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Dream Theater - The Astonishing CD (album) cover

THE ASTONISHING

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.42 | 676 ratings

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Kevman28
4 stars The Astonishing - could quite easily have been called 'The evolving', 'the expansive', 'the excellent', 'the epic', 'the rollercoaster' - you get the idea.... Dream Theater fans seem to fall into two categories. In camp A they like the symphonic, catchy and memorable songs such as Pull me under and those found on the likes of Scenes from a Memory and to the extreme end of the scale - Octavarium. In camp B we have those that like Six Degrees, Train of thought and Systematic chaos for their complexity and heaviness. I guess I fall into camp A, with some of those last 3 mentioned albums being just a touch too complex for my sanity!

The Astonishing is an epic album, with two full disks sending you only a loooooong trip. Overall more akin to the aforementioned from camp A, but with a healthy dose of complexity in the mix. This is Dream Theater's 'The Wall'. This is truly prog, and easily their most prog release to date. Orchestras, bagpipes (eeeugh) and everything inbetween.

I can't understand the negativity from some, but there is no fun in everyone sharing the same opinion. Maybe those people sit firmly in camp B?

Lastly, I just wanted to commend Mike Mangini's playing. The poor guy was doomed from the start with the die-hards after trying to step in for Portnoy, but after listening to the 3 albums with him, I truly believe they are no worse. For me, 'Dream Theater' is like 'Train of Thought' but better. A dramatic turn of events is excellent, and The astonishing is awe inspiring. The boy done good.

Update: Ok so I don't make a habit of editing my posts, but after many listens to this album I find myself switching it off about a third of the way through cd2. From that point I am waiting for some more peaks and troughs, followed by a grand finale. What I get instead is dissapointment and boredom with no reward at the end. It's like walking through a bleak tunnel toward an amazing light and finding a tramp holding a torch. (Put the wine down Kevin.....) I can't possibly give the same 5/5 rating when I only find about 65% of the album satisfying. Sorry chaps, down to 4.

Kevman28 | 4/5 |

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