• Having issues viewing lessons?

    We're currently experiencing an issue with the video system we use and will get this fixed soon!

IMAGES AND WORDS by Dream Theatre

Syn Gates

🦾
Staff member
Legend+
Sep 18, 2019
312
1
1,729
Huntington Beach
35
:syngates:Yo Family! For June’s #AOTM we are going with one of my fav records of all time and certainly my fav prog record of all time in Images and Words by the great Dream Theatre.

This was another band introduced to me by Jimmy. He used to sneak a Walkman(look it up kids) to school and play me ridiculous shit in the bathroom. This one stood out as having the most incredible musicianship I had ever heard. I was 13 when he played this record for me and it changed the way I looked at guitar. I had no idea that what I was hearing could be accomplished on the instrument I had already spent years working on.

Dream Theatre is a progressive rock band that formed in 1985 in the halls of Berklee School of Music in Boston. There have been multiple lineups but the Images and Words cast comprise Mike Portnoy on drums, John Petrucci on guitar, James LaBrie on vocals, John Myung on bass, and Kevin Moore on keyboards.

John Petrucci has been one of my favorite guitarists rotating in my top 3 since the very day I heard this light show of a record way back in middle school. He certainly epitomizes my way of approaching the guitar more than any other player besides maybe my father - with an endless pursuit of technique and harmony only to facilitate a melody and composition first approach to solos and songwriting.

This motif and melody first approach has yielded some of my favorite solos of all time and couple that with the pyrotechnics weaving in and around these flawless melodies and motifs make for a perfect combination of music and cinema.

As a student of percussion as well, I was moved by how Mike Portnoy seamlessly and so fluidly supported all of these incredible riffs and time signatures in such a musical and cinematic way. And as smooth as this cat could play, he still managed to make the music heavy as fuck. Listen to Under a Glass Moon for one of the greatest grooves of all time. The entire record is a clinic on how a drummer can steal the show at no cost to his co stars and director.

If there was a dude that I would’ve done unspeakable things to sing like, it would be James LaBrie. The range, the soul, the technique, the texture, the everything. This dudes got it in spades. It’s such a slippery slope to not take these songs and turn them into overly dramatic novelty uber dramas. James does no such thing. Flawless victory.

John Myung is as gifted as the aforementioned. He doesn’t just support the band, he comes bearing gifts. I’ve transcribed thousands of difficult musical passages in my life and I still have no clue wtf he’s doing in Metropolis, part 1 at 5:40:explode-skull:

And last but certainly not least, Kevin Moore on keys. Total stud and one of my favorite songwriters of all time. He wrote a lot of my favorite songs on this record. They’re all great songwriters but Kevin speaks to me on this record.

Lastly, some or many of you know that Mike helped us out when Jimmy passed in late ‘09. We were putting the final touches on Nightmare when our world was shattered. For a couple of weeks we had decided to not move forward as it wouldn’t be right without Jimmy. Two main components quickly changed our minds. The first was The Sullivan’s. Jimmy’s parents and sisters were like our parents and sisters. We grew up with them. We love them dearly. They told us we had no choice in the matter because Jimmy would’ve demanded that we continue on. The second was Mike Portnoy. I’m sure somebody spoke of it before me but I know that the choice was clear to everyone when the decision was made to move forward. We needed one of Jimmy’s favorites to lift us up and realize the dream of putting out Jimmy’s final work.

Much like Petrucci is the influence that speaks the loudest on my sleeve, Mike is arguably that for Jimmy and certainly the best contender to have executed Jimmy’s unique and brilliant vision for the record. Mike walked in, hung is ego at the door and spent countless hours copying meticulous kick patterns and fills without complaint.

Of all musical elements, style is by far the most difficult to emulate. He hung in there and didn’t stop until we were all beyond satisfied with the performance. Of course we had him do his thing across many of Jimmy’s unfinished drum demos and then fully unleashed the beast on the closer, Save Me. Mike absolutely shines on that track, to say the least.

Well I hope that you enjoy this record even a fraction of the amount that I do, it would be enough to change your life.

