Queensryche need little introduction and it is great to see them continuing an excellent run. The media hype around the big rift with Geoff Tate at last seems to be subsiding and giving both parties the chance to get on with what they do best. “The Verdict” sees another original member out which leaves only Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson from the original line-up. Do not let that fact distract you.
The album begins in true Queensryche style with “Blood of the Levant” hooks all in and a real headbanger to get the album of to a storming start. The last two albums have been good and competent but it feels like on this one the band have shifted to a different space. Queensryche have really let loose with all their creativity on this record. “Man the Machine” sees them really take off and probably one of the fastest songs they have ever written and has a “Mindcrime” era vibe about it.
It really does not need pointed out the similarities in the voices of Tate and La Torre, however the aggression and power in La Torre certainly surpasses Tate on his final appearances with the band.
No Scott Rockenfield on this one is a surprise but soon forgotten with the nifty drumming of La Torre. A band this far into their career (15th studio release) and a huge shift in personnel in this case works. This consistent vigor will take them well into the next decade if they so choose. It would be fantastic to see them continue their rise to the top again.
There is a massive nod to early Queensryche with heavier riffs and more complicated passages in general. It must be noted though that they have not lost the run of themselves with over indulgence, however it does require more attention to lock into the melodies and hooks in the songs. The production is massive as one would expect , crystal clear instrumentation which resonates from the speakers and hits straight to the gut.
Released on the Century Media label which really does cater to the physical format with a cd being included with the vinyl .Not one to be missed and quite easily on the end of year lists.
- Blood of the Levant
- Man the Machine
- Inside Out
- Propaganda Fashion
- Dark Reverie
- Inner Unrest
- Launder the Conscience
Todd LaTorre –Vocals/Drums
Michael Wilton – Guitar
Parker Lundgren – Guitar
Eddie Jackson – Bass