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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 4586
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:45 am 
 

A_Dreamer_In_The_Theater wrote:
And he still sings "Voices" quite well in its ENTIRETY!


Wait, what? I've gotta check this out. Seems like all the recent clips that I've heard (which as been a while, I should admit) didn't feature those high lines.

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BaloroftheEvilEye
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:42 am
Posts: 1625
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:48 am 
 

I used to be really into them years ago, but I haven't really listened to them since hearing Live at Budokan. LaBrie's live voice just soured them for me. Silly, I know.

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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2455
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:15 am 
 

I enjoy some DT albums and songs, but they are no short of cons, the most evident being the lack of consistency. I&W, their 'best' album only worths for the half of the tracks, the ballads/slowmo tracks are only filler for Learning To Live, Metropolis, Under a Glass Moon and Pull Me Under.

I also differ from Emp about the riffing. Jim Matheos writes real riffs, not Petrucci. One of the weakest aspects of Awake is the chugga chugga nature of his work, excepting Voices and Erotomania.

LaBrie will always count as a weakness, especially after Awake. His vocals are not really different from your standard power metal singer and his voice was shut for a while. It hurts to see the Scenes from a Memory DVD when he struggles with every high note and needs to change the vocal lines cause he can't reach some notes. The latest albums feature more healthy vocals but, again, the vocal lines are not very challenging either.

Myung could deliver way more, he doesn't shred much. A intro here, a solo there, but his basslines are usually boring (and damn, I play fretless bass for 15 years, so I know a bit of this). He can write some decent lyrics tho, but he doesn't often from what I know.

Rudess lacks taste for the atmospheric/support part in the metal tracks. He can shred and he does it a lot but again, his solos sounds very same-y. He's good on the slow tracks with the piano, he could use that touch for the metal tracks too.

I have no complaints regarding Portnoy or Mangini. The drums have been always the best part of DT.

The hate usually comes from the frankly irritating statements from the fans.

First, I don't consider the DT guys the 'best metal musicians ever'. There are WAY better singers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists and drummers out there that could play the DT stuff with ease.

Second, there are definitely better songwriters. THE unsung hero of prog metal Jim Matheos has a way better grasp at songwriting that all DT guys together. The Fates's albums ARE way more consistent in terms of writing and quality too.
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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:09 pm 
 

The lack of non stop hard hitting riffs isn't the problem...the problem that I have is that the band's songwriting has always been mediocre at best. They've got cool atmospheric monsters such as ''Lines in the Sand'' or ''Learning to Live'' which displays the bands ability to write long songs without wasting any second of. Then there's the material that just drags for no reason such as ''Scarred'' or ''Under a Glass Moon'' (Yeah, I don't care about the solo in it either, Petrucci has definitely written much better ones)

Having that said, the band definitely had potential in their earlier years. I feel every of their earlier material has some highlights here and there, had those been put in one album, you'd get an album that wouldn't flow properly at all but atleast be consistent.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:23 pm 
 

Not going to argue Jim Matheos. That man is one of prog metal's finest players, if not THE finest. He's definitely better than Petrucci; I just don't see why it has to be one or the other. They both have done great things and have some really good moments on classic albums. Just because one is definitely better doesn't make the other bad, ya know?

As for Awake I always found it overrated. Too sterile, too pristinely put together - I never got much emotional gratification from that one like I do from some of their other material.
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FateMetal
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:09 am
Posts: 305
Location: Uganda
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:51 pm 
 

Jim Matheos is the finest composer in Prog metal. I was listening to Disconnected and Fates Warning X the other day and maybe it is because it has been long since they've done anything but suddenly those albums sounded incredibly sublime to me. And have you guys heard the last OSI album? It is much more cold and unaffected than anything you'll hear in Prog these days. VERY UNIQUE!!!

But back to Dream Theater who this thread is about. I love them! They just wear me out sometimes but overall I think they are very consistent and very imaginative. They could use with some less soloing and write more straightforward material every once in a while but other than that, they are OK.
And yes, Scenes From A Memory is BORING and the album where LaBrie's voice suffers a lot. Images & Words, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds and Silver Linings are the better albums. And A Change Of Seasons!!!!! That was awesome! One of the few 20+ minute songs you can actually sit through and wonder where all the time went.

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Ancient_Mariner
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:20 pm
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:55 pm 
 

The horrible singer is the main reason. And they simply do nothing for me musically.

