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James Labrie - Impermanent Resonance Award winner

James Labrie
Impermanent Resonance
by Vasilis Odontidis / Jorge "The Zarto" Zamudio at 15 July 2013, 3:48 PM


In 2010 I was really impressed with James Labrie’ second album “Static Impulse”. He totally altered the music style that people were used to as he shared vocal duties with drummer Peter Wildoer who handled all the brutal vocals. So we ended up with a mix of progressive, melodic Swedish Death Metal and it was totally awesome. “One More Time”, “Mislead” and “This is War” are my favorite tunes from that album and I occasionally listen back to them. Three years later he returns with his third album “Impermanent Resonance” with the same band members as in the previous album, keeping a similar musical direction.

With no surprises “Agony” opens the album with fast paced drumming and occasional blast beats, heavy down-tuned guitars, punchy synths, brutal vocals and an amazing chorus that sticks in your head from the first time.  The album continues in the same way. Great riffs, intense drumming, a lot of electronic elements, aggressive brutal vocals and amazing melodies by James Labrie. The main difference in the songs with the previous album is that melody is favored over aggressiveness, being in fact a mix of the first and second album. Still there are a lot of great songs like “Agony”, “Slight Of Hand”, “I Got You”, the beautiful ballad “Say You’re Still Mine” or the speedy “I Will Not Break” that closes the album.

James Labrie maintained the same band mates from the previous very successful album. Ray Riendeau is handling again the bass duties; Marco Sfogli is handling the guitars while Matt Guillory is offering his keyboards expertise and some backing vocals plus his contribution in songwriting along with James Labrie and Peter Wichers. And as it was mentioned before Peter Wildoer is behind the drums and doing the brutal vocals. JAMES LABRIE is back on track and “Impermanent Resonance” is an album full of great compositions, amazing vocal melodies and a tremendous performance. The production and mastering is done by Jens Borgen again and it is in the same way as in the previous album.

“Impermanent Resonance” establishes the characteristic sound of James Labrie personal band that can be described as a hybrid between DREAM THEATER and SOILWORK as these are the two primary nodes under which the music is created. Because of that though this album is not having the element of surprise that “Static Impulse” had and thus relying only on the strength of the compositions which are more streamlined in this one but without losing any of the quality of its predecessor.

As such “Impermanent Resonance” is another great album crafted by James Labrie and the rest of the musicians he keeps cooperating with. To be honest with you the latest years, “Static Impulse” tip the scale for me and I was more eager to find out where Labrie’s personal work is heading than DREAM THEATER’s albums. And in the end, “Impermanent Resonance” is an album that is totally rewarding the listener with its majestic melodies and quality compositions and remaining progressive in its own very special way.

THE ZARTO (10/10)

Since 2010, the albums of James LaBrie has become to me like an impact, I have admire his work on DREAM THEATER for many, many years, but showing this face, knowing this side of the man, a more aggressive, more simplistic (compared to DREAM THEATER so do not misunderstand, this has a high technical skill), a more “human” side, has been eclectic and grateful.

“Impermanent Resonance” is an album with a futuristic style, some electronic atmospheres, constant and consistent rhythm changes, beside that the guys involved in this project have not only the experience, but the talent a singer like LaBrie needs, the guitar solos are very proficient, with feeling and technic at the same time, the percussion set is nothing but amazing, the bass lines are very complete and took the melodies of the songs, and what can I say for the drummer, he is a machine, he could play anything you want to, if you don’t believe me, ask DREAM THEATER guys why almost he qualified for the replacement of Mike Portnoy, the keys as I said before, electronic, and giving a very nice, dark and enjoyable atmosphere to this release; as for LaBrie, well: this is his band, and he sounds like he wants, and he’s good in anyway.

This kind of releases contemplates everything you need from a metal release, light moments, aggressive sides, riffs memorable, choruses that can’t get out of the head, a very good guttural voice, and many more things, and this comes from a fan who have met James, have listened to him at concert, and for sure believes is one of the masterminds in rock-metal music nowadays.

4 Star Rating

1. Agony
2. Undertow
3. Slight Of Hand
4. Back On The Ground
5. I Got You
6. Holding On
7. Lost In The Fire
8. Letting Go
9. Destined To Burn
10. Say You're Still Mine
11. Amnesia
12. I Will Not Break
James LaBrie - Lead Vocals
Matt Guillory - Keyboards, Background Vocals
Marco Sfogli - Guitars
Ray Riendeau - Bass
Peter Wildoer - Drums, Screams
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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