DREAM THEATER – When Dream And Day Unite [Japan Remastered SHM-CD miniLP] Out Of Print
This Japanese edition of DREAM THEATER‘s debut “When Dream And Day Unite” was recently released on high-fidelity SHM-CD / Cardboard sleeve format and presenting the latest remastering.
This was the album that started all for the band; originally baptized “Majesty” and later switched to Dream Theater, and featuring vocalist Charlie Dominici at the mic.
Each Dream Theater album doesn’t sound like the ones before and after it, yet they still maintain the signature style DT is known for. The same applies to “When Dream And Day Unite”.
It certainly doesn’t have the clean and polished sound that the next Images And Words (1992), Awake(1994), or any of their later albums. Its low budget production quality may be to blame for the lack of a top-end treble and bass, but this remastering job does help this.
There is a real rawness and a sense of urgency in the debut’s sound that hasn’t been prevalent since then, and for this you can tell that Dream Theater at the beginning just wanted to rock out.
At the time when “When Dream And Day Unite” was recorded, Dream Theater carried influences and an overall sound which resembled a mid-80s Rush mixed with Queensryche’s metallic edge.
The fact that Dominici sings much in a Geddy Lee style makes the band lean into this quality even more. James LaBrie hasn’t come along yet and his range definitely outclasses Dominici’s, but he certainly has authority and personality.
So, taken for what it is, this sound is definitely a good thing in my book because I dig every era of Rush, and I love elaborated keyboards. Kevin Moore not only knows how to write outstanding songs and melodies, but his atmoshperic keyboard flourishes and solos are quite unique.
And everyone knows about the excellent musicianship interplay between Moore, Petrucci, Portnoy, & Myung, and their chemistry.
“When Dream And Day Unite” has its own unique feel generating from it and you can’t really say that about a lot of music. Not only that, but the song compositions combining Rush and Quensryche here were ahead of their time.
Before their breakthrough Images And Words and Awake albums came along and spawned hundred of clone bands (not all good I’m afraid), there was hardly anyone doing this kind of stuff in the late ’80s.
‘A Fortune In Lies’ starts the debut off well, which is still a concert favorite to this day. By the end of the track, you have a clear picture on what Dream Theater is all about. ‘Status Seeker’ comes next and it’s actually a personal favorite of mine, despite being underrated.
Everyone who’s seen DT live has heard the concert staple ‘Ytse Jam’ (that’s “Majesty” backwards), which sports some stellar instrumental musicianship, and it never comes across as wankery which sadly the band is often accused of doing by non-fans.
The best song on here has to be ‘The Killing Hand’, containing incredible buildup throughout its 8-minutes and is probably the closest thing to their songwriting mastery on the following albums.
There’s some other overlooked material on here, such as the ever-changing ‘Light Fuse And Get Away’, the melodic ‘Afterlife’, and the dark and mystical sounding ‘The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun’. ‘Only A Matter Of Time’ finishes on a strong note.
“When Dream And Day Unite” marks as a solid entry in the Dream Theater catalog. It certainly doesn’t have the instant appeal that I&W, Awake, or 6 Degrees Of Inner Turbulence have. However, like a lot of DT’s albums, its charm and genius opens up over time.
The remastering was certainly necessary, and now everything sound more compact, fuller, with a best bass definition. Do make sure to check this quite rocking album. No Dream Theater collection is complete without this one.
Universal Music Japan ～ 【UICY-75604】
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01 – A Fortune In Lies
02 – Status Seeker
03 – Ytse Jam (Instrumental)
04 – The Killing Hand
05 – Light Fuse And Get Away
06 – Afterlife
07 – The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun
08 – Only A Matter Of Time
Charlie Dominici – lead vocals
John Petrucci – guitars
Kevin Moore – keyboards
John Myung – bass
Mike Portnoy – drums
Out Of Print