Influenced, Music

Dream Theater need to record new music ASAP & Is Mike Portnoy being written out of Dream Theater Lore?

So I gave the DT album another spin today. Favourite tracks are still…

The Bigger Picture – By far the best song on the album (both music and vocal melodies). It’s got a few Coldplay moments in addition with a few nods to Dream Theater’s past. Petrucci talked about encapsulating the past. This song does that. Isn’t it funny what some restraint can do

Illumination Theory – This would have been the best song on the album if it didn’t have that ridiculous Jordan Rudess sound effect interlude between 7.21 and 11.05. What a waste of space and time? However the movement that comes afterwards makes up for it. All I can say, is that we have a waste of space in “The Count of Tuscany” and we have the same in “Illumination Theory”. Let’s not have it again.

The next three songs have brilliant music, however the vocal melodies just don’t have the WOW factor.

Behind the Veil, The Looking Glass and Surrender To Reason.

For some reason “The Enemy Inside” doesn’t grab me. Listening to it today, it just reminds me of “Bridges In The Sky.”

Definitely have no connection to “False Awakening Suite”, “Enigma Machine” (which is a shame as the intro is heavy and evil and it deserved to be fleshed out better) and “Along For The Ride”.

So I went back to the “A Dramatic Turn Of Events” album. Still a big fan of the songs that became my favourites after the first listen.

Songs like “On The Backs Of Angels”, “Outcry” and “Breaking All Illusions” stand up with the best that Dream Theater has written. It’s safe to add to that list “The Bigger Picture” and “Illumination Theory”.

I still believe that Dream Theater needs to go back into the studio and record a few more songs to promote the upcoming tour. Do something that the fans don’t expect?

Also is it just me or is Mike Portnoy’s lyrical influence being written out of Dream Theater lore?

Look at the songs that make up the Live at Luna Park DVD. How many of them have lyrics written by Mike Portnoy?

If you said three out of thirty-six songs, you are right.

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Music, My Stories, Review in 40 Words

Review In 40 Words – Sound Of Contact – Dimensionaut (2013)

The vocalist is Simon Collins, the son of Phil Collins, who also formed the band with David Kerzner. This is great prog without all the technical mastery wrapped around a concept story about a traveller of dimensions and galaxies.

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A to Z of Making It, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Music Is A Long Road – A Trip Down Memory Lane with Fates Warning, Tom Petty and Dream Theater

For any artists these days, be it Bon Jovi or Metallica or Dream Theater or Motley Crue or Imagine Dragons or Shinedown or Machine Head or any new band starting off right now, they all need to understand one thing. We are living in the generation of kids born from 1997 onwards. This generation wants to consume music. Their sense of community is all online. Anyone that says they don’t have a Spotify account is not living in the modern age. These kids weren’t alive when the Record Labels ruled the day, so they have no desire for yesterday, they are all about today and what lays beyond.

For any artist these days, their whole career is about relationships. If you want an audience to invest, you need to establish a relationship. You need to make the effort. The days of touring a city based on the record sales figures for that city are long gone. Ask Dream Theater or Iron Maiden how many albums they have sold in South America? Then ask them how many people came to their shows in those countries.

Mike Portnoy stated in the linear notes on the released bootleg recording of Dream Theater’s Santiago, Chile show from June 2005 that they didn’t know what to expect from South America due to the low number if records they had sole there. They even went to the show with a cut down stage set to save money. In the end, they played to their biggest headlining audience ever.

It’s all about roots. If an artist doesn’t have any, the audience is not interested. Experience moulds the artist, it influences them. Music is an end unto itself. When done right, the sound and the feel is enough. It doesn’t need the videos, the PR sell and all the pyro that comes with the rock n roll show.

Tom Petty sang that Love Is A Long Road. That is the aim of every artist. To foster the love of the audience into a sustainable career. To paraphrase Tom Petty, Music is A Long Road. The same way that a relationship with a partner has its ups and down, so does the relationship between artist and fan. The same effort that an artist puts into a loving relationship is basically the same effort they need to put in to their music career.

The music community has shifted to being a song centric community. We just dont know it yet. The album format that used to make the most money for the record labels is almost a dead format. However artists still go back and release a collection of songs as an album.

In order for the album format to work for you, you need to create an album that is playable throughout. You need to create an album that needs to be heard over and over again. You need to create an album that stands up years after its release.

Fates Warning released an unbelievable album called Disconnected in 2000. However talk to anyone these days and it is like the band never existed. It’s been years since I’ve heard Disconnected and to my amazement, it sounds as fresh and innovative today as it did 13 years ago. Jim Matheos is the pure definition of the progress is derivative statement. He has the ability to take good things from songs that came before and mould them into something great, unique and innovative.

In the Year 2000, progressive music was at opposite ends of the spectrum. You had the Dream Theater style of progressive music on one side and the Tool style of progressive music on the other side. In between you had a band like Porcupine Tree, merging Tool like aggression with Pink Floyd like atmospherics. The mainstream was ruled by Nu-Metal bands. The missing link was Fates Warning.

With Disconnected, Jim Matheos merged the Tool and Porcupine Tree progressive elements with the Dream Theater progressive elements and put them through the Fates Warning blender.

Disconnected is a fusion of all the best progressive elements at the time into a cohesive piece of work that can be listened to over and over again from start to finish. It is a tragedy that this album is so overlooked these days. In the same way that each lick and melody from Images and Words by Dream Theater sticks in my head, Disconnected from Fates Warning does the same.

I am looking forward to hearing “Darkness In A Different Light” when it comes out on September 27. Nine years is a long time between albums. Nine years in the music business is an eternity. So much has changed. Love is a long road. Music is a long road.

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