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Dream Theater - Images and Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2963 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars So this is it: the album which gave a new standard to progressive metal! The first well- succeeded album presenting a resemblance from the classical motives to the powerful metal playing. To definite this album in a few words, I couldn't make better than Piero Scaruffi's in the History of Rock Music 1951-2000 itself, so I transcribe it "lengthy melodic fantasias that relied on symphonic magniloquence (Kevin Moore on keyboards), fluid instrumental passages (John Petrucci on guitar), haphazard rhythms (Mike Portnoy on drums) and romantic emphasis (James Labrie on vocals)".

The first track of the album, Pull me Under, is a DREAM THEATER's great hit, maybe the most acclaimed one, but not exactly the most exemplificative of the progressive vein of the album. It resembles a bit a METALLICA song (Black Album was edited one year before). It is very powerful, great catchy melody, great riffs, but it is not for it that this album is a reliquary of progressive music. Another Day, another DT's memorable song, introduced with a mellow piano and continued by emotional guitar and jazzy saxophone solos. Take the Time arrives with a mysterious organ sounding, presenting a long metal suite with subtle and heavier parts, good melodies, good guitar work (more again emotional solos, not just playing around scales). The catchy guitar riff in 4:49 is going to reappear slightly changed in the last track. Sorrounded shows more of their ability to intercalate delicate melody with enjoyable and not to aggressive metal parts. Metropolis I is another excellent metal suite which is going to be present all over the 7 years later masterpiece Metropolis pt.2 - Scenes from a Memory. Under a Glass Moon is instrumentally the great highlight of the album, Petrucci exploring his guitar solos to the limit. Impressive playing! The quality of Portnoy's drumming is also impressive (as in the whole album) with speedy turbos, fantastic transitions... superb interpretation! Wait for Sleep is a fantastic mellow prelude to Learning to Live, the last and the longest track of the album (the first organ riff resembling MARILLION's Emerald Eyes introduction), another fantastic well orchestrated suite, many enjoyable and diverse riffs giving great ambience! The emotional piano of the previous track reappears near the end, as the climax of the track, it's like you were being prepared to listen it again.

With this album, DT wrote a new page in the history of progressive rock/metal music. It's not just heaviness you know? All is well synchronized and orchestrated, it's a pleasure to listen to it, there are no dead parts. Mainly for the history and the originality, but also the technical quality, the emotional playing, the fine melodies and riffs, the good lyrics, this album is surely AN ESSENCIAL TO ALL PROG LOVERS.

My rate: 9/10

TRoTZ | 5/5 |


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