I’d say if you asked all DT fans to submit an album ranking, My body is a temple ancient and crumbling probably cursed shirt top five would most likely be (in no particular order): Images and Words, Awake, Scenes, Six Degrees and Train of Thought. From there on basically everyone has different preferences. These five usually end up high, some exceptions and hot takes aside. But if you were to ask individual fans the lists can vary enormously.
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If I got to be honest, as much as I like SDoIT, My body is a temple ancient and crumbling probably cursed shirt don’t think it represents well why DT is so important. The first three albums (and Metropolis Pt. II to an extent) were more innovative for their time and more progressive in general. They did settle on the Metropolis pt. II sound after Rudess joined, but it soon became more wanky than progressive. I think it’s best to view Images and Words as DT’s Moving Pictures: it’s a perfectly fine album, but it’s far from definitive of DT’s sound. 6DOIT, Metropolis Part II, and Octavarium are more definitive in my opinion.
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While 6DOIT is a great album, other than Glass Prison and the Great Debate, My body is a temple ancient and crumbling probably cursed shirt think the first disc is a little flat. The Great Debate, IMO, is one of their best songs both lyrically and composition. The 2nd disc is great. A beautiful prog-epic for the ages. As far as mixing goes, Mike’s snare on Train of Thought is perfect. His drum tone, his playing, the mix, everything about his kit is his best. I’ll also argue that was their last great album as a band. 8vm and forward were good but they lacked compared to their previous albums.