Cradle of Filth(left to right) Adrian Erlandsson, Dave Pybus, Dani Filth, Martin Powell, Paul Allender. Not pictured: James McKillboy.
Cradle of Filth, formed in 1991, is a conglomeration of black metal and gothic metal, although their music has been somewhat difficult to classify. The group has progressed from a rawer, more traditional black metal sound to a fully orchestrated symphonic metal feel. Their music has often touched on gothic metal overtones, and has been both ridiculed and praised by critics. Most black metal fans criticise the group as coverage by Kerrang and MTV have brought them a much more mainstream and commercial image. Thus some black metal fans deem them "sell outs", while hardcore fans remain.
Characteristics of the works of Cradle of Filth include complex (and long!) song structures and orchestrations. A noteworthy feature of their music is the use of vocals as a rhythmical instrument, akin to rap music (although sounding very different): timing of syllables and usage of rhymes convey rhythm rather than melody. The lyrics have certainly been influenced by the works of Marquis de Sade and they are - albeit vulgar - of a high level, considering either the use of vocabulary or expressive or poetic qualities, especially for a heavy metal band.
A common theme to the lyrics, music videos or album cover illustrations is moral decadence, often placed in the baroque era. Cradle of Filth succeed in combining the aforementioned arts of "higher" quality to a "lower" level such as splatter movie esthetics or banal, rude use of vocabulary.
Cradle of Filth's current tour is entitled "Swansong for a Nation" (US/Canada for November-December 2004). It began just after Hallowe'en (October 31, 2004). The set list is as follows (length: ):
After the band's formation and a period of rapid line-up fluctuation as four demos were recorded, Cradle of Filth signed to Cacophonous and released The Principle of Evil Made Flesh in 1994. After further member changes, the band released Dusk and Her Embrace, a critically acclaimed album that greatly expanded the band's fanbase throughout Europe and among black metal fans elsewhere. As the band became known for increasingly theatrical stage shows, Cruelty and the Beast was released to even greater acclaim, though sales were poor. The following year the band continued primarily on the touring route but did put out a DVD, PanDaemonAeon, and an accompanying EP, From the Cradle to Enslave, featuring the music from the production. One of the best-known and favourite songs the band has ever produced was the title track of the EP, "From the Cradle to Enslave."
Cradle produced their fourth full-length studio album the following year: Midian, named after the biblical city of monsters, was fittingly released on Hallowe'en night, October 31, 2000. Their style at this point was probably their most defined, with Paul Allender joining the lineup on guitars, but their music was by no means mainstream, with titles such as "Lord Abortion," and yet another cult favourite, "Her Ghost in the Fog," which was featured in the soundtrack of the movie Ginger Snaps. Their music at this point was hard, but highly melodic and as usual, incredibly verbose and eloquent.
Following the moderate success of Midian they released a "transition mini-album," as lead singer and frontman Dani Filth later referred to it, Bitter Suites to Succubi. Besides the obvious pun, the album was a mixture of four new songs, re-recordings of three songs from The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, two instrumental tracks, and a cover of The Sisters of Mercy's "No Time To Cry." Though stylistically it is similar to Midian the album is regarded as a failure by most critics.
More line-up shifts followed. In 2003 they signed with Sony Music, and produced their fifth full-length studio album, 2003's Damnation and a Day, which was much less melodic black metal than symphonic metal with black undertones, or what is referred to as black symphonic metal. Though it disappointed some fans, this concept album, showing the events of the bible through the eyes of the devil, featured a 40 piece orchestra and 32 piece choir, and even more complex songs, both stylistically and lyrically. It also produced at least two videos on MTV2 - videos and MTV2 appearances being a rarity for Cradle of Filth.
Some claim that the band is no longer playing "true" black metal music. Whilst this is for the most part true, they still have black metal undertones in their music, and after leaving Sony near the beginning of 2004, claim their most recent album Nymphetamine (released summer 2004) as their return to actual black metal. Dani Filth says that it is half-way between Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace.
Interestingly, it has been in hot debate since near the time Cradle of Filth became popular as to if they are true "black metal" or not. Comparing Cradle to most Norwegian black metal, they are completely different; this has led to them being deemed "melodic black metal," and generally the Norwegian black metal community shuns them as well as bands such as Dimmu Borgir that were brought into popularity following the pseudo-mainstream success of Cradle. Regardless of how "pure" their black metal sound is, most fans disregard the whole debate, as does Dani Filth. In his words, when asked to describe what kind of metal he thinks Cradle of Filth is, "Cradle of Filth is Cradle of Filth." Drummer Adrian Erlandsson describes Cradle of Filth as "Extreme Metal" and also disregards Cradle of Filth falling into the category of black metal due to the fact they sound nothing like bands such as Darkthrone, Immortal, Bathory, etc.
