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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 **Note: This has been revised/rewritten since the original 2006 post** Going back through my old reviews I realize that I was a young, naive, Dream Theater nut. Now that I have somewhat musically "matured" almost ten years later I came back to this review and cringed. I figured I had to set some things straight since my definition of "masterpiece" has become strict--for the better.

Don't get me wrong. Train of Thought is still a great album, it's dynamic, dark, heavy, and one of Dream Theater's more grueling albums. But masterpiece? Sorry guys, you've done better. But that doesn't mean it's not worth a listen by all metal and hard rock fans progressive or not. So let's dig in with some skeptical precision.

1. As I Am: Ten years later? Still awesome. Riff, power, intensity. Doesn't disappoint. I'd still leave this baby at a 5/5. Such a great opener. One of dream theater's best openers.

2. This Dying Soul: a good 11 minute song, It's a good song with a good melody, but does drag a bit through the instrumental section. Now this is the era when Dream Theater goes overboard on their solos and the songs drift from atmosphere. However, Train of Thought does well at not letting that mood slip too much. The song continues from the Glass Prison about over coming the alcohol addiction. It's a great song and something to rock out to. In all honesty, Glass Prison was the only song I truly loved from the recovery series. Though Root of All Evil did pretty well. 4/5

3. Endless Sacrifice: a softer one, until the solo, which one could argue deviates from the overall atmosphere of the song. However, I will say this, it's quirky nature brings a smile to my soul. I love this song, it's a good listen that drifts between mediums quite well. 5/5

4. Honor Thy Father: Fwew, this is a popular one among the metal heads. Still enjoyable, but not one I chase all too often; however, when it comes on I do nod my head in agreement. Also, the 10min track does feel a bit long for the songs purpose in my opinion, but it's well paced, heavy, though I feel LaBrie's vocals can't match the intensity of the song at points. He gets too nasally sometimes. Overall it's enjoyable but not fantastic. Though there are portions that really rock. 4/5

5. Vacant: well... call it a filler, call it a sad attempt at a soft interlude... I loved it long ago, but now it seems, empty. Sometimes Dream Theater's lyrics are... less than enjoyable. LaBrie's list poems that poison Sacrificed Sons on Octavarium plague this song as well, but not as cheesy. Not much to find here, it's a pleasant cello, and not so bad to skip, but nothing to seek out or throw in a soft song playlist. Next! 2/5

6. Stream of Consciousness: An eleven minute instrumental that blows the mind away. I love this instrumental. However, 11min is a feat and Dream Theater almost pulls it off. It's not enough that I seek the song like YYZ, Dance of Eternity, and some of their others, but it's not one to disappoint. Much like This Dying Soul, the song gets a bit repetitious. You can't go wrong with what they put out instrumentally, but they have done better. 4/5

7. In the Name of God: The grand finale, and what a grand finale this is. Dream Theater releases on of their greatest songs ever. Truly, I still stick by those phrases. Yes I'll admit that the solo on this album wanders the worst, but the sheer power of the song still conquers through. This is one of my favorite Theater songs, and probably will stay high in those ranks. 5/5

Overall, reflecting upon this album and throwing away my blind zeal from high school, I have to recognize that this album, though a wild ride and a lot of fun, isn't a masterpiece of Dream Theater's. Overall, I'd have to give Train of Thought a recommendation to those who find Dream Theater and progressive rock pleasant, but only essential to prog metal fans and other such metal heads. Still, as an essential masterpiece to a prog collection we must step aside and let other more worthy albums take the limelight.

4 stars. Thanks for the great release Dream Theater.

Xeroth | 4/5 |


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