James LaBrie, identified internationally because the vocalist for progressive metallic icons and Grammy winners DREAM THEATER, will launch his fourth solo album, titled “Stunning Shade Of Gray”, on Could 20. The third and ultimate monitor to be launched earlier than the album is launched is “Am I Proper”, and you may watch the Wayne Joyner-directed video under.

James feedback: “The anthemic music of the album with beautiful chordal choosing and progressions. An ideal marriage between melody and music. Extraordinarily dynamic all through with an epic and superb ending.”

LaBrie‘s collaborator, ba***ist Paul Logue (EDEN’S CURSE) provides: “This music was an actual labor of affection from James and I. It holds a particular place in our hearts and has such emotion, feeling, melody and the climax is simply improbable!”

The climax of the music options the beautiful voice of Theresa Thomason, well-known to DREAM THEATER followers for her participation on “The Spirit Carries On” from the band’s lauded “Scenes From A Reminiscence” idea album.

The brand new endeavor sees James traverse private maturation, loss, a myriad of advanced relationships and, most significantly, LaBrie‘s burning ardour for music. On paper, the newest studio providing from the Canadian singer first took form shortly after the worldwide pandemic started to emerge. However in actuality, LaBrie shaped a bond with Logue almost a decade earlier.

The 2 first met in 2011, when James would lend his voice to a function for Logue‘s band, U.Ok. melodic metallic outfit EDEN’S CURSE, on the music “No Holy Man”. As years glided by the 2 remained in contact, often kicking the tires on the concept of working collectively on one other venture. However when DREAM THEATER carried out in Glasgow through the late winter of 2020, LaBrie and Logue would run into one another on the airport — as soon as once more asking the query. However this time, armed with the information {that a} drastic change on the earth was all however imminent, LaBrie made the choice to set issues in movement.

On the album, Logue performs acoustic rhythm guitar (each six- and twelve-string) and acoustic ba***, whereas guitarist Marco Sfogli, who’s contributed on all of LaBrie‘s solo albums since 2005’s “Parts Of Persuasion”, dealt with the leads and solos. Logue recruited EDEN’S CURSE keyboardist Christian Pulkkinen to lend his enjoying on the file, whereas the suggestion to recruit James‘s son Probability to play drums would additionally come from Paul. “Stunning Shade Of Gray”, as LaBrie describes it, was a title that solely got here to him as soon as he recognized the file’s two core themes all through its monitor record.

“A whole lot of these lyrics are coping with the great thing about human beings, and loads are coping with the gray areas of the in between,” James says. “You are not precisely completely satisfied, however you are not precisely unhappy both.”

The file begins off (and ends) with the monitor “Satan In Drag”, which emerges as a wall of synthesizers and acoustic strumming earlier than exploding right into a full-blown ensemble. LaBrie expresses that the music was written about “somebody who began out as a good human being, however alongside the way in which misplaced contact with their roots — over time changing into self-serving, narcissistic and devoid of ideas or values.” Happening to say, “‘Satan In Drag’ is written from the angle of somebody who’s identified all of them their life and, seeing them now, asking ‘what occurred?'”

“Stunning Shade Of Gray” will probably be launched as a restricted CD digipak, 180-gram LP, CD and as a digital album, with art work by Thomas Ewerhard.

“Stunning Shade Of Gray” monitor itemizing:

01. Satan In Drag
02. SuperNova Woman
03. Give And Take
04. Sundown Damage
05. Hit Me Like A Brick
06. Wildflower
07. Conscience Calling
08. What I Missed
09. Am I Proper
10. Ramble On
11. Satan In Drag (Electrical Model)

