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Queensr˙che Q2K album cover
2.20 | 191 ratings | 16 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Falling Down (4:28)
2. Sacred Ground (4:12)
3. One Life (4:49)
4. When The Rain Comes... (5:05)
5. How Could I? (3:44)
6. Beside You (5:13)
7. Liquid Sky (4:53)
8. Breakdown (4:11)
9. Burning Man (3:42)
10. Wot Kinda Man (3:15)
11. The Right Side Of My Mind (5:51)

Total Time: 49:23

Bonus tracks on 2006 Atlantic remaster:
12. Until There Was You (4:05) *
13. Howl (4:05) *
14. Sacred Ground (Live) (4:23)
15. Breakdown (Radio Edit) (3:11)

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoff Tate / vocals
- Kelly Gray / guitars, mixing
- Michael Wilton / guitars
- Eddie Jackson / bass
- Scott Rockenfield / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Rory Berger

CD Atlantic ‎- 83225-2 (1999, US)
CD Atlantic ‎- R2 74076 (2006, US) Remastered by Eddy Schreyer w/ 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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QUEENSRYCHE Q2K ratings distribution

(191 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(10%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (28%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marc Baum
1 stars Two Words: S&*% Sandwich

Yes, I'm ripping off Spinal Tap with the title of this what? I actually have a good reason for stealing this phrase from one of the funniest movies of all time: because Q2K is literally a [&*!#] sandwich. How, you ask? Because the band took the only two semi-decent songs on the album, made them the first and last tracks, and filled the rest with pure, unlistenable [&*!#]. So imagine if you will, the two semi-decent songs acting as two slices of bread, with a heaping pile of [&*!#] in between. There you have it --- one giant [&*!#] sandwich of an album.

Let me get this out of the way: Queensryche is one of my favorite bands of all time, so don't get the (wrong) idea that I hate the band and am just giving them a bad review for the hell of it. I think that albums like Rage for Order, Operation: Mindcrime, The Warning, the self-titled EP, Empire and even Promised Land are all fantastic albums, with TW, RFO and O:M probably three of the best albums ever recorded. It goes downhill after Promised Land and even Hear in the Now Frontier had some good songs on it, even they felt uninspired and soulless. Then came this --- Q2K, which is the first album recorded by the band after the departure of Chris DeGarmo. Terminal drunkard Kelly Gray took his place, and didn't do such a hot job either, so at least there is some reasoning behind why this album sucks so much. Although you can't blame Gray completely for why this album is so worthless, since Geoff Tate was probably the main creative force behind the album since DeGarmo left, and he doesn't like metal anymore, remember?

The cover art is pretty cool; looking at it, you'd think that the band would be returning to some of the technological themes present on The Warning and Rage For Order; nope, mostly just terrible lyrics dealing with love and such. The album sputters off to a start with "Falling Down", one of only two passable songs on the album. Right away, it's apparent that this is not a (progressive) metal album; maybe alternative rock or something? Anyways, there is some decent riffage in the beginning, and Tate's vocals sound pretty good, with some good use of backing vocals in the bridge and the chorus. I do kinda dig the guitar solos, because there is some dueling going on between Michael Wilton and Kelly Gray, and then they both combine together to play some more leads before the solo is over. Kind of reminiscent of some of the solos in Rage For Order in the way that it's structured, although nowhere near as good. It's a decent song, but not even in the same neighborhood of anything appearing on RFO or Mindcrime.

Now the album goes downhill, fast. "Sacred Ground" sounds like a really bad alternative rock song, featuring absent-minded guitar riffs, tambourine banging, and inane lyrics. Even worse, Tate sounds like he is talking through a lot of the song, I can't even call it singing. "One Life" starts off sounding like bad elevator music, and when the song "kicks in" it doesn't get much better. The riffs are terrible and are horribly structured; the notes don't even sound like they flow together at all. Who wrote these riffs, and why was the whole band under the impression that they sounded good? Another annoyance that can be heard here and a lot throughout the album is that Kelly Gray loves to use weird guitar effects, probably to compensate for the fact he can't play leads very well. If you've heard/seen the live CD/DVD Live Evolution, then you've heard Gray butchering DeGarmo solos while trying to hide his mistakes through layers of guitar effects. Mike Stone is a much better fit for the band, but that's another story entirely. "When the Rain Comes" is a pathetic attempt at soft, contemporary this the same band that did "Queen of the Ryche" or what? "How Could I" and "Beside You" is just more of the same --- awful lyrics, terrible guitar work, extremely boring songs.

