Album: Dedicated to Chaos
Genre: Post-genre music
For many years I have found myself standing on a strange middle ground amongst Queensr˙che fans. Some seem to enjoy whatever the band does and stay highly dedicated, while others have forsaken anything post-DeGarmo, often for musical differences as well as for other reasons. I however have remained quite apart from the drama and have found something I’ve enjoyed in every post-DeGarmo album. I thought Q2K had some very interesting ideas and a few very good songs. I felt that Tribe was actually a very solid rock record from the band. While I had issues with the last third or so of Mindcrime II, and while I thought the guitar tones on the album were rather bad, I felt through the first two thirds of the album there were a lot of really strong tracks. And finally, while others tore into American Soldier for variety of reasons I once again found a record that was not amazing, but one I certainly enjoyed from the band.
This all brings us to the present day and the band’s newest effort, Dedicated to Chaos. I will not fault the band for the dramatic change in sound for this record, as far as I’ve concerned they’ve been really changing sounds between albums ever since the departure from classic Ryche that was Empire, and then again with Promised Land. However I will fault the band for entering into a musical realm in which they obviously have no clue with what they’re doing. I was not expecting this album to sound like anything in particular, but I was expecting it to at least be as enjoyable as the previous few albums. Unfortunately Queensr˙che have completely failed me this time around. I honestly support Queensr˙che in their quest to make music that they want to make. Some fans have more or less called for Queensr˙che to sell out and just make records that the long time fans want to hear, but I’m happy they haven’t tried this because frankly if they tried to do another Warning or Rage for Order I feel the outcome would be an album that’s a hollow shell of the album it’s supposed to mimic. As for what has happened though, it’s an album full of poorly executed ideas. The band entered new territory and apparently had no clue what to do on this new ground, but they forced an album out anyway.
The extended edition of the album sports 16 tracks, and of those tracks I can say I really enjoy 2 of them, and there is exactly one song which features sections I would truly call amazing. The rest fall between alright, meh, and what the fuck were they thinking. Several tracks are musically similar to what Geoff Tate had released years back on his solo album, the problem is that I’d say those songs on Dedicated to Chaos are of a quality far below that of Tate’s solo album. Perhaps the best example of this can be seen in the track “Wot We Do”. Like much of the album I simply struggle to properly describe it as anything other than bad. And although it’s not something I might normally take note of myself, I can’t help but echo the sentiments of Queensr˙che fans who have complained that the band responsible for the lyrics of songs like “Take Hold of the Flame” or “I Will Remember” have now so dramatically changed their lyrical approach, and not for the better.
After a concept album and a thematic record I was somewhat excited that Queensr˙che was simply going to write an album of songs again, perhaps one as strong as Tribe, but instead what I got was a smorgasbord of poorly written or executed songs that fail to do any justice to quality musicians such as Michael Wilton or Scott Rockenfield. With this being written a few weeks post release I have been able to see Queensr˙che’s sales number plummet, and I hope the band takes note of it. I’m not asking them to make an album for the fans, to return to a progressive metal blueprint, or to give up. I am however hoping that they learn what their strengths as a band are and turn this ship around. They’ve shown a lot of looks over the years, and some have worked better than others. Surely they can find some of those strengths, enjoy them, and even improve on them. Because if the alternative is continued experimenting into areas in which people clearly do not belong, then my hopes for future Queensr˙che material is bleak at best.
Nick's Rating: 4/10