Untether Your Angel To This New Dream Theater Single!
First impressions on prog metal giants’ new dookie.
Dream Theater might not be so much of important band to me anymore, but back in my more formative years, they were the one that bridged together all my fledgling musical interests – the newfound affection of aggressive metal, without forgoing the melodic side of it and bridged them together with my my years-long affair with 70’s prog. And they just dropped a new single, which I’m worried to play because, let’s be real here, their 2013 self-titled effort sucked ass, and there aren’t even words to describe how bad The Astonishing was, so this’d be strike 3 and you know what that means – you’re outta here (you Americans still like the Baseketball, yes?). So I’m gonna take all my special little Toilet friends on this journey with me, and we’re all gonna hold hands, and there’s gonna be cake and we’re gonna have a good time. I SAID WE’RE GONNA HAVE A GOOD TIME DAMMIT!
0:00 – Right off the bat, this feels familiar as af, and I for one, welcome this familiarity after seven years of travesty.
0:29 – Ahh, there it is. The bulk “macho-on-steroids” riff that Petrucci can’t stop playing. I don’t know if it’s the less stuffed up production, or what, but this sounds a lot better than similar riffs on DT records have for a long time.
0:52 – Could this song sound any more like run-of-the-mill Dream Theater if it tried? No it couldn’t and that’s just about the least detrimental thing I could possibly say, because it’s literally all I want from DT in 2018.
1:02 – James LaBrie sounds a little exhausted, but I guess that’s what not listening to your doctors does to you. He’s been mixed sort of down in the mix, which I dig, ’cause now it sounds like his voice is coming from a place further away than the instruments, which creates an illusion of additional energy lost in the distance.
1:22 – The chorus separates from the verse by basically just adding several LaBries on top of the original. At least it’s kinda catchy. Also, I can see Jordan Rudess is playing all the time but I think this is the first time I actually heard a note from him. And I might have just imagined that too.
1:43 – There he is
2:07 – Wait, was that a tasteful solo from Rudess? What is this sorcery?
2:23 – Look at Mangini, trying to sound like a real boy instead of a drum machine. Cute.
3:28 – Ah yes, hearing this bridge re-used for the umpteenth time is literally the only reason I even listen to Dream Theater, and I’m only half-kidding.
3.38 – Holy crap, Myung actually playing something else than just following the guitars!
3:46 – A particularly tasteful solo from Petrucci followed by ANOTHER tasteful Rudess solo. Twice. It’s like I don’t know who I am anymore.
4:26 – This I like.
5:11 – Half time! (Or whatever)
In this day and age, it’s not easy to stay positive about Dream Theater, in fact, it’s almost impossible to compliment them without sounding negative, but even though “Untethered Angel” sounds lacking in vigor, I am digging it much harder than anything since A Dramatic Turn of Events. Incidentally, where ADToE sounded like throwback to old school Dream Theater, I’d say this sounds like a throwback to ADToE. And I guess I couldn’t have asked for more, except in my wildest dreams. I could ask them to change the cover on their full length though.