• SYN X PAPA GATES STREAM #2

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IMAGES AND WORDS by Dream Theatre

Syn Gates

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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.
Love it! Lots of 5 and 7 time signatures throughout
 

Syn Gates

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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.
Some amazing info and yes, Jay played brilliant soprano(i believe) sax on Another Day, so fuckin good! Great stories my brother!
 

Syn Gates

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"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.
Haha noooo! I use to break cds all the time, brutal! Thanks so much for the rec! Also, never knew where that quote came from :rock-hand:
 

Syn Gates

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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! ❤
Love it and yes, had to go with something heavy but still adventurous! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the deep commentary, great insight!
 

Giannak11

Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
Feb 9, 2021
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The rhythm section on this album is phenomenal. Absolutely insane drums throughout the whole album and crazy fills. Mike Portnoy is one of the most praised drummers in the metal field or community, and for good reason. Sometimes the drums will just go off along with Petrucci’s guitarwork, creating some of the most rhythmically mind blowing sections that will transition to something you didn't expect. The bass is also phenomenal, often doing more than just mimicking the guitars, though it is sometimes hard to hear as it can be buried in the noise of the guitars, drums, and the keyboards. Overall, if you like the album, "Images and Words", you'll think its genius in someway.

Excited for the next AOTM, and a possible Jimmy story, because everyone loves them both! Haha!
💗🤘🏻
 
Last edited:

beatrix

Campfire Attention Holder
  • Sep 19, 2020
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    :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
    YES Syn! I was waiting for this moment since you started the AOTM’s. i LOVE Dream Theater madly, especial Mike and John P. This band is just awesome. This album is history, one of my favourites by them. my first favorite is absolutely Metropolis 2, but this one is VERY great as well.✋🤩 Great choice, wonderful piece. P.S,Another Day makes me dream, that song is one of the best things ever created, and the solo...WOW, that solo makes me speechless. Thank you for the recommendation.❤️
     
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    William B.

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I had a chance to see Mike Portnoy at a venue where I used to live, I ended up not going, should have. Steve Vai was there too one time. I've seen Dream Theater's name a lot and only heard a few songs
    I just had my first listen through the entire album and my favorite right now is "Take the Time"
    What got me was the vocals and than I saw the live show I posted in the currently listening thread.
    Super awesome.
    I'm going to listen to the album a few more times and give it some more attention, it was pretty diverse I think and I was inbetween doing some things.
    I like reading all this cool stuff, sometimes I feel like I know you but I don't, it's strange. Probably just coincidence
    Since being here I don't really miss SoCal as much
    For some reason when I'd get nostalgic I would listen to your guys' music and things would be fine.
    There's lot's of bands from that area but I don't have that feeling as much with them
    I'm gonna do some stuff and than listen to it some more, not sure if I'm going to post more commentary.
    🖤
     

    Gabby Heafy

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Legend+
  • Apr 5, 2020
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    I finally listened to the whole album... guess what? ..... I loved it!🤩 I already knew about this band, the song "Put me under" is a classic, it's very addictive and powerful. I looked up some live performance videos of them on YouTube. They sound pretty amazing playing live. i liked so much "Learning to Live", i was really looking forward to see that keyboard solo with guitar accompaniment, it's awesome!!!!!🔥

    Here are my thoughts! :geek:

    Pull me under
    : This song is a classic!. I heard it for the first time playing Guitar Hero lol and totally loved it! the whole intro is just amazing, I love how clean the drums sound. The vocals and lyrics of this song are magnificent, John Petrucci is an amazing guitar player his solo on 3.53min is fucking amazing! Totally love it!!🤯

    Another Day: IT IS BEAUTIFUL!! definitely This is real music, music that has Heart. James' voice sounds so perfect and the lyrics are very nostalgic but it's still a masterpiece. The solo in this song, among many other Petrucci solos leaves me speechless again and the sax at the ending is unique!

    Take the Time: Absolutely amazing! James' voice really hit a high notes in this one and Portnoy sometimes is like a machine gun on drums. A very powerful song!!!

