Dream Theater
Train of Thought


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brain Dead USER (30 Reviews)
June 6th, 2006 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Without a doubt, this is the heaviest album Dream Theater has ever produced. While some fans are saying that this album is a bit too heavy, I am going to tell you that is certainly not true. The best songs by Dream Theater have always been their heavy ones, and this album delivers six metal songs that average over ten minutes in length.

One particular thing that stands out when listening to this album is Portnoy's excessive use of the double bass. He is capable of executing a very fast double bass, and he does it in sections of almost all of the songs on this album. In addition to that, Portnoy has an uncanny ability to utilize almost all of his drum set on his solos, which makes them really interesting to hear. Also, Petrucci delivers his usual shredding solos in every song (besides Vacant). This album is of course technically brilliant in almost every aspect.

Unfortunately, Myung and Rudess are shoved to the background for the most part on this album. Except for the three-minute piece Vacant, they are barely noticeable. Also, LaBrie is horrible again. His lyrics are just stupid and angsty. For example, Endless Sacrifice had the chance to be one of the best Dream Theater songs ever. But LaBrie's lyrics are just so wimpy. The chorus in this song is so incredible instrumentally, but then you notice Labrie's lyrics: "I'm trying to stay alive, until I hear your voice. I'm gonna lose my mind, someone tell me why I chose this life." That sounds like whiny pop punk lyrics to me. Also, his voice is terribly ill-fitting in this band. It is rather high and whiny. His screaming ability is nearly nonexistent, and his yelling ability is painfully average. Other than that gaping hole in the lyrics/vocals department, this album is great.

The songs on this album are very long, even for a progressive band. All but two are over ten minutes in length. That is due in part to the huge length of time that Dream Theater lets Petrucci and Portnoy solo in every song, four or five minutes most of the time. While some people deem their solos "tedious" or "emotionless," I personally find them to be very entertaining. In fact, Stream of Consciousness is a song entirely devoid of vocals. Dream Theater lets all four instrumental members do their thing, and that is one of the better songs on the album.

The only song where LaBrie's vocals aren't painful to listen to is Honor Thy Father, which is the best song on the album in my opinion. This is definitely the most "metal" song on the album, with some sections being genuinely heavy. Portnoy is excellent again in this song, using double bass again. LaBrie even raps a bit in this song, and it isn't as painful as you would expect. LaBrie's best vocal performance on this song is the first verse, where he does a great job of singing in a quiet, tentative way, which sets the mood for the song. Another section where LaBrie sounds great is the section where he says "Don't cross the crooked step!" That comes exactly at the five minute mark, and sounds nothing like the regular LaBrie. After that line comes the heaviest part of the song, which sounds like it was lifted straight out of a System of a Down song. Another thing that is good about this song is that the solos are rather short and concise, not the overblown extravaganzas that some of their solo sections turn out to be. Great song.

There aren't many sub par songs on this album, most are just about at the same quality level. The only song that really stands out as poor is Vacant. This little song is not even three minutes long. You will hear no sound out of Petrucci or Portnoy on Vacant. Dream Theater seems to be playing shorthanded on this song, they sound like an average band in terms of technical skill without Petrucci and Portnoy. Being that Dream Theater relies almost solely on technical skill, that sounds like trouble. I admire their attempt to try and make a song that relies on overall sound instead of technical playing, but this song is a really poor attempt.

The other songs on this album are all a varying mix of heaviness and softness. No song on this album is pure heaviness, all of them mix in soft sections. That helps these rather long songs from getting tedious. No other track really stands out on this album, but In The Name Of God is one of the better ones.

So overall, this is a very good release from Dream Theater. Heaviness is always excellent, and there is no shortage of that on this album. Honor Thy Father is one of the better songs that Dream Theater has released. The main strength of this album is its consistency. While Dream Theater's new release, Octavarium, was hit or miss on song quality, this album is rock solid all the way through.

Best Three
1. Honor Thy Father
2. Stream of Consciousness
3. In The Name of God

Worst Three
1. Vacant
2. This Dying Soul
3. Endless Sacrifice



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user ratings (1933)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheLastJoECool
June 6th 2006


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. Why don't you like This Dying Soul though? That is one of my favorite songs on the album. I agree with most of the stuff you wrote but why do you hate LaBrie so much? I think he is a good singer and gives DT a great sound. So what if he has some more emotional lyrics; other bands do too and no one complains.

