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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1857 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
4 stars Me Dream Theater. Me metal band.

After Dream Theater decided to cover Metallica's classic "Master of Puppets," they also decided to record a metal (and I mean METAL) album with great amounts of Metallica influence. What resulted was a spectacular album instrumentally, but a little bit lacking album vocally. The whole instrumental aspect is perfect, but LaBrie's attempt at... rapping... didn't go over as well as the band has planned. There are still some fantastic moments throughout the album, which so make this a very good Dream Theater album.

As I Am officially ends Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (seems odd, dunnit?). After the last notes of SDOIT fades away, the great bass intro comes in, setting you up for a great metal track. The whole band (minus LaBrie) brings to the table everything they've got, with the sweeping solo by Petrucci, the intense drum and bass lines by Portnoy and Myung, and those essential keyboard backings by the Wizard Rudess. However, the only weak link (although still somewhat strong) is LaBrie's exaggerated and strained vocals. He does a good job, but he could do much better than what he did.

This Dying Soul is the first epic off the album, running at nearly 12 minutes. The song continues the AA Suite that Portnoy has crafted, and the song as a whole is spectacular. Instrumentally again, the whole band is top notch, and even LaBrie does a fantastic job with smooth and compassionate whispering and soaring (if not a little shrill) screams against intense metalling. You can really see the Metallica influence especially in this song, with some great chuging of the guitars and baking rhythms. The instrumental section is purely supreme, showing off the band's impressive talents once again.

Endless Sacrifice starts out slower, but quickly begins to pick up into an epic killer of a track. There is certainly a reason why the track was included on the band's greatest hits, for it certainly is a really great song. The instrumentation is again amazing, and on this track the vocal melodies are very good also.

Honor Thy Father is both an absolutely incredible track and the worst track on the album. The intro outright just slaps you in the face with Portnoy's amazing mini-drum solo, and the polyrhythmic instrumentation following is fantastic. Throughout the song, this great instrumentation continues, although the riffing does get a little dry and boring at places. However, the really weak link in this song is LaBrie's atrocious singing. I mean, he raps at times. James LaBrie is not a rapper, I think we can all agree on that. The lyrical theme of the song is great, but LaBrie sadly butchers it with horrid singing.

Vacant adequately makes up for the horridness of the last track with a short, melancholy, compassionate song that shows LaBrie at his best talent- softly sung compassionate "ballads." The cello compliments LaBrie's voice fantastically and makes the short song very nice and (positively) depressing to listen to.

Stream of Consciousness is one of Dream Theater's best instrumentals. Slow and deliberate, the song delivers a steady attack of incredible progressive metal music. The guys all contribute a little bit to make an amazing and complete whole. The song for sure does not leave you wanting for any more or any less, because the whole ride is magnificent and a masterpiece.

In The Name Of God is the true epic of the album. Over 14 minutes long, the album has everything standard for a great Dream Theater "long song": Great story, great instrumentation, great vocals, great movements, and a great overall ride. The whole track is brimming with superior melodies, rhythms, harmonization, synchronization, and everything that Dream Theater is well known for. Telling of the lyricist's (Portnoy's) atheistic sentiment or of someone's atheistic sentiment, I can really connect with the mindset (being atheist myself). The instrumental section is supreme, with another amazing guitar solo from Petrucci and the 5 star backing band. Overall, the whole track is a great ride and a gem on the album.

ALBUM OVERALL: The album certainly has strong pros and strong cons, but luckily most of the time the pros outweigh the cons. This is certainly an album full of great instrumental prowess, with sweeping guitar solos, fantastic instrumental melodies, a smashing instrumental track, and some of the band's best rhythmic backings. But, the biggest con of the album are LaBrie's many weak songs. Sadly, the insanely talented singer has been asked to sing what he cannot sing -- rap, and heavy metal music. He has strong sections, such as vacant, but for most of the album LaBrie's performance lags behind that of his comrades. But, overall, the album is still very, very strong, and is still an excellent addition to any metal collection, especially a metalhead who has not yet been introduced to the gods Dream Theater. 4 stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |


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