Dream Theater, one of the most prolific and iconic progressive rock bands of the last thirty years, are set to release their eagerly awaited double concept album, ‘The Astonishing’, on January 29th via Roadrunner Records. Yesterday the band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘The Gift of Music’, in an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone in which founding guitarist John Petrucci discussed the origins of the conceptual double album.
Consisting of 34 tracks spread across 2 Acts (approximately 2 hours 10 mins of music), woven around an absorbing story written by Petrucci, ‘The Astonishing’ is available now for pre-order at all DSP’s, with all orders accompanied by an instant grat download of ‘The Gift of Music’, which is currently streaming on Dream Theater’s official YouTube. ‘The Gift of Music’ plus additional Dream Theater material can also be streamed here.
The Astonishing will be available in a range of distinctive formats, including standard 2-CD set, 4-LP vinyl box set and a limited edition deluxe box set. The limited edition box set contains a 32-pg screenplay, a poster, a map, 20 trading cards, and a 3D figure of a NOMAC (from Petrucci’s story), as well as the 2-CD album, all housed in a special box. All formats are currently available for pre-order in the Roadrunner Records UK store.
In addition, Amazon UK are running a very limited exclusive pre-order offering customers the choice of a free patch (while stocks last) with their 2-CD purchase. There are two patches fans can choose from, representing the two sides in the story, which fans have gradually learnt about via the band’s microsite, new character-based Twitter handles, and email missives. Links as follows: With The Great Northern Empire patch & with Ravenskill Rebel Militia patch
The double album was recorded at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, New York, with John Petrucci producing, studio luminary Richard Chycki (Aerosmith, Rush) engineering/mixing and legendary arranger, composer and conductor David Campbell orchestrating (whose extensive credits include work for film, Broadway, and more than 450 gold/platinum albums by the likes of Paul McCartney, Adele, Rush, Beyonce, Muse, My Chemical Romance, Justin Timberlake, and Campbell’s son, Beck). Campbell comments, “Probably the most ambitious album project I’ve known, for its stylistic scope and epic forces. In addition to being ace musicians at a stellar level, Dream Theater are masters of melodic and rhythmic excitement, which is dramatically demonstrated when you hear their music accompanied by full orchestra and choirs.” ‘The Astonishing’ paints a tale of 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.
Dream Theater kick off their first tour of ‘The Astonishing’ album cycle in the UK in February 2016, with 2 momentous nights at the Palladium in London. The band will perform the double album in its entirety while transforming venues into immersive and interactive settings for a unique and unparalleled live experience. European dates are already announced with US dates to follow shortly. For up-to-the-minute news and ticket information, please visit the official Dream Theater website.
The Astonishing follows 2013’s worldwide smash album ‘Dream Theater’ which earned a second Grammy nomination for the band, topping Billboard’s “Hard Rock Albums” while simultaneously entering at #7 on the Billboard 200. The extraordinary chart position marked the group’s third consecutive top 10 debut, and also saw the record making top 5 chart debuts in Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada, Argentina, Switzerland, Holland, and Finland, as well as top 10 debuts in Denmark, Austria, and Norway, plus career high debuts in the United Kingdom and Australia. Rolling Stone touted the legendary collection as “…the birth of a new era in the band’s career.”