James LaBrie - Impermanent Resonance
Label: InsideOut Music
Reviewer: Sama Shahrouri - 2013-09-04
Highlights: I Will Not Break
Something I miss about metal music is how it used to be much simpler before. I miss listening to a pure 3 to 4 minute metal song and then replaying it once it’s done. A big majority of the songs I first listened to at the beginning of my musical journey consisted of these commercial/non-commercial short metal tracks. Looking back at them now, I can see how far my musical taste has come, but no matter how devilish and hardcore you may be, you can’t deny the joy and happiness you get once you listen to those old songs again years later. Your teenage years’ summer soundtracks bring joy to you nowadays. And this is exactly how I felt “Impermanent Resonance” was. A simple and direct metal record.
“Impermanent Resonance” is a badass record by the badass musician James LaBrie. Better known for his role as the voice of Dream Theatre, it is LaBrie’s fifth record released under his own name, and his own style diverged from his parent band. In this 2013 release, LaBrie and band members Peter Wildoer (drums and harsh vocals), Matt Guillory (keyboards), Marco Sfogli (guitars), Peter Wichers (writing/guitar), and Ray Riendeau bring forth an almost 50 minute record composed of 12 three to five minute hard rocking tracks. The record is composed of elements of melodic death metal thanks to Wildoer’s metal drumming techniques as well as his highlighted screaming vocals that had contrasted LaBrie’s signature high pitched vocals.
All songs on the record are chorus-based, and they’re all quite impressive. I miss listening to good radio music, good commercial music, if such a thing exists in the first place. Listening to this record is fun and it doesn’t get boring at all. Unlike the progressive sound we are used to hearing LaBrie presenting, this record is straight to the point and simple. His musical style is different from Dream Theatre’s in that exact way of being simple.
Along with the chorus-based songs, the music on all tracks is lead by the guitar-keyboard fusion of Sfogli and Guillory, which gives the record a modern sound in how it seems to have an electronic twist in it. It reminded me of the old days when bands like early Three Days Grace were the shit, and that’s not a bad thing because if this album is like the TDG of today’s generation, then everything is okay with the world. We’ve got it all in here, the typical self motivation song in “Back on the Ground”, the must-have soundtrack of summer in “Holding On”, the cliché love song in “Say You’re Still Mine”, and the inevitable break-up track “Amnesia” all in one attire. It’s a rich album to say the least, no matter how weak LaBrie’s lyrical content may be, but it has everything a new listener asks for.
This is a good 2013 release, probably the best of LaBrie’s solo efforts so far. He and his band finally succeeded in breaking away from the Dream Theatre shadow and going into their own light. I predict good radio play for this one, and good chart numbers as well.