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A_Dreamer_In_The_Theater
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:37 pm
Posts: 89
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:06 pm 
 

Atmospheric, deeply rousing Dream Theater songs-the kind that take you on a journey;
The Count Of Tuscany
Blind Faith
Lines In The Sand

Overtly technical DT stuff that still functions as memorable songs;
The Dance Of Eternity
Under A Glass Moon
A Nightmare To Remember

Delicate, emotional and ballad-type songs;
Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
Hollow Years
Solitary Shell

Dream Theater play THRASH;
Honor Thy Father
The Glass Prison
Constant Motion

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Ancient_Sorrow
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:10 pm
Posts: 2216
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:35 pm 
 

I'll be the first to admit that it's a piss-poor reason to avoid a band, but generally, I find them to be the sort of band which time and time again attract the worst kind of fanboy, along with the likes of, in my experience, Opeth, Meshuggah, and everything Devin Townsend has touched.

Whenever I try to listen, the songs just don't sound like anything. They're solid, accomplished, intricate and vaguely well written, but they don't exude any atmosphere; Count of Tuscany, for instance, feels so unevocative.
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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:13 pm 
 

The only time I've heard DT playing thrash is when they play Metallica songs live.

Wasn't The Count of Tuscany the song made with pieces of other songs? it sounds like Opetish copy-paste.

Agreed with Ancient Sorrow. It's a pain in the ass to talk with dedicated fans of those bands - nothing that should detract the band itself, but still it's hard to give your honest opinion to a blind fanboy.
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TheLiberation
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:21 pm 
 

Peroy wrote:
w0Lf wrote:
Here.

Although I'd rate the album about 25 points higher, I think Kruel's review does a good job of fleshing out what's really wrong with them: their 'progressiveness' is a superficial veneer pasted atop a mediocre power metal band.


Kruel's reviews never do a good job of anything...

They do a pretty good job at making me want to kill myself with a spoon.

Ancient_Sorrow wrote:
I'll be the first to admit that it's a piss-poor reason to avoid a band, but generally, I find them to be the sort of band which time and time again attract the worst kind of fanboy, along with the likes of, in my experience, Opeth, Meshuggah, and everything Devin Townsend has touched.

Whenever I try to listen, the songs just don't sound like anything. They're solid, accomplished, intricate and vaguely well written, but they don't exude any atmosphere; Count of Tuscany, for instance, feels so unevocative.

Ironically my experiences with DT fans were much better than with most bands. The uber-fanboys are indeed quite hilarious at times, but most people don't fall either into the uber-pretentiousness that fanbases of many prog bands suffer from (for example, Porcupine Tree fans often cause similar reactions in me like Kruel's reviews, if we're at it), or the annoying "THIS IS BORING, PLAY HEAVY" of some metal fans.

And I totally disagree about the atmosphere part. A lot of their songs do a great job at creating atmosphere, and this is something I can argue over to death. Actually The Count of Tuscany is a great example imo, to be honest it could be slightly shortened here and there, but the atmosphere of the whole thing (especially the slightly ambient-ish section in the second half) is amazing. This is what makes even their insanely long songs so rewarding, there's something that makes me get into them, rather than just being a huge, long succession of different sections.

Kveldulfr wrote:
I enjoy some DT albums and songs, but they are no short of cons, the most evident being the lack of consistency. I&W, their 'best' album only worths for the half of the tracks, the ballads/slowmo tracks are only filler for Learning To Live, Metropolis, Under a Glass Moon and Pull Me Under.

I also differ from Emp about the riffing. Jim Matheos writes real riffs, not Petrucci. One of the weakest aspects of Awake is the chugga chugga nature of his work, excepting Voices and Erotomania.

LaBrie will always count as a weakness, especially after Awake. His vocals are not really different from your standard power metal singer and his voice was shut for a while. It hurts to see the Scenes from a Memory DVD when he struggles with every high note and needs to change the vocal lines cause he can't reach some notes. The latest albums feature more healthy vocals but, again, the vocal lines are not very challenging either.

First, I don't consider the DT guys the 'best metal musicians ever'. There are WAY better singers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists and drummers out there that could play the DT stuff with ease.

Sorry for cutting the quote but just wanted to address these.

Explain what "filler" means according to you, because I'm pretty sure this term doesn't work here - that album would be incoherent as hell without these tracks, and ironically would be much closer to what a lot of people accuse them of, which is abusing complexity at the cost of songwriting. Their albums are supposed to have both heavy and soft sides, and both complex and simpler songs. As much as I love their prog epics, a DT album built entirely of those would be a mindfuck.

I'm not going to argue who is better, but I generally love JP's riffing style and it just does a great job at driving the music. They're not entirely guitar-centered and they have never been, as keyboards have always had a role of basically a second lead instrument in their case, but the guitar riffs just work great. He knows when is the time to play crazy shit and he knows when to take a back seat. And some of their riffs are really catchy as hell (such as The Test That Stumped Them All, it's pretty high on my list of "neck damage risk" songs).

