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HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTIER

Queensr che

Progressive Metal


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Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars It's hard for me to give a album less than 4 stars for a band, who created the prog metal genre in general with their debut ("the warning") and always sound different from album to album and have earned to describe them as one of the pioneers of innovation in the music scene, but since "HITNF" they only produce average alternative records. On "Hear In The Now Frontier" Queensryche walk on new musical ground again, but the songwriting of the album sank into average. I'm not tired to say, that the album before "HITNF" ("Promised Land") was also critizised by fans and press, but it was drastic underrated, 'cause the songwriting on "Promised Land" was excellent. The problem was, that it was the darkest record of the band, it was also very Pink Floyd-influenced (what makes it very interestening to Pink Floyd-and Prog-fans) as you can hear. But all the critics to "Promised Land" were unfair, it was an very strong, dark soundtrack and the last really great rocord of the band. But the hard critics for "HITNF" are correct, because the band sound on this, as would they try to earn the fast money. You can call it an alternative/grunge album with Beatles-influences, which sounds interestening in general, but the songs make this one not to an enjoyable, exciting, innovative rock album as on past 'ryche records, it all gets down in boring frustation. The best of this album is the really good performance of Geoff Tate (his voice is the reason that I don't only give 1 star), but all in all this record is an dissapointment. The twin guitar playing was always a winner to any past 'ryche album (remember "Operation: Mindcrime"!), but the guitar playing here is far too powerless and grunge-oriented. Ok, this album has also some good moments and ideas in it, but the complete listening of the album sounds like a burn-out production of outbranded rockmillionaires. It seems, that Queensryche have forgotten their roots and they want to catch trends. It's sad that the following albums "Q2K" and "Tribe" aren't much better, the strange alternative-trademarks are still intigrated (well, on "Tribe" it all sounds heavier), so I only can hope, that they will sepperate with it and bring out an record, which can reach the brilliance of "Rage For Order", "Empire" or "Promised Land". The heavy "The Warning" or "Mindcrime" days are over since long time, we must take this fact. I only recommend this to hard-Queensryche fans. New listeners should start with an classic ("Queen Of The Reich (Queensryche EP)", "The Warning", "Rage For Order", "Operation: Mindcrime" or "Empire").

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#23628)
Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2003 | Review Permalink
emokid3000@ao
3 stars not a bad album but far from Promised Land... first the production is not so good, it's still okay and head above most of the albums from prog or metal bands (at the time) but not as big or as beautiful as their previous ones... then the songwriting has lowered, maybe 5 songs are fillers and even if the two DeGarmo songs are fine pop tunes they don't match with Queensryche's sound (more like a Ty Tabor song in King's X)... so ? if you're a Queensryche fan you should get this one too, it's far better than what the press said it was, the others can pass their way...

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#23625)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
davidewata@ya
3 stars This album was over-produced and Chris DeGarmo was over-produced as well. I hope you get what I mean. Chris should have given more opportunity to the other members to speak out their ideas and create something as band. I love Queensryche and I dare not saying HITNF is a "bad" one. It was just...over-produced and it made it unnatural in some sense.

Opened by a song with silly lyrics but brilliantly constructed, "Sign of The Times", the tracks continue with several more songs that make going "eeh, where's the thing?" Yup, this album gets you somewhat excited as it reaches to "Saved" and then continued to the next 4 tracks "You", "Hero", "Miles Away", and "Reach". The latter and "Hit The Black" may be the only 2 tracks in there that really kicks your heart out as they are more metal than the others. The last 2 tracks are quite interesting as "Anytime/Anywhere" is a more-Zeppelin- tracks than "a queensryche" ;-) You may catcf the feel of rock n' roll here. As "SpOOL" is a dark-driven song, the album may leave you feeling quite bizarre as what you may feel when listening to Promised Land album as it was closed with "Someone Else" (if you ever listsned to PL, of course...). In my opinion, Chris should have let Geoff sing "All I Want". His grungy-style vocals ruined everything in this album.

Play the track 1 and the skip to track 6. Then you will realize this is a good one. [Davidewata; Indonesia]

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#23627)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Musical chairs

Queenryche have over the years been rather up and down with their albums. They followed up the excellent "Operation : Mindcrime" with the MTV dominated, and ultimately disappointing, "Empire". They then found their way again with the darker "Promised land", but here with the follow up to that album, things go a bit pear shaped again.

