Author Topic: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album  (Read 168077 times)

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Offline AndyDT

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Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« on: April 29, 2009, 02:02:19 PM »
I was thinking a couple of weeks ago about what happened to QR. The first album I bought was Live Evolution and the first CD was amazing with epic, atmospheric, emotional songs. Then I started buying the studio albums and noticed that the later ones past Mindcrime just lost this feel apart from the occasional song.

It's almost like they lost the will to impress and have been denying this for all this time. I'm no big fan of him but it made me think they need someone doing like Gordon Ramsay does on Kitchen Nightmares where he forces them to face up to the situation and get over their pride. Just the kick in the backside approach basically.

Maybe that's unfair but sometimes it's like the band and the music takes a back seat to the songs message which isn't what appeals personally. Sign of the Times for example I thought was very disappointing. Some of the operatic vocal melodies on Live Evolution for me even set the album up for the second CD of slower less epic songs. At the time I didn't realise they were all the later songs.  if I wanted something with minimal music there's always pop.



EDIT by bosk1:  Thread title edited to reflect the big announcement about Geoff Tate being replaced, as reported by Billboard 6/20/12

EDIT2 by bosk1:  Official post regarding the outcome of the lawsuit and status of the band moving forward:  http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=263.msg1803595#msg1803595
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 08:42:34 AM by Nick »

Offline TAC

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 02:15:23 PM »
I was thinking a couple of weeks ago about what happened to QR. 

Haven't we all!

Most QR fans consider Promised Land as the last decent thing they did. Me, I think it was Empire. They really fell off the face of the earth, musically. You can pick a few songs off of each album since, and there are some good ones, but overall, it's pretty bad. American Soldier isn't bad, in fact, it's much better than anything they've released in a very long time. Still, it's a far cry to what made them really good.

We just have to face it. Queensryche is gone and they're never coming back!
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Samsara

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 02:18:45 PM »
bosk1 asked me to repost my review (which is on Amazon.com as the lead review, if any of you would be kind enough again to vote for it as helpful!).

Here it is:

Quote
Queensr˙che
American Soldier
Rhino/Atco (2009)

Queensr˙che has had quite a roller coaster ride over the past decade.  From 1999-2009, the band featured three different sets of songwriters before settling in with producer/songwriter Jason Slater in 2006 for Operation: Mindcrime II.  With Slater back for round two with lead singer Geoff Tate and company, Queensr˙che has clearly found its creative legs on American Soldier, a concept record detailing the experiences of United States servicemen and women.

Starting with the “on your feet!” call of a boot camp drill instructor in “Sliver,” American Soldier takes the listener on a unique journey of hard rock bombardment.  Featuring a plethora of heavy riffing throughout the album, particularly on the rockers “Man Down!” and “Unafraid,” American Soldier embraces Queensr˙che’s heavier roots, without forgetting the epic side of the band.

”At 30,000 Ft.,” a track written from the point of view of a bomber pilot will remind fans of the grand “Anybody Listening?” off of 1990’s Empire, whereas the moody “A Dead Man’s Words” is reminiscent of the song “Promised Land.”  In fact, in a nutshell, American Soldier feels like a hybrid between the darkness of 1994’s Promised Land with a good injection of modern musical angst.

American Soldier was written primarily by producer Slater (with Tate responsible for lyrics), although former Queensr˙che axeman and producer Kelly Gray (Q2k, Live Evolution) contributed some tracks (“Hundred Mile Stare” and the aforementioned “Man Down!”).  Additionally, Gray’s other band, Slave to the System, which features Queensr˙che drummer Scott Rockenfield and Brother Cane frontman/guitarist Damon Johnson, also contributed two songs – the battle haze-influenced “Middle of Hell” (featuring Tate on saxophone dueling with Wilton on guitar) and the touching father-daughter ballad (sung by Tate and his daughter, Emily), “Home Again.”

