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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.19 | 1262 ratings

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3 stars I came fairly late to DT, having been introduced to them with Scenes, moving forward from there, and then filling in from their debut. Having decided to listen to all my DT albums in chrono order, I felt it was time to weigh in.

One thing you can say for their debut: they didn't waste any time. They jump in balls out, with knock- your-head-against-the-wall, we're-not-your-older-brother's-heavy-metal. And although I would not make a direct comparison, opening their debut album with the hyper-kinetic, ultra-speed-metal (and best song on the album) A Fortune in Lies - thus defining their sound from the word go - reminds me of Zep and Good Times, Bad Times - the band, album and song that arguably godfathered the heavy metal era that ultimately spawned DT in the first place. (Yes, I know their influences are broader.)

I am also impressed by their gumption in including an instrumental as the third composition on their debut album. I'm not sure I can think of another band, in any genre, who had the unmitigated audacity to do that. And it works very well.

However, although there is much to like about this album - not least the almost frighteningly amazing musicianship of all involved - it is nevertheless an immature work, in the sense that there is a sameness about all the compositions: although the band jumps in feet first, it simply splashes around (sometimes wildly, sometimes not), without attempting to provide any relief by swimming (much less trying different strokes).

But that is almost to be expected on a debut album, particularly by a band as radical (for its time) as DT. As time would show, DT not only learned how to swim, but became Olympic-level by the time of Scenes (if not before) - and remained there.

maani | 3/5 |


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