It's when we get talking about the songs that I've realized quite a few times I have to explain the why and the whats. So even though I already spoke a bit on the actual audition here, today I'll go more in depth on the songs specifically.
The First song is A Nightmare To Remember, most fans would have already heard this song as it's the first one on the latest album Black Clouds and Silver Linings.
Why did they use the song? It shows the current direction the band is moving in. Dark, Gothic, Progressive sounds, more towards their newer 'heavy' which so many older fans don't like as much. It's also a whopping 16 minutes long, it shows the endurance of the drummer. Wouldn't want to miss a progressive piece right in the middle of a concert, would you?
The new sound would be important to pick up on, being as it incorporates many a sound into one, that includes the newer darker feel.
The Second song is The Dance of Eternity. That's synonymous for masterpiece. The song, while being shorter than A Nightmare to Remember, many will agree to be much more difficult. I don't play the drums or anything, but you don't have to take my word for it. You could just listen for yourself if you wanted.
I respect all the time and effort it took to piece that song together, and I respect even more those who can play it successfully. If I really still have to explain why it was used for the audition, your ears might be broken. Basically it shows the peak, or at least a very high point of the bands progressive possibility. Not being able to play such a beast of a song would result in disheartened fans and the eventual, if not immediate, rejection of the drummer.
Even if you don't like how it sounds, you can't say it's easy.
The Third and final song in the audition is The Spirit Carries On, this is the slow, or as a few people told me the easy song. People who don't play instruments tend to think sometimes, just sometimes, that slow somehow means easy. I have to disagree fully, especially when auditioning the people they did. Some artists submerge themselves so much into a specific genre or style that what might seem 'basic' or 'easy' is actually twice as difficult as playing the drums while juggling.
Aside from testing limits, I believe the song was also used to see how the drummers would take to not being the center of attention of the music piece. To see if they work well when not on the spotlight, if you can understand what I'm meaning.
Both The Spirit Carries On and The Dance of Eternity are found on the concept album Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. Maybe I'm just biased, but I feel the album is cream of Dream Theater. Silky smooth perfection in my eyes. Because of that, I felt really happy with the auditions. I felt their song selection alone was excellent, the rest of the process was no laughing matter either, but as long as they can play the good songs alright, I'm pleased.