01/10/08 by Garvar at 8:17pm EST

Your Music Sucks, Volume 3

I haven't done one of these in a while, so I figure I'd pick apart all the many flaws of yet another "If you think this song is good and insightful and well-written and whatever you're a fucking tool" sort of song. Today's victim is:

"In The Name Of God", by progressive metal band Dream Theater. Also the first thing I heard from them. Lucky me.

First of all, this song is over fourteen fucking minutes long. That's almost enough time for me to write (read: revise) this article! What the hell's going on in this fourteen minutes? Let's find out.

And the track title itself? "In The Name Of God"? We all know how that's going to play out in the lyrics, so let's begin:

How can this be?
Why is he the chosen one?

It isn't explicitly stated who 'he' is. God? Jesus? Both are excellent candidates for people being chosen (presumably for something great), but there's nothing definite about who, or for what. All that I can derive from this is that the chosen one is decidedly male. Phew, that's good news.

Listen when the prophet
Speaks to you
Killing in the name of God

Twisting faith into violence
In the name of God

I think the second paragraph here speaks louder than the first, even if it was originally intended to back the first up. It's a pretty good example of how people are worthless cowards that can't even take responsibility for their own stupidity. Amen.

Hundreds of believers
Lured into a doomsday cult
All would perish
In the name of God

Self-proclaimed messiah
Led his servants
To their death
Eighty murdered
In the name of God

So, you're talking about Jesus being a false prophet? Or maybe I should pretend there's a deeper meaning behind this and it's actually talking about politicians using their position of power to spread propaganda to their "followers" to push their own agenda on the world? Or maybe it goes beyond even that and refers to anyone who abuses the trust of another because of how rotten human nature is? I'm on to you and your introspective possibilities.

Underground religion
Turning toward
The mainstream light
Blind devotion
In the name of God

Justifying violence
Citing from the Holy Book
Teaching hatred
In the name of God

And here we have the notion that when you strip the personal and sentimental values away from something to make it more appealing to the public you're destroying what you originally cherished most. I think a prime example of this would be In Flames. Hang on a second - you weren't taking a stab at another band, were you? Kind of unsportsman-like.

Damn introspective possibilities.

Religious beliefs
Fanatic obsession
Does following faith
Lead us to violence?

I don't know what to believe and it makes me so angry!!!

And on that note, I'm going to break away from the lyrics now. Offering my speculations has its limits, and it's unlikely that a sizeable portion of the population would see eye-to-eye with me on this. It's kind of tough to say whether the lyrics are to be taken at face value, or the entire song, including the whole "God" thing, is a metaphor in itself. However, Dream Theater is more known for their "musical" properties than their "lyrical" ones, especially considering many of their songs don't even have lyrics, so let's take one last look at this song from a compositional standpoint. Bear with me. It gets bumpy up ahead.

Song starts with a slow, acoustic intro. Clean, not too repetitive...it isn't given the chance to be repetitive as the rest of the instruments are soon to come forth.

The drums and keyboard are both very easy to hear here, playing an interesting little riff, and the bass just basically backs up the sound to make it more solid. This tune continues to play until the vocals come in, killing out the keyboard and softening the drums a bit.

But how are the vocals? Right off the bat they're belted out in a desperate sort of "No, don't leave me!" kind of tone, but they soon blend into the song fluidly. I'm sorry, I thought the vocals are supposed to stand out as someone propagating a message. Since when are they used as an instrument? What the hell?

If that wasn't enough, the song mixes things up even more to have more than one riff before we even reach the chorus, which of course has another riff, which is followed by yet another riff before they get to the second verse which has a riff different from the riff used in the first verse. There's quite a lot to listen to, here.

What the fuck are you trying to do? Did you write originally write like five different songs and then decide to smush them altogether into one song just because they happened to blend well? Maybe...and to be honest, I wouldn't blame you. The riffs do blend into one another quite well.

When we get back to the chorus (at last) we hear something we've already heard before. That's a change of pace. Or rather, lack thereof. We do another bridge/verse which leads back to the chorus, and then guess what? No, not just another sound to go with the next verse, though that's there. Not just that.

A guitar solo pops up right after. It does a number, and then the rest of the instruments join in full force for a balls-first instrumental.

And then another. Just in case we didn't get enough, a third solo comes in. And it's backed by a fucking piano.

You're awfully inconsiderate for doing this, you know that? What if I wanted to learn this song in a single afternoon in order to impress my friends? The level of technicality is almost insurmountable here.

After that's over, we get a taste of the beginning post-acoustic riff, and then a build-up to the chorus again. The chorus' riff is heard with a few tweaked elements, such as the chiming of a bell (a church bell perhaps? Get it? Oh I am so clever...) as the chorus and a verse or two are sung, and then another build up to a denouement before the song ends.

I'm sorry, was I listening to a song, or a movie? The ending was kind of very coherent, and dare I say an ending. Not simply a fade out, not simply a finishing touch, but a full-on ending.

There you have it. Fourteen and a quarter minutes of your life gone.

And well spent?

In case you haven't clued in, I thought I'd take a stab at making fun of a song that I enjoy. It was a hell of a challenge to sound serious without sounding satirical and I tried to set aside as much bias as I could when writing this (and in fact, adopted bias toward the other side, which led me to revise the first draft into what you see here) but let's face it: you have your opinions on music, I have mine; you have your taste in music and I have mine, but Dream Theater is just a better band than Billy Talent and The Pussycat Dolls, and probably every other YMS band I'll review.

I listened to this song three times while writing this article, but oddly, for whatever reason, the 45 minutes of this song wasn't repetitive...kind of unlike the 4 minutes I listened to of "Don'tcha".

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