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BAND/AUTHOR:

DREAM THEATER

(UNITED STATES)

TITLE:
THE ASTONISHING
RELEASE DATE:
2016
LABEL:
ROADRUNNER RECORDS
GENRE:
PROGRESSIVE METAL / OTHERS
"After more than a decade of rather disappointing inspiration and creativity, Dream Theater returns with a fully successful double album that will delight fans of the period around the 2000s."
NUNO777 - 22.01.2016 -
Dream Theater has never developed such a mysterious promotional campaign for an album. "The Astonishing", whose details have been revealed in droves, is a 2h10 double conceptual mythic-heroic-science-fiction disc that recalls great sagas like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings or Dune. The story, a true scenario written by John Petrucci, takes place in a distant, totalitarian and dehumanized future on the verge of a revolution through music and tells the adventures of eight characters in two antagonistic camps, the "Great Northern Empire of the Americas" and the rebel militia "Ravenskill Rebel Militia". The point on the concept being made, while taking care not to reveal the main facts, what about the music?

"The Astonishing" is a dense and ambitious work with a double opera-rock dimension created by a band more oriented towards its fertile "SFAM" and "SDoIT" period than its recent metalo-thrash preferences. The very diversified melodic content facilitates immersion via many mid-tempi with rather rock ('Hymn Of A Thousand Voices' with medieval accents,'When Your Time Has Come') or melancholic ('The X Aspect','Begin Again') modalities. These moderately metrical tracks mix with other more polymorphic titles mixing fragility, energy and dramaturgy (the vintage and groovy "A Life Left Behind", "A Tempting Offer" and the dark "The Path That Divides"). The heavier passages and virtuoso instrumental sequences, whose second act is particularly well stocked ('Moment Of Betrayal','The Walking Shadow','The Gift Of Music' and the very brassy'A New Beginning'), never switch to a sterile demonstration and are intelligently distilled not to upset the harmonies carrying much solemnity.

The symphonic density of "The Astonishing", very balanced in its association with the digital keys of the keyboards and the strong presence of instruments with organic sounds such as piano, organ and acoustic guitar, nourishes the entire work and gives it its classical and romantic resonances as well as its epic character. Jordan Rudess' role in the harmonies (brilliantly transcribed by conductor David Campbell) and keyboards is major, almost relegating Petrucci's guitars, who offers superb solos ('A Better Life' and the superb end of'A New Beginning'), to supporting roles. Increasing its cinematographic and visual depth, the album is sequenced like a series of shots in which the screenplay erupts many times in the form of sound sketches with warlike connotations (the martial "Brother, You Can Can Hear me").

James Labrie, fully vocal and comfortable in these formats, is the second key musician of "The Astonishing" for his performances particularly strong in emotional expression ('My Last Farewell') and the interpretation of musical themes associated with each character ('Three Days','Ravenskill','The Walking Shadow'). By modulating his voice and intonations, he succeeds in accurately and finely embodying the very diverse sensibilities of the actors of history, including those of the emperor with his strong theatricality (Lord Nafaryus' tango), the young elected official or women ('Act Of Faythe'). The rhythm section, on the other hand, adjusts to the record's temporalities thanks to Mike Mangini, who masters his hitting impulses but whose snare drum is still blocked in the 90s. John Myung is more and more spoiled by the mix, which this time gives him three minutes of glory (the ethereal end of 'A New Beginning').

"The Astonishing" is a total and grandiloquent work that is full of details and references whose discovery is renewed with each listening. Paradoxically, the double album is easily approached thanks to its division into 34 paintings of reasonable length, its structures and its very fluid melodies never over-complexified. This monumental opera-rock is intended to express all its dimensions during the shows that the band will start this winter, perhaps to inspire a film whose album would be the soundtrack. Dream Theater makes a smashing comeback among the greats with the immense "The Astonishing", its most audacious and successful production by far since "Scenes From A Memory".

More informations on http://www.dreamtheater.net

VIDEO

SIMILAR BANDS

PAIN OF SALVATION, SHADOW GALLERY, HAKEN, ANTHROPIA, DEREK SHERINIAN, DARKWATER, AEON ZEN, SIEGES EVEN, ROSWELL SIX, PAGAN'S MIND

TRACK LISTING

01. ACT I: Descent of the NOMACS
02. Dystopian Overture
03. The Gift of Music
04. The Answer
05. A Better Life
06. Lord Nafaryus
07. A Savior in the Square
08. When Your Time Has Come
09. Act of Faythe
10. Three Days
11. The Hovering Sojourn
12. Brother Can You Hear Me?
13. A Life Left Behind
14. Ravenskill
15. Chosen
16. A Tempting Offer
17. Digital Discord
18. The X Aspect
19. A New Beginning
20. The Road to Revolution
21. ACT II: 2285 Entr'acte
22. Moment of Betrayal
23. Heaven's Cove
24. Begin Again
25. The Path That Divides
26. Machine Chatter
27. The Walking Shadow
28. My Last Farewell
29. Losing Faythe
30. Whispers on the Wind
31. Hymn of a Thousand Voices
32. Our New World
33. Power Down
34. Astonishing


LINEUP

James Labrie: Chant
John Myung: Basse
John Petrucci: Guitares
Jordan Rudess: Claviers
Mike Mangini: Batterie


TAGS:
Epic, Melancholic, Classical Music, Movie music, Romantic, Symphonic, Technical, Theatrical, Concept-album, Chorus
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LOLO_THE_BEST59 - 17/04/2016 16:57:42
Comment, encore aucun commentaire sur cet album tout simplement monstrueux ? Plusieurs semaines après, je lui cherche encore des défauts, et le seul que je trouve, c'est le titre de fin qui s'ajuste mal à la grandeur de l'album (mais bon, c'est vraiment pour chipauter). En tout cas, Dream Theater introduit beaucoup de subtilités dans son métal progressif et c'est encore ce qui lui réussit le mieux. Un titre comme "A life Left Behind" illustre à merveille mes propos. Et la voix de James Labbrie n'est jamais aussi envoutante que lorsqu'elle se pose sur des mélodies éthérées "But who am I, if not the one ...". Alors, chapeau bas messieurs, et merci pour tout.
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LINKS DREAM THEATER
LAST ARTICLE
For the release of "Wired Of Madness", Jordan Rudess' new album, the keyboard player talked with Music Waves about "Distance Over Time" by Dream Theater

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