GenuineImitation
June 6th 2006


49 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was my fist DT album and I absolutly love it.


I was going to review this album this weekend


Nice review by the way. Evwen If I dont agree with everything.This Message Edited On 06.06.06

Drunken Viking
June 6th 2006


1023 Comments


Awesome awesome review, this album was the first I heard from the DT crew one short year ago. It's grown a little more on me since then, and now I think it's wonderfull.

Brain Dead
June 6th 2006


1150 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

To ThelastJoeCool:
I'll tell you why I don't like LaBrie. Portnoy and Petrucci sound like absolute machines on thier instruments. They are technically excellent, but more than that. They seem nearly inhuman, thier instrumental parts lack any emotion, just incredible skill. Then in comes LaBrie. To a certain extent, he ruins the effect that Portnoy and Petrucci have set up. It's not that I have a problem with his lyrics being emotional, but they are corny in addition to that. Just listen to Endless Sacrifice, you'll know what I mean. I do like this Dying Soul, it just didn't do much to distinguish itself in this album. I just thought all of the other songs (besides Vacant) were better than it.This Message Edited On 06.06.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 6th 2006


4405 Comments


Good review man.

GenuineImitation
June 6th 2006


49 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

By the way, you said "LaBrie's lyriscs". LaBrie writes very little of the lyrics. I think Petrucci wrote Endless Sacrifice.

Darkness
June 6th 2006


67 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You guys know he doesn't write most of the lyrics, right? It's mostly Petrucci and Portnoy.


/beaten by like, one secondThis Message Edited On 06.06.06

Brain Dead
June 6th 2006


1150 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You've got me there. Whoever wrote the lyrics, they're poor. The only song that I know for sure that Portnoy wrote is Honor Thy Father, which may explain why that song's lyrics are actually pretty good.

GenuineImitation
June 6th 2006


49 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The band does have some pretty good lyrics, but I mainly listen to them for the music.

DTisdabestest
June 7th 2006


22 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review bud. I reckon the whole album is great and i wouldn't put any songs into a 'worst on the album' list, especially Endless Sacrifice that and This Dying Soul they are two of my favourites

Thor
June 7th 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good review. This is the only Dream Theater album that I can stand.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

A7X_Theater_88
June 7th 2006


9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good Review
I have to disagree with you though, when you say endless sacrifice is bad cus of its chorus, that is my favorite Dream Theater chorus of all time.
but yeah Honor thy father is probably the best song on the album, especially when labrie says 'Dont cross the crooked step' that is my favorite bit off the whole album lol

Red Cap Brain
June 7th 2006


174 Comments


I have to disagree for the most part of your review though I enjoyed reading it. And by the way ... the lyrics of endless sacrafice aren┤t written by James but by John.

fisky009
June 7th 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

LaBrie does not suit this album what so ever.

I like the heavier sound from DT. Good review.

Catula
June 8th 2006


21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am confused, do you mean Labries SINGING is bad? Or the lyrics

Petrucci wrote Endless Sacrafice, Portnoy and Petrucci wrotemost of this album. Labrie only wrote Vacant I believe.

Brain Dead
June 8th 2006


1150 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, I made a mistake in writing this review. I know that the lyrics were written by Petrucci and Portnoy for the most part. To answer your question: the lyrics and the vocal delivery were both bad.

Catula
June 8th 2006


21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hm.. I agree and I don't I suppose.

I enjoyed this CD, a lot, but I agree that the lyrics weren't so good. Personally, Labrie should just be out. The first singer (Chris) was way better, atleast I could understand him without hearing the song 40 times

Asmodean
June 12th 2006


2 Comments


1. As I Am
[Lyrics by John Petrucci]

2. This Dying Soul
[Lyrics by Mike Portnoy]

3. Endless Sacrifice
[Lyrics by John Petrucci]

4. Honor Thy Father
[Lyrics by Mike Portnoy]

5. Vacant
[Lyrics by James LaBrie]

6. Stream Of Consciousness
[Instrumental]

7. In The Name Of God
[Lyrics by John Petrucci]


Psyclone
September 12th 2006


432 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Honor Thy Father is the best song on this album. No doubt.

Great review and marvelous album.

Neoteric
September 12th 2006


3243 Comments


Great review



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