Dream Theater
When Dream and Day Unite


2.5
average

Review

by Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (110 Reviews)
July 16th, 2014 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A first step that leaves but a small footprint.

Dream Theater without James LaBrie. That's probably the easiest pitch one could make for When Dream and Day Unite. Granted, one shouldn't necessarily use this statement to summarize Dream Theater's (formerly Majesty) debut and call it a day, as there's more to the overall picture. It's not a terribly big or interesting picture, but if there's anything Dream Theater went on to teach us, it's that they're far from a cut-and-paste group. Though When Dream and Day Unite failed to be a pivotal chapter in the band's discography, it does contain some of the band's characteristic makings, just in an undeveloped form.

The immediate concern diving into When Dream and Day Unite is the weak production, something that puts high beams on the album's trapped-in-the-80's identity. Everything sounds thin and tap-ey, cutting down what could have been a host of exciting moments. The music still functions on a technical level, and when one's ears finally adjust, the album's heavily synthesized music and eerie Spaceman vibe begin creeping out. This is when the seeds of talent in John Petrucci (guitar) and John Myung (bass) become most apparent. None of it is ever memorable, but there are bits to appreciate when analyzing the music less aesthetically.

One of When Dream and Day Unite's other crippling issues is the lack of consistently engaging material. Catchy moments like opener "A Fortune in Lies" and "The Ytse Jam" are welcome, as are points when things pick up (see "The Killing Hand," about 5 minutes in), but for the most part, everything fumbles. This is especially so during the second half. Within fifteen minutes of ending, one grows weary of the entire experience and longs to move on to something different, something more fulfilling. Dream Theater are no stranger to comments of "bloated" and "overzealous" music; When Dream and Day Unite unfortunately earns such remarks.

Another problem is original singer Charlie Dominici, who's seldom given the chance to actually shine. This stems significantly from the choice to emphasize the rest of the band in mixing. As a result, rather than steering the album's sound, Dominici is here to keep the album from being instrumental. He's not a necessary force, just a role player.

Other than a performance to commemorate the album's fifteen-year anniversary, Dream Theater have mostly ignored When Dream and Day Unite, something any reasonable listener can understand. It never left an impression on audiences and the ultimate experience is completely blasé. Dream Theater hardcores may seek it for completion's sake, but even then it's a tough sell.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BMDrummer
July 16th 2014


14081 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album sucks

jtswope
July 16th 2014


5686 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Agreed.

OmairSh
July 16th 2014


14341 Comments


It's the start of something beautiful

Davil667
July 16th 2014


2841 Comments


Nicely put Omair.

tempest--
July 16th 2014


20596 Comments


fuk u

tempest--
July 16th 2014


20596 Comments


album rules so hard

BigPleb
July 16th 2014


51632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album has a few jams, ye.

tempest--
July 16th 2014


20596 Comments


1.5 lol try actually listening to the album and not just rating like the masses do jtswope

BigPleb
July 16th 2014


51632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ye, nothing on here that's terrible anyway tbh.



If I had increments it would be a hard 3.3

tempest--
July 16th 2014


20596 Comments


that should be rounded to 3.5 ;-]

seriously I AM THE KILLLING HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND

how can you not love that

BigPleb
July 16th 2014


51632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Killing Hand and the opener are reaaaaal good.

MO
July 16th 2014


22049 Comments


"Imagine Dream Theater without James LaBrie. "

easy to do since he's beyond terrible

NeroCorleone80
July 16th 2014


34341 Comments


This guy is much worse

JJKeys
July 16th 2014


839 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

LaBrie completely butchered the vocals in When Dream and Day Reunite - that performance totally does not do the album justice.



I'd love to see WDADU remastered, but I don't think that's ever going to happen

Sabrutin
July 16th 2014


4622 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That album cover makes me feel uncomfortable. [2]

Onirium
July 16th 2014


3035 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If it wasn't for the production, this would be a solid 3

KILL
July 16th 2014


80922 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

a suited man smiled said

Digging: Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained

SnakeDelilah
July 16th 2014


20005 Comments


worst album cover ever

Digging: Glassjaw - Material Control

KILL
July 16th 2014


80922 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hold tight



limelight!

Snowdog808
April 1st 2015


2900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album really takes too much crap for an inferior vocalist.



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