Album 0023: Dream Theater – Wither

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Wither (piano version) (05:09)
2. Wither (John Petrucci vocal demo) (05:25)
3. The Best Of Times (Mike Portnoy vocal demo) (13:06)

Total Length: 23:40

I’d imagine this release began life as just a single, but upon realizing the total running time was nearly 30 minutes (the full release has the album version of Wither as well, which I removed because I have the album as well), they decided to call it an EP. Either way, this is a neat little release. The piano version of Wither is a really neat version of the song. It of course focuses on the melody much more than the full version, and it’s powerful. I do however think that the vocal reverb is a bit too long, and some of the patches for the strings are kind of cheesy and not up to the level I would expect from Jordan Rudess.

John Petrucci fully wrote Wither on his own time, so it’s only fitting they include the demo of Wither with him singing it. Petrucci is actually a decent singer. He can’t quite sing the pre-chorus, and there are some bad clips at points, but it’s a nice little version included here for posterity. It’s a similar idea for Mike Portnoy singing The Best Of Times. The lyrics are really personal to him, and so it makes sense he would record a version. He’s not as good a singer as even Petrucci, but it’s decent. This song is still great, and remains great as is. These are the best vocals he’s done though, compared to other songs where he tried to have more ‘balls’.

This isn’t a release I will really listen to much, if at all. Again, it’s nice for posterity but not much else.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

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