I haven't posted much of anything about the ongoing soap opera in Queensrÿche land, mostly because it's all too depressing for this long-time fan to contemplate. But for those not in the know, vocalist and band co-founder Geoff Tate was fired from Queensrÿche about a month ago. Queensrÿche then went out and got a new singer. I figured Tate would leave well enough alone and just go for a solo career. I was kind of excited about this prospect, actually. But nope, turns out we now get to deal with two Queensrÿches. That's right, Tate put together his own version of the group -- this one featuring former Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, and Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo, ex-Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer, and former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover. Maybe this band will be good, maybe not. But the f
There are times in your life when an album comes along and hits you with a concrete fist. Maybe the material is just that good, or maybe the timing is just that perfect. And sometimes it's both. So it was with me and Promised Land, Queensrÿche's fifth and greatest full-length studio release. Promised Land was released in October 1994, the same autumn I started college in a strange and faraway land -- Vermont. Having left not only the town I grew up in but my sequestered suburban adolescence behind, I had a rather difficult time emotionally. Surrounded my nothing but mountains and farms, I had ample opportunity to ponder my life and my inadequacies. The word regret entered my vocabulary for the first time. Looking back on that period now I'm certain I ran headlong into a bout of depre
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1983. (Spotify users, check out the accompanying playlist and subscribe!) Robert Plant, The Principle of Moments -- While I would in no way claim that Robert Plant's solo output bests Led Zeppelin's music, a lot of times I simply prefer to listen to Plant. In fact I'd say that Plant has enjoyed one of the most artistically rewarding solo careers of any artist who was part of a popular band that I can think of. The Principle of Moments is probably my favorite Plant solo effort (next to Fate of Nations) -- he sounds freed from the constraints of creating larger-than-life rock and the music just crackles with energy. "In the...
Before I unleash my awe-inspiring year-end album wrapup, I thought I'd share with you a mixtape featuring ten of my favorite songs from 2009. The only restriction I'm placing on myself here is that I won't be double-dipping from any artists, although some could have easily taken up half this list. And away we go! (more…)
Is there even a point anymore to comparing new Queensrÿche releases to older ones such as Rage for Order or even Empire? It seems that to do so is unfair to the band, who clearly don't care to repeat the past. And yet that's what has been happening for more than a decade, and in the process some bitter or resentful fans have missed out on some really good music. Case in point, the band's latest offering - American Soldier. A look at the front and back covers of American Soldier (showing a pair of combat boots and an American flag, respectively) might give pause to some fans - has the same band who railed against war and the American government in the past turned into Toby Keith for the progressive metal set? Not quite. As the name implies, this is a theme album about American soldi
Since time immemorial, mankind has approached the future with a mixture of wonder and fear. From primitive days to Biblical times, and even in our modern, sophisticated age we have imagined ourselves either ascending to the pinnacle of enlightenment and peace or descending into a living hell on earth. Somewhere in between those two extremes lie the visions of the future shown in music videos. These glimpses into our possible futures show us what most likely lies in store for us - a world that is bleak and hopeless, but still has a pretty kickass soundtrack. Kiss - "All Hell's Breakin' Loose" The scenario: This is pretty much your stock "post-apocalyptic rock world" video as you'll soon see. Dirty streets, lots of fire, and desperate women in tattered clothes are all in abundance he
The late '90s were not kind to Queensrÿche. 1990's Empire was a commercial juggernaut, selling more than 3 million copies in the U.S. The followup, 1994's Promised Land, was a strong artistic statement and sold well in its own right. Enter March 1997 and the release of Hear in the Now Frontier, Queensrÿche's sixth full-length studio album. The album failed to earn Gold status in the U.S. and plummeted off the charts after debuting at #19. To make matters worse, the group's record label - EMI America - went bankrupt soon after the album's release. The band was forced to finance their own tour, which simply stopped after just two months. By the end of the year, guitarist and key songwriter Chris DeGarmo left Queensrÿche after a roughly 17-year stay. Thus began Queensrÿche's time in the de
It's been nearly 10 years since I've seen Queensrÿche in concert, and that was for the group's ill-fated jaunt in support of Hear in the Now Frontier. That tour was canceled after the band's record label, EMI, went into the crapper. A lot has changed for the group since then, not the least of which was the departure of co-founder and guitarist Chris DeGarmo. For 2006, Queensrÿche went back to the future and released a sequel to their 1988 magnum opus, Operation: Mindcrime, cleverly titled Operation: Mindcrime II. While not quite the classic the first one was, OM:II was good enough to rekindle my interest in the group. It was that rekindled interest that brought me to see them perform at a sold-out Nokia Theater last Friday night. The theater, I must say, is a very nice ven