Dream Theater
When Dream and Day Unite



by neopistol USER (1 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 181 replies

Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

This is Dream Theater's debut album, the album that started it all. This was before they had vocalist James Labrie, who is in the band as of today. if Dream Theater had kept Charlie Dominici, they most likely would not be as good as they are today, and would not have as many fans, since a lot of fans claim this as Dream Theater's worst album.

They have a very unique sound - influences of Metallica and Iron Maiden are most obvious. But they all have some virtuostic and more progressive elements of Pink Floyd, Genesis, but they also have their own unique style of sound. The album is the best in the beginning, and it ends with a bang. This is definitely not an album to start off with if you are new to Dream Theater, if you want to start, try Images And Words or Scenes From A Memory.

A Fortune In Lies - 6/10
This track has some of the heaviest riffs on the album. The musicians do a great job here, but, like a ton of other tracks, Charlie Dominici's voice comes in and really damages it. It's an average song, but it is in no way a bad song.

Status Seeker - 9/10
Wow, now this is a good song! This song shows Dream Theater's more virtuostic and progressive side, where metal takes a backseat. Unlike some of the other tracks, Charlie Dominici's vocals are excellent! I actually prefer him to James in this song.

YTSE Jam) - 7/10
One of Dream Theater's well-known instrumental tracks. The beginning starts with a neat effect, and then goes into some heavy riffs. It kind of drags on, making it rather repetitive, but near the end it picks up and gets better.

The Killing Hand - 6/10
After much of the heavy tracks, Dream Theater has a melodic opening, but it immediately goes into some hard rocking riffs. Again, Charlie Dominici annoys the hell out of me, and the lyrics are really baffling, but the musicianship is so good in this song. One of their lighter ones.

Light Fuse And Get Away) - 6/10
Not one of my favorites. Once again, the musicianship is excellent, but in this song, Charlie is more annoying than ever. He tries to speed up his voice in the somewhere in the song, and sounds plain bad. Kind of lengthy too. Not one of my favorites off of this disk.

Afterlife - 7/10
This track begins with a fast (and rather neat) guitar opening, and then when the other instruments come in, it sounds rather awesome. The guitar is very fast in this song, as well as the drums. The vocals aren't as bad in this song as say, Light Fuse And Get Away, which is a plus. The lyrics are meaningful, but it gets a little repetitive and drags on (could use a minute or two taken off), but it's a good song.

The Ones Who Help Set The Sun - 6/10
This song starts off very slow. For the first 2 minutes and 45 seconds, it is extremely boring and unthoughtful. Then, it smacks you in the face with fast drums and guitar playing, and gets heavier later on. As you listen, it gets faster and faster, and better and better. If the vocals were touched up a bit, this would be a pretty good song.

Only A Matter Of Time - 8/10
Kicks off with a unique and progressive opening, and then gradually gets faster. It gets really fast when Charlie comes in. His vocals are excellent in this song. Everything about this song is great - the lyrics, vocals, instruments, everything. John Petrucci takes a backseat in this song. Kevin Moore is the star with his excellent playing, Mike Portnoy's drumming is at his best, and Charlie sounds great. Unlike a lot of the songs, it doesn't seem to drag on as much. Six minutes is the perfect length. The perfect way to end the album.

This is overall a solid debut effort from Dream Theater. The things I liked were the excellent musicianship, the solos and the virtuostic elements. Things I disliked were, obviously the vocals, some tracks were too long and seems to drag on, and it was a little short.

Recommended tracks: Status Seeker, YTSE Jam, Only A Matter Of Time.

user ratings (925)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
The JoZ
December 29th 2004


I don't like Charlie's vocals, I'm glad they got rid of him.

Status Seeker, Ytse Jam, The Killing Hand and Only A Matter of Time are great tracks.

December 29th 2004


[QUOTE=The JoZ]I don't like Charlie's vocals, I'm glad they got rid of him.[/QUOTE]
Shame. I was reading this thinking, "Wow, DT without Labrie!!"

December 29th 2004


2nd best Dream Theater album, respect.

December 29th 2004


I've only heard Ytse Jam off this. Its a very good track. Good review by the way.

December 30th 2004


I'm not a big fan of the vocals

The JoZ
December 30th 2004


[QUOTE=Toozey]2nd best Dream Theater album, respect.[/QUOTE]

I don't know if it's that good. It's definetly a good CD, but 2nd best?

Well, I suppose it depends on your tastes too.

December 30th 2004


Good Reveiw Man

el doctor
December 30th 2004


One of the things I do like is that this, along with the next few albums to follow, still had a fair bit of classical influence. I agree though, the vocals really plague the album. Other than that though, the music is pretty good. Ytse Jam is great as are the riffs in A Fortune In Lies (everyone loves the little tease for the song they often add in after ACOS live). I'm really interested in hearing the 15th anniversary performance of this album though.

There's a few songs I like off of this, but overall I think it's just a mediocre album.

Distorted Vision
December 30th 2004


[QUOTE=Toozey]2nd best Dream Theater album, respect.[/QUOTE]
What you been smokin' Tooze?

July 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

There is a hint oof neo-cllassical in a few songs. Especially the main riff to Ytse Jam

April 1st 2008


Light Fuse And Get Away is an awesome song imo, it has a really good chorus, and mike portnoy is at his best.

April 3rd 2008


"haha exactly. ytse jam is the only song i give a rats *** on this album about and labrie does it so much better"

You do realize what you just said?

April 3rd 2008


Album Rating: 3.3

I'm hoping that he meant that to be two different thoughts that he forgot to seperate... although I've seen them do this song live before and Labrie plays a mean tamberine... maybe he plays the tamberine "so much better" then Charlie used to....

April 3rd 2008


Charlie stinks compared to LaBrie.

April 3rd 2008


Album Rating: 3.0


June 13th 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

going through the discography to re-evaluate my dislike for this band, this cd is not helping

December 18th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

Charlie Dominici isn't James LaBrie, two seperate vocal styles altogether. To compare them would be like comparing Copper to Beryllium. However, in his respect, Domonici is still an excellent vocalist, and encompasses many difficult techniques quite fluidly.

As for opinions, fireaboveice, you're rating is only that, and isn't required. If you're even going to comment, at least have an intelligent explanation as to why you dislike something.

As for the review, it seems to be missing the massive influence of Rush.

Other than that, most of the songs flowed seamlessly in my opinion, except for The Ytse Jam, which dragged for a bit.

December 18th 2009


Album Rating: 3.3

I personally like this album. My only real complaint is the weak production.

December 18th 2009


A Fortune In Lies 7/10
Light Fuse And Get Away 7/10
Only A Matter Of Time 8/10
are the best in my opinon

May 4th 2010


Vocals aren't that bad but they do bring it down a bit.

Good musical composition, but the production is a real downside.

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