DREAM THEATER - WHEN DREAM AND DAY UNITE (Mechanic Records)
No introduction needed I suppose? In 1989 these guys surprised the Metal scene with their debut album. Although the forms and structures of Progressive Metal were already built by Queensryche, Fates Warning, Heir Apparent and Crimson Glory we hardly could believe our ears back then. Watchtower crossed the boundaries of using variable and multiple breaks before but wasnet able to hold a red line in their music. Different from the founders of the genre Dream Theater was indeed able to combine super complex arrangements with symphonic elements. It made them popular from the very first minutes...
If we look back we can possibly decide Dream Theater was formed in the perfect era. The end of the eighties Metal movement was in sight and most bands were searching for other challenges, mostly in extreme forms. Also the commercializing of our music had begun and the common Metal bands, if you allow me to use the word, didn't know back then they would be pushed back to the underground. What does it have to do with Dream Theater? A lot I suppose because they produced a new sound in Heavy Metal. The songs became longer, the breaks more technical, the musicianship more intense and they asked more of the listeners' attention. Of course these guys were influenced by the godfathers of the genre but no one could deny something refreshing, innovating was added in their music. It was the first time, as far as I know, the style was official recognized as Progressive Metal, based on Progressive Rock but it sounded so much heavier.
Especially on the debut album Dream Theater was metalized, searching for recognition as a Metal band, nothing more, nothing less. 'A Fortune In Lies' is a perfect example to show how 'Metal' they were, after all these years it still is an amazing song. Charles Dominici was the first singer of the band, and to be honest I adore his vocals. He has a very special timbre in his throat and although LaBrie, his replacer, belongs to the best singers in our movement we have the duty to honor Dominici. What was, but still is, so unique about Dream Theater are the gifted and intelligent musicians. Guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals are symbolized for perfection and they made Metal sound as an art. Never before we heard a band that was so well trained, so talented, so perfectly performing. Perfection is even an understatement but as I said in previous reviews that's not the only thing a good Metal band needs. The capability to write good songs with recognizable emotions are at least as important. By adding enough electrifying power to the music a band deserves the brand of being a Metal band, so did Dream Theater! With this album Dream Theater succeeded in their mission to represent themselves as an exclusively and extremely talented Metal band. Extra long songs can be found with astonishing musical parts but time after time we also hear good refrains, awesome melodic lines, amazing symphonic structures. Songs like 'The Killing Hand' ,'Afterlife' and 'A Matter Of Time' belong to my favorite ones.
Dominici left the band and for many years we didn't hear from him until he formed his own band a few years ago. I heard one of his albums and it sounds very good, not as magical as this one but still very good. Almost every member of Dream Theater was in one or another side project during the years, some were interesting, others pretty boring. Nevertheless these guys received an immortal status in the culture, respected by all Rock musicians. Dream Theater received their stardom later, after many years of hard work, but especially their debut opened many eyes. Short after other bands tried to play the same kind of music and soon an entire scene was born, searching for the boundaries of technical and Progressive Metal.
For me their debut album is, next to the follow up, still the best one. Why? Because on other releases these guys often forgot to write good songs, blinded by the overwhelming reviews and reactions because of their talents. Always wanting to sound more technical, more impressive and more overwhelming made me lose the contact with the band, although I own every official studio album of the band. Nevertheless their technical view on Metal became the key to their successes, selling millions of albums since the start. The only thing left to say is that ''When Dream And Day Unite'' is a pearl, a classic one, an everlasting Metal album.
My Points: 98 / 100