Dream Theater Train of Thought
» Back to review

Comments:Add a Comment 
The JoZ
May 18th 2004


345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Actually, my brother thinks that "As I Am" could've been a Metallica song...if it were a bit muddier, thrashy, and with Hetfield singing...and to be honest, I think that's really cool...the selling point of this album to me was it's heavier style...because of that, I don't like alot of the lighter songs on I & W as much...but still very good stuff...

CheeseyBread
June 11th 2004


12 Comments


Nice review, Distorted Vision , do you want to write for the upcoming Everythingrock.com . If so email me At [email]jvining@pointlessthings.com[/email]

myungmadman
June 21st 2004


1 Comments


Why doesnt John Myung get more recognition?? Everyone is always talking about Petrucci. There is no doubt in my mind that Petrucci is the best in the world, but still....listen to John Myung. He is the most incredible bass player ive ever heard. Listen to ACoS

The JoZ
June 21st 2004


345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Because on later records, Myung does alot of simply following Petrucci

No doubt, he's a hell of a bassist...but I prefer guys like Justin Chancellor or Leighton Kearns who have totally different basslines in each song they do, which includes only a little following of the guitar

Space Ace
June 27th 2004


4 Comments


I would have gave Train Of Thought a 5/5 also, it's one of my favorite metal albums of all time hands down.

karansaraf
August 17th 2004


2 Comments


...But does anyone else think that the In the Name of God guitar solo really sucks? It gets on my nerves...it feels rather emotionless and pointless...the bass below it is not exactly a killer riff, there's no keyboard, and the drumming is sub-par...and it's too long...it seems like Petrucci didn't know when to quit, at least in this song...every other solo is killer, but I just can't stand this one...anyone else who didn't like this solo as much/at all?


Dude, what you are referring to as the guitar solo with no keyboard, is actually a guitar and keyboard unison solo, played perfectly by Petrucci and Rudess. If you listen to both earphones separately, you'll notice the guitar solo in one, and the keyboard solo in the other. A point to note is that Petrucci and Rudess have been playing this unison solo PERFECTLY in live shows consistently throughout the ToT tour this year.

I am a massive DT fan, and to me, without a doubt, Petrucci is the best guitar player on the planet. His alternate picking is so fluid, it cannot be surpassed by any other player. His live playing, in particular is just mindblowing.

Also, I regard Myung and Rudess to be the best bass and keyboardist players respectively. Myung just blows me away, and it's a shame he doesn't get recognition except from bass players that listen to DT, because he is a real talent. I think a reason for this could be that when they play live, the bass is usually low in the mix. Rudess, well, what can I say? He went to Juillard from the age of 9. Yes that is right, the age of 9.

Portnoy, well I can't say he's the best drummer on the planet, since it's too difficult to separate him from Peart, or Donati and some others. But he's up there.


They are all just virtuosos.



Also, if anyone went to any DT shows this year, they will notice how much of a live album ToT is. It sounds awesome just by listening to it off the CD, but the live version surpasses the studio by a mile. It was meant to be a live album!


[stops DT pimping]

reli4nt
August 17th 2004


3 Comments


That was a great review, maybe better than the album

The JoZ
August 18th 2004


345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=karansaraf]Dude, what you are referring to as the guitar solo with no keyboard, is actually a guitar and keyboard unison solo, played perfectly by Petrucci and Rudess. If you listen to both earphones separately, you'll notice the guitar solo in one, and the keyboard solo in the other. A point to note is that Petrucci and Rudess have been playing this unison solo PERFECTLY in live shows consistently throughout the ToT tour this year.[/quote]

Be that as it may, I still think it's insanely monotonous. At least in the studio, it is a soulless sounding solo. Now the HTF key solo? Love it. The As I Am Guitar solo? Love it. ITNOG, however, I can't stand the solos. Meh

I am a massive DT fan, and to me, without a doubt, Petrucci is the best guitar player on the planet. His alternate picking is so fluid, it cannot be surpassed by any other player. His live playing, in particular is just mindblowing.


Best guitar player? Possibly. Best guitarist? Well...see my opinion of said In the... solo to understand why I don't agree with that

Also, I regard Myung and Rudess to be the best bass and keyboardist players respectively. Myung just blows me away, and it's a shame he doesn't get recognition except from bass players that listen to DT, because he is a real talent. I think a reason for this could be that when they play live, the bass is usually low in the mix. Rudess, well, what can I say? He went to Juillard from the age of 9. Yes that is right, the age of 9.


