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Dream Theater - Train Of Thought review


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Band: Dream Theater
Album: Train Of Thought
Release date: September 2003

01. As I Am
02. This Dying Soul
    1 - IV. Reflections of Reality (Revisited)
    2 - V. Release
03. Endless Sacrifice
04. Honor Thy Father
05. Vacant
06. Stream Of Consciousness
07. In The Name Of God

In my opinion, 2003 seems to have brought many albums with awful titles and covers. This release is just one of those. The gray eye at the end of tunnel might have been the ideal subject for Evergrey, but not for Dream Theater. The sticker on the cover quotes "The new progressive metal masterpiece", but it's hard to call it a masterpiece. But let's push play.

Once again, the album starts just when the previous stopped. But after a few seconds, the delicate reminiscences of "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" suddenly break: a gloomy bass intro brings us into this new heavy chapter. Since the first track, it's easy to understand that the band has chosen the heavy way. The whole album sounds like "The Glass Prison".

John Petrucci plays 7-string guitars on almost every track; Mike Portnoy seems to play drum solos instead of keeping the rhythm; Jordan Rudess plays only keyboard solos (yeah, always with the same sound effects) and almost every trail of rhythm piano or atmospheric strings seems now buried in the past.

The opening track, "As I Am", has a catchy riff and it will probably be the only single of this album. The second track is the follow-up to "The Glass Prison": it shares some lyrics and a riff with its predecessor. And there's an obvious vocal reminiscence of Metallica's "Blackened". The third song, "Endless Sacrifice", reminds me of Voices. It is one of the best songs of the album: it features a good alternation of beautiful clean sounds and powerful distortions, dressed with amazing light-speed solos.

"Honor Thy Father" has shocked me because of the nu-metal influences, really absurd. It's the only song I don't like. The fifth track brings us back to the golden age. It's something like "Through My Words" or "Wait For Sleep": only vocals, clean bass, bright warm piano and a beautiful cello, which fits in very well. It's the most emotional song on the album. Unfortunately it lasts less then 3 minutes. The instrumental "Stream Of Consciousness" is a bit disappointing: too long, filled with too much improvisation, lacks expression. It reminds of "The Dance Of Eternity", probably because I didn's like that song.

The last song is, in my opinion, the true masterpiece: a clean guitar leads you into 14 minutes of glorious composition and classic Dream Theater melodies revisited in a more modern key. The lyrics deal with Bin Laden and Islamic fanatics.

"Train Of Thought" is the heaviest album Dream Theater has ever recorded. Heavy, unusual, excessive, pretentious. The songwriting is not exacting as in the past. Once again, too much improvisation and absurd lengths: 7 tracks clock in at about 70 minutes! I love long tracks, but only if they are various, exacting and exciting (I mean "A Change Of Seasons", "Learning To Live", "Scarred", "Trial Of Tears"?). Heavy riffs and cold fast lead parts have buried almost all the expression and the emotional warmth of "Scenes From A Memory" and "Images And Words". Just a glimmer shines through "Vacant": a meager consolation. Forget all the emotional solos of "Lines In The Sand", "About To Crash", "Learning To Live"?

I don't consider this album as a flop, but I want to warn you: if you didn't like "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", don't even think to buy "Train Of Thought".

Written by The Silent Man | 13.11.2003

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Arian Totalis
You know, I fail to see what the problem is that everyone has with this album. Most people say that it is bad for one reason or other. For example, some might say that the fact they took two weeks to write all the music and lyrics somehow impacted on the sound. While under normal circumstances I might agree, however this is Dream Theater, they can do things like that and actually make it work. For the god's sake, the first track on Liquid Tension Experiment was just a huge improvised jam. Some might also say that Dream Theater don't do the whole angry/heavy thing well. Once more, I disagree, this album does well with both aspects.

published 12.08.2007 | Comments (15)

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 44   Visited by: 216 users
23.06.2007 - 04:35
Bitch Boy

Come on, this album isn't that bad. I know that DT has done better albums, but this one is also very good and heavy.
23.06.2007 - 05:13
Rating: 10

I think this is deffinately one of DT´s best albums and is one of the best CD´s iv'e heard.
It´s fukin heresy to not like it!!!:banger:
By the way, nobody even mentioned ´in the name of god´. i thin it´s AT LEAST the best song in the album.
05.07.2007 - 04:33
Noel Sonic
Account deleted
I like Train Of Thought which should deserve 9.0(Maybe someone does not like it because it's too heavry?).Endless Sacrifice,This Dying Soul,especially Stream Of Consciousness are great!
24.07.2007 - 01:45
Rating: 10

Am I the frikkin' only one that loves ALL albums Dream Theater has made up to date?
30.07.2007 - 22:58
Rating: 10
I definately disagree with the rate here as most of you as well. Above all, I think they have good songs in this album like they have good songs on every album. I like the album, not among my favourites but I'm still able to recognize its high quality. It is different, yes, but that doesn't mean something bad in this case. And the heaviness... yes! Definately worth at least an 8 in my opinion.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.

My Instagram
02.10.2008 - 07:41
Rating: 10

This is a great album, at first I didnt really like it all that much, but after the second lision I loved it.
29.07.2009 - 15:07
Rating: 10

The one who wrote the review is totaly idiot! I bet he wrote it after one listening, I mean, Come On! Train of Thought is good, even great! I enjoy this album as much as And Justice for All by Metallica! And just like in Metallica's work, this album is full of anger and brutallity, and the last time I checked, anger is a feeling too! Some might disagree that Train of Thought is DT best album, but they can't denay it's still a very impressive one.
Li'ed - Prog-Metal from Jerusalem
01.08.2009 - 08:02
Rating: 9
Nicko's Nose

"I don't consider this album as a flop, but I want to warn you: if you didn't like "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", don't even think to buy "Train Of Thought"."

What the fuck? TOT doesn't sound like SDOIT at all!

"Am I the frikkin' only one that loves ALL albums Dream Theater has made up to date?"

05.12.2009 - 22:19
Rating: 10

This album is pure metal.they've shown their best performance in this album by making it fast and agresive.the riffs are amazing,so simple but so heavy.Tha fact is that they are excelent musicians but that doesn't mean that their creativity is on high note.Every band has in its own career high point and my opinion is that they've done it with this album.
Will the ones who live after our end
Worship the goddamn cross again?
05.12.2009 - 22:34
Rating: 8
Erotic Stains
This is an excellent album IMO, although "Honor Thy Father" might be the bands most forgetable song. I just can't seem to remember it or how it goes, and I know every DT song from beginning to start.
05.12.2009 - 22:44
Rating: 6
Fat & Sassy!

"Good ideas, poor execution."

I think that sums this album nicely. Oh, and btw, I'm not a huge fan of this album, but this review blows dick.

""Honor Thy Father" has shocked me because of the nu-metal influences..."

05.05.2011 - 21:29
Rating: 10

This review is pure bullshit... Train of Thought is an excellent album, and I've always seen it as one of the best blendings of heavy and progressive music I've ever heard... Please, are you really bashing Stream of Consciousness? I think it's one of the best songs DT ever wrote... Other ones like Endless Sacrifice, This Dying Soul, or In the Name of God blow you instantly away...
Really, you like all the songs except Honor Thy Father and give it a 6.5?
16.07.2015 - 19:23
Rating: 10

It's been almost 12 years and this review is still a lot of shit!

This is the best Dream Theater's album!
26.08.2016 - 20:15
Rating: 9

At least as good as the magnificent "Awake". One of the best releases by DT.

All the songs of this album are amazing, but "Stream Of Consciousness" is something special.

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