Wednesday, July 31, 2013

James LaBrie - Impermanent Resonance (2013)

Most of you probably know James LaBrie best as the singer of the progressive metal legends Dream Theater, but on the side of Dream Theater, James have had some success with his solo project. And even if the solo band has certain progressive parts, most of the music is more like modern melodic hard rock. So for those of you who expect more Dream Theater like stuff on this record, though luck.

Anyhow, "Impermanent Resonance" is the third solo album for James, and even though I think he is the "weak" link in Dream Theater, he does an excellent job here. It may be because he have written the songs himself, but it is clear that his voice is more suited for this kind of music. The rest of the band does a good job as well, especially the drummer Peter Wildoer (Darkane) who also does the harsh vocal parts.

On to the album itself. The opening track "Agony" is the fastest track in the album and it is an addictive track with the epic chorus and sweet beat. It is kind of sad that there are no more songs like this one on "Impermanent Resonance". The second song, "Undertow", can easily be mistaken as a Dead By April song with its high electronic sound, the harsh vocal bridge and almost pop like tendencies. Even if so, "Undertow" is a great song that together with "Agony" brings the album to a fantastic start.

After the fast and hard hitting start, most of the remaining album sets its energy on creating beautiful and meaningful ballads and mid-tempo songs. Most of the songs does a good job, like "Back On The Ground" and "Holding On", but I feel that they could have put one or two songs on the sideline and instead put in a different kind of song. It is still a nice variety through the album though. This album covers almost everything, from the heavy "I Will Not Break" to the delicate "Say You're Still Mine".

The only thing that really bothers me is the over excessive use of the electronic keyboard. In small doses, it gives a song some personality, but use too much of it and it will take over faster than a zombie virus. I could make it the productions fault that the keyboard is too loud, but Jens Bogren did a excellent job producing this album. If someone else had produced this album, then I am pretty sure that I would have lowered the rating with one or two points.

Besides the fact that this could as well be a Dead By April album, I am impressed by "Impermanent Resonance". The music is great and James himself sings much better then he usually does. This will definitely be interesting since his main band Dream Theater will soon release a new album. If that album is as good as "Impermanent Resonance", then I will guarantee that you Dream Theater nerds will be mighty satisfied.

Songs worthy of recognition: Undertow, Agony, Holding On, Destined To Burn

Rating: 8,5/10 Amnesias

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