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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.62 | 2004 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Quite interesting.

Funny thing about this album: prior to this review, it barely beats out Falling Into Infinity in terms of the lowest scores; 3.55 for this, 3.54 for the other. Yet 40% of the people who have reviewed it give it 5 stars. It's simply that just as many people hate it as those who love it.

I'm not gonna sit here and generalize about why some people hate it and why some love it. I hate some albums that are considered classics, and it's definitely the other way around too. Two examples of this: this album, and Adam & Eve by The Flower Kings.

What I can say, however, is that these albums have been playing constantly with me for quite a long time. And I can't deny how I feel about each album. Hence, the rating. Label me as a fanboy if you want; I don't look at myself in that light. Despite the fact that I gave Metropolis a 5, and I'm giving this a 5 (and I'll probably do the same for Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence), I'm not a "oh-my-gosh-everything-they've-ever-done-is- perfect" type of guy. As an aside, you won't see me give Images & Words a 5. Or Awake. Etc. etc. You get my point.

Oh, right, Train of Thought.

Unfortunately, Dream Theater have the burden of having created Metropolis Part 2. What I mean by that is that they will never be able to top that album in my opinion. It is and was their pinnacle, their crown, something that they or almost anyone else will never top anytime soon.

Some people think about that too much, however. I.e., they automatically compare a band's albums to their best work and watch how it doesn't match up. I, quite unfortunately, did this with King Crimson when I first branched out from the debut. Larks' Tongues In Aspic seemed absolutely atrocious at first, because I was comparing it to In the Court of the Crimson King. Huge mistake, obviously. You need to take it for what it is.

I enjoy this album almost as much as I enjoy Scenes, because I don't look at it as "Ugh, they're changing, there's nothing like 'The Spirit Carries On' on here, it's a waste of time." Rather, it's more like "Let me listen to this how Dream Theater wanted me to listen to it."

Now that I'm done ranting...

For me, I (naturally) love every song here, but special recognition (if that even exists) goes to (for me) the last two songs, counting Vacant and Stream of Consciousness as one song. Of course, Vacant provides the perfect soft interlude after Honor Thy Father, which is perhaps the darkest song on the album, let alone in Dream Theater's catalogue. Stream of Consciousness itself is up there among my favorite instrumentals, if not my favorite instrumental. Expecially that bass part in the middle. Tell me that's not cool.

However, In The Name Of God........ I don't even know what to say. Best Dream Theater song? Despite things like the 42 minute Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (something I previously believed to be Dream Theater's best song) and the 24 minutes Octavarium, In The Name Of God might actually beat them out. Not only is it typical driving Dream Theater at its very best, but it also has some of the most emotion they've ever put into a song. Of course, it has its technical "show-off" aspects: hence, those guitar and keyboard solos between 8:35 and 10:00 or so. Yet, LaBrie's singing is truly at its best here, and the piano is absolutely perfect. It just cements how strongly I feel about the band.

Well, I certainly like the album. Many others do, many others don't. This review is not to state how you feel or should feel about it. Just my take, which may or may not help in forming your own opinion, the only thing that matters. For the music world would be very boring if we all had the same exact tastes. I can't tell you if you'll like it, especially because this album managed to separate diehard fans of Dream Theater into two camps somehow. No qualms for me, though.

Yanns | 5/5 |


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