I am going to take a few minutes here, and over the next few weeks, to review Dream Theater’s new album, The Astonishing. IMO, this is a epic, massive and awe inspiring album. Clocking in at ~2h:10m, it’s gonna take a while.
No introduction needed, this is by far the most groovalicous and bombastic track on the album. It could quite possibly be the best (or top 5) solo that John Pettruci has ever strummed. It’s amaze balls great.
The track itself is about Faythe arguing with Emperor Nafaryus, perhaps lobbying would be better, to give Gabriel a chance to talk to the Emperor. As the track progresses we get the revelation that the music player (see Act of Faythe) was actually the Emperors. That’s fantastic in it’s own right because the first half of the song covers that perfectly.
The second half of the song, that’s money. From the 3:49 point and beyond, it’s all rhythm and mayhem. OK maybe not mayhem. But the groove, flow, power, raw emotion. It’s everything you could imagine in a solo that’s a transitional piece and centerline to the story.
I can’t say this loud enough, this is by far my most favorite track and by far the best solo/guitar work on the album. I’ll go so far as to say the musicianship of this album, which is fantastical, is best represented in this track. It’s just got that “thing” that makes it remarkable.