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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1857 ratings

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5 stars Dream Theater have always been known as a band that likes to try out something new. I liked the calm progressive rock of the early days as much as the previous conceptual progressive metal epics. "Train Of Thought" continues the line of this diversity of styles and is an album that surprises with a very dark atmosphere, a very modern and clinical sound, some really heavy riffs that create a pendulum between pure Thrash Metal and the so-called Nu Metal and from fast rapping parts to sweet and calm cello interludes that are dominated by some keyboards, we get a lot of new things with this record. Purist and traditional metalheads beware, the band uses evil "modern" influences and "untrue" styles and has decided not to do an "Awake II" or "Metropolis Part III". And while many closed minded people will largely discuss about what happened to the band and how they could have ever done such a record, I appreciate the band's courage and I am truly happy to see and hear that they are still trying out something new and trfying to truly progress and innovate their genre where other bands of their kind like "Symphony X" or "Spock's Beard" deliver very solid albums without a doubt but somehow the usual material for the usual masses. With "Train Of Thought" Dream Theater take the risk to lose some old fans but get also the possibility to attract some new fans, especially younger persons that listen to commercial Nu Metal or fans of harder metal genres that always thought that the band was too soft. But in a fascinating way, the album doesn't sound as if the band had tried at all costs to please to those people or to follow a trend, it all sounds very natural and certainly fresh.

And while there are some electronical sound samples, some rap passages, some more vocal passages by Mike Portnoy and some heavy and straight riffs, the traditional fans may be happy to hear that this album still delivers us some excellent guitar solos ("Honour Thy Father"), some very calm and epic moments where James LaBrie creates magic moments with his soft voice surrounded by the keyboards ("Vacant") and some exotic elements and addicting melodies where every contributing instrument is extremely well executed ("In The Name Of God"). There are a lot of new elements but the band doesn't quite forget its roots and combines both influences. The more you listen over and over again to the songs, the more gems and surprises you discover such as the mumbles on "Honour Thy Father" that are taken from two movies or the famous morse code and parts of the American civil war hymn on the diversified masterpiece "In The Name Of God". Every single song on this record keeps some very emotional and addicting instrumental passages and there is no single filler on the record. The only slightly negative point that I can find is that some songs could have been cutten down a few minutes for example the solos or the outro on "Endless Sacrifice" or the repeating parts in the stunning instrumental "Stream of consciounceness" that unites experimental passages with a catchy main riff.

With a liitle bit more consistence and concentration, this album could have been the best one in the band's discography because it is courageous, fresh and still addicting and combines a new sound to the typical trademarks in a very open-minded way. I would only put the very diversified killer album "Black Clouds And Silver Linings" above this one. But progressive rock or metal fans should be warned and give this album a try before they buy it because the usually quite soft and traditional band sounds very modern and heavy on this album and reminds us rather of Mudvayne or Korn than of Rush and Iron Maiden. This is an album for open-minded friends of dark and proggy heaviness.

Originally published on on January 11th of the year 2011.

kluseba | 5/5 |


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