Album Reviews, Culture, Metal / Hard Rock — July 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

REVIEW: Queensrÿche – Queensrÿche

by

Queensryche-Queensryche

Artist Name: Queensrÿche
Title Name: Queensrÿche
Label: Century Media
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini

8.0

 

Recognized for their seminal ’80s albums and for having carved their name as the eternal godfathers of progressive metal after the release of Operation: Mindcrime back in the day, Queensrÿche later became known for their boring and self-indulgent music, eclipsed by their brilliant past. Ultimately, the band went through a break-up, followed by a legal dispute over the band name, and the whole enterprise that comes with it. Every rock fan has experienced a band break-up at least once, and it’s like when your friends get divorced: you try not to pick a side and hope both would go their separate ways and shine again. As a fan you might as well get the best of both worlds: many famous bands broke up and gave birth to even better follow-up acts, or end up improved after a line-up reformulation.

Front man Geoff Tate aside, the remaining members of Queensrÿche recruited a very competent replacement that goes by the name of Todd La Torre. The result couldn’t be finer: Queensrÿche is their most extraordinary work in more than twenty years, since Empire or maybe Promised Land, I would say. This record is a majestic, melodic and enticing collection of muscular prog metal torpedoes that prove that those ’80s albums were not just a fluke.

The quick intro gives space for the inspired “Where Dreams Go to Die”, a mid-tempo daydream of rocky and mighty riffs, topped by La Torre’s beautiful vocal interpretation, and those unmistakable twin guitars of their best era – job well done, since guitarist Chris DeGarmo hasn’t been with them for several years now. “Spore” follows suit and brings back the Empire-esque blend of daunting harmonies and epic melodies. The real standout, however, is left for dessert: “Fallout” is an enchanting musical journey through prog-land and metal-country, with inspired solos and sticky chorus.

This album marks a new phase for the band: it’s Queensrÿche returning to their best shape. I’d say that sometimes break-ups are needed. Musical geniuses need space to breathe and this mob seems to have a lot of that now, as well as a good amount of talent left in their reopened bag of tricks that had been sealed for almost twenty years.

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 Queensrÿche - Queensrÿche