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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1857 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Metal does not get more complex than this album. Dream Theater's most metal album is met with mixed results. Some see it as a brilliant statement of the bands diverse repetoire of sounds, and some see it as an excuse for 5 minute guitar solos, and believe me, there are a lot of solos on this album. If you can get past the metal and the solos, though, you can find some solid and complex riffs and rhythms as well as some great instrumentation. Petrucci is the real star on this album, giving an A+ effort on every song (except Vacant, which doesn't feature guitar), with powerhouse riffs and solos throughout, Portnoy is consistent and really holds the group together, the game goes with Myung (who, unfortunately, is very low in the mix), Rudess is good at the parts where you can hear him (a lot of the album he plays a guitar sounding synth) and his solos are a perfect compliment to Petrucci's, and LaBrie sings very well and keeps to him metal roots on this one.

As I Am opens the album (which fades in with essentially the final chord of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence), and this song has a very Metallica feel to it. The riff is solid and is represented well through the maelstrom of distorted guitar. The chorus is very strong, and is complimented by a superb solo from Petrucci, who goes up and down the fretboard with precision and ease. This Dying Soul is the second song, and it is the second in Mike Portnoy's AA series. Riffs and themes from The Glass Prison are represented here and are played incredibly well. Endless Sacrifice is third, and it features a strong opening riff as well as a great instrumental breakdown in the middle (with sections reminding me of King Crimson's Larks' Tongue in Aspic Part II), as well as some great vocals from LaBrie. Honor Thy Father is easily one of the worst Dream Theater songs ever written. It sounds like it should fit on a Megadeth album or something like that, and does not have any real Dream Theater finesse. To top it all off, the lyrics are uninspired and cheesy.

Vacant is the only LaBrie penned song on the album, and it is a soothing break from the maelstrom of metal. A somber piano-cello-vocal track that has a theme from Stream of Consciousness and some moody lyrics juxtapose quite well with the rest of the material on the album. Stream of Consciousness is a 10 minute instrumental that revolves around a 5/4 theme. It is easily the strongest track on the album and any guitarist should listen to this song and hear some incredible playing. The finale to the album, In the Name of God, is one of the darkest pieces Dream Theater has written. A riff similar to As I Am is the main theme to the song, and the lyrics, which talk about cults and fake religions, are among the best Petrucci has written. The instrumental breakdown in the middle (which features a nice little morse code message, a joke from the band that listeners of the Live Scenes From New York commentary will notice quite well). A great finisher to the album.

Overall, this is a very strong album metal-wise. If you're not a fan of metal, then you may want to steer clear of this album. However, if you want to hear some great instrumentation and playing, I recommend it highly. The only real downfall to the album Honor Thy Father, which otherwise mars an almost masterpiece. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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