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fighting sleep View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Have you ever woken up in the morning and...
    Posted: December 14 2009 at 02:14
...realized that Dream Theater isn't as good as you always thought it was?

I had this strange discomforting realization a little while back, and have been contemplating the money I wasted on this band that for some reason I cannot bring myself to listen to anymore.

What has happened here? Why can't I revel in the cheese of Scenes From A Memory anymore? Not only that, but when Dream Theater vacated the apple of my eye, they took with them Ayreon, Symphony X, and Phideaux.

The only word that comes to mind is: maturity. Ideas and opinions change in time. After all, these were the bands that I leapt for and eagerly drank in when I first became acquainted with prog rock a few years ago. They weren't all I was listening to, of course, but for a while there, I really loved a lot of these cheesy bands.

However, it now baffles me the quantity of cheesy bands populating this site (mostly in the progressive metal section...). In fact, it almost seems to me that the popularity of bands on this site is a microcosm of popularity in mainstream music; all of the bands that languish in old ideas and creative stagnancy (I'm thinking especially of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater) are inevitably some of the most popular and idiosyncratic in the prog genre.

Ideas, opinions? Am I talking out of my ass? Has this sort of "awakening" happened to anyone else?


Edited by fighting sleep - December 14 2009 at 02:17
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 02:24
No but I often go to sleep thinking "What the f*** do people see in that band???" Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 03:41
While not a fan of Ayreon and Phideaux at all, I can relate with Dream Theater very much so.

I remember the very first Dream Theater CD I bought was Scenes From a Memory back in 2005. At the time, I would only sometimes listen to it while doing nothing else but it mainly served as good background music while I did my school work (I'm 21 now, out of school, but was 16/17 back then).
I also bought Images and Words that year and liked it a lot.

This was my first experience with prog metal, so of course it was something fresh and exciting, even to listen to SFAM. Prior to that, I was mainly listening to 80s Metallica, Megadeth from their debut up to Rust In Peace and a whole bunch of other thrash metal records (bands like Testament, Slayer, Exodus etc), as well as regular listening to Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.

Now, fast forward to 2009, and the only Dream Theater albums that strike me being totally brilliant are Images and Words and Awake.
Octavarium, 6DOIT, Systematic Chaos and BC&SL I never had legal copies of to be honest.
I'm not the type to build up his music library for the sake of having as many songs as possible, so since they weren't legal copies, I simply deleted them from PC because I never listen to those albums anymore.

One of my friends lately even realized how much more exciting and innovative and well, creative Images and Words and Awake were compared to the rest of their discography.
When he first heard Octavarium, he was unaware of the bands that influenced that record, but now that he has gotten into Pink Floyd, Muse etc, he listens to Octavarium and just cringes at the sheer poverty of musical creativity shown on that record.
And indeed SC and BC&CL  are also are guilty as charged as being highly uncreative and severely lacking in originality.
Now, I'm very big on metal and don't consider myself a prog fan at all, rather I'm a metal fan, so while I liked The Glass Prison off 6DOIT, the rest of the 2 discs largely strikes me as being pretty boring, so I deleted most of that album off my computer.
I really like Overture, since that actually demonstrates Jordan Rudess' talent rather than being the w**kery that he litters over most of Dream Theater's work since he came to the band.
His technical skill is immense and I admire that hugely, but being able to hold back and keep restrained is also a huge factor in being a well rounded musician and well, a lot of his keyboard solos just proves he doesn't seem to know when to hold back when he should.

For example, there is this stunning keyboard solo straight after John Petrucci's first guitar solo on Stream Of Consciousness. Amazing note choice, great phrasing and actually fits the context of the song well and it just bothers me he can't do a solo like this more often, one that actually sounds musical rather than a string of meaningless notes.
The last minute or so of This Dying Soul always makes me cringe. I haven't heard the song in a while, so I don't remember if Petrucci and Rudess are doubling each other's parts or harmonzing, but it doesn't matter, because the point is it seems like that part of the song was thrown in just for the sake of it. It adds nothing to the song, in fact I'd go so far to say it actually partly ruins the song for me.

Yesterday I put on Master of Puppets for the first time in over 12 months (I'd gotten sick of it because a friend of mine used to overplay it at parties).
I also put on Rust In Peace for the first time in a few months.
It just struck me how much better written and well constructed the material was compared to recent Dream Theater.
Listening to some other stuff, like Gojira's The Way of All Flesh and Isis' Oceanic just made me come to a realization.

