell, and second, and very important - as amazing as metal is, there is wonderful music outside of metal. And even more - that you can combine both of these, even within one song. Because why not.

While some of their instrumental craziness does occasionally get out of control (Endless Sacrifice...), overall the thing that I find the most amazing is how they can be technical as fuck and write incredibly complex songs, while making them incredibly atmospheric and emotional at the same time. Some technical or progressive bands fall into the trap of becoming too complex and forgetting about everything else, while they manage to maintain a balance between the two. Besides uber-long progressive tracks they've written both some great straightforward metal tracks and shorter, incredibly beautiful ballads. And that is a talent I appreciate, to be honest, even more than their insane technical skills.

And the last, important thing: in my opinion they haven't even released an album weaker than "good". The debut definitely could use some more work, but that's about it - everything after that was slow, persistent evolution and every album brings something new, while maintaining their integrity and being Dream Theater.
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Dandelo
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:08 am
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:01 am 
 

Metropolis is a pretty good album. I'm not a big fan of the ballads on there, but that's nothing new. I liked the experimentation and some of the chorus segments are pretty memorable. I can't comment on the band's output in its entirety, but from that snippet I do not hate them, far from it.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:04 am 
 

They can get pretty self indulgent and their albums go on too long maybe, but I like that they try to make every album sound different and they're usually always very creative. Images and Words is a clear classic, but Octavarium is also really good and even Systematic Chaos is great in its own way.
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colin040
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:11 am 
 

Dream Theater get bored way too easy for me. The band wrote several cool songs in their earlier years (''To Live Forever'', ''The Killing Hand'', ''Pull Me Under'' and ''Learning to Live'' just to name a few) but...in general I found the heavier stuff to come off forced and laughable while the band's ballads are some of the most lifeless and dull I've ever heard and while it's probably the most heard argument aginst their music, Dream Theater tunes are often way too overlong and consist of showing off for no reason. If possible I'd have liked to see the band in 1993-1994 though: they seemed like a fresh, energetic band back then. James LaBrie was a lot better back then too, while going for a more aggressive vocal approach, even if it wasn't healthy at all.

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299796kms
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:21 am 
 

Because it's musical masturbation of the dullest variety.
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By_Inheritance
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:22 am 
 

I don't hate them but I definitely have mixed opinions about them. I do like some of their songs, and Images and Words is probably their most consistent album for me, but they have a lot of crap too. I'm not much of a fan of the post-Scenes From a Memory albums. They became too 'metal', for lack of a better word. They started incorporating all this boring, 'groovy' riff writing into their songs. Train of Thought is the worst offender. I guess I prefer their earlier, 'proggy' stuff, where their metal elements were not as in your face. I hate Portnoy's backing vocals on the latter stuff too. That bored sounding talk/shout shit grates on me so bad. One thing that has always annoyed me about all eras of Dream Theater though is the lyrics. They've always been so badly written. Usually lyrics don't bother me but with this band, sometimes I can't ignore it. They're all insanely accomplished musicians, but none of them can write lyrics at all. It's kind of funny in a sad way. That's their biggest downfall for me; for all their talent, it's the simple things that break them.
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Megadeth
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:15 am 
 

I like them, but I've just found other bands that I like more.

It seems to me that many people think Dream Theater and Symphony X creates the "only" true progressive metal, and that all progressive metal needs to sound like that. I visited a progressive metal room on a Spotify app, and it was basically all people wanted to hear. I've noticed similar things many other times too. What else they listen to is music like Tool, A Perfect Circle, Porcupine Tree, Pain of Salvation, Circus Maximus and Liquid Tension Experiment. A LOT of this music I can't stand, and it has really corrupted my listening experience. But I don't really have anything against Dream Theater.

I can be put off by some bands that wants to make these long show-off technical songs without any substance. This is something I very often feel about neo-classical musicians and shredders (like Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio and Marty Friedman), but I don't get this impression from listening to Dream Theater. I think they make some very decent and complete albums.


Last edited by Megadeth on Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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doomster999
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:21 am 
 

I was a huge Dream Theater fan at a point, still love them. But I think they've become more and more technical and sort of robotic over the years, specially Petrucci's guitar playing, it just doesn't generate the feel like it used to in the earlier albums like Images and Words and Awake. And yea, LaBrie's voice can get a bit skanky sometimes but overall I don't have any problem with his vocals. And it's a good thing that Portnoy got kicked out. Don't get me wrong, I've immense respect for him but he was dragging the band to worse by holding it unnecessarily.
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Littlewolf
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:30 am 
 

I never listen to their albums when I'm home, but I've been to their concerts twice and both were excellent! (A+)
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MARSDUDE
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:36 am 
 

I always thought Dream Theater was a band of really talented musicians, with a rather amateur sounding vocalist.