A runner up and probably Shadows’ favorite Dream Theatre record is Metropolis Part 2. It’s definitely very cinematic and has a touch of Elfman throughout.:rainbow-mushroom:

Lemme know your thoughts in the comments, can’t wait to connect with you all on this beast

:rock-hand:

All my love,

SYN
:syngates:
Apple Music
Spotify
YouTube
 

redlipsofdeceit

Local Dive Bar Favorite
Contest Winner!
  • Oct 21, 2020
    510
    1,742
    Brazil
    www.instagram.com
    0
    Hello, Syn!
    I always saw you talk about John Petrucci and how he influenced your playing, and when I first heard one of Petrucci's songs, I was blown away.
    And about Mike Portnoy, what can I even say?! I am so grateful for him. That time was really hard for you guys and for us fans, and when you guys announced Mike would fill in for the drums, I was beyond excited! Great drummer, great human being!
    I can't wait to listen to this album and come back with my thoughts!
    See ya later! ❤
     

    Aquamandy

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Feb 22, 2021
    173
    536
    22
    Brazil
    0
    I think every drummer in the world have heard of Mike Portnoy and how much of a genius he's on drums, that's why I'm soooooo excited for this AOTM 🤩 I already know drums will catch my attention because MIKE. PORTNOY. The man has so much knowledge, technique, stage presence, and everything a drummer could ever wish 🤓
    They were already on my list of bands I wanted to hear (alongside Bad Religion because of Brooks), looks like I'm gonna rush them to the top now 😂

    Also, Save Me is one of my favorite tracks of Nightmare, and one of the first I heard when exploring A7X Discography, I fell in love instantly and one of the reasons was the drums, of course.

    Thank you for sharing another AOTM, alongside Jimmy stories, your stories, Shadow's preferences. Really cool to know all of this! 🥰 Can't wait to come back here and share what I thought about it :rock-hand:
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    The Trash God

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Jan 2, 2021
    42
    375
    19
    New Mexico
    www.instagram.com
    1
    :syngates:Yo Family! For June’s #AOTM we are going with one of my fav records of all time and certainly my fav prog record of all time in Images and Words by the great Dream Theatre.

    This was another band introduced to me by Jimmy. He used to sneak a Walkman(look it up kids) to school and play me ridiculous shit in the bathroom. This one stood out as having the most incredible musicianship I had ever heard. I was 13 when he played this record for me and it changed the way I looked at guitar. I had no idea that what I was hearing could be accomplished on the instrument I had already spent years working on.

    Dream Theatre is a progressive rock band that formed in 1985 in the halls of Berklee School of Music in Boston. There have been multiple lineups but the Images and Words cast comprise Mike Portnoy on drums, John Petrucci on guitar, James LaBrie on vocals, John Myung on bass, and Kevin Moore on keyboards.

    John Petrucci has been one of my favorite guitarists rotating in my top 3 since the very day I heard this light show of a record way back in middle school. He certainly epitomizes my way of approaching the guitar more than any other player besides maybe my father - with an endless pursuit of technique and harmony only to facilitate a melody and composition first approach to solos and songwriting.

    This motif and melody first approach has yielded some of my favorite solos of all time and couple that with the pyrotechnics weaving in and around these flawless melodies and motifs make for a perfect combination of music and cinema.

    As a student of percussion as well, I was moved by how Mike Portnoy seamlessly and so fluidly supported all of these incredible riffs and time signatures in such a musical and cinematic way. And as smooth as this cat could play, he still managed to make the music heavy as fuck. Listen to Under a Glass Moon for one of the greatest grooves of all time. The entire record is a clinic on how a drummer can steal the show at no cost to his co stars and director.

    If there was a dude that I would’ve done unspeakable things to sing like, it would be James LaBrie. The range, the soul, the technique, the texture, the everything. This dudes got it in spades. It’s such a slippery slope to not take these songs and turn them into overly dramatic novelty uber dramas. James does no such thing. Flawless victory.

    John Myung is as gifted as the aforementioned. He doesn’t just support the band, he comes bearing gifts. I’ve transcribed thousands of difficult musical passages in my life and I still have no clue wtf he’s doing in Metropolis, part 1 at 5:40:explode-skull:

    And last but certainly not least, Kevin Moore on keys. Total stud and one of my favorite songwriters of all time. He wrote a lot of my favorite songs on this record. They’re all great songwriters but Kevin speaks to me on this record.

