Let's figure out Dream Theater.

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There are a whole lot of people in this world who are really intensely into Dream Theater. Like, seriously into Dream Theater. I think this bears discussion. Is it justified? If so, how so? If not, why does it happen anyway? What qualities are so unique to this band that they inspire such depths of devotion?

Note: I ask this not to disparage any particular Dream Theater lovers on other threads, or to express any opinion about the band whatsoever -- I am just very interested because I have recently encountered four separate people who listen near-exclusively to Dream Theater, who I'd always imagined were more of a bottom-shelf, "Yeah, they're okay" kind of band even for their fans. (I thought the same thing about Drivin' and Cryin', incidentally, until I met some people from the South -- but this Dream Theater issue doesn't seem to be geographical.)

Nitsuh, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, I know some people like that too. I ascribe it to the fact that they try to be the highlights of prog and metal, seventies fashion in both cases, combined. But having heard the results, I'll stick with the originals, if at all.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Let's figure out Dream Theater? Let's not. There was a DT cover band doing the rounds in Melbourne a couple of years ago... featured arch-progwank drummer Virgil Donati.

Ben Butler, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, I know some pseduo-goths way into Dream Theater. I have yet to be able to stomach any "prog-metal" outside Tool. Or some Lumen mp3s. Maybe sundar knows, I think he likes that cheesy metal stuff.

bnw, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I've never heard Dream Theatre. Descriptions haven't even made them sound appealingly cheesy.

Is there a big prog-metal following among goths? What else do they listen to? Are they into Queensryche and Rush as well?

sundar subramanian, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

And, hey, I'm not the one who dressed like Trent Reznor.

sundar subramanian, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Dream Theater would be good except that the singer is some powermetal wannabe, the drummer is way too fond of this unsyncopated, throbbing double bass pattern that tends to overwhelm the rest of the rhythm section, and the lyrics are as cheesy as you'd expect. They do cool time changes and stuff, but I wish the instrumental parts were way flashier and they'd stop pandering to their Japanese fans by imitating shit like Queensryche and Fates Warning. At least on the stuff I've heard.

Kris, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I thought Dream Theatre was basically a vehicle for John Petrucci's Yengwie-esque guitar shredding. The one Dream Theatre fan I know is one of those people who fast forward songs to get to the guitar solos.

turner, Monday, 12 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Agreed about the power-metal singing. For some reason the helium stuff seems to be easier to take when there's no keyboards (cf. Watchtower)

dave q, Tuesday, 13 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The one Dream Theater fan I ever knew was a full-on drug burnout who occasionally thought he channeled the voice of Satan, and often talked into thin air, and eventually got into a huge fight after he went waaaaay off one day and began arranging fire extinguishers in a pentagram and muttering something about hating jews. Not to cast any of these implications on the entire DT fan base, of course.

Sterling Clover, Tuesday, 13 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Near as I can tell, Dream Theater has rougly the same audience as Rush had in the mid-to-late 70s. Not quite radio rock yet, but not that far away, and lots of fans going ape about how well they play.

I don't want to outright dis anyone who likes their music, but I will say that I heard a funny comment about fans of this sort of music on a prog rock newsgroup that went something like "people who boast about the complexity of prog are usually fans of the least complex types" -- such as prog-metal and Dream Theater.

dleone, Tuesday, 13 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Let's figure out Dream Theater.

- Nitsuh

To quote Carlton Banks: "Why don't we not and say we did?"

Kodanshi, Tuesday, 13 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

fresh prince is seriously overlooked in the quotability department.

ethan, Tuesday, 13 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

having attended high school in a community located "downriver" from Detroit, thereby well within Rush's largest bastion of support stateside, I will testify that you could basically select any smattering of technically proficient prog-metal wankers, toss them into a cauldron of three parts Rush, one part Vai/Satriani, and one part random speed metal. Stir, toss in Geoff Tate's tonsils, and out pops dream theater (for a true downriver fan must be pronounced thee-ATE-er).

Ian M, Tuesday, 13 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't care for them too much, tho' I have heard the odd good bit. I suspect there's an audience out there who like twiddle-twiddle guitar playing, but who want some "tunes", not just vai/satriani-isms, hence DT. Their spin-off bands, esp transatlantic are much better, and more "prog" w/less metal. Better singing on transatlantic as well. WTF, they do not hold THE WORLD'S PHALLUS in their CLEOPATRA'S GRIP = they must suck.

