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Queensr che

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3 stars good album needs better production queensryche is deeper and more complex than this i think they have gotten lazy i wish they would change up more and put more deapth into production after the break from empire tour i dont think they ever got back together as a band they seem to be dissconnected (no pun intended) chemistry at a distance I LOVE THIS BAND HARD TO BE A CRITIC make pink floyd stand up and know they have company next time! defender of thier music believe it or not, michael327766
Report this review (#23648)
Posted Sunday, November 23, 2003 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have been a fan of Queensryche since 1989 **since the Mindcrime album...of course** and I also have learned to not expecting anything everytime I started to listen to their new record. Tribe is no exception. I'd hardly say this is a metal (pr progressive metal) album but it surely is heavy. I am not going to concern if Geoff Tate is not screaming in this album. I am not even going to concern about minimum guitar solos. If you're ready to take another step of journey with the Ryche, go buy this record. Satisfaction not guaranteed, but it is a good ride. A good ride you won't regret to take in.
Report this review (#23655)
Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars It really depends on how this album is viewed. If it is viewed in comparison to album of the glorious band's past, then I think it may come out as a big disappointment. For the band's fans thought, who might somewhat have crossed out the band's name out of the awaited album releases after their latest albums, it might come as a sign of hope for another row of worthwhile albums. Tribe is certainly an attempt to dive into the future of metal music, an attempt that reminds of Promised Land, as that album also dived into the future of that period's metal music, far more successfully than this one I may also add. Old rows of amazing solos are gone, Geoff Tate's outstanding vocals are now limited to what probably his present voice condition allows, lyrics are less understandable and not quite focusing on aspects of society or modern life like they used to. That is indeed a sign of where progressive metal music is lead nowadays but leaves your with a certain feeling of nostalgia of what music was back in 1988 or 1990. For someone that is looking for something new and quite unique, this album won't be any disappointment but unfortunately I think that it doesn't qualify to thrill anyone either, regardless of his/her expectations.
Report this review (#23657)
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I anticipated the new QUEENSRYCHE release "Tribe" for many months. I saw the banner ad running for a long time on the web ( so the advertising did work on me. I became very curious as to what this new effort would sound like, especially with the return of original guitarist Chris DeGarmo to the mix. The added anticipation of seeing them live in month did not give me any more patience in securing a copy of this CD either. Well now that I have it, I know why I was so excited. This album did not disappoint in any way.

They were on a hiatus for a bit, Geoff Tate recorded a solo album, and then they got back together to find the energy that made them so successful to start with. When you are together for a long time things can get stale and you loose your edge. Whatever they lost, they got back. The high level of musical forcefulness and emotion throughout the album is captured without fail and effectively. The first three tracks are strong statements that mark the return of a band that reigned supreme for many years in rock-progressive- metal. "Open," "Losing Myself" and "Desert Dance" has the oomph and crunching guitar riffs that is the trademark of their sound. Tate sounds as good as he ever has fronting the band and everyone else is right in line with him, pushing the intensity of their performance beyond the norm.

This is not just a musical is statement; it is a vehicle for expressing how the band feels about the world around them. The world tribe concept is the focus, with political opinions weaving in and out of every track. As the album cover indicates, the band has marked its territory with a symbolic return to the forefront of the progressive metal scene. I have to hand it to them, their steadfastness and wherewithal over the years is to their credit. This album proves to be some of their best work to date.

Report this review (#23658)
Posted Saturday, January 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars In my opinion "Operation Mindcrime" is the best album ever released in the metal scene. Having this as a thought I kept buing all Queensryche CDs, although I must admit that the 2 previous albums were rather horrible.

Tribe seems to be sth new but still an album with no passion at the solos, vocals and with "blur" riffs. I really can't see where this album can be put in the music scene. It isn't metal for sure and it isn't progressive either.

A real dissapointment.

Report this review (#23660)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the two previous pathetic releases, I was really reluctant to buy this album. I did, and it proved to be a nice album after all... I dunno if it's because Chris De Garmo returned for this album, or simply some good inspiration.