    Lastly, some or many of you know that Mike helped us out when Jimmy passed in late ‘09. We were putting the final touches on Nightmare when our world was shattered. For a couple of weeks we had decided to not move forward as it wouldn’t be right without Jimmy. Two main components quickly changed our minds. The first was The Sullivan’s. Jimmy’s parents and sisters were like our parents and sisters. We grew up with them. We love them dearly. They told us we had no choice in the matter because Jimmy would’ve demanded that we continue on. The second was Mike Portnoy. I’m sure somebody spoke of it before me but I know that the choice was clear to everyone when the decision was made to move forward. We needed one of Jimmy’s favorites to lift us up and realize the dream of putting out Jimmy’s final work.

    Much like Petrucci is the influence that speaks the loudest on my sleeve, Mike is arguably that for Jimmy and certainly the best contender to have executed Jimmy’s unique and brilliant vision for the record. Mike walked in, hung is ego at the door and spent countless hours copying meticulous kick patterns and fills without complaint.

    Of all musical elements, style is by far the most difficult to emulate. He hung in there and didn’t stop until we were all beyond satisfied with the performance. Of course we had him do his thing across many of Jimmy’s unfinished drum demos and then fully unleashed the beast on the closer, Save Me. Mike absolutely shines on that track, to say the least.

    Well I hope that you enjoy this record even a fraction of the amount that I do, it would be enough to change your life.

    A runner up and probably Shadows’ favorite Dream Theatre record is Metropolis Part 2. It’s definitely very cinematic and has a touch of Elfman throughout.:rainbow-mushroom:

    Lemme know your thoughts in the comments, can’t wait to connect with you all on this beast

    :rock-hand:

    All my love,

    SYN
    :syngates:
    Apple Music
    Spotify
    YouTube
    Ahh Dream Theater. I will always cherish an opportunity to listen to this amazing band. All the details about how much this has influenced you and your music is very nice to read. Definitely will be listening to this!❤❤
     

    Matt Wildcat

    The Fierce Deity
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
    387
    1,610
    19
    UK
    7
    Oh hell yeah!!! For the longest time, I've been meaning to properly sit down and listen to Dream Theatre (Yes, I'm aware I'm committing a crime by having not done so prior :ROFLMAO: ). Absolutely loved reading your thoughts, and I absolutely adored Mike's work on Nightmare and especially Save Me, so I'm super excited to go ahead and dig in! I shall be back with my thoughts! 🤘💀🤘
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    ari.mac

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Contest Winner!
  • Jul 16, 2020
    860
    1
    3,134
    Italy
    1
    Hey Syn!! Thanks for this AOTM. I've listened to a few songs by Dream Theater but never listened to this album, so I was really excited do dig into this. Knowing them a bit already, I knew I was probably going to like this record and (spoiler alert) I absolutely did!!

    I listened on youtube and the first song on the list was "Pull me under" and according to the comments it was a shortened "radio friendly" version, so of course I had to listen to the whole 8 minute thing: so worth it!!!
    kick ass intro, awesome guitar riff backed up perfectly by the drums. Damn good vocals...and, did I hear a Keyboard solo????? :explode-skull: 10/10!!!!

    "Another Day" I find this track a masterpiece, all of the instruments are so well blended together, and the guitar solo....just wow, I have no words..it carried such emotion. The lyrics are so deep and hard, the vocals perfect.. I read that this song was written for John Petrucci's father while he was battling cancer, and after knowing that...the whole song really hit different.

    "Take the Time". Another song I initially found as a shortened version. I went again for the 8 minute long version for the full experience. So much energy since the beginning of the track, seems to me like it has a bit of funky in there. The drums really stand out to me in this. There is a killer keyboard solo in this song too, it blew me away again! So cool!

    "Surrounded". Such a beautiful melody. The guitar solo is absolutely amazing!!!!! And the lyrics really spoke to me, they have such a powerful impact. A really great track.

    "Metropolis part 1" Well, damn!! This is a brilliant track! I absolutely love everything in this song. Everything is perfect, wtf! Loved the intro, the DRUM SOLO, the vocals, the GUITAR SOLO, the BASS SOLO and the KEYBOARD SOLO!!...basically everybody has a fantastic solo in this song and I love this so much, everybody gets to really shine! 🤩 :explode-skull: 🤯 One of my favavourites, if not my favourite, from the album!!

