JUNE 24th 2013

Review by Ruben Mosqueda

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the past 12 months you’re fully aware that Queensryche have a new voice at the helm—former Crimson Glory front man Todd La Torre who is a dead ringer for the ‘old boss.’ After a pair of sold-out shows in Seattle last June where they performed under the moniker ‘Rising West’ they ousted the ‘old boss’ who they are currently in litigation with for the Queensryche name.

For the time being both the ‘old boss’ and the re-energized Queensryche 2.0 are free to issue music under said name. Queensryche have answered back with a self-titled album which is one of the most consistent efforts the band has issued since Promised Land 1994—that’s right nearly 20 years ago.

After a slow moving intro; ‘X2’ which leads into the opening track “Where Dreams Go to Die” the first thing you hear is drummer Scott Rockenfield smashing his snare. The sound is huge, crisp and has an energetic vibe— then Wilton and Lundgren’s  guitars kick in followed by Eddie Jackson’s rumbling bass. This in your face production is a result of the band enlisting the services of James ‘Jimbo’ Barton who has an extensive history with the band. “Where Dreams Go to Die” much like the rest of the record it doesn’t particularly standout at the first listen— but it’ll grow on you.

“Where Dreams Go to Die” is a lyrical haymaker that will punch through your skull and turn it to dust. La Torre sings; “you’d thought you’d get away but karma made its move. The bad things that you’ve done will be coming back for you.” It sounds like this is aimed at one person in particular—heavy stuff.

The album isn’t a complete return to form for Quensryche 2.0 it is however a strong effort that begins to right the ship that’s been taking on water for some time now—but is it too late? The diehards will certainly rush out and buy it but the fan base has been split into two camps. I certainly can’t understand why you can’t like both? Regardless of which side ultimately winds up with the name the brand has been ‘tainted.’ The ‘damage’ began in 1997 with Hear in the Now Frontier and continued on through 2011’s Dedicated to Chaos.

Queesryche sound fantastic, they have unleashed a strong effort, La Torre sounds incredibly good and the jury is out if this will go down in history as one of the band’s ‘best’ efforts. It’s become too easy to bash the ‘old boss’and it’s been just as easy to praise Queensryche. The standouts on Queenscyhe include; “Where Dreams Go To Die,” “Spore,” and “In This Light.”