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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.28 | 2702 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mr. Mustard
5 stars Images and Words is Dream Theater at their finest. This is well before they lost a bit of their progressive touch and adopted a more metal style. What metal IS on this album, however, is played tastefully and in a progressive nature.

Every song on this album is fantastic; everyone was truly at their creative peak here. The bass is an integral part of the sound, and Myung is not drowned out as he is on future albums. The keyboards also play a very important role in the overall atmosphere of the record, but are also used in a lot of the melodies as well. All the instruments are of equal importance here, opposed to the guitar dominated later albums.

The album opens with the popular 'Pull Me Under.' The song shows an obvious Metallica influence, which I guess is not a bad thing. However, when listening to the rest of the album it is clear that this is the "least impressive" and most simple in structure. Nonetheless, it is simply a solid metal track.

'Another Day' shows the more melodic and slower/ballad side of Dream Theater right off the bat. Labrie's vocals truly make this song amazing, as well as the saxophone which was unfortunately never used again. Though taken out of the context of Dream Theater the song may just sound like another pop song, this is clearly not the case.

'Take the Time' starts with a really funky bass groove courtesy of Myung but evolves into a metal extravaganza near the middle. It ends with one of Petrucci's best solos, in my opinion.

'Surrounded' is more melodic and shows a bit of Dream Theater's pop influence. Kevin Moore lays down some nice synth passages; but when he is more in the background he does an even better job supporting the song. There is nothing overly technical about this song, but then again, there doesn't need to be.

'Metropolis' in my opinion is the signature Dream Theater song. It shows what they were really about specially early in their career. It begins with some metal riffs in 4/4 time supported by Labrie's vocals. At about halfway through the song begins one of DT's best instrumental sections. The time signature changes several times throughout, and features a Myung bass solo and a keyboard and guitar unison before ending similarly to how it began.

'Under a Glass' opens with a memorable riff played in unison by guitar and keyboard before drums and bass join in. The song continues with a mixture of metal guitar riffs and atmospheric parts supported by Moore's keyboard before one of Petrucci's most technical and well known solos.

Besides Space-dye Vest on Awake, 'Wait For Sleep' is Kevin Moore's ultimate composition. It is a nice piano melody that alternates between 5/8, 4/8 and 6/8 time and is supported by Labrie's vocals.

'Learning to Live' is probably the best song on the album and is certainly one of my favorites. It starts of with a memorable keyboard melody in 15/8, before guitar enters. The whole structure of the song is quite odd yet they are able to string together different parts beautifully. Perhaps the best thing about this song is the mixture of metal riffs and atmospheric parts that seamlessly segue into each other.

Overall, Images and Words is Dream Theaters best album and shows the ultimate contribution from all its members. This album would easily rank in my top 5 all time, it is THAT good.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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