Queensryche – The Verdict
Toddryche? “Thebandformerlyknownasqueensryche” and “How can they continue under the name Queensryche when there are only 2 original members left”? Peoples constant reaction to the fact that the band continues under the classic name. Well “blame” Geoff Tate and his court case against his former bandmates. Today Queensryche cannot play “Operation: Mindcrime” in its entirety and Geoff renounced his aim for the band name to get full control over the “Operation:Mindcrime” story. Well during the dark years (1999-2011 in my book) the band was at a crossroad for sure. How and where to go? They decided to carry on for a short while as Rising West during their court endeavor and with new singer Todd LaTorre. And here we are with the third album with Todd on lead vocals, this time Scott Rockenfield was absent throughout the entire making of the album, so Todd (who is also a drummer) laid down all the drum tracks. On tour they will continue with Casey Grillo until further notice from Scott.
And another angle, those of you who knows me also knows that this band is my absolute favorite band , so when Editor Johan said that he had saved this record for me to review I felt, honored, a bit scared but pretty confident about it. So here we go. Queensryche 2019 . Ever since Todd came into the band, the lyrics seem to be darker. “Blood of The Levant” doesn´t change that, (this track for example takes on the war in Syria) . “Man The Machine” I froze for a second when I heard the intro guitars, it sounded like something from THAT album! Got a very driving dynamic melody. The now confident machine of Queensryche 2019 is in full swing here. If you liked the last two albums, you will like this album too for sure, if you are one of those that accepted the change of vocalist that is. Two typical modern Queensryche songs get the album going. “Light Years” tuned down into a slower downbeat track not far from “Promised Land” era actually. “Inside out” is another down tuned song. Different song for being Queensryche, with its slightly intricate melodies and the doomy vibe of the vocals and haunting chorus.
“Propaganda Fashion”, a very fast track, might leave you with a surprised look on your face. But it follows on from the last albums where you can find similar songs. Here they go back to the time of “Hear in the Now Frontier” / “Q2K” era but fear not, it’s way better! Another track I figure is about the world today is “Dark Reverie” which is another dark dramatic song that explore what the new Queensryche is all about. Songs about where we are today and what we are doing wrong to this world. A favorite during those listening sessions. “Bent” is for me a future single, might even call it a hit even if it´s a bit long. This one rocks big time. About how we treat mother earths resources. It shows off a very angry band throws those facts on you and why we haven´t done anything to change our way of living. “Inner unrest”, and here we circulate around the classic era of the band. On this one they sound like they walk beside the “Rage for order” era. Recognizable guitars present in the twin guitars that follows through the song.
“Launder the conscience” is the second to last song on the album, and is just as the rest of the album. Full on take no prisoners modern Queensryche. Proving once again that Todd is the man for the job as the singer. Energetic high paced song. Features also the classic twin guitar solos.
“Portrait” ends the record. Slow and moody. It´s a suitable end to a good album. It feels very complete. All in all it sounds like a dark vision themed album (take a look at the album cover we might get a hint). They have brought back the view of the world in the lyrics but this time throughout the whole album without writing it on our noses.
TITLE: THE VERDICT
LABEL: CENTURY MEDIA
DATE OF RELEASE: 19-03-01
STAND OUT TRACK: BENT