Norman Phay, Wednesday, 14 November 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
The only Dream Theater song I've ever heard is "Pull Me Under". Are any of the CDs actually worth owning or should I just download that one?

AaronHz (AaronHz), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:35 (fifteen years ago) link

If you like that song, perhaps you'd get a kick out of their albums.
But as to your second question... No, none of their albums are worth owning.
They're one of those bands that you might get a bit of a kick out of first time, just because of the tightness and dexterity, but once that wears off, you realize you're listening to heavy metal Kenny G.

Øystein H-O (Øystein H-O), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:43 (fifteen years ago) link

nabisco's observations still hold true. and dream theater mania transcends national boundaries! i had a coworker in france who seemed to have a new dream theater double-cd live album at work every day.

amateur!!!st, Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:46 (fifteen years ago) link

They aren't even worth spitting on at this point. BUT THEY STILL TOUR.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:50 (fifteen years ago) link

oh come on, they don't totally suck. They do a neat cover of lots of well-known metal/rock songs strung together to make 1 medley.

Eve Atley (Kilbey1), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:52 (fifteen years ago) link

nice album covers

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000DD27.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

amateur!!!st, Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:52 (fifteen years ago) link

oh come on, they don't totally suck. They do a neat cover of lots of well-known metal/rock songs strung together to make 1 medley.

Which means they should be a tribute band rather than HAVING tribute bands. ;-)

And I must say you are showing remarkable restraint, Eve! ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:56 (fifteen years ago) link

There were a couple good songs on Awake that I would actually consider going back and listening to. In private.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Test question:

Rush::Dream Theater as ????::Mars Volta

Kansas, maybe?

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:07 (fifteen years ago) link

The analogy doesn't quite work for me.

Rush: Dream Theater :: Mars Volta: something really sucktastic

Then again I like Rush and the Mars Volta.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Rush::Dream Theater as early 70s spiritual-whackjob Santana (Welcome, Lotus, Caravanserai, Love Devotion Surrender, Illuminations)::Mars Volta

pdf (Phil Freeman), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Rush -- who are celebrating their 30th anniversary literally down the street this evening (while I'll be here at work) -- are a thousand times more interesting and less pretentious/ridiculous than Dream Theatre.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Years back, I used to buy guitar magazines fairly regularly, usually because they had a transcription of Highway to Hell or Black Dog or suchlike, and I figured that one of these days I'd set the time aside to finally learn how to play the solo... as you do.
Anyway, John Petrucci would be interviewed in these rags, seemingly every month, and although I read every word (not because I was interested, but simply because it was an excuse for not tidying my room), the only detail of any of them that I can remember is Petrucci's earnest declaration to one scribe of how deeply he had studied the lyrics of Rush, of how for years he had lived by the lessons of those lyrics.
What an unbelievable loser.

Palomino (Palomino), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:43 (fifteen years ago) link

how deeply he had studied the lyrics of Rush, of how for years he had lived by the lessons of those lyrics.

Good lord.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:45 (fifteen years ago) link

i guess it's easier than reading atlas shrugged

amateur!!!st, Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:46 (fifteen years ago) link

He's probably the sort of guy who saw Peart namedropping Ayn Rand in an interview, and subsequently beetle-browed his way through The Fountainhead, sustained only by a sense of filial obligation.

Palomino (Palomino), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 20:53 (fifteen years ago) link

If you like that song, perhaps you'd get a kick out of their albums.
Eh, I'm not sure I ever even liked that song. I haven't heard it in over 10 years. The only Dream Theater related thing I'm sort of interested in purchasing is this DVD:
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00006L57W.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
from which I'm hoping to glean some wank-tastic prog tricks to amuse my other guitarist friends with.

AaronHz (AaronHz), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:18 (fifteen years ago) link

GREAT FUCKING GOD ALMIGHTY

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:28 (fifteen years ago) link

What a herculean display of abject jackassery.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:31 (fifteen years ago) link

i got a cd in the mail of that dude up top, john petrucci, and one other DT dude doing dome sort of classical gas nite at the opera acoustic thing and GAWD was it boring. i couldn't even listen to it and i can listen to almost anything!

