Dream Theater, the critically acclaimed masters of progressive music with over 12 million records sold worldwide and sold out performances across the globe, have recently released their most immersive and experiential journey to date – a double CD rock-opera entitled The Astonishing. The multiple Grammy nominated American band continues to garner attention around the world topping numerous reader’s polls in international, industry-leading publications such as BURRN!, Guitar World and Loudwire. Their 1999 concept album, Scenes From A Memory was recently voted “Favorite Prog Rock Album of All Time” in Rolling Stone magazine scoring a landslide victory and further securing their place as one of progressive rock’s most original, triumphant and iconic musical partnerships. As one of the most relentlessly focused bands in music today, with one of the most loyal fanbases, Dream Theater has undertaken their most ambitious project to date.
The Astonishing tells the story of a dystopian future, where music and the arts are no longer created by humans but instead are artificially manufactured by the Noise Machines or NOMACS. In a world where it’s citizens are secure in their illusion of safety, rendered possible only through bland conformity enforced by a tyrannical leadership under the rule of Lord Nafaryus, music has all but been forgotten and instead it is the dulling cacophony of the ever-watchful NOMACS that permeates the souls of it’s inhabitants. In this setting, Gabriel, a young man from the peaceful outlying village of Ravenskill, emerges as “The Savior” blessed with the transformative gift of music – a divine and mystical gift so profound that it so greatly moves everyone fortunate enough to be touched by it. He becomes known as “The Chosen One” and represents hope and freedom, providing inspiration for his people that a better life beyond this desperate existence truly does exist out there. Led by his brother Arhys, the Commander of The Ravenskill Rebel Militia, Gabriel’s talent and presence brings new opposition into the political setting of the Great Northern Empire of the Americas (G.N.E.A.) and through an unlikely alliance, helps to lead the people of Ravenskill in a revolution against Nafaryus and his tyrannical rule.
Turbo Tape Games (TTG) is based in Bergen, Norway, and is the oldest and most established game developer in western Norway. The company has a string of strategy games under its belt, having released titles such as Full Cycle, Naval War, UHR: Warlords and, the 3rd of March, the complete edition of Warhammer: Arcane Magic for iOS, Android, PC and Mac. Dream Theater is proud to partner with Turbo Tape Games, and the duo looks forward to releasing one of the most unique and enjoyable playing experiences in recent gaming history.
The game is based on the album’s story, setting, and characters, giving players an opportunity to further experience the world of Ravenskill and the G.N.E.A. while battling Empirical forces and securing man-made artistry’s place in the futuristic world set forth in the universe of The Astonishing. Tactical gameplay and a storyline that progresses with the player make this a can’t-miss experience for gamers and music fans alike. The game will share core gameplay mechanics with TTG’s critically acclaimed UHR: Warlords, with several enhancements for this new project. The game will be available as a free download for iOS, Android, PC and Mac expected in late April, 2016. – with a one-time fee to continue playing past the first two missions. The game features both single-player and multi-player pass-and-play same-device functionality.
Two additional Downloadable Content Packs (DLCs) are planned for the game, and are to release shortly after the original launch.
For more information on the game and to sign up for the Newsletter, which will also reward you with a free in-game item upon release, please go to turbotapegames.com
We spoke to Dream Theater’s James LaBrie, Jordan Rudess, and John Petrucci about their forthcoming album ‘The Astonishing’ when they were in London. We discussed their favourite song on the epic double album as well as how difficult it was for James to sing the parts for multiple characters. Check out the full interview below!
You can also check out a new song right here too!
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.”