Dream Theater ‎– The Astonishing

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Versions (15)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
1686-174932 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records 1686-174932 US 2016 Sell This Version
WPCR-17071/2 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records, Warner Music WPCR-17071/2 Japan 2016 Sell This Version
1686-17493-2 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records, Warner Music Group 1686-17493-2 Argentina 2016 Sell This Version
016861749323 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records, Warner Music Group 016861749323 Brazil 2016 Sell This Version
1686174932 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records 1686174932 Indonesia 2016 Sell This Version
554541-2 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records, Warner Music Russia 554541-2 Russia 2016 Sell This Version
1686174932 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records 1686174932 Australia 2016 Sell This Version
1686-174932 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records 1686-174932 Thailand 2016 Sell This Version
RR7493-2, 1686-174932, 1686174932 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records, Roadrunner Records, Roadrunner Records RR7493-2, 1686-174932, 1686174932 Europe 2016 Sell This Version
1749323 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records, Warner Music Group 1749323 Mexico 2016 Sell This Version
RR7493-2 Dream Theater The Astonishing(2xCD, Album, Unofficial) Roadrunner Records (6) RR7493-2 Russia 2016 Sell This Version
none Dream Theater The Astonishing(34xFile, AAC, Album, 256) Roadrunner Records none 2016
none Dream Theater The Astonishing(34xFile, FLAC, Album) Roadrunner Records none 2016
RR7493-1, 1686174931 Dream Theater The Astonishing(Box + 2xLP + 2xLP + Album, 180) Roadrunner Records, Roadrunner Records RR7493-1, 1686174931 Europe 2016 Sell This Version
1686-174933 Dream Theater The Astonishing(Box, Dlx, Ltd + 2xCD, Album, Dig) Roadrunner Records 1686-174933 US 2016 Sell This Version

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MrDreamTheater2

MrDreamTheater2

August 4, 2017
edited about 1 year ago
referencing The Astonishing, 2xCD, Album, Dig, 1686-174932

This album, in my opinion, represents the ignominious death of Dream Theater. Had it been condensed down to a single disc consisting of the best tracks, such as The Gift Of Music, A Better Life, Lord Nafaryus, Three Days, A Life Left Behind, Moment Of Betrayal, and Our New World, it would have been acceptable, if a bit limp. But stretched out over two discs full of unmemorable filler tracks, The Astonishing becomes self-indulgent, repetitive, and just plain boring. I'd especially like to hear an explanation of why we needed three different NOMAC interludes, as opposed to just the first one to give us a taste of what they sound like. The real reason, of course, is that Jordan Rudess wanted to experiment with Heavyocity Gravity, but that doesn't mean the tracks are listenable or add anything to the album.

One customary defense I've heard of this album is that the detractors are just close-minded metalheads who hate it because it's "less metal" than we're used to hearing. In my case, it's a bit complicated. Most of the music I listen to nowadays is actually not metal, but I feel like if Dream Theater wanted to do an album about a technological dystopia, now would have been a better time than ever to unleash a bunch of dark, twisted, metal riffs, and they instead mostly chose to present a bunch of cheesy pseudo-folk and pop ballads. The album is supposed to be "far in the distant future," and yet it feels "far in the distance past" with Medieval elements such as princes and princesses, violins, and even a sword fight on one track. If Petrucci wanted to create an album of Medieval music, that's what he should have gone for, rather than trying to reconcile it with a concept that it can't be reconciled with (a concept lifted whole cloth from 2112, I might add).

LaBrie's performance on this album is ambitious, but overhyped. His "voices" sound pretty similar, and I'm particularly bothered by the "people just don't have the tiiiime" auto-tune fail on Gift Of Music, as well as "of a man who has been glorified" on Lord Nafaryus. The "fied" part is way too far behind the beat, and LaBrie uses the muddy, unrefined vibrato which is one factor (albeit not the only one) bogging down his recent live performances. Anyone who claims this is the best performance of his career urgently needs to revisit an album called Awake. Mangini's drum sound on this album is also not good - synthetic and fake sounding, just like the last album. Even David Prater's infamous triggers on Images and Words sounded better.

I sensed something was horribly wrong with this album the moment I learned it was composed exclusively by Petrucci and Rudess with no songwriting credits given to Myung, LaBrie, or Mangini. Mangini is still "the new guy," and LaBrie has never contributed much to the band beyond the occasional lyric, but the lack of input from Myung is egregious considering he's Petrucci's lifelong friend, and a founding member of Dream Theater. His basslines DEFINED songs like Ytse Jam, Metropolis, Lifting Shadows Off A Dream, and Scarred - more recently, Panic Attack and A Rite Of Passage - but there's nary any memorable playing from him on The Astonishing. I don't want to hear about the incredibly milquetoast pentatonic riff going into the solo section on A New Beginning (which also has incredibly milquetoast drumming, far below what Mangini, a master of polyrhyhtms and syncopations, could have laid down).

I believe John Petrucci has gotten a case of George Lucas Syndrome, which is to say that without Mike Portnoy around to act as a creative foil, he's surrounded himself with yes-men to the point where he's completely lost touch with reality. People are probably too intimidated by his big muscles and beard to say anything critical. His decision to create a novelization and video game for this album is just weird, as if he's trying to compensate for what he knows to be the underlying failure and mediocrity of the album. If Petrucci is going to stubbornly hang onto LaBrie and Mangini, he is going to have to dump Rich Chycki, and get a more competent producer. Chycki is simply not delivering in terms of the drum sounds and DYNAMICS of the production - everything is super compressed. There are plenty of fish in the sea: Jens Bogren, Andy Sneap, Steven Wilson, Devin Townsend, Kevin Shirley, Roy Z, Zeuss. Even bringing back Paul Northfield would probably yield an improvement.
Flurokazoo

Flurokazoo

May 2, 2017
referencing The Astonishing, Box + 2xLP + 2xLP + Album, 180, RR7493-1, 1686174931
The price has gone down considerably. You kan probably pick this up for about 40 to 50 bucks now, which still isn't very cheap, but a whole lot more managable.
zmb5501

zmb5501

October 27, 2016
referencing The Astonishing, Box + 2xLP + 2xLP + Album, 180, RR7493-1, 1686174931
not very dynamic lots of noise not recommended. also they could have fit this on 3 lps instead of 4 and that would have been better
alienrubbert

alienrubbert

September 28, 2016
referencing The Astonishing, Box + 2xLP + 2xLP + Album, 180, RR7493-1, 1686174931

I love the record, but who had the great idea of putting white font over a bright picture for the lyrics? They're impossible to read!
m0v3st4R

m0v3st4R

March 4, 2016
referencing The Astonishing, Box + 2xLP + 2xLP + Album, 180, RR7493-1, 1686174931
Its some kind of sad that this seems to be the only LP Version of this album. Its a bit overpriced, isn't it? I mean I just want the music and not all the goodies coming with it