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Dream Theater - When Dream And Day Reunite CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.81 | 73 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars 'When Dream and Day Unite', an album that has long been disregarded by casual fans of the band, and even most die-hard fans, is Dream Theater's 1989 debut which was released by Mechanic Records and is since no longer owned property of the band. Which, to the disfavour of many fans, means there would never be a modern re- recording or re-mastered version. So what do the band do? A live version instead!

Now, I love Dream Theater, and I actually really like their debut album as it is. The production gives it a majestic vibe akin to 1980's Rush, and original vocalist Charlie Dominici's voice fits the music well. However, while this 2004 live recording sounds good, with its beefier production and subtle rearrangements, there is still one detriment to this being a live recording as opposed to a studio one, and that's James LaBrie.

LaBrie is a fantastic vocalist, no doubt about that, and all his studio work is flawless, but he can sometimes be fairly hard to tolerate live, especially with these songs, in which a lot of the times his voice doesn't quite seem as suited to the music as his predecessors. He struggles to hit a lot of the right notes, and his pronunciation has always made it a challenge to make out what he's singing. More often than not, it just sounds as if he's content to wail away with whichever high-pitched screech he can hit.

Overall, I think, while the production is an improvement, even as a live recording, I prefer the original studio version of 'When Dream and Day Unite'. But with that said, there is a little something that make this album worth picking up anyway; bonus tracks 'Metropolis Pt.1' and 'To Live Forever', which feature guest appearances by the aforementioned Charlie Dominici and one-time keyboardist Derek Sherinian.

'Metropolis' in particular is fantastic! Dominici's powerful voice (not diminished through years of performing and a bout of violent food poisoning ala James LaBrie) completely blows his successor away. And a brief keyboard/guitar duel between Sherinian, Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci shows why Sherinian is often unfairly unappreciated for his brief tenure with the band.

Overall this is a great release of a great band playing a great album. There's moments that make me cringe and there's moments that make me wonder why this was released under the band's "Official Bootleg" series and not marketed more commercially. I've always been a sucker for studio recordings though, which is why I won't go back to this one very often, but overall it's a worthy addition to the Dream Theater collection.

martindavey87 | 4/5 |


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