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Regardless of how "pure" their black metal sound is, most fans disregard the whole debate, as does Dani Filth. In his words, when asked to describe what kind of metal he thinks Cradle of Filth is, "Cradle of Filth is Cradle of Filth." Drummer Adrian Erlandsson describes Cradle of Filth as "Extreme Metal" and also disregards Cradle of Filth falling into the category of black metal due to the fact they sound nothing like bands such as Darkthrone, Immortal, Bathory, etc. Mike Portnoy says that he has three more cover shows planned, but refuses to reveal when they will occur, or what albums will be covered. Comparing Cradle to most Norwegian black metal, they are completely different; this has led to them being deemed "melodic black metal," and generally the Norwegian black metal community shuns them as well as bands such as Dimmu Borgir that were brought into popularity following the pseudo-mainstream success of Cradle. On the next leg of the tour, they covered Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast. Interestingly, it has been in hot debate since near the time Cradle of Filth became popular as to if they are true "black metal" or not. Nonetheless, the negativity soon died down. Dani Filth says that it is half-way between Cruelty and the Beast and Dusk and Her Embrace. Some said that they went to the concerts to see Dream Theater material, while others said that it was a bonus, and not a replacement for a normal Dream Theater concert.
Whilst this is for the most part true, they still have black metal undertones in their music, and after leaving Sony near the beginning of 2004, claim their most recent album Nymphetamine (released summer 2004) as their return to actual black metal. It divided many fans who attended the shows. Some claim that the band is no longer playing "true" black metal music. This came as a complete shock as there was no sign that this was to occur, other than fans being told that the gigs involved would be "extra special". It also produced at least two videos on MTV2 - videos and MTV2 appearances being a rarity for Cradle of Filth. At three special gigs, one each in Barcelona, Chicago and New York City, they covered Metallica's Master of Puppets album in its entirety after a full set of Dream Theater material. Though it disappointed some fans, this concept album, showing the events of the bible through the eyes of the devil, featured a 40 piece orchestra and 32 piece choir, and even more complex songs, both stylistically and lyrically. Even though they are well-known for covering other artists' work throughout the entirety of their career, Dream Theater took it to the next level during the promotional tour for Six Degrees.
In 2003 they signed with Sony Music, and produced their fifth full-length studio album, 2003's Damnation and a Day, which was much less melodic black metal than symphonic metal with black undertones, or what is referred to as black symphonic metal. This is possibly best exemplified by the fact that Dream Theater have launched a series of official bootlegs through YtseJam Records. More line-up shifts followed. Regardless of their personal opinions, each member of the band still autographs any bootleg that is presented to them for a signature, so their opposition is not as fervent as that of some musicians. Besides the obvious pun, the album was a mixture of four new songs, re-recordings of three songs from The Principle of Evil Made Flesh, two instrumental tracks, and a cover of The Sisters of Mercy's "No Time To Cry." Though stylistically it is similar to Midian the album is regarded as a failure by most critics. Myung has expressed mild opposition to bootlegging, but in some interviews has mentioned that he does not particularly take great issue with it. Following the moderate success of Midian they released a "transition mini-album," as lead singer and frontman Dani Filth later referred to it, Bitter Suites to Succubi. LaBrie, on the other hand, has an opinion that is quite common among musicians and performers: that bootlegging takes ownership and control over Dream Theater's performances away from the band themselves and into the hands of the public.
Their music at this point was hard, but highly melodic and as usual, incredibly verbose and eloquent. Petrucci takes issue with bootleggers because he prefers audience members to concentrate on the musicians on stage, and not the level adjustments on their recording device. Their style at this point was probably their most defined, with Paul Allender joining the lineup on guitars, but their music was by no means mainstream, with titles such as "Lord Abortion," and yet another cult favourite, "Her Ghost in the Fog," which was featured in the soundtrack of the movie Ginger Snaps. But both Petrucci and LaBrie have voiced opposition to people recording their concerts. Cradle produced their fourth full-length studio album the following year: Midian, named after the biblical city of monsters, was fittingly released on Hallowe'en night, October 31, 2000. Portnoy is definitely the most pro-bootlegging member, since he was an avid collector of many bootlegs in his younger days and keeps his own personal archive of Dream Theater material. One of the best-known and favourite songs the band has ever produced was the title track of the EP, "From the Cradle to Enslave.". However, not every member in the band tolerates the release of Dream Theater bootlegs.
