Dream Theater - Images And Words
Where do one start to review this spellbinding disc? It doesn't really matter would be a short answer, everything is totally brilliant and Images And Words to a large extent altered the way Metal and music in general was expected to sound like at its release in 1992.
Song writing, lyrics, performance and production all make up a spectacular experience, and when once captured by this album it will never leave you alone. I will make some short comments to the songs and leave most of the musical facts for the listener to explore in private bliss.

We all know the haunting refrain of Pull Me Under, nicely working as a rather simple counterweight to an otherwise technical web of pure excitement.

Another Day sees James perform some of his finest and most memorable vocal lines; this one is stripped from a lot of the progressiveness we find through the record, an ultra melodic cut with a reassuring and positive atmosphere.

Pick an instrument to focus on and try carefully to listen to Take The Time; the amount of details on every front is simply amazing. The musical delivery is almost unreal and they have with good reason been voted as the best musicians around the block, but what's more important is that they have the ability to write spellbinding music as this song so clearly shows. It's hard to underline favourite parts in this one, everything is completely awesome.

Surrounded takes the place as one of my all time favourite Dream Theater songs. The captivating keyboard arrangements are simply stunning and the acoustic guitar work gives it a unique bright nature. Petrucci's soaring solo and the innovative bass approach make things even better.

Metropolis - Part 1 is a strong candidate in the category "best song ever", every minute is just beyond both images and words. Dream Theater has always had the ability to bind their songs together in the most fascinating way and it just doesn't get any better than this. The jamming mid-section has always impressed me, intriguing key solo's, powerful guitars and technical drumming to knock you off your feet.
The albums ultra clear and at the same time very powerful production really shows its quality and importance in such a voluminous song like this.

Under A Glass Moon is the heaviest track of the record, crunching rhythm guitar riffs and intense double bass drumming setting a fast and forceful rhythm path. This is yet another great song that nevertheless could have benefited by a more catchy chorus line.

Wait For Sleep is placed in just the right spot on the record, an ultra symphonic softie with a divine atmosphere, dreaming and yet so vivid in character.

The musical and lyrical content of Learning To Live is one that has forever left a deep mark on my soul, this track is everything that's great about music, it's as simple as that. Every time I hear it I drift off into a different world and I'm not back in reality before the last second has passed by, it has an indefinable therapeutic effect on me.

Can music be intelligent? This release is one of the best proofs I can find. Something this well structured and yet so oblique, so technical and yet so catchy, so heavy and yet so tranquil, this disc will never stop to impress.

Lyrically the album can be seen as very intense and metaphorical journey, dealing with a lot of strong emotions and themes as fright, love, confusion, personal strength and searching for the right path, to some degree it all gets brilliantly summed up in the last song with the very striking title of Learning To Live. This stuff not only moves you, it inspires.

A Metal milestone.

Written by Tommy
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Show all reviews by Tommy

Ratings

Tommy: 9.5/10

Members: 9.7/10 - Average of 5 ratings.



Member ratings

Profile pictureSteen (Staff)

Rating: 9.5/10
A fantastic album where music and lyrics unite into something special. "Let the li... · Read more ·
Profile pictureLittle Drummer Boy

Rating: 10/10
This is the Release that made the world's jaw drop and rekindled a new era of Progressive ... · Read more ·
Profile pictureSandra

Rating: 10/10
No review was posted
Profile pictureProfessorShred

Rating: 9.5/10
This was definately DT's Finest Hour,I remember geeting an early promo in 1991 and being t... · Read more ·
Profile pictureDark Lord

Rating: 9.5/10
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RevelationZ Comments


Comment by sadwings (Anonymous) - Thursday, August 5, 2004
no soul


Comment by Mike (Anonymous) - Saturday, August 7, 2004
You praise this album but yet give it a 9.5......This album is a definite 10 , It's everything a band with talent should be , They play with emotion not relying on how fast they can play or how high James can sing.....They know exactley how to craft a perfect song on every song on this album!.....This album is nothing less than a 10!!!


Comment by E. G. (Anonymous) - Saturday, August 7, 2004
Their best album ever.


Comment by Metal Gaz (Anonymous) - Saturday, August 7, 2004
Over the years there have been many milestones in rock, this is definitely one of them. Having read the majority of youre reviews & listened to the albums, I have come to respect your markings. There are very few albums that would score a 10, this is definitely one of them. It's full of power, emotion, harmony & technical brilliance. So many bands have been influenced by Images & Words (and aren't afraid to say so) but in my opinion, nothing has surpassed it yet. Even Dream Theater themselves are yet to release a rival recording to this stunning piece of brilliance.


Comment by JC (Anonymous) - Saturday, August 7, 2004
Spot on Metal Gaz! This is a truely inspirational masterpiece. Come on guys, exactly what is a 10 if this isn't.


