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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.19 | 1256 ratings

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2 stars Love them or hate them (and that seems to be the case around these parts), there's no denying that Dream Theater are probably the most successful of the Progressive Metal bands and it all started here on their 1989 debut. It's a promising start; the musicianship's there, though naturally it would get better, the complex song structures and a well balanced blend between the Progressive and Metallic elements. The most obvious downside is the abysmal production which makes the band sound like they're playing at the end of a long tunnel! Another problem and one the band would soon realise themselves is the weak vocal skills of Charlie Dominici who of course would be gone before their next album.

But what of the songs; are they any good? Well as already mentioned there's some pretty complex arrangements going on here which most lovers of Prog like to hear but they're sometimes let down by weak melodies and the flow of the music doesn't always work to best effect with some of the seams between different parts not always allowing the music to segue as well as it could. It's early days though and this is the sound of a band finding their feet. Interestingly the best track on the album is a powerful instrumental titled Ytse Jam where they get everything just about right.

A Fortune in Lies opens the album and gets off to a promising start with a well structured and powerful intro with some nice changes but is let down big style by a weak chorus where the band sound they're about to fall apart. Herein lies the problem with much of the album. Many of the songs have ideas that you think, yeah that sounds great but then the band don't capitalize on it and it's followed by a lack lustre section making it difficult to enjoy any particular song as a whole. Perhaps the nearest they come to getting it all right apart from the previously mentioned Ytse Jam is on album closer, Only a Matter of Time, tellingly one of the stronger melodic moments on offer with a grandiose finale.

Still, all the major foundations were there for them to build on. Even at this early stage we can see that Dream Theater are gifted musicians with no weak links (excepting the vocals of course), they just needed a bit of time to learn their song writing craft...and they did. 2 stars.

Nightfly | 2/5 |


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