Almost all the songs are enjoyable this time (except maybe the title track), with highlights being "Open", "Falling Behind", "Rhythm Of Hope", "Blood", "The Art Of Life" and "Doin' Fine".

Rating: 80/100

Report this review (#66548)
Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The album begins with "Open" and Geof Tate hasn┤t lost anything on this song! I really good opener to the album basically telling us to open our minds! "Losing Myself" is almost danceable but nice. On "Desert Dance" things start to get a bit heavier. I have to warn everyone right now that this album lacks guitar solos!! (Hence the missing five star rating) "Falling Behind" is about how we are conditioned to keep up with the Jones┤s or else we won┤t be accepted into the Jones┤s materialistic little group.

The next five tracks are all brilliant. "The Great Divide" is Geoff Tate looking at America , the way he sees things after Sept 11th. "Rhythm of Hope" is one of the most emotional songs Queensryche has ever written, truly stunning! The title track "Tribe" is a heavy, yet optimistic song. We have to realize that we are all members of the same tribe (the human race) "Blood" reflects Tate┤s political view about the war in Iraq. He obviously thinks it was a gigantic mistake and tells us we were all lied to. Great song! "The Art of Life" is about spirituality and even has some lines by Carlos Casteneda in the lyrics. Probably the strongest song on the entire album. The last song "Doin┤Fine" is a laid back song telling us to take some time off work to relax!

This is a great album. It┤s a pity they don┤t have enough guitar solos weaving through these songs, that would definitely make it a five star album.

Report this review (#84212)
Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Following my revival like experience at Queensryche's summer show in Atlanta I was cautiously optimistic. I hoped the band could turn back the clock and reproduce the magic that created 10 years of astoudingly awesome music and erase the bad memories from the substandard 8 years since. The foundation of that hope came from their reenergized show on a co-headliner bill with Dream Theater. The band opened that show with a different-sounding but very strong effort from their upcoming release.

One listen into Tribe and I knew this was a much better band than the one responsible for either the disappointing Hear in the Now Frontier or the distasteful Q2K. Three listens into Tribe and I was thinking the band exuded a vitality and energy that had been missing for almost a decade. Twenty listens into Tribe and I'm ready to declare it easily the best QR effort since PLand but not quite as good as any release from the band's golden age. Believe me, there's a lot to like here. This isn't simply an attempted return to glory with refried riffs from the good old days. These are original and creative songs, reflecting the band members maturity and age. It's also noting that much of Tribe rocks, most notably the centerpiece title track. Tribe combines all of the classic QR elements, with brain bending power chords mixed among thought-provoking lyrics and intricate progressive rhythms. New to the mix is a world beat flavor that raises its head at unusual times.

Really, everything about Tribe is good. The only thing keeping me from fully embracing the release and giving it an even higher rating is the relative simplicity of the songs. All log in at under 5:00 and follow the basic chorus/verse-chorus/verse-break/close song structure of a 3-minute pop song. With the exception of a brief (but very satisfying) solo found on Losing Myself you'll be challenged to find a true guitar solo anywhere. Add short, simple intros and short, simple closing and the simplistic, sometimes repetitive song structures are pretty obvious. That's the only real complaint.

It's hard to pick out favorites and it's pretty telling that every time I listen I listen from beginning to end with nary a skipped song. Open does just that quite well, with Geoff showing off a tremendous, high-pitched wail throughout, hitting and holding notes in a manner not heard since the 80's. Losing Myself follows with a high-energy groove accented by an intense musical break that maybe the highlight of the entire disc. The dense, mystical wall of sound created by the four musicians recalls some of the ambient highlights from Promised Land. Desert Dance is another quality hard-rocker that features a powerful repeating-chant chorus.

