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DREAM THEATER – The Astonishing
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release: January 29, 2016
By: Jordan
Rating: 7/10
Time: 130:23
Style: Progressive Metal
URL: Dream Theater


  • Let me start this review by explaining this: I have been a die-hard DREAM THEATER fan since around the time that Octavarium was released in 2005. I anticipate each release by the band, and praise the members on their technicality, songwriting ability, and sense of harmony and melody. However, when the band announced that their next release was going to be a 2-disc rock opera, I had a hard time getting into the idea. Unfortunately, that lackluster feeling has not gone away after several listens to The Astonishing. The band said that it was influenced by fantasy and science fiction franchises like Game Of Thrones and Stars Wars.However, the comparison that I constantly hear in my head when listening to the album is one that is the one that follows: The album sounds to me like they took the concept, music, and lyrics of 2112by Rush, mixed it the musical styles of Disney musicals such as Frozenwith the musical styles of Andrew Lloyd Webber (specifically in his musical Love Never Dies), and reused melodies from previousDREAM THEATER songs such as Illumination Theory, Along For The Ride, andBeneath The Surface. With all of that said, I think that the band still continues to show their talent for songwriting, technicality, and harmonies/melodies. They definitely prove all of that on this album, and I even enjoy the fact that they decided to focus on shorter songs and softer moments than allowing their technical abilities to take over. In that sense, this album is a victory, because I felt that some of the past releases lost sight of songwriting for shredding. However, with 2-discs, 34 songs, and over 2 hours of material, it is the first DREAM THEATER album that I have a really hard time returning to. I had to prepare myself each listen, and not in a good way. I am sure it will be amazing when performed in a live setting. However, as of right now it is one of my least favorite studio releases that the band has ever put out.