Watch James LaBrie's graphic novel-inspired video for Devil In Drag

James LaBrie band shot 2022 against a grey fantasy forest backdrop
(Image credit: Thomas Ewerhard)

Dream Theater's James LaBrie is to release his fourth solo album, Beautiful Shade Of Grey, on May 20 via InsideOut. It's his first since 2013's Impermanent Resonance. Check out Wayne Joyner's (Ayreon/Teramaze) part-animated video for the lead single, Devil In Drag, below.

LaBrie says that the record's opener was written about “someone who started out as a decent human being, but along the way lost touch with their roots – overtime becoming self-serving, narcissistic and devoid of principles or values.

"Devil In Drag is written from the perspective of someone who’s known them all their life and, seeing them now, asking, ‘what happened?’”

The vocalist began working on new music shortly after the pandemic began and explains that the album title, Beautiful Shade Of Grey, reflects the LP's two core themes. “A lot of these lyrics are dealing with the beauty of human beings, and a lot are dealing with the grey areas of the in between. You’re not exactly happy, but you’re not exactly sad, either.”

The album finds him teaming up with Eden's Curse bassist Paul Logue, whom he first met in 2011, and who plays both bass and acoustic rhythm guitar on the album. Joining him are guitarist Marco Sfogli, who’s contributed to all LaBrie’s solo albums since 2005’s Elements Of Persuasion, Eden’s Curse keyboardist Christian Pulkkinen, and LeBrie's son Chance on drums. 

Check out the video below.

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Beautiful Shade Of Grey Tracklisting

1.     Devil In Drag
2.    SuperNova Girl
3.     Give And Take
4.     Sunset Ruin
5.     Hit Me Like A Brick
6.     Wildflower
7.     Conscience Calling
8.     What I Missed
9.    Am I Right
10.  Ramble On
11.  Devil In Drag (Electric Version)

album cover for James LaBrie's Beautiful Shade Of Grey

(Image credit: Press)
Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.