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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2694 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars 2 1/2 stars.

I have been hard pressed to figure out the mass appeal of this band, who I have seen live with ELP and Deep Purple. I see nothing ground breaking, no amazing song writing, and run of the mill, hurried execution. I find it very hard to compare to... say... Queensryche, Shadow Gallery, Fates Warning (perfect prog metal), Symphony X, or even Iron Maiden, which it can not come close. It is purely in the amount of notes they play, save for the singer, who is mediocre with no standout qualities save for a few high F#s or the sort. It's like Dixie Dregs meets Kansas with a dynamic glam metal singer in my opinion.

With the later albums wrought with more of the same repetitive gunk, except for Train Of Thought which was beyond abysmal, this wasn't a bad spin. I actually liked it. Typical Prog Metal with the past masters thrown in: Dregs, Kansas, Rush... and we all know Derick Shulman signed them to Atco. (insert applicable GG lyric here).

Stand out tracks are the typical metallic "Pull Me Under", the Kansas inspired "Take The Time" complete with Morse soloing mode engaged, the proto-prog "Surrounded", and the typical solo laden Prog romp "Metropolis" (again a Kansas influenced ditty a la Magnum Opus and Closet Chronicles) ... and I can say I heard "Another Day" as muzak in a King Kullen. No lie. Many songs are featuring multi solos and some time changes with a little Music Lab experimentation. Dream Theatre is good at Music Lab work.

The guitars and keys were quite a high point for the album. Well varied solos from Petrucci, who can show he sounds like every Steve (Howe, Vai, Hacket, Morse... and a few others), as well as other rock fusion greats, but with no identity of his own. Moore uses peculiar sounds from stock "Yamaha" or "Roland" patches to be heard, none that I heard enough of, maybe I'm too used to Hammond and Moogs, but he plays with proficiency. It also seems that Moore was also the main song writer and it shows on future albums since he wasn't involved. The bass was buried with nothing defining save for the famous Metropolis solo and some unnecessary bleats in a song here and there. I have his bass instructional vid. He's quite good alone. I felt the drums were too much. Over playing as much as he could with no true feel or grove and an over abundance of those damn splash cymbals.

In short, the musicianship is purely based on pyrotechnics and acrobatics. It's hardly necessarily if you can write a good song.

I have always had a problem with Dream Theatre. There's also the same elitist circle: Rush/Opeth/Tool/Dream Theatre. I'll never understand it. Music is to be enjoyed, not labeled as a class system. Dream Theatre is a band who is not like Yes. They seam stronger alone than the sum. I have heard Platypus, Attention Deficit, and other outings which were much better... and DT proves that this moniker is it's bread winner.

Monsterbass74 | 2/5 |


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