This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
Dream Theater: James LaBrie (vocals); John Petrucci (guitar); Jordan Rudess (keyboards); John Myung (bass); Mike Portnoy (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Cove City Sound, Pie Studios, Glen Cove, New York and Beat Street, New York, New York between April & September 2003.
Personnel: James LaBrie (vocals); John Petrucci (guitar); Eugene Friesen (cello); Jordan Rudess (keyboards); Mike Portnoy (drums).
Audio Mixer: Kevin Shirley.
Recording information: Beat Street Studios, New York, NY (04/2003-09/2003); Cove City Sound Studios, Glen Cove, NY (04/2003-09/2003).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Derek Kemp; Steve Martin.
TRAIN OF THOUGHT continues the legacy of the progressive metal legends, with all the requisite superhuman metallic musicianship that their fans have come to expect. This outing continues in the heavier mode that began with 2002's SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE, reaching even further into darker, personal lyrical themes.
Guitars are the dominant expressive voice here, with keyboards scaled considerably back from the signature Dream Theater sound. Band members Mike Portnoy (drums) and John Petrucci (guitar) continue their do-it-yourself production approach, opting for recording venues on their native Long Island (much of the band's album work has taken place in upstate New York at Bear Tracks and Little Bear Studios). "As I Am" and "This Dying Soul" at times borrow generously from Metallica, featuring that band's well-known use of tri-tones, and vocalist James LaBrie even tries his hat at some Hetfield-isms. Possibly due to Petrucci's tenure on the G3 Tour (with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai), TRAIN finds him returning to Dream Theater wielding an even more lethal guitar soloing style. Of all the new tracks, the instrumental "Stream of Consciousness" sounds in closest proximity to the band's earlier material, and, for longtime fans, this bodes well for their future efforts.
Q (3/04, p.102) - 3 stars out of 5 - "DREAM THEATER were playing pompous, highbrow conceptual metal before nu-metal had a name....[This album] has them gilding the lily like never before."
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