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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1854 ratings

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3 stars Technically, I rate this album a 3.5 out of 5.

This album is a response to DT's fan desire for the group to create a heavier sound. This album has divided DT fans and it is easy to see why. Those who have a liking for metal will no doubt enjoy this album, but those who enjoy DT's delicious blend of metal and progressive rock will likely be disappointed. Yes, many of the songs are long, but that does not mean they are prog songs, they are just long metal songs. While some of the songs do have some great moments, they are drowned out amidst a sea of crunching guitar and gunning drums. Rudess' keyboards and Myung's bass are barely heard in any of these songs with few exceptions.

The album opens up with As I Am, a track many Dream Theater fans adore. I am not one of them. The song opens with the strings from the end of the finale of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. It then delves into essentially a pure heavy metal song, almost in a Metallica vein. LaBrie here really does sound like James Hetfield in certain sections. There is really nothing challenging about this song at all, and it is ruined with juvenile language used in the song.

This Dying Soul continues Portnoy's Alcohol Anonymous Suite. While fun and heavy, it is just that. It is just a eleven minute metal song. Endless Sacrifice starts of soft and has a catchy chorus, but leaves little to the memory. During the middle of it, you think that Rudess' keyboards might make a comeback, but are cut off by the guitar.

Honor Thy Father is probably the most controversial track on the album, primarily because of LaBrie rapping through certain segments of the song. It is a hate song written by Portnoy about his step father. There are points during this song where it gets absurdly heavy and spoken segments are used. Overall, the song is too heavy and juvenile (I've listened to better "hate songs")

The next track, Vacant is a nice little song filled with cello and piano and LaBrie's fantastic vocal work. Its a shame it only lasts for a few minutes.

The next two songs are Dream Theater at its best. The first is Stream of Consciousness, and eleven minute instrumental that features Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, and Portnoy at their top performance, featuring some of the fastest soloing seen in DT's catalogue. The album closes out with In the Name of God, a truly great prog metal song about those who try to use religion to justify the violence they carry out.

I would probably dismiss this album if it were not for Stream of Consciousness and In the Name of God. For those trying to get into DT, you might want to look elsewhere. For those who want mostly heavy songs, you might like this. However, I put it low on the totem pole when it comes to the DT catalogue. When I listen to DT, I want to hear prog metal, not pure heavy metal.

thesleeper72 | 3/5 |


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