DREAM THEATER — Train of Thought

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

DREAM THEATER - Train of Thought cover
3.99 | 146 ratings | 16 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 2003


1. As I Am (7:47)
2. This Dying Soul (11:27)
3. Endless Sacrifice (11:24)
4. Honor Thy Father (10:14)
5. Vacant (2:57)
6. Stream of Consciousness (11:16)
7. In the Name of God (14:14)

Total Time: 69:21


- James LaBrie / vocals
- John Petrucci / guitars, backing vocals
- John Myung / bass
- Jordan Rudess / keyboards
- Mike Portnoy / drums, backing vocals

- Eugene Friesen / cello

About this release

Label: Elektra
Release date: November 11th, 2003

Thanks to Time Signature, Vehemency, Pekka for the updates


More places to buy metal & DREAM THEATER music


Specialists/collaborators reviews

After Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence pushed the "prog" side of their prog metal equation further than ever, Dream Theater seem to have approached Train of Thought as an exercise in reasserting the "metal" part of their identity, resulting in their heaviest and most foreboding release at least since Awake, and maybe of their entire career up to this point.

As I Am manages to combine thunderously aggressive playing with just enough progressive touches to reassure attentive listeners that the band haven't entirely lost touch of their artier side, and then the rest of the album largely unfolds with a similar approach. If you're into Dream Theater's technical mastery, well, they're still sharp as ever, but they unite that technicality with a passionate intensity which is instantly apparent, whereas some of the emotional tones on their earlier work took a little longer for me to fully perceive.

As such, Train of Thought might be one of the best ports of call for someone coming to Dream Theater fresh as a metal fan, rather than necessarily a prog fan. (If you're more about their prog side, don't worry - there's still plenty of long compositions with sonic twists and turns to navigate.)
When discussing the making of this album, the members of Dream Theater have said that their goal, inspired by all the "classic" metal albums by bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden, was to make a record full of "live songs" that will work well in a concert setting. An album full of metal classics, that'll get energy flowing, fists pumping and heads banging.

They succeeded.

As is always the case when bands stray away from their original sound, there are some who dislike this record for being more centered on metal, as opposed to the progressive elements that Dream Theater made famous in the early 90's. Being a metal fan as much as a prog fan, I love this record, and whilst anyone can see that they stepped away from a lot of their progressive roots on this one, the band more than compensate for it with these pumping metal anthems.

Of course, at the time this album came out (November 2003) I was still fairly new to Dream Theater, and definitely more of a metalhead than anything else. So why wouldn't I love tracks like 'As I Am' (that riff...), 'This Dying Soul', 'Honor Thy Father' or 'In the Name of God'? Each track perfectly demonstrates why Dream Theater can stand toe-to-toe with any of metal's elite.

As you would expect from this band, the musicianship is phenomenal. Most of the songs are definitely guitar-centered, with keyboardist Jordan Rudess taking more of a backseat in most songs. But he's there none-the-less, and when he's trading solos with guitarist John Petrucci, especially on tracks like 'Stream of Consciousness', you know that there's no one that can match these guys.

'Train of Thought' certainly has its prog moments, but ultimately, this is an all-out, straight-up, ballsy metal album. And it's a damn good one, at that!
I mentioned in an earlier review that DREAM THEATER would probably be one of my favourite bands if they didn't veer so close to those sappy moments and instead were dark, heavy and nasty. Well i guess that explains why this is my favourite DREAM THEATER record. Other than the mellow 3 minute track "Vacant" this is one heavy and nasty beast. It's song after song of aggression and power and it suits me just fine thankyou. The band released a cover album of METALLICA tunes the same year as this recording and that METALLICA flavour really comes through at times, especially in LaBrie's vocals.And that's my only complaint and why i took off a half star because this one is a beast the likes we have never seen before or since from this band. Love the cover art and pictures in the liner notes as well. Special mention to the only instrumental on here called "Stream Of Consciousness" that is so impressive but then i could say that about several tracks on here. The keyboards have been scaled way back and the heaviness increased making this one a must for fans of Metal.
The Angry Scotsman
This album seems to be one of the lesser liked in the Dream Theater discog, but I love it. In fact, it's my favorite DT album.

