Dream Theater -- Distance Over Time
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Dream TheaterDistance Over Time

★★☆☆ Props to DT for coming out with a grittier, tighter version of themselves on this album (somewhere in the musical ballpark of “Scenes From A Memory”). The shorter compositions lead not only to a sharper focus often missing in the past, but this feels in some ways like the best-yet fusion of DT’s twin penchants for heavy technicality and pseudo-emotive composition.

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Re: Re: The Arsies: A Reflection

I think there are actually two amazing things here:

1) “[Y]ou somehow have managed to avoid the calcification of musical tastes that is a basic biological fact of age. How did you do that?”  I agree, this is truly exceptional.  In case you want to know what the near opposite of what you have been able to achieve is, here is a list of the ten albums I have most recently purchased:

  • Candlemass — The Door to Doom
  • Dream Theater – Distance over Time
  • Overkill – The Wings of War
  • Visions of Atlantis – The Deep & The Dark Live @ Symphonic Metal Night
  • Avantasia – Moonglow
  • Beast in Black – From Hell with Love
  • Evergrey – The Atlantic
  • Within Temptation – Resist
  • Ancient Bards – Origine: The Black Crystal Sword Saga PT.
See the rest here
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Shred dad

I just discovered a man on Reddit who’d done the 80s hard rock lead guitarist thing, without commercial success, and lost the drive for it. Gave up guitar playing, settled down, had some kids. About a year ago, he was somehow inspired to come out of retirement for fun, to see if he could play a fairly advanced classical guitar piece.

Dream Theater -- The Astonishing
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Dream TheaterThe Astonishing

★★☆☆ This feels like DT’s take on Pink Floyd – The Wall… but doesn’t work nearly as well. The band repeatedly make bad trades by subduing their collective virtuosity in exchange for limp and forgettable songwriting. Also, these songs have a bad habit of going from Shred to Meh’d and back again, undercutting any hope of momentum.

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Metal Kitty

I’ve gotta give Mike Portnoy props for doing this even remotely well, and for seeming to know a whole lot of other band’s tunes. Also, I’m totally into forcing bands who want to promote their new albums… into playing on preposterously shitty gear.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Loud Park

Thanks for answering my questions. It’s taken me some time to absorb. First, thanks for introducing me to the term “reunion-aged.” I feel that’s going to be very useful in a few years when all the NWOAHM bands that have just recently disbanded get back together. Second, I absolutely agree with your sentiments about Kreator and Overkill; age has neither lessened their aggression nor the impact of their live shows (and Mille is only 47–I was surprised by that).

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Re: Re: Re: Loud Park

Thanks for your intrepid reporting, as always. Nice to hear that the Haunted and Kreator ripped it up as usual. I was surprised to see they played so much Dolving era stuff—how did those tunes sound? And as for DT, a 90 minute set is like a preshow warm up for them—they must have had to go to another venue to play another 3-4 hours after Loud Park to make it worth their while.

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Re: Loud Park

Thanks for these excellent reports, JaPaBo! Was Kreator painfully loud, as they were when I saw them with Overkill? Also, I can’t get over Jordan Rudess on keytar (especially what looks to be a bloated two-octave one).