Dream Theater – The Astonishing ALBUM REVIEW

Narrator: Deep within the Adirondack Mountains, hidden from all of those not intelligent enough to appreciate it’s majesty, lies a seemingly abandoned castle. However do not be fooled, for this castle is not bare. For in it lies a deep underground chamber. A chamber that in it contains nefarious secrets, secrets of which the likes would shock the likes of any man who has ever had the thought “Hey, maybe I should post on /r/progmetal”. Secrets that would destroy the fabric of the metal world. These are the secrets contained within the thinking chamber of soft rock / prog metal mastermind, John Petrucci. However today is not a day of scheming. Today, John is feeling distraught, and has seemed to have lost hope at the fact that nobody seems to care about his music anymore. However that is not his chief concern. His main reason for being so down in the dumps is much more sinister than that. A reason, that if unleashed to the public, would cause the destruction of our culture as a whole….

[Curtains rise, piano begins playing, Petrucci is crying in G Major]
[the chords will be provided, play along if you’d like!]
[slowish tempo] (Gmaj) Why does no one caaaare about me any (Em)moooooore… (Cmaj)Can’t they see that I (Dmaj)really tried my (Gmaj)beeeeest… What (Cmaj)FUN we always (Gmaj)had, (D7)making elitists (Gmaj)mad! But (Cmaj7) now they see my band just liiike the (B7)reeeeeeest. I’m a (Cmaj)washed up dumb old (Dmaj)hag, whose (Gmaj)music has kicked, the baaaag. But (Ebmaj)what they do not (Bbmaj)see in me, (Fmaj) is I do not (Cmaj) want to be,  (Ggmaj) any kind of (Dbmaj)superstar in(Bmaj7)steeeeeead… what I wish to (Dbmaj) be, is (Gbmaj) living ever freee, be(Emaj)yond the realms of so(Bmaj)ciety, be(Gbmaj)yond the human ca(Dbmaj)pacity, (Abmaj)living past what (Ebmaj)any man can (Dbmaj7)seeeeeeeeee…. I want to be seeen, I want to be su(Dbmaj9)preme, I want to (Dbmaj10)scream, I want to (Dbmaj11)DREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAMMM…. [in the softest, highest pitched, and gayest voice possible] (Abmaj)I just want to (Bbmaj)be……. a (Ebmaj)meeeeeeemmmeeeee….

[guitars and drums come in, a bit more midtempo now] Images and Words was (Bbmaj)not a lie, it (Abmaj)was my very (Ebmaj) damndest try, to make quite an ex(Bbmaj)quisite meme, to be the (Abmaj) biggest memer (Ebmaj) on the scene. Metropolis parts (Bbmaj) 1 and 2, (Abmaj) was a sonnet (Ebmaj) just for you, you (Bbmaj) reddit going fe(Gbmaj)doralords, (Dbmaj)with your waifus (Abmaj)and your swords, (Ebmaj) what more could a (Bbmaj)memer aaask (Abmaj7) fooooooor……..  [tempo changes to a more midtempo jazzy funk speed] those (Abmaj13)wanky bits and interludes, (Bbmaj9)was a staple just for you, you (Gbmaj11) pseudo in-tell-ec-tu-al, (B7sus4) never had-the-sex-at-all, (B7)faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaansssss……

[guitars chug epically to build up tension, tempo more straightforward now] I (Cmaj) made a claim I won’t regret, I (Cmajb5) logged the tears and all the sweat, I climbed to the top of the (Cmajb5 again but like really loudly)[Guitars, bass, choir, organ, piccolo, oboe, didgeridoo, kazoo, handkerchief, fax machine, the sound of god all come in] INTERNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTT……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. [only triangle accompanies](Ebmaj7)but now I only sing of dreams, wasting all my precious things, trying to be (Fmaj) relevant a(Bbmaj)gaaaaaaaaaaain…..

[Without music] All these years I spent trying to be meme, feel wasted now. I tried so damn hard to make sure our music would be as cringey as possible. I mean sure, I guess there are some bands that do it better but come on! How do you expect us to compete with meme masters such as liturgy, or Rise of the Northstar, or Sigh?! And oh who can forget Zieler? They basically just did what me and devy did, but to perfection! It’s like he was the logical conclusion to memes. I want to be that! [noodles on the guitar] It’s just not fair!