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:31 (fifteen years ago) link

The quality of graphic design on these guitar DVDs is so far below even low budget pr0n it's not even funny. Here's another one I'm considering that is so hideous I bet you could traumatize small children with it.
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00007CWIA.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

AaronHz (AaronHz), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Aaron, are you trying to kill us?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:42 (fifteen years ago) link

So Ned, you click on a Dream Theater thread and expect NOT to see asshats with cheesy guitars?

AaronHz (AaronHz), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I can sense them without actually having to deal with visuals.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:46 (fifteen years ago) link

But now that I have suffered, so must others.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Based on the mp3 excerpts I just downloaded, they have some kind of fun moments. I like the bit of "Act I - Scene Two: I. Overture 1928 & Strange Deja Vu " I got from Metropolis pt 2. And "Solitary Shell" is like "Solsbury Hill" with "Fooling Yourself"-style Styx synth breaks, which maybe doesn't sound that great to some people but it's OK pop for one listen. I don't know how well any of this would extend to full tracks though. The cover of "Tears" isn't bad too.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 21:59 (fifteen years ago) link

The first 4:30 of "Killing Hand" are pretty good too.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:11 (fifteen years ago) link

The cover of "Tears" isn't bad too.

For a second I thought you meant they covered a Chameleons tune and I almost died

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Tell me they DIDN'T. The desecration of a classic is too much to bear.

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Rush's "Tears". Never heard the Chameleons. I'm definitely glad I'm listening to Miles Davis instead of DT now, I have to say.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:43 (fifteen years ago) link

They also did a whole medley of Rush songs, IIRC, "Different Strings", one of the Signals tracks ("Chemistry"?), and "La Villa Strangiato". It was almost kind of creepy.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:49 (fifteen years ago) link

If you think those vids are hot you should check out Brian Setzers post-Stray Cats rockabilly instruction vid. He is so coked out that he plays really fast and sloppy, and by the end he has really bad nasal drainage. He rambles about guitar and plays random lics badly for 15 minutes, and then it fades out, presumably when he needs to step into the rest room for a little pick me up. And it is shot in the same quality videostock that made Venessa Del Rio a big hit in adult film industry.

Disco Nihilist (mjt), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 23:05 (fifteen years ago) link

regarding the fade outs, this happens about four times in a row.

Disco Nihilist (mjt), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 23:05 (fifteen years ago) link

Disco, I really want you to post some images over on the thread I started...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 23:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, we must see the cover of this tweaked-out Setzer monstrosity.

AaronHz (AaronHz), Thursday, 19 August 2004 01:29 (fifteen years ago) link

It's really never that bad, honestly, I was just thinking of some of the really complex vocals, I think. Like in ... Close to the Edge, maybe? Stuff on that album is just generally complex and busy, though not ruined or that objectionably awful or anything compared to DT.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 25 February 2017 21:19 (three years ago) link

If I were to change anything about the album it definitely wouldn't be those overlapping vocals, they're amazing! But I could only make minor quibbling suggestions, like maybe "Siberian Khatru" doesn't need the short tangent near the end.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 25 February 2017 21:48 (three years ago) link

yeah, I like that the objective of the thread is to figure how to get Dream Theater since a lot of music fans get a great kick out of them

― niels

dream theater have the dubious honour of being the only band i've ever stopped liking. i was into them for six months when i first got into prog and i just eventually moved on.

for me, and i therefore assume for most dream theater fans, they're dazzled by dream theater's flash, the trans-siberien orchestra thing. it's lack of style over lack of substance. i don't assume they're hearing something i'm not, as i do for most music i dislike. i assume they're hearing the same shit i am but they actually enjoy that sort of shit.

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Saturday, 25 February 2017 21:59 (three years ago) link

If I were to change anything about the album it definitely wouldn't be those overlapping vocals, they're amazing! But I could only make minor quibbling suggestions, like maybe "Siberian Khatru" doesn't need the short tangent near the end.

― Robert Adam Gilmour

what, the vocal/drum unison thing? nah, i wouldn't do without a second of it. the thing about that album is it's filled with shit that would otherwise be gimmicky, church organ and sitar and all the shit like that, but it's so tightly compositionally integrated that it works regardless. without the vocal/drum unison break i don't think squire's bass solo would have the impact it does. i don't even _like_ yes, but i can't help but be impressed by the maturity of their composition on that record.

