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Review: Queensrÿche - Queensrÿche

Review: Queensrÿche - Queensrÿche

Any longtime Queensrÿche fan would probably agree that the band’s music lost much of its grandeur when key songwriter and co-guitarist Chris DeGarmo quit the band after Hear in the Now Frontier in 1997. Since then, vocalist Geoff Tate took more control than ever, and subsequent releases sounded more like Tate solo projects than bona fide Queensrÿche albums. Now, finally, Queensrÿche’s signature sound is back. Founding members guitarist Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson, and drummer Scott Rockenfield have teamed with vocalist Todd La Torre and guitarist Parker Lundgren. The result is one of the band’s best albums in years.

Bolstered by James “Jimbo” Barton’s robust production, each band member leaps through the mix with incredible clarity and power. La Torre, in particular, deserves praise. Whether belting out an impassioned Tate-style delivery (“In This Light”) or decibel-defying Tarzan-type shouts on a clobbering live rendition of the Queensrÿche classic “Queen of the Reich,” included on the digipack edition of the CD, he is clearly the right singer for this band. Other standout tracks include “A World Without,” a grandiose slow-burning anthem in the Queensrÿche tradition, and “Don’t Look Back,” during which Wilton and Lundgren lock into a furious guitar exchange reminiscent of the band’s glory days with DeGarmo.

Aptly named Queensrÿche, just like the band’s debut was titled 30 years ago, this album is a fresh new beginning of a revamped lineup that we will likely be hearing from for years to come. JOE LALAINA

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