The following year the band continued primarily on the touring route but did put out a DVD, PanDaemonAeon, and an accompanying EP, From the Cradle to Enslave, featuring the music from the production. Since their very first gigs in New York as Majesty, fans have recorded almost every single show that Dream Theater have played (occasionally there are three or four versions of a single concert), and some very elaborate and professional recordings have been released. As the band became known for increasingly theatrical stage shows, Cruelty and the Beast was released to even greater acclaim, though sales were poor. Dream Theater are without question one of the most actively bootlegged bands in the progressive metal genre. After further member changes, the band released Dusk and Her Embrace, a critically acclaimed album that greatly expanded the band's fanbase throughout Europe and among black metal fans elsewhere. Sherinian, wearing a feather boa and novelty sunglasses, would perform a song called "I Don't Like You" with Petrucci and Portnoy backing. After the band's formation and a period of rapid line-up fluctuation as four demos were recorded, Cradle of Filth signed to Cacophonous and released The Principle of Evil Made Flesh in 1994. Similarly, at very few shows, Sherinian, Petrucci and Portnoy would take the stage together under the name "Nicky Lemons and the Migraine Brothers".
The set list is as follows (length: ):. They usually performed a cover of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers", and, on one occasion, Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution". It began just after Hallowe'en (October 31, 2004). During Derek Sherinian's time with the band, at selected shows, the band members all swapped instruments and performed an encore as the fictional "Nightmare Cinema" (the approximate opposite of "Dream Theater"). Cradle of Filth's current tour is entitled "Swansong for a Nation" (US/Canada for November-December 2004). This normally results in a birthday cake being thrown over the person. A common theme to the lyrics, music videos or album cover illustrations is moral decadence, often placed in the baroque era. Cradle of Filth succeed in combining the aforementioned arts of "higher" quality to a "lower" level such as splatter movie esthetics or banal, rude use of vocabulary. There have also been impromptu renditions of "Happy Birthday" when a member of the band or crew have a birthday corresponding to a tour date.
The lyrics have certainly been influenced by the works of Marquis de Sade and they are - albeit vulgar - of a high level, considering either the use of vocabulary or expressive or poetic qualities, especially for a heavy metal band. It is not unheard of, for example, for a member of the audience to be picked out at random to perform on stage. A noteworthy feature of their music is the use of vocals as a rhythmical instrument, akin to rap music (although sounding very different): timing of syllables and usage of rhymes convey rhythm rather than melody. There is also a significant amount of humor, casualness, and improvisation attached to a Dream Theater concert. Characteristics of the works of Cradle of Filth include complex (and long!) song structures and orchestrations. The show that was recorded for Live Scenes From New York was almost four hours in length, and resulted in Portnoy almost being hospitalized. Thus some black metal fans deem them "sell outs", while hardcore fans remain. Their full world tours, since Six Degree of Inner Turbulence, have been so-called "Evening with..." tours, in which the band perform for at least three hours with an intermission and no opening act.
Most black metal fans criticise the group as coverage by Kerrang and MTV have brought them a much more mainstream and commercial image. Length is another unique element of Dream Theater concerts. Their music has often touched on gothic metal overtones, and has been both ridiculed and praised by critics. This also requires the employment of a very complex lighting system that loads pre-set light movements once that night's setlist is entered. The group has progressed from a rawer, more traditional black metal sound to a fully orchestrated symphonic metal feel. For this to be possible, the band must prepare themselves to play the majority of their catalogue at any stage depending on what Portnoy decides to play for that night. Cradle of Filth, formed in 1991, is a conglomeration of black metal and gothic metal, although their music has been somewhat difficult to classify. Things such as setlists from previous cities are taken into account to ensure that people who see Dream Theater multiple times within the same area will not see the same songs performed twice, and even the setlist from the last time the band were in a particular city is taken into account.
