Music Review: Queensryche 2.0

Time for confession, I like hair metal.  Can’t get enough of it and in my humble opinion one of the best and certainly most high-brow hair metal bands of all time is Queensryche.  Their album Operation: Mindcrime is by far my most favorite album of all-time.  It influenced my teens and twenties in a significant way (and apparently still does – I named the blog in honor of that album).

I’ve been listening to Queensryche since 1989. I have bought every album and every DVD they’ve ever made. I have seen them in concert at least 10 times. Then, after “Dedicated to Chaos” (or as I called that album ‘Phoning it In’) I decided to give up my hope for a post-Promised Land album that was worth listening to.

Apparently, there has been some recent drama in the band that led to the existence of two competing Queensryches.  One fronted by original singer Geoff Tate and the other (Which I’m referring to as Queensryche 2.0 for the purpose of clarity in this post) containing much of the original band – drummer Scott Rockenfeld, guitarist Michael Wilton, and bassist Eddie Jackson.  This new Queensryche (2.0) is fronted by singer Todd La Torre.

I sampled the new Geoff Tate QR album “Frequency Unknown” using a streaming service and it only served to reinforce my resolve to give up on my once favorite band.  Frequency Unknown or “FU” made “Dedicated to Mediocre” look like a work of art – it was gawd-awful.

Then late one night, I stumbled across a number of positive reviews for Queensryche (2.0)’s album titled “Queensryche”, and then sampled two tracks on YouTube…it was – dare I say- good!

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Even more positive reviews can be found here.

This is the best Queensryche album since Promised Land. This is the old Iron Maiden-esque Queensryche that you remember from the ’80s with a new twist (and vocalist Todd La Torre sounds just different enough from Tate to feel authentic, but not so different that the music is unrecognizable as Queensryche).

One of the online music reviews I read claimed that “this is the Queensryche album you have been waiting for” for over 20 years and another claimed that  “for the first time in over a decade Queensryche might be relevant again”…I couldn’t agree more.

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