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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover

IMAGES AND WORDS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2108 ratings

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W.Chuck
2 stars Images & Words, Dream Theater's 2nd official release, is just as overrated as the musicians. Of course I'm not talking of Kevin Moore, he's a great pianist and composer and what a shame that he left after Awake. I also like Derek Sherinian, but he didn't fit and Jordan Rudess . just like the others too technical and without seeing the essence, as Moore did, so Kevin Moore definitely was the best keyboarder DT ever had. The other musicians are just, as I said, overrated, especially John Petrucci. He, like all the others, is awesome technically, but through his clean and his dreary sound his playing comes across very dry and boring. Furthermore he doesn't seem to be able to play a good fast solo. Either it's totally unmelodic or there's missing a real thread. E.g. "Under a Glass Moon": The solo doesn't have this thread to unite all the segments played, which are alone simply insipidly and "nothing", I really can't understand why so many people like it and why it is in the "TOP 100 Guitar Solos - Chart". Nevertheless, when he slows down it's rather fine, although it doesn't sound great.

Same with Portnoy. Mike Portnoy is a very gifted drummer, but kind of overlooks the fact that not the mass of notes/ drum utensils counts but rather the lick itself. And I think partly, e.g. in "Under a Glass Moon" his drums are simply too bombastic and are too much in the Power Metal vein. John Myung is also a technical virtuoso and has some good licks here, but nothing really amazing and his bass interludes in "Learning to live" and "Metropolis I." just suck, in my opinion. James LaBrie is one of the most terrible singers I can think of, although it's on this album a bit better than later on the future releases. His vocals are much too high pitched and his pseudo- emotional is rather annoying.

The music itself includes some good stuff as well as some boring pieces. And most of the tracks are not even prog. "Another Day", "Surrounded", "Wait for Sleep" are nice tracks with some wonderful melodies but no way progressive and also "Under a Glass Moon" contains some pop-elements. The best track on the album are, in my opinion, "Pull me under", one of DT's best. It is really a nice track and I thought the intro was quite original until I heard almost the same thing from Metallica. The rest isn't that original as well, but nice melodically and atmospherically with a really nice riff in between. Some people might think "Metropolis I" is the absolute highlight on this disc but I don't think so. The intro promises something really good and is not bad, but the rest isn't as good as expected. The vocal parts are totally destroyed by LaBrie's voice and the instrumental passages are by no means awesome, but rather a virtuosic debauch to proof that they can play there instruments, stringing together any parts, instead of doing something really stunning. The same fits for "Take the time". The longest track "Learning to live" is a bit better, although I don't like Petrucci's riff-work and LaBrie's slimy vocals. The guitar solo is another one out of the "TOP 100 Guitar Solos - Chart", this time better but also not legitimate. It sounds ok but isn't anything special. There are so many solos that are more diverse and more profound.

Dream Theater are always described as such an original band, but I can't agree with that. Just take a bit Pop of the momentary time, mix it with Metallica and any Melodic Metal Group (your choice - maybe Iron Maiden) and flavour it with Yes and Dream Theater are done. And when you write an album than, don't forget to take any licks and mix it up to any instrumental passage. Images & Words is definitely not a masterpiece and Dream Theater are not the Prog- Metal gods and not as awesome as people say.

!Buying at your own risk!

W.Chuck | 2/5 |

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