Label: Century Media 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
I don't know about you, but I hated the previous Queensrÿche album "Dedicated To Chaos". The band was in serious danger of disappearing into obscurity, and I had lost all hope of them releasing anything worth listening ever again. Then the shit hit the fan as they say, and vocalist Geoff Tate and the rest of the band went their separate ways. Then things got interesting - Tate put together his own version of Queensrÿche and even managed to release an album ("Frequency Unknown" - F.U., got it?) before the orginal band. I haven't heard the full album but the reviews have been "mixed"... for what its' worth, the few songs I've heard from "F.U." have been okay, much better than the abysmal "Chaos"...
The original band has wisely chosen not to respond to "F.U.". Instead their new album is just self-titled, as if to show that they're going back to the roots. That's just what they have done, now Queensrÿche sounds again like the band that released "Rage For Order" and "Operation: Mindcrime". The new singer Todd La Torre may sound a lot like Tate, but there's a certain gritty edge to his voice that's very much his own.
Even more important than the vintage sound are the songs, and I'm glad to say that the band has written their most memorable songs in years for this album. Especially the first half of the albums is full of melodic, yet progressive songs with big hooks, somehow reminding me most of the "Rage For Order" album. "Where Dreams Go To Die" and "In This Light" are my favourites. On the second half of the album the band continues on the same path, but the songs aren't quite as catchy as the ones earlier in the tracklisting. Yet there are no "fillers" on this album, this is a very solid release. Granted, there may not be a new "Walk In The Shadows", "I Don't Believe In Love" or "Empire" among the songs, but if you're a fan of vintage 'Rÿche, you're hardly going to be disappointed.