James LaBrie, the lead singer of Dream Theater, has always been one of my favourite prog metal vocalists. While we're waiting for the new and twelfth album of this band - which has appeared in the meantime - LaBrie released his fifth solo album, including the two albums by Mullmuzzler. The line-up of the band is the same as on Static Impulse (2010, see review) and unfortunately for me this means that Peter Wildoer's totally redundant grunts are present again!
The opening track Agony is a rather aggressive song with great guitar work, good vocals from LaBrie, but also with the horrible grunts of Wildoer. I truly have to say that songs containing grunts are not my cup of tea as they add nothing but a horrible and fucking noise from a man's throat! The other songs on this album are modern rock tracks, some even with an almost addictive chorus while others may even be called radio-friendly. Take for example I Got You or Holding On, songs that you can almost sing along, but they're actually good songs and James's voice is superb all over the place. The ballad Say You're Still Mine is one of my favorite tracks as well as Back On The Ground, which features an amazing melody. All in all I think that this is James LaBrie's best solo album so far and it would have been a real milestone if the grunts on some of the songs had been left out. Well, maybe next time?
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?