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DREAM THEATER - Images and Words - CD - Atlantic Records - 1992
There may be plenty of progressive metal albums that are superior in technicality and production, but none perhaps are more definitive than Dream Theaterís Images and Words.
Since its release in 1992, this album has continued to define an entire genre of music, with endless copycats (ironically purporting to be "progressive") that never quite measure up, no matter how much improvement they may make on the formula.
Does Images and Words have its flaws? Sure. Some may say itís got a whole lot of wussy material. Certainly thatís in the ear of the beholder. I find it to be utterly essential during its every moment. Others, like me, will point to the rather bad triggered snare sound or some vocal sections that skate dangelrously close to modern R&B style melodic moaning. Again, its something that can be overlooked because of the sum of the parts.
Totally genius melodic progressions in instrumentation and vocals. Brilliant syntax and delivery, one of the genreís defining bass guitar solos, and majestic, lengthy instrumental sections are the highlights of this essential album.
Ironically, Dream Theater in its own way falls into the same category as all the bands that have sought to copy them: although the band has released albums since Images and Words (their second release) that are both better in production and execution, this album will always remain their most defining moment.