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Mullmuzzler biography
Well this band is a side project of the lead singer of DREAM THEATER James Labrie. "MULLMUZZLER" portrays progressive rock in a vein, which at times, seems to draw a little inspiration from hard rock super groups of the 70's and 80's. These two essential albums visit a wide panel of styles: naturally Progressive Heavy Metal which made the success of DREAM THEATER plus an important touch of Melodic Pop-Rock, Progressive Rock and beautiful acoustic ballads.

Overall, two great discs for DREAM THEATER fans!!!

See also:

- Dream Theater

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Keep It To YourselfKeep It To Yourself
Magna Carta Records 2014
Audio CD$5.89
$0.33 (used)
Keep It To Yourself by MULLMUZZLER (1999-08-24)Keep It To Yourself by MULLMUZZLER (1999-08-24)
Magna Carta Records
Audio CD$51.04
Mullmuzzler 2 by Mullmuzzler (2001-08-22)Mullmuzzler 2 by Mullmuzzler (2001-08-22)
Marquee Inc. Japan
Audio CD$111.12
Keep It to Yourself by Magna Carta RecordsKeep It to Yourself by Magna Carta Records
Magna Carta Records
Audio CD$23.99
Mullmuzzler 2 by Magna CartaMullmuzzler 2 by Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Audio CD$29.63
Mullmuzzler 2Mullmuzzler 2
Marquee Inc. Japan 2001
Audio CD$46.32
$5.53 (used)
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MULLMUZZLER discography

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MULLMUZZLER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 47 ratings
Keep It To Yourself
3.31 | 40 ratings
Mullmuzzler 2

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Keep It To Yourself  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 47 ratings

Keep It To Yourself
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars It's 1999 and James LaBrie has released his first "solo album", a term used lightly as this is still a group collaboration, despite being mostly considered a James LaBrie "project". It sounds similar to Dream Theater (no way?!?!), but that's not a criticism. In fact, something interesting to note about this album is that it was supposedly written and recorded by all the musicians separately, exchanging ideas through post and emails. That's a common thing these days, but back in 1999 it was still quite an ambitious undertaking.

Still, I'm not going to use that as an excuse for the relatively average quality of the songs. They're not terrible, but they all sound pretty disjointed, lacking the soul of a song that was created through spontaneous jam sessions of people sat in the same room together.

Besides LaBrie on vocals, you have some heavy hitters like Mike Mangini on drums, Matt Guillory on keyboards and Mike Keneally on guitars. It's a shame there just doesn't seem to be any chemistry going on between them all. But hey, criticisms aside, some of the songs are pretty good. 'His Voice', 'Guardian Angel' and 'Shores of Avalon' are all redeeming qualities of 'Keep It To Yourself'. Sadly, then there's also songs like 'Beelzebubba'. It has an almost Faith No More vibe to it. It sounds experimental and I appreciate what the group were attempting here. But come on... there's only so many times I can tolerate hearing James LaBrie singing "Slick Willy"...

It's certainly not going to be on anyone's "best albums of 1999" list, but it's not a bad addition to the collection if you stumble across it cheap. Ultimately, it's Jame LaBrie, so there's bound to be plenty of Dream Theater fanatics out there (like me) who need to own everything the band and its members put out, anyway.

 Keep It To Yourself  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 47 ratings

Keep It To Yourself
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This was James LaBrie's first real solo album even though he has since put out two solo albums under his own name. Keyboard player Matt Guillory has played on all of LaBrie's solo projects. A lot of similarities between this one and the first one under his name. It's Prog-Metal all right but there is too much sap if you know what I mean.

"His Voice" opens wih keybords as the heaviness come and goes. It stays until reserved vocals arrive before a minute with background synths. Contrasts continue. "Statued" opens with guitar and drums but it settles quickly when the vocals arrive. Again the contrasts continue. I like the bass on this one. "Shores Of Avalon" opens with acoustic guitar as the sound gets fuller. I like the riffs that come in quickly. Vocals after a minute don't do a lot for me. Instrumentally I like this one a lot. "Beelzebubba" is the southern name for the devil I suppose. Heavy drums and bass to start. Horns too but in a style I do not like at all as they blast away. Not a fan of this one.

"Guardian Angel" is the heaviest yet as reserved vocals come in and background synths over the riffs. It kicks into gear a minute in. Nice guitar solo before 4 minutes. Check out the bass too. "Sacrifice" opens with gentle guitar as fragile vocals and synths join in.This is like a power ballad. "Lace" is heavy to start as the sound builds. I like it ! Vocals and synths join in. Killer guitar solo after 2 1/2 minutes from Mike Keneally. "Slow Burn" is a ballad. "As A Man Thinks" opens with vocals only including backing vocals.Yikes ! Much better when the music kicks in before a minute. I don't like when it calms right down around a minute either. Themes are repeated.

For James LaBrie fans only. There's some good stuff on here but overall this is a tough listen. The cover art is disturbing as well (haha).

 Mullmuzzler 2  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.31 | 40 ratings

Mullmuzzler 2
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by jampa17
Prog Reviewer

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...

 Keep It To Yourself  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 47 ratings

Keep It To Yourself
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by HammerOfPink

4 stars This is a really good album, no lie.

When I first got into Dream Theater, I didn't really like James LaBrie. From reading stuff around, I discovered that he hardly ever contributed anything to Dream Theater's music, and was just nothing but a singer. And in some live instances, his voice sucked really really bad. So at first I loved Dream Theater, wanted them to get rid of James because he never contributed anything, and had a bad voice anyway.

However, I have a wonderfully renewed respect for James LaBrie, I WAS WRONG. I found that while he doesn't contribute to music, he writes lyrics sometimes, and good ones at that. I also discovered that his voice had been screwed up in those live concerts because of a food poisoning incident in which his voice was kinda messed up. I popped in Images & Words, and marveled at how beautiful his voice was, so... Majestic. And last but certainly not least, I discovered that he had a wonderful solo career in Mullmuzzler, and his own name. I gave them a listen, and while they're not like Dream Theater (well, maybe a tiny bit, but I can definitely tell the difference) they're still amazing.

Keep it to yourself is a wonderfully progressive album, it doesn't really have any of the epic 20 minute songs or all that, but it gets the progressiveness from instrumental sections and improvisations. Many different genres combined with heavy metal, and a wonderful voice from James LaBrie... and he actually wrote some music this time! Along with the members of his band... which kinda makes me want to seek out the careers of those musicians as well.

James LaBrie rocks, seriously this is a great album, 4 stars. Not a landmark absolute masterpiece, but certainly a wonderful CD full of nice music.

 Mullmuzzler 2  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.31 | 40 ratings

Mullmuzzler 2
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Mullmuzzler 2  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.31 | 40 ratings

Mullmuzzler 2
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator 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.

 Keep It To Yourself  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 47 ratings

Keep It To Yourself
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Like everyone else I bought this album because James Labrie ( Dream Theater) is the lead vocalist in Mullmuzzler. At the time I swallowed everything Dream Theater related, and I remember that I liked this Keep It To Yourself, without ever being too impressed. Itīs about the same feeling I have today when listening to Keep It To Yourself.

The music is symphonic prog rock and links can obviously be made to the more simple Dream Theater songs. I also hear influences from bands like Extreme and Foreigner. Songs like Beelzebubba and As A Man Thinks could have been Extreme songs of of the Three Sides to Every Story album. Beelzebubba has a pretty funky brass arrangement so as you can read there is great variation on the album. Personally I like the more Dream Theater inspired songs the best. Songs like His Voice, Statued and Lace.

The musicians here are all very good. Mike Keneally who played with Zappa plays guitar on Keep It To Yourself and Drummer Mike Magnini who played with Steve Vai plays the drums on the album. This means that you canīt help being impressed with the playing as these musicians are outstanding. James Labrie sounds like he always does. So nothing new under the sun there.

The sound quality is very good even though it could have been a bit more personal, but I guess this is typical for project bands.

All in all this is a good album, but really nothing special in my eyes and I would recommend picking up any Dream Theater album over this one at any time. 3 stars for a solid performance and some good compositions. Extreme fans might get satisfaction out of this one.

