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Dream Theater - Train Of Thought CD (album) cover

TRAIN OF THOUGHT

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.58 | 1396 ratings

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slipperman
Prog Reviewer
2 stars This isn't another jaded review from a non-DM fan. I have followed this band since their first album, and I think their first three albums plus 'Scenes From A Memory' are prog- metal classics. But 'Train Of Thought' just doesn't come together. I still haven't found anything on this album that's done better than on previous albums, and there's certainly nothing new here. Even what seems to be their most maligned album ('Falling Into Infinity') is more interesting than this. Having said that, there's some incredible playing here. Their massive blowout jams still impress throughout "This Dying Soul", "In The Name Of God" and highlight "Stream Of Consciousness". But the songs lack an overall spark or progression that you expect from a band of this caliber. Too many times they rest on the same style they've been hanging on for well over a decade, and there's nothing progressive about that.

Okay, maybe there is something new on 'Train Of Thought': James LaBrie tries his hand at a rap-style delivery ("This Dying Soul"). Unfortunately it's laughable at first and tiring in the long-term. And LaBrie's rip-off of Metallica's "Blackened" in the same song is way too close to call it anything but shameful. And while LaBrie is under the miscroscope, his style gets more annoying as D.T. albums progress. While I can't imagine any other vocalist on 'Images And Words' and 'Awake', at this point his aggressive tone sounds totally insincere ("Honor Thy Father" being but one of many examples), and the lack of high-end is disappointing as far as my own personal tastes run. His mid-range still soars, and as long as he's not trying in vain to sound like an angry young man, he still does his job. The inclusion of a ballad ("Endless Sacrifice") helps to give the album some depth, but the song is rather bland and remains unmemorable even after several listens in a row.

I'll listen to this album rarely, but when I do it'll be for Jordan Rudess' sonic and creative range, as well as the always-dependable Portnoy/Myung rhythm section. Beyond that, these songs don't stick. There's nothing fresh here, and there are several other Dream Theater albums I would much rather listen to when in the mood. 'Train Of Thought' deserves some degree of credit, but it's hardly mandatory and I wouldn't even call it recommendable.

slipperman | 2/5 |

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