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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1857 ratings

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5 stars This group had never been in my domain in terms of musical taste for two reasons. First, I saw so many teenagers used the T shirts of this band so I "thought" this group had to be a boys band. So it did not ignite me to explore who this band was. Second, it had to be a pure metal band. I was not ready to metalize myself because I only familiar with the kind of early MARILLION, GENESIS, YES, ELP, KING CRIMSON. I did not even like METALLICA.

But when sometime in early 90 my brother, Henky, who introduced me to prog music in 70's played DT "Awake" when I made a visit to his house, changed everything for me. At that time I was not so keen with prog music anymore as MARILLION, my hero, went pop / straight rock. But "6:00" of DT blew me! I even failed to identify what sort of music these guys were playing. Frankly, I was not aware what is prog music. But "Awake" changed my perception about DT. Since then I collected almost all offical albums of DT.

About this album, I recommend you to have it in your collection. This album represents the band's maturity in musical compositions. All 7 tracks are wonderful music. Some people reckoned that this album is pure metal exploration of the band and indicates a very strong influence by METALLICA. Luckily, I never enjoyed METALLICA music but definitely I like this album. Yes, 80% of the music, I would say, is metal. What makes this album different quality than other metal bands is its fantastic composition and musicianship.

The songwriting is brilliant. The composition has a very solid structural integrity, each track is well-positioned to produce varieties of tempo and melody for listeners. The overall flow and the mixture of sound produced provide an emotional reaction for the listeners. When I play this CD I always do something with my body; either I sing while reading the lyrics in the sleeve, emulate Petrucci's guitar riff and melody, emulate Portnoy's dazzling drum style, emulate Myung's stunning bass, or .. headbanging! Yeah .. it rocks man.!!!!

As I said, all tracks are excellent. But, I'm not gonna go over one by one. I will select some tracks even though the rest deserve for review as well.

Oh man .. I cannot wait not to comment "The Dying Soul". It's a wonderful composition filled with metal kind of music. I don't know what exactly these guys of DT doing with this song, but it really creates a dynamic sound for me. For those of you who are not into any metal yet, this might be your introduction to headbanging metal music. It's so nice. Again, the band has demonstrated how skillful, technically, the musicians play their instruments. I like the heavy guitar riff, dynamic bassing and fast-paced keyboard sound. All are blend together in this composition. The music is then transformed to even much more uplifting rhythm and tempo ant the end of the track. Marvelous!

The next track "Endless Sacrifice" is opened with a mellow, nice intro dominated with thin keyboard sound and some guitar. When the music enters into higher tone, the keyboard sound at background reminds me to a kind of neo-progressive rock style. The tone of this song is bit dark. Again, LaBrie voice is powerful. He sings with his heart. The guitar riff at the end of two-form vocal followed by dynamic drumming are cool. I especially like a short piece in the middle of the interlude when the music break suddenly and filled with piano. This piece reminds me to JETHRO TULL's "A Passion Play". Not that long, but it accentuates the musical nuances and set the right atmosphere for Petrucci and Rudess to take par with their instruments. Gushh . this is a brilliant interlude that I feel myself as being "orgasm" with this interlude. Again, I never imagined that a human kind can create this wonderful and energetic interlude!

The next track "Honor Thy Father" is opened by heavy guitar riff and drumming, typical metal stuff hah? Damn it! So energetic this music! It then flows to a simple guitar sound followed by Labrie voice to set the tone of the track. The melody of his singing is sort of influenced by middle-east music. Sort of.

My musical "orgasm" comes true when I listen to 6th track "Stream of Consciousness". But hold on .. ! This track will be much better enjoyed if 5th track "Vacant" is played before. (You would feel like enjoying GENESIS's "Horizon" prior to "Supper's Ready").Oh my God .. this track is fantastic! It's an instrumental piece with repeated tagline melody. Surprisingly, you will never get bored listen to it as the band able to mix wonderful sounds in that same tagline to satisfy your ears and your mind. Believe me, this relatively long track (11 minutes) provide you with ultimate satisfaction. At least, that's what I feel. All musicians play their instruments skillfully! 100% satisfaction guaranteed!

On musicianship, these guys have performed the music at their fullest, I think. Ovearll album, Portnoy (drum) and Petrucci (guitar) dominate the scene. Rudess on keyboard do not play that much but, he did really well in interlude solo as well as background keyboard sound.

So, this album deserves 5 BIG STAR. I think. What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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