Reviewed by MJBrady on 29 Nov 2001
1989 marked a year that found progressive rock and heavy metal starting to meld a new and exciting brand of music now slated as Progmetal, bands such as Fates Warning, Sieges Even, Watchtower, Rush, etc. Were daring to change and alter accepted formats, to create an entirely new, energetic, and challenging form of progressive music. DreamTheaters' debut showed flashes of what soon would become one of this new genres most acclaimed bands. Coming from musically educated backgrounds, these members brought the skills and savvy of a high octane fusion ensemble, and the power and drive of heavy metal, along with the operatic styled singer Charlie Dominici, who would later be replaced by James LaBrie, though this cd never reached the popularity of the bands later efforts with LaBrie, it none the less offers up some extraordinary musicianship, especially considering the fact it is a debut. Dominici doesn't have a bad voice for the music at all, he does sing in the higher registers like LaBrie, but perhaps has a more "common" voice, not unlike other metal bands of that day. Vocals aside, the music is and still remains the magic behind this band, with players that are considered amoungst the very best in the genre, or in amny other circles also. When Dream and Day Unite, is actually a very good debut, with some lengthy songs, many mood changes, incredibly daring instrumental sections, thus previewing the course to come from this prodigious band.
Reviewed by Ronald on 29 Apr 2006
Dream Theater's first official release gave an indication that this was a talented band that combined the styles of Yes, Rush, and Queensrÿche. The latter seemed to be too big of an influence at this stage of their career. Vocalist Charlie Dominici's voice is not powerful enough to carry out the band's otherwise convincing intensity, and his attempt to sound like Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate was unsuccessful. The music here is not as heavy as it would become in the '90s but could still be classified as progressive metal. Guitarist John Petrucci and drummer Mike Portnoy established themselves as competent musicians, but their individual styles were not yet refined. The band's originality does shine through on "Light Fuse and Get Away," "The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun," and "Only a Matter of Time." The odd-meter measures and numerous time changes gave the group a complexity that hadn't been experienced for an entire decade in the rock genre. "YTSE Jam" was essentially their answer to Rush's "YYZ" and became a staple in the band's live set. The session was marred mostly by subpar singing, too many metal clichés, and poor production. There is, however, enough interesting playing to make it a worthwhile listen for fans of this genre, and is certainly essential for Dream Theater fans.