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Queensr˙che - Promised Land CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.97 | 381 ratings

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4 stars tszirmay doing a Queensryche review? What is the world coming to? Flash floods, traitors hiding on airplanes, a Supermoon, I mean, what could have prompted such a weird decision? Is the crying baby (I just became a grandfather 2 weeks ago!) an inspiration. I dunno, it just happened! The album is sectional, like sudden stark rooms in a labyrinth, everything the same , yet different.

This is a shadowy rebuttal to fame, after scoring highly with 'Empire' and it's loud 'Silent Lucidity', the rockers just wanted to be artists and not stars, so they flung this nasty piece of work in Geoff Tate's lap and the accomplished vocalist just let his inner demons scratch the surface and let the blood drip all over the microphone. The newborn baby learns how to vent after only a few minutes as 'I am I 'howls to the glorious blood red moon, the Wilton and deGarmo guitars crisscrossing a bullying riff, the rhythm section pounding ruthlessly, all immersed in a whirlwind of contradiction and some serious insanity (Geoff Tate can sound like Sharon at times!), pain seeping through the layers of effected sound. What is the outcome, you ask? 'Damaged'! Yes, injured, impaired, broken, dented, whatever you want to call it, the mood is schizophrenic and menacing, searching for nonexistent answers , there is a lot of pent up anger here, doctor Zoran, do I need to take more Largactil, Haloperidol or maybe some little blue ones?

Tate awakes secured to the cold gurney, slowly regaining consciousness and realizes quickly that he is 'Out of Mind', a somber ballad with jangly edges and frayed sways, the microphone wobbling from side to side like some puny drool. A cooling wisp of elegant guitar twangs away in the corridor, as the bass fans the tepid air. 'Bridge' was described by a fellow scribe as psychobabble, which only proves my imagined premise, a straightforward straight jacket song purposefully corny in that typical Midwestern country-like style. Thankfully, it's brief. The title track is the meatiest bone left on this skeleton, an epic 7 minutes of spectacular sonics, where weird noises, odd slashes of sound, all pretty much coalesce helter-skelter. There is a severe distortion of formula, with a burrowing sax blasting through the smog and with all this highly cinematographic pandemonium, I could not help recalling Pink's ravaged fate in the Wall. Tate yells, screams and shouts like a man possessed by the luxury of loneliness. Or is that the loneliness of luxury? 'To love is to hate' he bellows sardonically! There are also times where he sounds like the mad Scotsman himself (Fish), a big guy who feels small in a big world of nothing! Hey, this is no joyous walk in the park but rather a sinister, sweat-drenched run through a murky alley, filigree ghosts hushing your fleeing steps. Seagull screeches usher in 'Disconnected', a piece that only serves to recap all the crap going on here, a funky guitar romp, spoken words and a sense of paranoia that recalls classic Waters-fueled Pink Floyd meets the Jester's Marillion. Serious discontinuation going on here, as the Rockenfield drums scatter the dust around this broken man's corpse. Nasty stuff, indeed! And to prove how screwed up the Queensryche lads have become, they toss in a hard curve-ball in the name of 'Lady Jane' , a piano-driven ballad that seems strangely out of place until you inspect the kindergarten-like delivery and realize this is just another nightmare, adorned in sheep's clothing. Violins finish the deal. Pffff! On the disposable 'My Global Mind' Tate the Preacherman states 'There is hunger in Africa'. Really? Wow that's news! Been like that since the dawn of time, perhaps we rich dudes can do something about it like Bob Geldof, who bless his heart, never liked Mondays and hence, gave away his royalties and got a knighthood instead. A Bandaid that was! 'One More Time' is perhaps less obscure but just as dramatic, with swirling phrasings that show off some unconventional grit but this is the closest they come to an accomplished heavy prog rock song with neo-classic overtones. I was wondering when the surgeon was going to show up, bloody drunk! 'Someone Else' offers another piano-driven ballad, desperate in emotion with a sensational Tate vocal, full of insufferable pain. A fantastic finale.

Truth is there isn't a single melody on this recording that is immediately memorable, no massive solo by either axe man and it's all obviously done on purpose, as a counterweight to the recent past. Everything is action and reaction. The Promised Land this is maybe, but like Moses, you feel cast aside from its joyful gifts and more importantly, its moral deliverance. There will be none. A strange bird but a courageous one. Ok, you guys are artists.

4 Sodomized Edens

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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