Nymphetamine Special Edition-(2005)). That is, every single night of every tour has its setlist devised by Portnoy using a meticulous process that ensures it is completely unique. Mannequin (DVD) - (2003). The most obvious example of this is their rotational setlist policy. Babylon AD (So Glad For The Madness) (DVD) - (2003). Early in their career, a Dream Theater show was not considerably different than that of any other progressive metal band, but today one can never be totally sure what to expect from their gigs. Live Bait For The Dead (Live) - (2002). Throughout their career, Dream Theater's live shows have gradually become bigger, longer, more diverse, less restrictive and more fun.
Heavy Left Handed & Candid (VHS/DVD) - (2002). The new album is entitled "Octavarium", and contains 8 tracks, and is due for a release of June 7, 2005. (http://dreamtheater.net/news_dreamtheater.php#octavarium) When it comes out, the album will be the last under their seven album deal with Elektra, and currently it is unknown what they will do once it expires and the band have finished their tour supporting the album. Lovecraft & Witch Hearts (Compilation) - (2002). As it turned out, they would be the last group ever to record in that famous studio, and after they wrapped up their final session, the lights were turned off at the studio forever. Bitter Suites To Succubi (compilation) - (2001). Upon the completion of their Train of Thought promotional tour, Dream Theater entered the Hit Factory studios in NYC to record their (as yet unreleased) eighth album. RareDaemonAeon (Compilation/Covers) - (2001). It further propelled Dream Theater's reputation as one of the premier live acts in progressive metal.
PanDaemonAeon (VHS/DVD) - (1998). Live at Budokan was released on October 5, 2004. Sodomizing The Virgin Vamps (Total Fucking Darkness demo + live tracks) - (1997). Their next move was releasing another live CD/DVD combination, this time recorded at the famous Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan on their Train of Thought World Tour. Total Fucking Darkness (Demo) - (1993). Regardless, it seemed to spread Dream Theater's fan base towards another genre, that of mainstream heavy metal and nu-metal. The Black Goddess Rises (Demo) - (1992). It was a critical success, but it alienated a fair proportion of Dream Theater's fans who enjoy traditional progressive rock such as Yes or King Crimson more than modern heavy metal like Tool.
Orgiastic Pleasures (Demo) - (1992). Concentrating more on writing a great song-oriented album (inspired by covering Master of Puppets and Number of the Beast) rather than an album as a single composition, the album ended up being a predominantly heavy metal album with progressive leanings. Invoking the Unclean (Demo) - (1992). Train of Thought, the band's seventh album, was without a doubt their heaviest to that point. A Pungent And Sexual Miasma (split with Malediction) - (1992). Since Scenes From A Memory, they had written and recorded simultaneously in the studio, but to bring a fresh approach to the new album, they tweaked this process, setting aside three weeks prior to recording in which they wrote and developed the material. Nymphetamine - (2004). Also during 2003, Dream Theater entered the studio to write and record another album.
Damnation and a Day - (2003). It was quite a departure for Portnoy to take drumming direction from Moore and Matheos, since he was essentially playing the role of band member, rather than the band leader role he was accustomed to in Dream Theater. Midian - (2000). Their debut album, Office of Strategic Influence, can be described as a heavier version of Moore's Chroma Key work, and it was very well received by most of the prog world. From the Cradle to Enslave (EP) - (1999). Jim Matheos, guitarist and songwriter for Fates Warning, recruited the pair, along with Sean Malone, to perform in his OSI project. Cruelty and the Beast - (1998). The year 2003 saw a reunion between Kevin Moore and Mike Portnoy, nine years after Moore left Dream Theater.
Dusk and Her Embrace - (1996). It was the most publicized of Dream Theater's albums, with the possible exception of Images And Words. V Empire or Dark Fairytales in Phallustein (EP) - (1996). Six Degrees ended up being received very well by critics and the press. The Principle of Evil Made Flesh - (1994). The genesis of that song came when Rudess wrote what would become the "Overture" section of "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", and then took the different melodies and ideas contained within and expanded them into full songs. Mark Newby-Robson-Keyboards. The first disc consisted of five short(er) song-oriented tracks, but the second disc was devoted entirely to the 42-minute title track.
Jeff Acres-Guitars. Four years after they first petitioned EastWest to allow them to release a double album, they finally got their chance with Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Jared Demeter-Guitars. Putting that whole ordeal behind them, Dream Theater once again entered BearTracks to record their sixth studio album. Dave Hirschheimer-Drums. It was re-released with revised artwork a couple of months later. Damien Gregori - Keyboards. The album was immediately recalled, but many copies were snapped up by Dream Theater collectors as a very rare piece of Dream Theater's history.
