QUEENSRŸCHE offer up enough to prove their worth in the Prog Metal premier league.
Release Date: 7th October 2022
Label: Century Media
Format: digital / CD / vinyl (with deluxe options)
Hard to talk about QUEENSRŸCHE without reference to Operation: Mindcrime and Geoff Tate. Granted, it was a landmark album that defined the band but simply the tip of a rather large and rich iceberg. One where the wealth of music lying below the surface perhaps gets short-changed while laid in the shadows of its wealthy relation.
Eddie Jackson and Michael Wilton have ridden the storm and arrived at the sixteenth album with Mike Stone, Casey Grillo and Todd La Torre alongside. Together they deliver what’s basically a very fine QUEENSRŸCHE album, showing their prowess and progress in a densely populated field. They still stand as a key band in the Metal genre, be it progressive, power or whatever.
Posturing and powerful, and the newest in a course of singles, album opener, In Extremis, showcases the signature pump and pound that bounces from the speakers. A track that encapsulates the overarching impression of DNA – passionate, crisp, clear and clear. It’s bold and melodic and totally at ease with what QUEENSRŸCHE in 2022 is all about.
Sicdeth finds the pace elevated to a thrashing sprint, vocals coming twenty to the dozen – “move on and make no excuses” invokes LaTorre, now established, like it or not, in his new role. The strength and confidence in his delivery is balanced with a similar single-mindedness, displayed by the power of the closing instrumental section in Behind The Walls which is pure Maiden uplift.
A stop-start riffing is the key to the mini-epic of Nocturnal Light while the volume and intensity is dialled down briefly for another of the singles; Forest, is the album’s big production number with a sweeter arrangement. However, you’ve also got the evidence to satisfy those who have an eye on the Progressive strings that the band pulls. Spread across seven and a half minutes, Tormentum pulls no punches in both closing the album and reinforcing the progressive, laying it on with a trowel; soundbites and a shift through different passages to emphasize the dynamics.
To coin the old sporting parlance when they examine Jack Grealish and Joe Root; form is temporary, class is permanent. Maintaining a sense of reliability with a set of what are what every band needs, strong songs, Digital Noise Alliance provides strong evidence for QUEENSRŸCHE as a solid premier league Prog Metal contender. As ever, looking to the future with an eye on the past.