Dream Theater has been relying on using SOO many ideas in one song, short ideas strung together that are not really all that musically linked.
Why is Master of Puppets or Rust In Peace so good in comparison? Instead of using all these short ideas that aren't linked, they are based around, longer, more dominant themes that are musically quite strong.
Because of this these bands never had to resort to using all these small, weak, short ideas in an attempt to impress people, because they had strong fundamentals in the song writing in the first place that don't need to be unnecessarily complex to catch the listener's ear.
I just remember listening to many recent DT songs, and before I get a chance to latch onto a idea, groove out to it or however the riff makes me feel, they have moved onto another idea, and it just starts to sound incoherent and I just sit there thinking "Well, that riff was cool, why didn't they just keep playing with that idea instead of moving onto the next idea that f**king sucks and just ruins it for me?" and then the cycle continues, the band just loses it and as each riff/new musical idea comes, the songs get progressively more boring and painful to listen to.

Whereas I put on Gojira on, and while I realize it may not be to everyone's taste, it's hard to deny that on their last two albums the band has a real sense of using strong ideas that go longer rather than lumping as many riffs together for the sake of being complex.
So I can sit there and just enjoy the grooves. It may lack the flashy guitar solos of Dream Theater, all the uber complex drumming, but at the end of the day a well written song has much more staying power in my CD player/iTunes library than something that is over the top complex and misses the point entirely of what rock and metal music is about : writing a good song.
Hell, even Meshuggah, while of course being hyper technical, since their album Catch ThirtyThree have written their songs where it's all about the groove first and foremost. I honestly don't even notice the technicality in Catch ThirtyThree because I'm enjoying the grooves so much, whereas in recent Dream Theater it's just like "OH HEY, GUITAR SOLO/KEYBOARD SOLO/15/4 SECTION COMING, JUST NOTICE ME" which makes me cringe.

Images and Words and Awake actually have genuinely good material. They were simply innovative, exciting and super creative albums that I still love as much as the day I first heard those albums.
I put on SFAM and half the songs bore me now, because it's incoherent, w**ky garbage.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 03:54
I wouldn't say they're not as good as you thought they were, they're exactly as good as you thought they were just as AC/DC, Rush or early DiMeola are great but I don't listen to them like I did when I was younger-- you've moved on, it happens
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 04:42
Originally posted by fighting sleep

...realized that Dream Theater isn't as good as you always thought it was?

I had this strange discomforting realization a little while back, and have been contemplating the money I wasted on this band that for some reason I cannot bring myself to listen to anymore.

What has happened here? Why can't I revel in the cheese of Scenes From A Memory anymore? Not only that, but when Dream Theater vacated the apple of my eye, they took with them Ayreon, Symphony X, and Phideaux.

The only word that comes to mind is: maturity. Ideas and opinions change in time. After all, these were the bands that I leapt for and eagerly drank in when I first became acquainted with prog rock a few years ago. They weren't all I was listening to, of course, but for a while there, I really loved a lot of these cheesy bands.

However, it now baffles me the quantity of cheesy bands populating this site (mostly in the progressive metal section...). In fact, it almost seems to me that the popularity of bands on this site is a microcosm of popularity in mainstream music; all of the bands that languish in old ideas and creative stagnancy (I'm thinking especially of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater) are inevitably some of the most popular and idiosyncratic in the prog genre.

Ideas, opinions? Am I talking out of my ass? Has this sort of "awakening" happened to anyone else?
Maturity ? I devepoped a taste for genesis when I was around 14 years old, around fifteen & sixteen a lot of thrash metal appealed to me but progressive rock was still my main musical interest, picking up on Yes, Camel and Marillion in the early eighties. I then listened to a lot of heavy metal, mainly Maiden, Sabbath, Purple and lighter bands such as Wishbone ash and Uriah Heep. But stil my love for Genesis/Yes/camel was probably at it's zenith. Then IQ and a whole host of very obscure prog bands took my fancy.
Anyway I didn't get into Dream Theater till I was almost 40 !!! - I do find that American bands tend to have cheesier religious themes and as a keen reader of Darwin/Dawkins/Dennett I find religious belief in adults to be one of the stranger kinds of allowable psychosis in human beings....
Dream Theater took me back into metal themed music, excellent music and I don't really listen to lyrics too much so the cheesyness can be ignored.
get into the Flower Kings - Excellence from Sweden.........
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 05:24
Maybe only evolution, not necessarily maturity? One's taste develops, moves on, all the time. Doesn't mean that it grows wiser...if you see what I mean.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 06:44
I dont think maturity is quite the right word, but I get what you mean, the same thing happened to me a couple of years ago. These days Awake is the only DT album I might play semi regularly, with Images and Words and Scenes from a Memory being played much less (due to serious overplaying several years ago). The rest of the discog get very little play time these days as the last 3 albums have all been rehashes of what they've done before but nowhere near as good.
 