Les "Lecter" Smith - Keyboards. In an unfortunate coincidence, the album was released on the same date as the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Benjamin Ryan - Keyboards. The cover for the CD version of the concert, titled Live Scenes From New York, showed one of Dream Theater's early logos (the Images And Words-era burning heart, modelled on a famous christian motif) modified to show an apple (as in Big Apple) instead of the heart, and the New York skyline, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the flame of passion above it. Robin Eaglestone - Bass. Shortly after its release, the band announced that an audio version of the concert, with the entire four-hour long setlist (most of which had to be cut from the DVD to save space), would be released shortly thereafter. John Richard - Bass. After many technical delays, Dream Theater fans finally got their hands on Metropolis 2000 in early 2001.
Nicholas Howard Barker - Drums. The final show of the North American tour was filmed for the band's first DVD release. Was Sarginson - Drums. Onstage video screens showed a motion picture-style narrative film which helped explain much of the story to fans. Darren White - Drums. The concerts, which were far bigger than anything that had come before, reflected the theatrical aspect of the album - with actors hired to play the various characters from the album, as well as a full gospel choir. Paul Ryan - Guitars. A massive world tour followed, taking over a year to complete.
Stuart Anstis - Guitars (1996-2000). 2: Scenes From a Memory was released to high critical acclaim. It was hailed as Dream Theater's masterpiece and trailed only Images and Words in commercial success. Brian Hipp - Guitars. In 1999, Metropolis, Pt. Gian Pyres - Guitars. They knew nothing of the title, the music, or even the fact that it would be a concept album. James McKillboy - Guitars - (2004-). The only things fans knew prior to its release were a tracklist that had been leaked against the band's wishes, and a release date.
Dave Pybus - Bass - (2002-2005) (ex-Anathema, Dreambreed). To avoid stirring up the fan base, a tight veil of secrecy enveloped the writing and recording process. Martin Powell - Keyboards - (2000-) (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Anathema, ex-Cryptal Darkness). They decided to expand the 20-minute song into a complete concept album, with the story revolving around themes such as reincarnation, murder and betrayal. Paul Allender - Guitars - (1991-1996, 2000-) (The Blood Divine). The follow-up to "Metropolis Part 1", which was written during the Falling Into Infinity sessions (but not used on that album), was taken off the shelf as the first thing for them to work on. Adrian Erlandsson - Drums - (2000-) (ex-At the Gates, ex-The Haunted, Terror). Armed with yet another new member, Dream Theater entered BearTracks Studio once again to write and record their next album. Perhaps as a response to the backlash over Falling Into Infinity, this time their record label gave the band complete freedom with their music.
Sarah Jezebel Deva - Female Backing Vocals - (1991-). Neither project registered much of a reaction from Dream Theater fans as compared to Liquid Tension Experiment, possibly because everyone was more interested in what Dream Theater would do now that they had hired Rudess. Dani Filth (Daniel Lloyd Davey) - Vocals - (1991-). James LaBrie also started his MullMuzzler project, with Matt Guillory and Mike Mangini. The torture room in From the Cradle to Enslave music video is a homage to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil. Also during this time, John Myung and Derek Sherinian formed a band under the name Platypus, which released a pair of more straight-forward rock albums (When Pus Comes to Shove and Ice Cycles). One highlight of their career include a show during which a man jumped on stage with an eight-inch carving knife, intending to stab Dani (spoke of briefly on the Nawrdwar interview). Sherinian went on to form Planet X, a progressive fusion project.
Sarah Jezebel Deva, though she has been with the band since the start, has never been considered a band member. Many fans blamed Sherinian for the disappointment of Falling Into Infinity, and Sherinian's ouster was perceived as Dream Theater's tacit agreement with this notion. His favourite band is The Misfits. Sherinian was fired to make way for Rudess. He has a long-time girlfriend (Toni) and a daughter (Luna), as well as three cats. He accepted the offer, and became Dream Theater's third keyboardist. Dani Filth's real name is Daniel Lloyd Davey. Portnoy and Petrucci enjoyed working with Rudess so much that they extended an invitation for him to join Dream Theater once again.
From the Cradle to Enslave. A second Liquid Tension Experiment album was recorded in 1998. Cruelty Brought Three Orchids. It became the first in a long series of side projects for the members of Dream Theater (see each band members' individual page for a full discography). The Promise of Fever. Liquid Tension Experiment recorded a largely improvised album to much of the delight of the progressive rock world. The Forest Whispers my Name. Rudess had finished with the Dixie Dregs and, when asked by Mike to join his new band, he immediately jumped at the offer.
