Yes, it has been rather a while, hasn't it? I guess it's mainly 'cos I do most of my ramblings in my own personal journal, but then somebody told recently that she finds them rather interesting and had been looking over my old blog, wanting more! So here I am, I 'spose. Don't worry, I do still write at least as much as I used to, just that nobody gets to see it anymore! Until now.
So, where do we start? By the way, I'm listening to Scott Mills again. He's so awesome!! One of the best shows on radio, fact! He currently has his assistant producer in a strait-jacket and filming her trying to escape. It's insane! (BBC Radio 1, 4-7pm, Weekdays)
I absolutely MUST talk about the new Dream Theater album. I listened to it the first time on the evening of the day it came out, and listened to it a couple of times since. I tell you, the BEST way to listen to an album is just to sit under the headphones and really immerse yourself in it. You can hear everything that way, and thats when you really appreciate the quality of mixing and production as well as the musicality of... well, music.
Anyway, Black Clouds and Silver Linings is the highly anticipated 10th studio album from Dream Theater. So highly anticipated by me it was that I had an absolute marathon in the weeks leading up to it listening to every album, watching every DVD and even going through all the official YTSEJam bootlegs. I still hadn't finished on the day of release so I literally had to spend almost the whole day reaching the end. But then, finally, at about 10.40pm that evening, I stuck the headphones on and clicked play. I was not disappointed.
The tone of the album is just incredible. The way it start off just blew me away. The last album started by launching pretty much straight into the riffs, but this time the album begins the way an album full of epics really should. The first sound you hear is the sound of a distant storm, perfectly setting us up for the tone of the album, before JR comes in with this sparse, haunting piano melody which also has this incredibly dark and haunting tone. A Nightmare to Remember, the first track off the album is just incredibly epic. Very metal, very powerful, very melodic, very progressive, it's just got everything. The powerful chords right at the start when the band enters are just so overwhelmingly heavy, and I can quite understand what Jordan meant by the infamous "gothic" comment regarding the musical direction of the album. That evil choir sound really does it! The chorus of this song has the most epic chord sequence, it reminds me of some really dark stuff from Kingdom Hearts, stupid as that sounds. The Best of Times is a very sweet break from all the intensity and James really does a good job with the vocals on this one, especially so as it's such a personal subject to the lyricist, Mike Portnoy. However, arguably the highlight of the album is the Count of Tuscany. Just under 20 minutes, this has everything of an epic Dream Theater classic. The chorus is just as EPIC as Nightmare to Remember, with John Petrucci trapped and fearing for his life and wondering if he will ever see anyone ever again, you don't really get more epic than the subject of one's life flashing before their eyes.
YES!! IT'S RAINING OUTSIDE! I fucking LOVE the rain. It's just so awesome! It's so epic. By the way, I am aware how much I keep using the same words. I'm just that clever and funny.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh yes, Count of Tuscany. Well, the subject of this song I found so inspiring I had a dream recently that followed a similar plot, and involving some very familiar people in my life. It was a little while ago now, but it involved somebody I work with, a very nice guy that does most of the cleaning at the school down the road where I've had my little work position for a number of years now. I dreamt that I was trapped in the school one night alone with him, and for whatever reason, he was trying to kill me. The bit I remember the most vividly is when he took a shot me, which missed, and I then ran into another door and locked myself inside a cubicle. Weirdly enough, in real life it would have been a toilet cubicle but in my dream it was a solid cubicle with a secure door that couldn't be broken down, and I hid in there for hours. I slept standing up, until I heard his voice calling after me, and I realised I couldn't hide away from him for ever. I opened the door and wrestled with him and threw him into the cubicle and locked him away, then I escaped from the school and quickly called the police. Later that day, I returned to work as usual, talking to my friends about what had happened, but then I was shocked to see him emerge from the staff room, with his usual cheery smile. It then became apparent that there was never any danger and that he would never try to hurt me, the whole thing was just in my head. I then started to cry as he consoled me, as I wailed about how scared I had been.
So, it follows the same basic outline as JP's story, and I found that so cool! I like when I have dreams like this, where interesting stuff happens and I can make connections with real life things.
I saw this thing online, on JP's forum, where some guy had claimed that the Count was "too epic for the subject matter". This is his hilarious yet strangely accurate summation of the story:
"Come checkout my crib, homes"
"WTF dude are u trying to kill me? i didn't want this to happen please let me go"
"lol wut no this is how i live d00d"
"oh ok lol mi bad"
When you think about it... yeah, that's pretty much the gist of it.
Oh great, has this fucked up my font?
I don't know how to change it back yet, soz.
I'll just finish it off like this. What else shall I talk about?
Ah, let's leave it for now. 'Til the next time. =)