DREAM THEATER – Train of Thought

DREAM THEATER‘s masterpiece Metropolis II: Scenes From a Memory was their first with keyboardist Jordan Rudess. Reinvigorated, the band clearly crafted one of their best albums. Unfortunately, that musical apex saw the band fall back in the studio with little direction. Their next session yielded the jumbled and overindulgent Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Having cleared their system of some musical sewage, the prog-masters are back on track with Train of Thought, an album that is clear-cut DREAM THEATER. This album could have easily came after 1994’s Awake, yet it’s three albums, one EP, two live albums, and nearly a decade later! DREAM THEATER have clearly made a conscious effort to not only be focused but to also challenge themselves. Elements such as dissonant chords and distorted vocal effects that wouldn’t be out of place on a TOOL or KORN album find their way on to tracks such as “This Dying Soul” and “Endless Sacrifice.” Singer James LaBrie even exhibits rap/metal-type vocal patterns on the latter track. While subtle, it’s nice to see these prog stalwarts absorb modern influences into their sound. But as we all know, DREAM THEATER will always be DREAM THEATER now matter how much they grow. The songs on Train of Thought are chock-full of their familiar brand of technical wizardy and most clock in at 10-minutes or longer. The band’s focus is apparent as each song on Train of Thought reaches deep and stands up as its own individual epic (save the short ballad “Vacant“). Those familiar with DREAM THEATER‘s handiwork may find their latest album to be more of the same but no one can deny that they have once again delivered the goods. (Elektra)

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