Watch Dream Theater Shred in 'The Gift of Music' Video - Rolling Stone
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Watch Dream Theater Shred Amid Flying Robots in ‘The Gift of Music’ Video

Prog-metal veterans explore dystopian future in clip for first single off new album ‘The Astonishing’

Dream Theater’s recently released new album, The Astonishing, is a 34-track double-disc rock opera that sees the quintet stretching prog to its limits, both conceptually and musically. “Think “2112,” with Ayn Rand pushed aside in favor of George R.R. Martin, World of Warcraft and Jesus Christ Superstar,” we said in our review. Now, the band has followed up the record with a video for its lead single, “The Gift of Music,” a soaring shred-athon that condenses much of the album’s expanse into its four minutes. Watch the clip above.

“It was great working with director Wes Teshome on our latest video for ‘The Gift of Music,'” guitarist John Petrucci comments. “While we were looking to keep the emphasis on performance, we wanted to be sure that the vibe was unique and special so we found a really interesting location to film in New Jersey that had the perfect atmosphere. By blending in some digital animation we were also able to covey some of the concept from The Astonishing as well. We think it demonstrates the perfect balance of story and performance.”

“From its inception, our goal was to take the concept of The Astonishing far beyond just the recorded music,” he says of the LP. “Of course, the music plays the biggest role, as it should, but we also knew that in order for us to successfully see this through, that the story, characters, lyrics and even the eventual live presentation all needed to be given equal focus and importance right from the start. In order to convey a convincing musical portrayal of the underlying conflict between the digital cacophony of a dystopian future and the purity and power of creative human expression, we knew that using real orchestra and choir would be essential. It was unbelievable news to our ears when [conductor and orchestrator] David Campbell said he was on board and I think that our partnership has resulted in something really special that could not have been achieved any other way. It’s been really creatively satisfying to join our love of music with storytelling, books, movies and visual art into one all-encompassing endeavor.”

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