Nymphetamine. The lineup that was eventually settled on consisted of Portnoy on drums, Petrucci on guitar, Tony Levin on bass, and Rudess on keyboards. Her Ghost in the Fog. In 1997, Magna Carta Records' Mike Varney asked Portnoy to assemble a progressive 'supergroup' to release an album. Funeral in Carpathia. The video chronicled the time from when Moore left the band right up to the Falling Into Infinity promotional tour, and the CD was a collection of songs performed in Paris on that tour. Mannequin. The CD was entitled Once In A LIVEtime and the live video 5 Years in a LIVEtime.
Tortured Soul Asylum. During the European leg of the Falling Into Infinity world tour, two shows were filmed, recorded and released as a live album and video. The Principle of Evil Made Flesh. Portnoy considered breaking the band up because of their newfound restrictions, but he stuck with it for the promotional tour. Nemesis. The tension of having been thrust into the corporate side of releasing an album almost tore the band apart. Gilded Cunt. This was a particularly frustrating time for a band who had up to that point enjoyed total freedom with their music.
Satyriasis (Intro). The album was both a critical and commercial disappointment. Time: 1991-. Despite there being some very progressive songs on the album, many felt that tracks like "Hollow Years" and "You Not Me" signalled the dawn of a new, mainstream-sounding Dream Theater. Status: Active. It received a mixed reception from traditional Dream Theater fans who wanted to hear another Images And Words or Awake. Country: Britain. The material that was used was released as the album Falling Into Infinity.
Genre: symphonic black metal, gothic metal, Vampyric Metal, extreme metal. (Most of them would be released in other ways, either on future Christmas CDs or at live shows.). So half the songs had to be cut. The label, however, did not allow them to release a double album because they felt that a 140-minute double CD was not accessible to the general population. They wrote almost two albums worth of material, including a 20 minute long follow-up to the Images and Words song "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper".
At the end of 1996, they entered the studio to write their next album. EastWest had recruited writer/producer Desmond Child to work with the band to make their music sound mainstream, and he had a significant impact on most of the songs they completed, especially "You Not Me". The label pressured Dream Theater to write an album that was accessible to people beyond their progressive fan base. As a result, the new people at the label did not understand the relationship that Dream Theater had previously had with EastWest. Dream Theater's main contact with the label had been fired, and there was a reshuffling of people throughout the organization.
Meanwhile, there were some changes at EastWest. During the break, each member also worked individually on some compositions for their upcoming writing sessions. During this time, the first fan club Christmas CD was produced, which featured an introduction by the band and a collection of rare songs from Portnoy's archives. After a short run of small "one-off" concerts, Dream Theater took a break for a few months.
They toyed with various ways to disseminate "ACOS", but eventually settled on releasing an EP with a collection of bonus cover songs recorded live at the infamous Uncovered fanclub gig. It was to be Sherinian's first contribution to the band in a writing capacity, and he put a significant amount of his personality onto the track. Fortunately for Dream Theater's devoted fan base, the band entered BearTrack Studios in New York in April 1995 to rewrite and record their epic, which was now more than 23 minutes long. Although the band performed it occasionally in a live setting, and continued to rework it in the years leading up to 1995, there was no sign of it ever seeing the light of day on an official album until the fans sent a petition to EastWest Records.
It had been written in 1989 and was intended to be a part of Images and Words, but at almost 17 minutes it was deemed too long and was put on the shelf for a later date. Fans around the world, united on the YtseJam Mailing List, had started a groundswell of pressure on Dream Theater to officially release their incredibly popular song "A Change of Seasons". Once again finding themselves in the studio with a new member, Dream Theater did not immediately start working on new material. By the conclusion of that tour, the band decided to take Sherinian on as Moore's full-time replacement.
Disappointed, Dream Theater hired Derek Sherinian (of Alice Cooper and KISS fame) to fill in for the Awake promotional tour. Rudess decided that the commitment needed in Dream Theater was too much for him and his young family to be subjected to, so the less intrusive touring spot in the Dregs was chosen. The gig went incredibly well for all concerned, and Dream Theater asked Rudess to fill the keyboardist position permanently, but the The Dixie Dregs had asked him to go on tour with them at the same time. Portnoy and Petrucci had spotted Rudess in Keyboard Magazine, which awarded him the "best new talent" award in their reader's poll that year, and invited him to play a trial gig with the band at the Concrete Foundations Forum in Burbank, CA.
