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Queensr˙che Hear In the Now Frontier album cover
2.49 | 229 ratings | 24 reviews | 3% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sign of the Times (3:33)
2. Cuckoo's Nest (3:59)
3. Get a Life (3:39)
4. The Voice Inside (3:48)
5. Some People Fly (5:17)
6. Saved (4:09)
7. You (3:54)
8. Hero (5:25)
9. Miles Away (4:32)
10. Reach (3:30)
11. All I Want (4:06)
12. Hit the Black (3:36)
13. Anytime / Anywhere (2:54)
14. sp00L (4:53)

Total Time 57:15

Bonus tracks on 2003 EMI remaster:
15. Chasing Blue Sky (3:41)
16. Silent Lucidity (MTV unplugged) (5:25)
17. The Killing Words (MTV unplugged) (3:53)
18. I Will Remember (MTV unplugged) (4:01)

Line-up / Musicians

- Geoff Tate / vocals
- Chris DeGarmo / guitar, vocals (lead on 11)
- Michael Wilton / guitar
- Eddie Jackson / bass
- Scott Rockenfield / drums, percussion

- Matt Rollings / keyboards, Roland & Moog synthesizers (14), piano (11)
- Steve Nathan / keyboards, Roland & Moog synthesizers (14)
- David Ragsdale / violin (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme with Dimo Safari (design)

CD EMI Records ‎- E2-56141 (1997, US)
CD EMI Records ‎- 72435-80530-2-9 (2003, US) Remastered w/ 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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QUEENSRYCHE Hear In the Now Frontier ratings distribution

(229 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (24%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

QUEENSRYCHE Hear In the Now Frontier reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marc Baum
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").
Review by 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.

Review by Melomaniac
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.
Review by 1800iareyay
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.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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)

Review by ProgBagel
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.

Review by Negoba
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.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars Of all the possible musical directions QUEENSRYCHE could have taken on their sixth studio album HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTIER from the previous album "Promised Land," no one could have predicted that they would leave all those experimental meanderings behind to try something completely new. Well, new to them anyways. The musical world had changed drastically in the early 90s and moderately progressive melodic metal just wasn't the cat's meow any longer. The band went the way of many 80s bands trying to sally forth into a strange new musical landscape by stripping down their sound to fit in with the explosion of grunge and alternative rock. Ironically the band who emerged from Seattle was being upstaged by a whole new breed of angry rockers from their very own turf. For this release they even managed to record the album in the home studio of Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam and then it was mixed by Toby Wright who had helped Alice In Chains make it big. The result of this radical direction change was not one that pleased a skeptical fan base who thought they knew what their favorite band sounded like, but now they weren't so sure.

Upon first listen I was as disgusted by this album as anyone else. I mean who would have thunk this? QUEENSRYCHE? Famous for rock operas and sophisti-metal doing grunge? Oh gimme a break! Well, I wrote this album off for many years but I have been giving it a spin and re-evaluating it and I have to say that it's not as bad as my first impressions made it out to be. True, it will hardly go down as their crowning achievement but once again they do manage to deliver extremely well written melodic performances albeit stripped down. They definitely prove here that they have the basic skills of songwriting down pat and no further embellishment is necessary. OK, point well taken. I can get on board with their bold and brash ability to constantly reinvent themselves. I love bands that do just that. So what's holding me back from liking this more?

I have to say I think the problem stems not from the fact that they did a complete left turn to create a new sound. That is not the issue here at all. I think the problem lies in the fact that they are simply overqualified as musicians to be doing this kind of less demanding stuff. Geoff Tate's operatic vocal ability over the simpler riffing and song structure is as surreal as the ear-covered desolate landscape gracing the album cover and liner notes. This album is tantamount to the London Symphony Orchestra playing nursery rhymes at a kid's birthday party or Yes doing a full performance of "Close To The Edge" only reggae style at a flea market. There are actually a few songs here I really like. I totally dig "Sign Of The Times," "Hit The Black," "Anytime / Anywhere" and "spOOL." No individual tracks are bad but the album is a bit samey and lacks enough diverse elements to justify the nearly 60 minute experience. It's true that if this WAS a Pearl Jam or Nivana album, it would be fantastic but this is QUEENSRYCHE. Everybody expected more. OK. I'm down with experimentation and all and I give this one a passing grade, it's just not an album I find myself wanting to hear very often. I always go back to the albums that came before.

Review by Menswear
1 stars If at least the songs were good.

I don't mind a change of seasons in an artist career and I welcomed Rush, Yes, Aimee Mann, The Stranglers, Green Day or even Gentle Giant. True, Gentle Giant's commercial albums are not that bad (if you like Men at Work). But for my beloved Queensr˙che, it did not go well. Here goes.

On Hear In the now Frontier, 'r˙che sounds like a typical 1997 alt-band. Unfortunately, not the sophisticated-Radiohead-type but more like the Collective Soul- Third Eye Blind- Tonic- Matchbox 20 type. You know, really easily forgotten generic band. No kidding, I wanted to push skip on almost every song. And I do not feel relieved by that. I love the guys. I know they had bills to pay and kids to send to private schools, but these songs feel uninspired, tired and out of joy. And deGarmo was still in the band! Sheesh! At least they tried something new, Ac/Dc has served the same pâté for all their career.

A true change of scenery, like ordering lacquered duck and being served fish sticks.

And by the way, who fondly remembers Collective Soul?

That's right: nobody.

Latest members reviews

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 di ... (read more)

Report this review (#1000730) | Posted by Progrussia | Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#755287) | Posted by Gentlegiantprog | Saturday, May 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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. Loo ... (read more)

Report this review (#169662) | Posted by scevrog | Saturday, May 3, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 sin ... (read more)

Report this review (#167760) | Posted by Sachis | Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#164996) | Posted by senor_velasco | Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 fai ... (read more)

Report this review (#85145) | Posted by MrMan2000 | Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 so ... (read more)

Report this review (#82639) | Posted by Jon_Mc | Tuesday, July 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 wa ... (read more)

Report this review (#81172) | Posted by Sacrilege | Wednesday, June 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 butto ... (read more)

Report this review (#80702) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Thursday, June 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 di ... (read more)

Report this review (#80654) | Posted by heavydrum | Wednesday, June 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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): ... (read more)

Report this review (#66334) | Posted by zaxx | Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 r ... (read more)

Report this review (#39692) | Posted by | Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 diffe ... (read more)

Report this review (#23630) | Posted by | Sunday, April 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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. ... (read more)

Report this review (#23627) | Posted by | Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#23625) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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