Sound — 8
This is Dream Theater's debut album, and is their only album with lead singer Charlie Dominici. It is also their only album without a song over ten minutes. It's a progressive metal album, but the vocals don't really fit in because Charlie Dominici is more of a pop vocalist. But the musicianship is still pretty good. There are many great solos and unisons by guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Kevin Moore.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are actually really well written. It's just that Charlie Dominici is more of an 80's rock style singer. His voice sounds like the guy from Journey. His replacement, James LaBrie, is more suited for the kind of music DT plays. The lyrics generally flow well with the music.
Overall Impression — 8
It's safe to say that this is DT's least popular album. I agree, I'm not a huge fan of it either. But it's still good to listen to every so often, so I can remember how far they've come, from this album to albums like Scenes and Six Degrees. The instrumentalists are very talented, but vocalist Charlie Dominici is more suited for a radio-oriented rock band, not a progressive metal band. Many of the tracks are well done, though. If it were stolen or lost, I would probably buy it again, because it's still a pretty good DT album. But if you're new to them, don't buy this first. Give most of their other albums a try first.