Dream Theater - Train of Thought

Discussion in 'Music' started by John_Bonner, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Released today. Just picked it up at lunch and have listened to most of it. Very, very heavy and dark sound. The opening song "As I Am" sounds much better as a 7 minute plus song than the radio edit. Sounds great so far!

    WARNING: This album contains extreme amounts of wanking, shredding, musical masturbation and excess. Not for the faint of heart.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    "heavy and dark"

    I love that combination! Can't wait to pick this up after work.
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  4. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Possible good news for you DVD-A owners.

    From last night's chat with Mike Portnoy:

    [​IMG]ortnoy: Kevin Shirley mixed the entire ToT in 5.1 as well, so we're hoping to do a ToT DVD-A sometime early next year if the sales warrent it for Elektra
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Holy shit! Is this album balls-to-the-wall or what, eh?
    Lots of changing riffs, with Metallica-crunch and Fates Warning-angularity, all thrown into a bunch of 11 minute songs. Every track except the 2 minute ballad is an assault of heavy metal insanity.

    Train of Thought is to Dream Theater as St. Anger was supposed to be for Metallica.
     
  6. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    My thoughts exactly Mike, except that I love St. Anger.

    I have listened to the album all the way through twice, and my initial impressions are that this will be one of my favorite DT albums. I love the heaviness (does anyone else hear a Sabbath heaviness in some of those riffs?) I also heard a similarity in the structure of some of the lyrics on the second song to Metallica's Blackened! Very cool.

    It's always hard for me to judge how much I will eventually like a song or album, but damn this is impressive so far. I wouldn't be surprised if "In the Name of God" ends up being my favorite DT song. Perfect sound with great lyrics.

    Man, they can be heavy when they want to be!

    DVD Audio would be too much!
     
  7. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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  8. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I'm really liking "Endless Sacrifice", especially after it returns from the instrumental break. "Stream Of Consciousness" is also pretty cool. I'm still trying to gather an opinion on the rest....

    Jason
     
  9. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

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    I haven't heard the latest release and I strongly doubt I will pick it up due to my dislike of their two previous releases.

    Here is an opinion of the new disc that I read that for me pretty much sums up why I didn't like the last two:

    I purchased this album the day of release and am once again highly disappointed. Please note however, the two star rating is in relation to my expectations of Dream Theater and not in relation to the rest of popular music in general. In that case, sadly, it would have rated much higher.
    While there is no doubt that these guys have some serious chops, their highly regarded musicianship is what I call into question. With each album release since "Awake" their song writing skills seem to diminish even further. It's like listening to one incredibly technical solo after another. At times they even seem to be fighting each other for our attention with their own virtuosity.
    Another ever increasingly weak point is the lyrics. This bands two best lyricists were Kevin Moore and John Myung. Kevin is no longer with the band and John might get one song every other album. Quite a shame to ignore such a talent.
    If you are a fan of all of their work then this album probably will not disappoint. Go out and buy it. Despite it's clumsy lyrics (which actually seem to strive at pretense, yet fall short anyhow), it's tedious and overly monotonous song structure and lack of anything original musically, there is some tremendous playing going on.
     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Lyrics have never been anything I particularly care about with metal bands, DT included. Except for Scenes From a Memory, where it's a story, I hear it as just a vehicle for one of their instruments, the vocals.

    However, when they talk about something direct or political, like The Great Debate and In the Name of God, it is a bit clumsy.

    I've heard bands that sound like they're just soloing and competing with each other, but DT ain't it, which is why I like them.

    Endless Sacrifice is my favorite so far, but that's after only one listen...
     
  11. Steve Crowley

    Steve Crowley Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out the enhanced bits on the cd. It really gives some good insights why the album sounds like it does. I have been a fan for a long time and this one is in the top 3.
     
  12. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    I just picked this up today. Dream Theater along with Queensrych are my "desert island bands". I love these guys. Images and Words, Awake, and Change of Seasons are three of my all time favorite albums. But after listening to ToT once through it still hasn't clicked for me. John's technically on, obviously, but it sounds to me more like scale practice than composed solos. Rudess and Myung seem to be quite back in the mix. And there seems to be an overall lack of what I call textures to the songs and their composition. Portnoy still makes me want to cry - if died and came back as a drummer I would want to be him or Neil Peart. I prefer Six Degrees to this so far. But it's still DT which is always a very good thing. [​IMG]

    I'm going to listen to it again tonight before going to bed. I'm going to have to check out that CD Enhanced stuff as well.
     
