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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover

IMAGES AND WORDS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2104 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars I will have to add my voice to the other 1 and 2 stars here. It will be challenging though. I mean, how to review this album without using the word cheesy and horror ten times? Hang on, let me get my synonym dictionary!

Around the time of this release I had a short flirt with Dream Theatre, which was entirely based on the opening track Pull Me Under. Most of the other songs didn't appeal much to me and guess what? They still don't.

Another Day is a cheesy ballad complete with syrupy saxophone and sticky vocals. Horrible. Take That Time isn't much better but at least it tries to be complicated, something Dream Theatre often confuses with progressive. The music isn't very remarkable though, something between Rush around the time of Hold Your Fire and the kind of cross-over that was popular back in 1992. The vocals are terrible: annoying timbre and tacky melodies. Surrounded is another attempt to beat Elton John at cheesiness.

Metropolis. The intro is nicked from Saga, the melodies aren't very convincing and the composition is worthless. Well at least they try to make the music interesting, something that works reasonably well till they head off for that instrumental section around minute 6. Warning! Pointless solos and instrument abuse alert.

Under A Glass Moon is a decent track with some good rhythm guitar. Again the vocals could have been better and the solos are pointless and self-important. Well, we've had so much dreary stuff already that anything is an improvement. The same can be said about Learning To Live.

As a prog lover I've always found this album to be one of the worst things that ever happened to the genre. By the focus on virtuosic self-indulgence, Dream Theatre extracted everything that was dreadful about 70's prog and discarded everything that had made it so wonderful. If you look for originality, creativity, innovation, adventure, emotion and substance, you shouldn't pick up this album.

It is very unfortunate that exactly this very album served as an example for a whole generation of neo-prog-metal bands that clutter the genre. Mind you, I don't care that they exist, if you like them then that's all the better for you, I just wished this wouldn't be called progressive rock, not for any formal or technical reason, but simply because they lack all the qualities of it. Pull Me Under saves the album from one star.

Bonnek | 2/5 |

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