There are singers I like more than JLB, but in my opinion he's really far better than a lot of progressive metal singers I've heard. He had a weaker period, sure, not everything he does is perfect, but in my opinion his singing style simply has balls. There's just power in what he sings, it's either being emotional when it's a ballad, or it's being sharper and more aggressive in heavier sections. Many progressive singers I've heard really don't have this quality, and they just... don't grab me in any way, it really sometimes feels like the vocals are intentionally supposed to just nothing more than support the instruments. They're not convincing. He is, in my opinion. I don't see the point of comparing if he's as technically good as the other members - who gives a fuck? It's basically self-contradictory if it's in case of people who go with the "too much technicality no substance blablabla" thing, because it's important if a musician has his place in the band, not if he's technically awesome. I'd take a technically average, but emotionally powerful singer that fits into the band over an operatic overlord anytime, sorry.

Similarly to above, I find the whole idea of saying that someone "is the best" ridiculous. How are you going to directly compare skills of musicians, who have different styles? It mostly makes just as much sense as comparing jazz drummers with death metal drummers, the former will probably win at precision, but good luck at keeping the pace of the latter. It doesn't make sense. DT members are definitely up there and are excellent - but determining the best is purely subjective and saying someone is objectively #1 is plain stupid.

Quote:
Wasn't The Count of Tuscany the song made with pieces of other songs? it sounds like Opetish copy-paste.

That was The Shattered Fortress.

----

Sorry for the scary post, I feel almost intimidating when I answer to people's posts like this :lol: but it's hard to solve otherwise, and I just really had to answer these.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4759
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:15 pm 
 

Megadeth wrote:
That review guy (Kruel) seems to hate quite a lot though. Of his 27 reviews he has given 7 albums 0%, including popular albums by Electric Wizard, Ihsahn and Deathspell Omega

He was just copying me. The truth is that Kruel is actually a light hearted guy with a lot of love to give. :P
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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2455
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:25 pm 
 

TheLiberation wrote:
Kveldulfr wrote:
I enjoy some DT albums and songs, but they are no short of cons, the most evident being the lack of consistency. I&W, their 'best' album only worths for the half of the tracks, the ballads/slowmo tracks are only filler for Learning To Live, Metropolis, Under a Glass Moon and Pull Me Under.

I also differ from Emp about the riffing. Jim Matheos writes real riffs, not Petrucci. One of the weakest aspects of Awake is the chugga chugga nature of his work, excepting Voices and Erotomania.

LaBrie will always count as a weakness, especially after Awake. His vocals are not really different from your standard power metal singer and his voice was shut for a while. It hurts to see the Scenes from a Memory DVD when he struggles with every high note and needs to change the vocal lines cause he can't reach some notes. The latest albums feature more healthy vocals but, again, the vocal lines are not very challenging either.

First, I don't consider the DT guys the 'best metal musicians ever'. There are WAY better singers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists and drummers out there that could play the DT stuff with ease.

Sorry for cutting the quote but just wanted to address these.

Explain what "filler" means according to you, because I'm pretty sure this term doesn't work here - that album would be incoherent as hell without these tracks, and ironically would be much closer to what a lot of people accuse them of, which is abusing complexity at the cost of songwriting. Their albums are supposed to have both heavy and soft sides, and both complex and simpler songs. As much as I love their prog epics, a DT album built entirely of those would be a mindfuck.


I would prefer to have more consistent songs instead a display of progressiveness followed by a radio friendly ballad or such. They could (and do sometimes) add mellower passages in the same songs, effectively changing the mood and bringing some dynamics to the tracks. I consider filler songs that do absolutely nothing but add ' variety' : Anna Lee... it was needed? Finally Free? Build Me Up, Break Me Down? Goodbye Kiss? About to Crash? (not that mellow but something that even modern Queensryche could do - ok, it's not Wot we do, but still subpar for DT standards).

TheLiberation wrote:
I'm not going to argue who is better, but I generally love JP's riffing style and it just does a great job ?at driving the music. They're not entirely guitar-centered and they have never been, as keyboards have always had a role of basically a second lead instrument in their case, but the guitar riffs just work great. He knows when is the time to play crazy shit and he knows when to take a back seat. And some of their riffs are really catchy as hell (such as The Test That Stumped Them All, it's pretty high on my list of "neck damage risk" songs).