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Megadeth
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:43 am 
 

MARSDUDE wrote:
I always thought Dream Theater was a band of really talented musicians, with a rather amateur sounding vocalist.

Maybe you don't like his voice, but I can't understand how you would think he sounds like an amateur. I think he sings very professionally. If anything it might be the opposite, that he sounds "too professional" and almost flawlessly polished. Many other metal vocalists can't even sing.

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MARSDUDE
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:46 am 
 

I don't think LaBrie has the range for a band like Dream Theater. To me, he comes across as an amateur in a band of really talented musicians-- it's that simple. You disagree or you agree. Either way, I don't give a crap.

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WingedOctopus
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:41 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:07 pm 
 

Megadeth wrote:
MARSDUDE wrote:
I always thought Dream Theater was a band of really talented musicians, with a rather amateur sounding vocalist.

Maybe you don't like his voice, but I can't understand how you would think he sounds like an amateur. I think he sings very professionally. If anything it might be the opposite, that he sounds "too professional" and almost flawlessly polished. Many other metal vocalists can't even sing.

Agreed. The criticisms of LaBrie are essentially the same as the criticisms of Petrucci - that he's too polished/mechanical. I've always thought this criticism was pretty ridiculous. As if playing a little slower and sloppier would make things more emotional.
I used to love Dream Theater. Still do, honestly. I've always thought the lyrics were bad, though.

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IanThrash
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:10 pm 
 

Quote:
I can be put off by some bands that wants to make these long show-off technical songs without any substance. This is something I very often feel about neo-classical musicians and shredders (like Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio and Marty Friedman)



Wut?
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Megadeth
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:16 pm 
 

IanThrash wrote:
Quote:
I can be put off by some bands that wants to make these long show-off technical songs without any substance. This is something I very often feel about neo-classical musicians and shredders (like Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio and Marty Friedman)



Wut?

That's not a question, so how am I supposed to reply? Marty Friedman was one of the first people I thought of even if it might not be the best example. It's just an example of the kind of technical music I can get really sick of. I'm talking about his solo career.

http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Marty_Friedman/1682
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jr1uk2SvbY


Last edited by Megadeth on Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Lions Den
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:17 pm 
 

Most of people hating them cause of the envy on what they create and on what they are.
Nothing more, just this.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:26 pm 
 

IanThrash wrote:
Quote:
I can be put off by some bands that wants to make these long show-off technical songs without any substance. This is something I very often feel about neo-classical musicians and shredders (like Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Angelo Batio and Marty Friedman)



Wut?

I know you're a Spanish speaker, but come on, don't post silly and stupid 1 word comments, it will really tempt me to kill this thread. I'll keep an eye on it for now though.
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IanThrash
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:34 pm 
 

Metantoine wrote:
IanThrash wrote:


Wut?

I know you're a Spanish speaker, but come on, don't post silly and stupid 1 word comments, it will really tempt me to kill this thread. I'll keep an eye on it for now though.


Okay, sorry for that pal, wont happen again.

Personally I find Petrucci´s solos really tasteless, i cant feel them nor understand where he is going when flies across the frets, i know he is really skilled.
Total subjectivity here, but after trying several times to get into DT I now can say that I dislike them irremediably. As a guitar player, non pleasent guitar work can totally turn me off of a band, no matter how talented.
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ZomGolTo
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:27 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:40 pm 
 

There are three attributes of Dream Theater that prevent me from thoroughly enjoying their music. Two of these have already been brought up in this thread: James LaBrie's voice and the lyrics. I would not say that LaBrie's performances are amateur, I think it would be foolish to imply that he doesn't have good technique. His tone and approach to vocals simply bother me. To some extent one can't blame him, given the content he has to deal with.

The third factor is John Petrucci's guitar tone. I love Alex Lifeson and James Hetfield as much as the next guy, but taking a James Hetfield distorted guitar and layering it with Alex Lifeson processing.... just, no. It makes this metal band about as edgy as a limp noodle. My listening experience with Dream Theater is limited, so maybe he has changed/improved this over time, and I am unfamiliar.

All of that being said, I think Kevin Moore was an incredibly tasteful player. He belongs in a category similar to Rick Wright of Pink Floyd: understated and irreplacable. No one they have found since really competes. Is anyone familiar with his solo works, and willing to recommend one?

