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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.28 | 2827 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The perfect prog metal album? Yes.

That statement might need rationalising so... here goes...

Dream Theater are easily one of the finest assembled groups of musicians in existence today. Mike Portnoy's up there with Peart as one of the world's greatest drummers, Petrucci is a guitar marvel and would make many of his peers blush. Myung is an underapreciated bass virtuoso, and it's a shame he's not put to more use in the band's music. While DT have gone through several changes in the keyboard department, at this point it was the great Kevin Moore, my personal favourite DT keyboardist. And of course, when LaBrie wants to, he can really sing, and this album showcases some of his best vocal performances (unlike the highly overrated SFAM).

The first song is the ultra-catchy 'Pull Me Under', which, at first glance could be considered a commercial song of sorts, but closer inspection will reveal it to be anything but straightforward. A great song with some of the best lyrics on the album. 'Another Day' may seem like a pretty weak ballad at first glance, but once the sax kicks in it reveals itself to be a beautiful piece of music. Not prog, but great nonetheless. Now it's time for 'Take the Time', in my opinion Dream Theater's best song (although ACOS and Home are pretty close). From the atmospheric introduction, to the ever-changing verses, the soaring chorus, and the mind blowing guitar solo. Every member of the band is on top form here, and is probably includes the best vocals DT have ever come up with, along with some of the best drumming, guitar etc.... I love this song. 'Surrounded' is the next song, an uplifting little number, with some very nice vocal and keyboard melodies. Not as good as other parts of the album, but still very fitting.

Now cue the mighty 'Metropolis part 1'. This is another highlight of the album, and another great showcase of all the band's abilities. This is the track where Myung gets his moment, with an absolutely amazing double handed tapping bass solo. Being a bassist, this is one of my favourite DT moments. Also the concept would lead to the band creating their most popular piece of work to date. Next up is 'Under a Glass Moon', my least favourite track here, but by no means bad. It really shows the band's heavy metal influences, especially Metallica (it's more obvious in their later work that this band is very influential to Dream Theater). It is the only song here that's based around a truly heavy riff, and also includes some of Petrucci's best soloing. I don't really think it fits in that well with the uplifting feel of the album, but it adds variety to the record.

Now it's time for the keyboard driven interlude 'Wait for Sleep', a track which is good in the context of the album, but is maybe the only song that doesn't stand up on its own. Very catchy melody though, and some great lyrics. And now we have yet another great song: 'Learning to Live'. The longest song on this album, and also the most prog I think. Very keyboard driven, you must really listen to this to understand how great it is. This one will apeal to non-metal fans as well, because it's not really a metal song.

Well overall I have to say that I am surprised that this hasn't got a higher rating on this sight, as it is far superior to Scenes from a Memory, but I am aware that there are many DT haters out there and I would urge them to really listen to this album before they rate it based on their prejudices against the band.

burtonrulez | 5/5 |


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