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Saturday, 25 February 2017 22:03 (three years ago) link

Why do I specifically enjoy this music so much? As the son of two music teachers who had classically refined musical tastes, I was exposed to a lot of opera and symphonic music while growing up. Oversaturation of the classics set in at an early age, yet through so much exposure I developed a mature appreciation for the fundamentals of musical technique. After experimenting with the Styx-Chicago-Journey-Supertramp-Kansas-Triumph genre and some hair metal in high school, my favorite bands emerged as Rush and Queensryche. These bands of course balance melodic hooks and technically difficult accompaniment very well, and bring meaningful lyrics into the mix. I enjoyed some harder rock in brief moments, but the likes of Pantera and pre-"Sandman" Metallica were a little too heavy for me at the time.

When I was first introduced to Dream Theater through my college roommate's Images & Words CD, I instantly knew it was the perfect unique mix of my life's worth of musical tastes. I must have spun this CD literally thousands of times over the last 10 years--for the first year I played it 3 to 5 times a day, back to back, sometimes skipping class to master the lyrics or reverse engineer the time changes and syncopation. Impossible! Hypnotic! ADDICTIVE.

If this were almost any other band, I would say that the almost-too-self-indulgent vocals of James LaBrie are supported by some of the world's best chops on instruments. But Mike Portnoy on drums, John Petrucci on guitar, and Kevin Moore on keyboards all have lead roles in the musicality of the CD. While individualistic, these parts combine with a tour-de-force of power that somehow works extremely well together. John Myung's bass part usually lends a supportive role rather than a leading presence, but his musicianship and technical mastery of the instrument are phenomenal as well.

LaBrie is an exceptionally strong vocalist, and his part-time bravado / part-time pussycat approach probably would not have matched as well with the style of any other band I can think of. Each band member deserves a significant bio, but rather than having me take apart each of his tendencies in this meaningless text, one truly must experience the blend of talent in person to understand. SO BUY THE CD! After you've become hooked, check out some of DT's other work. They are a band who have achieved a significant hard-core international fan base by doing things THEIR way, maintaining their dignity by avoiding the common and sticking to what makes them unique. No sellouts in this group!

The bottom line? After spinning the CD a few times to get through the technical facade, the listener finds himself interactively engaged with the music, craving a deeper understanding of the lyrics, wanting to decipher the difficult musical passages, and trying to imagine himself as a character in the dramatic scenes that are playing out. Yes, the "images and words" brought forth by this music transports the imaginative listener to a "dream theater." Like the near-perfect details in these songs, the names of the CD and the band were not chosen by accident.

from Fun With Amazon Reviews

niels, Saturday, 25 February 2017 22:45 (three years ago) link

Part-time pussycat.

I don't strongly object to any of that Yes stuff, like I said, they have vision, which helps it cohere. But some of it gets a little too busy for my tastes, sort of busy for its own sake, like a lot of cool ideas strung together because nobody was going to cut their own cool idea. Which if I recall correctly is one of the main sources of conflict that sometimes bogged down Yes to begin with.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 25 February 2017 22:51 (three years ago) link

Rushomancy- no, the short harpsichord bit. I really love harpsichord but it feels a bit unnecessary.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 25 February 2017 22:52 (three years ago) link

[Instrumental Intro]

[Guitar Theme]

[Drums rolling]

[Keyboard theme]

[Bass guitar theme]

[Ensemble together]

[Hard theme]

[Hard theme variation]

[Drums]

[Verse 1]
Lost in the sky
Clouds roll by and I roll with them
Arrows fly
Seas increase and then fall again

[Pre-Chorus 1]
This world is spinning around me
This world is spinning without me and
Every day send future to past
Every breath leaves me one less to my last

[Instrumental Bridge 1]

[Verse 2]
Watch the sparrow falling
Gives new meaning to it all
If not today nor yet tomorrow
Then some other day
I'll take seven lives for one
And then my only father's son
As sure as I did ever love him
I am not afraid

[Pre-Chorus 2]
This world is spinning around me
The whole world keeps
Spinning around me
All life is future to past
Every breath leaves me one less
To my last

