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|James LaBrie - I Will Not Break EP (2014) Review|| |
James LaBrie - I Will Not Break EP (2014)
Inside Out Music -- Running Time 37:05
EP releases seem to be becoming a much more regular occurrence these days. They offer smaller and unsigned bands the chance to release something more financially viable and also to keep their name in the spotlight more regularly. For more established artists it also gives them the chance to release material that perhaps didn't fit an album, live, demo or bonus tracks etc and that is the case with 'I Will Not Break', the latest digital EP from Dream Theater frontman James LaBrie. Not content with being the vocalist of arguably the biggest Progressive Metal band around, over the last few years he has released three excellent solo albums, all of which are definitely worth seeking out if you haven't already done so.
Firstly, I'm going to start by saying that I think LaBrie's voice has improved immeasurably in recent years, both in the studio and live. I've long been a fan but sometimes in the past, there have been some dodgy notes, something he seems to have ironed out completely now and it is a joy to say that. This EP opens with the title track and it is the 'Impermanent Resonance' (2013) album version which is used but it is a great track. 'Unraveling' (probably my favourite track here) and 'Why' (which sounds a lot like Amaranthe) were only available previously as Digipak bonus tracks! 'Coming Home' is an alternate mix of the song from the Static Impulse (2010) album. 'Jekyll Of Hyde' and 'Just Watch Me' are demo versions which showcase the great lead vocals of keyboardist Matt Guillory who gives the songs an Evanescence feel! These have also been available previously as Digipak and Japanese Bonus tracks. Finally there are three, previously unreleased, Dub Step/Electronica remixes, 'I Tried', 'Over The Edge' and 'Euphoric' all from the 'Static Impulse' album. Not everyone is going to love these versions of course, but they do offer a unique take on the originals and are actually pretty catchy!
All of this comes in at over thirty seven minutes (longer than many full length albums I've reviewed recently) and even though some are questioning the validity of releasing this EP as nearly all of the songs are available elsewhere, for me, who doesn't have the Digipak or Japanese releases or download individual songs, it's nice to have them collected in one place and it is being sold at a special price. LaBrie's band are superb throughout and you wouldn't expect anything less than crystal clear production and that's exactly what you get. A nice addition to the collection!
Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley