Dream Theater: Train of Thought [2003]

Released November 11, 2003
Recorded March 10–September, 2003
Cove City Sound Studios, Pie Studios, and Beat Street Studios (all New York City)
Genre Progressive metalHeavy metal
Length 69:24
Label Elektra
Producer Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci

Train of Thought is the seventh full-length studio album by progressive metal band Dream Theater.

Inspired by the audience response to Dream Theater’s heavier songs while on tour,[4] The album was written in three weeks.[5] It was engineered by Doug Oberkircher and mixed by Kevin Shirley.[6] It does not contain the Parental Advisory label even though it contains a potential amount of obscenities.

Songs

  • 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 withQueensryche, described by Mike Portnoy as an “irksome series of shows.” According to Portnoy, Queensryche 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” onOctavarium, “Repentance” on Systematic Chaos, and ending with “The Shattered Fortress” onBlack Clouds & Silver Linings. These songs share some of the lyrics and melodies. For example, this song features a riff from “The Glass Prison” 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 chat: “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 filmMagnolia, 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.
  • 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.[8]
  • “Stream of Consciousness” is the longest Dream Theater instrumental to date (not counting live mash-ups such as “Instrumedley“).
  • In the Train of Thought instrumental bootleg release, you can hear at the end of “Stream of Consciousness” that there is a baseball game on the TV in the background behind Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci delibrating whether that take was better than the previous one.
  • 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.[9]
  • 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 Octavariums first song, “The Root of All Evil” and the last note of the last song, “Octavarium” (heard at 23:29).

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. “As I Am” John Petrucci Petrucci, John MyungJordan RudessMike Portnoy 7:47
2. “This Dying Soul”

  • “IV. Reflections of Reality (Revisited)
  • “V. Release
Portnoy Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy 11:28
3. “Endless Sacrifice” Petrucci Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy 11:23
4. “Honor Thy Father” Portnoy Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy 10:14
5. “Vacant” James LaBrie Myung, Rudess 2:57[11]
6. Stream of Consciousness (instrumental) Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy 11:16
7. “In the Name of God” Petrucci Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, Portnoy 14:14

Lyrics

1. As I Am

[Lyrics by John Petrucci]

Don’t
Tell me what’s in
Tell me how to write
Don’t tell me how to win
This fight
Isn’t your life
It isn’t your right
To take the only thing that’s
Mine

Proven over time
It’s over your head
Don’t try to read between the
Lines
Are clearly defined
Never lose sight of
Something you believe in

Takin’ in the view from the outside
Feeling like the underdog
Watching through the window I’m on the outside
Living like the underdog

I’ve been trying to justify you
In the end I will just defy you

To those who understand, I extend my hand
To the doubtful I demand, take me as I am
Not under your command, I know where I stand
I won’t change to fit your plan, Take me as I am

As I am

Still
Running uphill
Swimming against the current
I wish I weren’t so
Fucked
Feels like I’m stuck
Lost in a sea of mediocrity

”Slow down,
You’re thinking too much
Where is your soul?”
You cannot touch
The way I
Play
Or tell me what to say
You’re in the way
Of all that I believe in

Takin’ in the view from the outside
Feeling like the underdog
Watching through the window I’m on the outside
Living like the underdog
I’ve been wasting my breath on you
Open minds will descend upon you

To those who understand, I extend my hand
To the doubtful I demand, take me as I am
Not under your command, I know where I stand
I won’t change to fit your plan, take me as I am

2. This Dying Soul

[Lyrics by Mike Portnoy]

[IV. Reflections of Reality (Revisited)]

Hello, Mirror – so glad to see you my friend, it’s been a while
Searching, Fearless – where do I begin to heal this wound of self-denial

Face yourself man!
Brace yourself and trace your hell back

You’ve been blinded, living lie a one way cold existence all the while
Now it’s time to stare the problem right between the eyes you long lost child

I wanna feel your body breaking
Wanna feel your body breaking and shaking and left in the cold
I want to heal your conscience making a change to fix this dying soul

Born into this world a broken home
Surrounded by love yet all alone
Forced into a life that’s split in two
A mother and a father both pulling you

Then you had to deal with loss and death
Everybody thinking they know best
Coping with this shit at such an age
Can only fill a kid with pain and rage

