Dream Theater
Wither


2.0
poor

Review

by Nagrarok USER (219 Reviews)
January 5th, 2010 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


For many familiar with progressive music, Dream Theater is a band that needs little introduction. With the virtuosic skills of their members, they have from the beginning of their career helped pioneer and develop the progressive metal genre. While criticized for a great many things, mostly for their inability to write properly structured songs, showcasing their instrumental abilities instead, as well as their often banal and annoying lyrics. While there is much truth to these claims, the band has shown to have slightly moved away at times from their earlier ‘wank’-era which was at its highest with their second album Images and Words. With later releases such as Awake and Scenes From A Memory, they have focused more on writing actual songs, and after the disappointment that was 07’s Systematic Chaos, they picked up their good habit once again, creating the not at all shabby Black Clouds and Silver Linings last year. An single EP, Wither, followed a month or so after, and has been the band’s first areal EP since ‘95’s A Change of Seasons. What it consists of is no less than three different versions of the song it is titled after. The regular album version, a softer piano version, and a version with guitarist John Petrucci on vocals. The fourth track is another alternate take on another track from their latest work; The Best of Times with drummer Mike Portnoy handling vocal duties.

Now, Wither was a quite a good song on its own, the shortest and calmest track on Black Clouds, and an adequate break from the usual Dream Theater epics crawling over the rest of the space. It could have easily fit into the Images and Words-era, being reminiscent of Another Day, but then one with more punch. Like far too many of the band’s ballads, it is on the cheesy side lyrically, and for that, it tends to get annoying. While nicely fitting in with the rest of Black Clouds, it did not seem like the best move to bring out an EP displaying a whole three showings of the song. And indeed, it wasn’t.

To be blunt, the only interesting feature about the EP is the piano version of the song, which is a fitting approach to take with a ballad of such kind. Paired with LaBrie’s less-expressive-than-usual vocals, the piano arrangement does much good to the track. It may not carry as much power behind it, but much of the cheese has been omitted in the process. The Petrucci vocal version, however, is nothing special. The guitarist lacks a voice convincing enough to carry the song, and even though LaBrie has proved to be often annoying, Petrucci’s take adds little special. The same goes for Portnoy, who’s vocal expression is equally unimpressive to Petrucci’s. Redoing The Best of Times, which didn’t have all that much vocal work in it in the first place, feels like another unnecessary moment.

After four songs, Wither has never really left an impression of some kind. The material, except for the piano version, has all been heard before or adds nothing new to what we know Dream Theater can do. Rather than 4 songs we have already heard, they could at least taken an effort to squeeze in some interesting b-sides, or something of the kind. Wither feels like a cheap EP with a cheap purpose: filling the wallet.



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user ratings (163)
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
January 5th 2010


8602 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Saw this EP on the band's page yesterday and saw it hadn't been reviewed yet, so wrote up a shorty.

AliW1993
January 5th 2010


7511 Comments


good review. wither was one of my least favourite songs on the album so i'll probably not look into this

AliW1993
January 5th 2010


7511 Comments


also im loving the variety in the 'members also liked' section

MetalMassacreAttack
January 5th 2010


424 Comments


pos'd

Parallels
January 5th 2010


8858 Comments


EP's not special, but the original song is.

Nagrarok
January 5th 2010


8602 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Three Withers just gets too tiring. There is barely anything of value on this EP, the piano version has potential but the rest is very inferior to the originals on Black Clouds & Silver Linings.

EVedder27
January 5th 2010


6088 Comments


Nice work. I don't believe you've done an EP lately.

Waior
January 6th 2010


11629 Comments


this sounds abysmal, 'wither' honestly wasn't even a good track to start with.

good review though. apparently members also liked opeth

Parallels
March 10th 2010


8858 Comments


wither is a fucking amazing song.

iwrestledabigmaconce
March 24th 2010


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think the whole point behind this EP was to get Mike's vocals on "The Best Of Times" public. He wrote the song for his dying dad and I think this was a move for the fans.

bloc
March 24th 2010


58251 Comments


This EP really is a waste though, even though I love Wither. The solo is fantastic.

Digging: Black Devil Disco Club - Disco Club

Parallels
May 15th 2010


8858 Comments


the solo sounds an awful lot like queens bohemian rhapsody....

bloc
May 15th 2010


58251 Comments


It does have that classic rock sound, especially with the note choices, but it sounds soooooo good.

tiesthatbind
May 15th 2010


7441 Comments


I love Wither. Such a great song.

onyedili
August 7th 2011


19 Comments


Wither is great song.

Destructerator
September 23rd 2011


854 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Rubs me the wrong way that this song is about writer's block.

Get Low
May 24th 2019


6771 Comments


What the fuck is this lol

kalkwiese
May 24th 2019


4297 Comments


"While there is much truth to these claims, the band has shown to have slightly moved away at times from their earlier ‘wank’-era which was at its highest with their second album Images and Words. With later releases such as Awake and Scenes From A Memory, they have focused more on writing actual songs"
The real wank startet with Scenes From A Memory.
What the fuck is this lol [2]



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