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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover

IMAGES AND WORDS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2067 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alitare
4 stars Fates Warning meets Rush, or didn't they already do that?

In the equation scheme, it probably goes 4/8ths FW, 3/8ths Rush, and 1/8th Pink Floyd.

That being said, this definitely shows much promise for Dream Theater as a highlight of progressive metal for years to come. The songs are complex, diverse, emotional, and highly impassioned, at times. Pull Me Under doesn't show the entire arsenal this band has at its disposal. Many songs vary wildly from each other, yet pull together, forming a strong and coherent atmosphere. Pull Me Under rocks, and it rocks in that lovely knotty and technical fashion.

Another Day drops things off into Pink Floyd territory, constituting dark and pretty guitar lines, along with a fine saxophone solo. This is quite restrained, and well done. It is still quite complex. Take The Time is another longer track, and is in the vein of Pull Me Under, albeit a bit less focused in approach.

This is one of those fine albums that has Petrucci not only restraining himself and allowing room for other not so generic solo wank storms. The playing is quite mature when it wants to be, and it shows off well. Surrounded is a weaker moment, but it is still bright and epic heavy rock with a progressive hint. It is still a dip in quality. I quite like the change of pace, though. Miracle and the Sleeper comes in, and is possibly the album's highlight. So good it has an entire album sequel, anyway. Adventurous to a fault, and multifaceted. The keyboard lines that arch over the entire album get a bit old, but they don't offend. Metropolis is very complex and technical.

Under A Glass Moon falls to a more epic and powerful setting. I don't feel it has as much to offer as previous songs, but it is still a fine listen. James and his high voice doesn't bother me, but it could put a lot of people off, here. He gets his highest in this song. I also must cite the keyboards as being quite weak, here. Wait For Sleep has piano arrangement, and is probably the prettiest overall moment of the album. Nothing here gets too dark or too light, and they excel in their chosen atmosphere, even if it could be a bit more vibrant.

Learning To Live caps the album well, the longest song here, but not the most progressive. It is somewhat stale, with its extended length, but it storms furiously. It feels like a sort of underture to the album as a whole, and showcases Dream Theater in all of their capabilities, while not actually fulfilling any of them. The lyrics go from great to not so good.

In all, the album has so much potential and skill showcased, it is easy to get lost in just that, but it does have flaws. Mainly the writing and disjointed atmosphere, followed by the uninspired and downright bad at times keyboard playing. Still, it is a rewarding listen.

Best Song - Metropolis pt. 1

Worst Song - Surrounded, but the album has very consistent quality.

**** Powerful stars

Alitare | 4/5 |

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