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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:47 pm 
 

Dream Theater is for me one of those bands which, at their best, are amazing, yet at their worst, can be a total chore to listen to. Their first handful of albums is great, with lots of good melodies and hooks intermixed with intricate songwriting and stunning musicianship. After that though, they started to put a bigger emphasis on complexity while turning good songwriting into anything but a priority. You can still find some great songs scattered around their discography if you dig hard enough, but all in all, their best stuff tends to be concentrated on their first three (and Metropolis Pt. 2, but I'm one of a minority here).
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:52 pm 
 

I used to be a big fan of Dream Theater, I own their discography and everything but I rarely go back to it these days except perhaps for I&W, Awake, Metropolis and some songs here and there. I still follow the band but I don't enjoy them like I used to.

Labrie really used to be awesome in my opinion, after he got an accident, things started to be difficult for him. He's still pretty fine on Train of Thought and Falling Into Infinity. But sometimes I can't help but wonder how DT would be much better with someone else (John Arch!!!!!!).

I also agree with ZomGol about Moore, he's an immense musician (check out OSI, cool stuff) and I definitely dislike Rudess, he's really annoying live too with his 3 hours keyboard solos, fuck that shit, I'd rather see Kirk Hammett trying to play Megadeth solos instead.
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InvalidPacket
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:59 pm 
 

I've always found Dream Theater to be just alright. I can't recall ever saying to myself, "I think I'll listen to some Dream Theater today." I find myself always wanting to shut them off about halfway through an album. One of these days I'll try to go through their discography to see if that's changed.
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:00 pm 
 

Tony, regarding the "Dream Theater with John Arch" thing, you might want to give this clip a listen, even if, admittedly, Arch wasn't at the top of his game there.

And I agree with the fact that LaBrie was completely badass on his heyday, as he used to scream his head off with ease. He's still good, just not..... Mindblowing.
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Riffs
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:07 pm 
 

Hate would be too strong of a word. Dream Theater make shitty music. Why?

Because virtuosity should serve music rather than music serving virtuosity.
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w0Lf
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:08 pm 
 

The "progressive" label is really a misnomer. Most of their songs are verse-chorus dressed up with interludes and transition riffs.
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colin040
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:12 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
he used to scream his head off


Yep.

Xlxlx wrote:
with ease.


Ehh? There are quite some clips of James fucking up quite badly even before the accident such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRhjjl3Gd3g

I've said it again but the rasp and improved high notes definitely weren't a smart move for LaBrie. He definitely got me hooked that way...but the price he paid just wasn't worth it.

Oh and by the way, the vocals at Live at Marquee were later edited in the studio I've heard.

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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:23 pm 
 

Okay, Colin, you got me there. But hey, are you sure the vocals in Live at the Marquee were edited? Because he was fully capable of pulling off the stuff he does in that album back then.
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TheLiberation
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:28 pm 
 

Riffs wrote:
Hate would be too strong of a word. Dream Theater make shitty music. Why?

Because virtuosity should serve music rather than music serving virtuosity.

God, this is the most bullshit cliche ever to exist, it's right up there with "metal is just satanic noise for teenagers". Yes, it is this bad.

Their music is in no way based on virtuosity, yes there are crazy instrumental sections, but these are usually placed in longer songs, in places where they do actually make sense. They have tons of straightforward, heavy metal tracks (off the top of my head: The Mirror, As I Am, Constant Motion), they have tons of melodic songs, which you may like or not, but they are very well-written and tasteful songs (Hollow Years, Wither, The Silent Man).

By saying DT is all about virtuosity and technicality you instantly prove you have absolutely zero idea about them and show a similar level of knowing the subject as the people who drop the aforementioned sentence.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:29 pm 
 

They are pretty damn technical and they go off on a lot of instrumental tangents, but yeah, agreed with TheLiberation; they always have straightforward/atmospheric moments on every album that hit pretty hard. They have catchy hooks and can pen some good riffs and ride them out properly. At their best they can be exciting and epic; nowhere near the level of boring wank that some people seem to hear in every album.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:31 pm 
 

Most of their stuff to me sounds like radio rock with a few pointless gimmicks. I'm not impressed by John or Mike's musicianship, and LaBrie is really cheesy to go along with the cheese lyrics.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:36 pm 
 

Yes, I'm sorry Riffs, but you're wrong and it's kind of a petty/low content argument. The band always offered pretty atmospheric moments, like Empy said and they always wrote ballads. If you were talking about Liquid Tension Experiment, ok perhaps, but not DT. Saying their priority always has been virtuosity over songwriting is making you sound like you never heard Awake or Falling Into Infinity.