Falling Behind and Rhythm of Hope are the mellower songs found here and both work, with Falling Behind being the better of the two. The song contains a catchy chorus that rings through my head a lot lately while Rhythm of Hope has some orchestral moments that bring back memories of Silent Lucidity. As mentioned, Tribe is clearly the disc's centerpiece, with an epic sound to it that would be appropriate for a much longer song. The musical break also recalls some of the signature dramatic highlights from the band's earlier efforts. I find it interesting that this song is credited to all four "permanent" members, with only Chris DeGarmo absent. The song is the best the band has to offer in 10 years and I'm surprised to find he wasn't part of the creation.

I'm not at all surprised to find DeGarmo and Tate co-wrote The Art of Life which is the most interesting and creative piece on Tribe. The song has a slow, machine quality to it, with layered taped vocals and repeated phrases masking transitions from verse to chorus and back. The musical break is also a highpoint, with the band again achieving an intoxicating, mystical wall-of-sound. The only regret is that after a tremendou buildup the song quickly reverts back to a standard chorus. This is repeated throughout the disc, with buildups that end up not fulfilling their promise. The tension and anticipation builds but without the expected reward.

Finally, the closer Doin' Fine is fine enough but somewhat of a letdown. Every single release by Queensryche has contained a closer that could arguably be the best song on that particular release. Even the disappointing HITNF and Q2K both closed with strong songs (SpooL and Right Side of My Mind, respectively). Still, for loyal fans such as myself, Tribe reaffirms the the very reason I started this little corner of my webpage in the first place. I'm looking forward to seeing the songs live and hope this is a new beginning for a band that's been a part of my life since

Report this review (#85150)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the two previous albums which were lowpoints in Queensryche's career they returned in 2003 with an album which I would describe as a cross between the Promised Land and Empire albums. Structurally this release resembles Empire with its simplicity, sonically it is fairly similar to Promised Land.

With many "fans" thinking tribe would inevitably be a dissapointment, Queensryche pulled out the stops and created what is in my opinion a brilliant album.

1. Open: kicks off with a riff that resembles the Queensryche of old. Great vocals from Geoff Tate turn this into an excellent opener. (9/10)

2. Losing Myself: A song about Geoff Tate's motorcycle trip around America. More of a modern sound and an excellent chorus. (8.5/10)

3. Desert Dance: Metal track with standout vocals from Geoff Tate during the verses. The only minor letdown is the "keep reaching" chorus which does not live up to Queensryche's high standards. (8.5/10)

4. Falling Behind: An enjoyable melodic rock song reminiscent of the Hear In the Now Frontier era. (8/10)

5. The Great Divide: An excellent chorus and thought provoking lyrics fuel this excellent track (9/10)

6. Rhythm Of Hope: Similar in style to Silent Lucidity, an excellent ballad (9/10)

7. Tribe: The biggest grower and standout track on the album. An excellent Progressive metal track (9.5/10)

8. Blood: Thought provoking lyrics about the Iraq war however the music is not as engaing as some of the other tracks (7.5/10)

9. The Art Of Life: Another huge grower, one of the albums strongest tracks. Much spoken dialogue. (9/10)

10. Doin' Fine: A good uplifting closer which is enjoyable but not up to the levels of Eyes Of A Stranger/Roads To Madness/Anybody Listening? (8.5/10)

Overall (86/100)

Like many of Queensryche's newer albums Tribe takes time to grow on the listener. If you persevere with Tribe and dont expect 80's metal esque sound then Tribe can be greatly appreciated for what it is: an excellent album.

As a side note if you look in the liner notes most of the albums highlights were not co- written by Chris Degarmo.

Report this review (#88782)
Posted Saturday, September 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. An improvement over the previous two releases but this record seems formulated, predictable and uninspiring to me.

Having said that there are six songs here that are quite good, including the opener "Open" that features some good upfront bass work as well as some excellent drumming. The two combine to create a heavy soundscape as they churn over and over throughout the song. "Losing Myself" lost me with the electronic sounds, and although it's catchy, modern and upbeat it seems out of place.