When I first heard "Train of Thought" I only knew the classic DT albums: 6 Degrees, Metropolis, I&W and Awake. So I was pretty shocked by this albums heaviness and profanity, (not that I care at all, but for DT it raised an eyebrow). "Train of Thought" is certainly more "metal" than most DT albums. It's heavier and bit less progressive than most of the band's output, but it is still progressive. A bit more riff based than standard DT, and there are some epic riffs to be found. There are plenty of blazing guitar and keyboard solos, a pretty good drumming display and fine vocals. While they never really wow me (and can sometimes grate), it seems I don't dislike LaBrie nearly as much as I used to.

"As I Am" is a bit straightforward, but a good metal song. Some cool riffs and moments.

"This Dying Soul" is more intense and progressive. Pretty cool song, though I don't like the distorted vocals that are used at times. Second half is pretty crazy and has some classic DT madness.

Then we get to the best 2 songs of the album.

"Endless Sacrifice" is an awesome song, heavy and progressive. The main riff/chorus part makes me rock so hard. The middle section is awesome, and topped off with doses of epic shreddery and technicality. Great song, and it leads into my favorite from the album:

"Honor Thy Father" Now this is some brutal prog metal. Heavy, groovy, intense, progressive, filled with epic riffs and melodies. Hefty doses of technicality, off tempo, solos and even keyboards are thrown around, and some pretty good drumming to boot. The song really moves and is hard to not groove or thrash around to.

"Vacant" gives us a breather with a somber keyboard and bass piece, with some cello too. Pretty but also quite melancholy, especially when taken with the lyrics about LaBrie watching his young daughter fall into a coma...some heavy stuff.

"Stream of Consciousness" is an 11 minute instrumental. Turn the volume up, because I love when the first riff hits you. Like any good prog epic it takes you on quite a journey, and you'll hear a bit of everything. Lots of keyboard, more than the previous songs as well as more of that famed DT wizardry then we've seen thus far. Not the best prog instrumental I've heard but a pretty damn good song for sure.

"In the Name of God" finishes the album with its longest song, at 14 minutes. It drags a bit at times, and for the first time on ToT LaBrie's singing kind of bugs me, (but it's not terrible) and is a good song still. With the rest of the album there are some sweet riffs, grooves and melodies throughout. A good song, but actually could've use a bit of trimming. "Stream of Consciousness" would've been a better finale in my opinion, especially since it fits with "Train of Thought" as an idea but ah well.

So after all these years I still love the more riffy, heavy DT. Some fans seem to be displeased with the more metal, less proggy sound but if you like metal, and if you like prog then I really don't see why you wouldn't like "Train of Thought". It's some heavy, dark and still progressive prog metal, what's not to love?

Four and a Half Stars
The most metallic and least progressive album of the Dream Theater machine.

This album really divides fans and for good reason. The keyboards are really pulled back to the background and Rudess all but disappears. The focus is on shredding crunching distorted guitars, and man, does it destroy! Petrucci blazes on every track and slaughters all other instruments. The usually amazing Myung is a whisper on bass, and Portnoy drums heavier in order to keep up with the blitzkrieg of metal. LaBrie does his best James Hetfield imitation and kind of pulls it off, without using a death growl. We would have to wait for Black Clouds and Silver Linings to hear that from Portnoy. All in all I guess this one pleased metal fans and alienated the prog fans. It is a genuine fish out of water for the band and goes down in history as being the darkest heaviest DT studio recording. The songs were apparently written in two weeks and some of them sound like it. As usual there are highlights and they are quite apparent when you hear this a few times. The all seeing eye on the front cover stares us down as if to suggest we are watching for your reaction. Unfortunately at the time the reaction was not all that favourable with many DT fans being disappointed that the DT magic had been replaced by an onslaught of aggression layered Slayeresque brutalised riffs. The highlights are well documented but my opinion is there are at least 4 standouts worth mentioning.