Tate (saxophone), Wilton (guitars), Rockenfield (drums) and bassist Eddie Jackson deliver dynamic musical performances, arguably their strongest in 15 years.  From Rockenfield’s military cadence beat behind Wilton’s solo in the emotionally-charged “The Killer,” to Jackson’s thundering groove throughout American Soldier, the band play more cohesively than they have in years, distinctively Queensr˙che, yet modern and relevant despite being around for 28 years.

Most fans of Queensr˙che would probably agree Tate is at his best when he is inspired and writes to a theme, and that holds true with American Soldier.  Crafted from the stories of soldiers (including Tate’s own father), the best of Geoff Tate is on display, telling emotional stories from a number of different perspectives and delivering them with conviction.

The unique factor, however, is that Tate takes care not to inject much of his own opinion, giving the listener true first-hand feel of the emotions soldiers experience in conflict.  Throw in various interview clips from soldiers Tate spoke with entwining with the songs, and the emotional impact of American Soldier is undeniable.

So what’s the downside?  While the record features great instrumentation, including classic guitar solos by Wilton, the trademark vocals of Tate are always the first thing that people notice.  Tate’s delivery on American Soldier is up and down. At times, Tate sounds thin and straining (sections of “Sliver,” “Hundred Mile Stare,” and very noticeably on the lead single, “If I Were King”).  Then on other songs, Tate sounds strong and melodic like most fans remember, particularly on the chorus of “Unafraid,” and again on “At 30,000 Ft.” and “A Dead Man’s Words.”

Further, while the soldier interview clips spliced through the record provide a necessary realism they also have a tendency to derail things.  For example, “Unafraid” features interview clips serving as the actual verses to the song.  Yes, you read that right.  Tate wrote no lyrics, except for the chorus.  It works artistically in the concept, but from a standalone song perspective, the chorus of the song screams “anthem” and “radio hit,” but the eclectic decision to not have lyrics in the verses likely stifles that chance of taking the song to another level.

Additionally, American Soldier tends to lose some steam the last three tracks, with three acoustically-tinged ballads in a row.  The closer, “The Voice” reminds one of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” at points, and is a step up from the previous two cuts (“Remember Me” and “Home Again”).  But the darker, intense, vibe of the album is lifted for a more serene stroll to the finish line, which disrupts the flow.

Despite those minor criticisms, the writers and performers of Queensr˙che’s American Soldier should take a bow.  For those that abandoned the band after guitarist and songwriter Chris DeGarmo split in the late 1990s, the classic vibe of Queensr˙che is back, particularly for those fans that enjoyed the band’s moodier material.

The members of Queensr˙che may be on record as not liking the term “thinking man’s metal,” when describing their music, but the complimentary term fits American Soldier perfectly.  The record provides an authentic musical backdrop to the lives of soldiers in the United States and around the world, yet firmly maintains the band’s place as a force to be reckoned with in the hierarchy of hard rock bands today.

Key tracks:

“At 30,000 Ft.”
“A Dead Man’s Words”
“Man Down!”
“The Killer”

Offline TAC

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 02:27:51 PM »
Sam, I knew it wouldn't take you long to find this thread!  :D
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Samsara

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 02:29:39 PM »
Sam, I knew it wouldn't take you long to find this thread!  :D

Actually, bosk1 e-mailed me.  LOL

Offline bosk1

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 02:31:06 PM »
Yes, but I meant responding in this thread and posting the review to be two separate things.  The review should go in the reviews section.  (not that it can't be posted here as well)
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline Samsara

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 02:41:10 PM »
Yes, but I meant responding in this thread and posting the review to be two separate things.  The review should go in the reviews section.  (not that it can't be posted here as well)

You didn't specify!!!!  Will do.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 02:45:39 PM »
I assume you were so dazzled by my spiffy theme that you just weren't thinking straight.  ;)
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Offline Nick

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 02:49:16 PM »
You know, it is kinda annoying when I phase out for a moment, return, and then not remember whether I'm at DTF or The Breakdown Room. :lol

