Saturday, October 23, 2010

James Labrie does ok without Dream Theater

Dream Theater has received some negative feedback over the last couple of albums for being somewhat boring and formulaic. Of course this is usually sentiments passed on by elitist prog heads. Personally I enjoy each and every album and don't really get into gauging my entertainment level for each. I think it's a waste of time and energy honestly. If I did have a criticism though it would be that I'd like to see the band flirt with the heavier aspects of the music because when they do it's pretty well done but few and far between.

Enter James Labrie's latest solo album "Static Impulse".Labrie assembled some fantastic musicians that for 90 percent of the album made *gasp* metal music.This cd is by far heavier then anything DT has ever put out with solid riffs and even some symphonic elements. The opening track "One More Time" might actual throw the first time listener off because it begins with harsh almost metalcore vocals from Peter Wildoer who is a drummer and vocalist for the Swedish band Darkane. Peter actually makes more then one appearance throughout the cd with the vocals but it's over the course of maybe 4 out of the 12 tracks.While I can appreciate what is being attempted it almost detracts from what is actually a good vocal performance by Labrie. If nothing else it actually makes him sound better as I've always considered James to be the weak link in Dream Theater.

Matt Guillory is keyboards and apparently is a constant whenever James decides to put out a solo effort. His compostions are pretty epic on some of these songs and songwriting from both of these are on par with DT.Rounding out the rhythm section is Ray Riendeau which I know nothing about but he does a admirable job on bass. I honestly hope that with the departure of Mike Portnoy that DT will delve more into the territory that James is touching on here because it might actually gain some new fans. Just leave the metalcore shit out of it though. I hate that type of vocals. So if you're a fan of Dream Theater, check this disc out, have an open mind for some of the vocal approaches, and enjoy. Here are two songs that show the good and bad in this cd in my opinion.

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