    "Under a Glass Moon" I'm still in shock and awe of the guitar solo. Man... (Also, the groove you mentioned for this...yes 🙌)

    "Wait For Sleep" A really beautiful song, the keyboard is what I love the most in this. Such a great melody 💯💯💯💯

    "Learning to Live" The intro is sooooo good. Again, a mind blowing keyboard solo and guitar solo! Most parts of this 11 minutes (!!) song actually gave me chills. Transitions and harmony were on point to me!! Damn good song!!

    This album was an amazing ride and experience. Thank you for the recommendation Syn, and thank you for sharing with us your experience working with Mike Portnoy. Loved what he did for the "Nightmare" album and for Jimmy's memory.

    Going to listen to "Metropolis part 2" in the next few days, I'm sure it will be another amazing record! 🤯🤯🤯 (whoa, such a long post 😂)

    Have a nice week! 💜
     
    Last edited:

    Iris

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Legend+
    Legend
  • Oct 14, 2020
    277
    916
    39
    Everett, Washington
    1
    My contributions to these AOTM's always seem inadequate compared to your and others insights, but here I go.

    "Pull me Under" - Love the different rhythms and how the whole feel of the song chages. Similar to the break in Save Me. I can definitely hear the Petrucci influence in your playing Syn. Also, as a huge fan of Trans Siberian Orchestra, anytime you mix heavy guitar with strings, I'm down.

    "Another Day" - Beautiful ballad and love the guitar tone in the solo. Vocals are amazing as well. Very interesting rhythyms too.

    "Take the Time" - Again. Rhythyms are insanely cool. And like in Save Me, the whole feel of the song changes. Also, very funky at times.

    "Surrounded" - Kinda sounds like Rush. Which is a compliment because I fucking LOVE Rush. That stutter like rhythm is pretty cool.

    "Metropolis part 1" - I'm almost speechless with this track. Every person and instrument gets to shine. That bass is insane. Just. Good god. Wow.

    "Under a Glass Moon" - Would love to know what some of these time signatures are. Guitar solo is insane. Just a very cool song all around.

    "Wait for Sleep" - Not really feeling this one. Can't really put my finger on why. I do like the piano though.

    "Learning to Live" - Very groovy and dark. 2:17 sounds like the opening guitar riff from Almost Easy. Again, love the different rhythms and time signatures. Keyboards are cool. Is that a nylon string at 5:32? If so, why doesn't mine sound like that. Lol. Vocals are on another level. Amazing guitar solo.

    Final thoughts: I am now a Dream Theater fan. Gonna go catch up on their catalog now. Thanks for the recommendation Syn.
     

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
    3,568
    15
    6,106
    52
    Marana, AZ USA
    soundcloud.com
    35
    Oh Goddamn, finally one of these I *really* know. This is one of my all-time favorite albums. In 1992, I got approached three different times by three different musicians who didn't know each other, and all of them said the same thing: "Have you heard Dream Theater? Holy shit."

    I hadn't and there was no real internet to speak of in 1992, so no real way to give them a try at home. However, they WERE playing in a couple days at L'Amour in Brooklyn, which wasn't that far away. Me and the other guitar player in my band decided to go check them out.

    The whole night was a blur. Simply awestruck. Nothing at all could possibly have prepared us for what we were seeing. Nothing. It was like Rush meets Metallica and amped up on Redbull and music theory. I remember being physically nauseous by the third song. John joked that usually he'd be saying "well, we can always play bass!" by this point, but that little guy with the big bass was JUST AS AMAZING. "Time to turn our guitars into coffee tables!"

    Favorite tracks on the album are... fuck it, all of them. Favorite Petrucci solo is Under a Glass Moon. Agree with Syn - Kevin Moore was the best keyboard player the band had, and the best songwriter among them, but his work outside DT lacks a certain spark, so it was their chemistry together that took Moore's songs to heaven. Jordan is probably a better technical player, but the albums with Kevin remain my favorite (close second is definitely Metropolis Part II).

    In 1995, my band recorded a four song demo at a small studio called "The Cave." Our (REALLY BAD) singer was roommates with a guy named Steve Regina, who happened to be one of the engineers on Images and Words, which was recorded at Jay Beckenstein's (Spyro Gyra - Jay played on "Another Day") recording studio, Bear Tracks. We got an all-night mixing session with Steve there gratis and ran around pointing at toilets and shit saying "Petrucci took a dump in Bb minor here!" and stupid shit like that. It was incredible.