 Keep It To Yourself  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.48 | 47 ratings

Keep It To Yourself
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by The T
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars For anyone that knows my reviews, it shouldn't be a mystery by now the fact that I'm certainly not a detractor of James LaBrie's vocals.

So, having clarified that, let me say a few words about the Canadian master's first solo recording, Mullmuzzler's KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

In this album, LaBrie is joined by quite a talented group of people. You can check the names above, but let's just say that the musicians playing the instruments here are some of the best, members of a band that, sadly, died long before being able to reach the zenith of their capabilities, Dali's Dilemma. The rest of the musical palette here is equally promising: Dave Townsend, Wayne Gardner, and fantastic composer Trent Gardner, among others. In the song-writing side of things, LaBrie's partners in art are musicians of the caliber of Gardner himself, plus two outstanding instrumentalists and melodic masters as Carl Cadden-James and Gary Wehrkamp, of Shadow Gallery's fame. With that kind of personnel available, it would take quite a disaster to release a bad album. Did it happen?

By now you've checked my rating and now that the answer is a tremendous, absolute NO. The album is, for me, quite a masterpiece of short, concise, melodic, emotional songs that serve as catalysts for LaBrie to be able to display his wonderful vocal abilities. What we have here is a sort of mix between heavy metal, prog-metal and plain hard-rock, with even some pop elements thrown in the mix. Most of the tracks are short, but that doesn't mean there's no room for instrumental wonders or amazing coloring works. Also, most of the songs (except those written by Trent Gardner, which comes as no surprise) are incredibly melodic, with emotional passages that wouldn't work as well if they weren't sung by the voice of Dream Theater and the voice of Progressive-Metal. LaBrie's vocals are just another instrument, the one that delivers the goods, the one that separates anger from peace, hate from love, happiness from sadness.

There's quite a big room for progressiveness, too. Not only do the short tracks have incredible melodies and great textures, but there's a couple very weird, absurd, yet very gratifying songs courtesy of that master of this-doesn't-belong-here music, Trent Gardner. So the album is a complete package, with elements that will be to the liking of everyone.

His Voice (10/10) A bubble full of musical colors and then an onslaught of energy, but not brutal, senseless energy, yet one that expresses sadness but at the same time relief, love. Things could've been better, that's what this guy is telling us. Now it's too late. The piano touches in the chorus add to the unexpected beauty in such a fast, relentless, short track. A great keyboard solo signals the entrance of the last section and the end of this fantastic opener.

Statued (9.5/10) The start announces a much heavier song that what this one turns into. The main section is so elegant, but also so nostalgic, LaBrie makes us feel WITH him, not AT him. The chorus expresses anger while the bass player amazes us in the verse with great playing. The bridge is a thing of sheer beauty, much in the vein of that decent band I happen to bear from time to time, Dream Theater. The Master conveys love, and we're convinced. But then that turns into anger, and we're convinced, too.

The Shores of Avalon (8.5/10) The main riff in this song has some oriental overtones. This track sounds a little like Shadow Gallery, no wonder seeing the credits behind it. This is not the more emotional song in the album but comes as the rights halt after all the heart that bled in the preceding ones. The chorus is emotional, though, expressing admiration mixed with doubt and desire to live in peace, a desire to BE somewhere. It's a good rocker, a compelling prog-metal track. The middle section is pure Awake-era DT.

