Is Falling Into Infinity an album so evil? Is it not?
The record company forced the band to write a more song based album, less progressive, for spreading the masses. Evil evil capitalism, really.
To draw my "lines in the sand", let me start at the beginning.
It was in 1990, prog seemed dead to me for many years, I was into metal, King's X was the high end of greatly crafted music, metal itself was beyond the edge of a mass product, my musical self was dumb, my interest almost dead.
When I listened to a friend's copy of "When Dream And Day Unite" I was very much impressed that someone does make this great music again and I instantly got me a copy myself. It took many listens over some months to explore and understand the full divineness of this recording. A good, good sign.
"Image And Words" was so different, it was almost shocking, but still, another divine album. Their first gig in my area, supported by Fates Warning. Awake came out, another album, again heading another direction. The fusion elements Sherinian introduced to the band combined with a new move of progmetal. Another gig, where they played "The Great Medley", a pre-release tour. Awesome, awesome! I already was a big fan of them. "A Change Of Seasons" again took me months to really understand everything they did put in there, as every album before.
It went on and on, every new album showed some new directions and skills of those guys, it was unbelievable.
"Falling Into Infinity" simply showed that they have those fine skills in writing "normal" songs too. Nothing bad for me, and I loved those songs and still do. As for gaining fans, it may have helped, but wasn't necessary anyway. The band Dreamtheater got mentioned in every corner of the global metal scene, like wildfire.
Gods. Creators of the universe.
Then came "6 Degrees Of Inner Turbulence". Looking back in 2009 now, I think this album introduced the turning point. It sounded to me as if they lost some love, some enthusiasm.Still the fine writing of those gods, but it didn't touch me emotionally. I never warmed up on it and never will.
"Train Of Thought" hit me better, it was a bit like back to "Awake". But less innovative, harder, faster, but almost without all those fine ideas in writing that made them being the gods of DT. "Octavarium" got even worse. 7 normal-length tunes that plainly pump out guitar - aggression without saying anything or leaving any kind of impression or emotion. The prog epic Octavarium sounds like an interwaved collection of prog clones; you simply never hear a DT-identity in any of its notes. The band regresses tragically.
They move to Roadrunner Records. Light at the end of the tunnel?
"Systematic Chaos" - oh no, the regressing line continued linearly. As BG said so perfectly: They are nothing more than a proggier, better Metallica. I didn't purchase this album.
What will the next album be like? A prog - Motörhead with LaBrie - vox. I better do not imagine that....
I don't think so, rather than that I bet they will not change any further and keep up doing the same and the same, stating that this is the DT sound. Their place in the market.
Twisting this article by 6 degrees, I go back to "Falling Into Infinity", the fan collecting album Atlantic insisted on.
The album is good, it ever was, it just showed another aspect of those geniusses.
I have no idea for what reason they changed label. Not knowing anything is good in that case, gives me a chance to speculate:
Atlantic saw where they are heading to and tried to bring them back on the track of being innovative and spectacular. DT didn't want to, they intend to reinforce their place in the market as the DT sound. A tross on a money collecting quest.
Now would that be better than the intention of releasing "FII"?
If they wanna get me back in the boat, they better concentrate on new musical adventures, bring in a couple of different styles and genres, show their incredible skills, set up more new, higher levels in prog metal, give me a reason for studying an new album for several months.
What we got for the last few albums was a bunch of so extremely high skilled geniusses hanging in the couch of a progmetal-Bonjovi. Please guys, stop that tragedy!!!!!