Dream Theater are without doubt a fine and talented group of musicians and certainly do justice to the "progressive metal genre". I have only heard 'Falling into Infinity' and 'Images and Words' and my opinion may appear to be slightly ignorant, but I can't help but hear poorly inspired bits of Metallica, Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Faith No More, and to a lesser degree Rush, Saga and even Pink Floyd with the intro to "Metropolis", although Dream Theater's lyrics seem to be slightly more positive than Floyd. I think it's fine to be influenced by these artists and there may be more that I have not picked up on, but I bought these two CDs on recommendation by a friend and am sad to say it's not what I expected. I guess after 20 years of listening to bands like Yes, Rush, King Crimson, Saga, Primus & The Police I was expecting colours and textures in the soundscapes, memorable melodies, and originality and innovation in the music. What you get is annoying keyboard runs with over drawn staccato and syncopation in the movements. I don't mind a bit of SELF INDULGENCE but tone it down a little, give it a groove & make it exciting to listen to. Dream Theater may be a powerhouse of musicianship especially with Mike Portnay and John Petrucci and whilst some parts of this album grew on me, there are just too many bland metal guitar riffs and hair metal vocals that makes it too BORING & inconsistent to fully enjoy. Other highlights for me included "Another Day", "Surrounded" and "Wait for Sleep" . 'Images and Words'has a great production sound with lots of dynamics in it's instrumentation but offers nothing new except for individuality from mainstream metal.