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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 This is where Dream Theater really got it started. Keeping some of the 80s metal flare from before, but improving the songwriting, and the vocalist, we have the real beginning of an absolutely remarkable band. Images & Words is widely considered their finest work (or now second behind Scenes from a Memory), and was an inspiration to a lot of prog metal bands who popped up shortly after. This album, minus the debut, has the most 80s metal sound and feel to it. It hasn't quite worn off yet. Surprisingly enough, I can actually enjoy it. I really don't like 80s metal, but Dream Theater show here that it's not the style that's the problem (or the entire problem), it's who's playing it. I don't think I could stand much more than this album's worth anyhow.

"Pull Me Under" is the albums lead single, and a good one at that. Afterwards we have "Another Day," a cheesy power ballad, but while many write it off for that, I love it. It's actually a well written power ballad, and it's even got a Kenny G-esque saxophone in a few spots. I'm no Kenny G fan, but it's a nice touch to the song I suppose. "Take the Time" is my favorite song in the first half of the album. Lots of energy and what not. Dream Theater take metal music (then and now) and make it so much more than what is generally embraced by its fans. After "Surrounded," another nice 80s ballad (though this one more poppy), we have the second half. I can't praise the second half enough. "Metropolis pt. 1" starts the second half. Filled with themes and riffs that would be carried on into the brilliant concept album that came out eight years later. Incredible song. Then we have "Under a Glass Moon," another excellent song, featuring subtle intricacies in the songwriting that I adore, and one of my favorite Petrucci solos. "Wait for Sleep" is a nice piano and voice piece that serve as an intro to the closer "Learning to Live."

This album doesn't need too much explaining or details beyond what is already given. It's a brilliant album. As usual for the years to come, Dream Theater can play technically dazzling sutff without losing the material's emotional value. Far beyond your average metal; that's for sure. James LaBrie was a fine choice to replace the old vocalist Dominicci, and he definitely adds to the much improved musical quality of the bands music. From here on, Dream Theater would be wowing and inspiring millions, and rightfully so. They are so gifted, and they use their gifts wisely.

Moatilliatta | 5/5 |


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