When I first heard the next track, "Liquid Sky", I thought it sounded pretty cool.......maybe there was some hope for the rest of the album! A nice little guitar part starts the song out, very refreshing after all of the boring riffs present through the rest of the album. However, 17 seconds into the song, the guitar part stops and in comes Tate with more horrible lyrics, something about he's not no Romeo and he's the man for you. Real deep and thought provoking, is it not? I thought Queensryche was supposed to be the thinking man's heavy metal band. There aren't even anymore cool guitar parts in the rest of the song to partially redeem it (just a short reprise of the same part from the beginning in the middle of the song); it blends nicely with the rest of the [&*!#]ty songs on the album. "Burning Man" drags the album down further, if that's even possible at this point. The bass riff and drum work through the verse & chorus sounds like it should be in some jingle on a TV commercial trying to sell a new sports drink or something. Awful, awful, awful. "Wot Kinda Man" follows, and yes, it also sucks. First of all, I can't get over the title --- why are they misspelling "what"? Is it supposed to be cool or something? I hate that, a lot. It's simply stupid. The song is just as forgettable as anything else on the record, with no memorable guitar or vocal work anywhere to be heard (hey, those two factors used to be Ryche trademarks, but I guess the band forgot that while recording Q2K).

The album is mercifully brought to a close with "Right Side of My Mind", which is actually kinda decent. It sort of reminds me of a weird Pink Floyd song in some parts, and hey --- there is actually some listenable guitar work in this song! Nothing to get too excited about, but it's a hell of a lot better than anything else on the album (besides "Falling Down"). Still, this is nowhere near what the band is capable of. I think the big problem with Q2K is that everything sounds so uninspired. Tate sounds like he's hardly putting out any effort and doesn't even really hit any high notes. Like I mentioned, most of the riffs sound like they were haphazardly thrown together, and when you combine it all, you get one boring, very forgettable album.

I hate to give Queensryche such a low score, but they truly deserve it with this album. Maybe everyone was all shaken up after DeGarmo left and they just couldn't write anything decent without him (although Wilton and Tate have written some of the band's finest work on their classic albums without DeGarmo, so it's not like the rest of the band can't write songs or anything). On their recent tours, they didn't even bother to play any Q2K material, so maybe the band realizes now that Q2K was just a big mistake. Their latest album, "Tribe", isn't exactly a return to top form, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. It's nice to see that the band bounced back a little after this horrible album, but I'm still waiting for Queensryche to really get it back together and start making some real prog metal music again. Come on, Tate, save the soft stuff for your solo albums and let's get some of the old, heavy Queensryche back again.

Album rating: 2/10 points = 22 % on MPV scale = 1/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Review by 1800iareyay
1 stars After the blunder of Hear in the Now Frontier comes this atrocious offering. How could such a great band go so wrong? Much of the failure of this album comes from the departure of founding guitarist Chris DeGarmo who decided that he was no longer having fun. Geoff Tate is a good lyricist, but he always relied on Chris for that extra something. Without it, the songs are insipid and banal. His replacement was Kelly Gray, a guitarist who lives the rock star lifestyle despite no successes to his name (he sucks as a producer too, Nevermore's Enemies of Reality had to be remixed because of his shoody "production"). Apparently three of his friends died on tour from excess. The album title and art fool you into thinking that QR is returning to the robotic themes of yore. Nope. Instead, we get psuedo-ballads.

