Exposé Online banner

James LaBrie — Elements of Passion
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 204, 2005, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01

Elements of Passion Cover art

James LaBrie should be well known to Exposé readers by now, either as the vocalist for prog-metal icons Dream Theatre or through his participation in various Magna Carta tributes and Trent Gardner projects. He’s gifted with remarkable talent, regularly displaying an uncommon ability to deliver both hushed and impassioned balladeering as well as full-throated metal wailing. The sheer number of imitators across the globe is testament to his influence on the genre. For his second solo album, LaBrie has again teamed up with keyboard player Matt Guillory (also a participant on the Mulmuzzler side projects) with whom he shares the bulk of the songwriting. The rhythm section of Bryan Beller and Mike Mangini hold down the bottom end with aplomb and newcomer Marco Sfogli has the metal guitar thing more than ably covered. Curiously for a solo album, Elements sounds very much like a band project, thanks to the carefully crafted and articulated arrangements. For the DT crowd there’s plenty of flashy metal fireworks occupying much of the disk’s 66 minutes, though LaBrie has wisely injected subtle techno elements into the arrangements and production that helps to raise the material above mere metal pabulum. Several songs shift into slower, more melodic terrain with Guillory’s keyboards coming to the fore and allowing LaBrie to present a friendlier, more expansive face. DT and prog-metal fans will no doubt want to pick this one up, though the quality shown throughout might also surprise anti-metal hardliners and bring a talented singer to an even wider audience.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): James LaBrie

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kinzokuebisu - Momijigari – When one band traverses a wide variety of styles, there’s always the danger that diversity will dissolve into chaos, leaving the listener more confused than intrigued. This Japanese band inhabits...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues