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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1858 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This one brings up much controversy among Dream Theater fans. It takes much from disc one of Six Degrees: the uber heavy, difficult, long metal songs and a whole lot of jamming. It sure makes for a good crossover album, and a great album to introduce any metalhead to prog. The verses and the like are filled with complicated time changes and all that theory stuff that we came to adore Dream Theater for. The jams are beyond any jams anyone else could do. All in theory is as should be, the problem for everyone is that it's too much. Too much heavy, too much of the complexities, and maybe also because LaBrie gets to rap on "This Dying Soul." Other than the nearly three minute ballad "Vacant" that serves as an intro to the instrumental "Stream of Consciousness" (which long-time fans will get the most out of if anything) similar to the way "Wait for Sleep" serves as an intro to "Learning to Live," there are some clean portions in two songs, and the rest is all heavy. Good for some, bad for others. Quite frankly, if you don't like it, you still must admit that for what they were going for, they did darn well. Any Metallica/Megadeth/Pantera, etc. fan would be blown out of their mind by this album because it is so beyond what it sounds like. If you can't appreciate it, at least appreciate how the group is intertwining their music to become a very, very cohesive catalog. Take "This Dying Soul." it is the next step in the A.A. series, making references to "The Glass Prison" from the previous album. You may also notice the title "Stream of Consciousness" is a reference to a line in "Lines from the Sand." The band have begun making musical and lyrical references to their work as they first did with Scenes from a Memory. Be sure to pay attention to the lyrics and music for subtle or blatent references to something else in their catalog. In the epic closer, the band also manages to include "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in the background of the resolution, after earlier using morse code beneath the music which taps an infamous Portnoy phrase. Just another reason to appreciate what these guys do. Now, I can't say this album is perfect, some spots in the opener and "Honor Thy Father" are a tad sub-par, but the rest of the song in both cases more than redeem themselves. The album really is a good one, it still has emotional substance among all the thrashing and pounding and shredding. And as I have said in the past: no matter how fast these guys are playing, every note is still well-considered and it still has emotional strain. It's a tough one to get into for many, but for those who can appreciate it, they certainly will.
Moatilliatta | 4/5 |


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