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Prog Metal and Dream Theater

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Bronsonia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bronsonia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Prog Metal and Dream Theater
    Posted: May 07 2013 at 13:30
Sorry if this has been said a million times. I haven't used this forum in a long time.

Practically every single prog metal review I read on here, Dream Theater is mentioned. I know Dream Theater are very popular and they influenced many bands, but why is it so hard for people to not compare every single prog metal band to them? They weren't the first of their kind by any means. I am personally not a fan of them but I somewhat like the genre and it is a bit frustrating to me seeing every single band in the genre being compared to them. Even bands that don't really sound like them but are prog metal are still compared to them. A lot of people just instantly call these bands "Dream Theater clones". It really takes away from bands who try to be original and have their own unique sound. 

Personally I don't get all the fuss about Dream Theater. There are just too many other bands out there and to me it makes no sense to just pick one and say it's the best, mainly because they've had backing by major labels and MTV.  What about bands like Queensryche, Fates Warning and Shadow Gallery? Or even less known, underrated bands like Eternity X and Ice Age? None of those bands sound like Dream Theater yet I guarantee you will find reviews where people just compare them to Dream Theater. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Earendil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 13:51
I think it's because they are so massively influential.  They really solidified progressive metal as a genre and inspired many bands to play progressive metal.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gallifrey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 13:54
I use Dream Theater in my reviews to quite often state that THIS BAND DOESN'T SOUND LIKE DREAM THEATER. That normally means they're good.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 13:58
Because John Petrucci is a bear and can kill you, Jordan Rudess is a magical wizard who can kill you, John Myung is a ninja and can kill you, James LaBrie is a pirate and can kill you, and Mike Mangini is a genie.... and can kill you.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 14:01
Originally posted by Earendil

I think it's because they are so massively influential.  They really solidified progressive metal as a genre and inspired many bands to play progressive metal.
So, what you are saying is this: influence is the criterion by which other bands are measured against DT ... did I get that right?

Edited by Dayvenkirq - May 07 2013 at 14:01
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UMUR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 14:11
Interesting that you almost sound offended by this... but the fact is that Dream Theater is the single most influential progressive metal act. They were one of the first progressive metal acts to have a keyboard player in the lineup that had an equal role to the guitarist. I´d say that´s one of the things where they really sounded different from other contemporary acts in the late eighties/early nineties. Their virtuosity level was also incredible. Usually in those days metal acts had one, maybe two outstanding musicians in the lineup and the rest were solid, but here was an act where every member was incredibly skilled and got to show it.

You mention Fates Warning and Queensr˙che, which are definitely also two of the most influential progressive metal acts on the scene (along with maybe Watchtower and Dream Theater, that´s about it in my book) and I think you´ll find quite a few reviews where the artist in question is compared to those two.

The other acts you mention are to my ears not very original sounding or Unique. They are great acts, but that´s a completely different story. Many of the ideas they use are influenced by the four acts I mention above.

Just my opinion... and completely different than yours I guess
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Post Options Post Options   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 14:15
Well, even Dream Theater get compared to Dream Theater, so no one can escape the band's grasp.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bronsonia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 14:19
Originally posted by UMUR


Just my opinion... and completely different than yours I guess

I understand they were influential but how is it that I like those bands who were supposedly heavily influenced by them yet at the same time I can't listen to Dream Theater? Also would you say Eternity X sound just like Dream Theater?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 14:29
Nope... but they are influenced by them :-). Even a big name act like Symphony X are greatly influenced by Dream Theater.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 15:07
Originally posted by Earendil

I think it's because they are so massively influential.  They really solidified progressive metal as a genre and inspired many bands to play progressive metal.


Massive influence? Pretty hard to measure. The comparisons in reviews are surely more to do with massive exposure. The late 80's/early 90's were a period where bands required a big label deal to gain any type of exposure. They and Queensryche linked what was being done be other artists to a commercially accessible sound. I would be surprised if many progmetal artists were influenced by DT albums beyond the first 2.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rdtprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 15:08
Because we all know Dream Theater too well! And that bands that play progressive metal will inevitably have some DT's influence, so little this is showing. But their a lot of bands that don't have much DT's influence, i am thinking about Devin Townsend, Unexpect, Symphony X, Ayeron, etc. Finally, i am talking about myself, since DT are my favorite prog metal band, i am unconsciously looking for band that have a similar style, and when i will do a review, it is always useful to give a band name to give a better idea to the reader. I know a lot don,t like DT, but no one can't argue their immense influence on this genre.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HemispheresOfXanadu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 15:18
This is one of the reasons I don't read the comments on YouTube for prog metal artists. Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sukmytoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 15:37
In my view Dream Theater are the pinnacle of prog metal (a genre that they single handedly moulded into what it is). I don't expect everyone to like them as we all have individual tastes and preferences but there can be no denying what they are and the fact that they're damn good at what they do. I really don't mind the haters out there but what I do mind are those who rate DT pinnacle albums with a 2 or a 3 because they're showing me that they are reviewing emotively without taking much musical theory and practice into account which, to my view, is not a review. I can't stand Tool and that being the case I simply avoid reviewing their albums as it would perhaps be unfair of me to do so as there are those who like and love their albums. I also don't much see the point in spending 45 minutes or so reviewing an album that I don't at least like a little as that time would be better spent listening to and doing something that I enjoy. There are albums that I will give a 1 and a 2 rating to although those are albums that I find very little musical value in and invariably I will have reviewed those albums for the sake of being a completionist regarding an artist that I do like.
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Back to DT - if I review a prog metal artist then I have to have something to compare it to and (not only to me) DT are the benchmark of the genre. Does an artist sound similar or is the sound completely different ? (which is a good thing as it means the artist is exploring new territory).
  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Earendil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 15:52
My point was that virtually everyone that listens to progressive metal knows Dream Theater's music, so they make a useful benchmark.  And additionally, Dream Theater's sound has indeed inspired (or been imitated by) many bands, so they also have had a direct influence on how other progressive metal sounds. 

Edited by Earendil - May 07 2013 at 15:57
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 16:10
It's because your average prog metal fan has extremely limited taste
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 16:18
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil

It's because your average prog metal fan has extremely limited taste


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Smurph Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 17:15
Originally posted by Tapfret

Originally posted by Triceratopsoil

It's because your average prog metal fan has extremely limited taste


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Post Options Post Options   Quote tolcc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 18:36
There are bands that really are Dream Theater clones.

DT is my favourite band, but it's very refreshing to hear a prog metal band that doesn't sound like them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tolcc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 18:37
Originally posted by darkshade

Well, even Dream Theater get compared to Dream Theater, so no one can escape the band's grasp.

It's funny because it's actually true!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2013 at 19:01
I would agree with Earendil in that I think this is just a result of the band's massive influence.  I do think that it's somewhat unfortunate, however, that progressive metal bands can hardly escape from comparisons to DT; that's just, in my opinion, an unfortunate result of their influence and prominence.  I would say that I think DT is the best band in prog metal that I've heard so far (just including the specific prog metal genre, not other metal subgenres) and I don't think their prominence is undeserved.  It would be better, though, if bands could be reviewed on their own merit without so much reference to DT.
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