As I Am is undoubtedly the one track that most DT fans adore. It has a strong melody and powerful riff that locks into your skull. The lead work of Petrucci is dynamic and overall this one really kicks along well and works great as a live number.

Endless Sacrifice is great and Rudess resurfaces with some scintillating keyboard work. It is written for Petrucci's wife and as a power ballad works on many levels; emotionally and has virtuoso musicianship. LaBrie sounds better than the Dalek distortion used at the beginning of this album.

Honor Thy Father is a dark excursion into some angry territory; a hatesong from Portnoy. It sounds something like what Tool or Gary Numan might produce lyrically. There are some strange narrations hidden within, perhaps from an old film but I have no idea which. A real curiosity but one of the highlights.

Stream Of Consciousness is definitely the most progressive track on the album. It deatures virtuoso musicianship and some of the most skillful guitar work from Petrucci.

Other songs have moments but are not up to the standard of usual DT classics. I do not mind the closer In The Name Of God, particularly due to the subject matter of religious zealots murderous intention, perhaps another 9/11 tribute in the vein of "Octavarium"'s Sacrificed Sons.

Overall this much maligned album has its merits but it is definitely the heaviest metal. Like a rollercoaster there are twists and turns in the lengthy songs but they are not as progressive as one may think, rather simply long soloing to make up each song. For all these reasons a fair rating is 3 stars, because DT are capable of so much more and they deliver this in albums to follow.
Me Dream Theater. Me metal band.

After Dream Theater decided to cover Metallica's classic "Master of Puppets," they also decided to record a metal (and I mean METAL) album with great amounts of Metallica influence. What resulted was a spectacular album instrumentally, but a little bit lacking album vocally. The whole instrumental aspect is perfect, but LaBrie's attempt at... rapping... didn't go over as well as the band has planned. There are still some fantastic moments throughout the album, which so make this a very good Dream Theater album.

As I Am officially ends Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (seems odd, dunnit?). After the last notes of SDOIT fades away, the great bass intro comes in, setting you up for a great metal track. The whole band (minus LaBrie) brings to the table everything they've got, with the sweeping solo by Petrucci, the intense drum and bass lines by Portnoy and Myung, and those essential keyboard backings by the Wizard Rudess. However, the only weak link (although still somewhat strong) is LaBrie's exaggerated and strained vocals. He does a good job, but he could do much better than what he did.

This Dying Soul is the first epic off the album, running at nearly 12 minutes. The song continues the AA Suite that Portnoy has crafted, and the song as a whole is spectacular. Instrumentally again, the whole band is top notch, and even LaBrie does a fantastic job with smooth and compassionate whispering and soaring (if not a little shrill) screams against intense metalling. You can really see the Metallica influence especially in this song, with some great chuging of the guitars and baking rhythms. The instrumental section is purely supreme, showing off the band's impressive talents once again.

Endless Sacrifice starts out slower, but quickly begins to pick up into an epic killer of a track. There is certainly a reason why the track was included on the band's greatest hits, for it certainly is a really great song. The instrumentation is again amazing, and on this track the vocal melodies are very good also.

Honor Thy Father is both an absolutely incredible track and the worst track on the album. The intro outright just slaps you in the face with Portnoy's amazing mini-drum solo, and the polyrhythmic instrumentation following is fantastic. Throughout the song, this great instrumentation continues, although the riffing does get a little dry and boring at places. However, the really weak link in this song is LaBrie's atrocious singing. I mean, he raps at times. James LaBrie is not a rapper, I think we can all agree on that. The lyrical theme of the song is great, but LaBrie sadly butchers it with horrid singing.

Vacant adequately makes up for the horridness of the last track with a short, melancholy, compassionate song that shows LaBrie at his best talent- softly sung compassionate "ballads." The cello compliments LaBrie's voice fantastically and makes the short song very nice and (positively) depressing to listen to.

Stream of Consciousness is one of Dream Theater's best instrumentals. Slow and deliberate, the song delivers a steady attack of incredible progressive metal music. The guys all contribute a little bit to make an amazing and complete whole. The song for sure does not leave you wanting for any more or any less, because the whole ride is magnificent and a masterpiece.

