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Frameshift Unweaving the Rainbow album cover
3.12 | 59 ratings | 14 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Above the Grass, Part 1 (0:43)
2. The Gene Machine (5:32)
3. Spiders (4:14)
4. River Out of Eden (5:42)
5. Message from the Mountain (9:57)
6. Your Eyes (2:57)
7. La Mer (5:57)
8. Nice Guys Finish First (5:45)
9. Arms Races (8:34)
10. Origins and Miracles (5:07)
11. Off the Ground (5:49)
12. Walking Through Genetic Space (4:07)
13. Cultural Genetics (4:25)
14. Bats (4:00)
15. Above the Grass, Part 2 (6:51)

Total Time 79:40

Line-up / Musicians

- James LaBrie / vocals
- Henning Pauly / guitars, bass, synthesizer, piano, B3, Warr guitar, banjo, orchestration
- Nik Guadagnoli / bass, Chapman Stick
- Eddie Marvin / drums

Releases information

Progrock Records

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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FRAMESHIFT Unweaving the Rainbow ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FRAMESHIFT Unweaving the Rainbow reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
2 stars Dear lovers of progressive metal in the vein of bands such as "Dream Theater", you could be very interested in such symphonic metal genre. In fact the present album, featuring James LaBrie at his best versatility, regarding of a symphonic style like a film scoring, other usual breaks through (even though already listened within a typical progressive rock) and a bunch of ambient-funky tunes, is worth checking out at least. Moreover you can find here some strange music passages, in comparison to a typical progressive metal band and this fact is quite original nowadays!! Besides there's a good songwriting inside this concept album concerning Genetics and other scientific subjects like the evolution of mankind (e.g. the lesson of Darwin)... but I don't get crazy for this combination of epic themes and "scientific lessons" as well!! Nevertheless at the end you can appreciate also the most delicate vocal passages by La Brie, in the vein of Neil Morse by "Spock's Beard", and therefore such light moments are not boring!!

Anyway I don't want to affect your opinion... so make your own choice!!

Review by hdfisch
3 stars I've got to say I can't get crazy about this side project with James LaBrie. It's a concept album about the topic science versus nature as the title implies and it's quite divers though the more mellow parts predominate a bit. Tracks more in a symphonic metal vein like "ARM RACES", "ABOVE THE GRASS", "MESSAGE" or "FROM THE MOUNTAIN" for example are rather well done, the songwriting is ok and the vocals not really bad, well it depends whether one likes LaBrie's voice or not. Of course it's a complete different stuff than Dream Theater's music, only the voice reminds of it but it's much more light weighted. Still I would say it's not a too bad album and recommended for those fellows who like LaBrie as a singer but who find DT too intricate or self-indulgant and hard to listen to. One could call it "DT-Lite". Apart from mellow, ballad-esque songs like "RIVER OUT OF EDEN", "YOUR EYES" or "LA MER" it has also some nice catchy rocking ones like "OFF THE GROUND" and some more in a Prog Metal vein like "THE GENE MACHINE", "CULTURAL GENETICS" or "BATS". Good for 3 stars!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars From many spins that I have tried to make for this album, I still could not find a button that ignites enough flame on me to like this album. I don't know exactly what is the reason. For me personally, this album lacks "soul and energy" of prog music. (hey, I'm not even talking about progressive metal, just prog). Honestly, I could not bear myself with the music after halfway through the CD. It happened many times of my first couple spins. But then I forced myself to listen to it in its entirety. Still, I could not grab the soul. It even confirms my first view about this album: "boring and there is nothing new".

There are some "good" stuffs like "Message From The Mountain" and "Off The Ground" but could not elevate my emotion towards this album. But overall, I think this album is weak, concept-wise. The music is "too industrial" and lacking harmony / melody. There are a lot of boring stuffs also. I don't want to give any recommendation. It's probably for collectors or completionist only. Anyhow, Keep on progging!! GW, Indonesia.

Review by Muzikman
5 stars James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER) and Henning Pauly (CHAIN) team up to form the band FRAMESHIFT. Their ambitious project Unweaving The Rainbow is ready for admirers of progressive rock listeners worldwide to feast their ears upon. Richard Dawkins' series of evolution-themed books are what the recordings are based on. While the subject matter is out of the ordinary for the genre, the music is unmistakably prog-rock in some of its finest moments.

For LaBrie it is a big departure from his role in DREAM THEATER and MULLMUZZLER ( LaBrie commands a vocal range that allows for a strong performance in any setting he puts himself in. While this is indeed progressive rock, the textures and tones of the music are much different from what he is accustomed, yet he takes it to task like the pro that he is and successfully adds another pearl to his ever- growing resume. Henning Pauly is a multi-talented individual that not only plays a myriad of instruments, he engineers and mixes the project superbly. The two form a dynamic duo in the studio.

Tracks like "Arms Races" bare an incredible resemblance to something that YES would perform, with all of that wonderful rhythm and focus. LaBries' vocals are used to their fullest on every track; some of the compositions feature his voice in layers, as if he was answering himself with a chorus. Its very provocative and quite beautiful, and really a marvelous feat of mixing and engineering. So there you have it, a story, great music, and technical wizardry all wrapped up in one effective combination of all the right elements, making this one of the prog-rock albums of the year.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Now, this is a rather strange release.

Most people focus on LaBrie's participation in this project, and due to that expect music in the same vein as Dream Theater.

But what is on display here isn't someone trying to clone Dream Theater and getting LaBrie to sing the songs, rather it's an album of relatively diversified songs written to let a vocalist like LaBrie use his voice to the full extent.

So there's prog metal here, ballads, rockers and drifters - even some songs that sound more like ambient music than prog.

