Author Topic: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album  (Read 673409 times)

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Offline jjrock88

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6230 on: July 20, 2023, 05:25:55 PM »
I only listen to EP-HITNF era Queensryche now so I play this album on a semi regular basis.  It's definitely not an ass kicker but its a good hard rock album.  I think it's an album you have to play somewhat often and maybe just get comfortable with it.  I can't stand All I Want; replace that with Chasing Blue Sky and the album is better immediately.

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6231 on: July 20, 2023, 05:32:46 PM »
I think the "siloed" opinions on music at the time played a role, for sure. I still remember reading the reviews on print at the time (Italian magazines) and, while they were not terrible, they tended to be up in arms with "OMG Queensryche went grunge" statements.

I didn't completely disagree with the observation that, maybe for the first time, the band had crafted something by being more "followers" than "leaders" of a sound. But I do agree with you, Brian, that there was still plenty of Queensryche "spirit" in HITNF.

I had a relatively complicated relationship with it, over the years. I liked it much more than I thought at first (again - my expectations had been set by what I had read in advance, and the first impact far surpassed them)...then it was a lot of ups and downs as I revisited it. There are undeniably strong songs, but also things that didn't work. "Saved", for example, embodies my feelings pretty well, all in one song: the "There's a river in your eyes.." part is so cool, and then the whole Saaaaave meee part I find just kinda grating.

Anyway, with all of its imperfections, while it's my least favorite of the albums with the original lineup, I still maintain HINTF is significantly better than anything else fronted by Tate (with the possible exception of Tribe, which I've always been fond of). Not a tall order, I know, but what I mean is exactly what you said - yes, for the first time the band hadn't come up with something great, but it still felt like, you know, a band  :)



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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6232 on: July 20, 2023, 05:53:07 PM »
RE: Hear in the Now Frontier

This album came out when I was 16, and at the very height of my fandom.

Now, given my age and my general disregard for whatever constitutes the popular opinion, I never saw an issue with HITNF. In fact, I agree with virtually everything Samsara had to say on this topic: QR had ALWAYS delivered singular musical statements, and in that regard, HITNF seemed in line with their ethos.

I suppose I also didn't give any regard to the 'grunge' label, because to me, HITNF sounded more like a mix of a '70s garage-rock album mixed with an Indie-rock touch. At that time, I was so into so many different genres of music–everything from Dream Theater to R.E.M. to Portishead–so QR embracing a different sonic approach was music to my ears.

Again, I tend to enjoy when bands ebb and flow from release to release–just read any of my glowing thoughts on Metallica's Load period.

As for the songs: contrary to Promised Land, an album that took a while for me to 'get,' I LOVED HITNF immediately. The opening salvo of "Sign of the Times," "Cuckoo's Nest," "Get a life," and "The Voice Inside," was a massive punch. I also really dug the final stretch from "Reach" to "Spool." Hell, even "Hero" and "Saved" felt like mid-album high-lights.

I think there's something to like about every song, and to this day, when I throw it on, I'm taken aback by the immediacy of the album. Mind you, there's moments where the band flashes their prog-tendancies ("Spool," "Some People Fly"), but the record has a solid momentum from cover to cover.

That all said, I completely get the how and why HITNF threw longtime fans for a loop. Many of the criticisms are valid, even if I don't personally share them.

To me, the saddest part about this era of QR is that it was the original line-up's last act, and it's a shame they went out on what many fans felt was a down note.

FWIW, I saw QR twice on this tour, and Tate definitely sounded like he was struggling. The band seemed shockingly tired compared the PL date I had seen just a few years earlier. It was a pretty shocking difference, and I think I knew trouble was brewing even before De-Garmo announced his departure.

Funny, even after everything that went down, I was still a first-day buyer for Q2K, and, well, nearly every record that followed. My fandom ran so deep that I hung with the band long after they stopped producing albums I truly loved. To me, HITNF is the last 'great' QR album.

Offline EPICVIEW

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6233 on: July 20, 2023, 08:42:16 PM »
always loved it...  was an odd tour many knew Chris was done and I was just sad and in shock during the shows I saw, the dry mix to me was about Chris's enjoying of the grunge folk sound that was coming out of the under ground at the time period and especially in the Seattle area.  I dont even see much filler in it.   
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Offline WardySI

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6234 on: July 21, 2023, 03:18:40 AM »
Being from so far abroad can't comment on the touring and whatnot, but always liked HITNF.  Well plenty of it at least.  It was a departure in style at times and certainly the dry sound didn't help.  And not everything worked. 