  13. Tony_Woods

    Tony_Woods Stunt Coordinator

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    I posted about this CD yesterday and as I said earlier - it rocks. To the guy that posted someones two star rating, I guess I totally disagree. There is less mindless soloing on this disc (there is plenty of soloing, I just feel that it fits the song structure better) There are grooves and riffs all over the place. Lyrically I think that there are some very good moments and comes off as strong overall. 6DOIT was one of my least favorite DT releases, but I absolutely loved SFAM. ToT may end up topping SFAM as my favorite DT release though. If I had to pick a favorite off ToT right now I'd probably pick Endless Sacrifice. What an amazing song. I like them all though, not a weak track IMO. This will definatly be in the running for my top 5 of 2003. These songs are going to kill live (except for Vacant).
     
  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I usually ignored that kind of stuff, but I'll check out the CD-Rom stuff tonight.

    Listened to it again last night. If I had one minor complaint, it's that sometimes Jordan Rudess, my favorite keyboard player, gets a bit lost in the mix during some of the real heavy bits. But he makes up for it in moments when his chords and textures gel with the rest of the band. One of my favorite signature DT sounds is the sweeping organ-type keys with crunchy guitars (Caught in a Web was the song that hooked me).
     
  15. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    I guess I'm willing to overlook (or not even notice) some of the criticism I'm seeing here when I listen to the album because to me this is the Dream Theater album I've always wanted. To me, the heavy hook riffs that I'm hearing in every song have a lot more power to them then anything the band did in the past. I can't keep myself from smiling during these moments and am so glad that they went with a very metal album.[​IMG]

    I've listened to it 4 times through, and like usual it keeps getting better each time.
     
  16. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

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    I downloaded "Endless Sacrifice" last night and I'm sorry, but what happened to this once great band? Where is the musicianship, and more importantly soul, that they displayed on their masterpiece Awake. It is not in this song, and I doubt this album. Just because it is faster doesn't make it better.

    I really wish they would use an outside producer again. Someone needs to reign them in. They should save this kind of soloing for the stage. I do not like Jordan's playing. He may be a more technically proficient player then Kevin Moore, but he lacks heart. Each release with him has gotten progressively worse.

    I'm sure all you fans will strongly disagree with my opinions, and thats fine. But do me one favor, go home and put on Awake tonight. Listen to "The Mirror" at maximum volume, and then skip to "Space-Dye Vest". Just listen closely to the production, playing, passion of these two songs. This is what I feel they have lost sight of.
     
  17. Steve Crowley

    Steve Crowley Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing about Jordan's keyboards is that it sounds like an electric guitar in some parts. I know JP and him play along together but this sounds pretty strange as I have not heard a keyboard sound like this before. Truly one of their best to date. They will be awsome again in concert. They always give their best live. SFAM was so incredible that I saw 2 shows of this. One in Denver and one in Houston. Steve Morse and the Dixie Dregs opened up in Houston. Another band that does not get enough recognition. G3 came through and John Petrucci replaced Eric Johnson for this show. Talk about hand cramping. Cheers.
     
  18. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Peter,

    The whole tone and musical direction of this record was decided before the band entered the studio. They wanted to record a true metal album. I think they succeeded in that endeavor. Portnoy said that this album will stand on it's own and is not a reflection of any future musical direction. Who knows maybe the next record will be a total prog-fest without crunching, 120 bpm, full speed ahead riffs.

    After a couple of listens, it's starting to really grow on me. There are parts that I really could do without but remembering that they wanted to make a "metal" album, it's a great effort. Over indulgent? Yes definately but that's a part of what makes DT so great. [​IMG]

    Here's something I hadn't noticed right away:
    "Finally Free" on SFAM ends with what sounds like a crackling speaker. "The Glass Prison" on 6DOIT starts with that same exact sound. Then "Losing Time - Grand Finale" on 6DOIT ends with a solitary keyboard note or chord. That same chord is the opening of "As I Am" on Train of Thought. Pretty cool.
     
  19. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

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    John,

    I love a heavy sound, that is not the problem. They always had a pretentious style before but at this point they just seem to be trying to top themselves to the point that it seems like parody.

    Musical masturbation is the understatement of the year.

    I would love to have a producer like Bob Ezrin get in the studio with these guys. That, I think would be an incredible combination. Oh, and hire Kevin back. [​IMG]
     
  20. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I for one hope this is a one-off "metal" project that doesn't indicate the band's future direction. In my opinion, it's DT's weakest effort. It may excite fans of Pantera, Metallica, and Slayer (no offense to fans of those bands and I count myself as a casual fan), but DT is not that type of band, in my opinion.

    I'll listen a few more times to see what grows on me, but I don't see this CD getting a lot of play on my system.

    I'll still buy anything DT puts out sight unseen (or unheard), but I'm hoping they go back to making more listenable music.
     

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