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Queensrÿche - 1999 Q2K

ARTIST: Queensrÿche
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 83225-2
YEAR: 1999
CD REISSUE: 2006, Rhino, R2 74076 (remastered, bonus tracks)


LINEUP: Geoff Tate - vocals * Michael Wilton - guitars * Kelly Gray - guitars * Eddie Jackson - bass * Scott Rockenfield - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Falling Down * 02 Sacred Ground * 03 One Life * 04 When The Rain Comes * 05 How Could I * 06 Beside You * 07 Liquid Sky * 08 Breakdown * 09 Burning Man * 10 Wot Kinda Man * 11 Right Side Of My Mind * 12 Sacred Ground (Bonus)


For me Queensrÿche have never re-achieved the highs of albums such as 'Rage For Order', 'Operation: Mindcrime' and 'Empire'. The albums which followed always left me short of the glorious operatic-like metal anthems, lush story lines and melodic overtures of those aforementioned earlier albums. As they ventured into a new simpler style, chasing the fashionable style of the day, I was left behind. Although you would hardly describe the latest offering as returning to their original roots, the leaving of guitarist Chris DeGarmo to be replaced with Kelly Gray (originally with vocalist Geoff Tate in Myth and producer of Alice In Chains and Blind Melon) has produced a new-found lease of life in the Queensrÿche sound. The song writing has apparently taken a more band orientated writing style as opposed to the individual style previously of the 'Ryche.

The Songs
The tracks on this album now offer a stronger sound, still fronted by Geoff Tate's leading vocals, and with Kelly Gray involved with the mixing as well as the axe work there is a rougher edge to the music. Queensrÿche is sounding much more like a mainstream guitar band these days rather than a genre in their own right. They start off with a fast paced rocking track 'Falling Down', followed by a heavy rock ballad 'When the Rains Comes Down'. There's a nice bass hook on 'Liquid Sky' then a full-on 'Burning Man' which is set to blow the speakers! There is a fair amount of variation in the album but sadly I feel there is also a likeness or similarity that surrounds too many of the tracks. The tracks all amble along at a happy pace falling into a hypnotically similar sound, melodically all too often failing to hit a highlight.

In Summary
Still with a bit of listening, Queensrÿche don't miss by much with this album and it's a far more coherent and wholesome sound than the post 'Empire' albums. Definitely worth a good spin on the stereo. I'm left feeling that if only they had a keyboard player to round off the sound and add that melodic depth then we could well see another classic from the boys. Nuff Sed!

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#1 | jeffduran on July 02 2008 13:46:32
Absolute rubbish! Embarrasing outing from Tate & Company. Nothing works here and as one could tellby the title the band had clearly run out of ideas!thumbs down
#2 | george_the_jack on July 02 2008 14:42:36
We agree again Jeff....The leave of Chris de Garmo, and him being replaced by someone with 'alternative rock' image called Kelly Gray, was a shot to the head for the Ryche.
#3 | gdazegod on July 02 2008 21:38:01
I stopped listening to this lot after 'Empire'. By then, their creativeness had dried up.
#4 | george_the_jack on July 02 2008 22:49:53
Yes you're right George but personally I will widen their quality era including the album that followed 'Empire', 'Promised Land'. After 1994 Queensryche have nothing to offer to their fans and the fans of good melodic 80s metal scene.That's true. My biggest disappointment raised after mindcrime II, which I was expecting for a long period.

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