In general though, my tastes seem to be moving more toward the experimental/post metal and tech/extreme bands as the majority of traditional progressive metal has gotten very stagnant with only a few exceptions. 
Spending more than I should on Prog since 2005

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 07:41
Your prespective on music changes as you age anyway, imo. Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree (both great bands imo) are the sort of acts that you may end up feeling, are not quite as good as you thought when you first heard them.

It's quite easy to get blown away by the dynamics these bands use in their music, but it's when you search for subtlties and nuances, that you would expect in any good prog rock, you may feel a little short changed.
Ultimately bored by endless ecstasy!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 11:49
Originally posted by fighting sleep

...realized that Dream Theater isn't as good as you always thought it was?
 
DT is and always will be good.
Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 15:05

Have you ever woken up in the morning and...


wondered where all of your hair went?   Yes, frequently.


(so much for maturity)


Edited by Roland113 - December 14 2009 at 15:06
I don't have an unnatural obsession with Disney Princesses, I have a five year old daughter and coping mechanisms.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 15:27
Scenes from a memory is the only DT albums album I could ever got into. I like Octavarium too but not as much. So I was never a big fan of them anyway, but I agree that tastes develop and our perspective in music changes with age. In my case, I tend to like more and more bands I didn't like before every year, it's not that I stop likings bands I loved before, maybe just don't overestimate them as I used to.

In the end the love you take is equal to the love you made...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 15:28
I started to lose interest in the band until their latest album (BC & SL) got me back into them. "The Count of Tuscany" is INCREDIBLE. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 16:04
Originally posted by Roland113

Have you ever woken up in the morning and...


wondered where all of your hair went?   Yes, frequently.


(so much for maturity)

From the title I was expecting a thread on morning wood.Tongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 16:08
Originally posted by sleeper

In general though, my tastes seem to be moving more toward the experimental/post metal and tech/extreme bands as the majority of traditional progressive metal has gotten very stagnant with only a few exceptions. 
 
I totally agree with Andy on this one,with very few exceptions,traditional prog metal has gotten boring.
 
I still like DT,but don't find myself listening to them as much as I used to.Their new material just does nothing for me either and I have moved on.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 16:39
Even I understand some of what you are saying... I really don't have that Crisis of faith in my beloved band... I think maybe you get bored, many need time to try something new but I'm sure you will get back, maybe not to whole their material but you will get back and discover again the magic... I'm a fan from them and agree that I&W and Awake are above their rest of material, but I like them and listen to most of their albums, just deppending on my mood... when I'm really mad I go and heard Train of Thought or when I feel a little mellow I go and spin Octavarium... but it remains as my fav band from all time... so... No... Dream Theater really is as good as I thought... most of the rest of prog metal are not at their level so... no...
 
I woke up and wonder why there are many haters of DT around PA... it's an unfair feeling...
Change the program inside... Stay in silence is a crime.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 17:46
All it takes is one replay of Images and Words, and then it'll be on your playlist for the weeks to come. I think the thing with DT is, it only takes one listen of one of the poorer albums and you will just naturally move on to something...better...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 17:57
And see that i have little time for my beloved hobbieCry


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 18:44
Originally posted by Roland113

Have you ever woken up in the morning and...


wondered where all of your hair went?   Yes, frequently.


(so much for maturity)
LOL yes I think I agree with several posters here; maturity isn't quite the word I'm looking for. There's not really any wisdom or emotional maturity connected to musical tastes as far as I can tell.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 18:59
Originally posted by Petrovsk Mizinski

While not a fan of Ayreon and Phideaux at all, I can relate with Dream Theater very much so.

I remember the very first Dream Theater CD I bought was Scenes From a Memory back in 2005. At the time, I would only sometimes listen to it while doing nothing else but it mainly served as good background music while I did my school work (I'm 21 now, out of school, but was 16/17 back then).
I also bought Images and Words that year and liked it a lot.

This was my first experience with prog metal, so of course it was something fresh and exciting, even to listen to SFAM. Prior to that, I was mainly listening to 80s Metallica, Megadeth from their debut up to Rust In Peace and a whole bunch of other thrash metal records (bands like Testament, Slayer, Exodus etc), as well as regular listening to Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.

Now, fast forward to 2009, and the only Dream Theater albums that strike me being totally brilliant are Images and Words and Awake.
Octavarium, 6DOIT, Systematic Chaos and BC&SL I never had legal copies of to be honest.
I'm not the type to build up his music library for the sake of having as many songs as possible, so since they weren't legal copies, I simply deleted them from PC because I never listen to those albums anymore.