In The Name Of God is the true epic of the album. Over 14 minutes long, the album has everything standard for a great Dream Theater "long song": Great story, great instrumentation, great vocals, great movements, and a great overall ride. The whole track is brimming with superior melodies, rhythms, harmonization, synchronization, and everything that Dream Theater is well known for. Telling of the lyricist's (Portnoy's) atheistic sentiment or of someone's atheistic sentiment, I can really connect with the mindset (being atheist myself). The instrumental section is supreme, with another amazing guitar solo from Petrucci and the 5 star backing band. Overall, the whole track is a great ride and a gem on the album.

ALBUM OVERALL: The album certainly has strong pros and strong cons, but luckily most of the time the pros outweigh the cons. This is certainly an album full of great instrumental prowess, with sweeping guitar solos, fantastic instrumental melodies, a smashing instrumental track, and some of the band's best rhythmic backings. But, the biggest con of the album are LaBrie's many weak songs. Sadly, the insanely talented singer has been asked to sing what he cannot sing -- rap, and heavy metal music. He has strong sections, such as vacant, but for most of the album LaBrie's performance lags behind that of his comrades. But, overall, the album is still very, very strong, and is still an excellent addition to any metal collection, especially a metalhead who has not yet been introduced to the gods Dream Theater. 4 stars.

This is by far the most balls to the wall album by the Prog Metal Gods, Dream Theater. This album really shows that Dream Theater is metal, and can be metal if they want. I'm not really liking Petrucci's tone on this album, but all the crazy riffing in This Dying Sould and Stream of Consciousness makes up for that. Portnoy is also playing his second grown ass of on Stream of Consciousness and Honor Thy Fahter, which is a great upbeat song.

1. As I Am (4.5) 2. This Dying Soul (5) 3. Endless Sacrifice (4.5) 4. Honor Thy Father (5) 5. Vacant (4) 6. Stream of Consciousness (5) 7. In the Name of God (5)

Metal Classic. 5 Stars
Time Signature
Stream of heaviness...

Genre: progressive metal

Raff writes that this is the Dream Theater album that everybody loves to hate. She is probably right. "Train of Thought" has received flack from prog fans for being dumbed down in terms of both music and lyrical concepts.

A lot of fans of progressive rock, who at least appreciated Dream Theater's previous releases, tend to hate this one because the music is so much more heavy than ever before. Basically, what Dream Theater did was to isolate the heaviness found on "Six Degrees..." and use that as the central force on "Train of Thought". Personally, I love the heavy approach on this album, and I think that the heaviness and darkness (very well reflected in the cover artwork, which might as well have been the cover of a 90s black metal album) that characterizes the album. In addition to being disliked for its heaviness, "Train of Thought" has also received critique for being musically more simple than previous Dream Theater - this was a conscious decision by the band (according to Mike Portnoy, who describes it as the most onedimensional album in the career of the band) to create a contrast to the epic and complex musical multidimensionality of "Six Degrees...". Well, we are not dealing with simple music here. It is still very technical and complex with enough odd time signature sections and genre transgressions to make me happy.

I don't know if the lyrics have been dumbed down. It is true that, in terms of lyrics, this album has been described as appealing to the lowest common denominator of emo teendom by dealing with emotional topics (as in "As I Am", "Honor thy Father", and "Endless Sacrifice"). Well, that may be, but why not? Who says you can't be a progressive metal band and write songs about everyday topics?

Despite being the Dream Theater album that everybody loves to hate and criticize, "Train of Thought" is does have a 5-star rating on iTunes - so I certainly am not the only person in the world who likes it.

I think that fans of heavier types of metal, along with fans of heavier prog metal, will like this album.
Conor Fynes
'Train Of Thought' - Dream Theater (5/10)

This album represents what happens when the most talented band in the world gets a bit bored with the laborious process of writting truly inspired music and decides to see just how quickly they can make an album. However, unlike many bands that have done this in the past, and failed miserably as a result, Dream Theater actually manages to produce a listenable (albeit mediocre) album.

