CD Reviews

James LaBrie - 'Static Impulse' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 20, 2010    
0.0 (0)
4033   0   1   0   0   0




Fourth studio album by the Dream Theater vocalist.

In the recent down time from Dream Theater while drummer Mike Portnoy was away resurrecting Transatlantic and playing with Avenged Sevenfold, DT vocalist James LaBrie has been busy recording ‘Static Impulse’, his 4th solo album if you count two under the Mullmuzzler moniker, and his first since ‘Elements Of Persuasion’ back in 2005. Yet again his writing partner is ex-Dali’s Dilemma keyboard player Matt Guillory and he’s also retained the services of the excellent Marco Sfogli on guitar, but this time out the bass duties are handled by former Halford man Ray Riendeau and LaBrie’s new drummer is Peter Wildoer. Despite being a new name to me, it’s the Swede Wildoer (of Darkane and Pestillence and formerly of Soilwork and Arch Enemy) who will be the biggest talking point amongst LaBrie’s fans when this album hits the streets, but more of him later. 

‘Static Impulse’ basically picks up where ‘Elements Of Persuasion’ left off, with a cornucopia of tight staccato riffs and jaw-dropping ensemble playing, and LaBrie’s distinctive voice soaring over all on a series of catchy songs, with the great melodies juxtaposed by the heaviness of the music. Maybe this album is heavier than his last release, or maybe it just seems that way because of Wildoer’s involvement, because as well as possessing amazing drumming chops he also possesses a guttural death bark that LaBrie and Guillory have used liberally as a counterpoint to James’ clean delivery. Just to emphasise the fact, Wildoer’s growl is the first voice you hear as the frantic ‘One More Time’ gets the album underway. As LaBrie comes soaring in on the glorious bridge this dark and light effect pretty much sets the scene for at least half of the album. Similarly the ensuing ‘Jeckyl Or Hyde’ and ‘Misled’ are also great songs with LaBrie and Wildoer both executing their parts perfectly, but despite the more extreme parts all the songs here are still very melodic with big choruses and some absolutely killer guitar and keyboard interplay, with Guillory using some very guitar-like sounds that sometimes make it tricky to tell which is which. ‘I Need You’ and ‘This Is War’ are other dual voiced songs, although LaBrie carries most of the former on his own and the chorus is simply gorgeous.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

Some of the other highpoints of this incredibly consistent album are a little less intense and the guttural vocals aren’t needed, particularly the excellent ‘Euphoric’, a very melodic tune that’s not dissimilar to ‘Wither’ from the last Dream Theater album, or the closing ballad ‘Coming Home’ which is built on plaintive piano and a simple vocal line. Similarly ‘Just Watch Me’ really reins in the power on the subtle verse but still explodes into a memorable chorus, but there really aren’t any fillers here and every song has much to recommend it.

The production by LaBrie and Guillory and mix by Jens Bogren (Opeth) are particularly sharp and I have no hesitation in stating that this is not only James LaBrie’s best solo album, but one of the best albums he’s ever been involved with, period. The fact that James LaBrie plays such a relatively small role in Dream Theater’s song writing process isn’t really his fault, so with Mike Portnoy’s recent departure it’ll be interesting to see if he plays a bigger part on the forthcoming album, because on the evidence of this album he’s certainly up to the task.

Phil Ashcroft

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  May 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 month, 1 week ago
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site