Sneak peek: Dream Theater’s James LaBrie, “Agony” from Impermanent Resonance (2013)

Share this:

Interesting, very interesting.

James LaBrie has never really shied away from doing something that’s outside the progressive metal framework of Dream Theater on his solo albums, but the first taste of the upcoming Impermanent Resonance might be the farthest away that he’s strayed.

“Agony” has drawn comparisons to Swedish melodic death metal masters Soilwork, and surprisingly, those comparisons are not completely off-base, either. The tune starts out with drummer Peter Wildoer delivering some sporadic blast beats over melodeath guitar riffs from Marco Sfogli. The first voice that you hear isn’t LaBrie either, it’s Wildoer who growls over the more aggressive parts of the song, with LaBrie punctuating his snarls in a whisper.

As the chorus nears, the song moves into a more progressive mode and LaBrie and Wildoer swapping roles. LaBrie delivers the big soaring chorus, punctuated by an occasional scream from Wildoer. The chorus is more along the lines of what you might expect, but the guitar riffing remains aggressive, and there is the occasional drum punch, as well.

As with most of LaBrie’s solo work, it’s a little more straightforward than his main band. There aren’t as many movements and not everyone has to have an opportunity to show their virtuosity, though the band members do hold their own well, particularly Wildoer, who pretty much drives the song. In fact, that may be one of the track’s biggest weaknesses. At the end, I’m longing to hear a little more of the more aggressive Wildoer passages than LaBrie’s work.

LaBrie’s solo albums have always been a bit uneven with moments of brilliance and moments that fall flat. “Agony” seems to indicate that fans are, once again, in store for a wild ride.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00DCRE7M0″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B003ZDCGLA” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005974CNA” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0007R8FHQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0009A1AS2″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips

Latest posts by Fred Phillips (see all)

Share this:
Close