Dream Theater The Astonishing on Limited Edition Import 180g 4LP Box Set
The Band's Most Ambitious Concept Album Yet!
The legion of fiercely devoted Dream Theater diehards around the world expect nothing less than a smart, fully immersive, experiential journey through otherworldly soundscapes from each and every live performance, full-length album, and song. Rightfully so, given the band's three decades of continually redefining the parameters of hard rock and progressive heavy metal, overcoming obstacles, surpassing critical expectations, and resisting the incessant winds of industry uncertainty. Staying an exciting course in a sea littered with also-rans, pretenders, and opportunists, Dream Theater's body of work endures with singular triumph.
The Astonishing is undisputedly the most ambitious undertaking by a band whose cerebral compositions already define the vanguard of progressive hard rock. "This is the next natural step in our evolution," declares longtime frontman James LaBrie. "This is a pinnacle moment for us. This is something we had to do." A sprawling, densely rich, fully realized world awaits within the band's grandest concept album and most creatively courageous statement, The Astonishing. It's a retro-futurist post-apocalyptic dystopia ruled by medieval style feudalism. It's a place aching for a Chosen One to rise above the noise and defeat an Empire defined by the endless drone of noise machines and the illusion of safety in bland conformity
The Astonishing launches a brand new fantasy mythology, The Hunger Games buttressed against Game of Thrones, with an infusion of Escape from New York, all through the unique prism of Dream Theater. The new mythology was conceptualized and meticulously forged by John Petrucci. The Astonishing is enriched exponentially by the integration of a real orchestra and choir, arranged by conductor David Campbell, whose work graces over 450 gold and platinum albums, including watershed releases from Adele, Justin Timberlake, Linkin Park, Evanescence, Beyoncé, and his son, Beck. The Astonishing was produced by Petrucci with engineering and mixing by Richard Chycki, whose resume includes work with Rush, Aerosmith, and Mick Jagger. Other organic sounds are more abundant than at any point in the band's history, with Jordan Rudess in particular relishing the tones from a grand piano and Hammond organ.
Like Tommy or The Wall, the songs on The Astonishing work as both singular compositions and overall story components. Writing the music as a duo, Petrucci and Rudess venture into unexplored corners of their sound without sacrificing their musical identity. As Petrucci points out, "The Astonishing is the culmination of everything that's come before and the arrival of the purest, most complete realization of Dream Theater imaginable. The experimentation with form, structure, length; orchestration; with epic storytelling; everything Dream Theater has done since the group began finds its ultimate fulfillment here. As songwriters, as performers, as a collective unit, Dream Theater is now the definition of fully realized potential."