I used Jim as a comparison in terms of riffing. Matheos actually writes and plays metal riffs, whereas John mostly chugs in a not-that-different way than you average Disturbed song or Pantera's weakest and most monotonous moments. Sure, both bands are different and both musicians are different, but I don't know much people listening DT for the riffs, mostly for the technical prowess. I can listen FW for both, why Petrucci can't write better riffs from time to time?

TheLiberation wrote:
There are singers I like more than JLB, but in my opinion he's really far better than a lot of progressive metal singers I've heard. He had a weaker period, sure, not everything he does is perfect, but in my opinion his singing style simply has balls. There's just power in what he sings, it's either being emotional when it's a ballad, or it's being sharper and more aggressive in heavier sections. Many progressive singers I've heard really don't have this quality, and they just... don't grab me in any way, it really sometimes feels like the vocals are intentionally supposed to just nothing more than support the instruments. They're not convincing. He is, in my opinion. I don't see the point of comparing if he's as technically good as the other members - who gives a fuck? It's basically self-contradictory if it's in case of people who go with the "too much technicality no substance blablabla" thing, because it's important if a musician has his place in the band, not if he's technically awesome. I'd take a technically average, but emotionally powerful singer that fits into the band over an operatic overlord anytime, sorry.

Similarly to above, I find the whole idea of saying that someone "is the best" ridiculous. How are you going to directly compare skills of musicians, who have different styles? It mostly makes just as much sense as comparing jazz drummers with death metal drummers, the former will probably win at precision, but good luck at keeping the pace of the latter. It doesn't make sense. DT members are definitely up there and are excellent - but determining the best is purely subjective and saying someone is objectively #1 is plain stupid.



My comment about the 'best musician' was a reference to what a good share of DT fans says all the time.

I don't mind overly technical stuff, I can listen Burzum and, saying, Spastic Ink and enjoy both and that's possible cause I have a clear idea of what to expect/look for those bands. About DT I look for complex songwriting, musical prowess but also something that projects some emotion with a careful songwriting. I think DT had it in the first 2 albums, some tracks from Awake, Change of Seasons' track and a couple of more scattered thru their discography. So my criticism doesn't come from someone who hates the style or the band, it just that I hear and feel the songwriting has been a bit careless, making the songs pretty hollow lately. I'm not sure if it's cause Moore or not, but ever since at least Rudess joined (Sherinian was good but not quite flashy IMO) the songwriting has been a mess, giving room for faceless tracks with lightning fast solo sections. I liked how they complemented everything before.

True about Shattering Fortress, I confused the name but the concept and feeling about it it's the same.

Why so imtimidated? :lol: it's just an opinion.
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TheLiberation
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:27 pm 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
TheLiberation wrote:
Sorry for cutting the quote but just wanted to address these.

Explain what "filler" means according to you, because I'm pretty sure this term doesn't work here - that album would be incoherent as hell without these tracks, and ironically would be much closer to what a lot of people accuse them of, which is abusing complexity at the cost of songwriting. Their albums are supposed to have both heavy and soft sides, and both complex and simpler songs. As much as I love their prog epics, a DT album built entirely of those would be a mindfuck.


I would prefer to have more consistent songs instead a display of progressiveness followed by a radio friendly ballad or such. They could (and do sometimes) add mellower passages in the same songs, effectively changing the mood and bringing some dynamics to the tracks. I consider filler songs that do absolutely nothing but add ' variety' : Anna Lee... it was needed? Finally Free? Build Me Up, Break Me Down? Goodbye Kiss? About to Crash? (not that mellow but something that even modern Queensryche could do - ok, it's not Wot we do, but still subpar for DT standards).

Well, and variety is they key here. Except maybe for Anna Lee (which is imo a very nice song anyway), the others are pretty much necessary to be where they are on their albums. Finally Free is the perfect closer, BMU, BMD is a simpler rock/metal track the album desperately needs (with the number of long tracks on that one), Goodnight Kiss and About to Crash are both softer but very emotional moments of Six Degrees. Sure, they could probably strip down their albums to just the longest tracks, and have like 45-55 mins as a result, but the albums would have zero flow and would be utterly inaccessible to people who are not into prog (and really, really patient metalheads).

And sorry, but I don't think anything DT has ever done, even at their weakest points, is even close to Mr. Tate's recent "masterpieces" with their ridiculous backing vocals overdose and guitar riffs so energetic like my house when the power went down in the whole area a while ago. (Comparison just as crappy as the subject we're talking about)

Quote:
TheLiberation wrote:
I'm not going to argue who is better, but I generally love JP's riffing style and it just does a great job ?at driving the music. They're not entirely guitar-centered and they have never been, as keyboards have always had a role of basically a second lead instrument in their case, but the guitar riffs just work great. He knows when is the time to play crazy shit and he knows when to take a back seat. And some of their riffs are really catchy as hell (such as The Test That Stumped Them All, it's pretty high on my list of "neck damage risk" songs).


