Review Summary: CONTROVERSY ALERT1
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Dream Theater - Images and Words
Dream Theater certainly has turned heads in the music scene over the past ten to fifteen years. They're probably the leading band in progressive metal. Their musical talent is known by musicians around the world. If anyone I've ever talked to mentions Dream Theater usually something along the lines of "their guitarist is awesome!" or "their drummer is great!". It goes on. The band does get a lot of praise for being virtuosos, but their songwriting skills just don't match up. This album is the one that fans regard to be their best, but I only found it to be a "good" album. It's got some very catchy parts, but then there are some other tracks that I just can't
listen to and just change to the next song.
Dream Theater was at this time:
James LaBrie - Vocals
John Petrucci - Guitar
Kevin Moore - Keyboards
John Myung - Bass
Mike Portnoy - Drums
What was good about the album:
-- These guys aren't called virtuosos for no reason. For just sheer musical skill there are only a few bands that can compete with Dream Theater.
-- Mike Portnoy's drumming is incredible in this album. He covers many different styles of drumming and does a fantastic job on all of them. He provides the band with lots of great fills and some very fast double bass patterns too. Drummers should regard Portnoy as one of the best drummers that metal has to offer.
-- Petrucci's guitar playing is just as impressive, if not more, than the drumming. There are plenty of difficult and technical riffs that Petrucci displays, and his solos are just unadulteraded shredding. Guitarists who love shredding will like John Petrucci.
-- John Myung, when you can actually hear him, does some very cool bass parts. The best part for him on this album would have to be the bass solo on "Metropolis Part One" Myung is also very talented at his instrument.
What was bad about the album:
-- James LaBrie. His voice doesn't belong in a metal band. While he is a very good singer, he just doesn't make the band sound nearly as good as they could. His lyrics are also fairly cheesy in some parts and I can't take him seriously.
-- There is a fine balance between being good at your instrument and being able to put effort into songwriting. These guys do not
know how to balance these two factors out. They spend way too much time trying to impress the listener with technical riffing, key changes, time signature changes, and you name it. While this is amazing that the band can actually do that, it makes the song difficult to listen to and often annoying at times.
-- John Myung is often overshadowed by Petrucci and Portnoy. He deserves a little bit more time in the spotlight than he actually gets.
-- Combining the elements of metal, hard rock, and jazz just doesn't work on this album. It's weird hearing a saxophone solo in a progressive metal album. I want to listen to progressive metal, not a Kenny G album.
Take The Time
Metropolis Part One
You might listen to this album if you're in the mood to hear some great musicianship displayed, but if you want to have an easy and enjoyable album, stay away. It's difficult to listen to all the way through and it becomes tedious and even boring in some parts. Drummers, bassists, and guitarists should give this a listen. But if you are just a casual listener I would provide caution before buying this.
Final Rating: 2/5
My opnion is just as valid as yours, people. Let's not turn this into a flamefest.