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Dream Theater - Train Of Thought CD (album) cover

TRAIN OF THOUGHT

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.58 | 1347 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Petrovsk Mizinski
Prog Reviewer
5 stars While certainly Dream Theater had their very heavy moments on the albums released prior to Train of Thought, none of them were as consistently heavy as this album. This would divide many fans, those who liked Dream Theater's 'classic' sound, and those who were always looking forward to how Dream Theater would surprise them with a different sound. This was certainly a different sound indeed compared to their works prior to this, but to my mind Dream Theater succeeded with this different sound. While not as progressive as the previous two albums, this is still very much a prog metal album. One thing the listener may notice is that none of the songs here use a standard six string guitar tuning, indeed the only standard tuned guitar on here is a standard tuned 7 string.

As I Am is unfortunately not a high point for this album, and easily my least favorite track here. It's fairly well written song and very heavy, with John Petrucci using his guitar tuned to C standard here. The problems lie in that it's not that exciting and the song structure is a little closer to that of a standard metal song rather than a prog metal song, which is a bit disappointing. Fortunately Petrucci's guitar solo is pretty well executed, technical yet still displaying an aggressive feeling to it, although not the best solo on this record though.

This Dying Soul is the second instalment in the Mike Portnoy Alcoholics Anonymous Suite, Steps 4 and 5 so it sounds suitably heavy and dark. The opening guitar solo possesses a hell bent urgency to it, a feeling that is also shown throughout the album many times and La Brie sounds aggressive and forceful on this track. Petrucci's use of a 7 string guitar further reinforces the heaviness of this track. Of course, this song is not without melody, with some rather great melodic section just past the middle and this is rather well contrasted with an extremely heavy riff straight after. This is a less straight forward affair than As I Am, particularly towards the 2 and a half minute instrumental section that leads to the end of the song, with odd time sections, and many crazy technical riffs and duelling solos from Rudess and Petrucci.

Next up, Endless Sacrifice has a nice melody intro, and unlike the previous two songs, the heaviness takes a little while longer to quick in. We get to hear Rudess and Myung a lot more in this section too, which is a nice touch. We have a heavy yet somewhat catchy chorus, but by no means is catchy a negative connotation here. This song also has a good amount of progginess to it, with great solos to boot. This song is a winner, one of the strongest songs Dream Theater have written.

Honor Thy Father slams into straight out aggression almost instantly, with the guitar be tuned to C standard here. Given the heaviness of the song, it comes as no surprise this track was primarily written by Portnoy. James LaBrie's vocal efforts shine on this track, going from his usual mellower voice in some section, while sounding very aggressive in other sections. It's a pretty good affair overall.

Vacant is a good break from the heavy onslaught of the previous track, with a fantastic, yet fairly simple melody throughout. This song features a guest celloist, Eugene Friesen, whose playing adds much atmosphere and beauty to this song. While not an overly complex song, it is somewhat addictive and just really stirs the soul.

Streams Of Consciousness is little short of a masterpiece, in fact I would go far enough to say it is easily my favorite instrumental track from Dream Theater. It starts off with a catchy riff, yet it's in 5/4 time, proving how well the rhythm section in Dream Theater can sound so natural even when using odd time signatures . It's heavy, but not extremely so, which is a welcome change. The opening riff is a main theme throughout much of the song, but it morphs and evolves many times in different variations of it, which helps to make this song extremely exciting to listen to. We get a riff that is a lot more different from the opening riff around 2:03, where we get to here some keyboard parts more clearly and eventually leading into a vocal-type guitar line by Petrucci. When the first guitar solo hits, it truly hits fast and furious, and remains passionate and firey despite it's technical difficulty and warp speed alternate picked line and ends with some truly crazy sounding yet emotionally stirring alternate picked licks. Just before halfway into the song, we are hit with a key change, and a very very cool bass line from Myung, changing the feeling of the song to a different feeling of consciousness perhaps. When this section ends, we are back to the main theme and at 9:02, we are given an absolutely majestic keyboard solo followed by an equally passionate guitar solo. When the song ends, I cannot help but how seemingly short it seems despite its 11 minute plus length, a testament to how exciting this piece is. Without a doubt my favorite song off this album.

In The Name Of God is the albums epic at over 14 minutes in length. This song is beautiful and majestic as it is heavy, angry and forceful, yet this isn't even the complete list of feelings and emotions displayed throughout. The lyrics are by Petrucci are amazing, and that goes well with the very catchy and stunning chorus. The whole band is in excellent form here, and that becomes really apparent in the first interlude section, which has some truly anthemic vocals by La Brie that sound as aggressive as they should given the subject matter of the cult religious leaders that would end up having many of their members killed in god's name. The instrumental section that focuses mainly on Petrucci and Rudess is just stunning, with an amazing display of the legato technique by Petrucci, a welcome change to his other solos that revolve mostly around alternate picking and the harmonised ending phrase never ceases to blow my mind with it's technicality and emotive power. After this section, we are given the last section which is anthemic and soulful and leads into beautiful yet somewhat melancholic outro piano/keyboards, with the last arpeggiated chord always making me feel uneasy, but I cannot think of a better way to end this album than that chord and especially, this brilliant song.

A truly superb and moving album by Dream Theater, with a thundering last two tracks.

4.7/5

Petrovsk Mizinski | 5/5 |

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