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Offline Dittomist

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 05:03:52 PM »
I agree that Q2K and Tribe were pretty worthless, and that American Soldier leaves much to be desired. But I don't want to hear one bad thing about Operation Mindcrime II--that's one of the best things Queensryche has ever done.
I saw Queensryche live in Portland a couple weeks ago. It was incredible to finally hear "I Dream in Infrared," "I Will Remember," and "Hand on Heart" live, but I was heartbroken and annoyed that they didn't play "Della Brown" or "London" like they have for most of the shows this tour.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 06:11:21 PM »
But I don't want to hear one bad thing about Operation Mindcrime II--that's one of the best things Queensryche has ever done.

Wow, that's a...um...pretty "unconventional" opinion you have there.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline abydos

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 06:33:18 PM »
I'll jump in on the bandwagon of QR fans and say that they should've quit after PL. They had a few good songs after it but they were mostly confused songs as if they didn't know quite what to do with their time - try to be hip, try to appeal to the fans etc. For me the only album worth listening from start to finish is Tribe. It has a few songs on par with PL and some that are quite decent as well.

I don't know how popular Tate's solo album is among QR fans but I think it's amazing. Don't know why they don't go more in that kind of direction - great songs, great lyrics, beautiful and atmospheric vocal melodies.

That said, no matter how bad they get post-PL, nothing will change the legacy they've left before that. Especially if you look at the albums for what they were and how they sounded at the time of their release - way ahead of their time. It's easy now to say that they were something like an Iron Maiden with a twist (seen a lot of those opinions).

Offline Dr. SeaWolf

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 06:36:47 PM »
But I don't want to hear one bad thing about Operation Mindcrime II--that's one of the best things Queensryche has ever done.

Wow, that's a...um...pretty "unconventional" opinion you have there.

Maybe he's only ever heard the first half of the album  :lol

Offline Nick

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 07:26:11 PM »
But I don't want to hear one bad thing about Operation Mindcrime II--that's one of the best things Queensryche has ever done.

Wow, that's a...um...pretty "unconventional" opinion you have there.

Maybe he's only ever heard the first half of the album  :lol

If I only heard the first 2/3rds, my opinion of the album would be much better. Although a very different album the quality of Mindcrime II is about par with American Soldier or Tribe up until that point, but the last third nose-dives it into mediocrity. Not to mention the guitar tones on Tribe and American Soldier are a billion times better.

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Online El Barto

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 09:13:49 PM »
I think part of it is Jason Slater.  The writing has been much more frenetic since he became the man and I don't think that's a good fit.  Queensryche is better when they're melodic, I think.  Wilton and Jackson don't write much any more and I think that's a problem.  They have a better grasp than Slater.   

As for MC2, the same rule applies.  The melodic songs are pretty good.  The hyperactive ones don't do much for me.  I'll also point out that when I saw them in Cali, All the Promises might have been the highlight of a seriously kick ass show.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2009, 06:43:57 AM »
But I don't want to hear one bad thing about Operation Mindcrime II--that's one of the best things Queensryche has ever done.

Wow, that's a...um...pretty "unconventional" opinion you have there.
:lol
Seriously!


That said, no matter how bad they get post-PL Empire, nothing will change the legacy they've left before that. Especially if you look at the albums for what they were and how they sounded at the time of their release - way ahead of their time. It's easy now to say that they were something like an Iron Maiden with a twist (seen a lot of those opinions).

Ab, very well put.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Samsara

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2009, 06:56:51 AM »
QR should have quit after PL.  I think Tribe had them going in the right direction.  Had DeGarmo stayed through the process, finished Justified and added it to the record, and had Hostage been done and on the record as intended, you have a pretty strong release (and adding those songs, they would have eliminated "Losing Myshit" off the record, since Stone would not have been involved).

You add to that the solos that would have been added as well, and you have a much, MUCH better record.

