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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover

TRAIN OF THOUGHT

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.59 | 1835 ratings

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Luke. J
4 stars ''Train of Thought'' is maybe the album for which opinions differ very extreme. On the one hand, people love it for new elements in the music of Dream Theater, other people hate it because of those elements. I am not euphoric about this record, but for me this is much more than an average album, however still missing this certain something to make it a masterpiece.

What basically changed in Dream Theater was that they decided to go more metal. For the lovers of their earlier albums this could be a reason to omit this record, they had not released such a heavy material since ''Awake''. ''Train of Thought'' also introduces a new feeling to the music, some tracks I can not describe else but ''angry''. As you can guess by the album cover, here we have a rather dark album. On the previous effort, ''The Glass Prison'' already introduced this feeling to us, despair, sadness, uncertainty, anger.. those emotions are expanded into nearly 70 minutes of music which still sounds like Dream Theater, but as they were wearing black leather coats.

''As I Am'' starts with the same tone their last album faded out. No matter how much you are tempted to turn your speakers louder, do not do it, unless you are prepared. Heavy, disorted guitars begin to play a slow melody, which soon develops into an up-tempo song. The guitar solo is as impressing as always. While the drums play just a rythmic role, in the next song, ''This Dying Soul'', they get their moments with double-bass drumming. Also, this is a continuation of the Anonymus Alcoholic suite started with the aforementioned ''The Glass Prison''. Being part of the larger, in this song there are some quotes of the previous song. Also, Portnoy himself adds some vocals. He is not the best singer, but they fit the music in the passages quite well. If you need to relax after the blast, let yourself be stringed along with ''Endless Sacrifice''. The melody is carried by accoustic guitars and LaBries peaceful singing, until a heay guitar riff introduces us the chorus. After a repetition of this scheme, the song ends in an instrumental freak-out, with a keyboard solo in which Rudess has space to shine. ''Honor Thy Father'' is the ironic title of a song dedicated to Portnoy's father-in-law. I highly doubt he was pleased, because this is the true opposite of a love song. The double-bass drumming kicks you into the song with the typical riffs. Then we have accoustic moments and LaBrie doing some rap vocals, which remember me a lot of Tool. This does not become as bad as it sounds, he does it surprisingly good. Later, it seems like he was expecting to much of his vocals, as they go a bit raspy. Remember you just had problems with them! Annoying point of this song: The overuse of the word 'yeah'. ''Vacant'' is the only quiet and soft track on this album. Perhaps it was included to remind us that Dream Theater have a keyboard player. Rudess dominates the song with a piano sound. Relax, for here comes the ''Stream of Consciusness''. The bass melody from ''Vacant'' is repeated, but soon bombastic keyboards and heavy guitars jump in. This instrumental track is a mixture of soloing and melody, of chord playing and progression. They'd better to thank Metallica, for the main inspiration obviuosly came from their ''Orion''. ''In the Name of God'' is again full Dream Theater. The lyrics are about how religion causes terrorism in the world, a topic later repeated. To describe the music you can basically sum up everything said before: heavy guitar riffs, dynamic drums, supporting bass and keyboards. LaBrie's voice is not as high-pitched as usual. If you are looking for some fun in this dark record, try to decode the morse code in it.

All in all, this might be one of the most controversial releases by Dream Theater. If you have acquired the taste for progressive music mixed with heavy metal guitars and can cope with an underpresence of keyboard, ''Train of Thought'' is ideal for you. Those who are more attracted to the band by their more progressive moments should stay away (or better listen at least once), the ones who like or at least can take some more heavy music will enjoy this. Highly recommended for everyone who wants to explore with how much metal your progressive rock can be covered. I like metal, and so I appreciate this CD very much. No masterpiece, but far better than most average recordings in the progressive metal genre. 4 stars!

Luke. J | 4/5 |

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