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James Labrie - Static Impulse CD (album) cover


James Labrie


Progressive Metal

3.52 | 88 ratings

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Time Signature
4 stars I really like this album, which is more hard-hitting that one might expect from Dream Theater's frontman. And that's exctly what I like about it. It is essentially less complex progressive metal fused together with Gothenburg melodeath and it works brilliantly.

I really like how the styes go so seamlessly together and there are even growled and harsh screamed vocals on this album (not sung by LaBrie) which work well in conjunction with LaBrie's melodic vocal lines and unique voice. In addition to melodeath and semi-thrashy elements, there are even a couple of, yes, blastbeats in some of the songs.

Tracks like "One More Time", "Jekyll or Hyde", "Mislead", "I Need You" and "Who Do You Think I Am" are very much in the vein of Gothenburg metal with certain progressive elements injected into them, and "This Is War" is, I guess, and all out melodeath track with blastbeats to boot. Brilliant!

"Over the Edge", "I Tried", and "Superstar" are more in the vein of traditional heavy metal, and all are solid tracks.

"Euphoric" is more of a ballad which manages to do what Dead By April failed miserably to do: combine melody and pop sensibility with the mighty gothenburg sound. The Same applies to "Just Watch Me". "Coming Home" is a mellow ballad which, without bursting the cheese-o-meter, is soft and emotional enough to constitute a nice emtional listening experience.

I really like this album, and I am very tempted to just give it five stars. I think it will resonate well with fans of Swedish melodic death metal and American melodic metalcore. Fans of progressive metal, I think, will also appreciate it, and of course Dream Theater fans should have an interest in this release too.

(review originally posted on and

Time Signature | 4/5 |


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