To me, it is undeniable that you have two different eras in Ryche history.  With DeGarmo, and without DeGarmo.  The latter has some fine moments, but since the core music writer is different, it is understandably not the same.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2009, 08:00:57 AM »
I don't disagree, in general.  But I am glad they didn't go so far as to call it quits.  There has still been some very good musical output without Chris.  But sad that the really strong songs were fewer and farther in between.  Up through HITNF, you had albums that were strong from start to finish with maybe a weak track or two.  Now, for the most part, I feel that the albums have about 1/3 strong tracks, 1/3 mediocre tracks, and 1/3 weak tracks.  AS is probably the exception to that pattern where, to me, there aren't many really super-standout, shining star tracks, but the album is consistently "very good" from start to finish.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2009, 08:24:59 AM »
I feel that the albums have about 1/3 strong tracks, 1/3 mediocre tracks, and 1/3 weak tracks.  

Pretty much describes EVERY (not just QR) album out there!
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2009, 08:31:13 AM »
It certainly describes a lot.  But what I really liked about CGD-era Queensryche is that you could pretty much bank on getting albums that well exceeded the norm.  And I have to say that the bands I like and listen to the most nowadays similarly tend to fall into that same category of consistently putting out albums that are consistently good from start to finish with the good material far outweighing combined mediocre and weak (e.g. Dream Theater, Neal Morse, Within Temptation). 
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline LudwigVan

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2009, 08:40:29 AM »
It certainly describes a lot.  But what I really liked about CGD-era Queensryche is that you could pretty much bank on getting albums that well exceeded the norm.  And I have to say that the bands I like and listen to the most nowadays similarly tend to fall into that same category of consistently putting out albums that are consistently good from start to finish with the good material far outweighing combined mediocre and weak (e.g. Dream Theater, Neal Morse, Within Temptation). 

Chris GeDarmo?   :P

I feel that the albums have about 1/3 strong tracks, 1/3 mediocre tracks, and 1/3 weak tracks.  

Pretty much describes EVERY (not just QR) album out there!

I have to disagree here as it applies to QR's albums from their EP - PL.   Almost everything on these albums were at least strong to awesome.   I can pick out very few weaknesses during this era. 
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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2009, 09:07:49 AM »
I feel that the albums have about 1/3 strong tracks, 1/3 mediocre tracks, and 1/3 weak tracks.  

Pretty much describes EVERY (not just QR) album out there!

No really, plenty that go way above that description and plenty that fall far below.

And yeah, the DeGarmo years, Hear in the Now excluded, is pure excellence, a run of albums that will be nearly impossible for any band to match.

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Offline YtseBitsySpider

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2009, 09:43:50 AM »
I was thinking a couple of weeks ago about what happened to QR. 

Haven't we all!

Most QR fans consider Promised Land as the last decent thing they did. Me, I think it was Empire. They really fell off the face of the earth, musically. You can pick a few songs off of each album since, and there are some good ones, but overall, it's pretty bad. American Soldier isn't bad, in fact, it's much better than anything they've released in a very long time. Still, it's a far cry to what made them really good.

We just have to face it. Queensryche is gone and they're never coming back!


^agreed^
since Tate took over all creativity the band has sucked.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2009, 10:09:11 AM »
I was just making a general observation that most albums have they typical 3 great songs, 3 OK ones and 3 sucky ones. I wasn't talking specifically to Queensryche. It is a generalization, not a fact for all.

There are surely classics that do not fall into this, but there is truth in the "Bell Curve".
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline AndyDT

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2009, 01:21:12 PM »
I like the song with his daughter on it and a couple more but don't think the "vibe" is back at all. QR to me were best with that atmospheric, epic sound e.g. walk in the shadows, dream in infrared, take hold, eyes of a stranger. I'll keep listening to the latest album to see if my mind changes though.

