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Queensr˙che - Hear In The Now Frontier CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

2.53 | 206 ratings

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3 stars "Hear in the Now Frontier" is the 6th full-length studio album by US heavy metal/hard rock act Queensr˙che. The album was released through EMI America Records in March 1997. It would be the band´s last album on the label, as the record company went bankrupt while Queensr˙che were touring in support of "Hear in the Now Frontier", leaving the band themselves to finance the remaining part of the tour. "Hear in the Now Frontier" would be the last album to feature the original lineup as guitarist Chris DeGarmo subsequently left to pursue other interests.

While Queensr˙che had changed their sound on every album release before "Hear in the Now Frontier", the band chose a more drastic change in sound on this album, as they opted for a significantly less heavy metal oriented sound, and went with an accessible radio-friendly hard rock style. Although Peter Collins is credited as producer, the editing and mixing of the album were done by Toby Wright, who had recently worked with Alice In Chains on their 1995 eponymously titled third full-length studio album, and the latter´s involvement is clearly heard in the way "Hear in the Now Frontier" is produced. The album features an organic and warm sound production, suited for the hard rock material featured on the album, but also lacking the edge to push the most hard rocking tracks past being pleasant and accessible. In other words the sound production is professional and well sounding, but completely lacks bite.

It very much feels like Queensr˙che were domesticated here, and that they have left their heavy metal roots behind. They were never the most hard edged heavy metal act on the scene, but they had their moments on all preceding releases. "Hear in the Now Frontier" is almost completely void of anything heavy metal oriented (save for a few harder edged riffs), and sounds more like an artist like Stone Temple Pilots than anything Queensr˙che had released in the past. For at hard rock release "Hear in the Now Frontier" is actually a fairly decent album, but not many tracks stand out and featuring 14 tracks, and a full playing time of 57:42, it overstays its welcome by at least 10 minutes and maybe a little more.

So while "Hear in the Now Frontier" is not a bad quality release by any means (professional sound production, skillful execution, and professional songwriting, check..check..check), Queensr˙che´s attempt at creating a more accessible hard rock sound is not exactly a success either. They simply don´t sound convincing, and their hard rock sound is a bit too soft and uninspired, lacking the attitude and power that characterize the best hard rock releases. Too often during the playing time my attention begins to wander, and the album becomes pleasant background music, and as I´m neither on board an elevator or purchasing goods in the supermarket, that´s not really what I want from a hard rock album. Considering the inspired high quality releases which precede "Hear in the Now Frontier", it is a major disappointment that the band chose this path. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 3/5 |


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