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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1857 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Taking a break from intense concept albums Dream Theater released Train of Thought which was much heavier and darker than previous albums. I've always been disappointed that people don't rate this album very highly compared to the bands previous works and feel that it was probably rated down mostly because it was too heavy for the average prog rock fan. Lets face it, it was a full blown metal album from beginning to end.

But the point is missed. For a band that can span almost any genre they like it was completely intentional to release a dark and heavy album not because it suited the industry, or to pick up extra fans, but because it was an area they had not quite yet explored and where they were at in this point in their careers.

Next to the mighty Scenes From A Memory this album stands out as their finest in my view. Solid songs from beginning to end, incredible over the top solos, a great flow from one song to the next breaking up the heaviness with songs such as vacant and stream of consciousness the composition and of course production was flawless from beginning to end.

Those turned off by the brutal energy of As I Am may have missed in my view the bands finest soloing moments. Both As I Am and This Dying Solo contained varied and superb riffs throughout but the amazing Endless Sacrifice takes the cake. I was fortunate enough to see this performed live a few years ago where Jordan Rudess set his gear in remote control, grabbed a portable keyboard and joined Patrucci at the front of the stage for the mind blowing twin solo within the song. Probably the finest stage moment I've seen to date.

Dream Theater didn't just release a metal album with Train Of Thought. They took on the heaviest of the heaviest and redefined the metal genre raising the benchmark for present and future bands to come. Never before had anyone taken metal to this technical extreme. The Riffs were tight, heavy as hell and varied. Petrucci didn't just nail the solos, he re-educated metals elite rhythm guitarists of what the genres all about. The solos were well thought out, lengthy, over the top and in no way detracted from the metal tone. Rudess demonstrated keyboards has every business being in metal and at times it was hard to pick between a second guitar or a keyboard.

Portnoy and Myung delivered their usual solid performances opting to provide a much more balanced melodic sound rather than just thumping skins at breakneck speed or cloning the guitarist. Finally LaBrie put in some of the best vocal work of his career at a time where I would say his vocals were at their peak. Finally keeping with the albums dark and sombre yet polished tone the album was not marred with the ridiculous backing vocals of Portnoy and Petrucci which have desecrated albums following.

Train of Thought was flawless from beginning to end. Every riff, solo, and overall composition as well as song order was thought through intelligently and delivered expertly. Every song stands proud amongst the bands finest. Length of songs was not sacrificed either. If anything, Train of Though probably contained more longer songs than their previous albums. The album explored a whole new area for the band without losing their technical edge just because they went full metal, and they shook up an industry at just the time it was due for a kick in the guts.

I would ask people to re-listen to this album, put aside metal prejudices, and really listen to every superb moment. You'll soon agree this album deserves its place alongside the flawless Scenes from a Memory and has no business lingering around the ratings of the unfortunate lame albums that were to follow. I still sit with fingers crossed hoping the band will revisit their darkest side again one day soon.

Ramma | 5/5 |


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