    Surrounded: A perfect ballad with lyrics that carry a deep message. The whole melody is really magical!❤️

    Metropolis - Part I: "The Miracle and the Sleeper" : This song kicks so much ass. It is simply relentless in talent, attacks, melodies and breakdowns. It's time to listen to it again…. yes!!! I really loved it! Give me to much chills this song.❤️🙌

    Under a Glass Moon: This song blew my mind! lol it's EPIC AND UNIQUE, it will definitely be on my playlist. It has a really majestic intro and the min 4:36 holy shit! That's when the magic starts. what a killer solo, It's totally awesome!.👏👏👏

    Wait for Sleep: The piano melody in the beginning is beautiful. This song is so full of emotions, it makes me feel sad to listen to it and enjoy it at the same time.

    Learning to Live: This is definitely my favorite! I listened to it many times. My favorite part is the keyboard solo that is then accompanied by the guitar! Totally epic! And that amazing ending leaves you wanting to hear more and more! omg loved it!🎹🎸🔥

    Thanks @Syn Gates for this awesome recommendation and I love reading all the details you write in every album of the month, also I enjoy the possibility you give us to express ourselves and learn a little more about music! I love you Genio! Have a beautiful week!!🌈❤️
     

    Brian Haner Sr.

    Papa
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    Nov 11, 2019
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    I had a friend from high school who went to Berklee in the 80s. I ran into him (around 1985) and we started talking music. He asked if I had ever heard of John Petrucci. I said no. He said - don't worry - you will. lol.

    Rarely do you have an album with no weak links. There is not a bad song on this album, and all are played with virtuosic musicianship.
    This album is a gut-check album. When you listen to it - it either makes you want to practice 60 hours a week - OR - it makes you want to sell all your gear and work at Home Depot. (Thank God it had the former affect on Jimmy & Brian).

    I won't do a deep dive because we'd be here all day. It's an album that needs to be listened to from start to finish. Some songs are more accessible than others (like Pull Me Under) - but don't overlook the deeper cuts. They are the ones that end up being your favorites.

    My fav moments:
    "Metroplis - Pt 1" is everything I love about this band. The musicianship makes me giggle. it's so stupid good. It's a rollercoaster of exactly what prog/metal is supposed to be.
    Petrucci's solo in "Under a Glass Moon" is literally breathtaking.
    "Wait for Sleep" is a great example of letting the emotion of the song dictate it's production and execution. It's perfect.
    Myung's bass on "Take the Time" always makes me smile.
    "Another Day" is definitely my favorite song on the album. (I'm a total pop-head) Written for John's dad who had cancer. It's heartfelt and beautiful from start to finish. (This could be a Boston song with much better musicians. lol). Beckestein's sax reminds me of Branford Marsalis on Sting's solo stuff. If this song doesn't make you cry - you're tougher than me. Not to mention a perfect guitar solo that reminds me so much of my son.

    On a personal note, I will just add that Mike Portnoy will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. He took a break from DT to help out the boys when they felt they had no way to move forward. It was an incredible act of kindness that I will never forget.

     

    Gabby Heafy

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Legend+
  • Apr 5, 2020
    572
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    I had a friend from high school who went to Berklee in the 80s. I ran into him (around 1985) and we started talking music. He asked if I had ever heard of John Petrucci. I said no. He said - don't worry - you will. lol.

    Rarely do you have an album with no weak links. There is not a bad song on this album, and all are played with virtuosic musicianship.
    This album is a gut-check album. When you listen to it - it either makes you want to practice 60 hours a week - OR - it makes you want to sell all your gear and work at Home Depot. (Thank God it had the former affect on Jimmy & Brian).

    I won't do a deep dive because we'd be here all day. It's an album that needs to be listened to from start to finish. Some songs are more accessible than others (like Pull Me Under) - but don't overlook the deeper cuts. They are the ones that end up being your favorites.