[Instrumental Bridge 2]

[Guitar Solo 1]

[Chorus 1]
Pull me under, pull me under
Pull me under, I'm not afraid
All that I feel is honor and spite
All I can do is set it right

[Instrumental Bridge 3]

[Verse 3]
Dust fills my eyes
Clouds roll by and I roll with them
Centuries cry
Orders fly and I fall again

[Pre-Chorus 3]
This world is spinning inside me
The whole world is spinning inside of me
Every day sends future to past
Every step brings me closer to my last

[Instrumental Bridge 4]

[Guitar Solo 1]

[Chorus 2]
Pull me under, pull me under
Pull me under, I'm not afraid
Living my life too much in the sun
Only until your will is done

[Instrumental Bridge 5]

[Keyboard Solo 1]

[Guitar Solo 2]

[Chorus 1]

[Chorus 2]

[Instrumental Bridge 6]

[Hard theme alternate]

[Hard theme alternate variation]

[Outro]
Oh that this too
Too solid flesh
Would melt

Karl Malone, Saturday, 25 February 2017 23:41 (three years ago) link

i crave a deeper understanding of these lyrics

Karl Malone, Saturday, 25 February 2017 23:42 (three years ago) link

http://i.imgur.com/O54K40Z.jpg

Living my life too much in the sun
Only until your will is done

Karl Malone, Saturday, 25 February 2017 23:44 (three years ago) link

What the fuck did I just read?

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Saturday, 25 February 2017 23:54 (three years ago) link

When I read a thread about Dream Theater, I always think we're talking about Tangerine Dream until I read a few sentences.

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Saturday, 25 February 2017 23:57 (three years ago) link

http://i.imgur.com/ZGZSMnJ.jpg

This world is spinning around me
The whole world keeps
Spinning around me
All life is future to past
Every breath leaves me one less
To my last

[Instrumental Bridge 2]

[Guitar Solo 1]

Karl Malone, Sunday, 26 February 2017 00:00 (three years ago) link

but THEN, later,

This world is spinning inside me
The whole world is spinning inside of me
Every day sends future to past
Every step brings me closer to my last

this whole world is spinning either way, but earlier in the song it is around him. but later on, it is inside of him. you might think that means he is getting larger, since at the beginning the world is spinning around him and later it is inside of him. but no, there is another way. what if he is the sun (the son!?!?!?!??!), and THAT's why the world is spinning around him, but then the world moves inside of him (the son1?!!?!?) but still somehow it spins. there is a bunch to look into here, these are early days

Karl Malone, Sunday, 26 February 2017 00:03 (three years ago) link

James TheCheese

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Sunday, 26 February 2017 00:24 (three years ago) link

Dream Theater fans , like....I don't even know if I've encountered one in real life, mostly cos if anybody started talking about that kind of music I'd make up an excuse to talk to someone else.

waht, I am true black metal worrior (Neanderthal), Sunday, 26 February 2017 00:29 (three years ago) link

I've always been cautious of these type of dismissals because I've heard so many great bands described like this by people who probably never gave them a fair shot

Believe me, I tried. THAT was a mistake.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 26 February 2017 00:51 (three years ago) link

As I mentioned upthread, I worked for their label for three years, so I was forced to listen to their music in marketing meetings and nod appreciatively and talk about what I would do to promote it online. The self-titled album from a couple of years ago is the closest thing they've ever come to something I could listen to all the way through, and even that has a 20-minute multi-part song that'll just sap your will to live. (And they had to be argued out of opening the album with it.)

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Sunday, 26 February 2017 01:09 (three years ago) link

Dream Theater may not have sold many records, but everyone who bought one started to shred.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 26 February 2017 01:10 (three years ago) link

Karl's post with "Modern Goatee Keyboardist" is my favorite thing on the internet right now.

Like if there were a magazine called "Modern ILX Post0r" and there was an issue with Karl on the cover, I would buy that issue and carefully study the tablature.

pamplemousse of love (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 26 February 2017 01:31 (three years ago) link

I remember in the mid '90s there was an issue of one of the guitar magazines (forgot which one) that had a cover-mounted CD with Guthrie Govan talking through a Dream Theater solo... if I recall it went a bit like this:

"So, here's the first four bars at half-tempo..."