I can safely say that this is my least enjoyed Dream Theater album, but it does have a few high points. 'Stream Of Consciousness' is a very well composed instrumental, 'As I Am' is one of the band's tightest and most energetic songs and 'In The Name Of God' has sections that simply scream 'epic.' Much of the album is too one-tracked however, and listening to the same crunchy, raw guitar tone for an hour's length really tires one's ability to listen to music.

In terms of effort, Mike Portnoy even said that 'Train Of Thought' took no more than two weeks to write. Keeping that in mind, the sheer complexity of some of the instrumental sections is very good. Unrelenting keyboard/guitar solos and jaw dropping technicality can be quite a treat if one is into it. Ironically enough, one of the album's greatest assets is it's biggest flaw, there is a great deal of focus on shredding and mindless technicality, and not enough actual compositional brilliance to back things up. This is very dissapointing because Dream Theater has proven many times in the past that they can compose thoughtful and complex compositions at the same time. The instrumental (and definite highlight of the album) 'Stream Of Consciousness' is a welcome break to the mindlessness and offers a true dose of brilliance.

While it's not brilliant by any measure, the musicianship (in comparison with most other artists) is simply mind-blowing. Rudess' keyboard skills and Petrucci's rapidfire soloing really compliment eachother well in the instrumental sections, and the typical keyboard-guitar 'let's take turns' solo form works really well on this album.

Unlike most Dream Theater albums, you can actually hear the bass guitar on this one. John Myung's solid bass lines really compliments the overall mix, and some of my favourite Portnoy drum fills are on this one. An intense double-kick is used to no end here!

While this is certainly one of Dream Theater's less shining acheivements, it's still worth a good listen; especially the final two tracks. Theres a real thrashy, stripped down sound on this album, which is a departure from their usually progressive leanings It's not a very good album, but fans of the band and genre should be able to appreciate some of the more thoughtful passages.

This is what happens when the best musicians in the world today get too cocky and decide their skills can compensate for loose songwriting.

Best described as an exercise in self-indulgence, perhaps?
Phonebook Eater

“Train Of Thought” is the heaviest, most guitar-driven DT album yet.

There aren’t that many DT fans of exclusively their 00’s period; In these ten years Dream Theater have been trying, especially from 2005 on to 2009, to sound more accessible to a much bigger audience, and they did get a lot more popular. But just before this, they were still interested in writing more challenging music: “Train Of Thought” was probably the last one until 2011’s “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”. Unfortunately, ToT isn’t better than the few albums that will follow it, despite being a little more ambitious.

Overall this is probably the heaviest DT album yet; a rough production, edgy guitars and drums make it that way. This is also the most virtuoso effort of theirs yet; all of the musicians are at the top of their game, they just never sounded better, except maybe for Labrie, who has had a little better moments than here. I hear so many mind-blowing passages, but I do feel sometimes they exaggerate, like they’ll do in 2011 with DToE, especially in Petrucci’s solos, extremely fast and pretty obnoxious too at times. When they try to be melodic, it doesn’t always work, and as always they get pretty cheesy in the hooks. But of course there are many exceptions, and also the cheesiness is compensated with the excellent musicianship.

The three big beasts for me are “As I Am”, a sort of a catchy intro for the album, the instrumental and surprisingly calm (relatively) “Stream Of Consciousness” and “This Dying Soul”, the near twelve minute epic that reprises in a good way some ideas of the previous album, “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence”. The rest of the songs are pretty good, the best one of these is “Endless Sacrifice”, which has a really good keyboard section in the bridge. But some songs here I just don’t care for: thankfully “Vacant” is a short song, it’s a pretentious ballad with elaborate strings and general orchestral arrangements that just doesn’t do anything for me, and “In The Name Of God” is the fourteen minute ending that has an ok melody, but it’s just way too long, and it does not have an interesting or appealing flow to me.

“Train Of Thought” is a decent album by DT, an album that fans seem to be enjoy by fans, or fans of the single musicians. It can be a little too pretentious at times, but it’s in the end worth your time if you like prog metal.

