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Dream Theater - Images and Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2963 ratings

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The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer
2 stars There's still this discomfort on the back of my neck itching and burning, constantly repeating this words from the depths of my head: "I shouldn't have come across this album right after lending mind and ears to "Awake" or even "Falling into Infinity". but inexplicably somehow, there's something more powerful than the remorse lingering inside me that tells me that was the way things were meant to happen for me, just in that precise order". In the same tune, to keep on rediscovering my way throughout DREAM THEATER, I will give you a piece of my mind.

Still, I haven't figured out what's all the fuss about this album. This time I wasn't that impressed and shocked by a hallucinating "PORTNOY trademark" drum striking, instead I remained anguished and desperate during the whole disc to feel the irremediable impact upon me with the typical drum solo. but nothing happened whatsoever. The fine keyboards I was used to listen to in subsequent DREAM THATER productions happened to miss the entire album production and in replacement, Kevin MOORE performed mellow, senseless, almost elevator-ambience-music-like keyboards. If you may call it that. There are some scraps of the PETRUCCI's well educated guitar in passages like "Metropolis - Part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper", and to be fair enough with the strings execution, even in "Learning to Live" there's something that could be rescued and catalogued as "good".

One thing I could never let go, no matter what kind of extreme, exceptional and incomparable instrumentation a DREAM THEATER album has got, is the voice behind the microphone: James LaBRIE. Not only disappointing but intolerable as well. That is the right type of voice that perfectly unfits progressive metal. And I wouldn't like to rely on comparisons to prove my point here, but since I'm up to it, I would like to bring to the table unarguable precise works like the ones performed by Daniel GILDENL÷W of PAIN OF SALVATION or Tom ENGLUND of EVERGREY. They are members and vocalists respectively from bands that certainly appeal to the DREAM THEATER style because they were influenced by the Bostonian band commanded by Mike PORTNOY. Those two magnificent Swedish singers of the prog metal world sound off nothing like LaBRIE. Not a bit. Influenced by the Canadian vocalist? I don't think so. Need to say nothing more regarding this issue.

Now, another thing that surely is irrelevant at this point but that I'd like to tell you about anyway, is the artwork for this CD. The band was certainly influenced by the early MARILLION front covers or even the GENESIS ones of the 70's, containing particular elements that could be easily appreciated. But this time, they crossed the line with the "Images and Words" art design. Simply horrendous. Even so, Larry FREEMANTLE and Dan MURO made good money out of it, right?

Inexplicably intrepid somehow, "Images and Words" is an overrated album that far from deserving the complete recognition of the fans, it certainly deserves a spot within the world of the "uncanny and sloppy". I am hard but I am fair. Like I always say at the end of any review regarding a bad album, listen to it at your own risk.

The Prognaut | 2/5 |


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