When Dream And Day Unite Review

artist: dream theater date: 11/30/2009 category: compact discs
dream theater: When Dream And Day Unite
Released: 1989
Genre: Rock
Styles: Hard Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Neo-Prog
Number Of Tracks: 8
The music here is not as heavy as it would become in the '90s but could still be classified as progressive metal.
 Sound: 7.5
 Lyrics: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 8.3 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.8 
 Users rating:
 8.7 
 Votes:
 28 
reviews (4) 9 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
When Dream And Day Unite Reviewed by: PsychoWolfD, on february 16, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Dream Theater's first album, debuted in 1989, would sound just a bit different from their present-day material, but should please any Dream Theater fan. This particular CD would even please fans of Queensryche, Journey, and all those power-rocker bands with keyboards and soaring singers. It's 1989, so Dream Theater had a sort of a speed-metal style in their sound, which is very strong and driving. Dream Theater had Kevin Moore on keyboards on this album and I like his sound a lot, but I must admit I like Jordan Rudess better. Great keyboards, though. Now, the solos were unspeakably fast and beautiful. Guitarist John Petrucci does all that work to make DT's music complete and innovative, while crappy emos and wannabes and nu-metallers get all the attention of the public just by strumming a pile of crummy powerchords together and calling them songs. You have to credit John Myung and Mike Portnoy well for bass and drums, too. Great work. // 10

Lyrics: This is the first and last album with singer Charlie Dominici. God, that man can sing! I like James LaBrie too, but no Dream Theater fan should forget the amazing vocalist that started them off with their first album. This singer soars in his vocals. Very reminicient of the good metal bands of the '80s, he is my most recent influence. 01. A Fortune In Lies (lyrics: Petrucci) - starts off the album with a fine song. 02. Status Seeker (lyrics: Dominici/Petrucci) - fair song with a fine, bright intro. I thought this line from the chorus was catchy: "You draw the bottom line with a dollar sign." 03. The Ytse Jam (instrumental) - this is like one of DT's classics. If you own DT's live CDs and DVD's, you'll probably be familiar with this one. Very catchy main lead riff, something i like gettting stuck in my head lol. Great instrumental. 04. The Killing Hand (lyrics: Petrucci) - this is a five-part epic song composed of "The Observance," "Ancient Renewal," "The Stray Seed," "Thorns," and "Exodus." I love the lyrics, though I'm not sure what it means, myself. Fits perfectly with the singing. Something about this guy who stopped the Killing Hand that has killed many, but on "Exodus" he realizes he is alone in that land, and he was the Killing hand, or something. Not sure. Nice Spanish guitar intro and some military snare drums in the first 2 minutes of the song. 05. Light Fuse And Get Away (lyrics: Moore) - nice lyrics that match the tempo changes, etc, but in the chorus, I think one of the lines should have been written "No pain no gain" instead of "No gain no pain" but otherwise good. 06. Afterlife (lyrics: Dominici) - I like the theme of the song, about what happens to us in the afterlife. 07. The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun (lyrics: Petrucci) - great song, although I'm still vague on what the song's about. 08. Only A Matter Of Time (lyrics: Moore) - this properly concludes the album in my opinion. Nice outro, especially the keyboards. I like the first verse: 'A suited man smiled said: "It's just a matter of time You can have the world at your feet by tomorrow just sign on this line." Hold tight... limelight! Approaching the paramount with the sun in our eyes fearing family ties, legalies, compromise'. Mostly because Dominici sings it well. A line from this song is the decided title of this album: 'When Dream and Day Unite'. // 10

Overall Impression: Dream Theater basically defined prog-metal as a number of us know it. They are the most disciplined rockers/metallers of today. I'd even call them the Bachs, Beethovens, Mozarts and Schuberts of metal music. They put so much work in their music. Get this one to learn of how they musically started off. It's the only album with Charlie Dominici on vocals, and since he's a great singer this will make at least a good DT collector's item. The mainstream is giving nearly all their attention to crap bands like Slipknot and Green Gay and all that nonsense, but I'm kinda happy DT's not so mainstream because while they stay out of it, they get power to write music on their own way and the songs are not rushed, and they stay innovative this way. This is a great album from a great band. A must-have for enthusiasts of super-technical guitar playing, soaring clean vocals, great keyboards, and just plain innovation. // 10

