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Mullmuzzler - James LaBrie's MullMuzzler 2 CD (album) cover



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2 stars Different from the first one, Mullmuzzler 2 is softer, a little bit pop -imho. The track "Falling" and "A Simple Man" show my opinion. Overall, LaBrie still brings out his talented voice amazingly. The music itself -I don't know why it is less interesting from the 1st album- is lack of improvisation. If you searching for LaBrie's good side project, see Mullmuzzler's 1st "Keep it to yourself".
Report this review (#4945)
Posted Monday, July 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars To save myself the trouble of really venturing the depth of this album, let me assure all you listenered out there with this: If you are not truly an admirer of Dream Theater or James LaBrie, you will not like this album. It only consists of mediocre instruments tapping the soft core of LaBrie's harmonious - yet sometimes aggressive - vocal chords, and nothing more.

Listeners of LaBrie will enjoy it because they have to be loyal, and fans of Dream Theater will find it somewhat repulsive to think James can go sing mainly for anyone else besides the legendary progressive band - so, in other words, it's all up to you.

I, for one, didn't find this album to be anything phenomenal, but I got my hands on it regardless because I love James LaBrie, so I suppose you can call me somewhat of an extremist. .

Report this review (#35341)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars its best mullmuzzler's album... more melodic less agressive,beautiful melodies and guitar riffs,good solos on songs,and beautiful piano touch sometimes.and acoustic passages are really catchy.. it s completely diiffrent from dream theater or the oters.. definetly tasty progressive rock music here! i love dream theater but Dt is different. more shredder,more faster...if you want to hear more complexty, you'll go Dt...
Report this review (#51206)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Overall, a great album. A little bit like Dream Theater, but a little bit lighter. The highlight songs for me are Afterlife and Tell Me. Afterlife has a nice riff during the chorus, and it most resembles Dream Theater during the chorus. Tell Me is an amazing sounding song overall, the synth rhythm in it is extremely catchy. One of my favourite songs sung by James LaBrie, in or out of Dream Theater. It sounds like it could be an FM radio hit. Take that as a good thing or a bad thing, either way, it's an awesome song, and an amazing album.

The only downfall to my assessment of this album is that I only have James LaBrie's Dream Theater work to compare it to, I haven't heard his solo work or the first Mullmuzzler album.

Report this review (#62395)
Posted Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mullmuzzler 2 is the second album from Mullmuzzler. Mullmuzzler is a project band created by vocalist James LaBrie of Dream Theater. Mullmuzzler will probably appeal to some fans of Dream Theater but it wonīt be the fans of Dream Theaterīs more complex compositions but rather those fans who like an album like Falling Into Infinity.

There are really no surprises if you have already heard the debut Keep It to Yourself from Mullmuzzler which was released in 1999. The style is much the same which means soft progressive metal with the emphasis on song melodies and not complex playing or intricate arrangements. The songs are for the most part pretty good but doesnīt really appeal much to me. The quality is high though.

There are both harder edged progressive songs like Afterlife and Venice Burning on the album, but there are also room for ballads like Falling and Believe. Most of the songs are mid paced heavy rock songs though. Confronting the Devil and Stranger ( with a very Dream Theater sounding keyboard riff) are good examples of that style.

The musicianship is really good and you have some of the best progressive metal musicians in the world contributing on the album. Mike Mangini ( Steve Vai) on drums, Mike Keneally ( Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Solo) on guitars and Trent Gardner ( Magellan, Explorers Club) on keyboards.

The production is very similar to the one on the debut which means itīs clean and professional sounding but a bit cold.

The coverart isnīt the most beautiful thing and actually would suit a RIO band better.

I think this is a very average prog metal album. Iīll rate it 3 small stars because I canīt deny the quality in the compositions, but this is not music I would normally use my time listening to. For that it is way too generic. Donīt automatically buy this because youīre a Dream Theater fan. Take a listen before you buy this or you might be disappointed.