Jens Johansson, who would go on to become a member of Stratovarius, was among the biggest names to audition, but they did not find anyone suitable for the position until Jordan Rudess was contacted. Because of their high profile at the time, they had no shortage of musicians to choose from. As a result of that news, the band had to scramble to find a replacement keyboardist instead of jumping head-first into touring mode. Moore was no longer interested in the life of a touring musician, nor the brand of progressive metal Dream Theater performed, so the two parties went their separate ways.
This rocked a band that had enjoyed just two years of stability after a tumultuous first half-decade, but it was agreed that there was really nothing that could be done to fix the situation. Shortly before the album was mixed, Moore announced to the rest of the band that he wished to concentrate on his own musical interests and would be quitting Dream Theater. Awake, Dream Theater's third studio album, was released in July 1994 in a hail of fanfare. The 1994 sessions were the first in which Dream Theater as a whole wrote music together that was specifically for an album.
Keen to work on fresh material, Dream Theater retreated to the studio in May 1994. Additionally, a video compilation of their Japanese concerts (mixed in with some documentary-style footage of the off-stage portion of the tour) was released as Live in Tokyo. That show was recorded and released as Live at the Marquee, Dream Theater's first official live album. A tour of Europe followed in 1993, which included a show at London's famed Marquee jazz club.
and Japan, caused Images and Words to acheive gold record certification in the States and platinum in Japan. The success of "Pull Me Under", combined with relentless touring throughout the U.S. Two more videos were released, for "Take The Time" and "Another Day", but neither were nearly as successful as "Pull Me Under". As a response to its popularity, the record label commissioned a video clip to be made, which garnered quite a bit of rotation on MTV.
That album was released in 1992, and the first single, "Pull Me Under", became a radio hit. Due to the power of word-of-mouth promotion, ATCO Records (now EastWest), a division of Elektra, signed Dream Theater to a seven album contract starting with Images and Words. For the next few months, the band resumed gigging (still mostly around NYC), and worked on vocal parts for all the music that they had written to that point. Once hired, LaBrie decided to drop his first name to avoid confusion with the other Kevin in the band.
LaBrie jammed on three songs with the band, and they immediately decided to hire him to fill the long-vacant vocalist position. It was not until early 1992, when a tape arrived from Canada, that they would find a suitable fit. Kevin James LaBrie, of glam band Winter Rose, was immediately flown to New York for a proper audition. Over 200 singers, including former Fates Warning frontman John Arch, were auditioned, but for various reasons were all turned down. Instead, they devoted their time primarily to auditioning other singers, while continuing to write and develop more music. During this period they wrote the majority of the music for what would become the Images and Words album.
It was five months before Dream Theater played another gig, this time all-instrumental, and from then until mid-1992 they did not take to the stage at all. He performed just three songs with the band before he was fired for performing less than adequately. In mid-1990, at a gig in New York, Dream Theater introduced Steve Stone as their new singer. Following Dominici's firing, Dream Theater fought successfully to be released from their contract with Mechanic, and set about auditioning singers and writing material for their next album.
It would be a further two years before Dream Theater had another full-time singer. Shortly after, however, Marillion asked Dream Theater to open for them at a gig at the Ritz in New York, so Dominici was given the opportunity to perform one last time. After the fourth of these gigs, Dominici was fired from Dream Theater because of creative differences. The promotional tour for the album consisted of just five concerts, all of which were in New York or Rhode Island.
Mechanic ended up breaking the majority of the financial promises they had made to Dream Theater prior to their contract signing, so the band were restricted to playing around NYC. When Dream and Day Unite was released in 1989 to far less fanfare than the band had anticipated. Dream Theater signed their first record contract with Mechanic in 1988 and set out to record their debut album. With a new name and singer, Dream Theater concentrated on writing more material and playing more concerts around New York and neighbouring states, eventually attracting the interest of Mechanic Records, a division of MCA.
Various alternatives were trialled, until Portnoy's father suggested the name Dream Theater, which was the name of a now-demolished movie house in Monterey, California. Soon afterwards, a Las Vegas jazz group also named Majesty threatened legal action for intellectual property infringement related to the use of their name, so the band was forced to change their name. Because of the devotion of Dream Theater fans over the years, the Majesty Demos are still widely available in their original cassette format today, despite being released officially on CD through Mike Portnoy's YtseJam Records. In other words, Majesty's word-of-mouth popularity was evident even before they were signed to a record label, and many people were taking notice of them as a serious band.
