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Dream Theater - Train of Thought CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.60 | 1857 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars I got to give Dream Theatre the credit for trying to bring something new and fresh with every new album. On Train Of Thought the approach is decisively darker and more thrash metal then their usual mellow metal prog hybrid. The reactions of the fans and non-fans are extravagantly extreme in both directions, stimulating ratings ranging from "absolute garbage" to "masterpiece". Obviously it's none of both. Not being a DT-fan nor a DT-basher, I'd say it's generally a pretty darn good metal album.

As I Am. The opener is spot on. It's a complete rip-off of Metallica to which the entire album plays tribute. But it works perfectly. Heavy, rocking and catchy, slightly commercial but nearly not as much as the dreary 80's metal on Images and Words. La Brie is in fine form, adding dramatic vocal melodies with a heavier delivery then his usual high pitch. He comes off like a slightly more melodic version of Megadeth's Dave Mustaine. 4 stars

This Dying Soul. More Mustaine influences here, especially for LaBrie's recitative snarls around minute 8. The song explodes in all possible directions, having moody reflective parts and hard rocking metal. The lead guitars are Eastern-flavoured in true Marty Friedman fashion (Megadeth again!). Unfortunately, Petrucci is no Friedman, he may mimic the style of that master but his pointless shredding makes him a grating listen. He has a great lead part here (first occurrence at 0.52) but manages to kill it by an onslaught of wrong notes. Well, he does produce many notes, which must be his standard for good. The last two minutes of this song contain possibly the worst shredding ever in rock history. 3.5 stars

Endless Sacrifice. No Dream Theater album without cheesy ballads. It isn't their worst but this is so old-fashioned classic metal. Boring, the distasteful instrumental kitsch in the middle doesn't help. 1 star

Honor Thy Father. Metallica is back in full glory here. I'm not much into bands cloning other people's style but DT manage to pay a respectable tribute here. They also throw in some other influences such as a bit of rap and distorted screams that remind me of Faith No More. The song contains even an acceptable keyboard solo and stays clear from mindless guitar leads. 4.5 stars

Vacant: Containing nothing, empty, blank, expressionless, inane. That's what the dictionary says and the song only delivers further confirmation. Pure 1 star cheese.

Stream Of Consiousness. If you want to pay tribute to Metallica you'll need a 10 minute instrumental. This track takes the honors and isn't half as bad as I had feared. Fine technical music but without much substance. Similar to Liquid Tension Experiment. 3 stars

In The Name of God. Excellent closer, continuing the style of This Dying Soul and Honor Thy Father. Unfortunately the guitar solos are ridiculous again. LaBrie tries to shatter your china in the sweeping finale. 4 stars.

Ever since Awake I've been in pursuit of the Dream Theater album that would confirm their creative talent. This album comes close but there's simply too many elements standing in the way of excellence. If it wasn't for the cheesy balladry and the nerve shattering guitar swagger from Petrucci, this album would be enjoyable throughout. It gives further evidence of their talent but it won't make them win their case any time soon. 3.5 stars

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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