Just check the 2nd CD of this compilation: http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Dr ... %29/184791
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Veracs
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:42 pm 
 

They've got some good songs here but their albums are overlong, and frankly the music isn't all that interesting to me and it just ends up as background music before I change the album. Labrie is a fine vocalist but the riffs are shit and don't have any of the memorability as early Fates or the two first Crimson Glory which are better than DT's entire boring career.
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Riffs
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:55 pm 
 

TheLiberation wrote:

Their music is in no way based on virtuosity, yes there are crazy instrumental sections, but these are usually placed in longer songs, in places where they do actually make sense. They have tons of straightforward, heavy metal tracks (off the top of my head: The Mirror, As I Am, Constant Motion), they have tons of melodic songs, which you may like or not, but they are very well-written and tasteful songs (Hollow Years, Wither, The Silent Man).

By saying DT is all about virtuosity and technicality you instantly prove you have absolutely zero idea about them and show a similar level of knowing the subject as the people who drop the aforementioned sentence.


You must have a weird definition of "well-written" and "tasteful".

I know enough about Dream Theater, as I was standing about 3 meters away from them when they were at the Club Soda for the tour supporting Images and Words. Back when only a few even knew about those guys. Then I was subjected to them a few years ago (Gigantour I think?).

There is absolutely nothing heavy metal about Dream Theater. They're shit and that's it.
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Riffs
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:00 pm 
 

Metantoine wrote:
Yes, I'm sorry Riffs, but you're wrong and it's kind of a petty/low content argument. The band always offered pretty atmospheric moments, like Empy said and they always wrote ballads. If you were talking about Liquid Tension Experiment, ok perhaps, but not DT. Saying their priority always has been virtuosity over songwriting is making you sound like you never heard Awake or Falling Into Infinity.


Nooooooo, not you Tony! :cry: :-P

I've definitely heard Awake a good number of times. The other one, I don't remember, as that stuff strikes me as virtuoso fapping and nothing more.

Sorry, not trying to be low but their stuff strikes me as incredibly hollow and I definitely think songcraft takes a backseat to showing off.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:12 pm 
 

I thought you were a decent debater. I guess I was wrong! Being a metal veteran doesn't exclude anyone from spouting bullshit like you did in your previous post. I still definitely think that you're wrong with your assessment about their sound as many of their songs and even albums are not "virtuoso fapping".

OPINIONS MAN, oh no I like a popular band that you don't!
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 19350
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:13 pm 
 

Maybe a couple of songs on each album are 'virtuoso fapping' at best? I dunno man, every album has radio rock/metal singles plus some tracks that have very well done build ups and progressions. Their really long tunes can get pretty spastic, but even then, that's not all they do.
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MrMcThrasher II
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:01 pm
Posts: 846
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:24 pm 
 

I can see why people hate them. I'm one of those people.
Now, I like Progressive/Technical stuff. Always been a fan of stuff from Camel to Necrophagist, from Rush to Blotted Science, etc. I'm not some kid that believes that technicality makes music, nor do I believe that technicality makes bad music.
That said, I HATE Dream Theater. Why? They're BORING. I even like some of the individual members of the band as musicians. Portnoy is a great drummer, and I love the voice of James. That's about it though.
Petrucci, in my opinion, is a boring-as-hell guitar player. I just don't find him...special. There are shredders with more personality than him, like Batio for crying out loud. Rudess is also boring to watch; he's probably the most boring musician I've ever seen play. EVER. I haven't an opinion on the bassist, but he's...okay.
When it comes to song-writing, some of their stuff is okay. The bad always seems to out-way the good. I get nothing out of them I couldn't get from another band though.
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Also hopefully they take it as a sign they're not meant to make more albums.

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Twisted_Psychology
Veteran

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 3005
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:36 pm 
 

ZomGolTo wrote:
All of that being said, I think Kevin Moore was an incredibly tasteful player. He belongs in a category similar to Rick Wright of Pink Floyd: understated and irreplacable. No one they have found since really competes. Is anyone familiar with his solo works, and willing to recommend one?


Chroma Key is pretty good from what I've heard and the last OSI was absolutely stellar in my opinion. I am one of those people that loves just about everything that Dream Theater has put out but they definitely did lose a lot of their class when Kevin Moore left. That and he happened to be the best lyricist they ever had. Just listen to Lie and Space Dye Vest and you'll see what I mean.
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