Classics: DREAM THEATER ‘When Dream and Day Unite’

One of the most influential albums in progressive metal has its 30th anniversary. It was in March 1989 when Dream Theater released a milestone album that certainly belongs to the classics in metal.

Shortly before releasing ‘When Dream and Day Unite’ the quintet from NYC gave up the band name Majesty and became Dream Theater. Over time Dream Theater became a brand that stands for excellent metal music that builds on heavy guitars, complex structures and a solid portion of melody. All units in great songs and the debut is the carrier of eight of them.

Although ‘When Dream and Day Unite’ was the successful start into an impressive career, the album always stays a bit behind, compared to the even more successful sophomore release ‘Images and Words’. Songs from the debut haven’t been on setlists very often during the last years although it would be great to listen to classics like ‘A Fortune in Lies’ in a live setup.

Dream Theater premiered with an eight-track comprising album and it’s the only album with frontman Charlie Dominici. What makes this album special is that it showcases a band that started to find its own identity. There is a huge amount of playfulness embedded as well as there is a high level of musical savvy, both combined with extraodrinary technical skills. For me, it’s Dream Theater’s most authentic album although the big commercial success came later on. ‘When Dream and Day Unite’ is the first step of five young guys that share a similar musical vision and passion that manifests itself in eight songs that are timeless and outstanding.

Dream Theater’s debut lifted the bar for bands in progressive metal extraordinaryand their first release is still a reference for many young bands


  1. A Fortune in Lies
  2. Status Seeker
  3. The Ytse Jam
  4. The Killing Hand
  5. Light Fuse and Get Away
  6. Afterlife
  7. Only a Matter of Time
  8. The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun

Label: MCA

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date: March 6th, 1989

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