The problem with "Hear in the now frontier" is it's just not that good. The song writing appears to be the main culprit, but the production too is lacking focus and direction. The band seem to have been trying to avoid the overt commercialism of "Empire", but lost their nerve when it came to venturing too far from the MTV pop rock with which they found such great success.

The opening track, "Sign of the times" whets the appetite for the album, being an enjoyable if unadventurous slice of melodic pop rock. Things however go rapidly down hill from there, with the following tracks "Cuckoo's nest", "Get a life", and "The voice inside" being average pop rock. "Some people fly", even sounds like a repetition of "Cuckoo's nest".

There are some pleasant if still unchallenging tracks. "You" has the sound of a hit single, with a strong hook in the chorus, "Hero" has some pleasant acoustic guitar supporting Bowie-esque vocals, and "All I want" has echoes of the Beatles with higher pitched vocals, and a psychedelic guitar effect. (Tate was uncomfortable with the song, and declined to sign on it!)

The remastered version of the album has four bonus tracks, three of which are MTV unplugged versions of tracks from previous albums. The versions of "Silent lucidity" ("Empire"), "The killing words", and "I will remember" (both "Rage to order") are all excellent. They appear truly unplugged, thus bringing out the strong melodies of the original compositions. A side effect of this that they can sound like Journey at times.

The other additional track is "Chasing blue sky", a highly commercial soft ballad, with strong hints of the Beatles.

The musical chairs within the band for who leads each album continues here, with Chris DeGamo taking on the role for this album. While "Hear in the now frontier" has some good moments, overall it represents a step backwards for the band. The bonus tracks on the remastered CD, together with some informative sleeve notes, do however enhance the package considerably.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#23629)
Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
lafont59@hotm
2 stars I am a collector and a great fan. Honestly , i like this album, i listened to it many times, and finally , i made everything to enjoy this album and i do, but if you are not convinced about queensryche, never buy it, it is an album that took me like many attentive listening , in order to differenciate the songs from one to the other and i feel like it is kind of unilateral hard rock album, more than prog. There are many great rock riffs, great singing, but even if the lyrics are good, i feel that the chorus are a bit to cvommercial...you know the two three words constantly repeated. Personnally after few years, i give it a 4 stars, but as a non real fan, who would like to give a try to a Queensryche album , other than Mindcrime or Empire, i would say, run for Promised Land or Rage for order, and avoid Hear in the frontier now, because it is an album good to complete a collection, surely not one to start one

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#23630)
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
paokus@homtia
1 stars HITNF was the biggest dissapointment that i felt in my life as a fan (along with peter hammill's noise). 3 years after the great album called promised land queensryche came with their worst record ever. The alternative/grunge influences are so many and the album cannot even be characterized as rock. The band sounds like the bast*ard child of alice in chains, smushing pumpkins and pearl jam and tate's voice is the only point on the album that is worth mentioning. Only two good songs ( spool and sign of the times, songs that in their previous albums would not even be used as b-sides) and 12 craps.....one of the worst albums of my persona collection and the worst of Ryche by far. I may be a ryche-maniac but i am not deaf....sorry guys. 0/5

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#39692)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Err... is that the same band that wrote "Promised Land" a couple of years before? The whole album here sounds flat, with almost no originality, no catchy melodies, no great lyrics.

There aren't many highlights here (songs like "Hit The Black" would even get 1/10 on my personal rating system): "Some People Fly" maybe, "You" has a quite catchy melody, "Hero" is a nice soft song reminding of some Bowie song (maybe because of the vocals here), "All I Want" is soft and original, as Geoff Tate doesn't do the vocals for once, and of course the ending track "Spool".

Rating: 69/100

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Send comments to zaxx (BETA) | Report this review (#66334)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Melomaniac
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars A total dissapointment. This has to be the worst music Queensryche ever recorded. Uninspired, unoriginal, Queensryche tried to become a generic Seattle grunge band with this worthless album, and they did not even succeed. You can hear that Geoff Tate is bored to death in each and every song. Drummer Scott Rockenfield also sounds bored (and boring). This should have been a Chris Degarmo solo album, as he was responsible for this outrage. It's a good thing he left the band, it allowed the rest of the guys to eventually come back with Tribe and OMC II. Avoid like the plague. I would'nt even give this album one star.

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Send comments to Melomaniac (BETA) | Report this review (#79335)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars come on let's face it: after four albums like "rage for order", "operation:mindcrime", "empire" and "promised land" it was really hard to have another masterpiece. and so also a perfect band as queensryche are could do it to have the less beautiful album of their career just after. and they did but for me this is not the less beaitful, just the one that less fits the term "msterpiece". still a really great album. it wouldn't have had any sense to continue in the same way and so they turned from metal to rock/hard rock and b˛ew out this fantastic disc. i think its only defect is that it's a little too long, but listening to songs as "sign of the times", "you", "some people fly" "the voice inside" or "hit the black" i really think it's not a great defect... and overall i do really forget that when i listen to the absolute masterpiece of the album. incredible geoff in his vocals (but tell me when it hasn't been...), really superlative the guitar and second vocals work of chris, as always excellent the rest of the band. a song that really could be worth the whole album. i cannot hide the fact that i'm a fanatic of queensryche but still i think that this album has not be understood by too many people and have to ask anyone to give it another chance.

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Send comments to heavydrum (BETA) | Report this review (#80654)
Posted Wednesday, June 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Inoffensive Pop Metal.

This album is an excellent example of uninspired musicians turning out an album and the disastrous results that follow. The songwriting is poor and the songs are just not memorable. You'll quickly lose interest while listening and start playing with that search button to see if it will get any better in the future, and unfortunately for the Reich it won't. The band just doesn't have it anymore especially Tate who's voice has aged terribly. It doesn't soar like it used to, or carry the same attitude as before and has become rather one dimensional. Tracks "Sign of the Times" and "sp00L" and interesting but two tracks out of fortune doesn't exactly redeem the album. Die hard fans might find something to enjoy here but casual listeners should stay away.

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Send comments to Equality 7-2521 (BETA) | Report this review (#80702)
Posted Thursday, June 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I got this album to help compete my Queensryche collection after hearing the "Big 4" and feeling like I owed it to Queensryche for giving me awesome music and I found it both disappointing and good in different ways.

1. LISTENING AS A QUEENSRYCHE FAN - I decided to approach this album in two ways and this was the first way I tried. I was quite disappointed in how they had changed since Promised Land and their previous albums before that. For one, Tate's vocals had really gone downhill. In one song, "All I Want," it doesn't even sound like Tate.. In fact, most of this album does not even sound like Queensryche at all.

I decided to read into the reason why they'd change so much and was pleasantly surprised and actually was able to respect them a little more for really having the guts to change their sound and water it down as they had as the "evolution of Queensryche" continued.

2. LISTENING AS A NEW FAN DISCOVERING A DIFFERENT BAND ALTOGETHER - I was quite surprised. Here was a band who had evolved from a hard metal which was not appealing to me, to a Progressive Metal band, which was VERY appealing and in turn, have yet again changed their sound to a kind of... Rock-ish sound. I enjoyed songs like "Sp00L," "Hit The Black," and "Some People Fly."

I also found some duds like "All I Want" and "You" but in all I have nothing but respect for a band who has the balls to re-invent themselves every record they release.

Though I can give this release a 70/100 for any rock collection, there are very little Progressive moments if at all. So I can only give it a 45/100. It's good, but not essential. And if you're a fan, go out and get this album to see how Queensryche have re-invented themselves every release.

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Send comments to Sacrilege (BETA) | Report this review (#81172)
Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the Tate-influenced Promised Land it was Degarmo's turn to be the main driving force behind an album - Hear In The Now Frontier. As with the album Empire, Degarmo attempted to create a more commercial sound which was aimed at the masses rather than the fans of the classic Queensryche sound. Whilst Empire sounded like a commercial Queensryche, Hear In The Now Frontier rarely sounded like Queensryche at all.

Sign Of The Times: A catchy rock song with a nice solo, structurally and lyrically basic however. (7/10)

Cuckoo's Nest: A very watered down sound as with the first track, rock not metal with no dual guitar passages or subtle keyboards. (7/10)

Get A Life: Heavier than the first couple of tracks with an excellent chorus, still no real progressive elements coming through. (8/10)

The Voice Inside: Fairly bland melodic rock track. (6/10)

Some People Fly: This track retains the melodic rock (rather than progressive metal) feel of the album but is still a very nice song. (8.5/10)

Saved: The track which comes closest to sound like the Queensryche we know so far. A few nice interwoven sections. (8/10)

You: Solid but forgettable rock track. (6/10)

Hero: Soft Rock track with a sensual feel. (6.5/10)