*incomprehensible widdling for a few seconds*

"Now at full speed..."

*incomprehensible widdling for a second or so*

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Sunday, 26 February 2017 01:42 (three years ago) link

FWIW: I interviewed Petrucci and Portnoy for the bio for …was it Systematic chaos? yeah that one, with such a deep title, maaannn. Don't like the band, but I had a lot of experience and interest in guys immersed in that kind of mindset…like "in the 1980s, rock music at its baseline was played like sports: elite ability was the name of the game, and that's the way it should be. I work hard to be as good a player as I am, and it is an indignity and injustice that hiphop and Nirvana ruined everything." To be fair, Portnoy felt at the time that Petrucci and Myung were inflexible in that regard. He said he thought My Chemical Romance was good and that those guys would be dismissive of anything past 1991 that was not from Chops-ville. That isn't to say that Portnoy would say "oh yeah, I really like Usher too." But he seemed to think that he was more open-minded than the rest of the band.

On that one, the singer insisted that they do his anti-Iraq war song, which the fairly conservative Petrucci disagreed with (a few years before, they recorded JP's song re: Bush suppressing stem cell research). that record also included installments of Portnoy's 12 steps epic which stretches across a few albums, a la Rush's Fear trilogy.

also, if you want to figure out Dream Theatre, understanding that those two come from deep Long Island is relevant.

veronica moser, Sunday, 26 February 2017 15:20 (three years ago) link

conservatives in progressive rock, doesn't surprise me I guess

waht, I am true black metal worrior (Neanderthal), Sunday, 26 February 2017 15:23 (three years ago) link

i remember being disappointed as a kid cos the artwork on Awake made me think it would be some kind of trippy, dream-like trance metal or futuristic sounding shit and I took it to the listening station and was like wtf IS this

waht, I am true black metal worrior (Neanderthal), Sunday, 26 February 2017 15:24 (three years ago) link

yet as far as proggy type stuff goes, there IS much worse

waht, I am true black metal worrior (Neanderthal), Sunday, 26 February 2017 15:27 (three years ago) link

If I had to change one thing about Close to the Edge, I might get slightly better singers to do the backup vocals. (I don't think they're horrible but they have some rough edges on an album that is not about rough edges otherwise.) It's pretty close to a perfect album for me, though.

My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Sunday, 26 February 2017 16:22 (three years ago) link

also, if you want to figure out Dream Theatre, understanding that those two come from deep Long Island is relevant.

Ha, I had assumed they were from Boston. I don't know why this seems to make more sense, but it does, somehow.

My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Sunday, 26 February 2017 16:24 (three years ago) link

Mike Portnoy came into #metal on DALnet once. he was predictably boring and got raked over the coals by the regulars.

waht, I am true black metal worrior (Neanderthal), Sunday, 26 February 2017 16:59 (three years ago) link

those guys went to Berklee and formed the band there, but P and P are from Long Beach & King's Park. They told me that when they went to berklee in the 80s, it was very unusual to be into rock, metal et al: everyone was all about jazz. Not the case now.

veronica moser, Sunday, 26 February 2017 17:06 (three years ago) link

Portnoy being skeptical about chops-centric music is a little like Jane Roe being antiabortion, or neoconservatives second-guessing the Iraq invasion.

Yeah cool story bro but the damage is kinda done.

pamplemousse of love (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 26 February 2017 21:17 (three years ago) link

I think it's possible Portnoy, Paul Gilbert et al. were trying to make some point with these shows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEtmHhD7xQ0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZamTrI1680

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 26 February 2017 21:27 (three years ago) link

i'm going to listen to "Caught in a Web" for shits and giggles.

0:00 - cool riff underneath cheesy as fuck synths
0:07 - well that was nice while it lasted
0:21 - LaBrie sounds like a precursor to Chester Bennington by way of Rob Halford
1:14 - Queensryche-ian chorus, too AOR for my tastes
2:43 - breakdown serving the only real dose of heavy in the song, then gives way to pointless octave noodling
3:13 - solo with a really boring bassline underneath
3:36 - cowbell. ok.
3:49 - ok the shitty synths are back

ok that's all I can stand

waht, I am true black metal worrior (Neanderthal), Sunday, 26 February 2017 21:36 (three years ago) link

I think you figured out Dream Theater.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 26 February 2017 21:44 (three years ago) link

I don't think deciding against an anti-Bush song is necessarily conservative. There was a lot of shit protest songs from that time.

