Like many of the reviewers so far, I have been a DT fan for many (10 + years). I guess we each look for something different from them. To me Train of Thought ( which I was honoured to be at THE first gig on the world tour to promote) was the last GREAT DT album. It followed a wave of peerless releases starting with Awake ( still my favourite for the diversity, confidence, melodies and musicianship).
I have only managed 3/4 listens so far so temper my views with that.
The songs aren't great on the whole - there is a feel of a formula about some of the longer ones - almost like the guys said " We are DT so we better add another 5 minutes of noodling and time changes" without thinking about where the song or melody is going. We know they can be self indulgent ( I wish I had 10% of JP's ability) but sometimes less is more.
The highlights for me,so far, are Forsaken ( a great DT song - great vocal performance as well) and Repentance.Weakest is Prophets of War - very poor lyrics - on the whole just below the , admittedly very high, standards DT have set for themselves over the years.
I am , and remain a massive DT fan. I can't wait to see them tour to support the album.I hope that Octavarium and now SC don't indicate that the bands creativity is on the wane. I must emphasise, putting this into perspective that it's good and I will listen my ears off over the next few weeks but TOT, 6DOIT, SFOAM grabbed you right away, no escaping the magnitude of them as classics - this doesn't seem to make it into the same bracket.
Don't shoot me - I'm just a fan with an opinion.