Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queensr˙che American Soldier album cover
2.76 | 198 ratings | 13 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sliver (3:09)
2. Unafraid (4:47)
3. Hundred Mile Stare (4:31)
4. At 30,000 Ft. (5:11)
5. A Dead Man's Words (6:35)
6. The Killer (5:26)
7. Middle Of Hell (5:28)
8. If I Were King (5:17)
9. Man Down! (4:57)
10. Remember Me (5:00)
11. Home Again (4:41)
12. The Voice (5:29)

Total time 60:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoff Tate / lead & backing vocals, horns
- Michael Wilton / lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Eddie Jackson / bass, backing vocals
- Scott Rockenfield / drums, percussion

- Jason Ames / vocals (1,8)
- A.J. Fratto / vocals (1)
- Vincent Solano / vocals (5)
- Emily Tate / vocals (11)
- Kelly Gray / guitar, co-producing & mixing
- Damon Johnson / guitar
- Randy Gane / keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme

CD Rhino Records ‎- R2 517967 (2009, US)

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy QUEENSRYCHE American Soldier Music

QUEENSRYCHE American Soldier ratings distribution

(198 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(16%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (19%)

QUEENSRYCHE American Soldier reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ghost_of_morphy
3 stars I expected a lot from the new Queensryche album. I realy did. I'm dissappointed, but not majorly. This is an ok album. 3 stars.

Having given my judgement, let me give some background. I'm not a prog metal guy. I like symphonic and eclectic prog, with the occasional jaunt into eclectic or jazz rock or psychedelic. That's me. I'm traditional.

Nevertheless, Queensryche has been one of the VERY few prog metal bands that have intrigued me. They caught me with their first album and I've listened to them intermittently ever since.

Why am I dissappointed with this album? Mostly because it could be so much better. It has a great concept. The music is ok, but it's more on the hard (or heavy) rock side than the prog side. And the thing just doesn't gel. It's a concept album where the pieces don't quite fit.

I'm hesitant to say that, because the subject that is dealt with here is so political and divisive. But I'll say it. The pieces just don't fit. The album tries too hard to be inclusive, but from a certain viewpoint.

Oh well, that's political stuff. I mean that more about the music. But if you are listening to this honestly, it's hard to seperate your political viewpoint from that. And if you have actually been in the situations depicted by the lyrics, I expect it will be impossible.

I look forward to reviews from veterans.

In the meanwhile you are stuck with me. This is good music. Queensryche doesn't go that far into metal or prog on this album. I'd classify this as heavy prog with strong influences from both. There sure isn't anything innovative or unusual here. It's like a weak and anorexic version of Operation: Mindcrme. I've listened to this three times and coincidentally it earns three stars from me.

I expected so much more.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the late eighties Queensrhyche released 3 albums, Rage For Order, Operation Mindcrime and Empire that sealed their reputation as one of the greatest metal bands of the day. The following album, Promised Land although decent enough failed to live up to their 3 previous metal behemoths. Then followed a string of poorly received albums until in 2006 Queensrhyche made the bold decision to release Operation Mindcrime II. At the time the music press would have you believe that it was a massive return to form for the band. In truth whilst being better than anything they'd released in years it was still in the main fairly average. The same claims are now being made about American Soldier, one reviewer in a well known monthly music magazine even going as far as to say it's their best album ever. Well whilst I wouldn't agree with such a bold claim I will go as far as to say it is their best since Empire.

American Soldier as the title suggests is the plight of American Soldiers. As you might imagine it's quite a dark album which works well with Queensrhyche's musical delivery. Voices of real soldiers talking about their feelings and war experiences are blended in with the songs. In the case of Unafraid its pure overkill though, a soldiers voice present throughout almost the entire track, way too loud in the mix too.

Despite the admirable sentiments of the album and giving a voice to soldiers what really sets it apart from the bands post Empire output is the sheer musical quality of the songs. There's some excellent riffs and tunes here - highlights being Hundred Mile Stare and At 30,000 Feet which really can compete with Queensrhyche at their best. What stops this album from reaching those heights as a whole though is too many of the tracks whilst being very good just lack that killer punch to match the likes of I Don't Believe In Love or Silent Lucidity to name 2 classics.

So overall, a genuine return to form though not up there with their best albums but one that any fan of the band will be happy to have in their collection. Very good but not quite making the excellent grade; 3 ½ stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "American Soldier" is the 11th full-length studio album by US hard rock/heavy metal act Queensr˙che. The album was released through Rhino Entertainment in March 2009. After playing on "Tribe (2003)", and becoming a permanent member of the band on "Operation: Mindcrime II (2006)", guitarist Mike Stone made his last appearance on a Queensr˙che album on the covers album "Take Cover (2007)". Therefore "American Soldier" was recorded by the four-piece Geoff Tate (vocals), Michael Wilton (guitars, backing vocals), Eddie Jackson (bass, backing vocals), and Scott Rockenfield (drums, percussion).

