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Dream Theater - The Astonishing CD (album) cover

THE ASTONISHING

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.38 | 709 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

maani
Special Collaborator
Founding Moderator
5 stars Wait...five stars? Considering how disappointed so many reviewers clearly are? Well, yes. Because I feel that many listeners simply may not have understood what they were listening to. True, it's not Metropolis, or even Six Degrees (or possibly even Systematic Chaos). But its' not supposed to be. Like Metropolis, it is a concept album. But that is where the similarity ends. Metropolis - one of the greatest concept albums in history - was "simply" an album built around an idea, a story, a theme. When Petrucci wrote The Astonishing, he was specifically writing a musical. And since I believe he succeeded in this - quite spectacularly - I am giving this five stars because of the success of his intent - which also assumes brilliant writing for the concept. A musical is a very specific form. Petrucci shows just how brilliant he is beyond being an amazing lyricist and guitarist, by writing the world's first (and highly successful) progressive rock musical. In fact, I cannot wait to see whether he attempts to have this staged AS a musical. Can you imagine? Progressive rock takes over the West End and Broadway? Can you imagine a voice like Idina Menzel's as Faythe? It send goosebumps up my spine. In fact, even if this were not a a successful musical concept, I would give it 4 stars; Act 2 (i.e., Disc 2) is among the best work Petrucci has done. The first three compositions alone are worth the price of admission. Again, it is true that this is not Metropolis, and so maybe I am being a TAD generous in giving it 5 stars. But i am so incredible impressed with the idea of a progressive rock musical, and the clear success that this one presents, that I felt it would be unkind of me to give it less. The lyrics are masterful in the context of a musical, and the music runs from the merely very good to the truly breath-taking. But all of it must be taken in the context of the project,- which is what I think many listeners may have missed. However, taken in context, and measuring the album by the success of which it was written and executed, this is absolutely a five-star effort. Bravo! I can't wait to buy a ticket to the first performance on Broadway. (But where are they going to find musicians who can play the score? LOL) That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
maani | 5/5 |

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