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Dream Theater - Images And Words CD (album) cover

IMAGES AND WORDS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2859 ratings

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prla
5 stars Although their real debut, "When Dream and Day Unite", is not a bad album, it was "Images & Words" that broke the door open for Dream Theater and arguably for the entire genre of progressive metal back in the early 90s when the Seattle grunge scene was at its peak. In large part that was thanks to "Pull Me Under", the first track, getting a lot of air play on MTV around 1992 - something which is unthinkable these days, some 14 years later. Not because DT has changed a lot, but rather because MTV is even worse and even further away from this kind of music. This is also the first album featuring James LaBrie on vocal duties, an aspect that remains to present day. Needless to say, LaBrie is a thousand light years ahead of their former singer, Charlie Dominici, on this particular department.

The only let down for me here is the second track, "Another Day", which I just find cheesy and depressing. Other than that, "Take the Time", "Under a Glass Moon" (with its awesome Petrucci guitar solo) and "Learning to Live" (one cries in despair wondering why bassist John Myung doesn't write lyrics for the band anymore) are the highlights for me. "Metropolis Pt.1" is probably still the song that better defines the DT sound. It's got it all and an entire album was later penned to extend it.

I had to think twice before giving the 5 star rating to this album, mainly because somehow I tend to not listen to it much, which might mean there's some detail lacking for me to really embrace it. Perhaps the most rational explanation is that renditions of every song are featured in later live albums to great effect so this tends to stay on the shelf in favor of those.

But then I realize that's not a real reason for this album not to be very highly regarded and adding to the fact that it's one of the most historically important albums of the 90s, at least for prog metal circles, that clinches it. What's incredible is that the whole band was already at the top of their game at such an early stage of their career, which is even more amazing considering the technical emphasis of their music.

A great prelude to great(er) things to come.

prla | 5/5 |

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