Members reviews

Dream Theater is a band that has got incredible songs in most of their albums, and on the few that don't have such masterpieces of songs, at least they have some really good ones. However, just about all of the albums have several songs that drag down the albums a bit, and so I wouldn't give the five stars to any of them... except for this one. Every song on it is just brilliant, a perfect mix of metal and prog to the best results. LaBrie's voice isn't as annoying as it can be on other albums, and they don't have the silly ballads that drag down other albums, except for "Vacant", though it is short enough and it actually isn't so bad, and it's a very nice intro to "Stream of Consciousness", one of my favourite songs on their whole discography. Even now, after years of knowing it, I can't help but completley enjoy every second of this magnificent piece, which is emotional, heavy, and absolutley proggy (and instrumental, thus, no LaBrie at all!!!). Nor does this album have much of the overly heavy and noisy songs... the closest to that description would be "Honor thy Father", my least favourite song on the album, but even so it's got some nice catchy melody going on that allows me to enjoy it. Excellent album by this Prog Metal giants, but you must like their heavier side in order to get into it and enjoy it.
Dream Theater have always been known as a band that likes to try out something new. I liked the calm progressive rock of the early days as much as the previous conceptual progressive metal epics. "Train Of Thought" continues the line of this diversity of styles and is an album that surprises with a very dark atmosphere, a very modern and clinical sound, some really heavy riffs that create a pendulum between pure Thrash Metal and the so-called Nu Metal and from fast rapping parts to sweet and calm cello interludes that are dominated by some keyboards, we get a lot of new things with this record. Purist and traditional metalheads beware, the band uses evil "modern" influences and "untrue" styles and has decided not to do an "Awake II" or "Metropolis Part III". And while many closed minded people will largely discuss about what happened to the band and how they could have ever done such a record, I appreciate the band's courage and I am truly happy to see and hear that they are still trying out something new and trfying to truly progress and innovate their genre where other bands of their kind like "Symphony X" or "Spock's Beard" deliver very solid albums without a doubt but somehow the usual material for the usual masses. With "Train Of Thought" Dream Theater take the risk to lose some old fans but get also the possibility to attract some new fans, especially younger persons that listen to commercial Nu Metal or fans of harder metal genres that always thought that the band was too soft. But in a fascinating way, the album doesn't sound as if the band had tried at all costs to please to those people or to follow a trend, it all sounds very natural and certainly fresh.

And while there are some electronical sound samples, some rap passages, some more vocal passages by Mike Portnoy and some heavy and straight riffs, the traditional fans may be happy to hear that this album still delivers us some excellent guitar solos ("Honour Thy Father"), some very calm and epic moments where James LaBrie creates magic moments with his soft voice surrounded by the keyboards ("Vacant") and some exotic elements and addicting melodies where every contributing instrument is extremely well executed ("In The Name Of God"). There are a lot of new elements but the band doesn't quite forget its roots and combines both influences. The more you listen over and over again to the songs, the more gems and surprises you discover such as the mumbles on "Honour Thy Father" that are taken from two movies or the famous morse code and parts of the American civil war hymn on the diversified masterpiece "In The Name Of God". Every single song on this record keeps some very emotional and addicting instrumental passages and there is no single filler on the record. The only slightly negative point that I can find is that some songs could have been cutten down a few minutes for example the solos or the outro on "Endless Sacrifice" or the repeating parts in the stunning instrumental "Stream of consciounceness" that unites experimental passages with a catchy main riff.

With a liitle bit more consistence and concentration, this album could have been the best one in the band's discography because it is courageous, fresh and still addicting and combines a new sound to the typical trademarks in a very open-minded way. I would only put the very diversified killer album "Black Clouds And Silver Linings" above this one. But progressive rock or metal fans should be warned and give this album a try before they buy it because the usually quite soft and traditional band sounds very modern and heavy on this album and reminds us rather of Mudvayne or Korn than of Rush and Iron Maiden. This is an album for open-minded friends of dark and proggy heaviness.
I was still finding my feet with this band at the time I first heard it, and very much enjoyed it. Not as much as I&W or Awake but nonetheless lapped it up. Time has changed that somewhat, especially in light of the releases surrounding it.

