Dream Theater

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by p0ke, May 23, 2018.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    This thread has got me going back and listening a lot to old and "newish" DT, and now I'm even more convinced that Kevin Moore was a better "musician" than Rudess.
    • Moore usually starts his parts drawn back, using textured chords, then builds his parts up slowly. Rudess has a tendency to go balls-to-the-wall right out of the gate
    • Both of them have their own unique parts, and both of them quote the other musicians in the band, but Moore's quotes seemed more interwoven, whereas Rudess seems more formulaic.
    • Rudess does have the technical edge, but a LOT of his playing shows it unabashedly. A lot of Moore's parts are difficult in much more subtle ways, in that they don't stand out as much, tending rather to blend in with the music.
    • Both are very versatile. Moore, however, is easier to identify by his playing as Kevin Moore. To me, that's a big deal.
    • Moore wrote some killer lyrics.
    • Less cheese and fewer bird noises, whistles, and weird shit - when Moore was in the band.

    But I still love Rudess's playing and his work with the band. Scenes from a Memory was great due in part to his contributions.
     
  2. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Moore is basically non-existent in sections of songs, I guess that was some peoples' problem with him.

    Best songs:

    A Change of Seasons (this is cheating but whatever)
    Learning to Live

    Everything following is far enough back that I'm comfortable with a two song list!
     
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  3. PBC

    PBC Composition Ontology

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    I'll challenge:



    Might be a close call in terms of the best Prog Metal solo. Side note, while Petrucci is phenomenon it's unfortunate that due to circumstances/timing the likes of Criss Oliva and Charlie DeGarmo ace never mentioned when talking about great Prog guitarists. Their contributions really helped launch the Prog Metal/Rock in the late 80s, early 90s.

    Back on topic to not derail the thread:

    I've liked almost all their albums. From When Dream and Day till Black Clouds. I listen to A Dramatic Turn but trying to recall anything off it and my mind goes blank. Haven't listened to the self-titled nor Astonishing yet but this thread may make me take a gander. My take on a couple of questions poised here:

    I think Derek is the "best" keyboardist but due to timing it would have been interesting to see if they made a new album with him, I really am enjoying the SOA record. I think Rudess is "over-engaged" in his playing. It seems like he can never back off and let some other parts breath, going from hard riffing + keyboard extravaganza to an immediate switch to piano driven soft section isn't the same as building upon other motifs and structures from a more supportive role.

    For better or worse I feel that LaBrie is the best vocalist for Dream Theater. Listening to O3 Part 2 and O3 Part 3 by Dominici, he very much sounds like if Steve Perry fronted Queensryche. By the same token, I don't see the voice of someone like Ray Adler, Russell Allen, or Mike Baker working. I appreciate his vocals but more often than not it doesn't seem like the band really knows how to use him. Take this example from his solo work:



    Who knew that Melo Death + LaBrie would work pretty well? I can't help but feel to some degree (maybe 6 degrees) that Dream Theater would have been perfectly fine as instrumental band but for "band/audience viability" they had to have a vocalist.

    I don't know where the Golden Age of Dream Theater ends, it's hard to pinpoint. My issue is that all there albums have a sameness in quality, with the exception of probably I&W and M2 being higher, but slightly. Furthermore, for every album that has it's standout tracks it and others that seem to bog it down. E.g. The Count of Tuscany, but then there's Wither. I find myself getting frustrated listening to many of their songs, so I usually don't listen their albums all the way through anymore. If I may describe a bit further, I feel as if because they are incredible at their instruments, it feels that their is some sort of expectation when it comes to songwriting. For their songs, there is always a nagging feeling that band needs to reinforce that they are prog, almost all the time. Kinda like a super talented athlete continually telling you how great he is. While I don't believe they are egomaniacs, it does seem across that way in their songs.

    I've never gotten that same vibe from another other prog acts: Tad Morose, Shadow Gallery, Pain of Salvation, Anubis Gate, Redemption, Nevermore, Opeth, Symphony X, Queensrych ect (maybe they keep their hubris low key). Where, the progressive elements are there, they never take precedence of solid, memorable songwriting. Some of the bands have straightforward songs, but they seem fine with it. Sometimes it appears that during the DT songwriting process, it was said "this song is straightforward. So we need to add odd time signature passages". I supposed it worked in their favor since anything prog always includes them as first mention.
     
