On disc: James LaBrie's Mullmuzzler
(Magna Carta - 2001)
After the release of the 1999 debut album Keep It To Yourself Dream Theater shouter James LaBrie is now putting out the follow-up Mullmuzzler 2.
For the 10 songs James LaBrie got support by Matt Guillory (Dali's Dilemma) - who also played keyboard and piano - and Shadow Gallery's Carl Cadden-James and Gary Wehrkamp.
Singer James LaBrie stated that he wants to show with the entirety of the album his vary vocals beside his main band and that he wants to follow a different path. Vocally the charismatic singer offers a larger variety, even if musically there are some audible reference to one or the other Dream Theater albums like at Venice Burning and Stranger. At all I can say that the album has a high quality level regarding the musical skills which don't have to be proofed, if extra-ordinary musicians like the ones named above are involved.
Starting with outstanding drummer Mike Mangini (known for his work with Extreme and Steve Vai) who add the groove to the songs and who creates with different tempi the atmosphere. Bassist Bryan Beller and guitarist Mike Keneally already got famous and honored for their work with the Zappa family and make this album special. Magellan member Trent Gardner took part at the album opener Afterlife. Generally the Canadian front man present a larger spectrum of emotions and styles on this output. The album contains everything from balladesque songs to jazzy tracks to classic progressive tunes.
Anyway, James LaBrie offer the fans of the New York progsters a high class side-project to listen to until Dream Theater will release their next opus.