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overall: 8
When Dream And Day Unite Reviewed by: petrucci_owns86, on november 22, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is Dream Theater's debut album, and is their only album with lead singer Charlie Dominici. It is also their only album without a song over ten minutes. It's a progressive metal album, but the vocals don't really fit in because Charlie Dominici is more of a pop vocalist. But the musicianship is still pretty good. There are many great solos and unisons by guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Kevin Moore. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are actually really well written. It's just that Charlie Dominici is more of an 80's rock style singer. His voice sounds like the guy from Journey. His replacement, James LaBrie, is more suited for the kind of music DT plays. The lyrics generally flow well with the music. // 8

Overall Impression: It's safe to say that this is DT's least popular album. I agree, I'm not a huge fan of it either. But it's still good to listen to every so often, so I can remember how far they've come, from this album to albums like Scenes and Six Degrees. The instrumentalists are very talented, but vocalist Charlie Dominici is more suited for a radio-oriented rock band, not a progressive metal band. Many of the tracks are well done, though. If it were stolen or lost, I would probably buy it again, because it's still a pretty good DT album. But if you're new to them, don't buy this first. Give most of their other albums a try first. // 8

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overall: 4
When Dream And Day Unite Reviewed by: CaptainSBDA, on june 05, 2007
0 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is pretty horrible, to say the least. This is totally eighties, you can tell. The technical proficiency of the band members is still evident in places, particularily Petrucci's guitar and Portnoy's drums, but overall the sound isn't very good. Not only is the production quality low but the sound itself just isn't good. Plus, Charlie Dominici's voice is drop-dead horrible and makes all of the vocal songs barely listenable. Overall, a pretty bad sound. // 4

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album, best I can tell, were lazily written and half of the time are mostly incomprehensible babble about people and magic things and stuff like that. Seriously, that's all I can really say. Plus, the song titles are dumb too. "The Ones Who Help To Set the Sun?" What? This is definitely one of the downfalls of this album. // 3

Overall Impression: Overall, the instrumentation is good, but the bad sound/audio quality sort of ruins it. The vocalist sucks, I am truly glad that Dominici was fired. He tries to sound like every other '80s hair band and he definitely fails. The best song on the album is "The Ytse Jam," and is honestly worth the price. The song rocks! I think it is the best on the album simply because there is no singing. That's what makes it great. Dream Theater fans, I recommend buying this just for the aformented jam and the fact that it is rare and it is running out. Fans of prog and new DT fans, stay away. This CD definitely shows that the band needed progress. They have progressed twenty times over since this disc, and it shows. // 5

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overall: 9
When Dream And Day Unite Reviewed by: deldelda, on november 30, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is Dream Theater's first record, and anyone listening can guess it's their Freshman album. The recording quality is typical of many bands' first albums - Metallica's Kill 'Em All and Symphony X's eponymous debut, to name a few, featured a distinctly poor recording quality compared to those bands' later works. However, I must praise that you can actually HEAR John Myung without trying too hard or breaking out the audio software. His bass is punchy and you can hear every note - this is how it should have sounded in every album thereafter! Portnoy's drums can sound a little odd, but that's also something people say about Images and Words (especially the triggered snare), considered by many as their best album. Another gripe people have about this album is Charlie. I feel his voice fits right in, and he has a very large range. Though they replaced him with LaBrie (I may get struck down by the DT Gods' thunder for saying this), they could have done well with Dominici also. In fact, I really didn't like his voice at first but it grew on me the more I listened to this album, and quite frankly that's what James LaBrie did too when I first got into DT. Don't let the rather 80's sound turn you off from the incredible music on this album. // 8

Lyrics: Their lyrics on this and the next two or three albums are more fantasy-based instead of reflective, as on their new albums which focus more on the band's personal experiences. I prefer the fantasy style of lyrics; it adds one more bullet to the progressive rsum of the album. The rhymes are never awkward and the words are never confusing. Often the tone of the lyrics will change with the tone of the music (such as in Light Fuse And Get Away). The meaning of each song is easy to decipher; there isn't a lyric on here which I don't understand. // 9

Overall Impression: I have to pump points into this category. The songs are incredibly complex, and the solos are among the most imaginative in their career - check out The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun and A Fortune In Lies. The unisons are classic - like the ones from Only A Matter Of Time and Afterlife, and the technical quality of the songwriting is very high - they knew what they were doing. The Killing Hand is an absolutely epic song. The riffs are memorable and never 'weird'. This is the kind of music I can only dream of being able to write. The songs are so varied from each other, as well as from one minute to the next. I recommend anyone who has heard their newer stuff to give this album a listen to hear what they started out doing, and anyone who is a fan of their earlier 90's works should buy it without delay. // 10

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