I wouldn't call it full-on shit but IQ's anti-Bush song from Dark Matter is one of the weakest things on the album and even sounds like patriotic Christian Rock at points, for a satirical purpose but it still sounds like patriotic Christian Rock all the same.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 26 February 2017 22:13 (three years ago) link

I think it's possible Portnoy, Paul Gilbert et al. were trying to make some point with these shows:

That point apparently was, "We didn't learn a fucking thing from listening to the Who."

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 26 February 2017 22:19 (three years ago) link

the only thing of Portnoy's I've ever enjoyed is that video where he played the Hello Kitty drumkit

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 26 February 2017 22:28 (three years ago) link

Xpost they probably learned that Pete Townsend would have sounded better if he used active pickups.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 26 February 2017 23:41 (three years ago) link

Hmm I'm a little surprised there is almost zero support for these guys on this board. I like them, though I think their music is pretty soulless a lot of the time. Especially their singer - I never hear any emotion from him, everything is just signifiers of emotion. But just on a technical playing and writing construction standpoint, I like many of their songs. "Panic Attack" from Octavarium is what I usually tell people to start with - I think some people know that one from one of the Guitar Hero games anyway

Vinnie, Monday, 27 February 2017 01:43 (three years ago) link

I admit when I was getting into prog in my late teens I bout a DT album (I forget which one, maybe Metropolis?) that's quietly mouldering back in my parents's house. It was one of those times where you have a friend who's really into something and you buy into the hype... didn't last long. This is also why I have a couple of Porcupine Tree records, which, if anything, I regret more. From what I remember of this and hearing DT occasionally over the years is that the riffs/choruses etc. are just so perfunctory and obvious it feels like they're saying "don't worry kids, we have to get this pleb shit out the way so we can get to the REAL good stuff in a sec." I feel like good prog, jazz or whatever can use technicality to actually say something if they're any good. "Soulless"/"signifiers of emotion" really sums them up I think.

That said I'm not going to rag on anyone who likes them, people listen to music for all kinds of reasons, though I could only laugh if/when one of them tried to educate me on what "real music" is.

Anyway I thought up the phrase "virtuoso signalling" this morning which sums up this kind of empty musicianship nerd shit but I'm too tired and apathetic to fit it into a coherent joke

ultros ultros-ghali, Monday, 27 February 2017 11:12 (three years ago) link

When I moved into my first student house we found a copy of Metropolis in one of the bedroom drawers, along with Countdown to Extinction by Megadeth and £3 in Marks and Spencer vouchers, I don't think we listened to either of them.

Gavin, Leeds, Monday, 27 February 2017 11:27 (three years ago) link

Countdown is a good album. One of Megadeth's best, IMO.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 27 February 2017 12:41 (three years ago) link

And definitely underscores why Dream Theater sucks. You could be technical and virtuoso and complicated and even tuneful and not suck.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 27 February 2017 13:43 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF75xTzMuXw

i feel like this belongs on this thread

Karl Malone, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:05 (three years ago) link

My head is exploding at the contrast between that guy's excellent footwork and his extremely sloppy snare fills. Also what is up with the weirdly clicky, high kick drum sound?

may all your memes be dank (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 12 March 2017 19:24 (three years ago) link

Also what is up with the weirdly clicky, high kick drum sound?

That's what modern metal kick drums sound like, so they can cut through the downtuned guitars and bass.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Sunday, 12 March 2017 19:27 (three years ago) link

and they sound awful like typewriters from hell

Odysseus, Sunday, 12 March 2017 19:45 (three years ago) link

Triggering.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 12 March 2017 19:47 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Seen a bit in a magazine from Barney Greenway who is a fan and has collaborated with them. He said they were massively underrated as songwriters.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 21 May 2020 01:14 (two weeks ago) link

I still haven't tried them yet but that's a long way off yet. Too much classics to get to first.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 21 May 2020 01:15 (two weeks ago) link

"YOU NOODLE!"

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Thursday, 21 May 2020 01:18 (two weeks ago) link


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