Comment by Alanna (Staff) - Monday, August 9, 2004
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Comments: 245
I had forgotten how much I loved this album! I remember cranking it one day and someone made a remark "it sounds like Kenny G went metal"... little did they know how great this disc was. I still can't believe it was released in 1992 either. They were so far ahead of their time.

Posted by Alanna (Staff)
Monday, August 9, 2004

Comment by Pat (Anonymous) - Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Gotta go with the others, it's a 10 alright. Not exactly my favorite DT album, but considering they pulled this off in '92, it definitely has to be appreciated. Ahead of it's time is right.


Comment by duh (Anonymous) - Thursday, August 26, 2004
too much musical masturbation...


Comment by guyzif (Anonymous) - Tuesday, November 9, 2004
no masturbation on this my friend, just pure class!


Comment by Henk (Anonymous) - Saturday, February 19, 2005
Hi Tommy, I am utterly shocked by your review of Learning to Live...

You find that it "has forever left a deep mark on my soul, this track is everything that's great about music, it's as simple as that. Every time I hear it I drift off into a different world and I'm not back in reality before the last second has passed by, it has an indefinable therapeutic effect on me."


You continue: "to some degree it all get brilliantly summed up in the last song with the very striking title of Learning To Live. This stuff not only moves you, it inspires."

This is EXACTLY the way I feel about that song...

It moves me and touches my soul in it's deepest way. It gives me goosepimps and tears at the same time... This song is just... learning (you) to live! (those who understand will recognize this review :) )

I wish I could explain more deeply what I mean, but then again I think you'd just have to experience it...

Bert - The Netherlands



Comment by Tommy (Member) - Saturday, February 19, 2005
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
@Henk

Sometimes it's hard to put your feelings down in words, especially when it's about something as profound as Leaning To Live.
This song will never stop to impress me and I'm glad you could identify with the review, talking about music and lyric supplementing each other.

Metal On

Tommy
RevelationZ Magazine

Posted by Tommy
Saturday, February 19, 2005

Comment by Kasper (Anonymous) - Saturday, April 9, 2005
Good album, though I don't like another day very much.....9/10


Comment by Little Drummer Boy (Member) - Friday, June 10, 2005
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Comments: 166
Ratings: 46
This release is something more than just BRILLIANT. This release is easily the landmark that allowed for new record companies to emerge and brought forth the emergence of other "quality" bands and those of the past to rise from the ashes. Today they are the most sought after group of musicians and the most influencial. DT have become gods. (what can I say...I worshipped them since the first time I heard Pull Me Under). For me I&W is amoung the greatest releases in music history. 10/10


Posted by Little Drummer Boy
Friday, June 10, 2005

Comment by Dani from Barcelona (spain) (Anonymous) - Thursday, December 8, 2005
Thanks to Kevin Moore this is the best album of the world, then Awake.
Kevin come back to DT please!!!


Comment by Josue Ruiz (Anonymous) - Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Solo un comentario. Dani, Kevin es un exelente tecladista, pero Jordan es un genio. El mejor tecladista que ha tenido Dream.


Comment by JB (Anonymous) - Sunday, June 4, 2006
After all these years, Images and Words is still the best these guys have ever made. They're great musicians, but the soul this album had is missing in their latest releases.


Comment by Mordeth (Anonymous) - Friday, September 15, 2006
Dream Teather is some of the best music ever!:-D


Comment by Lulung (Anonymous) - Friday, January 12, 2007
i admiring jhon myung very much, but sometime i have confused with their song
and im wondeering that images and words was the best song


Comment by dicky (Anonymous) - Tuesday, January 16, 2007
so cool!!




Comment by tojuk (Anonymous) - Tuesday, January 16, 2007
mike portnoy.is the best!!


Comment by rahdit_Indonesian's boy (Anonymous) - Tuesday, May 29, 2007
DT is the Great Fucking musician's. U all the best, and succes 4 all of U Guy's. thank's


Comment by MetalChickie (Anonymous) - Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I lOV3!!! Dream Theater!! I saw them a bit ago and they were soooo COOL! This was the first album I had by them and it was so cool! It was like, Kenny G and METAL and flute and Pull Me Under and the neatest, most freshening cd of the time. Rock was so BOIRIN and IMAGES made it great again!!


Comment by ThraX (Member) - Tuesday, November 20, 2007
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Comments: 135
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This album is amazing, and despite sadwings saying this album has no soul (What in the world is sadwings thinking???????????????), This album honestly has everything, top of the line musicianship, amazing vocals that are filled with emotion and control......It's strange to say but you give the album a 9.5/10 and that's an unbelievable rating, but for this album that's a disappointing rating this album is a perfect 10/10, I get chills everytime I listen to this album......Dream Theater deserves all their success!!....Mike, Henk, Little Drummer Boy have very good comments!

