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James LaBrie - I Will Not Break [EP]
6 January 2014


01. I Will Not Break
02. Unraveling
03. Why
04. Coming Home [alternate mix]
05. Jekyll Or Hyde [demo]
06. Just Watch Me [demo]
07. I Tried [Jason Miller remix]
08. Over The Edge [Mutrix remix]
09. Euphoric [NeonGenesis remix]


Much has already been said about James LaBrie's solo work: it has been praised for not being a sterile Dream Theater imitation, while it has been picked apart for its proximity to pop melodies. This EP surely won't appease this debate.

First of all, I'd like to warn you about the fact that I Will Not Break does not contain brand new music. Let's make a brief census: of the nine pieces of music in here, the title track and the two following songs are, respectively, the closer and two bonuses from last year's Impermanent Resonance, and from track 4 to 6 we have an alternate mix and two demos of some of the best songs off the successful Static Impulse, while the EP is closed by three remixed tracks off the same 2010 album. This said, you should already know if you're still interested in reading this.

So, is this EP of any interest? Sure it is. Despite not offering new music as we usually mean it, I Will Not Break paves the way to some brief considerations.

The first is that James LaBrie isn't lacking ideas, since leaving two top quality songs as "Unraveling" and "Why" as bonus tracks is a move that tells a lot about the consideration that the American artist has of his solo work. While bonuses often fall into being cheap covers recorded simply to justify the release of a Digipack version, this time those two songs could easily have been the openers to both Static Impulse and Impermanent Resonance.

The second is that all the musicians that work on these records are really talented, as keyboardist Matt Guillory, who provides vocals in the "Jekyll Or Hyde" and "Just Watch Me" demos, could easily carry on his own shoulders all of the singing. His voice, so different from that of the Dream Theater's vocalist, also helps the listener to have a different insight on how the process of creating songs goes on.

The third and last is that LaBrie definitely has balls. Offering dubstep remixes of some fan-favorite tracks can be considered anything but playing it safe, and can easily turn out in a complete suicide. But the aforementioned affinity of this music with today's commercial tunes, and the objective talent of the three DJ's that worked on the songs, make these experiments a complete success. This also shows how dubstep techniques, if used on decent material, have their undeniable potential.

I Will Not Break is likely to be controversial: some will say it was useless, some that it's shit. I say that it is a welcome addition to LaBrie's discography that, like it or not, is now a force in the melodic metal scene. Deal with it.


Band profile: James LaBrie
Album: I Will Not Break


 



Written on 25.01.2014 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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LascaillesShroud - 25.01.2014 at 18:41  
While I don't like the dubstep remixes, it just doesn't appeal to me but it's nice he still has the guts to do it, I love his solo work. It's nothing like Dream Theater, and I never saw why "pop melodies" were a bad thing. I mean, a good melody is a good melody, the man has an ear for them
R Lewis - 25.01.2014 at 18:45  
Written by LascaillesShroud on 25.01.2014 at 18:41

While I don't like the dubstep remixes, it just doesn't appeal to me but it's nice he still has the guts to do it, I love his solo work. It's nothing like Dream Theater, and I never saw why "pop melodies" were a bad thing. I mean, a good melody is a good melody, the man has an ear for them

Agreed - obviously except the dubstep thing. You practically summarized my thoughts about the pop topic.
Btw, I'm counting down the days for Interval 02
LascaillesShroud - 25.01.2014 at 18:46  
Written by R Lewis on 25.01.2014 at 18:45

Agreed - obviously except the dubstep thing. You practically summarized my thoughts about the pop topic.
Btw, I'm counting down the days for Interval 02


Well thank you! Only a few days
nb - 05.02.2014 at 19:56  
I find Labrie's records efforts ok, but what I am really looking for in there (and I wish there was more of it ) is Matt Guillory's keyboards. The only record from his old band Dali's Dilemma, Manifesto for Futurism, is probably one of the best prog metal albums and it is on my top five of all time.
R Lewis - 05.02.2014 at 19:59  
Written by nb on 05.02.2014 at 19:56

I find Labrie's records efforts ok, but what I am really looking for in there (and I wish there was more of it ) is Matt Guillory's keyboards. The only record from his old band Dali's Dilemma, Manifesto for Futurism, is probably one of the best prog metal albums and it is on my top five of all time.

Sounds like I need to check this out, thanks for the suggestion.

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