    The bulk of their output for the last 20 years has left me uninspired, but that early work was just stunning. James is absolutely brilliant in the studio, though I don't really care for him live.

    What an album. Nothing else like it. Lightning in a bottle.
     

    Marco Gilli

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    3
    7
    "Images and Words" is my favorite Dream Theater album too, and one of my all time favorites! And I've always loved the quote from the movie "Nuovo cinema Paradiso" (by Tornatore) in Take the Time. Fun fact: a few years ago in Milan I bought the CD and destroyed it a few minutes later sitting on it by mistake. For all the "prog lovers" I would like to recommend "In Contact" by Caligula's Horse, a wonderful album (imho) with many influences from Dream Theater.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Iris

    redlipsofdeceit

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Contest Winner!
  • Oct 21, 2020
    510
    1,742
    Brazil
    www.instagram.com
    0
    I waited until everything in my home was quiet, so I could listen to it carefully, because it's one of those albums you can't just listen to while doing something else or being distracted. I always listen carefully to all your recs, but for this one in particular I needed to listen to late at night, without anyone to interrupt me. Hahaha

    Anyways, here are my notes:

    Pull Me Under - this is the kind of song that, while you're listening to some part, you think "damn, it can't get better that that", then BAM! More epicness comes and just leaves you speechless. Wow! Mike Portnoy was the first one to catch my attention, but then I heard the guitars, and Petrucci's solo, and got so dazed! Just the instrumental part alone is awesome, but then the vocals hit and everything fits together so perfectly! Majestic! Is there a synth in this song? I heard a sound similar to it, but I am not sure if it was indeed a synth or maybe keyboards.
    Another Day - the lyrics really touched me, and I read that Petrucci wrote it for his father, who was diagnosed with cancer, so this made this song really more special to me, as I've lost loved ones to this disease. The saxophone was an interesting surprise; it gave this song a whole new dimension, and I dig it!
    Take The Time - this song (especially the beginning) reminded me A LOT of Sonata Arctica - btw, that's another band that I started listening to after seeing you talk about it many years ago, Syn! I absolutely love this kinda power metal approach. The different tempos make this song very dynamic, I love it. Worth mentioning the really nice groove. Don't even get me started on the solos... breathtaking!
    Surrounded - I loved the rhythm in this song. Also, the solo. The piano by the end of the song makes it really beautiful.
    Metropolis Part I: The Miracle And The Sleeper - the beginning reminded me of a Christmas song, and it made me think, at first, that it was gonna be a ballad or something. But then the drums, bass and guitars kick in at such a powerful way! A great surprise! The percussion is a very nice touch! Mike's drumming in this song in particular blew my mind! 🤯 Also, I really enjoyed the lyrics, especially this part: "As a child, I thought I could live without pain, without sorrow. As a man, I've found it's all caught up with me. I'm asleep yet I'm so afraid."
    Under A Glass Moon - very heavy and obscure beginning, which I love! I wanna mention how much I enjoy James La Brie's vocals! I love how he can reach those high notes, without forcing it and overdoing it. The bass here stood out for me. And the solo, as always, beautifully played.
    Wait For Sleep - what a delightful ballad! I love the piano and the lyrics! "She shuts the doors and lights and lays her body on the bed, where images and words are running deep..."
    Learning To Live - what I liked the most about this song is the fact that, when I thought it ended, it continued. And then one more time I thought it was the end for sure, but then the song kept going. Hahahaha oooh, and that bass by the end... chills!!!! Perfect way to close the album!

    I had to hold back a lot of the praising I wanted to give Mike, because I really love him, but I wanted to focus on the other things going on too besides the outstanding drum work! 😅 But it's impossible not to get impressed by his talent, and also because he was one of Jimmy's biggest inspirations! I will always cherish Mike and all he's done for A7X. We could really hear Jimmy's drumming style while listening to Nightmare, and Save Me is one of the most epic songs ever written! Oh, man, how I wish I could have gone to your concert in Brazil in 2010, when A7X played at the SWU Festival... 😥 But I watched it live from home!

