After 30 years (some good – some bad) with Geoff Tate, the four remaining members of Queensryche tossed Tate out of the band citing a myriad of problem with their former bandmate. One of the main publically announced issues with Tate was what the band had become in the last 15 years. From the release of the amazing “Operation: Mindcrime,” Queensryche became the leaders of the progressive metal genre for years. 1990 brought us “Empire,” which was another great album with a handful of mainstream hits, a giant tour and massive promotion. The band was at the top of their game.
The next release, “Promised Land,” had its moments but suffered from a poor choice of single selection. I truly enjoy the album to this day. There are some good songs on there, but there is no denying that it was a huge slip. After that point, Queensryche could have done themselves a favor and went on hiatus because they started to become the laughing stock of the metal genre. Their releases sounded uninspired and the band floudered around in some avant-garde genre more than any metal genre.
These days, we now have two Queensryche bands. We have Geoff Tate’s watered down version of the band and the remaining four members have enlisted the talents of Todd La Torre to prove a point – that Queensryche is still relevant.
After a brief opening intro, X2, the self-titled album opens with Where Dreams Go to Die. We notice two things off the bat – Todd La Torre has one hell of a voice and Queensryche means business. The heavy edge is back and the songs have passion and feeling behind them. The songwriting seems to have taken center stage of this release, which is something that Queensryche was missing for the last decade. It is now more about the music than the show accompanying the music.
Another standout track is Spore with its heavy groove. Dont’ Look Back is a song that may have a reason for its title, but it is a rocking song.
Of course, this is Queensryche, so we still have the melodic moments that have defined the band for years with songs list Midnight Lullaby and A World Without, the latter of which includes Pamela Moore from “Operation: Mindcrime” fame on vocals as well.
Overall, Queensryche has released something very nice with “Queensryche.” While it will not make anyone forget “Operation: Mindcrime,” it is a very strong album, which is something that we have not heard since “Promised Land.”
Queensryche Track Listing:
02. Where Dreams Go to Die
04. In This Light
07. Midnight Lullaby
08. A World Without
09. Don’t Look Back
11. Open Road
Queensryche Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
12. Queen of the Reich (live)
13. En Force (live)
14. Prophecy (live)
Todd La Torre – Vocals
Michael Wilton – Guitars
Parker Lundgren – Guitars
Eddie Jackson – Bass
Scott Rockenfield – Drums, Percussion and Keyboards
Pamela Moore – Vocals (8)