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

WHEN DREAM AND DAY UNITE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.23 | 903 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

sleeper
Prog Reviewer
3 stars So here it is, the debut album of what is arguably the most successful band of the last 20 years, Dream Theater, so was it any good? Well, the answer is both yes and no, but there's no denying that this album began the career of a band that have left a huge mark on the history, maybe even the health, of progressive music, especially Prog-metal.

We all know Dream Theater, a band with a reputation for technical proficiency with their instruments and a tendency to write the occasional cheesy song. Most of all, though, is that they have a very divisive singer in James LaBrie (You either love him or hate him and we prog heads seem to be pretty divided on this) but here on When Dream And Day Unite there is no James LaBrie, instead we have Charlie Dominici, out for his only appearance on a Dream Theater album. And its a competent performance from him, but Dominici has a decidedly average voice, its not bad by any stretch of the imagination but there's nothing interesting about it, he just sounds like every other metal singer of the 1980's. This lack of character to the vocals is in stark contrast to what would come later, and the change would be a big improvement in my opinion.

Musically this band is on pretty hot form. Ytse Jam, The Killing Hand and Only A Matter Of Time are all stand out tracks that are made from the best aspects of Dream Theater's music from the years to come. Ytse Jam and The Killing Hand are two tracks that I believe are as good as anything they have since produced. All the songs on this album have the impressive technical, yet expressive, playing that they are well known for, without falling back on clichéd themes. Many of these songs push dynamically through different tempos and, more importantly, feelings, without ever loosing the sense of melody to the song. The three songs mentioned above do this the best, and are still fan favourites today, probably because of this, yet the other songs display this trait, just not quite as well. The one place were this album suffers in comparison to Images And Words and Awake (the other two albums with Kevin Moore playing keys and writing songs) is that they didn't have quite the touch for a killer groove or melody that they would pick up in the following three years before I&W.

Now that I've waxed lyrically about this album I get to its problem, and it's a big problem. The production quality is atrocious to say the least. All instruments throughout this album are under produced, resulting in what can only be described as a muddy sound quality were you have to really listen hard to pick up on some of the nuances in the music. This has wrecked what should have been a really good album as it lacks any sharp edge to the sound, everything seems to merge together, reducing the enjoyment I get out of this album.

Overall this album was actually quite a surprise to me, I didn't actually expect the songs to be of such a high quality as they are. This album looses 2 stars, though, because Dominici is not as good a singer as LaBrie and it has atrociously produced sound quality. It is one of the most enjoyable albums that Dream Theater have produced but the faults are just far too big for me to give it more than 3 stars.

sleeper | 3/5 |

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