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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2318 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I find this a difficult album to review. It is generally considered as one of the touchstones of progressive metal, and any review must acknowledge its position in the development of the sub-genre. But the primary outcome of this album was not an addition to the variety of progressive music, but to its popularisation.

So what makes this DREAM THEATER album so popular? It combines technical virtuosity with accessible songwriting. Straight metal numbers interleave with power ballads and more complex tracks for an enjoyable hour's listening. It has drawn an extraordinary number of people into the progressive rock fold. Thus the high rating, even though I personally find the music less than inspiring.

Five-star albums provoke powerful emotions: shock, drama, delight, beauty, respect. Many DREAM THEATER tracks deliver these emotions, but only one of them ('Metropolis Pt 1') is on this album. Every song is professionally played (these musicians are some of the best in the rock world) and produced, none disappoint, and none of the gaucheries perpetrated on other DREAM THEATER albums can be found here. But, in the end, I find this album slightly underwhelming, with no moments of compositional brilliance.

This is one of the albums to lend to a friend interested in exploring progressive rock. I've done so; but I have to admit I'm not in a great hurry to get it back.

russellk | 4/5 |


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