Review

DREAM THEATER When Dream and Day Unite

Album · 1989 · Progressive Metal
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4/5 ·
Modrigue
An impressive debut from such a talented band

Often underrated, "When Day and Dream Unite" receives controversial reviews, mainly due to the voice of the singer of this period, Charlie Dominici. But if you get used to it, then there is no reason for a metal or a progressive rock fan to not enjoy this record.

"A Fortune in Lies" is a classic from DREAM THEATER and opens the show with its changing introduction, its raging guitars and its powerful melody. A new style of metal is revealed. The number of transitions in five minutes is amazing and announces the direction taken by the musicians in their later albums. "Status Seeker" shows the band's neo-progressive influences. A weaker track, but still enjoyable. Then comes another classic and the instrumental of the record, the wonderful "Ytse Jam". Top-notch Egyptian sounding prog metal with surprising changes of themes and rhythms! All musicians demonstrate their mastery here. The next song, "The Killing Hand", is the most progressive of the disc. Beginning with a pretty acoustic introduction, the track sounds like a young "Metropolis Part I". Very inspired and enchanting.

The second half of the album may not be as remarkable as the first one, but has still its moments. "Light Fuse and Get Away" tends to be irritating and lazy whereas "Afterlife" is uneven. Fortunately, The two last songs conclude well the disc. "The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun" has a very strange and mysterious introduction, whereas "Only A matter Of Time" transports you far away into worlds of heroic fantasy.

Not often cited, "When Dream and Day Unite" is nonetheless a powerful and a convincing debut album. The young DREAM THEATER demonstrates its capacities and proves its novelty in the world of metal by adding progressive (jazzy like RUSH or neo like MARILLION) touches. A very recommended album if you like 80s' or prog metal.
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