    My fav moments:
    "Metroplis - Pt 1" is everything I love about this band. The musicianship makes me giggle. it's so stupid good. It's a rollercoaster of exactly what prog/metal is supposed to be.
    Petrucci's solo in "Under a Glass Moon" is literally breathtaking.
    "Wait for Sleep" is a great example of letting the emotion of the song dictate it's production and execution. It's perfect.
    Myung's bass on "Take the Time" always makes me smile.
    "Another Day" is definitely my favorite song on the album. (I'm a total pop-head) Written for John's dad who had cancer. It's heartfelt and beautiful from start to finish. (This could be a Boston song with much better musicians. lol). Beckestein's sax reminds me of Branford Marsalis on Sting's solo stuff. If this song doesn't make you cry - you're tougher than me. Not to mention a perfect guitar solo that reminds me so much of my son.

    On a personal note, I will just add that Mike Portnoy will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. He took a break from DT to help out the boys when they felt they had no way to move forward. It was an incredible act of kindness that I will never forget.

    loving your review Papa Gates! thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! ❤️🤘
     

    Syn Gates

    🦾
    Staff member
    Legend+
    Sep 18, 2019
    312
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    I had a friend from high school who went to Berklee in the 80s. I ran into him (around 1985) and we started talking music. He asked if I had ever heard of John Petrucci. I said no. He said - don't worry - you will. lol.

    Rarely do you have an album with no weak links. There is not a bad song on this album, and all are played with virtuosic musicianship.
    This album is a gut-check album. When you listen to it - it either makes you want to practice 60 hours a week - OR - it makes you want to sell all your gear and work at Home Depot. (Thank God it had the former affect on Jimmy & Brian).

    I won't do a deep dive because we'd be here all day. It's an album that needs to be listened to from start to finish. Some songs are more accessible than others (like Pull Me Under) - but don't overlook the deeper cuts. They are the ones that end up being your favorites.

    My fav moments:
    "Metroplis - Pt 1" is everything I love about this band. The musicianship makes me giggle. it's so stupid good. It's a rollercoaster of exactly what prog/metal is supposed to be.
    Petrucci's solo in "Under a Glass Moon" is literally breathtaking.
    "Wait for Sleep" is a great example of letting the emotion of the song dictate it's production and execution. It's perfect.
    Myung's bass on "Take the Time" always makes me smile.
    "Another Day" is definitely my favorite song on the album. (I'm a total pop-head) Written for John's dad who had cancer. It's heartfelt and beautiful from start to finish. (This could be a Boston song with much better musicians. lol). Beckestein's sax reminds me of Branford Marsalis on Sting's solo stuff. If this song doesn't make you cry - you're tougher than me. Not to mention a perfect guitar solo that reminds me so much of my son.

    On a personal note, I will just add that Mike Portnoy will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. He took a break from DT to help out the boys when they felt they had no way to move forward. It was an incredible act of kindness that I will never forget.

    Great analogue with Sting featuring Branford, dead on.Ten Summoners Tales is an all time great and favorite record of mine that you introduced me too! Spoiler alert kids, it’s in line for 2021;)

    Appreciate the compliments Papa!
     
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    Augusto Abreu

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    12
    17
    27
    Brazil
    10
    :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
    Aaah it's been a while since the last time i listened to this one...just started to listen to "pull me under" right know, and...DA GOOSEBUMPS ARE REAL! All the best for you man!
     

    Brett Rochester

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
    Nov 11, 2019
    1
    2
    Delaware, USA
    10
    :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
    Crazy enough my guitar friend in highschool who showed me nightmare which is the album that made me really wanna dig deep into guitar, shortly after gave me this album. I was so blown away. I immediately went home and tried to learn the intro from the miracle and the sleeper. It took me a while but I got it down. They are always an inspiration, to this day they put out God tier stuff. I will now go back and listen to the sonic bliss that is this album. Cheers buddy!
     
    Last edited:

    ldcat13

    New Student
    Jun 30, 2021
    2
    1
    0
    :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
    This was a great album. Helps that the drummer was the son of a legend. Thanks Syn 🤘🏻🔥🖤
     
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    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    One additional thing I really love about this album is the overall sound and feel of it. That spaciousness of it. Some albums you listen to and they sound claustrophobic, like the entire album is in a closet. This album, no matter how dense the material is, always feels like it's in a massive, wide-open field. The whole thing is huge, with large spaces carved out for each instrument. This is perhaps my favorite-sounding album of all time.

    There was a lot of controversy at the time, specifically around Portnoy. The fact that there was "reinforcement" (i.e. triggered samples) on the drums made a lot of drummers and progheads REALLY FUCKING ANGRY. When I spoke to Steve about it, I remember he had been very surprised by the whole thing. He remarked that Port played phenomenally and the reinforcements were blended with the real drums to get a specific SOUND out of the drums, but they were very definitely Mike's real drum tracks. I seem to recall Steve saying they had to link two 48-track machines together to mix the drums down to a usable number of tracks for the final mix, but my memory can't be relied on for that. At the time we were there (1995), Bear Track was one of only 5 or 6 studios in the world that had a fully automated mixing desk.

    1625073305150.png
     

    Lewis Hay

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    1
    2
    Yes dude, Images and Words is so great and holds a special place in my heart too. I have fond memories listening to this when I was a teenager, before I even started playing guitar. This was roughly 15 years after it released but even then I would frequently hear people online in music circles recommend it as being one of those albums that you HAVE to check out. I even introduced a few of my friends to Dream Theater through this album.

    Since then I've become a guitar nerd and my admiration for the album has only gone up. I've had the solo for Under A Glass Moon memorised for years now. I still can't play it that well (who can???) but I can't help play through it from time to time in my practice sessions. Super fun to play, technically impressive, uses a variety of styles and has movement all over the neck. So cool man :giggle:

    Unrelated to the album but Petrucci has some sweet signature guitars. They aren't very common in the UK but I hope to try one at some point.
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Radu-Cristian Perde

    Sold-out Crowd Surfer
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
    1,218
    3
    3,828
    Montreal
    8
    One additional thing I really love about this album is the overall sound and feel of it. That spaciousness of it. Some albums you listen to and they sound claustrophobic, like the entire album is in a closet. This album, no matter how dense the material is, always feels like it's in a massive, wide-open field. The whole thing is huge, with large spaces carved out for each instrument. This is perhaps my favorite-sounding album of all time.

    There was a lot of controversy at the time, specifically around Portnoy. The fact that there was "reinforcement" (i.e. triggered samples) on the drums made a lot of drummers and progheads REALLY FUCKING ANGRY. When I spoke to Steve about it, I remember he had been very surprised by the whole thing. He remarked that Port played phenomenally and the reinforcements were blended with the real drums to get a specific SOUND out of the drums, but they were very definitely Mike's real drum tracks. I seem to recall Steve saying they had to link two 48-track machines together to mix the drums down to a usable number of tracks for the final mix, but my memory can't be relied on for that. At the time we were there (1995), Bear Track was one of only 5 or 6 studios in the world that had a fully automated mixing desk.

    View attachment 1739
    I think people would lose their mind if they actually knew what happens in a studio or in a mix to properly achieve a desired sound... ''reinforcments'' on drums has been a common thing for a looooong time now. And that goes for a lot of legendary albums.

    But in any case, that doesn't take away anything from Mike Portnoy. There's no denial that Mike is a genius behind the kit and that he doesn't need to prove himself to anyone anymore.
     
    Last edited:

    chris_is_cool

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Apr 18, 2020
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    Cologne, Germany
    0
    Oh man, there is just something magical about 90s Dream Theater. They were definitely an extremely important band in my early metal years, in the mid 00s, listening to every album from When Dream And Day Unite up to Octavarium up and down. Depending on the day, my favorite album from them would be When Dream and Day Unite, Images and Words, Awake or Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes From A Memory.

    There are already a lot of excellent song by song reviews in this thread, so I'm not doing that anymore. Let me just remark, my favorite parts are the freaking synths sounds in Pull me Under (the introooo) and also in Learning To Live, the amazing guitar lead melodies (this moment in Learning To Live shortly after the 7:00 minute mark... not super fancy, but it just really feels like the climax of the album, the culmination, the moment everything has build up to). And, of course, already mentioned, this fucking beautiful saxophone in Another Day. :love::love::love: