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Queensryche (Deluxe Edition) The debate is over. After founding Queensrche vocalist Geoff Tate was fired by the band in 2012, he left a trail of acrimonious recriminations a mile wild and has stated his case to virtually anyone willing to listen. The end result is, as of this writing, an unresolved legal dispute between two bands using the Queensrche name. Tate struck first, delivering a terrible solo album and then the unsatisfying Frequency Unknown (F.U. for short, get it?). The rest of Queensrche waited, hired former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd La Torre, and recorded this self-titled offering, delivering it a few months later. Co-produced by the band and James Barton, this is the album most Queensrche fans have wanted for the last 15 years. It's a classic return to their metal swagger and strong songwriting (all members contributed), infectious vocal choruses, and stellar twin-guitar harmonies by Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren. This is the sound of Empire, with hints of their earliest-'80s material updated for the 21st century. While the big question was whether La Torre was up to the task of fronting such an iconic-sounding band, it shouldn't have been. He was the dominant force in Crimson Glory, and his range is wide whether clean, snarling, or using a falsetto that is equal parts Ronnie James Dio, early Ian Gillan, and yes Tate (La Torre was a Queensrche fan before joining). His timbre and pitch are solid, and he adds the right balance of gloss and grit to the guitar riffing, in-the-pocket drumming, and bass thud. While the album deliberately references the past -- check album highlight "In This Light" with its echoes of "Jet City Woman," and "Another Rainy Night," for instance -- they've also channeled the energy and knotty composition style of some of their best work. "Spore" is classic heavy metal with punchy hooks and soaring refrains. "Vindication" rivals anything on Operation: Mindcrime, with Eddie Jackson's throbbing bassline, aggressive, high-pitched guitar fills, double-timed drums, anthemic choruses, and knotty riffing. "Redemption" is classic, angular, bruising Queensrche with an irresistible anthemic hook in the chorus. "Where Dreams Go to Die," a power ballad, contains a classic dynamic refrain. Closer "The Open Road" is another, but it swells with a killer guitar break and Scott Rockenfield's orchestrations. Despite the references to their past, this version of Queensrche doesn't sound nostalgic; if anything, it sounds revitalized. They took stock, kept what worked, and disposed of the rest. This record is Queensrche; the other group is just Tate's band using the name. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi
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RED DISTRIBUTION, INC
Where Dreams Go To Die
In This Light
A World Without
Don't Look Back
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