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Queensrÿche - 2015 Condition Human

ARTIST: Queensrÿche
ALBUM: Condition Human
LABEL: Century Media
SERIAL: 9247-2
YEAR: 2015


LINEUP: Michael Wilton - guitar * Todd LaTorre - vocals * Scott Rockenfield - drums * Eddie Jackson - bass * Parker Lundgren - guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Arrow Of Time * 02 Guardian * 03 Hellfire * 04 Toxic Remedy * 05 Selfish Lives * 06 Eye9 * 07 Bulletproof * 08 Hourglass * 09 Just Us * 10 All There Was * 11 The Aftermath * 12 Condition Human * 13 Espiritu Muerto



I haven't reviewed a Queensrÿche album in ages. Maybe 'Rage For Order' but that was years ago. I haven't been enthralled with their output for decades to be honest, but the recent competing factions of the Queensrÿche legacy (these guys), plus Geoff Tate's version of the band: Operation: Mindcrime has seen me taking an active interest with what's going on in both camps. To be honest, after having listened to both albums (and not taking sides), I'm quite happy we have two versions of the legacy, and both returning results in 2015, though Tate's version can't compare to his original version. Wilton, Jackson, Rockenfield and drop-in singer Todd LaTorre etc sound much better and less labourious and ponderous than OMC, so I guess that tells you which direction each band has gone off to.

The Songs
'Condition Human' is surprisingly true, but then again I need to go back and listen to some of their other recent material to make a better decision. That could be a tall order, but I think a few hours over the Christmas break might sort that out. Still, they say it's usually the first one or two tracks that sets the scene on any album, and both 'Arrow Of Time' and 'Guardian' do that admirably. Both strong efforts, and I'm loving Todd LaTorre's vocals, a real Geoff Tate doppelganger if ever there was one. 'Hellfire' lifts the level up another notch, and this is how I remember QR back in the days of 'The Warning' and 'Rage For Order'. Yuss! 'Bulletproof' heads into ballad land, though the mixture of ethnic, exotic and mesmeric add to its charm. 'Just Us' is also a ballad, highly melodic with soaring vocals coming at you from every angle. 'The Aftermath' which segues into the title-track is the album's point of difference. Swirly, dark, brooding, spoken dialogue too.. a bit of everything really.

In Summary
Overall, the album is a consistent listen, and at just under an hours listening time, it's total value for money. I feel that 'Condition Human' is a solid cross-section of Queensrÿche's current status and their past legacy. I acknowledge Geoff Tate's fine contribution to the past QR back-catalogue, but I feel that Chris DeGarmo's songwriting helped temper Tate's sometimes overblown prog and conceptual ideas in those early days. Tate is running the show with his own band now, and you can see how OMC have gone totally prog, and sound very uneven and unbalanced in the process. So, for this 2015 square-off, Queensrÿche take the prize by majority decision. 'Condition Human' has been getting superb reviews online, and GDM will add its plaudits to the pile. A great full-blown return by the 'Ryche, and it's worthy of an investigation for sure. If I can do it, you can too. Welcome back lads!

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#1 | gdazegod on December 01 2015 10:26:02
Queensrÿche - 2015 Guardian
#2 | Murgleis on December 04 2015 02:11:09
Top notch progressive metal, and easily their best outing since 1994. How come Empire hasn't been reviewed here at GDaze yet though? That album is the most AOR of all! Grin
#3 | gdazegod on December 04 2015 02:42:56
Thanks Murgleis. Yep, 'Empire' and probably 'The Warning' too.. Yes

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