Beelzebubba (8.5/10) A weird, unusual but very interesting song that comes from the mind of Trent Gardner. The bass line at the beginning seems like a joke, and the song never quite gets serious. Even LaBrie sings with less caution here, though the pre- chorus section is very melodic and almost pastoral in its peace (?!). The sound of the trombone played by Gardner is another signal as to the sarcasm of this pretty good song, which talks about, well, Slick Willy, the President that loved interns. Guardian Angel (10/10) As the lyrics say, we're in the first hours of a misty morning, opening our eyes, and it's there; when everything goes down, it's there; when loneliness strikes, it's there. What is it? Well, whatever the idea of a Guardian Angel means to you. Knowing the love for, well, love, that Gary Wehrkamp and all of Shadow Gallery have, it's not difficult to understand (and agree) as to the meaning of the song. A true anthem for two, the guardian and his angel, the guardian angel of an angel. Omnipresent, it will overcome anything. And musically the song works perfectly, with one of those choruses that makes you want to go and declare yourself to somebody, tell her that whatever happens, you'll be there, that whatever your faults may be, in the end you're going to be there. Excellent. This is not cheese, this is not saccharine, this is prog-metal that simply talks about the emotion that really changes everybody's life, for good or worse. In the end the riff and tone of the song gets menacing, heavier, denser. Is it the fatalism of love? The pessimism of impossibility? I don't know. Maybe I'm reading too hard on a simple metal track, but what can I do. I have ears, and a weak heart. It doesn't hurt the fact that the Master sings the words in the chorus so peacefully, so reassuringly. There can't be any doubt after that. We're protected.

Sacrifice (8.5/10) So mellow a track is just difficult to imagine. In the beginning we really are walking over flowers and cushions of the brightest colors, while the sun doesn't burn us, just illuminates us. LaBrie exaggerates the mellowness here (see? I CAN criticize the guy!), he sings just too.cutely? The chorus is slightly darker, but the mood of the song altogether is one of complete infatuation, love becoming stupidity. Great song for people like me that like stupidity. But I'd understand if many find it too sweet, bordering on cheesiness. What can I do. I'm weak.

Lace (8/10) Keyboards straight from Manifesto for Futurism (Dali's Dilemma's only album) mark the start of this heavier, more obscure song. The verse is full of shadows and ghosts, spirits of the worst kind. The pre-chorus has a decent groove to it, and the chorus itself is very good, specially for the powerful, crashing piano chords. LaBrie's voice here suffers for the first and only time in the album, but mostly because the chorus asks for more of a screamer, a yeller, than a singer, as it's out of the reach of the Canadian's voice range. A good song, not brilliant as it contains the only weak moment of LaBrie in the disc, but the music is very compelling.

Slow Burn (8.5/10) Another incredibly melodic start. Some guitar notes straight out of a 80's power ballad with piano over them, making the music sound much superior. LaBrie pays his dues after the last song with a fantastic performance, one of those he's capable of. The track is very gentle, quiet, couldn't kill a fly. Near the end it gets more energetic, with a good guitar solo in pure 80's metal flavor. Good song.

As A Man Thinks (9/10) Trent Gardner has come back to out-weird anybody. A polyphonic a capella start signals that what's to come would, at least, be very progressive. Then the second section is so lovely and melodic, seems straight out of Gardner's masterpiece LEONARDO THE ABSOLUTE MAN, a brilliant example of his abilities, mixing utter chaos with beauty, always with verse and word structures that seem a little out of place. The middle section it's not as good, and the song continues to get more absurd, if only on the surface, for it's really a simple rock track with various sections and abundant stops. The most progressive track is not the best but is right there near the top.

All in all, not an album for the hard-hearted (I don't know if such an expression exists. Too much Trent Gardner I guess.) But I can't let this album go. It was one of my first non-Dream Theater progressive rock albums, and I just love it. With absolute objectivity, the rating would be a 4. My heart tells me give it a 5. Let's make an average and rate it with a 4.5 over 5.

Wait. There's no such option in the Archives. I'll have to round the rating up, as the norm calls for, and give it a 5. Sorry.

Not recommended for: People that can't stand LaBrie, of course. People that don't like mellow, melodic, soft metal. People that reject the idea of soft feelings getting into their prog.

Recommended for: Fans of James LaBrie. Fans of Dream Theater, if not those that only like their metallic, ultra-progressive side. Fans of melodic metal. But most of all, the weak of heart.

.you won't inherit the earth. But you can buy this album.

 Mullmuzzler 2  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.31 | 40 ratings

Mullmuzzler 2
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by ChadFromCanada

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.

 Mullmuzzler 2  by MULLMUZZLER album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.31 | 40 ratings

Mullmuzzler 2
Mullmuzzler Progressive Metal

Review by metalikdunya

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...
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