I used Jim as a comparison in terms of riffing. Matheos actually writes and plays metal riffs, whereas John mostly chugs in a not-that-different way than you average Disturbed song or Pantera's weakest and most monotonous moments. Sure, both bands are different and both musicians are different, but I don't know much people listening DT for the riffs, mostly for the technical prowess. I can listen FW for both, why Petrucci can't write better riffs from time to time?

There is definitely some groove metal or even occasionally nu-metal influence in DT, but there's plenty of heavy and thrash metal influence in that. I'm not going to dissect riffs one by one here because it's a really blurry subject, but I don't see anything wrong with the way he writes riffs - they're pretty varied, they're catchy, they're heavy, they do what they're supposed to do.

Quote:
TheLiberation wrote:
There are singers I like more than JLB, but in my opinion he's really far better than a lot of progressive metal singers I've heard. He had a weaker period, sure, not everything he does is perfect, but in my opinion his singing style simply has balls. There's just power in what he sings, it's either being emotional when it's a ballad, or it's being sharper and more aggressive in heavier sections. Many progressive singers I've heard really don't have this quality, and they just... don't grab me in any way, it really sometimes feels like the vocals are intentionally supposed to just nothing more than support the instruments. They're not convincing. He is, in my opinion. I don't see the point of comparing if he's as technically good as the other members - who gives a fuck? It's basically self-contradictory if it's in case of people who go with the "too much technicality no substance blablabla" thing, because it's important if a musician has his place in the band, not if he's technically awesome. I'd take a technically average, but emotionally powerful singer that fits into the band over an operatic overlord anytime, sorry.

Similarly to above, I find the whole idea of saying that someone "is the best" ridiculous. How are you going to directly compare skills of musicians, who have different styles? It mostly makes just as much sense as comparing jazz drummers with death metal drummers, the former will probably win at precision, but good luck at keeping the pace of the latter. It doesn't make sense. DT members are definitely up there and are excellent - but determining the best is purely subjective and saying someone is objectively #1 is plain stupid.


My comment about the 'best musician' was a reference to what a good share of DT fans says all the time.

I don't mind overly technical stuff, I can listen Burzum and, saying, Spastic Ink and enjoy both and that's possible cause I have a clear idea of what to expect/look for those bands. About DT I look for complex songwriting, musical prowess but also something that projects some emotion with a careful songwriting. I think DT had it in the first 2 albums, some tracks from Awake, Change of Seasons' track and a couple of more scattered thru their discography. So my criticism doesn't come from someone who hates the style or the band, it just that I hear and feel the songwriting has been a bit careless, making the songs pretty hollow lately. I'm not sure if it's cause Moore or not, but ever since at least Rudess joined (Sherinian was good but not quite flashy IMO) the songwriting has been a mess, giving room for faceless tracks with lightning fast solo sections. I liked how they complemented everything before.

True about Shattering Fortress, I confused the name but the concept and feeling about it it's the same.

Why so imtimidated? :lol: it's just an opinion.

Maybe some of them, but I'm pretty sure many are aware that there are musicians on a comparable skill level. I really haven't had contact with many full-on fanboys, lots of DT fans I've encountered were fairly reasonable and quite critical.

Well, for me it's the other way around in fact - the first two albums are pretty good, but for me they sound like they still need some more maturity and experience. Awake was the turning point, when the music gained a lot of atmosphere and flow, while Scenes From a Memory mastered it all to perfection, and all albums since then are very good and basically build upon what they did on that one. The songwriting does go out of hand only occasionally (I think I've already mentioned Endless Sacrifice, where the instrumental section is overkill), overall it sounds like everything has its place - there is time for more restrained playing and emotion, and there is time to go batshit crazy and do something insane, and the two flow in such a good way that I don't get the feeling of "this ruins the atmosphere" almost never.

I meant I feel intimidating, when I sort of dissect a post paragraph by paragraph, I remember someone once commented on that :P
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Woolie_Wool
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:46 pm 
 

MARSDUDE wrote:
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.

He was pretty elite among metal singers in his prime. Unfortunately, when singers wear out their voices, they can't buy another larynx at Guitar Center, and metal singing (especially the extremely over-the-top style LaBrie used in the early '90s) tends to just use your voice up. He's also picked up some really nasty radio rock vocal techniques that highlight his weaknesses instead of concealing them. Then to top it all off, he doesn't write his own vocal melodies, John Petrucci does, and John Petrucci can't fucking sing (listen to the "Wither" demo, it's frightening) so he has no business even trying to write vocal melodies.

