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Dream Theater - Images and Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2963 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Images and Words

Images and Words is Dream Theater second album which released in 1992. This album was the very first album that introduce progressive metal style to the whole world at that era, although I was only two years old when it was released : ) . So anyway, its also the first progressive metal album for me and this album has turn me into progressive style, especially progressive metal. So I would not consider that this is a great album if it didn't turn me into progressive style.

Images and Words is quite different with When Dream And Day Unite album, in terms of musical composition and musical style. I think this was probably because of the appearance of James LaBrie in Dream Theater. Moreover, every time I listen and look back into When Dream And Day Unite, the songs are more into real pure progressive, different with the songs in Images and Words which contain more progressive metal.

So let's take a look closely at each song.

Pull Me Under This song is probably the song which breaks the door open to the world of progressive metal. The coolest part of the song is the guitar - keyboard licks throughout the song, and combined with amazing Portnoy's drum section. Notice how the song ends, they just cut it out in sudden which I found very rare in every other songs, but that is progressive, breaking all the rules.

Another Day After a metal song, Images And Words presents a 80s ballad song, which has normal song configuration (verse pre-chorus verse pre-chorus chorus solo pre-chorus). The "words" or a lyric was made by John Petrucci, and it has his typical, beautiful words and deep meaning. Although this song is not as progressive metal as other song, I still admire it as one of the best songs. And one more time, although the whole song is somewhat cannot defined as 100% progressive metal, they still add some progressive elements, through John Petrucci's amazing and beautiful guitar solo.

Take The Time Another rock-metal song from Images And Words, but its heavier than Pull Me Under, just by looking at the drum and guitar section in the beginning of the song. Notice that the time signature changes throughout the song, simply great and is the characteristic of progressive music.

Surrounded I will keep saying this in every review I make, Dream Theater is considered as a progressive metal band, but within that concept, they can make any style of songs with addition of some progressive elements. This concept was poured in Surrounded, which is not very progressive but still has some progressive elements in it. It represented in the guitar and keyboard riff in the song, which is not conventional.

Metropolis Pt.1 (The Miracle And The Sleeper) This is probably the best song of all time by Dream Theater, simply amazing and very progressive metal. The beginning of the song is great with heavy guitar and drum section. I would probably divide the song into two in terms of composition. It is true that half of the song consists of lyrics and another half consists of instrumental part. Notice that in the next album, there is an album called Metropolis Pt.2 (Scenes From A Memory). And also notice some words or songs in Scenes From A Memory was said in this song: The Miracle, The Sleeper, The Dance Of Eternity and of course Scenes From A Memory.

Under A Glass Moon Different with above songs, this time, Images And Words presents two metal songs consecutively. The odd time signature is very obvious in this song, which maybe confusing for some people who don't use to listen to progressive metal. On one guitar related website, it is said that Under A Glass Moon's solo is on of the best and most recognizable solo off all time. And it is true, the guitar solo is just great.

Wait For Sleep It is very possible that we cannot hear this song anymore in every Dream Theater concert; it is because the lyric and song was made by Kevin Moore, ex-Dream Theater. The song is just beautiful, simple yet profound, its just keyboard and vocal.

Learning To Live We can know that this is a progressive song by just listen at the beginning of the song, a somewhat strange (positive strange!) keyboard section. The section is then continued with odd time signature of the other instruments. The lyric was made by John Myung and is one of somewhat not to many John Myung's lyric. For me, the best part is the guitar solo.

Well in the end, I give 4.8 (5) stars for this album. The positive side of this album is the breakthrough of progressive metal albums considering not many bands (progressive) offering progressive songs at that time. It is also because the songs are beautiful in terms of musical composition and the lyrics. The downside of this album is James LaBrie sound, which is not very consistent throughout the album, from the song Another Day and Learning To Live, its very different, in spite of the different in musical style of the song itself. Timur Imam Nugroho - Indonesia

imoeng | 5/5 |


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