JAMES LABRIE

"Impermanent Resonance" (InsideOutMusic; 2013)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

James LaBrie is best known as the voice of Dream Theater. This is his third solo disc and you might think "Impermanent Resonance" would just be Dream Theater extended, but it's not. It's all his original work and it sounds awesome. His voice has a very different tone on this disc; it's almost melodic metal. Yes, there is still the progressive sound but he doesn't just sing along to each track -- he also has screams and growls coming from Peter Wildoer and they use their vocal instruments to tell the story of each song.

Most Dream Theater songs develop so their time can clock in at twelve to fifteen minutes. James LaBrie's songs are four to five minutes in length so you get a lot more vocals as to where a DT track of twelve minutes might have him singing for three or four. The music on "Impermanent Resonance" is heavy and melodic. There are some hard rocking tracks and those sound right in line with LaBrie's voice. The screaming vocals add a darker edge to the songs. It's somewhat of a departure but welcomed because the sound is balanced very well and never overdone. The guitar of Marco Sfogli is incredible. One of his idols is James Petrucci (and he can sound just like him at times) but he's got his own sound and style. LaBrie knows how to pick the right axe man to do the job.

I usually list the best tracks but this disc plays through so smoothly that I would just suggest you cue it up and then sit back and listen.

The band: James LaBrie - vocals; Marco Sfogli - guitar; Matt Guillory - keyboards and background vocals; ray Riendeau - bass guitar; Peter Wildoer - drums and screaming vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.jameslabrie.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Feb 2017 13:05:52 -0500.