Have always used Down On The Upside as a fair comparison myself, but where Soundgarden remained within their established area of expertise, as mentioned Queensryche were following for the first time and going for styles which often, simply didn't work.  Great when it works but not so great when it doesn't which was unfortunately, too often.

So yes, for me the problem with HITNF was absolutely 'style over substance'. 
And at 14 songs, and many of them average (IMO), the record ends up bloated.

But that said I did and still do enjoy it albeit rarely give it a full listen instead choosing to pick the favorites.  Of which, to be fair, there are quite a few and while sometimes might sneak one or two others in, I usually tend to stick with these...

Sign Of The Times (brilliant)
Cuckoo's Nest (probably the best of the departures)
Some People Fly (beautiful)
Saved (killer outro they should've used for an entire song)
You (simple but catchy as heck)
Hit The Black (great energy, another cool departure)
Chasing Blue Sky (classic agree should've been on the regular album)


Also can't help but think HITNF has aged as well as it has because many of us were left yearning for some more 'classic' sounding Ryche as the years rolled by.  Which is fine, I'll take it  ;)


And on another note, the new Book has me intrigued Brian, hmmmm...

Offline Mladen

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6235 on: July 21, 2023, 03:34:21 AM »
I heard this album years after I heard the first five records. I remember liking it, but finding it a bit bloated. They definitely could have cut several songs. The grunge style suits them and most of the songs are fine as well, but there's too many of them. I also feel like the sound is a bit muddy. Had the album had a powerful production of for example Dirt by Alice In Chains, that would have been a whole different story.

Offline Samsara

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6236 on: July 21, 2023, 09:11:23 AM »
I don't think the style or the band's playing was the problem; the problem was that the songwriting was far below their usual standard.  The dry mix sure didn't help either, as the music sounds flat and lifeless, by and large.  And I listened to this album more times than I can count in the later 90s as I wanted to love it, but I eventually came to the realization that it's just not very good, and it seems like most people came to that same conclusion (many probably quicker than me).

I agree on the mix and overall sound. I don't necessarily agree on the songwriting. Some of it worked, very much so. But some of it didn't. The whole idea of the record was not to overcook the tunes. Write them and record them quickly without second guessing. It was a novel approach for Queensryche, as they had always worked and reworked songs and spent a lot of time in preproduction. They didn't here as an experiment with their process.

I can't stand All I Want; replace that with Chasing Blue Sky and the album is better immediately.

I think Chasing Blue Sky should absolutely have been on the record. I would have dropped Miles Away, Anytime/Anywhere, and All I Want, and replaced it with Chasing Blue Sky and called it a day.

RE: Hear in the Now Frontier

QR had ALWAYS delivered singular musical statements, and in that regard, HITNF seemed in line with their ethos.

Agreed. I actually didn't like PL on first listen, because it was a curveball after Empire. After sitting with PL one night on headphones, it hit me hard. So when HITNF came out, I wasn't surprised at the shift. But it also took me a bit to accept it, and I never really got to the same place with HITNF as I did PL.

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I suppose I also didn't give any regard to the 'grunge' label, because to me, HITNF sounded more like a mix of a '70s garage-rock album mixed with an Indie-rock touch. At that time, I was so into so many different genres of music–everything from Dream Theater to R.E.M. to Portishead–so QR embracing a different sonic approach was music to my ears.

Again, I tend to enjoy when bands ebb and flow from release to release–just read any of my glowing thoughts on Metallica's Load period.

I enjoy that ebb and flow as well, but I also think a band needs to be conscious how far they can push their audience after that band achieves a certain level. I like Metallica's Load as a record. I don't necessarily like it as a METALLICA record. HITNF is a little different to me. Queensryche's path to that record flowed naturally if you pay attention closely to their catalog. So HITNF never seemed like a stretch, at least in retrospect. I mean, listen to Lucidity, then listen to PL, then listen to Disconnected, Out of Mind, I Am I, then listen to HITNF. The evolution is there. So it wasn't unexpected. What was jarring, and still is for me, is the mix. QR records were always HUGE sounding. Particularly Empire and PL. HITNF was very flat. Which was by design, but it makes it hard to digest.

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As for the songs: contrary to Promised Land, an album that took a while for me to 'get,' I LOVED HITNF immediately. The opening salvo of "Sign of the Times," "Cuckoo's Nest," "Get a life," and "The Voice Inside," was a massive punch. I also really dug the final stretch from "Reach" to "Spool." Hell, even "Hero" and "Saved" felt like mid-album high-lights.

I think there's something to like about every song, and to this day, when I throw it on, I'm taken aback by the immediacy of the album. Mind you, there's moments where the band flashes their prog-tendancies ("Spool," "Some People Fly"), but the record has a solid momentum from cover to cover.

