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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover

IMAGES AND WORDS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2068 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Stooge
5 stars It took the band a few years, and multiple vocalists, to find their voice in more ways than one. All eventually settled in 1992 with the union of Dream Theater with James LaBrie with the release of Images and Words, the album that many progressive metal fans still use to this day as the point of reference to which all albums are compared.

"Pull Me Under", in an edited form, was my introduction to the band. When I first heard the song in it's entirety, with the once edited-out "Watch the sparrow falling .." section and the outro included, I was hooked to the band. The song went from a rather straightforward metal song to something with some unexpected twists and turns. At the same time, in compared to several other Dream Theater songs, this song is more traditionally structured and contains more tasteful instrumentation.

Only two tracks in, and "Another Day" may leave some scratching their heads. If you can make it past the lack of heaviness on the track and the cheesy sounding sax lines (courtesy of Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra), "Another Day" is actually a beautiful song.

"Take the Time" is one of the more energetic song off the album. The middle section of the song contains some great fretwork by John Petrucci.

"Surrounded" starts and ends with a great duet between keyboardist Kevin Moore and singer James LaBrie. The heart of the track is a rather melodic song

"Metropolis Part 1" is the track on the album that best shows where the band would head in the future. It starts with a light but powerful instrumental intro, and gradually builds into a heavy song that refuses to stand still. It doesn't follow the standard verse-chorus pattern that many of the songs follow, and the band takes more liberties in letting loose on their given instruments. The instrumental mid-section of the song is among their most frantic and memorable. Seven years later, the band would go on to make "Part 2" of this song (which lasts an entire album!).

"Under A Glass Moon" contains some powerful vocals from LaBrie and is one of the heavier songs on the album. Occasional detours are made to allow for some nice soft and melodic sections (the dual "by my hand" melody on vocals and guitar among them).

"Wait For Sleep" is a brief ballad featuring only keyboard and vocals. Like "Space Dyed Vest" on the Awake album, Kevin Moore is the sole songwriter. This means the band rarely play it live in the future. Unfortunate, as it makes for a nice contrast to a good chunk of their material.

"Learning To Live" closes the album in style. The groove during the verse, courtesy of the rhythm section of bassist John Myung and Mike Portnoy, commands the listener's attention. The song builds into an epic that closes fittingly with a catchy fading outro.

The album suffers slightly from a dated sounding production, but several cuts from the album hold up currently when performed live. That being the case, it is the radio-friendly "Another Day" and to a lesser extent "Take The Time" that have, in my opinion, aged the worst.

However, weaknesses aside, I still brand Images And Words as an essential prog-metal listen!

(originally posted on metalmusicarchives.com)

Stooge | 5/5 |

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