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Dream Theater - Images and Words CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2965 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This is Dream Theater's second album, and their commercial breakthrough. It became a definitive prog-metal statement very quickly, and became the template for hundreds of prog-metal bands to follow.

Personally, I find it difficult to listen to at times. Not because of the complexity or the heaviness, but because of its musical similarity to hair metal of the 80s. And to be clear, I detest most of that stuff. Most of this is because of singer James LaBrie. He's technically very skilled, I just don't like sound of his voice. The sustained high notes with wide vibrato, the breathy earnestness, the unconvincing gruffness. I'm usually able to just tune it out, but sometimes I just can't. On top of that, add the cheesy ballad, complete with 80s-style sax solo. (Remember, this is 1992, when Seattle was replacing LA as the capital of the hard rock world.)

Hence, I sometimes have a difficult time separating this from the detestably macho skirt-chasing hair metal of the 80s. And that's too bad, because there's a lot to like about this record musically. All five guys are excellent musicians, and there is a lot of technical brilliance. As a heavy metal band, they deploy competent headbanging riffage and stank-face soloing. And as a prog band, they regularly allow themselves to stretch beyond the compositional simplicity of typical pop-metal song structures and utilize quirky riffs and odd time signatures.

But .. those vocals.

Jack_608 | 4/5 |


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