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  4. r33per

    r33per SS.org Regular

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    This thread has made me go back and do a chronological album listen - great fun!

    Voices: what a song. That build up to the epic solo is nigh perfect for me.

    Interesting observation: three of Awake's tunes are introduced by the bass - Voices, Lifting Shadows and Scarred. (Yes I know there is a chord at the start of Voices and a "ting ti-ti-ting" from Portnoy's ride cymbal at the start of Scarred, but you know what I mean...). I point it out because it's rare enough for them and IMO sounds great.
     
  5. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Voices is one song I was always perplexed by all the love for. It's not bad or anything, but it is one of the dullest songs on their first few albums. Scarred is like, a greatly superior version of the same song!

    I had a huge fascination with LSOAD. I loved the interaction with the arpeggios and the delay repeats. I went out and got an effects processor purely to try and recreate that.

    Disclaimer: I had never heard U2 at that point
     
  6. astrocreep

    astrocreep SS.org Regular

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    This thread remoinds me how much I love OSI...

     
  7. wat

    wat SS.org Regular

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    Speaking of Voices, who else used to think Labrie was singing "FUCK THIS WHORE" instead of "Thought disorder" at 3:26

     
    groverj3, thedonal and I play music like this.
  8. r33per

    r33per SS.org Regular

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    No, but thanks for a lyrical version of "I cannot un-see what I have just seen!"
    :lalala:
     
  9. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    He also says "Buy a pen, I'm a wanker" in Under a Glass Moon
     
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  10. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    The Astonishing probably would have been better as an Ayreon album.
     
  11. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    A classic from the frosted tips Petrucci era:

    [​IMG]

    There's also this underrated song from the goth pants Petrucci era:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    I'm sure there's great stuff on The Astonishing, but it's just got waaaay too much content for me to start digging through for something I'd like :lol: Especially since it's super over the top cheesy.

    Continuing the keyboard player discussion, I mostly like Rudess's playing but agree that it wouldn't hurt if he toned it back a bit from time to time.
     
  13. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    If Rudess dropped the sawtooth lead patch and played his parts more like Metropolis 2 and Six Degrees I'd like him a whole lot more.
     
  14. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Let's not beat around the bush. Dream Theater's problem is Petrucci and Portnoy producing. Get someone in there who can make songs and call them out when they write bloated boring nonsense.
     
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  15. Exchanger

    Exchanger SS.org Regular

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    Hah, probably, although Arjen writes more interesting stories. And he can be cheesy in a fun way (Day 7 : Hope / Come Back to Me), while with DT it's just cringey cheesy.
     
  16. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    :lol:

    https://dreamtheater.club/blog/2016/12/04/mike-mangini-october-31st-indianapolis-interview/
    http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/mi...ed-role-in-dream-theater-songwriting-process/

    Poor Mangini, having such a limited input that some forgot you've been there for seven years already and three records. Not that I'm all that convinced by the Petrucci/Rudess writing duo even though I like Rudess' solo works.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  17. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    Hopefully he'll get there. I really enjoyed watching some of the writing documentaries, for example the writing of Train of Thought, where they would basically jam as a full band and then stop for a bit to discuss how the song (Honor Thy Father I think) should progress, then they'd try a few things and then keep jamming forward. It seemed so cool and collaborative between all the guys...
     
  18. Lax

    Lax SS.org Regular

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    Die hard DT fan here since 1999 !
    Thought I'm shared between love for the earlier albums, fanatic about golden age (to me) and fan enough of the latter, especially since Mangini.
    To me golden age is scenes+six degrees+LTE 1&2

    I can't wait to hear the next album, I hope it'll be proggy as hell and will not fall into mainstream things we already hear.
    Papa JP do not djent please.
     
  19. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    I'd be fine with a little djent as long as it's not the focus of the album. But yeah, I'm hoping for more stuff like MP's AA-songs. They're all really good, possibly apart from The Shattered Fortress which went a little overboard IMO.
     
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  20. The Mirror

    The Mirror SS.org Regular

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    Shit guys. What year is it?
     

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