The problem with Dream Theater is not that they're "too technical". That's just absurd, especially considering that aside from Jordan Rudess replacing Kevin Moore, their level of proficiency hasn't really changed since the early '90s. The fact that they ran out of good riffs around 18 years ago and good melodies around 8 years ago is more of an issue. John Petrucci was never a stellar rhythm guitarist but in the early '90s he was at least a decent one and Kevin Moore's incredible affinity for writing great melodies could cover for Petrucci's less inspired moments. Nowadays John Petrucci can't riff to save his goddamn life and with Mike Portnoy's departure they've lost their last competent melody writer. So all you're left with is recycled modern rock chug riffs and Big Dumb Choruses.

(also calling "Honor thy Father" thrash is absolutely comical. That song is almost pure mallcore. The only remotely thrash song Dream Theater wrote is "A Fortune in Lies", way back in the '80s.)

The second problem is that they've abandoned the USPM influences that made the metal side of their sound good and replaced it with whatever the modern rock flavor of the month is. There's not one really passionate old-school metalhead among them.

What would really pull them out of the mire would be for them to hire a second guitarist, a young and hungry one with an affinity for power metal (which is where they came from, and what their best work is underneath all the prog rock stylings). But it won't happen.
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Last edited by Woolie_Wool on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:49 pm 
 

Regarding James LaBrie's diminishing voice - what about John Arch, who is a few years older and still has a very similar range and seems like he has barely aged at all?

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:53 pm 
 

John Arch has spent most of the past 25 years doing absolutely nothing while James LaBrie has been on a relentless touring schedule since 1992, and he has never pushed his voice to the extremes that James LaBrie did when he first joined Dream Theater. Listen to Live at the Marquee; he did full-blown Halford screams all the time on the Images and Words tour.

Imagine smashing down concrete walls with a sledgehammer as your job for 21 years straight with only a couple of brief vacations during the whole time. Now imagine someone smashing down wooden walls for a few years in the 1980s, retiring, and then coming back many, many years later. Whose body do you think will be more worn out?
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Of course, nothing respectable about the penis. We gents need to all grab the nearest sharp object and start hacking.

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Peroy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:58 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
Regarding James LaBrie's diminishing voice - what about John Arch, who is a few years older and still has a very similar range and seems like he has barely aged at all?


He also has barely sung at all...

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:02 pm 
 

Ray Alder would probably be a better comparison to James LaBrie, and since the late 1980s he has gone from a Halford-esque shrieker of truly inhuman power to sounding like a lounge singer.
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TheLiberation
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:12 pm 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
The second problem is that they've abandoned the USPM influences that made the metal side of their sound good and replaced it with whatever the modern rock flavor of the month is. There's not one really passionate old-school metalhead among them.

This is something I have an issue with and it has popped up several times here already. Is it that important that their heavy sound is traditional metal, or is it more important that it simply sounds good, whatever the influence?
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Peroy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:17 pm 
 

TheLiberation wrote:
Woolie_Wool wrote:
The second problem is that they've abandoned the USPM influences that made the metal side of their sound good and replaced it with whatever the modern rock flavor of the month is. There's not one really passionate old-school metalhead among them.

This is something I have an issue with and it has popped up several times here already. Is it that important that their heavy sound is traditional metal, or is it more important that it simply sounds good, whatever the influence?


To me, they never sounded better than on "When Dream and Day unite"...

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:47 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:

Trying to disprove that John Petrucci has lost the plot on rhythm guitar with a song that they wrote in 1989 when Dominici was still in the band is really dishonest. They were musically in a completely different place from where they are now.

Also if you want a Dream Theater riff monster "The Killing Hand" fits the bill much better.
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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:58 pm 
 

Peroy wrote:
To me, they never sounded better than on "When Dream and Day unite"...


A rerecording album consisting of songs from that album and the Majesty demos with the original "A Change of Seasons" (not the neutered EP version, that one sucks) at the end, done in '93 or '94 would have been the best thing they ever made if they made it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0oTCbzHdp0
The '89-93 "A Change of Seasons" stomps the EP version into the ground and buries it.
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Sound Chaser
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:36 am 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:

A rerecording album consisting of songs from that album and the Majesty demos with the original "A Change of Seasons" (not the neutered EP version, that one sucks) at the end, done in '93 or '94 would have been the best thing they ever made if they made it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0oTCbzHdp0
The '89-93 "A Change of Seasons" stomps the EP version into the ground and buries it.

I don't think I could disagree more, that version is absolutely awful to my ears. Where you would say they "neutered" the song, I would say they refined it greatly.

