LaBrie's Mullmuzzler, James - James LaBrie's Mullmuzzler 2

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA 9056-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:34:00

James LaBrie is now one of the most respected lead vocalists in rock music due to his prominence in the incredible group Dream Theater. Dream Theater single-handedly resuscitated a genre that had gone underground. After several extremely successful albums all the group's members have been in several different projects concurrent with the activity of their main group. So not only have they made their mark on the rise of progressive-rock, they have all made impressive solo albums and side projects with other popular musicians of that musical realm. Their resourcefulness as a group and separately have pushed their influence to such an extent that you are forced to stand up and take notice. They have added a richness and variety heretofore unfound in many other popular and accessible genres.

LaBrie's second release with his group Mullmuzzler, entitled Mullmuzzler 2 is a departure for him vocally and musically in comparison to the Dream Theater framework. I am sure that is the way it was intended, this is James's music not Dream Theater's, so don't be mislead to think that it's anything else. You will hear some great prog-rock, but get ready for a darker and heavier metal than what you are accustomed to hearing from him. Once you settle in and tune in on that groove, LaBrie switches gears and does a few ballads that are worthy of a top-forty singles. Does this surprise you? It may or not. What it does proves is that he is indeed one of the premier vocalists in the world that has the range and ability to go anywhere with his voice. The music is as exciting as all hell, too. With a crackerjack band behind him it makes LaBrie's job that much easier. The band is: Matt Guillory on keyboards, Mike Mangini on drums, Mike Keneally on guitars, and Bryan Beller on bass. Keneally has been showing up everywhere lately on some really great albums. He has his own group called Beer For Dolphins.

Okay, so what are the best tracks? The best is "Confronting The Devil." What an ass kicker it is, whew! After hearing killer music like that you will be wondering where in God's name those ballads came from, but like I said, its diversity and talent. "Venice Burning" is another roof raiser.

LaBrie does some different things with his voice on this album, make no mistake about that. Within a traditional band setting you must stay within that style and not wander off and experiment, unless the rest of the band is with you in going in that direction. That's why these solo projects and side projects have been so successful, everyone knows that they are going to get something new and fresh and not the expected.

This is a very strong and consistently changing album with a few surprises in store for you all that have been plugged into this music. This is sweet ear candy for those who really love to rock. So take heed and give this your ears and mind now.

Afterlife (4:54) / Venice Burning (6:26) / Confronting the Devil (6:20) / Falling (3:52) / Stranger (6:32) / A Simple Man (5:20) / Save Me (4:11) / Believe (5:00) / Listening (4:14) / Tell Me (5:14)

James LaBrie - lead and background vocals
Matt Guillory - keyboards/piano
Trent Gardner - keyboards/piano
Mike Mangini - drums
Mike Keneally- guitars
Mike Borkosky - guitars
Bryan Beller - bass

Mullmuzzler (1999)
James LaBrie's Mullmuzzler 2 (2001)
Elements Of Persuasion (2005)
Prime Cuts (2008)
Static Impulse (2010)
Impermanent Resonance (2013)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: November 25th 2001
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Artist website:
Hits: 798
Language: english


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