The bass is actually higher in the mix this time, and it's good. SoC is probably the worst song on here for bass, because, if I remember correctly, he is always following Petrucci, or rooting *gasp*

Rudess is great. It's a shame he's not doing as much on As I Am, but it's a short (by DT standards) song, so I guess he can only do so much in 7:47

Portnoy, well I can't say he's the best drummer on the planet, since it's too difficult to separate him from Peart, or Donati and some others. But he's up there.


Again, agreed, but I think Danny Carey could take him.

They are all just virtuosos.


Well duh :rolleyes: :p

Also, if anyone went to any DT shows this year, they will notice how much of a live album ToT is. It sounds awesome just by listening to it off the CD, but the live version surpasses the studio by a mile. It was meant to be a live album!


[stops DT pimping]


:rock:

Cain
August 19th 2004


155 Comments


Wow. This review was so surprisingly positive to me. In my opinion, the band is suffering from a severe bout of "Satriani syndrome," and is running out of ideas fast. Now, I'm not a Dream Theater fan of old: Six Degrees was my first DT album, and it remains my favorite. But give me a break. The band is literally playing like they're terrified of losing their "edge"(Mike Portnoy said as much in a recent Modern Drummer interview) and is churning out falsely aggressive, derivative stuff like there's no tommorow.

The album is so self-consciously heavy that in the rare moments that we see a slight return to previous DT trademarks, it sounds laughably stilted. I'm not denying the heaviness or aggressiveness of the songs, and the lyrics are still top-notch, but the music the band has created has lowered the bar so much in my mind. Especially "This Dying Soul." My ****ing GOD. Sequel songs are almost invariably terrible, and this one just recycles riffs from both "The Glass Prison," AND "The Mirror" for about 12 minutes.

Petrucci's soloing? How soulless can you possibly be short of striving for it? I read a interview where Petrucci said he was striving to get to the "Next level of technique," on this album, and I got real excited. As it turns out, the next level is 128th notes that sound so much like wood in a shredder that it gives guitar solos a bad name. I spit on that interview. And what is the brilliant Jordan Rudess given to do, short of playing some merely decent, pretty piano on "Vacant?" NOTHING, except churn out wah-drenched keyboard solos that are usually indistinguishable from the guitar. Mike Portnoy really isn't doing much for me anymore, playing-wise: I almost WANT him to copy Tool so that his drums would sound enigmatic as opposed to boringly precise. The songs are too long for no reason, the time signatures are there for no reason, every bit of complication is in there for no reason except for its own sake. The point of adding those things in is to create an emotion or a positive reaction in the listener, not because "We're Dream Theater and we have to or fans will hate us." "Stream of Consciousness," contrary to the title, repeats so many sections that I literally almost fell asleep while WALKING MY DOG listening to it. "Honor thy Father," and "Vacant" are really the only spots here where anything good comes through.

Is no one else hearing what I'm hearing? Train of Thought was one of the biggest disappointments in my album-buying life. Can anybody else please see through the godlike technique to find the woefully pedestrian music? I may be in a bad mood and this may be a pretty good album by any other band's standards, but really, this cannot possibly be on a level with Dream Theater's best work. The threadstarter explains his ratings well, and I know that he's smart. I do not harbor any resentment or dislike for him liking this album. I simply challenge him or anyone else to prove me wrong.

NOTE: I'm sorry if it appeared that my intention in writing this post was to beat people who like Train of Thought into submission, like a "you're a homo if you like this" type of thing. It wasn't. I just have a strong opinion on it, and given the consistent awesomeness of Dream Theater's music, I feel that this album is, to say the least, beneath the capabilities of a band with even half of Dream Theater's talent. I can't be the only one who isn't so blinded by the music's complexity to recognize that the music itself stinks.

el doctor
August 20th 2004


83 Comments


I don't necessarily agree with it being a terrible buy, but I do understand what you're saying and agree on a number of points. This Dying Sould does annoy me and some of the solos do seem a bit soulless. I think SoC is excellent though, especially live. Saying that though, for a deliberate attempt at agressive music, I think the album is great. Whether you find the album good or bad, it at least shows that Dream Theater is capable of creating heavier music, or for others it proves that they can't.

