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American Soldier

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iTunes Review

American Soldier is an ambitious concept album that explores the psyche of the American Soldier during a time of war. Singer Geoff Tate interviewed soldiers from many different conflicts from World War II to Vietnam to Iraq (including his own father, a lifelong military man) to piece together this apocalyptic song cycle where Queensrÿche’s innate guitar drama reflects the ominous, often brutal circumstances the soldiers inevitably find themselves caught in. “At 30,000 Ft” explores the detached emotional core of a pilot ordered to bomb cities as opposed to the intense impact of hand-to-hand land combat that surfaces throughout “The Killer” and “Middle of Hell.” “Man Down!” tells the story of a veteran whose only way to connect with his return to civilian life is to spend six years driving his car across the country, unable to settle in one place. American Soldier is not a political record. It never preaches. Tate takes great pains to ensure it is the soldier’s point of view and their experiences that guide his writing and he uses his band of heavy metal pros to give these songs the dramatic impact they deserve.

Customer Reviews

Queensryche Successfully Salutes Troops on "American Soldier"

"Silent Lucidity." If the average person was asked to name a song by Queensryche, that would be the one. While "Silent Lucidity" is a brilliant and beautiful ballad, the band has made much more music than that one 1990 hit. True Queensryche fans know that the Seattle-based band has been in business for over 25 years. While their short lived mainstream success eventually got lost in the grunge/alternative rock shuffle, these guys aren't just cashing in on greatest hits tours these days. They continue to make music, as "American Soldier," their tenth full-length original album, proves once again that Queensryche is truly the "thinking man's metal band." "American Soldier," a conceptual album about the trials and tribulations of military life, began as nothing more than a project for lead singer Geoff Tate. Tate grew up in a military family, as his father was a Korean and Vietnam war veteran. His father began talking to him about his time in the war, which he had never done in the past, so Tate decided to actually record their conversations, which eventually led to interviews with various veterans, from World War II up to the current war in Iraq. Tate took all of this information into the recording studio, and with the rest of his band, started work on "American Soldier." The album lyrically covers all phases of war. It opens with a drill sergeant yelling "On your feet!" in the beginning seconds of the first track, "Sliver." It then goes into the voices of different soldiers describing what war is all about on the song "Unafraid." Tate has said that from interviewing different generations of soldiers, he was surprised to find out that what these men go through is the same, and it's shown on this track. Other topics on the 14-song album include being emotionally detached as a fighter pilot ("At 30,000 Ft."), assuming the end is near ("Dead Man's Words"), losing a friend in war ("If I Were King," the album's first single), being away from family ("Remember Me" and "Home Again") and learning to live a normal everyday life again ("Man Down!"). Musically, Queensryche has taken pride in never sticking to a formula, and the trend continues on "American Soldier". All guitar work was done by Michael Wilton, who on past albums worked with another guitarist (Chris DeGarmo, Kelly Gray, and Mike Stone, respectively). His stuff on this album is some of the best he has done in a long time, with some killer solos on "Hundred Mile Stare" and "Man Down!" Eddie Jackson provides some great bass work on "Middle of Hell" and "The Voice." Drummer Scott Rockenfield has his usual solid performance throughout the album. Age is starting to catch up with singer Geoff Tate, who at one time could shatter glass with his unbelievably high register, but he still sounds pretty darn good. He also provides some fantastic saxophone playing on various tracks. The lyrics Tate penned for "American Soldier" are some of his best. The album is produced wonderfully by Jason Slater, who also worked on Queensryche's last original studio album, "Operation: Mindcrime II." There are also some guest appearances on the new record. Vince Solano, who won a singing contest that the band had during their "Take Cover" tour last year, provides vocals on "Dead Man's Words," and will even appear with them on selected dates during their 2009 shows. The other guest performer is Emily Tate, Geoff's 10-year-old daughter, who sings beautifully with her old man on "Home Again," a track about a father and daughter who write letters to each other while he is in the military. In today's age where people simply buy 99 cent songs off of iTunes and various digital music stores, it's nice to see a band get creative and tell a story with their art. You must buy the entire album to fully enjoy this. "American Soldier" is a true tribute to our fighting men and women of all eras.

american soldier definitly honors americas warriors

i have been a queensryche fan since there e/p was first issued on TAPE! next to mindcrime this is there best album, it definitly had me remembering things i thought i put away from the war in iraq. the first song sliver definitly puts things in perspective of what it means to be a soldier and the so called life you leave behind when you enter basic training. every song has the emotion of what war can do to someone. the killer,man down, and the middle of hell,definitly hit home for a combat infantryman trying to readjust to civillian life. the song that hits me as the best is probably home again, i could picture my baby son telling me the exact words to the song. thank you Queensryche for putting these wonderfull songs together, i waited eagerly for the album and am not disappointed. iraq soldier HHC 1/185TH INF 2006-2007

This Really Hit Home

Being a veteren and have served in Iraq, this album brought back all the feelings that i chose not to bring out. This is a very deep album by a band that just seems to have a knack for concept albums. By no means is this Operation Mindcrime but out of everything they have put out since the first Mindcrime this is most definetly Queensryche's return to form hands down. Each song is very well crafted and though Geoff Tate may not have the range of the early days, he doesn't try to out do himself. As you get older things change and thats ok, you just adapt. There is not one weak song on this album. Keep in mind though if your just discovering Queensryche start with there older stuff and thats not knocking what they have done recently its just a different sound. Way to go guys and thanks for supporting the men and woman in the military. Much Love

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Bellevue, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although they were initially grouped with the legions of pop-metal bands that dominated the American heavy metal scene of the '80s, Queensrÿche were one of the most distinctive bands of the era. Where their contemporaries built on the legacy of Van Halen, Aerosmith, and Kiss, Queensrÿche constructed a progressive form of heavy metal that drew equally from the guitar pyrotechnics of post-Van Halen metal and '70s art rock, most notably Pink Floyd and Queen. After releasing a handful of ignored albums,...
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American Soldier, Queensrÿche
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