Only How Coud I? and Sacred Ground come close to capturing the spirit of the golden days. Now I know a prog band shouldn't sound the same on each album, but QR abandoned everything that distinguished it in the late 80/early 90s and went for straightfoward rock. Even Geoff's voice isn't great; so many effects were added to his vox that it ruins the greatest voice in prog metal, perhaps all metal. HitNF at least had ties to prog. This album is QR's worst, though it would be redeemed by the excellent Tribe and the suprisingly good Operation Mindcrime II.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Q2K" is the 7th full-length studio album by US heavy metal/hard rock act Queensr˙che. The album was released through Atlantic Records in September 1999. It´s the successor to "Hear In The Now Frontier" from 1997 and there´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as original guitarist (and one of the main composers of the band) Chris DeGarmo has left and has been replaced by Kelly Gray. The latter played with lead vocalist Geoff Tate in his pre-Queensr˙che 80s band Myth. It was the first lineup change in the recording history of Queensr˙che.

The hard rock infused "Hear In The Now Frontier (1997)" was quite the big departure from the preceding more heavy metal oriented releases by Queensr˙che, and "Q2K" continues the hard rock oriented trend of its direct predecessor. It´s slightly sharper sounding than "Hear In The Now Frontier (1997)", but it´s still quite a polished and mainstream oriented hard rock/heavy metal affair. The tracks are vers/chorus structured and there are generally very few surprises during the album´s playing time.

Queensr˙che are as always well playing and professional, and although he is a bit more restrained in his use of high notes here than on the early releases by the band, Tate is still a force to be reckoned with. "Q2K" features a professional, detailed, and well sounding production too, so it´s the songwriting which brings the album down to a less interesting quality level. The material simply lack memorable vocal hooks, catchy hard rocking riffs and rhythms, and variation. Even after several spins I remember very few tracks from the album and that´s seldom a good sign when listening to something as melodic as this album generally is. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

Review by ProgBagel
2 stars Queensryche - 'Q2K' 2 stars

I'll try to make this review even shorter than the one for 'Hear in the Now Frontier', because this one is even worse. The departure of founding and influential guitarist, Chris DeGarmo, is the worst blow this band could take, because Geoff Tate has completely lost his identifiable vocals. In his place comes a guitarist with a background of imitating 70's and 80's classic and hard rock. It just led into an incredible mess of an album which this is. Not a single song can even hold a torch to any of the decent to awesome Queensryche albums. I can't think of a moment were Queensryche was lower than anything put on the album, one of the worst works of progressive metal right here.

Normally, this should really be a one-star. I really only give that rating to something that is worth throwing at the wall and breaking into pieces. However, I would choose not to break this CD, just store it somewhere and never listen to it again.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Worst Queensryche album ever!

Nothing on this can be compared to the greatness of "Operation:Mindcrime" 1 or 2 versions or "Empire" or "Tribe" for that matter. It is difficult to know what went wrong but something definitely did as this is some of the most uninspired tripe the band have churned out. The misdirection of the music is astounding coming from the creators of brilliance such as "Mindcrime" but this is a detestable album that should be flushed down the nearest sewer, and even then the stench would hang around for a few days.


When the Rain Comes... is dreary and uninspired nonsense. Pretty boys on video type music. Duran Duran did better.

How Could I? well, exactly... how could they write such inane lyrics. I can't stand this type of rubbish from a so-called metal act.

Beside You is another lovey dovey ballad and at this point I am ready to throw the CD out the window.

Breakdown describes how I felt when I heard this.

Wot Kinda Man is the absolute pits and it is even spelt wrogn to be cleaver but instead comes across as idiotic. this is as low as the band can get.

If you don't believe me then ask yourself why has this album been utterly ignored by the band ever since, nothing on it played live? Why do fans pretend this never existed? and why was there no serious promotion for this album?

It sounds like a different band. Take it as you will but this horrible mess will likely become a very expensive, shiny gold coffee coaster.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
2 stars After the lackluster sales of the previous album "Hear In The Now Frontier" where QUEENSRYCHE decided to abandon their progressive metal sensibilities and jump into the world of alternative rock when Seattle grunge was ruling the world, they were forced to finance their touring obligations due to EMI America Records going bankrupt and as a result Chris DeGarmo saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship before the great fall which takes place on Q2K. He was replaced with Kelly Gray who only stuck around for this one album. Q2K is really the first time the band stuck to the same formula for two albums in a row and what a terrible decision it turned out to be.

