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James LaBrie - Static Impulse CD (album) cover


James LaBrie


Progressive Metal

3.53 | 97 ratings

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3 stars Static Impulse is a collection of 12 powerful melodic metal songs - made more interesting by a very strong vocal delivery from LaBrie and by the unexpected melodic-death-metal / metalcore influences courtesy of drummer Peter Wildoer of Darkane.

The product works well, and is genuinely surprising at first - especially given that is LaBrie we're talking about: 20 seconds into "One More Time" and you actually think you are playing the new In Flames! The musicians are obviously skilled (LaBrie vocals are excellent throughout the album) and the production is very good as well. The melodies in the choruses are strong and will stick in your head, the verses are slightly less interesting but good stuff nonetheless. Having said that ? the pitfall of Static Impulse is the lack of originality in the songwriting (seriously, this is all stuff we've heard already somewherelse - and at times this sounds really too much like In Flames with better clean vocals). Also, there is too much of the same thing here. Note: I am not complaining that Static Impulse is not "progressive" enough ? in fact after a lifetime in prog metal it is actually a good thing that LaBrie shows that he can do other stuff. The fact is that if you pick any of the 12 songs on the album chances are that it will sound exactly the same as the song before it and exactly the same as the song after it (same structure, same pace, same sound, same mood).

Don't get me wrong: this is a very solid piece of work, and there's not a single song on the album that I dislike. At the same time, I also struggle to find songs that stand out or are truly impressive. So, I think 3 stars is a fair rating: good stuff, you'll enjoy playing this ? but I bet it won't last in your playlist for more than one month.

lukretio | 3/5 |


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