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

WHEN DREAM AND DAY UNITE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.19 | 1247 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars The best was yet to come, but this is where it all started.

Every band has a beginning. Every band has a debut album. Every band has a launching point. This is it and here's one to skip. Although I have all the Dream Theater albums and play them often, I rarely return to this lacklustre effort. Not that it's interminably bad, it's just not that good. What it lacks in lyrical talent it gains in musical ideas, I mean the music is incredible as you come to expect from Dream Theater. The guitars soar and there are massive lead breaks to savour. However the lyrics are rather poor, and the vocals are not up to what would become the Dream Theater standard of excellence. Dominici just doesn't cut it. it is a more mainstream album in terms of musical substance, it feels more like latter Queensryche than metal out of the box.

Well folks, there are highlight as always. Ytse Jam is an awesome treasure that has become a fan favourite for good reason. The Killing Hand is an 8 minute prog romp with huge keyboard flourishes and amazing guitar riffing. Portnoy, Petrucci and Myung of course were the mainstayers of the group but the missing ingredients are Labrie's towering vocals and the keyboard genius of Rudess. Dominici is horrid on vocals and ruins the album. Labrie totally lifted the band into the stratosphere when he joined.

Look at that appalling album cover! I usually love Dream Theater album covers but this artwork is self indulgent to the max; a bronzed man awaiting a DT brand, oh please! Thank heavens the band eventually were more inspired to create works of genius through Hipgnosis such as the iconic imagery of Octavarium.

I am aghast that respected proggers have given this 4 and 5 star ratings. Come on, not everything Dream Theater touches is pure gold, they were just getting started and this cannot possibly hold up to the brilliance of their later albums. The production quality alone is shockingly below par, and listening to Dominici attempt those high vocal passages is akin to having nails driven into your skull. Okay, nostalgically it has its place coming out in 1989 when metal was a driving force. But it was not a standout album for that year, and passed by unnoticed until Dream Theater actually became popular, and then it was a backlog item for the curious Dream Theater fan. Admittedly, Only a Matter of Time really resonates with me and is a favourite, but I am no fan of this album, and can barely wrench 2 stars out for this.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |

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