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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1857 ratings

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4 stars Having first been introduced to these gods among men with their last release, the stunning "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", DREAM THEATER have since become one of my most cherished musical discoveries. As I began working my way backwards through their discography, what always astounded me, apart from the sheer brilliance of the music itself, was the way in which this band constantly progressed and grew with each subsequent release. While some paths yielded more memorable creations than others, one must not lose sight of the big picture (as so many often have), as it is this ensemble's ability to push themselves to test new waters that has put them at the very pinnacle of a genre that is without a doubt one of the most challenging to successfully perform. Regardless of difficulties faced along the way, DREAM THEATER have always been able to persevere, while proving to those foolish enough to criticize them that they are without a doubt one of the most talented group of individuals in music to date.

Such as 2001's "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" saw the band experimenting with new sounds and ideas, "Train Of Thought" sees DREAM THEATER once again heading in a new direction. If the brilliant album cover alone is not indicative enough of the new path being followed, then the music itself will surely succeed in establishing the DREAM THEATER sound of 2003. Darker and heavier than anything they have ever previously recorded, "Train Of Thought" introduces the listener to one of the many sides of DREAM THEATER, a side that will surely appeal to a wider audience, including those who see to denouncing any and all things progressive. From the crushing opening riff of "As I Am", to the chilling final notes of "In The Name Of God", "Train Of Thought" never ceases to amaze. While I could dissect each song, exposing the brilliance that we have all come to expect, such an act would ultimately fail to come close to capturing the experience of actually listening to this album. Simply put, the highlights never stop. Everything about this album deserves praise and much like the material in question, each member's performance is (as to be expected) flawless. James LaBrie, who does not receive as much credit as he deserves, puts forth a powerful performance from beginning to end, showcasing a darker, angrier side that perfectly compliments the intensity of the music. On bass, the underrated yet always amazing John Myung succeeds in keeping this record sounding heavy as hell, with low end bass work that will hit you like a ton of bricks. On keys, Jordan Rudess, though less in the forefront than on "Six Degrees...", never fails to leave his mark, adding a welcomed touch of class and brilliance to each song. Though enough praise has been published regarding these remaining two individuals, I feel compelled to throw my two cents in. On drums and guitars respectively, Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci (both of whom produced this record) put forth performances that only they could successfully put forth. Once again, Petrucci's solos will melt your brain, while Portnoy's drum work will ensure that you are bowing down to your CD player before the end of the first song. Simply amazing.

While praise for "Train Of Thought" has been widespread (and rightfully so), since this album's release I have unfortunately still been exposed to those who are so foolish as to attempt to complain about DREAM THEATER or the material in question . While such a thoughtless act usually invokes feelings of anger and disgust, at the end of the day, those who criticize are the ones at a loss. I also feel compelled to address another import issue regarding public perception of this musical entity. For those who continually find themselves attempting to compare albums within DREAM THEATER's godly discography, I advise that you quit wasting your time. If you are unable to grasp the fact that DREAM THEATER are a "Progressive" Metal band and henceforth, are constantly progressing and growing from album to album, then you have completely missed the boat. To those of you who fall into the same category as this reviewer, all I have to say is that DREAM THEATER have never ceased to amaze me and "Train Of Thought" has merely reasserted this fact. While any other band would simply play it safe, relying on past success rather than continuing to push themselves, DREAM THEATER are no such band and in 2003, they have once again cemented themselves a spot at the very top of the Progressive Metal genre. Keep up the amazing work.

fratelmaestro | 4/5 |


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