One of my friends lately even realized how much more exciting and innovative and well, creative Images and Words and Awake were compared to the rest of their discography.
When he first heard Octavarium, he was unaware of the bands that influenced that record, but now that he has gotten into Pink Floyd, Muse etc, he listens to Octavarium and just cringes at the sheer poverty of musical creativity shown on that record.
And indeed SC and BC&CL  are also are guilty as charged as being highly uncreative and severely lacking in originality.
Now, I'm very big on metal and don't consider myself a prog fan at all, rather I'm a metal fan, so while I liked The Glass Prison off 6DOIT, the rest of the 2 discs largely strikes me as being pretty boring, so I deleted most of that album off my computer.
I really like Overture, since that actually demonstrates Jordan Rudess' talent rather than being the w**kery that he litters over most of Dream Theater's work since he came to the band.
His technical skill is immense and I admire that hugely, but being able to hold back and keep restrained is also a huge factor in being a well rounded musician and well, a lot of his keyboard solos just proves he doesn't seem to know when to hold back when he should.

For example, there is this stunning keyboard solo straight after John Petrucci's first guitar solo on Stream Of Consciousness. Amazing note choice, great phrasing and actually fits the context of the song well and it just bothers me he can't do a solo like this more often, one that actually sounds musical rather than a string of meaningless notes.
The last minute or so of This Dying Soul always makes me cringe. I haven't heard the song in a while, so I don't remember if Petrucci and Rudess are doubling each other's parts or harmonzing, but it doesn't matter, because the point is it seems like that part of the song was thrown in just for the sake of it. It adds nothing to the song, in fact I'd go so far to say it actually partly ruins the song for me.

Yesterday I put on Master of Puppets for the first time in over 12 months (I'd gotten sick of it because a friend of mine used to overplay it at parties).
I also put on Rust In Peace for the first time in a few months.
It just struck me how much better written and well constructed the material was compared to recent Dream Theater.
Listening to some other stuff, like Gojira's The Way of All Flesh and Isis' Oceanic just made me come to a realization.

Dream Theater has been relying on using SOO many ideas in one song, short ideas strung together that are not really all that musically linked.
Why is Master of Puppets or Rust In Peace so good in comparison? Instead of using all these short ideas that aren't linked, they are based around, longer, more dominant themes that are musically quite strong.
Because of this these bands never had to resort to using all these small, weak, short ideas in an attempt to impress people, because they had strong fundamentals in the song writing in the first place that don't need to be unnecessarily complex to catch the listener's ear.
I just remember listening to many recent DT songs, and before I get a chance to latch onto a idea, groove out to it or however the riff makes me feel, they have moved onto another idea, and it just starts to sound incoherent and I just sit there thinking "Well, that riff was cool, why didn't they just keep playing with that idea instead of moving onto the next idea that f**king sucks and just ruins it for me?" and then the cycle continues, the band just loses it and as each riff/new musical idea comes, the songs get progressively more boring and painful to listen to.

Whereas I put on Gojira on, and while I realize it may not be to everyone's taste, it's hard to deny that on their last two albums the band has a real sense of using strong ideas that go longer rather than lumping as many riffs together for the sake of being complex.
So I can sit there and just enjoy the grooves. It may lack the flashy guitar solos of Dream Theater, all the uber complex drumming, but at the end of the day a well written song has much more staying power in my CD player/iTunes library than something that is over the top complex and misses the point entirely of what rock and metal music is about : writing a good song.
Hell, even Meshuggah, while of course being hyper technical, since their album Catch ThirtyThree have written their songs where it's all about the groove first and foremost. I honestly don't even notice the technicality in Catch ThirtyThree because I'm enjoying the grooves so much, whereas in recent Dream Theater it's just like "OH HEY, GUITAR SOLO/KEYBOARD SOLO/15/4 SECTION COMING, JUST NOTICE ME" which makes me cringe.

Images and Words and Awake actually have genuinely good material. They were simply innovative, exciting and super creative albums that I still love as much as the day I first heard those albums.
I put on SFAM and half the songs bore me now, because it's incoherent, w**ky garbage.

I myself am not a huge metal fan. However, I think that the genre isn't dead as long as bands like Gojira and Isis are still putting out albums. Just a side curiosity: what did you think of Wavering Radiant?

As for musical virtuosity, I really have no problems with exceptionally talented musicians showing off, if it works creatively with the rest of the song. However, there seems to be a tendency on this site to assume virtuosity = creativity. Which leads, unfortunately, to a TON of bands whose only claim to the "progressive" label is their willingness to perform voodoo rituals on the skeletal remains of the classic seventies prog sound.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2009 at 08:12
The only album I could really get into by them was Scenes from a memory, but after that I got Images and words and that ruined the band for me...
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