Stylistically the music on the album is hard rock/heavy metal and unmistakably the sound of Queensr˙che. Although there are many differences, there are also some similar traits to especially two of the band´s previous releases and in some ways the music sounds like a combination of the music style "Promised Land (1994)" and "Tribe (2003)". The use of saxophone on a couple of the songs of course leads my thoughts toward the former while the dark mood and heavy riffing remind me of the latter.

"American Soldier" is a concept album where the lyrics (as the title suggests), are about American Soldiers in times of war and peace. As the liner notes say: "This record is dedicated and was inspired by stories from soldiers who have served America during times of war and peace. Thank you!". A celebration of the men and women who have made sometimes great sacrifices to keep America safe. The stories are generally melancholic and are meant to bring awareness to the problem that many war veterans have a hard time adjusting to society when they return home after serving their country in foreign lands. There are also some tracks about having to deal with a bad conscience having killed people in the line of duty. The songs are centered around the powerful vocals and strong vocal lines by Geoff Tate. There´s a guest appearance on the song "Home Again" when Geoff Tate sings duet with his 10 year old daughter Emily Tate. The tracks feature many samples with soldiers speaking about their experiences which works well for the atmosphere of the album.

Not surprisingly the musicianship is top notch and "American Soldier" also features a professional and well sounding production, but in the end the album becomes a bit too predictable and formulaic vers/chorus styled and a slightly more playful and adventurous songwriting approach could have elevated the album to a higher state, because "American Soldier" definitely has the potential to be something special. As it is it´s an album featuring some moments of excellence, but also quite a few more unremarkable parts. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As I understand it, Queensr˙che are legends. Co-founders of style, back in early 80's, they still keep releasing albums. I started with their latest, maybe it was a fault, but that's the way which I choose.

I admire good lyrics, I really do. But (word "but" is becoming some kind of ever-present phrase, cliché phrase, because there's always sentence, then "but" and opposite thought, anyway, that's just how it is) I feel that words here, the message of this album, about U.S. army is far more important here, than music. Maybe they intended to do it this way, but I really feel that music plays second fiddle, is just accompanying the lyrics and speech here.

Or maybe the size of these thoughts is so big that it attracts attention the most. But it's past, it just takes some time to adjust yourself to this not so usual balance. Please note, that this review is not just matter of one review, but was written for few listening, so it's ongoing experience. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. It began when I slowly started to realize certain harmony in these songs, that it's not unbalanced, but more like 50/50. But it took some time. So I can give

4(+) now, because not every prog metal have to sound like PM, it could be calm metal (it's still metal though). I'm glad that I found this, finally, after some failures, metal that managed to please me.

Review by J-Man
3 stars A Solid Effort From Queensr˙che!

I find Queensr˙che to be a fairly inconsistent band overall. It's actually kind of a shame because Operation: Mindcrime was a genre-defining album, but aside from that they haven't released many other great albums. Maybe only 3 other albums of theirs are worthy of a four star rating. And in those albums they show their excellence, but they really haven't shown it much since Promised Land.

With American Soldier, Queensr˙che has a sort of return-to-form, and this has some really great songs on it. Nothing on this album is "bad" so to speak, but there is a fair amount of filler, with a good portion of the songs really not being memorable at all. There are a few great songs that ultimately overrule the weaker ones, but that doesn't deny the fact that a good half of this album is not anything special.

On top of that, this album does get pretty formulaic very quickly, and it can get very predictable. There are a few small twists in a few songs, but for the majority it is standard verse-chorus-verse American heavy metal music. This is not nessacerily a bad thing, though. Some of my favorite albums are just straightforward metal. I'm just pointing out that this isn't even remotely progressive. This ends up being a little bit of a problem being that this album is an hour in length. Simply put, this album doesn't have enough standout content to be worthy of an hour of my time. While it is by no means bad, there is nothing here that hasn't been done before.

With that said, there are some great songs here, and the musicianship is top notch. Queensr˙che won't have a 10 minute shred fest, but they show what they're worth in American Soldier. A few great guitar solos, some memorable riffs, excellent vocals from Geoff Tate, and great melodies make this album far from failure. However, you will notice the same flaw burdens the majority of the album in the track-by-track review.


"Sliver"- An upbeat riff opens up the first song. It almost sounds like rapping occasionally on this song, but soon Geoff Tate delivers a pretty good vocal performance. This song initially made me think "what happened?", but I now find it to be a pretty solid opener. If you were to listen to this song after finishing up Operation: Mindcrime, you would realize that Queensr˙che has a much different, more grunge-oriented sound here, in contrast to their earlier traditional heavy metal direction.

"Unafraid"- The second song here is very strong, and is one of my favorites on the album. After a short spoken word introduction, a light drum riff, vocals and guitar enter. A heavy riff follows that, but the chorus is really catchy here. It has a great guitar solo later in the song.

"Hundred Mile Stare"- After a brief opening, a rhythmic guitar and drum riff enters. The vocals here are pretty good, and I like the use of multiple vocal parts. It's got a good enough chorus, and some nice bridges.

"At 30,000 Feet"- The spoken word introduction portrays the feeling of being at war well, and soon a beautiful guitar rhythm enters. The chorus is particularly good in this song. Another solid song.

