Rating:
7.8
Dream Theater - When Dream And Day Unite
6 March 1989


01. A Fortune In Lies
02. Status Seeker
03. The Ytse Jam
04. The Killing Hand
    1 - The Observance
    2 - Ancient Renewal
    3 - The Stray Seed
    4 - Thorus
    5 - Exodus
05. Light Fuse And Get Away
06. Afterlife
07. The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun
08. Only A Matter Of Time


1989, the date of birth of the biggest progressive metal band ever is set with the release of their first full-length album, nicely entitled 'When Dream And Day Unite'. Dream Theater is hailing from New York, NY and its lineup is then Mike Portnoy [drums], John Petrucci [guitars], John Myung [bass], Kevin Moore [keyboards] and Charlie Dominici [vocals]. This album is probably not their best release but as we're going to see, it features still incredible stuff, especially if you consider again that we are in 1989 and progressive as only known with progressive rock bands such as the mighty Rush and others.

First released as a vinyl, this album has been reissued on CD format by MCA Records and that's what we are talking about. I'm not sure whether at as been remixed or not, so let's just say that this review is about the CD format of 'When Dream And Day Unite' and not the vinyl format. The production is typical of the 90s and that's fine with me since it makes me nostalgic and it also proves that these songs were actually written and played in 1989? Incredible? Yes.

That point cleared, the track list is composed by eight songs among which 'The Ytse Jam' is probably the most famous, especially because it has been player on several live albums afterwards, but maybe also because it's clearly the heaviest and most progressive track on the whole release and it deserves the title of first progressive metal instrumental song. The technical frenzy of the quatuor Portnoy, Petrucci, Myung and Moore is simply breathtaking and would inspire lots of other musicians back in the early nineties.

'A Fortune In Lies' is an incredible opener as well and it's also my favorite track on the entire album. Portnoy is majestic while the duo Petrucci/Moore is in musical trance. Myung shines too whereas their first singer Dominici is not bad at all, despite his style more toward pop-rock than metal. The solos are incredible and no wonders this album must have inspired lots of people then!

'Status Seeker' is something amazing too, in spite of its "hard rock FM feeling" [partially due to Dominici voice]; especially when Petrucci decides to unleash one of his famous solos like it's nothing. The chorus is damn catchy and Portnoy is already proven to be an exceptional drummer.
'The Killing Hand' is a long and splendid composition originally composed by five sub parts. Each of them is wonderful and this song is with 'The Ytse Jam' the closest song to what would then follow in terms of composition for Dream Theater [I'm talking about the album "Image And Words" release in 1992]. 'The Killing Hand' is definitely worth listening to, especially if you're a musician, you'll see what composition is all about. On that one, Dominici is really good and I can't imagine somebody else singing that one better than he does.

'Light Fuse And Get Away' is a tremendous mix of progressive influences and heavy rock, all gathered by excellent keys, courtesy of Kevin Moore. It has also almost a dark feeling, dare I say, with its complicated structure. As usual, the level of musicianship is totally out of reach for common mortals. The parts that come after choruses are mesmerizing pieces of music; and personally, a view of what Pink Floyd would have been as a metal band.

'Afterlife' is another of my favorites with that thundering guitar solo in the middle, that joyful melody and it also features the best chorus on the album. On the other hand, 'The One Who Help To Set The Sun' is the weak link. Despite a very good atmospheric beginning, the song slips into a too complicated structure so that the vocals and the music don't match really well in the end. Finally 'Only A Matter Of Time' is like a brother to 'Afterlife', same spirit, almost same quality.

Even if the album sounds old and is typical of this early 90s production, "When Dream And Day Unite" still impress by its technical aspect, its originality and the more I listen to it, the more I'm incline to discover new groundbreaking elements. While it's not an essential for the fans of the heavier sound of Dream Theater's music, "When Dream And Day Unite" is truly a unique piece of history for lovers of that element that makes the album "Images And Words" so special.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 6


Band profile: Dream Theater
Album: When Dream And Day Unite


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 10.01.2004



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 14  
Users visited: 113  
Search this topic:  


dark awakening - 07.08.2006 at 11:16  
The rating should be higher; that's a great album, mighty riffs and technique
BurbotsRevenge - 17.09.2006 at 05:11  
Its a great album. i bought it just week, but the singer was nowhere as good as LaBrie turned out to be.

JohnDoe - 23.10.2006 at 23:02  
The reviewer is too harsh. I enjoy DT's debut album, i consider it a solid album, the musicianship is outstanding, I like Dominicci's vocals and especially Kevin Moore's and John Petrucci's performances. Enough superlatives from me.
samgriffith85 - 30.10.2006 at 00:02  
This is a very good review. Not harsh at all. Portnoy has commented on many occasions about the bad production of WDADU. It was recorded AND mixed in 3 weeks! Compositionally, Dream Theater still had a long way to go after this album. The bass parts were too high. Now Myung really holds the music down with his playing, then he was playing far too many leads. One thing that could have been mentioned in this review is the amazing lyrics of "only a matter of time". Breathtakingly complex!

