James LaBrie - Static Impulse review


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Band: James LaBrie
Album: Static Impulse
Release date: September 2010

01. One More Time
02. Jekyll Or Hyde
03. Mislead
04. Euphoric
05. Over The Edge
06. I Need You
07. Who You Think I Am
08. I Tried
09. Just Watch Me
10. This Is War
11. Superstar
12. Coming Home
13. Jekyll Or Hyde [demo] [limited edition bonus]
14. Coming Home [alternate mix] [imited edition bonus]

Throw everything you think this sounds like out the window. Following the excellent Elements of Persuasion, Dream Theater's singer James LaBrie teamed up once more with Matt Guillory to record one of this year's best albums for sure.

The musical base remains the same along with Italian prodigy Marco Sfogli handling the guitar duties with brio. However, Static Impulse takes a new direction with the rhythm section. Sweden's Peter Wildoer [of Darkane fame] brings his mathematical drumming knowledge to the table as well as a huge dose of screams and a rejuvenating Death Metal inspired undercoating. But don't be afraid, as with its predecessor, the songs on this album are heavy and catchy as hell. There is actually an elusive dichotomy in the sound, maybe between the radio-friendly choruses and the overall extremely heavy and aggressive bridges. It is hard to figure out what the hell is going on, while being swept away by the songs at the same time. And this pretty much resumes why this album should make your shortlist.

It is a Progressive Metal album, so don't be fooled by your first listen. It is bound to grow on you very quickly. Once more, Marco Sfogli blinds listeners with his guitar mastery, especially on tracks like "Mislead" or "Over The Edge". James is singing his heart out on this album and shows us he's not afraid to lay down vocals on more aggressive songs than for Dream Theater. Here is an idea. How about bringing Peter Wildoer on board with Dream Theater and blow the shit out of all clichés and help DT write a new page of history? I'm just saying. This guy's influence on Static Impulse is so huge.

While very different from my beloved Elements of Persuasion, this new James LaBrie album is a force to be reckoned with. I still don't understand how I can both love both albums, seeing that they are so different. But that's the magic of insanely good musicians. And those guys are top of the barrel. Enjoy this new offering, Static Impulse.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 05.10.2010 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments: 18   Visited by: 363 users
05.10.2010 - 04:49
Daydream Nation
Account deleted
I honestly don't understand how you could rate James LaBrie an 8 in originality.
To me, the album was about a 6.5/7 out of 10.
05.10.2010 - 10:05
I loved this album. am glad to see someone else likes it as well..
Freeze! Step away from the hubris.
05.10.2010 - 10:21
Would love to check this out!
05.10.2010 - 12:49
Merchant of Doom
"Formulaic" is the word the springs to mind...
05.10.2010 - 16:22
Written by Guest on 05.10.2010 at 04:49

I honestly don't understand how you could rate James LaBrie an 8 in originality.
To me, the album was about a 6.5/7 out of 10.

i second that..yet its a good album!!
05.10.2010 - 17:30
As I already said, I think this is an awesome album. Maybe he's not talking about originality in general therms, but bearing in mind what Labrie's done before. This is not what you expect from the frontman of Dream Theater, is it?
I think it's a great album, made by great musicians.
05.10.2010 - 20:25
Great album
06.10.2010 - 02:32
Good album , yet nothing special

btw , stupid album cover .
07.10.2010 - 20:23
I listened to this album today for the first time. I was anticipating it and it didn't disappoint me at all.

I think it's very good and something I wasn't expecting to hear from Labrie, maybe because I didn't explore his solo career so much so far.

It's definitely an album I will come back to with pleasure. Some great riffs in here, the work by the musicians is amazing,
even though you can hear their influences from time to time, but in which album don't we?
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.

My Instagram
13.10.2010 - 12:06
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Thanks for the review and bringing this album to my attention. Never appreciated Dream Theatre much, hence I did not even bother to check this out, but it is surprisingly enjoyable, direct, heavy and fast paced. Would recommend it to fans of melodic metal.
loves 小巫
13.10.2010 - 22:12
Meh. I've always loved Dream Theater, especially their earlier albums. Had fairly high hopes for this album as well, but it disappointed me. The album isn't awful and I actually like the inclusion of the harsh vocals (although a few seconds into the opening track I figured I'd accidently played the wrong song). I just find most of the songs are fairly generic, some decent instrumentation and decent lyrical content, but nothing that really jumps out at me like old Dream Theater albums do. Most of the songs follow a fairly generic formula, not to say that that is a terrible thing... its just not what I was hoping for/expected from one of the key players over in Dream Theater.

Don't agree with such a high rating, but that's just me.
15.10.2010 - 16:58
Just nice but back to dream theater for a new great album
16.10.2010 - 22:39
Walter Iego
Great, heavy album, more of this please...
04.11.2010 - 14:18
Account deleted
I haven't heard this album but i have heard great things about it
04.11.2010 - 14:18
Account deleted
I haven't heard this album but i have heard great things about it
12.12.2010 - 18:45
This album is very beatiful; the best prog metal album of the year. Very better than the previous.
22.10.2011 - 18:12
Learning To "X"
This is a very awesome album and a nicely written review. Though the part of Dream Theater rewriting history made me laugh. Unfortunately of course, since I'm a big fan of theirs.
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
18.10.2012 - 01:15
Valentin B
I love the album cover, it looks like a poster for a bad movie
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.

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