I was so blown away by Black Clouds... that I started trawling Dream Theater’s back catalogue and came up with a couple of titles at very reasonable prices. First up was Images And Words which turned out to be the band’s second album, the first to feature (Kevin) James LeBrie, and widely hailed as their finest moment. Sounding like a car crash between Rush and Black Sabbath, many critics regard this album as one of the earliest examples of modern progressive metal. I don’t know enough about the genre, but I know what I like in my wardrobe and this is it. The opening track, Pull Me Under, pretty much epitomises much of their work; just over eight minutes of heavy riffs, catchy melodies, multi-layered virtuoso keyboard and guitar work, finished off with a healthy dollop of amazing lyrics. The next three tracks are diverse and yet similarly complex with their time and mood changes. Track 5 is the monumental Metropolis - Pt. I "The Miracle And The Sleeper" weighing in at over nine and a half minutes. Clearly classically inspired these is metal heaven with heavy riffs, complex drumming and emotive lyrics. The heavy bits are h-e-a-v-y, the quiet bits are the calmest metal can be yet still be holding onto your ears. Simply sublime. A lesser album might tail off at this point, not this one. Under A Glass Moon is a meld of beauty and aggression with an epic, and I mean epic guitar solo. Wait For Sleep gives us a haunting pause for breath before the gargantuan finale, Learning To Live, an almost space-prog-metal track. I’m making up my own genres here.