Only last June Dream Theater released arguably their best album in ten years; Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Now, to follow it up and mark the release of the record’s second single “Wither” the band have landed us with this digital EP.
It’s not exactly must have material for most Dream Theater fans but if you’re a die hard completist then chances are you that you were sold by the time you finished reading the first paragraph of this review.
Four tracks in length Wither is merely a reminder of Dream Theater’s prog dominance. Firstly, the title track’s album version opens this digital only offering. An almost typical Dream Theater ballad it magnificently ascends to staggering heights.
What stands out most here is the piano version of the track. Still retaining its grandeur, it has a more stripped down sound, without the vocal harmonies of the album track, merely James LaBrie assuming all vocal duties. It highlights LaBrie’s sometimes overlooked abilities.
Finally a vocal take of John Petrucci on the track and Mike Portnoy on the thirteen minute long “The Best Of The Times” remain. Taken for what they are these two tracks are mediocre. For lead vocals the two have an average ability and serve as a reminder, again, as to why they mostly do backing vocals on DT’s albums.
Let’s keep this very short, like the EP. If you’re on a goal to complete the Dream Theater discography then this is a must. If you’re a leisurely listener then it most definitely is not, best stick with Black Clouds & Silver Linings.