Dream Theater are to release their new double concept album, ‘The Astonishing’, on 29 January via Roadrunner Records.
‘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.
Consisting of 34 tracks spread across two ‘acts’ and lasting approximately two hours 10 minutes, ‘The Astonishing’ will be available in a range of formats, including standard two-CD set, four-LP vinyl box set and a limited edition deluxe box set. The limited edition box set contains a 32-page 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 addition, Amazon UK are running a very limited exclusive pre-order offering customers the choice of a free patch (while stocks last) with their two-CD purchase. There are two patches – The Great Northern Empire and the Ravenskill Rebel Militia – to 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.
The double album was recorded at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, New York, with Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci producing, Richard Chycki (known for his work with Aerosmith and Rush) engineering/mixing and David Campbell (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) orchestrating. Campbell commented: “[This is] 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.”
Dream Theater kick off their first leg of ‘The Astonishing’ touring cycle with two nights at the London Palladium, on 18 and 19 February. 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”.
The Astonishing follows 2013’s ‘Dream Theater’, which earned a second Grammy nomination for the band, topping Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart 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 five 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.