I remember buying this cassette (yes, cassettes were still around in 1992 and I bought them) not knowing who they were. A salesmen asked me if I like Rock and Metal. I said sure and he was obviously trying to sell me the new DT cassette. He told me that they were good and I should give it a shot. I took his word for it and couldn't wait to pop it in when I got home. I'm sorry, but I didn't have a cassette deck in my car. I was too broke.
When I heard it, I was simply in awe. This is where I truly discovered the Progressive movement. I know that it traces back to the 60's and 70's with the likes of KING CRIMSON and YES to name but a few. I began to understand this movement and this band was eager to bring it back to the forefront and show people what true musicianship was. "Pull Me Under" was hard, heavy and technical and this is where we got to hear James LaBrie for the first time after the departure of Charlie Dominici left after "When Dream And Day Unite". Just on this first track, I was blown away by Mike's ultra tight and complicated drum techniques and John's shredding of the guitar along with the whirlwind keyboard playing by Kevin Moore. Don't worry Myung, I will get to you soon enough.
I couldn't believe that a major record label had the balls to put out something like this. I didn't see any videos on MTV or hear anything from them on the radio. I just discovered gold here. "Another Day" is a nice ballad that mixes technical and soft along with some killer saxophone playing that makes this song an enjoyable experience. The pace picks right back up with "Take The Time" with its groovy bass lines by Mr. Myung and still was a real heavy hitter. I think that "Surrounded" could have been left off the CD. It was way too wimpy for my tastes.
Now, we get to the meat and potatoes here. "Metropolis Part 1" was a superbly composed and complex song. They throw in everything here in 9 minutes. The song was a sheer masterpiece and remains one of my favourites on this CD. John's bass solo toward the end here just made me drool to the point where I was drowning in it. The coup de grace comes in the form of "Learning To Live" which is a great way to end the CD. The lyrics are poetry in motion and music is very passionate and compelling.
This disc really flies by without you knowing it. It's entertaining and entrancing at the same time. This was the album that was getting people to realize who they are and that they are going to bring back the Prog movement at any cost. (Online February 1, 2003)