"Desert Dance" has an Eastern sound to it and is both upbeat and heavy, a good aggressive tune. Both "Falling Behind" and "The Great Divide" are both ok songs, but don't do a lot for me.The next four songs do though starting with "Rhythm Of Hope" a good uplifting song with prominent bass lines. "Tribe" is great ! A dark,heavy song that had me saying "This is more like it ! "With tribal like percussion and the cry "We're the same tribe", it all works to perfection. "Blood" is another good, heavy, uptempo song with great drumming. "The Art Of Life" is an intense, atmospheric song. The final song "Doin' Fine" ends the record on an uplifting and hopeful note.

A good record but for those of us who know what they are capable of, we have to wonder if the glory days are gone for good.

Report this review (#105642)
Posted Friday, January 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is truly a great album for Queensr che, their best since 1994's PROMISED LAND. Every element of the band is ticking in perfect clockwork with each other, due in part to the dumping of musical retard Kelly Gray, and the assistance of Chris DeGarmo in the studio sessions. Of course, the true god in Queensryche is Geoff Tate, and his vocals are en fuego the entire time, searing beams of light and thunder (that thar's a lyric o' theirs) to lay on the band's musical skills. So without further ado, here is my review of Queensryche's superior TRIBE album. Enjoy.

1. Open- The album kicks off with a resounding bang of pure power. If you want a preview of the album, go to my MySpace and foot tap along to this song. Geoff's vocal kicks off in perfect key, and Eddie Jackson has one of his very sparse bass solos right before a beautiful a cappella of the refrain ("Open your eyes"). The elements all come together in what has become TRIBE's only bonafide hit tune, and a live favorite since (except on the tour I saw ). Great start to a great album.

2. Losing Myself- This one sees Geoff singing about something many former fans of the band (i.e. losers) hate him for: love. Not of the non-believing variety, either, this one's about being deeply immersed in love. Or something like that, it's also about riding down a desert highway, so I guess it's fairly open to interpretation... Anyhow, the whole band is in synch for the tune, as always, and while it's one of the most enjoyable on the album, don't search too hard for the impeccable proginess or musicianship, it really isn't there in much abundance.

3. Desert Dance- One of the album's best songs (tied with the other nine ), "Desert Dance" has a semi-annoying refrain of "Keep reachin'!" that recurs once too often. That aside, this is a happy headbang all the way through, and another not to ponder too hard. Queensryche were a lot about having fun for this album, or so it would seem to this point. No one can complain that this song isn't good, but I grant you the right to be annoyed at the "Keep reachin'!" part. You just can't dislike the song.

4. Falling Behind- This is truly one of the songs artistic showpieces. Shedding all of their preconceived notions of being metal for the album, they dig back into their souls and pull out a "let's all get along" acoustic piece. This one has a bit of a weird story. For some reason I kept singing its bridge as waves were crashing into me at the ocean last year. Why? Maybe that "bring it on" line, but for some reason there's a much less metal Manowar feel to this one, a feeling of unity and power. The only electric note you hear is the ringing out at the very end, and it's fine by me. "Silent Lucidity" was their hit, so I suppose they shouldn't ignore their acoustic side.

5. The Great Divide- If I have to pick a weak track---which I absolutely don't want to---it's this one. I have no major complaints with it, but it just doesn't "do it for me". The chorus is powerful and partially based in 9/11, as Geoff dug into himself to find the meaning of life after the national tragedy. It's not as good as Iced Earth's "When the Eagle Cries", but that's not why I'm calling it the weakest. You know what? Screw it. This song owns. TRIBE has no weak song. Sorry for wasting your time. If you want to feel some true national pride while still enjoying Queensryche (which who doesn't?), listen to this song and repeatedly say "I love America". It works. I mean it.

6. Rhythm of Hope- A short song, and the closest thing on the album to what I'd call a ballad, "Rhythm of Hope" is really just what its title implies. It's something to listen to when you feel sorry for yourself and still want to listen to some Queensryche (which who doesn't? (see a pattern?)), and instead of bringing you back up through co-misery (a la Type O Negative, Opeth's DAMNATION, and some select Alice in Chains and Soundgarden), it brings you back up by being hopeful and encouraging, telling you to "keep reaching for the light" and "searching for something that moves your soul". Truly uplifting words in the album's shortest track.

