Train of Thought (Dream Theater album)

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Train of Thought
Cover art by Jerry Uelsmann
Studio album by Dream Theater
Released November 11, 2003 (2003-11-11)
Recorded March 10 – September 2003 in Cove City Sound Studios, Pie Studios and Beat Street Studios in New York City
Genre Progressive metal
Length 69:21
Label Elektra
Producer Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci
Dream Theater chronology
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
(2002)
Train of Thought
(2003)
Live at Budokan
(2004)
Singles from Train of Thought
  1. "As I Am"
    Released: October 29, 2003
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
IGN (8/10)[2]
Metal Review (7.9/10)[3]

Train of Thought is the seventh studio album by progressive band Dream Theater, released on November 11, 2003 through Elektra Records.

Inspired by the audience response to Dream Theater's heavier songs while on tour,[4] in the "Chaos in Progress" documentary, Portnoy says that they wanted Train of Thought to be a "balls to the wall" album with heavier, darker riffing, exposing them to a number of new metal fans. The album was written in three weeks.[5] It was engineered by Doug Oberkircher and mixed by Kevin Shirley.[6] Most of the album was played in concert for the Live at Budokan DVD. All songs from it have been played live to date.

Writing[edit]

As mentioned in videos of the recording/writing sessions, which were filmed by Mike Portnoy, the band "cooped themselves in a rehearsal studio" in New York, and wrote the full album from March 10 through April 3, in a record time of three weeks, after which they began recording, starting with the drum tracks and ending with the vocals.

Songs[edit]

  • The first song "As I Am" starts with the ending synth/orchestral chord of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.
  • Some lyrics of "As I Am" were inspired by Dream Theater's 2003 summer tour with Queensrÿche, described by Mike Portnoy as an "irksome series of shows." According to Portnoy, Queensrÿche guitarist Mike Stone tried giving John Petrucci tips on playing guitar, leading Petrucci to write the lyrics: "Don't tell me what's in, tell me how to write".
  • "This Dying Soul" continues Mike Portnoy's Twelve-step Suite, started with "The Glass Prison" on Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and later continued with "The Root of All Evil" on Octavarium, "Repentance" on Systematic Chaos, and ending with "The Shattered Fortress" on Black Clouds & Silver Linings. These songs share some of the lyrics and melodies. For example, this song features a riff from "The Glass Prison", which is heard at the start of this song's step "Release".
  • "Honor Thy Father" was written about Mike Portnoy's stepfather. When asked about what inspired him to write that song, he stated in an IRC: "I'm not very good at writing love songs, so I decided to write a HATE song!!!"[7]
  • Some of the mumbles during "Honor Thy Father" are taken from Paul Thomas Anderson's film Magnolia, in the scene when Jason Robards' character is talking to Philip Seymour Hoffman's character about his regrets in life. There are also parts taken from the film At Close Range in which a scene of Sean Penn and Christopher Walken's characters can be heard arguing. Other voice samples heard during the bridge were taken from the movies Ordinary People, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Oz.[8]
  • The lyrics to "Vacant" were inspired by James LaBrie's daughter, who fell into a short coma after suffering a sudden, unexplained seizure three days before her seventh birthday.[9]
  • "Stream of Consciousness" is the longest Dream Theater instrumental to date (not counting live mash-ups such as "Instrumedley").
  • Between 5:51 and 6:07 of the song "In the Name of God", there was a hidden composition buried beneath the far louder sounds of the song itself which lay undiscovered for over a year and a half. The band did not tell anyone that a hidden "nugget" (as it became known amongst Dream Theater fans) was present in the song, and only when Mike Portnoy mentioned it in his Mike Portnoy: Live at Budokan Drum-Cam DVD over a year later did someone find it. The Mike Portnoy message board was rife with fans scouring the song looking for what it might be, until a fan going by the pseudonymous name "DarrylRevok" mentioned that from 5:51 to 6:07 there appeared to be morse code audible, which Nick Bogovich (user handle "Bogie") isolated and discovered that when translated to English, the phrase "eat my ass and balls" (a Mike Portnoy catchphrase) was the result.[10]
  • From 12:56 onwards of "In the Name of God", the American civil war hymn "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" can be heard in the right channel.
  • Jordan Rudess played the final note in the album (heard at 14:06 of "In the Name of God") with his nose as shown in the "Making Train of Thought" documentary. Mike Portnoy approved the take while he was filming. This is also the first note of Octavarium's first song, "The Root of All Evil" and the last note of the last song, "Octavarium" (heard at 23:29).

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by John Petrucci, John Myung, Jordan Rudess and Mike Portnoy except where noted.

No. Title Lyrics Length
1. "As I Am"   Petrucci 7:47
2. "This Dying Soul"
  • "IV. Reflections of Reality (Revisited)"
  • "V. Release"  
Portnoy 11:27
  • 6:31
  • 4:57
3. "Endless Sacrifice"   Petrucci 11:24
4. "Honor Thy Father"   Portnoy 10:14
5. "Vacant" (music: Myung, Rudess) James LaBrie 2:57
6. "Stream of Consciousness"   (instrumental) 11:16
7. "In the Name of God"   Petrucci 14:16
Total length:
69:21

Chart performance[edit]

  • Billboard 200: Train of Thought - #53
  • Billboard Top Internet Albums: Train of Thought - #53
  • UK Album Charts: Train of Thought - #146
  • Norwegian Album Charts: Train of Thought - #9

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jurek, Thom (2011). "Train of Thought - Dream Theater | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Patrizio, Andy (2011). "Train of Thought - Music Review at IGN". music.ign.com. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Dreilinger, Ian (2011). "Review of Dream Theater - Train of Thought | Metal Review". metalreview.com. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  4. ^ As discussed by John Petrucci in the 20th Anniversary Documentary "The Score So Far", found on the Score DVD
  5. ^ "The writing of Train of Thought". Video.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  6. ^ For immediate release: Dream Theater - Train Of Thought at the Wayback Machine (archived October 14, 2007)
  7. ^ Archived August 27, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Dream Theater - Honor Thy Father - Movie Samples on YouTube
  9. ^ "LaBrie's Songs' MeaningS ***James' Responds******". Jameslabrie.com. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  10. ^ Archived August 27, 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]