If you love this album then buy When Dream and Day Reunite. It is a live in concert show celebrating the album's 15th birthday. Not a fan of Dominici? Then this concert has LaBrie singing the album in entirety. it also has guest appearances from Dominici and Sherinian for Metropolis Part 1. really good version with Labrie and Dominici trading lyrics!
Mega-Slayer - 30.10.2006 at 00:26  
I believe this is an all around perfect album,"Killing Hand" is a masterpiece,their original vocalist does an expert job,he reminds me of Fates Warning original vocalist.The Ytse Jam is awesome,it was the first track I heard from the album,and one cant forget "A Fortune In Lies"
4look4rd - 14.05.2007 at 21:31  
Written by BurbotsRevenge on 17.09.2006 at 05:11

Its a great album. i bought it just week, but the singer was nowhere as good as LaBrie turned out to be.




I dont really like LaBrie's voice, and personally I like DT's original singer better (cant believe I forgot his name =X)

Anyways, this is an amazing album and it acctually got me into the prog metal scene
Warman - 16.05.2007 at 18:21  
No doubt, a good album! Mainly for the musical aspects though, I do not like Dominici. He can sing, but I think is voice is... gay. Like when he sings "I am the killing HAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!", makes me shiver because it sounds so gay.
But yes, this is a good album. Of course their least good album IMO and one should probably not start with this album if they want to hear DT.
Spyroid - 11.02.2008 at 17:45  
Written by Warman on 16.05.2007 at 18:21

No doubt, a good album! Mainly for the musical aspects though, I do not like Dominici. He can sing, but I think is voice is... gay. Like when he sings "I am the killing HAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!", makes me shiver because it sounds so gay.
But yes, this is a good album. Of course their least good album IMO and one should probably not start with this album if they want to hear DT.


That line is actually the worst thing DT ever put out. It's just false and horrible, either it's made on purpose or somebody is just stupid. I don't think it's that gay though, I like Dominici and he's not much more gay than LaBrie

Very good review! I was planning to write my own but that might not be necessary
Tadashi23 - 21.07.2008 at 15:17  
one of the most underrated albums ever.... awesome
Uirapuru - 29.04.2009 at 10:15  
I found this album extremily boring for non-DT fans. It's not bad, i liked ''Only a matter of time'' and Afterlife, but in general this album gives me yawns. The production and the vocals didn't help also.

Worst Dream Theater album. But from this to on their music becomes better and better.
Marcel Hubregtse - 29.04.2009 at 11:18  
Written by Uirapuru on 29.04.2009 at 10:15

I found this album extremily boring for non-DT fans.


Actually I find this the easiest album for non-DT fans to get into. Cause here their influences can be heard best and they have resorted to writing those extremely long boring songs yet. Musically it is rawer than anything they have done later on.
BloodTears - 29.04.2009 at 22:46  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.04.2009 at 11:18

Written by Uirapuru on 29.04.2009 at 10:15

I found this album extremily boring for non-DT fans.


Actually I find this the easiest album for non-DT fans to get into. Cause here their influences can be heard best and they have resorted to writing those extremely long boring songs yet. Musically it is rawer than anything they have done later on.


That is by far the best thing I've heard you say about DT.
Uirapuru - 30.04.2009 at 06:26  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.04.2009 at 11:18

Written by Uirapuru on 29.04.2009 at 10:15

I found this album extremily boring for non-DT fans.


Actually I find this the easiest album for non-DT fans to get into. Cause here their influences can be heard best and they have resorted to writing those extremely long boring songs yet. Musically it is rawer than anything they have done later on.


Well.. I mean, for people that are not Dream Theater fans, or metal fans, the ballads and catchiness of albums like ''Images and Words'' and ''Falling into infinity'' are way easier to enjoy than this one. It's very explorative for the genre, but the production and the vocals may frustrate some.

For metalheads, non-DT or prog metal fans, this album may indeed be best way to go.
Marcel Hubregtse - 30.04.2009 at 08:09  
Written by BloodTears on 29.04.2009 at 22:46

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.04.2009 at 11:18

Written by Uirapuru on 29.04.2009 at 10:15

I found this album extremily boring for non-DT fans.


Actually I find this the easiest album for non-DT fans to get into. Cause here their influences can be heard best and they have resorted to writing those extremely long boring songs yet. Musically it is rawer than anything they have done later on.


That is by far the best thing I've heard you say about DT.


I actually used to enjoy Dream Theater immensely when they were still called Majesty and on their first three studio albums but they got tedious after that.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Dream Theater - When Dream And Day Unite 10.5 04.03.2010 by Tadashi23
Reviews Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings 9 30.06.2009 by Dane Train
Reviews Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events 9 02.11.2011 by The Voyager
Reviews Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity 9 19.01.2008 by BurbotsRevenge
Reviews Dream Theater - Once In A Livetime 9 20.06.2007 by Lucas



Hits total: 5710 | This month: 40