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suleiman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:33 am 
 

I got turned off them by the kind of people who initially dug them. clueless bastards mostly

It was a local scene thing, i guess, some shredder revered mentioned them, and all these clueless assholes got onto that band wagon...without knowing the past present or future of metal or prog. it was like pink fukin floyd --> dream theatre

and everybody was like "oooo look how intricate they are"...and "whooah look at his fingers man, his fingers duuuuuuude"

and to a kid listening to everything from death to morbid angel to slayer to queenryche to rush to deep purple to sharpnel shred, that just sounded retarded...

to my ears thye have gone from being a mediocre prog band to a redundant crap band

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iAmDisturbed
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:36 pm 
 

^
Wow, that was a really dumb post!
:ugh:

Kveldulfr, you mention about how LaBrie changes the vocal lines these days when he performs live. Name me a singer who doesn't do that these days especially of the old guard. Have you seen Rob or Bruce recently? Or Kai Hansen? Or Geoff Tate? Or Bobby Blitz? Or Joey Belladonna?

Dream Theater play incredibly long sets and to be able to maintain a strong performance he can't realistically be expected to hit every high note as he did on the album.

You're a big FW fan, have you heard how Ray sings The Eleventh Hour these days? Ray is the singer I feel suffers a lot live these days. Even Warrel Dane who used to struggle onstage sometimes sounded good on the last Nevermore shows.

James LaBrie is a great singer. Mellowed and matured these days but still capable of the occasional fiery assault. And on his solo stuff, he lets rip. I thought he sounded bad on Scenes From A Memory but check out Confronting The Devil which came out on his solo record around the same time.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:13 pm 
 

A_Dreamer_In_The_Theater wrote:


Maybe by Metallica standards (especially "Constant Motion"), but these don't really have semblance to other thrash acts. There's no breakneck tremolo playing which you usually find in most thrash metal.
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:56 pm 
 

I'm not a huge power metal connoisseur, but I think Dio, Russell Allen, Jorn, Nils Patrik Johansen, Jeff Scott Soto and even Ripper Owens are more solid than LaBrie. Halford has been singing like 2 decades more than Labrie, almost the same goes for.Bruce.

Dio, being almost in 70's was more solid than most of heavy/power metal singers.

LaBrie had bad luck since his.voice never recovered in full. See John Arch, the guy stopped singing for 16 years and practiced months for the Ep. Then he totally left to sing again for 8 more years until he prepared himself again for Arch/Matheos. You can.say he didn't toured and stuff but its not easier at all to come back to sing such challenging stuff from after so many years of inactivity.
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TheLiberation
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:15 pm 
 

Wilytank wrote:
A_Dreamer_In_The_Theater wrote:


Maybe by Metallica standards (especially "Constant Motion"), but these don't really have semblance to other thrash acts. There's no breakneck tremolo playing which you usually find in most thrash metal.

So are we going to just dissect everything they do and try to compare it to representants of genres they are inspired by but not belong to? TGP and CM are thrash done the DT way, but they won't be "pure" thrash because simply that's not what they do.

This is not just directed at you, I've seen lots of attempts here to reject them as "not properly metal" based on this kind of over the top comparisons.
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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:55 pm 
 

Well the not properly metal thing still works when you look at the complete albums rather than songs.
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soul_schizm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:45 pm 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
I'm not a huge power metal connoisseur, but I think Dio, Russell Allen, Jorn, Nils Patrik Johansen, Jeff Scott Soto and even Ripper Owens are more solid than LaBrie. Halford has been singing like 2 decades more than Labrie, almost the same goes for.Bruce.

Dio, being almost in 70's was more solid than most of heavy/power metal singers.

LaBrie had bad luck since his.voice never recovered in full. See John Arch, the guy stopped singing for 16 years and practiced months for the Ep. Then he totally left to sing again for 8 more years until he prepared himself again for Arch/Matheos. You can.say he didn't toured and stuff but its not easier at all to come back to sing such challenging stuff from after so many years of inactivity.


Oh, I don't know about that. The mileage on a voice is definitely more damaging. Once you blow out those vocal chords, there's not much that can be done.

Getting back in shape after a long layoff might not be easy, but it's a simple matter of working back up to it.

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Megadeth
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:00 pm 
 

Somehow the discussion of whether Dream Theater deserve the hate being thrown at them has turned into a discussion of which bands and artists are better. I mean, if you're only comparing them to what you consider the best guitarists, vocalists or bands, you have in a way already admitted that they are quite good. How does arguing that Halford is a better singer prove that LaBrie can't sing? How does arguing that Jim Matheos is a better composer prove that Petrucci can't write? It's not a discussion of why Dream Theater isn't your favorite band, but why some hate them. Do people hate them because Halford and Matheos are better? It doesn't make sense.