Family disease pumped through your blood
Never had the chance you thought you could
Running all the while with no escape
Turning all that pain in to blame and hate

Living on your own by twenty one
Not a single care and having fun
Consuming all the life in front of you
Burning out the fuse and smoking the residue

Possessive obsessions selfish childish games
Vengeful resentments
Passing all the blame
Living out a life of decadence
Acing without thought of consequence
Spreading all your lies from coast to coast
While spitting on the ones that matter most

Running power mad with no control
Fighting for the credit they once stole
No one can ever tell you what to do
Ruling other’s lives while the can’t stand the thought of you

A living reflection seen from miles away
A hopeless affliction having run astray

I wanna feel your body breaking
Wanna feel your body breaking and shaking and left in the cold
I want to heal your conscience making a change to fix this dying soul

Now that you can see all you have done
It’s time to take that step into the kingdom
All your sins will only make you strong
And help you break right through the prison wall

[V. Release]

Come to me my friend (Listen to me)
I’ll help this torture end (Help to set me free)
Let your ego go (I can’t carry this load)
You can’t go through this alone (I feel so hopeless and exposed)
You’ll find your peace of mind (Give me some direction)
You can no longer hide (Break out of this isolation)
Let humility (Openness, honesty)
And become what you can be (A healing tranquility)

Help me
Save me
Heal me
I can’t break out of this prison all alone

These tormenting ghosts of yesterday
Will vanish when exposed
You can’t hold onto your secrets
They’ll only send you back alone

Your fearless admissions
Will help expel your destructive obsessions
With my help I know you can
Be at one with God and man

Hear me
Believe me
Take me
I’m ready to break right through this prison wall

Dedicated to Bill W. and all of his friends

3. Endless Sacrifice

[Lyrics by John Petrucci]

Cold
Lying in my bed
Staring into darkness

Lost
I hear footsteps overhead
And my thoughts return
Again

Like a child who’s run away
And won’t be coming back
Time keeps passing by
As night turns into day

I’m so far away
And so alone
I need to see your face
To keep me sane
To make we whole

Try to stay alive
Until I hear your voice
I’m gonna lose my mind
Someone tell me why
I chose this life
This superficial lie
Constant compromise
Endless sacrifice

Pain
It saddens me to know
The helplessness you feel
Your light
Shines on my soul
While a thousand candles
Burn

Outside this barren room
The rain is pouring down
The emptiness inside
Is growing deeper still

You’re so far away
And so alone
You long for love’s embrace
To keep you sane
To make you whole

Try to stay alive
Until I hear your voice
I’m gonna lose my mind

Someone tell me why
I chose this life
This superficial lie
Constant compromise
Endless sacrifice

Moments wasted
Isolated
Time escaping
Endless sacrifice

Moments wasted
Isolated
Time escaping
Endless sacrifice

Over the distance
We try to make sense
Of surviving together
While living apart

Striving for balance
We rise to the challenge
Of staying connected
In spite of circumstance

All you’ve forsaken
And all that you’ve done
So that I could live out
This undying dream

Won’t be forgotten
Or taken for granted
I’ll always remember
Your endless sacrifice

Moments wasted
Isolated
Time escaping
Endless sacrifice

Moments wasted
Isolated
Time escaping
Endless sacrifice

4. Honor Thy Father

[Lyrics by Mike Portnoy]

We’re taught unconditional love
That blood is thicker than water
That a parent’s world would revolve
Always around their son or their daughter

You pretend I was your own
And even believed that you loved me
But were always threatened by some
Invisible blood line that only you could see

You took advantage of an outreached hand
And twisted it to meet your every need
‘Gimme time to re-charge my batteries,
I’ll see her when she’s older and I’ll bounce her on my knee’

Well listen to me you ungrateful fool
Here comes a dose of reality
You’ll go to your grave a sad and lonely man
The door is now closed on your pathetic little plan

On and on and on and on it goes
It’s so easy to run away with nothing in tow

How can you ever sleep a wink at night
Pretending that everything is alright
And have the nerve to blame this mess on me

Never in my life have I seen someone
So Ignorant to the damage he has done
You’re the rotted root in the family tree