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2009, 07:08:25 AM »
I was just making a general observation that most albums have they typical 3 great songs, 3 OK ones and 3 sucky ones. I wasn't talking specifically to Queensryche. It is a generalization, not a fact for all.

There are surely classics that do not fall into this, but there is truth in the "Bell Curve".

 :lol  Sorry, didn't mean to misconstrue your words.  I just saw a good opportunity to point out the fact that I detect no "sucky" songs on albums like The Warning and Rage For Order (let alone any "mediocre" ones).
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Offline Arcaeus

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2009, 07:32:02 AM »
I love this band. My favorite album by them is, by far, Promised Land (also one of my favorite albums of all time). So dark and abstract and proggy and rocking.

Obviously can't go wrong with Mindcrime or Rage For Order either ;)

I need to check out American Soldier - I refuse to check out their other post-Promised Land stuff though, especially since I once had an encounter with Mindcrime II and it nearly killed me (though "The Chase" is pretty cool)

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2009, 07:47:43 AM »
But I don't want to hear one bad thing about Operation Mindcrime II--that's one of the best things Queensryche has ever done.

Wow, that's a...um...pretty "unconventional" opinion you have there.

No kidding.  I think I once referred to MCII as a 'bastard child'.  It pains me to listen to (most of) it.  Right up there with Bat out of Hell III as a pathetic attempt to recreate the magic of it's predecessor (referring to Bat out of Hell, not the second one).
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2009, 09:57:58 AM »
QR should have quit after PL.  I think Tribe had them going in the right direction.  Had DeGarmo stayed through the process, finished Justified and added it to the record, and had Hostage been done and on the record as intended, you have a pretty strong release (and adding those songs, they would have eliminated "Losing Myshit" off the record, since Stone would not have been involved).

You add to that the solos that would have been added as well, and you have a much, MUCH better record.

To me, it is undeniable that you have two different eras in Ryche history.  With DeGarmo, and without DeGarmo.  The latter has some fine moments, but since the core music writer is different, it is understandably not the same.

Wow, I had no idea you felt the same way as me.  The two eras are definitely not the same and I liked the DeGarmo era much better.
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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2009, 10:20:33 AM »
I have to say, I always find it strange when people talk about post-Mindcrime Queensryche. I mean, ok the style changed slightly, but I think they got even better for a couple of albums as they were trying something a bit different and interesting but still really high quality. Promised Land followed by Empire are my favourite QR albums.

However, I agree that after that, things started going downhill. I really like Tribe a lot and I think American Soldier is also a really really good album, but the rest I'm not all that interested in, except a few songs here and there.

Offline Dr. SeaWolf

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2009, 11:12:18 AM »
Most people (myself included) will agree that Empire and Promised land are also of very high quality.  It's just the albums after PL where the band went WAYYY downhill.

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2009, 11:52:49 AM »
Am I the only one here that does not "get" Promised Land??
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline LudwigVan

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2009, 11:58:37 AM »
Am I the only one here that does not "get" Promised Land??


 :lol   Time to get with the program!
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Offline kingshmegland

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2009, 12:22:57 PM »
I feel that the albums have about 1/3 strong tracks, 1/3 mediocre tracks, and 1/3 weak tracks.  

Pretty much describes EVERY (not just QR) album out there!

No really, plenty that go way above that description and plenty that fall far below.

And yeah, the DeGarmo years, Hear in the Now excluded, is pure excellence, a run of albums that will be nearly impossible for any band to match.

I don't know Nick. Mabye I'm one of the few who love Hear in the Now Frontier. Degarmo made this band Great.  Melodic and had GREAT harmonies.
“I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'.” - Bob Newhart

So wait, we're spelling it wrong and king is spelling it right? What is going on here? :lol -- BlobVanDam

Offline bosk1

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Re: Queensryche
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2009, 01:26:48 PM »
No, you're not the only one.  HITNF is a spectacularly good album.  But, yeah, otherwise, Nick's statement is valid.
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