Posted by ThraX
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Review by Steen (Staff) - Friday, January 23, 2009
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Comments: 518
A fantastic album where music and lyrics unite into something special.

"Let the light surround you..." you followed by the soaring guitar section at 3:39 in Surrounded and the bridge section beginning with "If there's an pensive fear, a wasted year" at 2:45 in Take the time are just a few of many incredible passages on this classic. And yes, Learning to live is a remarkable song.

Rating: 9.5/10

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Friday, January 23, 2009

Comment by Sandra (Member) - Sunday, January 25, 2009
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Comments: 36
Ratings: 25
One of my all time favorite albums! It really is a masterpiece from the greatest band in the world: Dream Theater!
Every single second is pure pleasure. Dream Theater is not a band you listen to ... it is very special and it takes time to get into, however, it is all worth it in the end!
The lyrics are in their own very very well written and their technical flair is just overwhelming.. unbelievable!
I don´t think I can describe Metropolis - part 1, however Tommy does it quite well - everyone simply have to hear this, it's a must.
Take the Time is very uplifting and yes, full of details!
Learning to Live really makes me wonder about life and reflecting on my own. The lyrics are amazing! "The way your heart sounds makes all the difference, it´s what decides if you´ll endure the pain that we all feel, the way your heart beats makes all the difference in learning to live"
Wait for Sleep is another very touching song. In its shortness it really brilliances
By the way: eexcellent review!
A true masterpiece!


Posted by Sandra
Sunday, January 25, 2009

Comment by Tommy (Member) - Sunday, January 25, 2009
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
Hey Sandra

Thanks, the line you picked is one of my favourites too. Incredibly the lyrics reach the same level as the unbelievable musical depth and creativity.


Posted by Tommy
Sunday, January 25, 2009

Comment by notrap (Member) - Friday, January 30, 2009
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Comments: 55
Ratings: 66
When I first heard this band I was amazed by the technical skills of all band members (specially with Portnoy and Petrucci), however I always found something's missing on the songwriting: Soul..Feeling..Personality...
You can find it on Queensryche's "Eyes of a Stranger" or even on Malmsteen's "Black Star" not in this band.

Don't get me wrong, I like this band and specially this album but they miss a real songwriter to reach the top.

In my opinion, technical skills are always important but they must be mixed with something else..

Technical rate: 10/10
Personal rate: 8/10

Posted by notrap
Friday, January 30, 2009

Review by Little Drummer Boy (Member) - Monday, April 13, 2009
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Comments: 166
Ratings: 46
This is the Release that made the world's jaw drop and rekindled a new era of Progressive rock/metal. This is the most intelligently crafted recordings of all time. The word prog was pretty much a dirty word for nearly a decade until DT released this mind blowing release that set the stage for countless talent to emerge for the past 17 years. And after all this time it is still regarded as the greatest and most influential Progressive Rock/Metal ever to released.

By all accounts this release should be rated as a 9.5 (nothing is perfect...though I am having a hard time find a real blemish with Imaged and Words), however the extra marks go to the undeniable impact it made to the music industry.

Rating: 10/10

Posted by Little Drummer Boy
Monday, April 13, 2009

Review by ProfessorShred (Member) - Friday, June 26, 2009
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Comments: 16
Ratings: 45
This was definately DT's Finest Hour,I remember geeting an early promo in 1991 and being totally blown away by their power,melody,and sheer brilliance.
Awake is a close 2nd,nothing they do now will probably ever touch the magic they had.

Rating: 9.5/10

Posted by ProfessorShred
Friday, June 26, 2009










Review by Tommy

Released by
ATCO Records - 1992

Tracklisting
1. Pull Me Under
2. Another Day
3. Take The Time
4. Surrounded
5. Metropolis - Part 1
6. Under A Glass Moon
7. Wait For Sleep
8. Learning To Live


Style
Progressive Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Dream Theater - Official Website

Other articles
Awake - (Tommy)

Band information - (Tommy)

Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes From A Memory - (Tommy)

A Change of Seasons - (Yoni)

Train of Thought - (Hashman)

Train Of Thought - (Tommy)

An Evening With Dream Theater, K B Hallen, Copenhagen - January 20th, 2004 - (Tommy)

Interview with James LaBrie - (Tajs & Tommy)

Awake - (Hashman)

Systematic Chaos - (Tommy)

Black Clouds And Silver Linings - (Tommy)

Dream Theater with Opeth, KB Hallen, Copenhagen - September 27th, 2009 - (Tommy)

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - (Sandra)



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Ratings
1 - Horrifying
2 - Terrible
3 - Bad
4 - Below average
5 - Average
6 - Good
7 - Very good
8 - Outstanding
9 - Genius
10 - Masterpiece
666 - Unrated

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