I tried your 4 bill therapy
I tried to make amends
But nothing could lure you out of your selfish shell again
Expecting everyone to bow and kiss your feet
Don’t you see respect is not a one way street
Blaming everyone for all that you’ve don e wrong
I’ll get my peace of mind when you hear this song

On and on and on and on it goes
And with every passing day true colors show

How can you ever sleep a wink at night
Pretending that everything is alright
And have the balls to blame this mess on me

Never in my life have I seen someone
Oblivious to the damage he has done
You’re the rotted root in the family tree

Watch where you walk
Don’t you dare cross the crooked step
Watch the way you talk
Don’t cross the crooked step

[spoken:]
“This is a regret that you make”
“we’re still connected”
“This is a regret that you make-”
“I want my family back”
“-and there’s something you take”
“You can’t have it. I’m sorry for you, but it’s too late…”
“Mistakes like this…You don’t make”
“Can’t you see anything except in terms of how it affects you?”
“You make some…And they’ll get to you”
“You don’t love anybody”
“I gave you money, I gave you a car, I took you in-”
It’s not OK, son”
“-but don’t that mean something?”
“Do I admire people too much?”
“No…You should do better”
“That disappoints you…”
“God damn regrets!”
“You deserve to die alone for what you have done!”
GOD DAMN REGRETS!”
“Don’t deny it”
“You cocksucker, I know you’re here.”
“Don’t deny it”
“I want you to know I hate your fucking guts.”
“The biggest regret in my life”
“I wish you’d fucking die.”
“I’ve let my love go”
“I’m your blood…I’m your family”
“Is that you?”
You’re not my family, not anymore”
“The fucking regrets!”
“When your own flesh and blood renounces you…”
“What did I do?”
“…you have no choice but to renounce them.”
“WHAT DID I DO?”

On and on and on and on it goes
Chauvinistic, heartless, selfish, cold

How can you ever sleep a wink at night
Pretending that everything is alright
And have the balls to blame this shit on me

Never in my life have I seen someone
So fucking blind to the damage he has done
You’re the rotted root in the family tree

5. Vacant

[Lyrics by James LaBrie]

Hey you, Hey you
I’m right here
Conscience fading
Can’t get through

Oh Lord
Helpless
Confused
Head swayed
Eyes glazed
And mine teared

She’s losing control
What can I do
Her vacant eyes
Black holes
Am I losing you

6. Stream Of Consciousness

[Instrumental]

7. In The Name Of God

[Lyrics by John Petrucci]

How can this be?
Why is he the chosen one?

Saint gone astray
With a scepter and a gun

Learn to believe
In the mighty and the strong

Come bleed the beast
Follow me it won’t be long

Listen when the prophet
Speaks to you
Killing in the name of God

Passion
Twisting faith into violence
In the name of God

Straight is the path
Leading to your salvation
Slaying the weak
Ethnic elimination

Any day we’ll all be
Swept away
You’ll be saved
As long as you obey

Lies
Tools of the devil inside
Written in Holy disguise
Meant to deceive and divide
Us all

Listen when the prophet
Speaks to you
Killing in the name of God

Passion
Twisting faith into violence
In the name of God

Blurring the lines
Between virtue and sin
They can’t tell
Where God ends
And mankind begins

They know no other
Life but this
From the cradle
They are claimed

Listen when the prophet
Speaks to you
Killing in the name of God

Passion
Twisting faith into violence
In the name of God

Hundreds of believers
Lured into a doomsday cult
All would perish
In the name of God

Self-proclaimed messiah
Led his servants
To their death
Eighty murdered
In the name of God

Forty sons and daughters
Un-consenting plural wives
Perversions
In the name of God

Underground religion
Turning toward
The mainstream light
Blind devotion
In the name of God

Justifying violence
Citing from the Holy Book
Teaching hatred
In the name of God

Listen when the prophet
Speaks to you
Killing in the name of God

Passion
Twisting faith into violence
In the name of God

Religious beliefs
Fanatic obsession
Does following faith
Lead us to violence?

Unyielding crusade
Divine revelation
Does following faith
Lead us to violence?

[Chant:]
Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord
he is trampling out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored
he hath loosed the fateful lightning
of his terrible swift sword
his truth is marching on.

glory, glory, hallelujah
glory, glory, hallelujah
glory, glory, hallelujah…

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