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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover

IMAGES AND WORDS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.28 | 2827 ratings

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Pastmaster
5 stars Dream Theater-Images and Words

'Images and Words' is the second studio album by progressive metal band Dream Theater. Often called one of the greatest progressive metal albums of all time, if not the greatest, 'Images and Words' holds the spot as Dream Theater's highest rated album here on PA. This album is also claimed to have popularized the progressive metal sub-genre, even though bands like Queensryche, Voivod, and Watchtower came years before Dream Theater released their debut. While I do have to agree it did popularize progressive metal quite a bit, I don't think it's one of the greatest prog metal albums.

The album opens up with one of Dream Theater's most popular songs, 'Pull Me Under', which rightfully so is called a masterpiece. It begins with very memorable acoustic guitar chords before picking up with heavy guitar. Soon the crunching thrash riffs come in with complementary keyboard work. LaBrie's voice, as many have expressed before, is very much a love-hate vocal style. I personally love his voice, it's especially strong on this song, but some may find it annoying. You know you've made a perfect chorus when it constantly flows through your head, I find myself singing to the lyrics 'Pull Me Under, Pull Me Under, I'm Not Afraid!' quite often. Easily the best song on the album, and one Dream Theater's best songs in general.

The song that standouts the most along with 'Pull Me Under' is the nine-minute 'Metropolis Part 1', which is another one of my favorites. This song continues the melodic thrash found on the aforementioned song, except on a grander scale. Mike Portnoy's drums I find to be especially strong on this track, creating some pretty complex rhythms. It has an awesome bridge with complex keyboard and drum patterns. 'Learning to Live' is another favorite, the finale epic. LaBrie's vocals are very strong during the second part of the song, complementing the flowing guitar very well.

The only real problem I have with the album are the sappy ballads like 'Another Day' and 'Surrounded'. I'm not a fan of ballads, but I do like them if they're done right especially power ballads. I do love power ballads, but unfortunately these ballads act more as filler then songs to benefit the listening experience. The song 'Take the Time' also feels like filler, except I don't think it's bad. It's an okay song with a funky feel, but really does not fit well on the album.

Overall, 'Images and Words' is certainly a great album even though it has its flaws. While not my favorite Dream Theater album, it's still an excellent album to have in any metal collection. If you ever thought melodic thrash metal with some keyboards sounds good, I'd say go pick it up.

(Orginally written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com.)

Pastmaster | 5/5 |

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