The JoZ
August 20th 2004


345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ripper22 - I actually agree with alot of your stuff. There are plenty of moments on this album where the soloing is ridiculously soulless. This is the reason why I prefer Tool to Dream Theater, because Tool is far better musically, than are Dream Theater

The problem with this album, for many, is the heaviness of it. Personally, this is what drew me into Dream Theater. If you ignore the soulless soloing, there are some crushing riffs in there. If you're a Dream Theater fan who was raised on stuff like Images and Words, and Scenes From a Memory, you would probably not like this album. On the contrary, I find I&W to be overrated. That's right, I said it. Alot of Dream Theater's softer stuff sounds like recycled 80's hair metal crap. Another Day, Surrounded, come to mind. Pull Me Under is a great track...Take the Time? I love the intro, and the basslines, but otherwise, not special. Metropolis? Great song, overrated by some though Learning To Live? Not bad at all....otherwise, I don't like it.

Awake, on the other hand, is a great album. I like the crunchy distortion. Song's like 6:00, Caught in a Web, The Mirror/Lie, are great. But softer stuff like Lifting Shadows... are great too. Not the same as I&W.

Then I got 6 Degrees, mainly for The Glass Prison. You could cut the solos out of the song, and it would still be great. Probably one of their best songs ever, I just love it to death. Blind Faith I love too, I think there are parts of it that sound very Toolish, especially the opening bassline. The Great Debate I like too, very good. Misunderstood and Disappear? Not as much...

I got ToT because I heard As I Am on the radio, that's right, the radio, and wanted more. And I got a great album, I think.

You talk about Jordan Rudess and his solos. Well, listen to him when he's not soloing. Listen to, This Dying Soul, which, I happen to love...I love the reuse of the 1-0-0-0 riff, but w/e...listen to the opening solo, that's not following the guitar at all. Listen to the textures with the synth strings in the background. Listen to Endless Sacrifice which has him doing fifty million things at once. Listen to Honor Thy Father, and the synth strings following guitar and bass...or the first square wave solo. Listen to In the Name of God, and all the sounds he adds to it.

I don't know, I mean, if you don't like Train of Thought, good for you. I like them, and this album, because of the heavy material, not for the crushing prog-ness of it.

I still think that, as a whole, Tool > Dream Theater

Carey owns Portnoy any day of the week. Portnoy is good at being fast, and time sig changes, but that's about it. He's all about bass / snare / bass/bassbassbass / snare. Listen to every song on here, he does that pattern in all of them. I think it works pretty well in As I Am, but after that, it gets old. Carey's drumming changes in every song, and I love it

Chancellor owns Myung, not in technicality or speed, but because he does more than follow the guitar at an octave down. Justin is a bassist, while Myung, more or less on this album, is a bass player

Adam and Petrucci are equal to me...alot of Petrucci's riffs are harder than stuff Adam has written...however, Adam's solos get to me more than Petrucci's do. See Third Eye, Parabola, Lateralus, Reflection, Aenema. The only Petrucci solo I really 'feel' is As I Am.

Maynard owns LaBrie because LaBrie is a big tool (no pun intended) stuck in the 80's. Maynard is one of the best frontmen ever. Labrie is a primadonna tenor who steps off stage when the rest of the boys go instrumental

Rudess is left alone, because Tool doesn't have a keys player. Go him.

*Shrug* I don't think this is as bad as you make it out to be, but I can totally agree with parts of what you're saying.

Cain
August 20th 2004


155 Comments


[QUOTE=The JoZ]Ripper22 - I actually agree with alot of your stuff. There are plenty of moments on this album where the soloing is ridiculously soulless. This is the reason why I prefer Tool to Dream Theater, because Tool is far better musically, than are Dream Theater

The problem with this album, for many, is the heaviness of it. Personally, this is what drew me into Dream Theater. If you ignore the soulless soloing, there are some crushing riffs in there. If you're a Dream Theater fan who was raised on stuff like Images and Words, and Scenes From a Memory, you would probably not like this album. On the contrary, I find I&W to be overrated. That's right, I said it. Alot of Dream Theater's softer stuff sounds like recycled 80's hair metal crap. Another Day, Surrounded, come to mind. Pull Me Under is a great track...Take the Time? I love the intro, and the basslines, but otherwise, not special. Metropolis? Great song, overrated by some though Learning To Live? Not bad at all....otherwise, I don't like it.

Awake, on the other hand, is a great album. I like the crunchy distortion. Song's like 6:00, Caught in a Web, The Mirror/Lie, are great. But softer stuff like Lifting Shadows... are great too. Not the same as I&W.