*sigh* Maybe I should just quit my dream and start making that blackgaze stuff the kids like these days. That’s somewhat memey right? Oh what’s the use, I’ll never make anything worthwhile again…

Narrator: John was quite sad and ready to give up. Luckily however, a previously un-encountered friend was here to help…

Voice: Don’t give up John!

John Petrucci: W-what was that!? My security symphony should’ve detected any intruder! Show yourself!

[A wormhole appears, distorting the quantum fabric of space time around the room. In the distance, Mithras is heard playing eternally in the cosmos. A figure with a cheeky smirk, white hair, and sweater appears out of the vortex] Voice: It is I, Richard Dawkins, here to assist you!

John: R-Richard Dawkins?! What are you doing here?!

[Wormhole disintegrates] Richard: I know you have been having trouble unlocking your feel meme power. As the inventor and God of Memes, it is my duty to come and assist those who lack the will to continue the meme scripture.

John: Wait you’re a go-

Richard: Yes I realize the irony, can we move on to the topic at hand please?

John: Well Richard, I just… I feel like I’m just being outmemed by everyone these days. Everyone is so savvy with the internet and all of the post-post irony that I can’t keep up! I remember a time when memes were honest. When memes made people smile. Now it’s all “how hipster and soft can I while still maintaining a simultaneous sense of irony and seriousness”. All the memes today are so mechanical and nefarious. People don’t have time for memes anymore…..

Richard: I see. Well, think, what do those memers have that you don’t? You’re a smart guy, you got good SAT scores, you have a high IQ, you should be able to figure this out!

John: Yeah but I’m really lazy…

Richard: Come on John, I know you got more than just basic chord progressions in that head of yours!

John: Hmmm…. welll… what those memers have is…. something.

Richard: … well yes, I would think they would have some sort of physical thing attached to their music, it’s sort of hard to have a meme with any-

John: Wait a minute! [chugs] I got it! That’s it!

Richard: What’s it?


Richards: Well um… that’s not the direction I was going in the slightest but-

John: Nothing Richard, I have to have nothing!

Richard: well with all due respect, how are you going to meme with nothing?

John: It’s easy. First off, the album is gonna be like, over 2 hours long, concept album of course.

Richard: Hmmm, painfully long to listen to, I like that. What else?

John: Before we release the album, we’re gonna put promos out. But not just any promos, some of the most cringe, shitty produced, freshman in college level graphic design promos ever. And we’re gonna post them on the internet for all to see. There’s gonna be one liners throughout the entire promo video, it’ll get EVERYONE talking about the album. It’ll look like a bunch of old guys trying to look intelligent, which means reddit is going to love it, which inherently makes it a meme, and 4chan is going to shitpost about it so much it’ll destroy the board and HAVE to become a meme there too!

Richard: Brilliant meme marketing! But what about the album itself?

John: Oh that’s the good part. So there’ll be all this hype for the album, everyone waiting to take a huge shit on it and do all those funny reviews on RYM. But the best part is…. there will be nothing to meme.

Richard: Wait… then what’s the meme?

John: Don’t you get it Richard? There is no meme! That’s the meme! What is more of a meme than a meme that memes itself while not being a meme at all?

Richard: But, um-

John: Everyone will be ready for meme material, but it’ll just be our regular work, just really long and blander.

Richard: I don’t think that’s how it wo-

John: it’s post-ironic-memenalism Richard, you wouldn’t understand.

Richard: I don’t understand, I really don’t. But I guess if that’s what you want to do I’m not gonna stop you…. I’m going back to my wormhole now, peace out.

Narrator: And so John and the rest of Dream Theater would go on to create the greatest meme metal work of our time, prompting the creation of various other meme genres, such as Atmospheric Internetcore, dmeme, and the ultimate form of musical meme, no-noise metal, which is just noise metal, exception without the noise or the metal, the ultimate form of ironic expression. John would die years later from having consumed too many image macros, only to reanimate back to life because dying became a meme, and he wanted to “be ahead of the curve”.