    Well, thank you for another brilliant rec, Syn! All of them have been amazing, and I really loved the fact that we had some metal this month!
    Can't wait for the next one!
    Luv ya! ❤
     

    redlipsofdeceit

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Contest Winner!
  • Oct 21, 2020
    510
    1,742
    Brazil
    www.instagram.com
    0
    Hey Syn!! Thanks for this AOTM. I've listened to a few songs by Dream Theater but never listened to this album, so I was really excited do dig into this. Knowing them a bit already, I knew I was probably going to like this record and (spoiler alert) I absolutely did!!

    I listened on youtube and the first song on the list was "Pull me under" and according to the comments it was a shortened "radio friendly" version, so of course I had to listen to the whole 8 minute thing: so worth it!!!
    kick ass intro, awesome guitar riff backed up perfectly by the drums. Damn good vocals...and, did I hear a Keyboard solo????? :explode-skull: 10/10!!!!

    "Another Day" I find this track a masterpiece, all of the instruments are so well blended together, and the guitar solo....just wow, I have no words..it carried such emotion. The lyrics are so deep and hard, the vocals perfect.. I read that this song was written for John Petrucci's father while he was battling cancer, and after knowing that...the whole song really hit different.

    "Take the Time". Another song I initially found as a shortened version. I went again for the 8 minute long version for the full experience. So much energy since the beginning of the track, seems to me like it has a bit of funky in there. The drums really stand out to me in this. There is a killer keyboard solo in this song too, it blew me away again! So cool!

    "Surrounded". Such a beautiful melody. The guitar solo is absolutely amazing!!!!! And the lyrics really spoke to me, they have such a powerful impact. A really great track.

    "Metropolis part 1" Well, damn!! This is a brilliant track! I absolutely love everything in this song. Everything is perfect, wtf! Loved the intro, the DRUM SOLO, the vocals, the GUITAR SOLO, the BASS SOLO and the KEYBOARD SOLO!!...basically everybody has a fantastic solo in this song and I love this so much, everybody gets to really shine! 🤩 :explode-skull: 🤯 One of my favavourites, if not my favourite, from the album!!

    "Under a Glass Moon" I'm still in shock and awe of the guitar solo. Man... (Also, the groove you mentioned for this...yes 🙌)

    "Wait For Sleep" A really beautiful song, the keyboard is what I love the most in this. Such a great melody 💯💯💯💯

    "Learning to Live" The intro is sooooo good. Again, a mind blowing keyboard solo and guitar solo! Most parts of this 11 minutes (!!) song actually gave me chills. Transitions and harmony were on point to me!! Damn good song!!

    This album was an amazing ride and experience. Thank you for the recommendation Syn, and thank you for sharing with us your experience working with Mike Portnoy. Loved what he did for the "Nightmare" album and for Jimmy's memory.

    Going to listen to "Metropolis part 2" in the next few days, I'm sure it will be another amazing record! 🤯🤯🤯 (whoa, such a long post 😂)

    Have a nice week! 💜
    Sys, I am reading your review now (I only read the reviews after I write mine, so I don't get influenced by anyone) and I am amazed by the fact that we think in such a similar way! Hahahaha 🤩🤩🤩 much love! 💖
     
    • Love
    Reactions: ari.mac
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    redlipsofdeceit

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Contest Winner!
  • Oct 21, 2020
    510
    1,742
    Brazil
    www.instagram.com
    0
    Oh Goddamn, finally one of these I *really* know. This is one of my all-time favorite albums. In 1992, I got approached three different times by three different musicians who didn't know each other, and all of them said the same thing: "Have you heard Dream Theater? Holy shit."

    I hadn't and there was no real internet to speak of in 1992, so no real way to give them a try at home. However, they WERE playing in a couple days at L'Amour in Brooklyn, which wasn't that far away. Me and the other guitar player in my band decided to go check them out.

    The whole night was a blur. Simply awestruck. Nothing at all could possibly have prepared us for what we were seeing. Nothing. It was like Rush meets Metallica and amped up on Redbull and music theory. I remember being physically nauseous by the third song. John joked that usually he'd be saying "well, we can always play bass!" by this point, but that little guy with the big bass was JUST AS AMAZING. "Time to turn our guitars into coffee tables!"