Miles Away: Melodic rock, once again mildly enjoyable but instantly forgettable (6/10)

Reach: Glimpses of the the classic Queensryche are overpowered once again by you guessed it, melodic rock. (7/10)

All I Want: Mediocre Rock song. (5.5/10)

Hit The Black: A well needed injection of energy with a heavier sound but still no real progressive feel. (7/10)

Anytime/Anywhere: Heavier than the majority of the album but still lacklustre and forgettable. (6/10)

spOOL: The best track on the album. It has some nice progressive elements and sounds more like classic Queensryche than any other track. Also contains a more varied and interesting structure than most of the other tracks. (9/10)

Overall: 69/100

An enjoyable yet forgettable album that leaves fans asking, is this really Queensryche? I dont understand why Degarmo who was responsible for the metal elements to Queensryche wanted to produce a more commercial sound as well as ignoring the progressive elements of the band brought by Geoff Tate. Certainly a step in a new direction for the band, many would say the wrong direction however...

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Send comments to Jon_Mc (BETA) | Report this review (#82639)
Posted Tuesday, July 04, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars 2.5 stars really

Well, it was a great run but a run I knew couldn't last. From their 1983 self-produced, self-titled 4-song EP through 1994's Promised Land Queensryche had released five discs with almost five hours of mind-expanding, thought-provoking, emotion-bending music that never once failed to live up to the high ambitions set by the five band members upon their creation. But 14 years is a long time for any band to stay together, let alone continue to produce not good or great but outstanding music. It's my unfortunate duty here to announce the run is over. In the previous five releases not one dog could be found among the 50+ songs. On Queensryche's latest release, Hear in the Now Frontier, there's at least two dogs, several duds and only a couple real good songs. My hope is this is a one-time hiccup but the reality is the band may have run its course.

I'm not gonna go into detail about all that is wrong with HITNF. The two good songs, Some People Fly and spOOL, would be average songs on any other QR effort; here they are the clear standouts among a list of mediocre offerings. Some People Fly offers a fairly routine power-ballad QR effort. I love the positive, ambitious lyrics and the stripped down sound (found throughout the disc). The disc's finale, spOOL, represents perhaps the last truly great uniquely original song from the Seattle quintet. Brooding, dark and angry, it contains some great melodies and guitar work. It's a great final song in the tradition of previous disc finishers like Roads to Madness, I Will Remember, Eyes of a Stranger, Anybody Listening and Someone Else. Unfortunately, it's about the only originality to be found on HITNF. QR fails in a lot of ways on this disc. They offer dull radio-friendly power pop (You, Sign of the Times), reprocessed attempts at grunge (Hit the Black, Get a Life, Reach) and a couple of abysmal, virtually unlistenable tracks (Cuckoo's Nest, Anytime/Anywhere). There a couple of good songs, most notably The Voice Inside and Miles Away. The first has a unique, mellow guitar base while the other contains soaring harmonies and layered vocals. Neither is great in the traditional QR mode but both are relative standouts in this mix of songs.

As I said, 14 years is a long time for a band to maintain unbroken greatness. The QR catalog of songs is truly amazing in that from 1983 to 1994 they didn't produce a single song, NOT ONE, that doesn't remain immensely enjoyable to this day. Sadly, that can no longer be said. All music fans who've had the pleasure of following the Queensryche journey through musical greatness should pause to salute a great band who gave an honest, enlightened, inspired effort for more than a decade. To Geoff, Scott, Chris, Michael and Eddie, I thank you.

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Send comments to MrMan2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#85145)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Please, please God no, not my beloved Queensryche! Sadly, the reign of this pioneer came to an end with 1997's Hear in the Now Frontier. The band that helped to invent prog metal along with Watchtower and Fates Warning had had a string of successes starting from the straight-foward eponymous 1983 EP to 1994's Promised Land. The abnd's desire never to repeat themselves resulted in this stripped down disappointment. Now, I know progressive means no sticking to a formula, but Queensryche had been evolving with each release, getting proggier by the album. Then this album hits and it make the Ep look prog by comparison. Geoff's voice, as always, is magnificent, but the crashing and squealing guitars tha tsupported him on past classics are wafer thin. Indeed, they make the guitars on MEtallica's ...And Justice For All album sound strong. There are a few good tracks. "Sign of the Times," "SpOOl," and "Cuckoo's Nest" all are promising tracks, but the rest of the album is dull. Things only got bleaker from here when Chris DeGarmo left the band and the band's all-time low, Q2K hit in 99. Things would pick back up with the excellent Tribe and the solid Operation Mindcrime II but everyone excluding the hardest Ryche fans should steer clear of this.