The initial run of 1,000 sold out within six months, and dubbed copies of the demos spread like wildfire through the progressive metal scene all over the world. Further propelling them towards success was the release of a collection of demos, appropriately entitled The Majesty Demos, in 1987. With the stability that Dominici's appointment brought to Majesty, they began playing more shows in and around the New York City area, and gained a considerable amount of exposure, considering that they had not yet recorded an album. After a year of trying to find a replacement, Charlie Dominici, who was many years older than anyone else in the band, successfully auditioned for the group.
In November 1986, after a few months of writing and performing together, Chris Collins left the band because of creative differences with the other members. Kevin also left his college, SUNY Fredonia, to concentrate on the band. Their schedule became so busy that they decided to become a full time band, and all three left Berklee to concentrate on their music. During this time, Portnoy, Petrucci and Myung were still juggling their studies with part-time jobs and tutoring.
The quintet settled on the name Majesty for their newly-formed group. The final position was filled when Chris Collins was recruited to perform lead vocalist duties. Petrucci contacted his high school band-mate Kevin Moore and asked him to lend his keyboard playing talents to the project, an offer which was immediately accepted. After a two day courtship, they managed to convince Portnoy to join their band, and the trio set out to fill the remaining positions in the group.
Both were students at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, which is where they found drummer Mike Portnoy jamming in a rehearsal room. The Dream Theater story begins in 1986 when guitarist John Petrucci and bassist John Myung decided to form a band in their spare time. Part of this success is due to the cult-like nature of Dream Theater's fanbase. (and one for DVD sales), several platinum records in Japan, as well as worldwide certification.
To date they have received a gold record sales status in the U.S. Bands like Spock's Beard, Pain of Salvation and even Tool owe part of their success to the groundbreaking work of Dream Theater through the '80s and '90s. While Queensr˙che has moved towards straightforward rock after the success of their album Empire (and its hit song "Silent Lucidity"), and Fates Warning struggled to forge a significant commercial following, Dream Theater has influenced many modern progressive metal bands. Today, they stand as the one of the most important and commercially successful progressive metal groups in the genre's existence.
Dream Theater are a pioneer of that genre, and helped bring it to its commercial peak in the early '90s. The unique mix of '70s progressive rock and '80s heavy metal, previously unheard of prior to the formation of Queensr˙che and Fates Warning, was given the name progressive metal. These bands all had a profound influence on the compositional structure of Dream Theater's music, but modern acts like Metallica and Iron Maiden had a more obvious sonic effect, lending Dream Theater their heaviness and wailing vocal style. Progressive rock had spent almost a decade in decline since heavyweights such as Yes, Genesis and Rush had moved toward a straightforward pop-rock sound in the late 1970s and early '80s.
They, along with counterparts Queensr˙che and Fates Warning, are credited with reviving progressive music into the public concious in the late '80s and early 1990s. The current line-up consists of:. Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed by three students at the Berklee College of Music in the mid 1980's. Dream Theater Tourography (http://www.mikeportnoy.com/dates/tourography.asp).
DTFAQ.com (http://www.dtfaq.com), the official Dream Theater FAQ. Live at Budokan (October 2004). Images and Words: Live in Tokyo / 5 Years in a LIVEtime (2004). Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York (2001).
5 Years in a LIVEtime (1998). Live in Tokyo (1993). 2: Scenes From a Memory) (2000). "Through Her Eyes" (CD Single from album Metropolis, Pt.
"Hollow Years" (CD Single from album Falling Into Infinity) (1997). "Lie" (CD Single from album Awake) (1994). "The Silent Man" (CD Single from album Awake) (1994). "Another Day" (CD Single from album Images and Words) (1992).
Live at Budokan (2004). Live Scenes From New York (2001). Once In A LIVEtime (1998). Live At The Marquee (1993).
Octavarium (2005) (Scheduled for release on June 7, 2005). Train of Thought (2003). Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002). Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory (1999).
Falling Into Infinity (1997). A Change of Seasons (1995). Awake (1994). Images and Words (1992).
When Dream and Day Unite (1989). Jordan Rudess - keyboards. John Myung - bass guitar and Chapman Stick. Mike Portnoy - drums, percussion and vocals.
John Petrucci - guitars and vocals. James LaBrie - vocals and percussion.