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Dream Theater - Images and Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.31 | 3173 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Dream Theater - Images and Words 5.0 stars

Incredible, stunning, brilliance, nirvana.these words are not strong enough to describe the power of this album. These songs were written during one of Dream Theater's toughest times where they attempted to hold down full-time jobs and do what they love most, to make music. Their dilemma was that they were more or less forced to work in basements and yet they were able to craft this masterpiece. The songs really came from the heart on this album and they gave it everything they had.and succeeded. Charlie Dominici was removed from being the vocalist for Dream Theater and James LaBrie stepped in. James was able to do what Charlie couldn't.sing higher and use his range to the max. All the songs were written as instrumentals before James came aboard. This album has what a listener should always want.the rockers and the epics.

'Pull Me Under' is the first song on the album that was a huge hit although it was not regarded as the best by the prog community. It's has a wonderful intro with some nice metal riffs in the verse and some clean ones in the chorus. Unlike the first album.the drum work by Mike Portnoy has drastically changed for the better.

'Another Day' is a wonderful ballad. The track starts off with a clean acoustic guitar and piano duet, followed by a short but powerful guitar solo. The song is slow and also features a was very nice to hear Dream Theater do something experimental but they have unfortunately stopped this practice for the majority of their career following, The symphonic work on the synth is great throughout the song. You will also get a real good treat from Petrucci, the guitar solo is stellar.

'Take the Time' is another interesting track. It begins with a cool intro with an awesome solo by Moore. Right after that the song gets into a real 'funky' vibe. To me, this is Dream Theater's first true 'progressive' song. I can't really describe this track as it reached tons of boundaries and word would only do it injustice. You can hear the Yes, Metallica, their own signature sound and everything in between. This ends with another incredible guitar solo that fades right out (why???).

'Surrounded' is probably one of my favorite tracks by Dream Theater. Ironically this one is regarded as just filler by a lot of people. The track begins with a very symphonic intro by Moore and pleasant singing by Labrie.and explodes into a full Rush inspired rocker! The song just kicks ass and has one of the best Petrucci solos.

'Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper' is a fan favorite. I'll have to admit the song has worn off on me, but that could be because I spent a while learning it on my guitar.a long while. Anyway, the instrumentals are very powerful in this piece. The drumming is bombastic and you'll get two great guitar/keyboard solo's that are then followed by an intense build-up to the outro.

'Under a Glass Moon' is another great rocker track. It sounds like a mix of most of the previous tracks on this album, which isn't a bad thing at all. What stands out the most is the guitar solo. It is by far one of Petrucci's most 'virtuosic' solos. I still can't understand how he does it.

'Wait for Sleep/Learning to Live' are complimentary pieces. 'Wait for Sleep' has one of my favorite keyboard intro's of all time. very pleasing to the ears. It is the only voice and piano duet but still holds its ground as an outstanding track on the album. 'Learning to Live' is a nice 11+ minute epic. The pace is everywhere's slow and melodic at parts, then fast and mind-blowing so at others. You'll get some of the best guitar and keyboard solos ever.then it just cuts back to the 'Wait for Sleep' keyboard line and then brought right back into the song in the direction it was originally going. An extremely well thought- out song, if I may say so.

I'd have to tip my hat off to Dream Theater with this album, it was a beautiful experience and still well over a decade after its release it still sounds as fresh as ever. Dream Theater is at their best here and Images and Words is my most recommended album by them. Next to 'Close to the Edge', this is my favorite album of all time. They damn well deserve it too. 5 stars.

Sources - "Score" DVD and biography.

ProgBagel | 5/5 |


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