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The "Images and Words" album by Dream Theater is most definitely a progressive metal masterpiece. Every song is enjoyable and you can't help but get lost in the music. It must have been a rather difficult decision at to what the lead single off the album would be. Hell, it must have been difficult to determine what NOT to choose as the lead single off the album. I thought about it for a while and it all came down to this one and "Another Day". But this one ended up going up over the other by just a little bit. Apparently, the band themselves viewed it the same way that I did. This is a song who's praise is well deserved. Not too many people can disagree with me on that one. This is their most recognized track of all time. It is for a very worthy reason, as well.
The guitar work is some of the best rhythm guitar ever put to music in my book. There is a whole lot of variety within it and it is executed with purely technical excellence. These are players that are virtuosic nonetheless. This is complemented by the deep ass drumming. I love it when there is huge drumming in technical, epic and dramatic music like this. The blast beats that are pulled off make the music turn out to be nothing short of bombastic. The bass gives it a big underbelly that just waits for you to fall into it. It has a very Pink Floyd-ish tone and this just makes the song more beautiful to me. It puts together anger and beauty to make something like your hot wife when she's got a hair up her ass about who knows what, only stripped of the annoyance in her voice. Speaking of voice, the vocals pulled off just soar over the music. They have a somewhat gritty, yet clean sound with their soaring tone. The way that the notes are carried just flat out amaze me. I wish that James LaBrie was still able to pull this off without the nasal in his voice taking over.
I also love how the lyrics represent something as dramatic as the music sounds. They are based on the story, "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare. It's actually pulled off better than one would imagine before hearing it. I really would not mind if this song was a part of the soundtrack to a movie based on it. It all just seems to perfectly fall into correct destinations, as some lyrics based on stuff like this just gets annoying and unpleasant to listen to. If I may read a passage.
"Watch the sparrow falling
Gives new meaning to it all.
If not today nor yet tomorrow then some other day!
I'll take seven lives for one
And then my only father's son
As sure as I did ever love him I am not afraid!"
This track does a perfect job of supporting the idea of mine that Dream Theater is basically the Pink Floyd of heavy metal music. To me, they craft music that is superior to the majority of bands in the genre, despite their lack of a whole lot of assault. It's pretty much the reason why they've so much respect by both metalhead and prog-nerds. Even then, they're a band that makes music that can be enjoyed by a very large multitude of us who have ever even heard music in out lives. To me, the Images and Words album is the best album in Dream Theater's discography and the first track on the album, which is also the lead single off the album, "Pull Me Under" is unquestionably the absolute best song in their discography and one of the best songs of all time.
Singles. Hard to give a decent review because for the most part they are the songs that a fan will love no matter what, but on the other hand will prefer other songs that aren't as well know. Such goes for some other bands. Perfect example would Slayer. Everyone knows "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death"...everyone loves them, but I can damn well sure fans would rather listen to say "Hell Awaits", "Black Magic", "Chemical Warfare", or "War Ensemble". Or a band such as Alice In Chains...everyone knows "Man In the Box" and/or "Would," but truth be told we would rather hear songs like "Nutshell", "We Die Young", "Angry Chair", etc. Look at both of the bands I gave examples and you might say to yourself "Well Siggy, those are their most well-know known and fan favorites. You're kinda contradicting the point you are trying to prove here."....don't worry about that, I'm about to get to it my friend. Bottom line is that with a lot of mainstream top 10/20/40/50/100/etc. lists when it comes to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal artists it's always the big name singles like AiC's "Man In the Box" or Slayer's "Raining Blood/Angel of Death" that always gets named. But for a band like Dream Theater, as a fan....I honestly can't think of any of their other songs that I would prefer to listen to outside of their biggest hit single "Pull me Under". I own a few of their albums and have heard the rest via Youtube.com or Spotify, etc....none of them seem to hit the epic heights as what "Pull me Under" has to offer to the listener.