There's a predominant influence from Metallica and (to a lesser extent) the nu-metal of the time. The band very much leans on this heavier sound for much of the album, and strip away a few of the musical layers to accomodate it with Jordan feeling pushed uncomfortably into the background. John goes really nuts on guitar though and for the first time it affected my enjoyment of it all. I'm not a big fan of "shred" as a genre but can appreciate fast and noodling solos when there's a proper band unit at work. But this time round it just gets ludicrous at points even by his standards.

Setting aside the great instrumental Stream of Consciousness, This Dying Soul and no holds barred opener As I Am, I find good moments all over the album but not enough to keep me interested in each lengthy track. Maybe they wrote this one a bit too quickly after Six Degrees?
"Train of Thought", aka the Dream Theater album people love to hate... Strangely enough, I actually find "Train of Thought" somewhat better than the other DT albums I have listened to so far, with the sole exception of "Images and Words". While "Awake" sounded to my ears like a wall of sound which swallowed every single track whole, ToT offers some semblance of variety and individuality. This does not mean that I find it a masterpiece, or even that I am going to start listening to it on a regular basis: unfortunately, for me DT are something to be taken in small quantities, and quite infrequently to boot. Most of their albums are way too long for starters, and their relentlessly gloomy quality makes for sometimes uncomfortable listening.

That said, ToT has a few redeeming features. Opener "As I Am", widely hated by fans for being too "commercial", is in my opinion one of the best DT tracks, with enough instrumental intricacy to make it interesting, and a great, catchy chorus. I particularly like the lyrics, which I feel apply to me quite well - "I won't change to fit your plan/ Take me as I am". LaBrie's James Hetfield impersonation is particularly effective both on this song and on the whole album - his adoption of a lower singing register being a vast improvement over his usual, whiny self. As a matter of fact, Metallica's influence seems to hover over the whole album,which sometimes sounds like DT's take on "And Justice for All" - only with much better production values.

Other standout tracks are the lengthy instrumental "Stream of Consciousness", whose main fault is going on a bit too long, in true DT style; and album closer "In the Name of God", which has actually got some of the melody other tracks sadly lack. On the other hand, the token acoustic song, "Vacant", seems tagged on as a sort of afterthought, not really meshing with the record's overall sound. Moreover, the three central tracks, "This Dying Soul", "Endless Sacrifice" and "Honor Thy Father", sound almost indistinguishable from each other, showcasing the band members' individual skills to great effect, but offering rather little in the way of melody or feeling.

From the disturbing, black-and-white cover art right to the doom-and-gloom-laden lyrics, ToT is a dark album - even darker than "Awake", which is no mean feat. Why so many prog-metal bands seem to wallow in this unrelentingly depressing state of mind is quite beyond me... Anyway, DT's dark mood feels somewhat soulless and contrived, quite unlike, for instance, Queensryche's in "Operation Mindcrime". Though not deserving of its negative reputation, "Train of Thought" is still very much of an acquired taste.
This albums is quite a mixed bag: the instrumental part is perfect, but this is LaBrie's worst album

Train of Thought is Dream Theater's darkest and heaviest album and was made having those things in mind. They wanted to make an album that was as heavy as they could possibly be, an album that could be able to excite, agitate people every time it was played, an album to explore the darker and heavier edge of their music, and that was exactly the final result. Train of Though is truly what it was intended to be, but that caused some problems.

The biggest problem, as in all Dream Theater albums from Images and Words on, are LaBrie's vocals. LaBrie, since ever, is Dream Theater's weakest member and in fact he contributes negatively to the band, dragging it down, since his vocals are not on a par with the rest of the band. Here things get worse because he tries to be a badass and evil like the rest of the band and fails miserably in doing it simply because his voice does not allows him to do so. Something similar happened when they made a Master of Puppets cover, but in MoP he was much worse.

The other problem was not so bad, but it is considerable. Here, because of the heaviness, Jordan Rudess's keyboards, sometimes, simply cannot be heard. I really tried, but sometimes it is really difficult to find Rudess in the songs. That is just not good, since Rudess is a very important member of Dream Theater's instrumental session. However, that is only a problem in the heaviest songs, such as Honor Thy Father, As I Am and This Dying Soul.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Leaving those problems behind, this albums is an amazing display of great musicianship. As always, specially since Jordan Rudess became a full member of Dream Theater, their music is an incredible extravaganza of musical skills with insanely difficult songs to play because the songs are fast and technically demanding. Here, mainly because the albums is so heavy, the lights are mostly (in my opinion) on Myung and Portnoy.

Most songs of this album are very good. The only one that, in my opinion, is subpar, when compared to the rest of the album, is the song Honor Thy Father. The highlights here goes to the last three songs of the album: Vacant (an interlude to Stream of Consciousness), Stream of Consciousness and In the Name of God. Those three are all the way top Dream Theater-like songs.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Although this album have some problems, specially concerning LaBrie's vocals, the instrumental session, with its many good attributes, was able to avoid and surpass the negative points here. So, because of the constancy of good songs all through the album and the awesome closing (Vacant, Stream of Consciousness and In the Name of God), I think this album deserves 4 stars.

Ratings only

  • Bogdanmime
  • Sema
  • karolcia
  • Modulator
  • S_199
  • LightningRider
  • era_serph
  • Peacock Feather
  • Rickyntik
  • MrMan2000
  • feagles76
  • Tupan
  • Isaac Peretz
  • GWLHM76
  • sploosh
  • willprogresivo
  • Caio2112
  • Alex
  • cefr45
  • tempest_77
  • Aseratrix
  • tapfret
  • MorniumGoatahl
  • CharlieAlfa
  • Fant0mas
  • Nick & Simon
  • PS-RagE
  • Fido73
  • The T 666
  • Jone Souza
  • aglasshouse
  • michelandrade
  • Seven Moons
  • Detal
  • Nightfly
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • RollTheDice
  • Necrotica
  • powermetal2000
  • Unitron
  • Losimba
  • StargazerSlave
  • DippoMagoo
  • Pekka
  • shadowoffadream
  • ElGordoPopochas
  • floflo79
  • theaterd
  • Stooge
  • KatiLily
  • Bosh66
  • Gabimm
  • Gallifrey
  • ProgHead
  • kx1992
  • cennsor
  • SevDawg
  • guitarherosucks
  • Pelata
  • thesnowdog
  • wnavarrobr
  • Immortalis
  • 2ms2ms
  • jsorigar
  • changowero96
  • rireinc
  • Jan
  • MetalMirror
  • yair010390
  • DreamInSong
  • kogaionon
  • gurbles
  • IMPF2112
  • jose carlos
  • Khabarov
  • IMPF
  • Doomster
  • diamondblack
  • zorn1
  • ThePh4te
  • Zargus
  • progpostman
  • silversaw
  • barchios
  • Diogenes
  • bassgeezer
  • bonzomx
  • Triceratopsoil
  • sepozzsla
  • cannon
  • vikt73
  • luanpedi
  • Earendil
  • 666sharon666
  • aecht
  • stefanbedna
  • Coracin
  • Xaxaar
  • Uknowntoall
  • taco85
  • albertobevi
  • kalacho
  • Colt
  • adg211288
  • spitf1r3
  • Metallica999
  • spizzetti
  • bratus
  • religionnaire
  • 2112nico
  • Fernandi
  • Tigergilles
  • earthworm
  • irregardlessly
  • snowman1980
  • Phoenix87
  • Kassimatis
  • abdulbashur
  • Lynx33
  • caligula
  • Anster
  • Sleeper
  • progshine
  • justametalfan
  • m@x
  • Bartje1979
  • xirb
  • cold103
  • Zarahuztra

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Insanium Progressive Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Silver Romance Power Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Stand United Power Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Warp Speed Warriors Power Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Scorned By Misery Deathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us