The more the years have gone on, the more I appreciate HITNF and what DeGarmo and Tate were trying to do. ALL the classic QR sonic hallmarks are spread throughout the record. I've always liked "Sign of the Times," "The Voice Inside," "You," "Reach," "Hit the Black" and "spOOL." Over the years though, I really developed a fondness for the guitar playing in "Hero," I really love the positive message in "Some People Fly," and enjoy the serene feeling in "Chasing Blue Sky." If those tunes alone were the record - those nine songs - I mean, I'd gush about HITNF. But while I like the lyrics of Cuckoo's Nest, I don't dig it musically, and while I like the music in Get A Life, I don't like the lyrics. And I'm just not a fan of Miles Away, Anytime/Anywhere, or All I Want.

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To me, the saddest part about this era of QR is that it was the original line-up's last act, and it's a shame they went out on what many fans felt was a down note.

For the most part. I think the Tribe songs that all five of them recorded are solid, and Justified (which was written in those sessions) is pretty good too. For my money, I think "Open," "Desert Dance," "Falling Behind," "The Art of Life," "Doin' Fine" and "Justified" (the Tribe tracks all five were involved in) are a natural progression from HITNF, in terms of vibe and songwriting. Most people consider HITNF their swansong, but it's really those six songs, and I feel like they continue the sonic arc QR was on prior to CDG's first departure.

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FWIW, I saw QR twice on this tour, and Tate definitely sounded like he was struggling. The band seemed shockingly tired compared the PL date I had seen just a few years earlier. It was a pretty shocking difference, and I think I knew trouble was brewing even before DeGarmo announced his departure.

Yeah, I saw them twice too. It was definitely a step down from PL.


Have always used Down On The Upside as a fair comparison myself, but where Soundgarden remained within their established area of expertise, as mentioned Queensryche were following for the first time and going for styles which often, simply didn't work.  Great when it works but not so great when it doesn't which was unfortunately, too often.

That's the thing, Wardy. QR had been following trends starting with Empire. So this wasn't their first time. Chris was clearly inspired by Down on the Upside, SG in general, and obviously he's tight with the AIC boys. So that was inevitable, and not necessarily a bad thing. It was an experiment that was hurt by a record label going under. Like I make the case for above, had they not gone under, and QR toured extensively, I think HITNF would have reached a broader audience and that record would have done decently well.

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And at 14 songs, and many of them average (IMO), the record ends up bloated.

Agreed on the bloat. For me, the HITNF sessions (if you include Chasing Blue Sky) are 15 songs. Of those, personally, I'd take nine for an album. Only one, however, rises to "gem" status for me personally, and that's "spOOL." The other eight are very good to above average album tracks.

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Also can't help but think HITNF has aged as well as it has because many of us were left yearning for some more 'classic' sounding Ryche as the years rolled by.  Which is fine, I'll take it  ;)

Fair assessment. But for me personally, while that absolutely has an impact, I really have found more to love in the record the older I've gotten. And that's truthful, not just a yearning for nostalgia. I never "got" "Some People Fly" at the time like many did. Wasn't overly impressed. Now - I really enjoy that song. Same with "Hero." I still don't like Tate's vocal delivery (very monotone - but I think that's on purpose, which never dawned on me until the last few years), but the guitar work is among DeGarmo's finest, MO.

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And on another note, the new Book has me intrigued Brian, hmmmm...

Thanks. Been a fun project. I've worked really hard on it. I could care less if it makes any money (as long as it pays for itself, I've invested thousands of my own money up front to help design and print it). But a book like this is, for all the old school Ryche fans, something I want them to crack open, find the shows they went to, and smile, and perhaps learn something new, or remember those times. I hope I did the band and everyone proud. Looking forward to it getting published.

I heard this album years after I heard the first five records. I remember liking it, but finding it a bit bloated. They definitely could have cut several songs. The grunge style suits them and most of the songs are fine as well, but there's too many of them. I also feel like the sound is a bit muddy. Had the album had a powerful production of for example Dirt by Alice In Chains, that would have been a whole different story.

Agreed completely. Dave Jerden would have been great on this record. I think Toby Wright's work speaks for itself, and I'm sure the band had a hand in the record's mix. They approved it, after all. But that dry, muddy sound doesn't help these particular songs. I mean, that killer end solo in "spOOL" is buried. It shouldn't be.
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Offline Grappler

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6237 on: July 21, 2023, 09:27:00 AM »
Can we just reopen your old forum for some old-fashioned discussion and maybe some IP banning?   :lol

For me, the negatives of HITNF are the songs - more accessible, a "sign of the times" trying to meld QR with the Seattle grunge scene.  The production was drier to me.

