Release Date: 29 January 2016
Review by Rod Whitfield
There are few bands on the planet that can be considered the greatest of a certain genre or sub-genre. However, Dream Theater are one that can. A very strong argument can be mounted to say that they are the greatest prog-metal band in history.
I also consider Dream Theater to be among my favourite bands on the planet, and have done so since 1994’s Awake album. However, they are not aging like a fine wine. They have started showing signs of fatigue on their last two or three albums. I was hoping that The Astonishing, with its apparently lofty ambitions, would be the record that returns them to the stratosphere that they occupied for a quarter of a century.
A number of listens in, and it is apparent that it is not. The Astonishing never really reaches any great heights. The material simply isn’t gripping or explosive enough to sustain interest over such a long listen.
Simply put, The Astonishing does not live up to its name. The members of this band are all around 50 years old now, and they are really starting to show their age. The instrumental genius is still there, but the unbridled energy and imagination is not. They’re only human I suppose.