    Favorite tracks on the album are... fuck it, all of them. Favorite Petrucci solo is Under a Glass Moon. Agree with Syn - Kevin Moore was the best keyboard player the band had, and the best songwriter among them, but his work outside DT lacks a certain spark, so it was their chemistry together that took Moore's songs to heaven. Jordan is probably a better technical player, but the albums with Kevin remain my favorite (close second is definitely Metropolis Part II).

    In 1995, my band recorded a four song demo at a small studio called "The Cave." Our (REALLY BAD) singer was roommates with a guy named Steve Regina, who happened to be one of the engineers on Images and Words, which was recorded at Jay Beckenstein's (Spyro Gyra - Jay played on "Another Day") recording studio, Bear Tracks. We got an all-night mixing session with Steve there gratis and ran around pointing at toilets and shit saying "Petrucci took a dump in Bb minor here!" and stupid shit like that. It was incredible.

    The bulk of their output for the last 20 years has left me uninspired, but that early work was just stunning. James is absolutely brilliant in the studio, though I don't really care for him live.

    What an album. Nothing else like it. Lightning in a bottle.
    I always love to hear those kind of stories! 🤩 In 1992, you were seeing this legendary band play live, while I was just being born lol I wish I could have experienced the 90s like you did, Ed. It must have been such an awesome time to go to rock/metal concerts! 😢
     

    Syn Gates

    🦾
    Staff member
    Legend+
    Sep 18, 2019
    312
    1
    1,729
    Huntington Beach
    35
    Hey Syn!! Thanks for this AOTM. I've listened to a few songs by Dream Theater but never listened to this album, so I was really excited do dig into this. Knowing them a bit already, I knew I was probably going to like this record and (spoiler alert) I absolutely did!!

    I listened on youtube and the first song on the list was "Pull me under" and according to the comments it was a shortened "radio friendly" version, so of course I had to listen to the whole 8 minute thing: so worth it!!!
    kick ass intro, awesome guitar riff backed up perfectly by the drums. Damn good vocals...and, did I hear a Keyboard solo????? :explode-skull: 10/10!!!!

    "Another Day" I find this track a masterpiece, all of the instruments are so well blended together, and the guitar solo....just wow, I have no words..it carried such emotion. The lyrics are so deep and hard, the vocals perfect.. I read that this song was written for John Petrucci's father while he was battling cancer, and after knowing that...the whole song really hit different.

    "Take the Time". Another song I initially found as a shortened version. I went again for the 8 minute long version for the full experience. So much energy since the beginning of the track, seems to me like it has a bit of funky in there. The drums really stand out to me in this. There is a killer keyboard solo in this song too, it blew me away again! So cool!

    "Surrounded". Such a beautiful melody. The guitar solo is absolutely amazing!!!!! And the lyrics really spoke to me, they have such a powerful impact. A really great track.

    "Metropolis part 1" Well, damn!! This is a brilliant track! I absolutely love everything in this song. Everything is perfect, wtf! Loved the intro, the DRUM SOLO, the vocals, the GUITAR SOLO, the BASS SOLO and the KEYBOARD SOLO!!...basically everybody has a fantastic solo in this song and I love this so much, everybody gets to really shine! 🤩 :explode-skull: 🤯 One of my favavourites, if not my favourite, from the album!!

    "Under a Glass Moon" I'm still in shock and awe of the guitar solo. Man... (Also, the groove you mentioned for this...yes 🙌)

    "Wait For Sleep" A really beautiful song, the keyboard is what I love the most in this. Such a great melody 💯💯💯💯

    "Learning to Live" The intro is sooooo good. Again, a mind blowing keyboard solo and guitar solo! Most parts of this 11 minutes (!!) song actually gave me chills. Transitions and harmony were on point to me!! Damn good song!!

    This album was an amazing ride and experience. Thank you for the recommendation Syn, and thank you for sharing with us your experience working with Mike Portnoy. Loved what he did for the "Nightmare" album and for Jimmy's memory.

    Going to listen to "Metropolis part 2" in the next few days, I'm sure it will be another amazing record! 🤯🤯🤯 (whoa, such a long post 😂)

    Have a nice week! 💜
    Wonderfully said! I agree wholeheartedly with all of your comments. Take the Time was the track that I first heard and it’s still my fav but Metropolis and Another Day are masterpieces.