Then I got 6 Degrees, mainly for The Glass Prison. You could cut the solos out of the song, and it would still be great. Probably one of their best songs ever, I just love it to death. Blind Faith I love too, I think there are parts of it that sound very Toolish, especially the opening bassline. The Great Debate I like too, very good. Misunderstood and Disappear? Not as much...

I got ToT because I heard As I Am on the radio, that's right, the radio, and wanted more. And I got a great album, I think.

You talk about Jordan Rudess and his solos. Well, listen to him when he's not soloing. Listen to, This Dying Soul, which, I happen to love...I love the reuse of the 1-0-0-0 riff, but w/e...listen to the opening solo, that's not following the guitar at all. Listen to the textures with the synth strings in the background. Listen to Endless Sacrifice which has him doing fifty million things at once. Listen to Honor Thy Father, and the synth strings following guitar and bass...or the first square wave solo. Listen to In the Name of God, and all the sounds he adds to it.

I don't know, I mean, if you don't like Train of Thought, good for you. I like them, and this album, because of the heavy material, not for the crushing prog-ness of it.

*Shrug* I don't think this is as bad as you make it out to be, but I can totally agree with parts of what you're saying.[/QUOTE]

Okay, I've slept on it, and I will concede that it isn't as bad as I made it out to be. What bothers me is not the heaviness, as "The Glass Prison" is probably in the top five list for my favorite Dream Theater song, but...I don't know, all the pieces are there for an album that I should theoretically like...but I just get this sense of the band trying too hard, consciously, workmanly trying to make a heavy album, and ending up with an album that sounds false in some way. I feel like the band members have gone from effortless brilliance, which is the feeling I got from Six Degrees and all the harmonic sophistication in that song, and then said, "hey, lets wring everything we POSSIBLY can out of the Phrygian scale, and Mike, just slam on your double-bass all the time, Petrucci, you shred so fast we can't even hear the notes you're playing, and that equals a heavy album." Do you know what I mean? It sounds like they don't MEAN it. They sound like they MEAN it on the Glass Prison, but here they seem to be tuning down the guitars and stringing flat 2nds and flat 5s together like if they do enough of it they'll suddenly have a "heavy album with crushing riffs" without even trying. I don't know...maybe it's just one of those arbitrary things, and I was simply destined to be the only person to strongly dislike this album while everybody else likes it. Okay, the Joz, help me out here. Why exactly do I dislike this more than anyone in the thread? Because I can't really pin it down anymore.

Iai
Emeritus
August 20th 2004


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ripper22 - I agree with the vast majority of what you are saying. What I feel with this album is that, it gets better the less you think about it. Whereas with previous Dream Theater albums, the brain needs to be engaged for the listener to enjoy it to it's full potential. This one, when you start thinking about it, you start realising all these things that are wrong with it; things you don't realise when you're just casually listening to it.

That's my take on it anyway.

The JoZ
August 20th 2004


345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=Ripper22] Okay, the Joz, help me out here. Why exactly do I dislike this more than anyone in the thread? Because I can't really pin it down anymore.[/QUOTE]

Well, I don't know. Let's go through this.

What exactly makes you think they are trying too hard? What exactly makes you think it's falsely agressive? Just because it's heavy? You said you felt like they 'meant it' in The Glass Prison....well, why don't you feel that in This Dying Soul or any of their other songs on this album? Is it simply the solos you dislike? Is it Portnoy's seemingly inability to do anything new with his drumming? What is it exactly that you don't like about this album? You said it sounds like they are trying too hard...well, where do you get that from?

Cain
August 20th 2004


155 Comments


[QUOTE=The JoZ]Well, I don't know. Let's go through this.

What exactly makes you think they are trying too hard? What exactly makes you think it's falsely agressive? Just because it's heavy? You said you felt like they 'meant it' in The Glass Prison....well, why don't you feel that in This Dying Soul or any of their other songs on this album? Is it simply the solos you dislike? Is it Portnoy's seemingly inability to do anything new with his drumming? What is it exactly that you don't like about this album? You said it sounds like they are trying too hard...well, where do you get that from?[/QUOTE]
Well, I think my opinion evolved from one of mere dissatisfaction to disgust when I read that aforementioned "Modern Drummer" interview with Mike Portnoy. In the interview, he said(and this is as verbatim as my memory allows), "We were listening to all the bands we liked...Rush, Yes, Genesis, Metallica...and we felt that they all lost their edge as they grew older. All of us are in our 40s, if not there then we're almost there, and it's around that time where our favorite bands started sounding wimpy. We didn't want to lose our edge as we got older, so we set out to make a classic, heavy metal album that was as aggressive as possible."