Bottom line - I'm a metalhead.  I like the heavier moments of bands like Dream Theater or QR, and I don't really care for when the bands veer too far away from that.  QR came back to being a bit heavier on Q2K, but HITNF was too much of a step away for me.  I do like the singles and rocking songs (Sign, You, Hit the Black, Reach) and Spool. 



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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6238 on: July 21, 2023, 09:53:35 AM »
Can we just reopen your old forum for some old-fashioned discussion and maybe some IP banning?   :lol

God. NEVER. again.  :lol

I wouldn't change anything, but I certainly never will run one of those again. To this day, people still don't grasp why that forum was so heavily moderated, and why that heavy hand was so appreciated by many (including some band members). It's always "Brian is an asshole."  :lol ::)

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For me, the negatives of HITNF are the songs - more accessible, a "sign of the times" trying to meld QR with the Seattle grunge scene.  The production was drier to me.

Bottom line - I'm a metalhead.  I like the heavier moments of bands like Dream Theater or QR, and I don't really care for when the bands veer too far away from that.  QR came back to being a bit heavier on Q2K, but HITNF was too much of a step away for me.  I do like the singles and rocking songs (Sign, You, Hit the Black, Reach) and Spool.

Yup, that's where my bread is buttered too, and your favs are among mine on that record. One aspect of it, I think, was that I believe people were hoping QR would just let it rip again. Get aggressive and lead the prog metal charge again. But that wasn't reality for them. Geoff didn't want to sing like that, and Chris' style had evolved away from that as well.
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6239 on: July 21, 2023, 11:51:12 AM »

Have always used Down On The Upside as a fair comparison myself, but where Soundgarden remained within their established area of expertise, as mentioned Queensryche were following for the first time and going for styles which often, simply didn't work.  Great when it works but not so great when it doesn't which was unfortunately, too often.

That's the thing, Wardy. QR had been following trends starting with Empire. So this wasn't their first time. Chris was clearly inspired by Down on the Upside, SG in general, and obviously he's tight with the AIC boys. So that was inevitable, and not necessarily a bad thing. It was an experiment that was hurt by a record label going under. Like I make the case for above, had they not gone under, and QR toured extensively, I think HITNF would have reached a broader audience and that record would have done decently well.


Since you were likely witnessing that in real time - what were the trends you feel QR were following when they wrote Empire? I mean, other than more or less consciously trying to write more accessible, radio-friendly songs?

For HITNF, it felt more "obvious" that they were going for a certain kind of sound that was more in line with the early 90s Seattle scene (although, as was pointed out here, filtered through the QR sensibility). As far as my feelings towards the album were concerned, however, I never cared about that too much. I never thought it was an opportunistic move of any kind - I mean, it was 1997 and, arguably, "grunge" (whatever that meant) wasn't exactly a super-hot thing anymore at that point. My sense is that embracing this kind of sound was coming from a genuine desire from CDG, out of his appreciation for it, to go ahead with that shift.

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6240 on: July 21, 2023, 12:11:16 PM »

Since you were likely witnessing that in real time - what were the trends you feel QR were following when they wrote Empire? I mean, other than more or less consciously trying to write more accessible, radio-friendly songs?

Well, I mean, wasn't that the be all, end all trend at the time?  :lol It was absolutely conscious on their part. They've said for ages the idea was to write individual songs that stand on their own, without any unifying theme.

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For HITNF, it felt more "obvious" that they were going for a certain kind of sound that was more in line with the early 90s Seattle scene (although, as was pointed out here, filtered through the QR sensibility). As far as my feelings towards the album were concerned, however, I never cared about that too much. I never thought it was an opportunistic move of any kind - I mean, it was 1997 and, arguably, "grunge" (whatever that meant) wasn't exactly a super-hot thing anymore at that point. My sense is that embracing this kind of sound was coming from a genuine desire from CDG, out of his appreciation for it, to go ahead with that shift.

I think Empire was just as obvious as Hear in the Now Frontier. But I love your point about "grunge" (agreed on whatever that means) not being a super-hot thing any longer. QR was "BEHIND THE TIMES" in 1997 to a degree. Whereas with Empire, they were write on the money with the shift in their sound. I agree with your point about CDG showing his appreciation for the bands in his backyard. There's a lot to love in those bands, and while many might disagree, I think it was cool that Chris was influenced by it.