"A Dead Man's Words"- An ominous guitar melody is the theme to this song, and a metal section soon follows. This has some pretty good use of keyboards thrown in to make this song kind of cool. The chorus can get pretty annoying though.

"The Killer"- This song starts with an upbeat riff, and this is a pretty fast moving song. I love the verses, and this has some great melodies, and the chorus is pretty good. Another pretty predictable song, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this has some excellent songwriting.

"Middle of Hell"- A drum beat opens up this rather unmemorable song. Despite a pretty good guitar solo, there is nothing here that really stands out. Of course it's every bit as predictable as the earlier songs, but this doesn't have the excellent riffs and melodies the other ones have.

"If I Were King"- By about now the album starts to get boring. I'm not going to lie, but there are a few good songs near the beginning and end, but the middle is pure filler. I kind of like the verses here, but this song is very formulaic, and by about now I'm waiting for something unexpected to happen. Unfortunately, this song doesn't respond to my requests.

"Man Down!"- The verses are painfully annoying. They're clearly trying to relive their glory days in the late 80's and early 90's, but it isn't working out. I like the chorus though, and it has a nice contrast between the guitar riff and vocals. Not a terrible song, but it could have been a lot better.

"Remember Me"- What a change over the past few songs! The last three songs on this album are all the highlights, and this is when the album really begins. A moody verse, and beautiful chorus make this song very good. Of course, it still is verse-chorus-verse, but it is a very solid composition.

"Home Again"- This is my personal favorite song on the album. This portrays the feeling of a father at war exchanging letters with his daughter. The duet between Geoff Tate and his daughter Emily fits the mood of this beautiful song perfectly. If more of the album had been like this I swear I would have given it a 5. It is definitely worth hearing this song at all costs, though.

"The Voice"- After the excellent previous song, Queensr˙che follows it up with another highlight of the album. I absolutely love the riffs on this song, and I think Geoff Tate does an excellent job vocally. Again, I can't help but see the excellence in this song that isn't present on the rest of the album. The excellent ending gets me every time.


American Soldier has a lot of potential. The last 3 songs are pure gold, but a good amount of the album is forgettable. If Queensr˙che would have made this a shorter album, or put more great material here, this would be one of the best 2009 albums. Unfortunately, that isn't true. However, this album is worth hearing for any Queensr˙che fan, or anyone who's looking for some pretty good prog metal. Nothing here brings anything new to the genre, but for people looking to play it safe with a very professional and high-quality band, American Soldier may be for you.

3 stars.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars First of all, it is an admirable thing for a band to write an entire album in tribute of those in the armed forces. But in these times, with the United States involved is wars of dubious nature, design by an administration of questionable moral, the whole thing comes off as pandering. Not quite like a Toby Keith level of pandering, but pandering nonetheless.

And like most Queensryche albums, I fail to find much prog in any of the music. Sure, the use sound effects, like a mini Pink Floyd, but the music itself is just hard arena rock. Not bad arena rock, but not prog.

2.5 stars, rounded down.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I honestly considered buying this album as I thought that the concept sounded interesting and as I really liked the first single and intense ballad "If I Were King". It was a true shock to me to see so many negative reviews on that side then, so I decided to listen to the entire album before purchas ... (read more)

Report this review (#499345) | Posted by kluseba | Sunday, August 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I heard that Queensyrche was making new album (and a concept album), I was a wee bit sceptical, because I had heard not so joyous praise for their last conceptual outburst, a not really needed sequel to Operation : Mindcrime. But the concept seemed a wee bit interesting. When it comes to ... (read more)

Report this review (#279437) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, April 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After the return to form with Operation: Mindcrime II (2006), Queensr˙che challenge themselves with yet another elaborate concept album in American Soldier. The concept doesn't follow a scripted story instead describing the stories of those who have served under the US Army from WW2 to the pre ... (read more)

Report this review (#260851) | Posted by dalekvilla | Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars First, let me say that American Soldier is a return to form in many ways for the band. This album could have been the natural successor to Promised Land, as it shares several similarities with that release. Production While many consider Operation: Mindcrime to be Queensryche's masterpiece, I ... (read more)

Report this review (#210534) | Posted by sixpence-guy | Sunday, April 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Like most of their albums, this is written for Ryche fans. There will be no hit singles and arena shows with this album. also, like every other Ryche alum, it's kind of unique. I suppose it's similat to OM2, and, maybe a bit like Promised Land. My first impression is that it's not grea ... (read more)

Report this review (#210530) | Posted by scevrog | Sunday, April 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Welcome to the Show This is a fairly dark album. As an overview, the songs tend to be sort of heavy, with good ripping solos. The main event is still Tate, however. A noticeable effect within the majority of the songs would have to be the interview clips. Queensryche interviewed American s ... (read more)

Report this review (#208749) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Right now listening to American Soldier by Queensryche, so this review is basically my first impression, and as you R˙che fans out there know, thier albums are not always immediate and it takes time and repeated listenings to grow on you. My first reaction as i listen is that this album is a lot ... (read more)

Report this review (#207730) | Posted by glaurung | Thursday, March 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of QUEENSRYCHE "American Soldier"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.