Friday, April 10, 2009

Queensryche - American Soldier (2009)


Genre: American Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal
Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
Country of Origin: USA
Band Formation: 1981
Band Members:
Vocals/Keyboard: Geoff Tate
Lead and Rhythm Guitars: Michael Wilton
Bass: Eddie Jackson
Drums: Scott Rockenfield
Guitar: Parker Lundgren

Song list:
1. Sliver
2. Unafraid
3. Hundred Mile Stare
4. At 30,000 Ft
5. A Dead Man’s Words
6. The Killer
7. Middle of Hell
8. If I Were King
9. Man Down
10. Remember Me
11. Home Again
12. The Voice

Review: To be brutally honest, the expectations for this album weren’t very high. But, the band managed to incorporate their conventional knowledge on a war-theme based album. The finished product is quite satisfactory. Read on.

Now, as you must have already read that under the genre section above, I have mentioned “American Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal”. Okay, I wrote that strictly considering the year this band was formed in. If strictly evaluated in the current years bearing in mind the technicality induced into metal genres, this might qualify for Hard Rock or Progressive Rock. I am tempted to credit it with a Classic Rock tag as well.

The very first thing that shall grab hold of all your hearing sense is the amazing vocal range of Geoff Tate. I have always been and will always be a fan. He takes the band’s bombastic musical level to a higher one. But, for fans like me who have listened to the band’s previous releases, his “comparatively” lesser vocal range could be a prompt to quit smoking.

A “slight” influence of grunge and groove can be diagnosed in the songs “Sliver” and “Unafraid” and rock anthem characteristics in “Hundred Mile Stare” and “If I were King”. But, the song that draws most attention is “Home Again”. It is rumoured that Tate’s dad contributed his voice for the song, “The Voice”. And, Emily, Tate’s daughter sang for “Home Again”.

Precisely, the lyrics though slightly indirect manage to establish an easy connection as the entire album, including the cover art is a tribute to the US troops. This is indeed a testament to those soldiers who sacrifice themselves in the name of freedom. To metalheads, this is a worthy break from those current bands that are recycling material and presenting them in a rather weird manner.

Having written all this, I am compelled to turn back to their old albums and compare their latest release to them. Yes, this is great band. But, it is an old band too. Yet I still strongly believe they have the potential to do better. Lyrically, nothing could get better than this. But, musically, I feel they’ve compromised on quite a few occasions. The music is unadventurous. Since, the theme is quite heartfelt, you are bound to overlook these factors.

When you quit that stage and listen to review the album, you identify these errors. The song list makes so much sense as you listen to it. But, that is mainly and only because of the lyrics. It makes me feel happy, as I am a lyricist myself. But, music does play a vital role to keep you engaged, doesn’t it?

So, I am compelled to say that this album “may” not be worth a mention on your checklist to buy this month. But, don’t make a mistake of not listening to it. It isn’t great music but the lyrics surely are. Don’t expect a comeback as you approach this album. You are sure to be disappointed.

Highlights of the album
: Sliver, Unafraid, Hundred Mile Stare, If I were King, Home Again

Links: www.queensryche.com
Queensryche on MySpace

Ratings: 7/10
Originality: 7
Instrumentation: 6
Lyrics: 8

Written for Headbangers India

Copyright © Ajey Padival 2009 (Brisbane, Australia; +61-434360675; ajeypadival@msn.com)

22 responses:

Rikkij said...

I would like the theme, but grunge though fitting would not be my taste. Thanks for the info~Rick

Brosreview said...

@Rikkij - No worries!!! I am unaware of how many people dislike the grunge fusion into other genres. But, in this album it is merely a pinch; a pinch that makes very very little difference. So, I would suggest you to listen to it just once and then decide.

Shadow said...

can't say i know them, maybe i'll look them up...

Brosreview said...

@Shadow - Thanks for reading!!!

My World said...

First time here,you'v got a 9ice blog...
Will be back.

Brosreview said...

@My World - Thanks a lot!!!

Woman in a Window said...

Hey, if it moves me, motivates me, makes me feel, genre is of no concern. I know I know them...just can't remember what of. Will check it out. Are they Canadian? idunno...thanks.

Poetikat said...

I know the name, but not the sound. I'm not a heavy metal fan, as a rule, but I'll give a listen to anything once. Sounds worth at least one hearing.

Kat

Poetikat said...

Oops! Forgot to say "Happy Easter" to you Ajay!

Kat

Brosreview said...

@Woman in a Window - Yea, sure, give them a listen!!! They from America. Thanks for reading!!!

Brosreview said...

@Poetikat - Yes, they are worth at least one listen. Thanks for reading.

Brosreview said...

@Poetikat - Happy Easter to you too!!!

The Write Girl said...

Great music review. I am not familiar with this band but I enjoyed reading your take on the album.

Brosreview said...

@The Write Girl - Thank you!!! Glad you liked the review. This band is definitely worth a listen.

Alexandra Garland said...

Nice review Bros!! People say "grunge was born in Seattle, WA"... since my son was a great fan, I was involuntarily exposed to the sound and have to say grew to like some of it. I may give it a try again.
-Alex

Brosreview said...

@Alexandra Garland - Thank you!!! Yea, people who like grunge cannot get enough of it.

BloggerMouth said...

My first time here, great blog. I liked the review... I've only heard ONE song by this band before but I'm downloading the ones you highlighted. Will come back for more comments.

Brosreview said...

@BloggerMouth - Thank you!!!

SarahA said...

I think I would like this. 'Heavy Metal' I would be able to feel the pulse through me I am thinking.

BTW thanking you Ajey I have amended. No 'typo', I am just a very bad speller! Another one of my 'sins' *sigh* Ha!

Brosreview said...

@SarahA - Thank you!!! No worries, I spotted it and thought I should let you know.

Make Me Disappear said...

Ajey,

sorry for coming so late on this one.. "Queensryche" - as you know, A great progressive metal/Heavy metal band with a great history behind them. Operation Mindcrime, Rage of order, Empire, Q2K, Tribe...Some real gud records..

Sadly, I havn't heard this album so far, but will definitely try and get hold of it soon

But nonetheless, a great review from your side.

Thank you..!!

Brosreview said...

@Make Me Disappear - Thank you!!! Give this album a listen without expecting much. You won't be disappointed.