Songs that let LaBrie utilize his voice in as many aspects as he wants, and maybe even in some aspects that were unfamiliar for him.

And as much on this album is written for a vocalist of a certain type, if you like the music or not depends much on whether you like the vocalist that was chosen for the task.

Personally; I have a so-so thing with LaBrie as a vocalist; and would have loved listening to this album with a more restrained vocalist doing the singing here.

But it's LaBrie singing, and that affects strongly how much (or not) I like this release.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars A mixed bag of slickly produced rock showcasing LaBrie's iconic voice and Pauly's skills as a composer... not to mention lyrics inspired by the hippest athiest around-- Richard Dawkins. "Unweaving the Rainbow" is a brainy journey through the relevance of evolution, done in enough musical styles to apeal to most anyone on this site, and especially fans of LaBrie's, whose voice dominates the album.

While I am a fan of just about everything presented here, I will say its not without its problems. First off, it's too long, and one or two of the songs get skipped regularily when they come up on my iPod. Moreover, Pauly's heavy playing is grating and not very interesting, coming across as a repetative, bland crunching where more intersting passages are called for in the gaps between LaBrie's singing.

However, the album as a whole has a nice, crisp sound which really shines on the more mellow songs and on the few with big, chrous driven sing-alongs. Pauly's use of synth, effects and keyboards are well placed, creating lots of different moods and themes.

Recommended for fans of LaBrie and anyone that reads Dawkins-- who will probably like this album regardless their musical tastes!

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good disc from Henning Pauly and James LaBrie.But in my ears it sounds a little bit commercial and accesible.The melodies and rhythms are easily memorable and the album has the sound but not 1 per cent the complexity of the DREAM THEATER music.On the opposite,there is no weak song in the album,the production and the sound quality are of the highest expectations and it's an album worth listening if it comes in your hands...PROG RULES!
Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars FAMESHIFT is the project of Henning Pauly (CHAIN) to spread the gospel of Darwinism.The title of the album comes from the title of one of Richard Dawkin's books. In fact each song is based on a character from one of his many books. He has James LaBrie on vocals, Pauly himself plays guitars, keyboards and more. I''m not familiar with the drummer and bass player.This clocks in at a long 79 1/2 minutes.

"Above The Grass-Part 1" is a short intro of nature sounds, strummed guitar and reserved vocals. "The Gene Machine" sounds good early but then it settles as the vocals arrive. Contrasts continue. "Spiders" isn't good at all. James is almost rapping early on with this funky rhythm. It changes some but the damage is already done. "River Out Of Eden" sounds good instrumentally but it calms right down when the reserved vocals arrive. Some nice guitar after 4 minutes. "Message From The Mountain" opens with piano as guitar joins in then bass as it builds. It goes from mellow to fairly bombastic. "Your Eyes" is a folky tune. "La Mer" opens with piano and fragile vocals.Yikes. Not a fan. "Nice Guys Finish First" is worse. Uptempo with organ early. Man I don't like this tune.

"Arms Races" is much better as it turns quite heavy duty with processed vocals joining in. Unfortunately it changes to a lighter sound, although the contrasts do continue. "Orgins And Miracles" is beautiful to start but i'm not a fan of the rest. "Off The Ground" opens with organ followed by some ripping guitar. Nice. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. I like the sound before 3 1/2 minutes. "Walking Through Genetic Space" is vocals only to open. It then calms right down with reserved vocals, light drums,bass and guitar. "Cultural Genetics" is cool sounding early on instrumentally. Processed vocals then it kicks in heavily. It doesn't keep going though sadly. A patchy song at best. "Bats" is atmospheric early on. I like it. It changes for the worse though when the vocals arrive. "Above The Grass-Part 2" ends this album much like it began.

Poor is the word that comes to mind, and to have almost 80 minutes of it is a tough pill to swallow. Fans of LaBrie or Dawkins might be intererested.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Don't buy this CD just because LaBrie is singing on it. Don't think it has any relation to Dream Theater. This isn't a criticism and I love Dream Theater music and I like this CD. The album is fresh and interesting, it sounds very "neo-prog". It's closer to a band like Muse than to anything ... (read more)

Report this review (#150369) | Posted by wrax | Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars James LaBrie is a really good vocalist, but in Dream Theater his vocals are becoming more and more boring... Why? Because DT has become more and more boring, repetitive and melancholic. Hear their last album Octavarium and you'll think: "I'm already tired of hearing this!" Only then you'll tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#39815) | Posted by | Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars If you think this is a labrie project, you are wrong, but not totally wrong, because this album alikes a lot to the labries's project in this aspect: all of them are terrible borring! This album has a lack of: passion, ideas, feeling. To be short: this album is bad project with no characteristic ... (read more)

Report this review (#39213) | Posted by CGH Tompkins | Monday, July 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a good album, but on the whole the music doesn't really grab me and hold my interest. The highlights for me are the lyrics, which are unique and very strong. Not just any group can effectively sing about strands of DNA! The vocals are great, too, but I've enjoyed LaBrie's singing more ... (read more)

Report this review (#28239) | Posted by Wilson | Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hip-hip for James LaBrie - the second best rock singer fo all times... only beaten by the impeccable Freddy Mercury (R.I.P.). This album really is the album of LaBrie, I think. Henning Pauly has done a magnificient job, constructing a well-trimmed and hypnotizing prog record - no doubt of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#28237) | Posted by | Monday, January 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Great album for Dream Theater fans, to get to know James Labrie from another side I,ve enjoyed it very much .Take youre time and listen over an hour of progessive rock. It will give you lots of listening pleasure so Check this out. ... (read more)

Report this review (#28235) | Posted by | Tuesday, September 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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