Final December, LaBrie advised Full Metallic Jackie‘s nationally syndicated radio present about how Seventies rock music influenced and impressed “Stunning Shade Of Gray”: “I am an enormous [LED] ZEPPELIN fan. I am an enormous [fan of] PINK FLOYD and AEROSMITH and DEEP PURPLE and all that. These bands had been so iconic again within the ’70s. So lots of the inspiration, after I sat down with Paul Logue, who’s the opposite musician that I wrote the album with, and he is from Scotland, I stated, ‘Paul, I simply need us to suppose extra about…’ If you consider the acoustic finish of ZEPPELIN and their natural strategy to their songs, it was nonetheless lovely, it was nonetheless highly effective, extraordinarily melodic, and it simply type of reached deep inside, it resonated deep inside each one in all us that listened to any ZEPPELIN. In order that was the catalyst to set issues in movement. It grew to become a full ensemble. I imply, I’ve keyboards, drums, ba***, rhythm guitar, lead guitar after which myself doing all of the vocals. So it is considerably acoustic however it’s additionally a full ensemble as effectively. So it nonetheless has the total band type of sound and orchestration.”

Concerning the lyrical themes coated on the LP, James stated: “‘Stunning Shade Of Gray’ has loads to do with the lyrics that I wrote for this album. And lots of my lyrics are coping with the human situation and all of the dynamics of life in itself that each one in all us expertise and, to a sure diploma, it’s normal for many of us to undergo the identical experiences. So I wished to write down loads about that. In order that’s type of what impressed this complete enterprise.”

Final October, James advised “The Everyman Podcast” about how his collaboration with Logue happened: “I sang on one in all [EDEN’S CURSE‘s] songs again in 2010 known as ‘No Holy Man’; so I visitor on that. And I actually favored Paul‘s writing. To me, Paul‘s writing was extra from a cla***ical period — just like the ’70s; that basic rock strategy. And I had lots of concepts in that vein.

Paul and I truly ran into one another — you suppose destiny is not there with you; holy shit… The day after we completed the present — DREAM THEATER in Glasgow [on] February twenty third [2020]. I am ready for my flight on the twenty fourth to go to London after which Toronto, and Paul walks by me and he goes, ‘James!’ I am, like, ‘Oh my God!’ He goes, ‘You recognize I used to be on the present final night time.’ He stored attempting to e-mail me on my outdated e-mail handle. And he goes, ‘Pay attention, let me know. You wanna get collectively? You wanna do some writing?’ And I stated, ‘I would like to.’ On the time, I stated, ‘I do not know. Some freaky shit’s happening. You are listening to about this virus?’ ‘Yeah. Yeah.’ [I said] ‘We have gotta go to Asia, then we have gotta go to freakin’ South America and North America and all that.’ I stated, ‘So we’re most likely not gonna be completed until October, however why do not we begin writing then? Or why do not we begin throwing concepts again within the meantime, and I may even be on the street and dealing on it?’ And he goes, ‘Nice.’ Impulsively, the world closes down. So we acquired on it… It was most likely… Every part closed down March fifteenth, I consider, and by March twentieth, him and I had been already pa***ing concepts backwards and forwards.”

Elaborating on the songwriting course of for “Stunning Shade Of Gray”, LaBrie stated: “We began as, we stated, ‘Let’s simply hold it actual uncooked and acoustic-based — that’ll be the elemental of this album,’ after which it type of morphed into extra of an ensemble, so [with] keyboards… Marco Sfogli is enjoying lead guitar on all of the tracks. Paul is enjoying all of the rhythm acoustic guitars and ba***. After which [my son] Probability [LaBrie] is doing drums. Christian Pulkkinen is the keyboard participant, who’s a improbable keyboard participant, piano participant. All of the lyrics, besides one, I penned.

“It was actually attention-grabbing the way it got here collectively, whether or not I would be throwing [Paul] a riff or I would be throwing him a melody concept that grew to become a refrain to one of many songs or verses,” he continued. “After which he’d throw me again his concepts musically. And we slowly however certainly put all of it collectively. We had all people absolutely concerned. And it got here out improbable. The label is de facto stoked about it. It has that type of ZEPPELIN-esque really feel to it, however nonetheless the modern-day points of it as effectively are there. So it is nice.”

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