"Pull Me Under" was/is/will always be Dream Theater's most well-known for specific reasons. It prove that you can make Judas Priest get progressive. And I am talking about Judas Priest via "Painkiller"-era to. No, I am not shitting you. "Pull Me Under" is nothing more than DT getting in touch with their inner metal head selves and going "Fuck it, let's go for it." The song starts out with a very moody and sombre opening. Once you hear it, it already sets the mood in you know something big and frightening is about to happen. Then after the intro melody the drums and guitars pick up a little bit more before the nice little dunna-dunn-dun dunna-dunn-dun riff kicks in with the beautiful sounding arpeggio which transforms into a nice groove that will have anyone headbanging in a split second. James Labrie's vocals are on fire which goes from a certain impending doom of him observing this future event ("Lost in the sky/Clouds roll by and I roll with them/Arrows fly/Seas increase
and then fall again). At this point his vocals become more sincere in the pre-chorus lyricsThis world is spinning around me (This world is spinning without me/Every day send future to past/Every breath leaves me one less
to my last) sounding like he on the verge of pure panic, and then BOOM! James Labrie not only goes into his best Rob Halford-esque vocals, but the rest of the band speeds up to the point where it is nothing short of Judas Priest "Painkiller" with the great Mike Portnoy beating the shit out of his drums. Also at this point the lyrics become even more cryptic (Watch the sparrow falling/Gives new meaning to it all/If not today nor yet tomorrow/then some other day. I'll take seven lives for one/And then my only father's son/As sure as I did ever love him/I am not afraid). I honestly don't know what James Labrie is talking about here, but lyrically speaking that's poetry to the point where you can sense James' sense of crying out for help. This song is probably the only song where his vocals get the point across because honestly, vocally-speaking, most of when he sings it is falling between very fruity power metal-ish type singing to almost whiny. I'm not saying he's terrible, but for this song "Pull me Under", he finally hits the notes in making the listener feel his sense of panic. The rest of the song is more or less the same.
And I'll just admit I'm pretty lazy trying to motivate myself to review the entire album "Images & Words", but that album is so progressive I would get lost in trying to review it myself. I don't do so favorably well with reviewing things that make me think past crappy 80's-influenced bands/crappy Bathory-influenced bands/crappy lo fi bands that dwell in rain forests/etc. But this is as good as you'll get from me for a DT review, and possibly the best you will get from Dream Theater in terms of a solid fucking metal song. Enjoy.
“Pull Me Under” was one of the singles off Dream Theater’s record breaking and chart topping album “Images And Words”. A music video was made for this track and shortly after it’s release it soon became DT’s most demanded track on the radio.
Clocking in at slightly more than 8 minutes this is one of DT’s best offerings to the progressive world and is keyboardist Kevin Moore’s creation. Starting off with a slow intro with the drums in the background the keyboards and guitar’s soon come in this slow melancholic smooth tune. Petrucci follows this with a guitar riff and the tempo starts to increase gradually. The soulful voice of James LaBrie soon enters near the 2 min mark and only adds to the overall atmosphere of the track. This track is extremely technical and this level of technicality is the reason DT is a peg above the other progressive bands in the business.
Near the 5:30 mark there is this break down and only the keyboards and drums play. Petrucci delivering one of the smoothest and most technical solos in the music industry till date follows this. The surprising thing about the track is the unconventional ending. The song just stops playing (Hinting probably on the sudden occurrences in life, probably death).
The production of this is as good as it gets. So technical and so soulful, yet every note comes out perfectly on tape with every instrument right from the keyboards to the bass being easily audible. In my opinion DT never made an album that so was perfect in production until after many years. Hear this track and you will almost instantaneously realize why DT are called the “The Gods Of Progressive Metal” and why this track gained the most popularity.
'Pull Me Under' is maybe the most well known song from Dream Theater, and some considers it to their best ever. It has the deep and well written lyrics of keyboardist 'Kevin Moore' (there were some rumors claimed that the lyrics content are about his thoughts of leaving the band, which he actually did, but it's unknown if this song has something with that) and the mystic atmosphere that had been in their astonishing album 'Images And Words'.
The production...perfect. One of the best productions I've ever heard. Each instrument sounds blazing, clear, powerful and topnotched. It doesn't feels like an overproduced album, it feels like it had been brushed exactly until it's absoulte saturation point.
The songs begins with a guitar transfering you into a relaxing mood with it's calmly pluckings and delay effect, then the synthesizer comes in and adds a different vibe for the atmosphere. The drums comes in and the songs continues to flows and progress until the first verse. Now Labrie comes in with it's wonderful, clean and soft voice, the song raising more atmosphere, the intensity grows up until the chorus when everything explodes into orgasmic and wonderful moment. The chorus is also pretty catchy, and helped this single catch the highest positions in the music charts. There is also a mindblowing orgasmic solo in 6:10, which shows that this band not only got an outstanding technique, they got also incredible pure emotions, and this is one of Petrucci's best solos, just a classic one. The song simply stops after eight minutes, just like someone pushed the record button at the wrong time, and it's a bit awkward at first listenings, but when you get deep to this song, you understand that this ending just emphasizes the theme of it, which is about the nature life and the unexpected death.
In conclusion: it's an awesome songs, it workespretty well as single and it is a great intensive opener for the 'Images And Words' LP. I don't know if there are a lot of people who don't know this song, but if you never heard it before, you surely can't miss that one. It is on the greatest songs that defienes the prog metal essence, in my opinion.