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#103289)
Posted Friday, December 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Hear In The Now Frontier is where everything started to go wrong for Queensryche. Away with the symphonic sound they had had on the previous albums and away with any form of experimentation there was nothing left than a stripped down hard rock band with an exceptional singer.

This is not a bad hard rock album even though I think it┤s a bit nice if this was the style Queensryche were trying to hit. But it┤s not the kind of music we┤re used to from them, and I don┤t think a single fan was excited about it.

The music is well executed and the production is full and rich, it just doesn┤t help when the compositions are this lame. somewhere between 2 and 3 stars it┤s probably a 2.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#148037)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars. This album is a definite departure from Queensryche's masterpieces of the previous 10 years. I agree that it fails to reach the gold standard they set with Operation: Mindcrime, but the album is far from a failure. Perhaps a bit less proggy, a bit more accessible, somewhat in the vein of Empire, yet excellent songwriting and composition nonetheless. This is an album that's hard not to sing along with, which unfortunately can be rare in the prog genre.

Pleasantly surprising is the diversity of style here, from their exploration of a classic rock sound in All I Want, to the gritty, grinding bass Anytime - Anywhere, to the Floydish interludes on Spool.

Other standout tracks include Sign of the Times, Cuckoo's Nest and Some People Fly.

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Send comments to senor_velasco (BETA) | Report this review (#164996)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars A musical change? A turning point?...Well, a big collapse. I don't know what's the reason this band had to leave his classic style. I can't say it's Tate & co. here! Purely alternative music and his voice is other as I know. I remembered I listen this album twice soon after its release, but since then I never put my hands on it again. I give 2 stars, because there is still some Promised land influences on some tracks, but very weak. Only for Collectors!

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Send comments to Sachis (BETA) | Report this review (#167760)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I suppose I can understand why this album is getting such poor reviews, although, I disagree. From what I can tell, the only significant difference between this album and their earlier albums is the production. You could make the argument that Queensryche albums are tyically overproduced. Look at Promised Land. Try getting anything close to that sound live. Like every other QR album, there are some songs that are just OK, and, some that are excellent. Get A Life, Spool, Saved, Hit the Black, You, Sign of the Times and Reach are all at least very good, with Spool, You and Reach being excellent. I find Spool and Reach probably in their top 10 songs ever.

This is considered the beginning of the end for this band. I disagree. I find this album much much better than their next two, Q2K and Tribe.

Yes, there are songs here I can really do without, but, I don't find that any different than any other of their albums (well, except maybe for mindcrime).

So, to me, this is very good typical QR without the over production.

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Send comments to scevrog (BETA) | Report this review (#169662)
Posted Saturday, May 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Queensryche - 'Hear in the Now Frontier' 2 stars

Sign of the Times..

The title of the first track really describes this album in a nut shell. After it seemed that Queensryche was heading in the right direction, they turned their ugly head yet again into a terrible album. I'll try to make this review as short as possible.

Queensryche, as hailing from Seattle, seemed to be like the grunge bands from the same area. As much as I hate grunge in its entirety, it became a dead genre none-the-less today, like punk and disco. So even as time goes by this album just sounds worse and worse by the years. Geoff Tate became the opposite of the once stand-out singer he was, and is now just one in the crowd. The aggressive riffs from the guitars can be present once in a while, but any artistic value behind them is completely void.

This album just gets 2 stars for copying the typical grunge sound well and not bad. Otherwise this would be a flat one.

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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#190751)
Posted Friday, November 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Casualty of Grunge

Queensryche got lucky in 1991 by having a phenomenally successful album even while their genre was hemorrhaging. 1994 brought the interesting but unfocused Promised Land when the entire music industry was still in flux after the grunge explosion. Whether it was record company pressure or a desire for a return to the high profile of Empire, for the next album, Queensryche completely revamped their sound. Shifting toward pop and an Alice-in-Chains lite style of grunge, it is very tempting to think "sellout." I suppose this should have surprised no one. However, as a huge Queensryche fan, I can still remember standing in front of my stereo with my freshly opened CD, massively disappointed. The opener "Sign of the Times" was well written, though very straightforward. I figured I could handle one song like that if there were more interesting things to come. Sadly, the opener is the best work of the album.

