Dream Theater This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Many would think of heavy metal groups as no-talent braggarts who sing raucous melodies about death, sex, and devil-worship. Now, alternative music is mainstream, which has pushed not only the "no-talent braggarts," but the truly talented heavy metal bands underground. Now only hard-core fans are listening to these talents. One such band is Dream Theater.

"Images and Words" is a collection of diverse songs with sounds ranging from soothing piano passages reminiscent of Beethoven, to mind-stirring lyrics that should grab Rush fans, to a Metallica-like crunch. The album starts off with a bang with "Pull Me Under," which starts off fairly mellow, then explodes into a full-fledged heavy metal song. "Pull Me Under" is complete with massive jackhammer riffs, including lyrics like "Every day sends future to past/Every breath leaves me one less to my last." The song, however, is not about death, as many may argue; it is about the inevitable passage of time. Songs that follow are entitled "Another Day" and "Take the Time," featuring vocalist James LaBrie's impressive vocal range and keyboard/ guitar/bass harmony solos by Kevin Moore, John Petrucci, and John Myung, respectively.

"Another Day" also displays Dream Theater's diversity by featuring an alto sax. Following "Take The Time" is a beautiful song about a young man's dreams of his lover, called "Surrounded." "Surrounded" starts off very softly with Moore on piano and LaBrie softly singing lyrics "She will slowly yield the light/As I awaken from the longest night." The song gets heavier, but no less beautiful ("Heaven must be more than this/When angels waken with a kiss/Sacred hearts won't take the pain/But mine will never be the same ... She whispers words to clear my mind/I once could see but now, at last, I'm blind").

Epic songs follow like "Learning to Live" and "Metropolis-Part I: The Miracle and The Sleeper," as well as a rarity among heavy metal albums: a lullaby. When I first heard the song, I began to get drowsy. The song is aptly titled "Wait For Sleep."

"Images and Words" is for anyone who likes heavy metal with a classical edge, classical music with a metallic edge, or for anyone who enjoys listening to a group of talented musicians of any genre. Dream Theater has excellent potential for becoming a musical legend, and deserves all the airplay that they get. My only hope is that Top 40 radio stations don't get a hold of "Images and Words" for they have the ability to kill bands while boosting their popularity. I'm looking forward to seeing Dream Theater in concert, and their next album. .

Review by K. L., Old Orchard Beach, ME

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 12:23 am
i love this so much!
theheavymetalist This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm
Great review, could you review something else like systematic chaos or black clouds and silver linings
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