Album Reviews

James LaBrie – I Will Not Break EP Review

jameslabrie_ep_cover

Released by: InsideOut Music

Release Date: Jan. 14, 2014 (US)

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: http://www.facebook.com/officialjameslabrie

 

Line up:

James LaBrie – Lead Vocals

Matt Guillory – Keyboards, Background Vocals

Marco Sfogli – Guitars

Ray Riendeau – Bass

Peter Wildoer – Drums, Screams

 

Tracklist:

1. I Will Not Break

2. Unraveling

3. Why

4. Coming Home (Alternate Mix)

5. Jekyll Or Hyde (Demo)

6. Just Watch Me (Demo)

7. I Tried (Jason Miller Re-mix)

8. Over The Edge (Mutrix Re-mix)

9. Euphoric (NeonGenesis Re-mix)

 

James LaBrie really had one hell of a 2013. He released a very good solo record in Impermanent Resonance and DREAM THEATER put out arguably their best album in over a decade. So, fresh off of accolades galore Mr. LaBrie has given the fans a digital EP entitled I Will Not Break, due out on January 14 via InsideOut Music. Featuring bonus tracks, demos, and uhhh…dub step/electro remixes of three songs off of 2010’s Static Impulse it’s a mixed bag of mostly stuff the die-hards already own, but it’s always nice to hear alternate takes in my book.

Title track and opener “I Will Not Break” is heavy, ballsy, and badass, pure and simple. I felt that way when it was the official album closer for Resonance. “Unraveling” and “Why” are two songs that were bonus tracks on the European Digipak and are actually favorites of mine. I still can’t believe they weren’t included in the U.S. version to be honest. An alternate mix of “Coming Home” from Impulse is next. I really don’t hear much of a difference but it’s still such a great song you’ll get no complaints from me!

I’m not really sure what to make of the two demo versions of “Jekyll or Hyde” and “Just Watch Me” with keyboardist Matt Guillory singing. They’re not bad by any means, just VERY different. When you’re used to LaBrie’s voice and then someone else steps up to the mic it’s definitely interesting. Closing out this collection are the three remixes done by US DJ’s Jason Miller, Mutrix and NeonGenesis. I have just one question: WHY?? I am not a fan of this music in any way, shape, or form, and quite frankly it was all I could do to sit through them and not skip any because I am nothing if not thorough.

The motivation behind this EP is obviously to make tracks available that weren’t before as well as give fans a taste of something different, but again I can only assume the die-hards will already have most of these songs. Still, if you’re looking for something new to add to your James LaBrie collection, have at it.

 

Damian J. Cousins

RATING:  7/10

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