Prog metal + anime = weird?

Wow. I’m late to this news item, I guess, but better late than never: one of my favorite (since 1995) bands, Dream Theater, hired Gonzo Studio to do their latest music video:

It doesn’t really look like typical anime at all, not until you see some closeups of the female character and the eyes of both. There’s some CGI of future Paris in the end; stylistically, it really resembles rotoscoping like in Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly than traditional animation.

Musically, it’s DT’s catchiest song in a long time. They’re known–and loved by old prog rock folks like me–for their unabashed shredding and noodling in odd time signatures and for very lengthy songs. I’ve been into prog rock for years longer than I’ve been into anime, and with this, all my main interests–theology, music, writing, and anime–have at last met in a single blog!

(I know I’ve been absent for a while. Midterm season is over, though, so I should be joining the fray more in the coming days. Thanks for your patience.)

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

5 thoughts on “Prog metal + anime = weird?

  1. Wow. That’s all I can say. I’m a sucker for overlong, over-elaborate guitar work so that pretty much made my day (I really need to get some Dream Theater…that sounds right up my street).

    I can see the Linklater-esque style too, although the CGI prettiness is very Gonzo. Weird? Perhaps. Cool? Definitely.

  2. Martin–awesome, another DT fan. 🙂 If you’re just getting started with them, I recommend their 1999 concept album “Scenes from a Memory” if you’re more into their melody/prog side, and “Train of Thought” if you’re more into their metal side. Their second album, “Images and Words,” is also great, though the production is going to sound a little dated (read: 80s hair metal style). That should be enough to get ya started!

  3. Heh, so that’s prog metal? A little too metal and not as much prog for my taste (I’m more of a post-rock guy), but that PV was interesting. I liked its direction, together with the dreamy CGI of future Paris.

    You said that “it’s DT’s catchiest song in a long time”, which implies the rest of their work not being as melodic or catchy, but more metal and rocking?

  4. Typical DT is not nearly this concise or tuneful, Owen. The typical DT song has one relatively “normal” chorus and about 7-10 minutes of incredibly fast, technical shredding. Which is awesome in its own right, but not very radio-friendly (then again…they haven’t ever really been anyway).

    For their more ‘prog’ side listen to ‘Scenes from a Memory’ (which contains their most melodic song of all, The Spirit Carries On) or the second disc of ‘Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.’ Or check out this song, “Metropolis,”, which is a very good example of their prog and metal sides combined.

Comments are closed.