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Queensryche

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Editors’ Notes

In 2013, Queensrÿche is broken into two camps that both use the group's name. One camp is led by singer Geoff Tate, who issued Frequency Unknown in April. The other camp is this one, with all the other members of Queensrÿche and former Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. It's up to every fan to decide which side to favor, but this version of the group does the legacy proud. With La Torre also at the writing table with the rest of the group, the result is an all-for-one mentality that translates to a band playing with fire in its belly. There's no wasted space. Although it features nine tracks and two intros (plus two live bonus cuts on the deluxe version), the album cruises like an EP. A tune like "Vindication" is reminiscent of Queensrÿche's late-'80s/early-'90s prime. "A World Without" (with the spooky intro "Midnight Lullaby") is a prime metal ballad with a Michael Kamen–like orchestration that (along with the "X2/Where Dreams Go to Die" slow jam) captures the dynamics that always gave the group an edge over its competition. Queensrÿche isn't afraid of melody or complexity. When it decides to rock—"Spore," "Don't Look Back"—it makes everything sound easy.

Customer Reviews

QUEENSRYCHE LIVES!!!

I can only compare listening to this album to something like finding out that a long lost friend who you thought died long ago, returns alive, and returns rejuvenated, with a great attitude, loving life, and catching up everyone around them in the energy of the new found life.... Really awesome guys... So great to have the embodiment of the true Ryche back!!!! Welcome home!!! This is the first album since Promised Land where I am really looking forward to them playing any and/or all the songs off the album!!!!

A Very Welcome Return to Form!

There has been a lot to talk about in the past 12 months when it comes to the band Queensryche, especially when there are currently TWO versions of this band. The former frontman released an album under the Queensryche label in April, and now the remaining original members of the band (Rockenfield, Wilton, and Jackson) have released this self-titled album with long-time guitarist Parker Lundgren and new frontman Todd LaTorre. As with the release in April, my main expectation was an album bearing the Queensryche label actually sounding like the Queensryche I grew up with (EP through Promised Land). I am very happy to say that this album, simply entitled "Queensryche", does that and so much more.

First of all, the band made a very smart move when they brought back Jimbo Barton to produce/mix this album. Having produced/engineered such classic albums as Operation:Mindcrime, Empire, and Promised Land, it is safe to say that Jimbo knows what the "Classic" Queensryche sound is, and he captures it beautifully on this release. This album sounds like it could have been the follow-up to Empire or Promised Land. While a lot of that is because of how Barton produces and mixes the performances, and knows how to get the most of the musicians, enough can not be said about the performances themselves. Each member of the band shines in their own way throughout this release, and Barton highlights all of these individual achievements. Scott Rockenfield hasn't been able to flex his drumming skills like this in almost 20 years. His playing on this album is so diverse and dynamic that I find myself hearing something new with every listen. EdBass's tone rolls off in such a menacing way that, when played at the right volume in your car, I guarantee that it will throw out just enuff extra thrust to add 5-10mpg to your car's efficiency. And Whip and Parker mesh into one, powerful and dynamic guitar duo, bringing back those long-missed harmonies that were a signature of Queensryche in their heyday. Some have claimed that this album puts the "Metal" back in Queensryche. While that may be a little bit true, this album does way more than that. This album comes full-circle back to what made them so special to begin with.

Classic Queensryche was not metal. It wasn't rock, prog, alternative, industrial, or pop. Classic Queensryche was a melting pot of all of these genres and actually defined its own genre; it was quite simply Queensryche. Tracks like "Spore", "Fallout", and "Vindication" are sure to give you your metal fix, while other tracks like "Redemption", "In This Light", and "Where Dreams Go To Die" are more melodic and commercial in the vein of the Empire album. "Midnight Lullaby/A World Without" stands out as one of the darkest and moodiest Queensryche songs to date, complete with a special guest appearance by long-time friend of the band, Pamela Moore ("Mary" on OMC and OMCII). And for the first time in a VERY long time, EVERY member of the band is completely involved in the writing process throughout; this is truly a band effort. One of the standout tracks, "Where Dreams Go To Die", is the first Queensryche song penned by guitarist Parker Lundgren, and it is amazing how someone so young can completely capture the essence of Queensryche. The band claims to already be working on new material for a follow-up, and this album indicates that things will only get better.

Now, the storyline that is sure to be most talked about with this release is the introduction of new frontman Todd LaTorre to the Queensryche fan base. Yes, at times, Todd does sound a bit like the legendary former singer of this band. However, it never sounds forced or contrived. Todd LaTorre shines on this album, and sounds nothing more than a really great singer that was heavily influenced by the likes of Rob Halford, Dio, Bruce Dickinson, and former Queensryche frontman, Geoff Tate. If anything, I really think that Todd may sound like Tate at times only because Barton mixed this album the same way he did those classic Queensryche albums, using a lot of the same techniques and effects he did back then. Todd is electrifying and emotional, untamed yet restrained. You won't hear many crazy vocal acrobatics here, aside from a few times when it fits the song; there is one note he hits at the 1:51min mark of "Don't Look Back" that will completely blow your mind. And his singing isn't the only thing special about Todd LaTorre. He shows on this album that he is a very capable songwriter and lyricist, and has already formed a great chemistry with the other members of the band.

Finally, believe it or not, there are two negative things I must say about this release. First off is the actual length of the album; it clocks in around the 35min mark. Some of the songs leave you wanting more, as if an extra verse or extended chorus and instrumental interlude could have been added. Personally, I feel that they missed an opportunity with the track "A World Without". Considering the subject matter (A man dealing with his wife dying during the birth of their first child) and Pamela Moore making a guest appearance on this track, I think they should have worked in a duet of Todd and Pamela, a kind of "conversation"

The second negative is the mastering of the album. Barton's mix is amazing, but the album was "brick-walled" when mastered (think "Death Magnetic" or "Vapor Trails"). There is really no head-space or breathing room here; some of the dynamics Barton caught on tape get lost. Everything is pushed to the limit and, when played at high volumes over an extended period of time, this album can cause some hearing fatigue. Thats right, your ears actually get tired because there aren't many breaks in the action (Great discussion on this in The Breakdown Room forums). Recommend listening at mid to mid-high levels.

All in all, this is the Queensryche album I have been waiting 20 years for!

Power Review :

Just finished listening to the 90sec samples and I have to say that I am really amazed at what I just heard. Been waiting for QR to go back to there roots. Back to the sound that made me and millions of others say "Holy Crap MY Pants" what was that! From the earlier Self Titled QR record, The Warning, Rage for Order, Operation Mind Crime, Empire and Promised Land they have come home full circle. Minus Geoff Tate though. But in his place for the new CD is Todd La Torre (Vocals) who is just as incredible as the former singer and new Guitar player Parker Lundgren who in my opinion with a little inspiration, can really be the one to fill the shoes of very much missed Chris DeGarmo. I am not saying he is the new DeGarmo there can only be ONE! believe me. But Parker who wrote most of "Where Dreams Go To Die" shows why he can "Take Hold of that Flame" but I will just leave it at that and go on to say that WDGTD is one of the strongest songs on this CD full of other great songs. The whole CD is a great piece of cohesive music put together to once again please only the purest of Queensryche fans out there today and that includes me! Thanks Queensryche for the Great CD and here's to many more to start building that new Empire! May The Ryche Be With You!

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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