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Dream Theater - Train Of Thought CD (album) cover

TRAIN OF THOUGHT

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.59 | 1797 ratings

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Insin
3 stars Train of Thought was much more rushed than any of Dream Theater's other albums, written in mere weeks, and could've used some more touching up and improvements. It also has some of the detested "mallcore" influence hated by metal elitists (and others), angrier and heavier than any of the band's other albums, with both cursing and rapping. The members still perform well, the technicality as present as ever, including some great look-how-many-notes-I-can-play solos from Rudess and Petrucci, but the songwriting is possibly the weakest of any Dream Theater album and can likely be attributed to the quick writing process.

The individual songs vary widely in quality. On one side of the spectrum, there is Honor Thy Father (with lyrics written by Korn, probably) and This Dying Soul. This Dying Soul starts and finishes strong with great soloing, but the middle is dominated by LaBrie's vocals, without much room for the instrumentalists, which causes it to meander aimlessly. Honor Thy Father is even worse, also controlled by LaBrie's angsty vocals and a completely pointless soundbite montage, except there is a decent instrumental passage that doesn't really make up for anything. It is almost painful to listen to because the vocal delivery and lyrical content is so very, very nu-metal, not to mention it also tends to meander aimlessly. Coincidentally (or maybe not), these songs are the two that contain the distorted rapping that made a lot of people wary of this release.

In opposition, saving the album from utter mediocrity, there are songs like In the Name of God, a Middle-Eastern tinged but otherwise standard DT epic with a cool bridge. Endless Sacrifice is the easily best song on Train of Thought, its beginning the only soft moment off the album (besides the short song/interlude Vacant). Though the chorus is disproportionately heavy the first time around, that doesn't stop it from building up smoothly from a ballad with a riff similar to the one from Metallica's Sanitarium, and into DT's classic insane technicality. The instrumental track, Stream of Consciousness, isn't bad either, evolving and transitioning well. I guess they had to compensate for the LaBrie-dominated tracks with this song.

Train of Thought is worth a few listens, but the songs generally tend to be hit or miss. It has possibly the weakest songwriting of any Dream Theater album, since it was thrown together so quickly. Since then, fortunately, they've dropped the 'mallcore' influence and started taking more time to work on albums before releasing them.

Insin | 3/5 |

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