7. Tribe- Gotta have the title track. This might be the closest thing to a full-on heavy metal assault on the album with it bestial, insistent riffage and the soaring '80s glory vocals in the chorus. Tate uses is incredibly lower register for the faux-rapped verses (think Silent Lucidity meets Vanilla, nevermind, don't think that) and to great effect. Bass takes the front seat again for a good deal of the song, especially the low verses. Geoff's mind was on unity when he made this, and the lyrics encourage us, the fanbase, that we're all of the same tribe, which the liner notes defines as: "a gathering togeteher of a people with a learned commonality". Heady stuff.

8. Blood- Computers and digital recorders did more work on this song than elsewhere on the album, as shown in the muffled intro (think Slayer's "Ghosts of War" intro; it doesn't come in all the way until after awhile) and the muffled vocals in the chorus. This song may be the most "about nothing" song on the album. The lyrics seem uplifting, but in a bizzare, meaningless way that I cannot explain. I think Geoff is blaming we the people for society's flaws ("It's all gone wrong; there's blood upon our hands"), but one can't be sure, because the verses, while cool, are without obvious meaning. Musically, everything meshes, and this one could very possibly be my favorite song on the album. I know there was a period of time where it undisputably was.

9. The Art of Life- Name-dropped a year later on a live CD/DVD release, "The Art of Life" is a good instance of making a good song with a good singer, and having him simply talk the vocals. The only actual singing is in the chorus, which makes this very interesting. The semi-concept album aspect of TRIBE comes full circle on this song, with Geoff simply picking up a mic and speaking his philosophy while chunky guitar and low-end bash out a persistent beat. This philosophy is one that culminates in the following: "We must challenge and defeat our four natural enemies: clarity, fear, power, and the desire to rest". Umm...I guess so.

10. Doin' Fine- A challenger for the title of best song on the album, this song again agrees with the concept idea for the album, with "The Art of Life" being the climax, this being the denoument. The laid-back feel of this song allows one to envision Geoff and the gang sitting in rocking chairs outside of a Cracker Barrel and saying: "We're doin' just fine." Maybe that's just me, I dunno. This is the culmination of the alleged story in that, having conquered everything along the way, now we should all be doin' fine. And I tell you this: if you've been listening to the album in its entirety, you should be doin' just fine. In fact, you should be practically grinning. Everything that could possibly go right in this song does. I love it, and on the next line, I'm going to put a lyric from it that has adorned many a thing of mine, and I absolutely endorse and love.

"We'll know all the answers Once we stop this judgment game And realize deep down We're the same"

Damn right we are, peace out.

Report this review (#130103)
Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Tribe" is the 8th full-length studio album by US heavy metal/hard rock act Queensr che. The album was released through Sanctuary Records Group in July 2003, almost 4 years after the release of the predecessor "Q2K (1999)". Since the release of "Q2K (1999)", guitarist Kelly Gray has left, leaving Queensr che a four-piece. Although it had been quite a few years between albums, Queensr che found themselves short of material before entering the studio to record "Tribe", and therefore opted to contact former Queensr che guitarist and composer Chris DeGarmo to hear if he would help contribute material for the album. DeGarmo accepted, but after writing some tracks, co-writing a few others, and playing some guitar parts, he left the sessions. Mike Stone was recruited to complete the recording sessions and ended up being hired permanently.