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PrinceRhaegar
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:00 pm 
 

For those saying that Dream Theater have no riffs, if these songs don't make you want to headbang like crazy I don't know what to tell you.
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JStock
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:20 am 
 

Megadeth wrote:
Somehow the discussion of whether Dream Theater deserve the hate being thrown at them has turned into a discussion of which bands and artists are better. I mean, if you're only comparing them to what you consider the best guitarists, vocalists or bands, you have in a way already admitted that they are quite good. How does arguing that Halford is a better singer prove that LaBrie can't sing? How does arguing that Jim Matheos is a better composer prove that Petrucci can't write? It's not a discussion of why Dream Theater isn't your favorite band, but why some hate them. Do people hate them because Halford and Matheos are better? It doesn't make sense.


I agree.
The fact is that people can find them too technical, they probably don't understand their music as sometimes it tends to turn into the whole band trying to play a lot of notes, but that doesn't mean they are not good musicians and a good band. It's not because one doesn't like or doesn't understand something that he has to hate it!

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somefella
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:34 am 
 

I get bored by them because all the so called interesting compositional bits are just plain dull sounding. How on earth is Octavarium both "complex and heavy"? Maybe it's just my opinion, but it's shit like the first Necrophagist album or Spawn Of Possession or Decrepit Birth that pull off that complex+heavy thing, NOT Dream Theater.

However, I downright loathe talking about the band with any of their fans because of just how overrated they are. Every DT fan you meet will always insist how Portnoy is the world's best drummer, how Petrucci is the world's best guitarist, and blahblahfuckingblah.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:01 am 
 

PrinceRhaegar wrote:
For those saying that Dream Theater have no riffs, if these songs don't make you want to headbang like crazy I don't know what to tell you.


I want to headbang to "Bridges in the Sky" in the same way I want to headbang to Slipknot. I.e. not at all.
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Naradan wrote:
this jewel of music,which honestly made me sit on my ass.


I hit play, and was overcome with the urge to be physically inactive! Great music!

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joppek
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:55 am 
 

somefella wrote:
I get bored by them because all the so called interesting compositional bits are just plain dull sounding. How on earth is Octavarium both "complex and heavy"? Maybe it's just my opinion, but it's shit like the first Necrophagist album or Spawn Of Possession or Decrepit Birth that pull off that complex+heavy thing, NOT Dream Theater.

However, I downright loathe talking about the band with any of their fans because of just how overrated they are. Every DT fan you meet will always insist how Portnoy is the world's best drummer, how Petrucci is the world's best guitarist, and blahblahfuckingblah.


i'm seconding all of this

i don't particularly hate dream theater, i just find them pretty boring
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TheLiberation
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:11 am 
 

somefella wrote:
I get bored by them because all the so called interesting compositional bits are just plain dull sounding. How on earth is Octavarium both "complex and heavy"? Maybe it's just my opinion, but it's shit like the first Necrophagist album or Spawn Of Possession or Decrepit Birth that pull off that complex+heavy thing, NOT Dream Theater.

Wow, are you seriously comparing Octavarium with technical death metal? How about we say they're not progressive at all compared to King Crimson? Or not atmospheric at all compared to ambient?

Please...

Wilytank wrote:
PrinceRhaegar wrote:
For those saying that Dream Theater have no riffs, if these songs don't make you want to headbang like crazy I don't know what to tell you.


I want to headbang to "Bridges in the Sky" in the same way I want to headbang to Slipknot. I.e. not at all.

So not liking a riff equals to it being a bad riff... Yeah, this is what I was talking about earlier.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:16 am 
 

TheLiberation wrote:

Wilytank wrote:

I want to headbang to "Bridges in the Sky" in the same way I want to headbang to Slipknot. I.e. not at all.

So not liking a riff equals to it being a bad riff... Yeah, this is what I was talking about earlier.


Yet you defend PrinceRhaegar who pretty much said that a certain riff that he likes is a good riff.
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severzhavnost wrote:
Naradan wrote:
this jewel of music,which honestly made me sit on my ass.


I hit play, and was overcome with the urge to be physically inactive! Great music!

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TheLiberation
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:19 am 
 

Wilytank wrote:
TheLiberation wrote:
So not liking a riff equals to it being a bad riff... Yeah, this is what I was talking about earlier.


Yet you defend PrinceRhaegar who pretty much said that a certain riff that he likes is a good riff.

Him liking it is another issue, it was given as an example of a DT metal riff.
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