The Canadian singer/song-writer is keeping busy these days that's for sure! Not only is he embroiled in Dream Theater activity as they tour in promotion of their recent self-titled album, but earlier during 2013 he found himself unleashing his third solo studio album in the shape of 'Impermanent Resonance'.
This extended player offers up some reiteration if such a thing was necessary, that this latest solo album has some very cool material weaving throughout by offering up some of those songs again and including some extra treats. If you purchased the European limited edition digipack version of 'Impermanent Resonance' you'll already own the songs 'I Will Not Break', 'Unraveling' and 'why'. So why fork out any extra cash on the other six tracks that are contained within this E.P.?
If you're an avid fan of LaBrie's solo output, then you may recognise the rest of the material on show as originally appearing on his second solo studio album 'Static Impulse', released back in 2010. In fact if you purchased the limited edition digipack version of this album, you'll already have the 'Alternative Mix' of 'Coming Home' which sounds as beautiful in all of its acoustic-based radiance as ever.
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That's four out of the nine songs you may already own if you're a die-hard fan. Let's take a look at the remaining tracks. Sadly, despite the fact it's a good song with that slightly rough vibe, 'Jekyll Or Hyde [Demo Version]' is next in line. Once again, if you've coughed up some hard earned money on the limited edition of 'Static Impulse' you'll already possess this audio delight.
Naturally by this junction I'm wondering over the kudos of such a release when hardcore fans will own these opening few songs. For newer fans, or those that are still discovering the talents of LaBrie through his consistent outpouring in Dream Theater, this release may still carry some merit.
With a piano introduction, 'Just Watch Me [Demo Version]' picks up the gauntlet and isn't bad really. That evident slight rough-around-the-edges being prominent, but I've heard a lot rougher if truth be known. Mixing some keys which weave their way throughout the wall of distorted guitars before the progressive nature of this beast twists and turns merging dark and light.
A remix presented by U.S. DJ Jason Miller of 'I Tried' is next on the menu. Like a chef has sprinkled some lemon fizzy, sizzling ingredient to a familiar dessert, it's not Rock as we know it! The dance-flavour continues to flow as 'Over The Edge' and 'Euphoric' are given similar remix treatments by Mutrix and NeonGenesis respectively.
Progressive Rock fans are often open-minded souls which will benefit anyone who approaches this extended player. With five tracks that are already available on special versions of Labrie's recent two solo albums, and three intense remixes plus a demo version, it's an intriguing collection of music.
The real intent behind such a release is that the remixed, bonus and demo tracks have not been made available digitally before. Is this a strong enough reason to invest the energy in compiling this group of songs? I have my own opinion regarding the substance of such a concept and you'll have yours.
Personally if I was a devoted fan I wouldn't be that impressed. Taking the stance of a newcomer to this set of tracks, I can see some interest in checking it out.
I Will Not Break
Coming Home [Alternative Mix]
Jekyll Or Hyde [Demo]
Just Watch Me [Demo]
I Tried [Jason Miller Re-mix]
Over The Edge [Mutrix Re-mix]
Euphoric [NeonGenesis Re-mix]
James LaBrie - Lead Vocals
Matt Guillory - Keyboards, Background Vocals
Marco Sfogli - Guitars
Ray Riendeau - Bass
Peter Wildoer - Drums, Screams