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Queensr˙che - American Soldier CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

2.81 | 176 ratings

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3 stars In the late eighties Queensrhyche released 3 albums, Rage For Order, Operation Mindcrime and Empire that sealed their reputation as one of the greatest metal bands of the day. The following album, Promised Land although decent enough failed to live up to their 3 previous metal behemoths. Then followed a string of poorly received albums until in 2006 Queensrhyche made the bold decision to release Operation Mindcrime II. At the time the music press would have you believe that it was a massive return to form for the band. In truth whilst being better than anything they'd released in years it was still in the main fairly average. The same claims are now being made about American Soldier, one reviewer in a well known monthly music magazine even going as far as to say it's their best album ever. Well whilst I wouldn't agree with such a bold claim I will go as far as to say it is their best since Empire.

American Soldier as the title suggests is the plight of American Soldiers. As you might imagine it's quite a dark album which works well with Queensrhyche's musical delivery. Voices of real soldiers talking about their feelings and war experiences are blended in with the songs. In the case of Unafraid its pure overkill though, a soldiers voice present throughout almost the entire track, way too loud in the mix too.

Despite the admirable sentiments of the album and giving a voice to soldiers what really sets it apart from the bands post Empire output is the sheer musical quality of the songs. There's some excellent riffs and tunes here - highlights being Hundred Mile Stare and At 30,000 Feet which really can compete with Queensrhyche at their best. What stops this album from reaching those heights as a whole though is too many of the tracks whilst being very good just lack that killer punch to match the likes of I Don't Believe In Love or Silent Lucidity to name 2 classics.

So overall, a genuine return to form though not up there with their best albums but one that any fan of the band will be happy to have in their collection. Very good but not quite making the excellent grade; 3 ˝ stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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