Sound — 9
Dream Theater always leaves a lasting impression on you whenever you listen to any of their albums. Their music is unique in many ways. This album has it all: progessive elements, metal elements, rock elements. Everything. Songs like "Erotomania", "Voices", and "The Silent Man" all go together and tell a story. On the one hand, this album can get very heavy, as on "Caught in a Web", but also very mellow, as on "The Silent Man."
Lyrics — 8
For a music fan new to DT, you might find James LaBrie's vocals a little high-pitched. This is something you have to get used to as a listener. Almost all of the lyrics on the album provoke thoughts or ideas for the listener to figure out. The lyrics go well with all of the songs. The singer, James LaBrie, has a very unique voice, and is fairly easy to understand on this album. His voice does get a little on the operatic on "Voices", but only for a few seconds, and then it goes back to normal.
Overall Impression — 10
I think this could be DT at their finest, although all of their albums are great, and one album shouldn't be judged as "better" than the next one. The real standouts are "Caught in a Web", The "A Mind Beside Itself" suite, "The Mirror/Lie", and "Scarred", although all of the tracks are great. I personally love the heaviness of such tracks as "Caught in a Web" and "The Mirror/Lie." You, the listener, might find James Labrie's voice to be a little annoying when it gets operatic, but this rarely happens on this album. If someone stole this album, I'd hunt them down and re-steal my album. And steal some of their albums while I'm at it.