Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Full Story of Dream Theater's New Conceptual Double Album "Astonishing"


As you probably know, Dream Theater have a new record out. It's called "The Astonishing" and it's a conceptual double album with an intricate story.

The effort features characters and maps and a whole lot of interesting details. Also, the boys have presented a video for lead single "The Gift of Music," so we figured it'd be nice to incite you folks to take a listen by introducing you to the story. 

The story features eight main characters, four on each of the clashing sides:

Emperor Nafaryus, his wife Empress Arabelle, his son Daryus, and his daughter Faythe of the Great Northern Empire, and Gabriel, his brother Arhys, his late wife Evangeline, and his their son Xander on the Ravenskill Rebel Militia side.

So, THE STORY - the year is 2285, the northeastern part of the US is now a dystopian land ruled by the oppressive Great Northern Empire of the Americas. The empire is ruled by Emperor Nafaryus, Empress Arabelle, Crown Prince Daryus and Princess Faythe. 

"The Gift of Music" - Music and art are dead, and the only thing that even slightly resembles entertainment is the electronic noise of noise machines known as the NOMACS. In a distant village called Ravenskill, a man named Gabriel possesses the natural ability to make music and sing. 

"A Better Life" - Gabriel has an older brother called Commander Arhys of the Ravenskill Rebel Militia, who has a son Xander with his deceased wife Evangeline. 

"Lord Nafaryus" - The first act commences when Nafaryus hears a rumor about Gabriel being the savior of the people. He travels to Ravenskill with his family to see the miracle of music. 

"A Savior in the Square" - In the Ravenskill town square, Gabriel is performing for the people when the royal family shows up. He continues playing at the emperor's request and nearly brings them all to tears. 

"Act of Faythe" - Faythe remembers a music player she would when she was a child, something she kept a secret all her life. As she and Gabriel look at each other, they fall in love. 

"Three Days" - Although he was moved by music, Nafaryus sees Gabriel as a threat to his rule and gives the people of Ravenskill three days to deliver their savior to him, or he will obliterate the town. 

"Brother, Can You Hear Me?" - Arhys decides to hide his brother, refusing to give him up. 

"A Life Left Behind" - Faythe badly wants to see Gabriel again, and takes a risk by disguising herself and traveling back to Ravenskill. Aware of her daughter's emotions, Arabelle instructs Daryus to follow and protect her. Daryus feels he was overlooked by his father in favor of Faythe, accepts to travel to Ravenskill, but with his own intentions. 

 "Ravenskill" - Faythe arrives to Ravenskill and finds Xander, who trusts her enough to lead her to his father Arhys. Faythe convinces Arhys that she can help, so he brings her to Gabriel's hideout. Gabriel and Faythe embrace, and she promises to try to convince her father to stop the madness. 

"A Tempting Offer" - Meanwhile, Daryus found Arhys' home and took Xander captive. Daryus promised he will guarantee the safety and wealth of Xander as long as Arhys brings Gabriel to him. Daryus actions are driven by hope that he will gain respect from his father. 

"The X Aspect" - Arhys is forced to say yes, remembering the promise he made to Evangeline, to protect their son. 

 "A New Beginning" - Faythe is back in the palace, where she finds out that her beloverd music player once belonged to her father. 

"The Road to Revolution" - Nafaryus bows to his daughter's pleas and agrees to meet Gabriel at an abandoned amphitheater called Heaven's Cove. 

"Moment of Betrayal" - At this point, the second act begins. Arhys informs Daryus that Gabriel will be at Heaven's Cove that night. 

"The Path That Divides" - While Arhys is waiting at the amphitheater, he changes his mind, and when Daryus shows up, they start a fight. Daryus overpowers Arhys and kills him, unaware that Xander followed them and saw the whole scene. 

"The Walking Shadow" - As Xander runs to his father's dead body, Daryus sees the silhouette of someone approaching him. Assuming it's Gabriel approaching, he goes in for the kill, realizing too late that it is actually his sister Faythe. 

"My Last Farewell" - Gabriel arrives at the scene and sees his dead brother and the dying Faythe. Covering Xander's ears, he unleashes a scream that causes Daryus to go deaf. The scream is heard by Nafaryus, Arabelle and the entire town.

"Losing Faythe" + "Whispers on the Wind" - Nafaryus and Arabelle arrive and beg Gabriel to use his gift to save Faythe. However, Gabriel can no longer sing after the deafening scream. 

"Hymn of a Thousand Voices" - Attracted by Gabriel's scream, the people show up and start singing, restoring Gabriel hope. He finds the ability to sing once again and brings Faythe back to life. 

"Power Down" - Realizing what he had done, Nafaryus ends the conflict and shuts NOMACS down for good. 

"Our New World" - Daryus is forgiven, while Gabriel and Faythe raise Xander as a family.

"Astonishing" - Finally, Nafaryus vows to be a fair leader, and bring music back to the empire. 

The end. 

Full album stream below, along with the lead single video, more details on the official site.

Purchase / download MP3 Dream Theater album "Astonishing"

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