Many 80's bands were trying this tactic about this time, and many were keeping their careers limping along with this move (Motley Crue comes to mind.) If the songwriting had been there, I would have probably stayed along. But most of the songs are incredibly dull. Along with the opener, "You" is catchy enough, but some of the songs are so forgettable that, well, I can't remember any of their names. The guitar riffs are actually pretty good for grunge but simply aren't Queensryche. The little bit of lead guitar playing is simply stupid. I can almost hear both guitarists rolling their eyes throughout the entire disc. It is no surprise that co-leader Chris DeGarmo left after this, and without him, the band simply ceased to matter. Incredibly, some of the later albums are worse.

Geoff Tate still sounds great on this album, even if the Iron Maidenisms are long gone. He seems to be having a little fun using some of the 90's tricks of the trade ("Hit the Black") and really is the only member of the band who still is showing any of his identity. Still, the lyrics do not leave much impression, and his melodic delivery is mostly generic. When the melody is memorable, it is in a pop vein. Sign of the times indeed.

Bottom line: the prog is gone. The edge is gone. Mostly boring. Don't Bother.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#659656)
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hear In The Now Frontier is the sixth full-length studio album by the Seattle based Progressive Metal Queensr che, it was recorded in Stone Gossard's home studio, produced by Toby Wright and released in 1997. With every passing album from the beginning of their career up until the time when this was released, Queensr che had reinvented their sound every time, and Hear In The Now Frontier takes a similarly large change in direction, crossing over into Alternative-Rock territory.

The sound of the album isn't so much the sound of Prog-Metal in the Dream Theatre, Blind Guardian and Fates Warning sense; but rather a stripped down Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and The Beatles inspired 90s-Alt sound with lots of jangly acoustic guitar and occasional down-tuned electric riffs.

Some fans took this to be a sort of betrayal or selling out, but in all honesty looking back from now it isn't really any different from all of their huge stylistic changes before this album's release and its just furthering the band's mission to never make the same record twice.

In my opinion, this album isn't the monstrous waste of space that it sometimes gets made out to be; tracks like 'Saved' 'Reach' 'Spool' and the single 'Sign Of The Times' all have some memorable moments. I actually like at least half of the album and don't exactly dislike the other half in any legitimate way.

Ultimately, that just isn't enough however and so this just isn't all that amazing an album all things considered. There aren't tonnes and tonnes of memorable riffs, the lyrics aren't the sort of thing that stick in your head for days, the guitar solos aren't as impressive as in the past and some of the material is just a little too forgettable. Luckily Geoff Tate's voice is still very enjoyable, but then again he doesn't take it to as impressive heights as he once did.

To be fair, even if this had have been the best Alternative album ever made, some people would still hate it just because the band changed to cash-in on the 'in' thing of the time. That thing is though, Hear In The Now Frontier isn't the best alternative album ever made, it is just an average album. Its OK but it isn't perfect, it isn't something you'll want to play in its entirety all that often and it definitely shouldn't be the first Queensr che album that you buy unless you are a massive fan of 1990s Alternative Music and hate Prog or Metal.

Overall; if you hate change then avoid it at all costs, but if you can actually accept that the sound of the album isn't all that Progressive or all that Metal, Hear In The Now Frontier is an OK addition to your collection that will deliver you a few more good songs to enjoy.

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Send comments to Gentlegiantprog (BETA) | Report this review (#755287)
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is much maligned as the beginning of Queensryche's downfall. While their subsequent albums are indeed bad, this is quite enjoyable. This is not prog, and not metal, but polished hard rock with dense sound a la grunge rock. And multi-range Tate's vocals are still in top form. If you disregard the albums that followed, you could actually view this one as another in Queensryche catalogue that is different from one another.

I will admit that half of the album's songs seem like filler. But the ugly truth is that even the classic Queensryche had their share of fillers. But the other half I would include in my personal collection of Queensryche hits: the pop rock of Sign of the times (with its gorgeous acoustic break) and The voice inside, the brooding Spool, ironic Cuckoo's nest, hard-hitting Get a life, Rolling Stones-y dirty rock of Anytime/Anywhere, Beatlesque Miles away. The value is maybe not in originality, but diversity - it makes you anxious to hear what's next.

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Send comments to Progrussia (BETA) | Report this review (#1000730)
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Review Permalink

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