It’s Monday and that means it’s time to delve into another selection of musical mania. This week feature’s The Astonishing, the latest Dream Theater offering. Buckle up gang, because you’re in for a ride. This is a double album recording with 16 tracks clocking in just under 2:10:00. It’s also a concept album/rock opera. Raise your hand if you recall what those are. So, what is the concept behind this album? “It centers around a band of rebels trying to defy an oppressive empire, with music playing a central role.” Hmmm, where have we seen that before?
Upon reading the description for this album, my first thought was I hope this doesn’t turn into Dream Theater’s Kilroy Was Here. Upon listening to the album, I was reassured that it wouldn’t be. The orchestration, choirs, and soundscapes soar from Icarus heights and then plunge into the eye of a nanobot. Then again, now that I’ve read the track descriptions, I’m not so sure anymore. I won’t spoil the story, so if you’re curious, click the track description link and read for yourself.
I applaud the efforts of main song writers John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, and contributing composer David Campbell. This is an enormous undertaking and vastly different from the majority of Dream Theater’s previous work (not to mention everything else being released in recent years). I’ve enjoyed listening to the album and wish them all the best if they manage to turn this into a film, play, or video game. I may opt to save my money, though.