Released on: Deadline Records. Release date: Available now
Those other members have moved on and will have their new album featuring singer Todd Le Torre (Crimson Glory) released in June …
Well, a couple of points are very clear and first off is that if he couldn’t have all of the last Queensryche lineup onboard, Geoff Tate would put together a very respectable lineup, to record an album under the title Queensryche.
He went back to grab a player from his pre-Queensryche days from the band Myth, in Kelly Gray who in fact was the guy who had replaced original guitarist, Chris DeGarmo who quit in 1997. – Kelly was let go from the band in 2002.
Also from his Myth days, Tate has brought in keyboardist Randy Gane who had also played keys on the Queensryche’s ‘American Soldier’ album and toured with the band prior to that.
The also much in demand drummer Simon Wright (UFO, Dio, AC/DC) also plays on two of the album tracks as well as has been touring already with this version of the band, until recently where Brian Tichy (S.U.N., Whitesnake, Foreigner, Billy Idol, Gilby Clarke) has stepped in while Simon rejoins his band mates in Dio Disciples on tour in South America.
Another pro drummer involved is metal man Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament, Forbidden) who plays on four of the albums ten original new songs.
Other players involved here who I know little about really are Chris Cannella (Guitars), Evan Bautista (Drums) and the album’s producer Jason Slater who also plays bass and keyboards through the album and who actually produced three of the last four Queensryche releases before this one. So I guess I did know that about the guy!
That’s a lot of info on the people involved in this project and probably for many rock fans, perhaps you couldn’t care less about who played on this, as it’s not all of the guys from Queensryche’s past!
So, shall we get on with the music?
Would I call it as progressive as many fans would like? I think it is in places.
I think this opening song is edgy, plenty of power chords yet it has a catchy melodic feel to it, plenty of keys splattered throughout.
‘Dare’ next is also full of attitude and I will say it almost nods at rock/rap here and there, which I know Tate has come close to before. Some weird chord patterns right after the mid-section and into the bridge.
Doesn’t work for me really, it’s OK.
That said, Robert Sarzo plays some absolutely killer guitar here, love the solo, really is a winner!
It’s a kind of prog like track with its highs and lows for me throughout, it’s OK but I do have add, I really enjoy Ty Tabor’s guitar work on here, it’s actually very much in a similar vein to Neal Schon (Journey), very nicely done indeed.
‘Running Backwards’ starts with a creepy sound, not quite sure what it is, maybe messing with the guitar bridge before getting into heavy edged groove and then easing off a bit through the verses with Geoff Tate giving it a borderline rock/rap meets prog like vocal here and then it gets into a manic solo from guest player KK Downing.
‘Everything’ up next captures a kind of light and dark heaviness with some very melodic touches to it as well and once more, some very nice guitar work from Ty Tabor.
You know I’ve read all the stories about how badly mixed this album was and yes it may have been before, but I understand the version I have was redone and for all intents and purposes I think it sounds a very good mix, yes really, not bad at all.
I do agree that his attitude issues which were very clear on the TV broadcast of last year’s Rocklahoma show, was bad and subsequent activities on the South American dates that followed that, which ultimately led to the split, were just simply wrong.
Really friction had been brewing for some time, so really the split was on the cards ..., but let's get back to the album here!
The generally vibe on here captures a pretty atmospheric sound, with a lot of layers to it, good mix of sound, good emotional vocal performance and indeed the solo from Meniketti slots in well with a great band performance.
Is it back to classic Queensryche? I don’t think so.
Are there elements of it, yes, here and there, but overall I like the majority of the album, I think it’s a good rock album, but still there are two or three songs that even after a number of plays, didn’t do it for me.
Basically Geoff sings and Martin does all the rest, well at least drums, guitars, bass …, but it doesn’t mention in the album’s sleeve notes, who is playing any keys …? Hmmm …
Randy Gane gets credit for the orchestration on ‘Silent Lucidity,’ Miranda and Emily Tate credit for backing vocals on the same track.
Nina Noir covers backing vocals on ‘Jet City Woman.’