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Dream Theater - Wither CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.22 | 86 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Withering heights...

Four tracks on this EP. The original studio recording of Wither, a vocal demo of John Petrucci singing Wither, a stripped down piano version of Wither, and a vocal demo of Mike Portnoy singing The Best of Times. It would seem that just about everyone in the band has been given a turn at contributing something different, except John Myung. He probably recorded a version of himself playing the entire album back-to-front in under a minute, but was too shy to hand it in.

It almost goes without saying that if you don't like Wither then you should avoid this like the plague, but I personally think it is one of Dream Theater's better ballads in recent times. The vocals on the John Petrucci demo sound surprisingly tuneful, but the cynic in me assumes some sort of technological trickery may have been involved. The piano version is also quite pleasant, bringing back memories of Jordan Rudess' 'Notes on a Dream' solo album. But for me the real surprise was the MP demo...

Whilst I think that John Petrucci can't really sing, I firmly believe Mike Portnoy shouldn't even be allowed near a microphone. And yet, this version of The Best of Times actually sounds pretty good. Not because the vocals are particularly pleasing on the ear, but because they make the otherwise horrifically cheesy lyrics sound more sincere, almost tolerable. The rawness does have a certain charm to it, and I draw parallels with the final track on 'Journal for Plague Lovers' by the Manic Street Preachers, which was sung by their bassist as a tribute to a missing band member, Richey Edwards.

The Verdict: Not too shabby.

Starhammer | 2/5 |


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