I┤m not sure if it is DeGarmo┤s presence or his songwriting contributions, which have done it, but after a couple of lacklustre albums, Queensr che have actually produced a pretty good quality heavy metal/hard rock album in "Tribe". Several of the tracks featured on the album are memorable (tracks like "Open", "Blood", and "Desert Dance") and the well sounding production also helps being out the best in the material. There┤s a strong conviction behind the performances which is audible too and upon conclusion I┤m left with a nice positive impression when the 10 track, 41:41 minutes album is over. Yes it┤s not as interesting as the early releases by the band, and this more hard rock infused "mature" sound has a tendency to become a bit tedious, but on "Tribe" I think Queensr che have hit a good balance and a generally high quality songwriting level and therefore a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#148114)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars An Indian summer

Released in 2003, "Tribe" is Queensryche's eighth studio album and the follow up to the disappointing "Q2K". With the departure (sacking?) without replacement of guitarist Kelly Gray, the band is now a quartet. Significantly though former mainstay of the band Chris DeGarmo returns as a guest, contributing both to the songwriting and on guitar. This appears to have an instant effect on the rest of the band, inspiring them to create something more in keeping with earlier successes. Future member Mike Stone also helps out as a writer and guitarist.

The loose concept of the album is based around the communal aspects of a "tribe", and in particular the post 9/11 unification of the people of the US.

The album opens appropriately with "Open", a song which musically has a passing resemblance to Deep Purple's "Perfect strangers" while lyrically, the song pleads us to "Open your eyes". This is one of no less than five (of 10) tracks which DeGarmo co-writes, his partnership being mainly with singer Geoff Tate. Some of the songs are actually highly commercial to the point of being potential singles. The slightly lighter "Falling behind" falls into this category, the chorus in particular being of the anthem type. "Rhythm of hope" also cruises towards, or indeed into, AOR territory.

The songs here tend to all be from the same mould, being around 4 minutes of mid-paced heavy rock. There's little if anything which is really progressive, or indeed original. On the other hand, Queensryche are simply doing what they do best, and delivering the kind of music their fans appreciate.

Report this review (#176142)
Posted Saturday, July 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Queensryche - 'Tribe' 3 stars

Chris DeGarmo returns!

This was a mass improvement over the last two disasters put out. The return of Chris DeGarmo seemed to have an immediate impact on this dying band. I find the overall sound of the band improved by great measure, but the songwriting increased only slightly. For once, Geoff Tate sounds like he wants the band to succeed again, rather than resting on their laurels and creating real sub-par albums. The general sound of this album is some fast paced hard rock, with a lean towards, but not fully, metal. The worst thing about this album is the lack of guitar solos, especially with the return of the guitarist that made this band what it is. Still, they managed to put out something decent and good enough to impress fans and show others that they still have something left to demonstrate.

Report this review (#190776)
Posted Friday, November 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars After a streak of lesser albums Queensr che finally made a comeback with their first semi-decent release in years.

Tribe features a solid track-list with a minor exception of the title track where the band obviously tried something new that didn't really work out too well. At least we can't blame them for not trying to evolve their sound here. Too bad there isn't a single stand-out track but after the two previous offerings I'll settle for whatever I can get. After all, the album has a nice flow from start to finish and can be considered a distant descendant of Promised Land, a follow up that never was but still somehow, sort of... is!

It's a real pity that this release have almost been completely forgotten by everyone since it's definitely among Queensr che's better albums. Still, from a general point of reference, better is not good enough for anyone unfamiliar with this band and their music. Therefore a good, but non-essential rating is definitely in order here.

**** star songs: Open (4:32) Losing Myself (4:12) Desert Dance (3:57) Falling Behind (4:28) Rhythm Of Hope (3:31) Blood (4:13) The Art Of Life (4:12) Doin' Fine (3:52)

*** star songs: The Great Divide (4:01) Tribe (4:39)

Total rating: 3,79

Report this review (#255726)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars After the Q2K train wreck, QUEENSRYCHE took a few years off to get their sheeeeet together. They opted to keep the alternative rock sound going for a third album in a row which is kind of a shame since it's my least favorite era from them but I have to admit that third time's a charm and they got the sound right this time, at least for them. After a gazillion other things plaguing the band including Chris DeGarmo exiting stage left, not only did they survive the cataclysm but mended relations with DeGarmo so that he contributed guitar parts to some of the tracks on their eighth studio album TRIBE. Not exactly a full-fledged reunion but enough to prove a very salient point about the band known as QUEENSRYCHE. It is clear to me that DeGarmo was one of the major ingredients that made this band so magical. It is the albums that he is on that I like best and the rest are just missing that extra mojo to make it special.