Report this review (#176193)
Posted Sunday, July 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 really

Mullmuzzler second album from 2001. The leader of this project is no one else than vocalist of Dream Theater - JamesLa Brie. He invited as guests on this album some very strong and well known musicians like: Mike Mangini from Annihilator, Trent Gardner from Magellan, Matt Guillory on keyboards from Dali's Dilemma and Brian Beller on guitars. They've done a great jobe mixing prog metal with some '70's hard rock a la Deep Purple. The music is well crafted delivering some great moments , like Afterlife,Venice Burning , Confronting The Devil, Stranger and Save me, the rest are ok. As a whole the music is a bit diffrent than the main band of LaBrie - Dream Theater - is more prog rock than a traditional progressive metal band, with more concentration on compositions than on individual skills of musicians, that's why all the pieces are under 7 minutes. Anyway each one has a high level and know to creat something intristing in this field. So the 2 Mullmuzzler is a good album with some great pieces, but i don't think he has the power to penetrated the progressive metal scene like DT for example. Like i said on other reviews of John Petrucci - Suspanded animation and James LaBrie - Elements of persusions, this Mullmuzzler second is in the same vein, good but with no guts to attack more efficient the prog metal field. The solo career of DT musicians don't have so much power and creativity like Dream Theater has. Finally a worthy album, not only for DT fans , but to prog rock fans all over the world. Good album, more like 3 stars rounded to 3.5.

Report this review (#186097)
Posted Friday, October 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars A mainstream version of Dream Theater... sort of...

James Labrie is a very underrated singer and maybe is because of the same Dream Theater members (aka Mike Portnoy) who don't aloud him to share ideas and participate in the musical composing, but he is a talented and dedicated singer with good ideas and very dedicated to produce good material. In the project Mullmuzzler he proves that he have a very well heavy-metal-prog-pop taste in music and very radio friendly, as far as prog metal can be... this is his second solo album, and shows a huge step forward in comparisson of his first production.

The composing is mainly from keyboardist Matt Guillory and the lyrics are from Labrie and seems like his voice fit a lot more well in his solo albums. The album and the songs has a lot of changes and different sounding and vibes, it's great and it's not boring at all, a little less heavier that DT and the songs are shorter and less bussy, which is good to any "new" prog fan to start digging in prog metal... The quality of the musicians is OK, not at the level of Dream Theater but they are very good and the ideas are fresh and more radio friendly...

Yes, we have to compare this with Dream Theater because it's the same singer, and I say it can coexist very well... this album is in the route of what becomes his third solo album, Elements of Persuasion, which is his best production to date, but this album is quite good and you will get an interesting musical journey, especially for fans of the soft side of DT and prog metal in general... this is really an underrated album... it deserves a better place in the prog metal spot... you will enjoy this one...

Report this review (#259469)
Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Two years after the release of the first album, and Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie is back with his Mullmuzzler project for round two! And much like their first outing, this is really nothing more than a watered down version of LaBrie's main band. There's a few memorable songs, but there really isn't a lot here to get overly excited about.

The musicianship is pretty good, although as before, there isn't enough evidence that makes this band feel like a cohesive unit. There's some nice guitar riffing and some interesting keyboard lines, but it's hard to really envision these guys getting together in a room and rocking out to these tracks with nothing more than slightly perturbed looks on their faces.

It's not all gloom and doom though, as some of the songs are actually really good, such as 'Confronting the Devil', 'Stranger', 'Save Me' and 'Tell Me'. Sadly, there's a lot of rather forgettable stuff here too! Ideally, they should have just taken the best material from both 'Keep It To Yourself' and 'Mullmuzzler 2' and released it on one disc, and you'd have a pretty solid prog metal album right there!

Overall, it's a good record, worth getting if you're a big Dream Theater fan, but there's definitely better side projects and solo albums out there.

Report this review (#1776142)
Posted Monday, August 28, 2017 | Review Permalink

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