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Dream Theater - The Astonishing CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.37 | 710 ratings

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4 stars This is an epic rock opera. It is not a formula for all future Dream Theater albums, and it should be applauded that they had the guts to create something bigger and more challenging. I give them a lot credit since the risk is much higher in 2016 than it was in the 70s because the internet is a platform for people to destroy a band at lightning speed. With all that being said, you can expect excellent musicianship and vocals in a long concept album wrapper. While some may state it is cheesy, I have no issues with the content. Each listen is more and more exciting as it grows on me further. Any Dream Theater fan, Progressive Rock or metal fan, should add it to their collection. It is nothing like the classic Dream Theater albums, so your expectation is what can control your appreciation for The Astonishing. The main complaints that I hear is that it is not metal enough and it is too long. To address both of those issues, they are true to an extent. This is not a heavy Dream Theater release, but there are some passages that flat out rock. However, as a rock opera, it does have a Dream Theater signature sound that oozes the quality that made them into the premiere Progressive Metal group. People will be disappointed if they are not in the mood for a dramatic rock opera. If they want classic Dream Theater, it is still available in their massive catalog. What I can say about the length is that this will not likely ever be something to listen to in one sitting. It is too long if that is a desired expectation. I rarely listened to The Wall in one sitting, because a double album has so much music in it. Should the Astonishing have been closer in length to The Wall? Most likely! It is the length of a triple CD and lacks the variety of multiple guest singers playing parts like an Ayreon album. Only time will tell how it is received by the fans.
javajeff | 4/5 |


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