TRIBE only reinforces this belief because it is the songs that DeGarmo contributes to that I find most appealing. There are exceptions like the title track. Although I find this album to have way too much filler, some of the tracks are actually quite good. I love "Open," "Losing Myself" "Tribe" and "Desert Dance." Scott Rockenfield's tribal drumming along with the grungy guitars and interesting bass lines is something hitherto never tried before as far as I know especially in an alternative rock context and Geoff Tate has honed his vocals at the point to fit in with this lower register type of music. Overall a good comeback after my least favorite album from the group but unfortunately nothing on here compares to "Promised Land" and before. Still a reason not to write them off entirely for a glimmer of hope has been sparked and some good tracks to boot. Unfortunately Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo butted heads a few times too many and DeGarmo departed for good after this brief reunification.

Report this review (#1306636)
Posted Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Geoff Tate and co. have certainly been dwindling for the last 15 years. Queensryche used to be known as one of the defining bands in the prog metal genre, but ever since 1997's Hear in the Now Frontier, they took on a more contemporary alternative style with hints of the old 'Ryche sound mixed in. What followed was an atomic bomb of backlash from fans who wanted the old classic sound of Queensryche back. So far, most attempts have still been in vain, but a couple of them have had some shining glimmers of the old days, including 2003's underrated Tribe.

One factor in attempting to bring success back to the band was to bring original guitarist Chris DeGarmo back to the fold for just this one album. However, when Sanctuary Records caught wind of this, they stated that DeGarmo returned as a permanent member, most likely to boost Queensryche's popularity and sales for the album. One thing can be said here: Chris's presence can clearly be felt here, and having him in the album marks a return to the quality not seen since Promised Land.

Unlike previous albums, Geoff Tate really keeps his vocals on the down low here, letting the other instruments shine. This also gives Tate a more diverse palette, especially in terms of the dynamics presented here. Every instrument is very balanced here as well, as supposed to the generally vocal/guitar fronted sound Queensryche usually possesses, giving every member a chance to show what they can do.

About the songs themselves, there are ten here, clocking in at 41:37. The short length of the songs keeps them from getting stale or boring, a problem Queensryche have been running into with some recent work (*cough* Dedicated to Chaos *cough*). "Open" is a great, well, opener and wastes no time cutting to the chase of the album's sound. There are explosive (though sometimes rather slow) choruses and sly verses that show more of that aforementioned diversity here. While I'm on the topic of diversity, this album also features the return of the saxophone used in Promised Land. On here, it's prominent on "Art of Life" and gives it a dark jazzy edge, fitting in with the rugged spoken verses.

A big highlight here is the title track, "Tribe." It starts out with a progressive 6/8 riff, and eases the distortion when the verse hits with more spoken vocals. The tension of the song never really lets up, though, until the chorus clashes with powerful soaring vocals and a heavy rhythm pacing things along. The song sounds like it could have been featured on Promised Land or even Empire to an extent.

Unfortunately, some latter-day Queensryche flaws are still present here, and heard the most on the final track, "Doin' Fine." I starts out promisingly enough, with a strong guitar riff and nice relaxed feel, but soon just turns lazy. Even with a short run-time of 3:54, the song drags on and on, and keeps you waiting for something interesting to show up. Really, that's the biggest problem with the album; Some songs are too draggy and lack the passion of the better songs. "Falling Behind" has a really apt song title in that sense; it starts out with a nice acoustic riff, but then just... never catches real fire.

However, the album is still very good, and is one of the best latter-day Queensryche albums you can get. Geoff Tate's vocals are still powerful, and Chris DeGarmo, while a bit restrained here, hasn't lost any of his touch. Overall, this is a solid album, and their best since Promised Land... that is, until American Soldier came along.

(Note: this review was originally from 2011)

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | Review Permalink

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