When I read that, I believe it lowered my estimation of the resulting album by one hell of a lot, because I already didn't like it too much, and something in Portnoy's words just struck me as wrong. I realize that it sounds like I'm being ridiculously hypocritical, like "So you're bashing them for being heavy on purpose?" Maybe this is just my idealistic view of music talking, but those words combined with that music easily made it sound like a band writing music to avoid sounding like old farts, as opposed to music that they all actually liked and thought was up to their usual quality.(I believe the album was written and recorded very quickly, too, which may or may not contribute to this.) I will believe that perhaps the interview was the turning point from where it was "not that great of a Dream Theater album," to "What a pitifully contrived piece of ****." Is my opinion still somewhat justified, or would I just be talking out of my *** to continue voicing it?

Oh, and as to This Dying Soul, I think it supports my claim that they're running out of ideas through the frequent repetition of riffs from their earlier, higher-quality heavy songs. Repetition can work (Scenes from a Memory) but just seems like (gasp) filler to me here. Portnoy needs to make like Neil Peart and take some drum lessons. I can live with the mediocre, unmelodic guitar solos...Petrucci has actually been heading in this direction for a while, since Scenes from a Memory.

The JoZ
August 20th 2004


345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

[QUOTE=Ripper22]Well, I think my opinion evolved from one of mere dissatisfaction to disgust when I read that aforementioned "Modern Drummer" interview with Mike Portnoy. In the interview, he said(and this is as verbatim as my memory allows), "We were listening to all the bands we liked...Rush, Yes, Genesis, Metallica...and we felt that they all lost their edge as they grew older. All of us are in our 40s, if not there then we're almost there, and it's around that time where our favorite bands started sounding wimpy. We didn't want to lose our edge as we got older, so we set out to make a classic, heavy metal album that was as aggressive as possible."

When I read that, I believe it lowered my estimation of the resulting album by one hell of a lot, because I already didn't like it too much, and something in Portnoy's words just struck me as wrong. I realize that it sounds like I'm being ridiculously hypocritical, like "So you're bashing them for being heavy on purpose?" Maybe this is just my idealistic view of music talking, but those words combined with that music easily made it sound like a band writing music to avoid sounding like old farts, as opposed to music that they all actually liked and thought was up to their usual quality.(I believe the album was written and recorded very quickly, too, which may or may not contribute to this.) I will believe that perhaps the interview was the turning point from where it was "not that great of a Dream Theater album," to "What a pitifully contrived piece of ****." Is my opinion still somewhat justified, or would I just be talking out of my *** to continue voicing it?

Oh, and as to This Dying Soul, I think it supports my claim that they're running out of ideas through the frequent repetition of riffs from their earlier, higher-quality heavy songs. Repetition can work (Scenes from a Memory) but just seems like (gasp) filler to me here. Portnoy needs to make like Neil Peart and take some drum lessons. I can live with the mediocre, unmelodic guitar solos...Petrucci has actually been heading in this direction for a while, since Scenes from a Memory.[/QUOTE]

Justified? Perhaps, but I don't think this is the Dream Theater's Saint Anger. I'm not sure this will ever be "Classic Heavy Metal" but it is heavy, and it is metal, and it does a good job of being that. If, however, they bring this same attitude toward their next album, then I think I would totally agree with you about their stance. If they think they have to write heavy songs to not be wimpy, they are mistaken...however, I personally would rather see another Train of Thought than Images and Words, personally.

I don't think This Dying Soul shows they are running out of ideas. The songs are all about the same thing, so for them to reuse a few riffs is not a bad thing. Honestly, the only riff I've heard them reuse is the breakdown riff; 1-0-0-0. And I like that riff alot, in spite of how simple it is.

Portnoy needs to go to a Danny Carey drum clinic as far as I am concerned. :p

The JoZ
August 20th 2004


345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

...This is about Train of Thought, not about FII...

owlandtree
August 20th 2004


47 Comments


Great review, awesome album!

el doctor
August 20th 2004


83 Comments


[QUOTE=The JoZ]...This is about Train of Thought, not about FII...[/QUOTE]
Did someone say they were going to review FII?

Wanker
August 20th 2004


139 Comments


[QUOTE=el doctor]Did someone say they were going to review FII?[/QUOTE]

i thought kaden said that he would do it.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy