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Tag Archive: Dream Theater


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Dream Theater are living legends. The group changed the face of metal and influenced a legion of bands in progressive and extreme metal circles whether it be in epic puzzling song structures, technically-minded mathematical drumming, or guitar virtuosity. Nearly thirty years since their inception, the band are still wowing audiences the world over as a celebrated live act. Photographer Maclyn Bean attended their recent stop in Philadelphia at Tower Theater, and you can view the photos below.

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A Sense of Gravity – Travail

A-Sense-of-Gravity-TravailA Sense of Gravity

Travail

01. Wraith
02. Stormborn
03. Breakthrough
04. Answers Lost
05. Trichotillomania
06. Harbinger
07. Above the Horizon
08. Ration Reality
09. Weaving Memories
10. Spectre

[2/21/2014]
[Self Release]

Sometimes, you need to chase down your own name. Innovators become bogged down in their own sound, eventually becoming iterations of themselves. Sometimes, a fresh new voice is needed to break the patterns that former radicals have grown comfortable with. This is what A Sense of Gravity bring to the table. Their clean-slate name allows them to bring progressive metal something it has craved for years: organic, dynamic sound that simply flows from place to place. Travail sounds like a living thing: birthed in one sitting and obedient to its own internal laws and patterns.

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Joey Jordison

Last month’s shocking news that Slipknot have parted ways with long-time drummer Joey Jordison left many of us dumbstruck and wondering WHY. The group have been dead silent on the matter, probably for legal reasons. Finally, with the new year came some new illumination on the matter, when Joey Jordison took to Facebook to clear some things up, yet making the situation that much more baffling.

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caligulas horseCaligula’s Horse

The Tide, The Thief, & River’s End

 

01. A Gift To Afterthought
02. Water’s Edge
03. Atlas
04. Into The White
05. Old Cracks In New Earth
06. Dark Hair Down
07. Thief
08. All Is Quiet By The Wall

[10/13/13]
[Welkin Entertainment]

Great records are the standard these days, it’s hard to be disappointed a lot of the time when the average level of competency is so high, so it takes something else to push a record from ‘great’ to ‘an absolute must-have’. And sometimes it’s the records that come completely out of nowhere to blindside you that are the most memorable. Caligula’s Horse may not be the most well-known name in the more progressive circles, but if The Tide, The Thief & River’s End is anything to go by, then Australia has yet another name to add to the ever growing list of formidable players.

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dream theater - dream theater

You know, I’ve never been that big of a Dream Theater fan, but their importance is undeniable. They’ve influenced and shaped a generation of musicians, and their touch turned Between the Buried and Me from a proto-deathcore group to a fully fledged prog act. Dream Theater are the biggest names in progressive rock and metal for a reason.

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dream theater - dream theater

Typically, once the PR hype machine is in full swing, you’ll catch songs from a new album popping up across a few sites. Metalsucks, Pitchfork, NPR, Revolver, Decibel, and others are your typical go-to sites for exclusives, as they’re tried and true avenues where new and old fans fans alike regularly flock to consume new music. Very rarely will a metal group sway outside of sites with a metal-centric theme. But then again, most bands aren’t Dream Theater. The godfathers of modern prog have decided to debut their new song ‘The Enemy Inside’ on USA Today, which is a headscratcher, but there you go.

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anathema universal

Anathema have been mesmerizing people for years with their transformation from doom metal group to artsy prog rock. I found their latest album Weather Systems to be incredibly moving, and often describe it as being the essence of manly tears. I’ve always wanted to see how the band’s epic sound holds up in a live context, but they don’t make it Stateside too often. They’re coming over soon with Alcest, but unfortunately, the dates are sparse.

Luckily, the band and their label KScope Records are releasing a 4-disc (Blu-Ray, DVD, and 2CD) set called Universal, which documents a one-off show at the ancient Roman Theater of Philippopolis with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in September of 2012. A trailer for the release can be viewed below.

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TOP INSTRUMENTALS

The art of the instrumental is a delicate one. Taking away the vocals is a surprisingly big step, whereas before there was a ‘wall’ that would divert the focus away from the instruments a little, now every note and flourish is on display at the forefront for all to see. But, whether they use that method to craft obscenely complicated displays of musical proficiency or build a soundscape with which to immerse the listener in, the challenge is always the same — keeping it interesting without the most human and instantly connective element present.

The rules were fairly simple:

  • The track must be instrumental. No vocals, guest or otherwise.
  • Must have been released in the last 10 years. To keep it simple, this basically means any album released between 2003 and 2013. This was done to rule out some of the more obvious contenders such as ‘Orion‘ and ‘Transylvania‘.
  • Although I hate to be that guy, the band must be predominantly metal. This meant the omission of some important and influential bands that fell more under the post-rock banner such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions In The Sky.

So, with some collaboration with rest of Heavy Blog, here’s what I came up with:

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dream theater - dream theater

Even though I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Dream Theater, a lot of the music I love today surely wouldn’t be the same had they not laid the ground work for progressive metal. Between the Buried and Me would be a deathcore band, for one. Periphery often cites the group, especially considering that guitarist Jake Bowen was a guitar tech for the group.

With this in mind, I always try to give Dream Theater a good shot whenever they release new music despite it never really clicking with me outside of ‘Panic Attack.’ I plan on paying much more attention to their upcoming self titled album; it’s their first self-titled record in their entire career, so they obviously must think this is a defining record.

Either that or they couldn’t be assed to come up with a real title. The album art kind of gives that impression doesn’t it?

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dawn of dementia

You watch three clean-cut young men in hoodies and sneakers walk in to a basement, settle onto stools, bring their instruments around their shoulders, and seconds later you’re flying on a magic carpet of shred.

That’s how I first encountered Derick Harshbarger, Brandon Clevenger, and Joel Schwallier, the two guitarists and bassist behind Lafayette, Indiana’s Dawn of Dementia.  Their guitar/bass play-through of ‘Vitrification’ from their recent EP Residuum is drawing attention across the tech death world, something the members never expected when they first got together in high school.

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