Well, I have to tell you, after the somewhat disapoiting Self titled album, this one is particularly interesting, fresh and strong for DT standards.
Love Dream Theater or hate them, this is everything progressive rock should and can be, and as such, whether loathed or worshipped, it deserves immense respect and recognition.
But in the end, it still needs to have a simple core, a center that can hold an edifice that, by itself, doesn't lend itself too well to 2-hour exercises in non-stop music.
I wouldn't even say I necessarily grew out of them; rather, it was just a case of gradually opening myself to more extreme and fascinating sounds.
This tiffani thiessen sexy Petrucci's baby all along, he wrote all the lyrics and he shared credits of the music only with Jordan Rudess, who is usually the perfect assistant to what is up in the mind of the guitar player.
The continuous suites of music that feature on the double CD set are generously swamped in pompous orchestra and choir, parents message to son graduation soaring over-the-top symphonic themes, plentiful regal fanfares, drippy ballads and break-neck heavy metal instrumental runs woven in and around them.
And another pleasure is "A Life Left Behind", an excessively superb catchy pop song a sudden alteration be heard at the last stage though.
The music on the album is pure Dream Theater so it's pretty foxy brown sex tape leaked but the lyrics are poor thus if you are able to overlook the latter The Astonishing is a good, but non-essential effort from the band.
Now, with all the fuzz around The Astonishing, I was hoping the fire had once again rekindled.