This is one of those albums that I played once and was so disappointed after one listen that I got rid of my CD and totally wrote off this band. Recently I have been relistening to the albums that came after "Promised Land" to see if I was too hasty in my initial reactions. Well, I was surprised that I liked the previous album much better than I remembered but I cannot say the same for this one. Unlike that one this one has really no tracks that I can get into. If you want to experience an album where the musicianship is top notch and the songs are at the zenith mediocre then check out this millennial turkey. The album cover implies some kind of cool futuristic, even electronic metal fusion or something experimental. I was hoping for an album of electronic metal kinda like the song "Disconnected" from "Promised Land," but this is really no more than a bunch of very well played generic alternative rock tracks. I get a one star enjoyment value out of this one but because this is so well played I will bump it up to 2.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Q2k gets a lot of flack for being uninspired and flat but it's actually one of my favorite Queensryche albums. It has more of a raw, under produced flavor to it and is more of an experimental album instead of cookie cutter over produced MTV friendly singles that other bands in this time period were ... (read more)

Report this review (#462929) | Posted by n0cturne74 | Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars First time I heard this album I thought this was the biggest waste of money I could have ever have spent. But after listening to it a few more times I found the beauties of this mainstream attempt by the legendary queensryche band.... or what used to be legendary. However, this album, Q2K, isn' ... (read more)

Report this review (#124405) | Posted by Xeroth | Saturday, June 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars According to Geoff Tate, 1999 was one of the worst years of his life. Queensryche lost their record company and more importantly Guitarist and co-songwriter Chris Degarmo left before the release of Q2K on top of this the album prior (HITNF) had been criticised as it was a drastic change to th ... (read more)

Report this review (#92299) | Posted by Jon_Mc | Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have one question for all, who think this is the worst album in the band's discography. What does make progressive band progressive? Every album by progressive band must be different! True progressive band doesn't record two same pieces. And QUEENSRYCHE is a progressive band. Yes, after f ... (read more)

Report this review (#88569) | Posted by Godfrey | Thursday, August 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Okay, first the bad news. The Queensryche quintet that stayed together for over 15 years of magical musical performances is no more. Guitarist and creative force Chris DeGarmo left the band and was replaced by Kelly Gray. Gray's single claim to fame is to have produced Candlebox's self-titled meg ... (read more)

Report this review (#85148) | Posted by MrMan2000 | Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars It seems apparently that Chris De Garmo left the ship before it sank... This album is really uninspired... somewhere a mix of their oldest stuff and the last album but without the heaviness and the emotion of both albums. Are there any highlights at all here? Well there are... "When The Rain Co ... (read more)

Report this review (#66343) | Posted by zaxx | Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album is not Queensryche's worst (it's still better than Hear In the Now Frontier), but not what you expect from this band. Only "One Life" and "Beside You" remind me of their former albums like Operation : Mindcrime, Empire, or Promised Land. The new album, "Tribe" is much better than Q2K!! ... (read more)

Report this review (#43503) | Posted by | Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars DeGarmo is gone, his songs too... what's left ? a kind of grungy heavy album with an awful production and songs i've never been able to remember... a huge miss, a great disappointment, Queensryche died with this album.. to be reborn ? ... (read more)

Report this review (#23640) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This CD should have been called in WHY Queensryche put out this lame, generic, piece of crap is beyond me. QR spent the better part of 2 decades building a reputation of intelligent, cutting-edge progressive metal. Lots of us fans have been following the band since their stunning 1983 debu ... (read more)

Report this review (#23638) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album took me a few listens but it is worth doing cause "Q2K" definitlely delivers the goods. Tremendous outflow of emotions by Geoff Tate on stuff like "When the Rain Comes" and "Beside You". The music is moody and dark yet overflows with hard hitting density...gotta love the opening guita ... (read more)

Report this review (#23635) | Posted by | Tuesday, January 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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