Sound — 9
This album is probably one of the darkest of Dream Theater, although I consider each one of them to be dark in a way. After all they are Metal-hearted and well, metal is a bit about darkness isn't it? This band always sounds amazing, I mean the connection between the members is outstanding, I love Dream Theater can't stop listening and admiring them, they're actually unique. And if you ever tried sounding like them, or getting near, is impossible, they have such a great sound, its shaped as they like it too, and its great. You can hear almost perfect mixing, and usually guitar and keyboards exchange their leading role, making solos and riffs unique and wonderful. Drums are fantastic, Portnoy is a great drummer, in case you didn't notice. And Myung deserves great credit, especially on early Dream Theater. This is perfect Prog-metal, "Erotomania" is instrumental, "Silent Man" is a beautiful ballad, has a little of everything in my opinion. Excellent!
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on the album keep me wondering, some of them have clear references to religion, the mirror is about drugs or alcohol, space dye vest is about a girl, and many of them talk about silence, and darkness and fear. They're well written, well thought and go great with the music. Almost poetry like. LaBrie is a perfect singer, he has a clear voice and can get to any note, I don't see why people thinks this album is oversang, don't get it. I think is perfect in his work, LaBrie is very talented. Great work.
Overall Impression — 9
Compared to "Images And Words" this album is darker, no doubt about it. With drop-tunings thanks to 7th B string, this actually sound more bass like. Petrucci's soloing is outstansing, top class. Portnoy's top class too. The flowing and transition between heavy riffs, leads, and melodic passages in the album is done to perfection, Dream Theater excel at progressive music, they're maybe the best around. "Caught In a Web", "The Mirror" and "Lie" are great ones here, but the one I like the most, and nobody seems to name it much is "Scarred"! Masterpiece! And great ending with "Space Dye Vest". I love this album, probably Dream Theater best! I don't hate anything about it. If stolen I'd kill the m***f** who did this and beat his a-s up, then take it back home in a safelock.