JAMES LaBRIE – Impermanent Resonance (2013)
After his good last release in 2010, Dream Theater’s singer JAMES LaBRIE is back with a powerful new studio album effort entitled “Impermanent Resonance” to be released on July 29th, 2013 in Europe and August 6th in North America.
The new recording was once again conceived with LaBrie’s songwriting partner for over a dozen years now, Matt Guillory, who didn’t only take the leading role in the composing of the song material, but also handled all of the keyboards as well as background vocals, and together they have created another top quality Prog-Metal album.
Opening track “Agony” certainly caught me off guard – starting with some heavy riffs and growl vocals before Labrie‘s usual melodic vocals kicked in. Yes, the guitar sound and keyboards are recognisably Dream Theater-esque in places, but things are considerably heavier and distinct enough to make this stand apart. This four and a half minute composition features a cleverly crafted lead guitar solo and the kind of anthemic refrain that most melody-driven bands would sacrifice their right arm for.
Then some keys of dark/goth persuasion surrounds “Undertow”, while the more melodic “Slight Of Hand” will particularly appeal to every single ‘Awake’ era Dream Theater fan.
Clearly targeting the US market, “Back On The Ground” is a real melodious number that deserves your attention; the same applies to the flamboyant “I Got You”.
Sandwiched between the simply-crafted but much appealing “Holding On”, “Lost In The Fire” and “Destiny To Burn”, lies “Letting Go”, a four minute heavy riffed monster which features one of the most memorable verses of the album, while “Say You’re Still Mine” is the kind of balance that the rest of the guys in DT might have liked to be included on the band’s upcoming studio album (almost finished btw).
The last two compositions of the CD help to further strengthen its status as a truly impressive body of work, with “Amnesia” presenting an array of catchy multi-layered vocal melodies, and closer “I Will Not Break” features a drum theme whose speed and heaviness is sure to impress, perhaps even promising more varied future musical escapades from this mighty Canadian singer.
Without a doubt one of the best vocalists in the music industry, James LaBrie has created another clever piece of work in “Impermanent Resonance”. Though seemingly straightforward and easily accessible, the twelve compositions on offer are products of intelligent musicianship, patiently crafted by a group of musicians with a soft spot from rich melodies, but who are also not afraid to step on the accelerator when needed.
Some tracks are really heavy with intense riffs and pounding rhythm section, but keyboards as well are also much more relevant on this album than on previous LaBrie solo releases. While some listeners may find Guillory’s occasional growl appearances a bit uncomfortable, James always rapidly takes the central role with his awesome multi-ranged vocal performances.
On “Impermanent Resonance” there isn’t a single composition that doesn’t contain a memorable hook or an emotionally-charged refrain. Musically, it is tighter than Dream Theater – the tracks are more structured and less experimental in nature – and it has a modern cutting edge feel to it.
I think most DT fans will enjoy this, but I’d recommend it to anyone who is a fan of prog-metal or melodic metal which tries to do something different.
03. Slight Of Hand
04. Back On The Ground
05. I Got You
06. Holding On
07. Lost In The Fire
08. Letting Go
09. Destined To Burn
10. Say You’re Still Mine
12. I Will Not Break
James LaBrie — Lead Vocals
Matt voc — Keyboards, Background Vocals
Marco Sfogli — Guitars
Ray Riendeau — Bass
Peter Wildoer — Drums
Peter Wichers — guest Guitar
BUY IT !