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Dream Theater - Images and Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2963 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I have a really tough time with this band. Most of their work, in my opinion, have such a cold, dry metronomic quality. It doesn't really move the listener, in my opinion, like other forms of prog. What they lack is the sublime, subtle nuances or "feminine" essence as some would say. With that being said, that is not what Dream Theater intends to accomplish, after all they are "progressive metal." Metal itself is a celebration of a total display of machismo with a lack of softness or showing any vulnerability. The progressive element of Dream Theater's music is the shifting of meters, the expert chops and the lyrical content for the most part. Based on this, DT does a fine job of synthesizing the two. In a way they can't win because they are not "prog" enough for most prog fans or metal enough for metal heads. But what they did gain is their own legion of devoted fans.

Images and Words is a great progressive metal album. There is not one bad song on the album save the ballad, it sounds a little too 80's metal for my taste mixed in with some soft jazz. Without going into a song by song review, i'll just say that each song shows that each band member is ridiculously skilled on their given instrument. Songs shift from heavy, softer (not subtle), funky, twisted, theatrical, incredibly accurate and tight. Think 80's hair metal meets YES and ELP. In fact this album sounds like the sum of their influences. I hear, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Rush, Yes, ELP, Styx and Triumph. One song (Take The Time) even has what sounds to me, a funk section that sounds like "Jungle Boogie" on hyper drive! One knock I have on this band is the drummer and the guitarist. They seem to feel like constantly reminding the listener how good they are at every turn. They could learn a thing or two about restraint from the other members of the band. Also each member doesn't really have much personality or style. For example, you know, Steve Howe, Jimmy Page, Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford, John Bonham, David Gilmore or Jon Anderson as soon as you hear them. Even DT's singer sounds like a typical 80's metal singer. Even with these faults, Images and Words is a lot of fun and a hell of a ride. These guys know how to play and don't hold back.

I would have to say that this is probably their most accessible album and probably the best one in which to start. DT got much heavier and clinical since this release.

ster | 4/5 |


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