This would almost be a Dream Theater instrumental release, and a very good one too. However, when it was released, it wasn't so close to DT's sound at the time, but it did give a hint of things to come once Jordan Rudess joined the band (mainly faster and and crazier keyboards than before, and somewhat less atmospheric). I guess this album can be divided in three kind of songs:
The metal proggy songs, which are by far the ones I enjoy the most, being my very favourite one "Paradigm Shift", which would resume what I like best of this album. In this category also fit "Kindred Spirits", "Freedom of Speech", and "Universal Mind".
Then there are the soft and light hearted songs, kind of included to give you a moment of breath after the other frenetic songs. I'm not really particularly fond of this songs, but they are still enjoyable.
And last is the "Three Minute Warning" songs, or song. This ones are mainly a long 30 + min improvisation jam. Now, I'm not really the biggest fan of improvs, mainly becaus it shows they could use a bit more work to polish them, and they hardly ever have strong melodies, and this one is not the exception, but it is still very enjoyable too, and anyone who is really fond of them should really give this one a listen.
I go with 4 stars with this, mainly because I find the metal songs really great, but the rest are just good, but not essential in my book.