That whole scene, as big as it got, is actually very, very small. They still all know one another. DeGarmo was tight with Cornell, obviously he's tight with the AIC guys, and everyone knows everyone. That whole melting pot -- the success of Empire, in my mind, really allowed the one guy in the band who stretched out significantly as a songwriter (DeGarmo) to sit back a little and appreciate everyone that followed QR's success and went on to their own success in the 90s. And it rubbed off on him. Cantrell has said all the time how much he loves QR, and raves about Chris (all the AIC guys do). I really respect Chris for not being afraid to keep pushing himself as a songwriter.

That's the thing - I love Mike Wilton's style. (Being the other main music writer in the original band.) But Mike didn't...he didn't evolve to the degree Chris did as a songwriter. To this day, Michael maintains his signature sound. You know it's him when you hear him. When he solos, you know it's Whip. But his riffs...still great, but very identifiable. Whereas Chris...he kind of became a chameleon in the sense that he was pushing everywhere as a songwriter, throwing everything at a wall and trying things to just keep being different and seeing where it went. I'm not putting Mike down at all - no way. Just saying that I think Chris just kept evolving, while Mike really was comfortable being who he was. Both strengths that made QR a great band.
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6241 on: July 21, 2023, 12:32:05 PM »
Yep, agree with all of this. And speaking of how CDG kept wanting to genuinely "evolve" as a musician...of all things, that's maybe the part that saddens me the most about him detaching himself from consistently writing/producing music. This is not at all about QR...it's just about a great musician I would have loved to hear more from.

Speaking of "grunge" - I also always found it funny how in the early 90s there was this commonly pushed narrative that all of these music "scenes" were firmly separated (siloed, as you point out). I'm sure to some extent that was true, and that was partly driven by the fans themselves. Also true that there was some implicit reaction to the late 80s all-image/no-substance approach of some of the latecomers in the hair metal scene. But I would imagine that many of the musicians in the bands at the time (at least those that had genuine drive to create music as opposed to just try and jump on bandwagons) didn't care as much about scenes and such. Jerry Cantrell is a great example - still remember him guesting for a solo in Metal Church's Gods of Second Chance (1993!)

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6242 on: July 21, 2023, 12:37:10 PM »
I think HITNF is a fantastic album save the horrendous Chris song that he sang. I can't even name it, I just know I hated it from the word go. Other than that, I really think it is a very solid album.
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6243 on: July 21, 2023, 04:50:58 PM »
I think HITNF is a fantastic album save the horrendous Chris song that he sang. I can't even name it, I just know I hated it from the word go. Other than that, I really think it is a very solid album.

Lol, I’m beginning to think I might be the only person here (minus, maybe, Chris himself) who likes “All I Want.”

In fact, I not only like the song, but I would put it in my top-5 for the album. It has a Supertramp-meets-Jackson Browne vibe that really grabbed me from the get-go. Not saying he knew it was his final album with the band, but if CGD thought that leaving was a possibility, I’m glad he threw “All I Want” on there.

I’ve been saying it for 25 years now.., if DeGarmo ever releases a  ‘true’ solo album, I’ll be first in line to buy it.

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6244 on: July 21, 2023, 08:28:16 PM »
I had forgotten how All I Want went :lol, but I gave it a fresh listen tonight.  Not a great song, but not a terrible song. Definitely better than probably half of the songs that made HITNF.  I know that is not saying much, but I don't see it as that album's bottom feeder.

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6245 on: July 22, 2023, 09:01:19 AM »

Lol, I’m beginning to think I might be the only person here (minus, maybe, Chris himself) who likes “All I Want.”

In fact, I not only like the song, but I would put it in my top-5 for the album. It has a Supertramp-meets-Jackson Browne vibe that really grabbed me from the get-go. Not saying he knew it was his final album with the band, but if CGD thought that leaving was a possibility, I’m glad he threw “All I Want” on there.

I’ve been saying it for 25 years now.., if DeGarmo ever releases a  ‘true’ solo album, I’ll be first in line to buy it.

Actually, if memory serves, our esteemed DTF leader, bosk, loves that song, and enjoys the album immensely!

I don't "hate" All I Want. I think it would have been better served on a DeGarmo solo record, as it was very different for them, and QR never had another singer before. Tate's voice is just so powerful and distinct, his background vocals overwhelmed DeGarmo, just because Chris' voice is so thin. But for HITNF, I would have swapped in "Chasing Blue Sky."

re: DeGarmo solo - I'd love to hear him do something. When his daughter was first doing music, they did it together (songwriting and recording) as a father-daughter combo called "The Rue," as I know you know. Those songs, take Ryle's voice out, and many of those sound like PL-era (think Out of Mind) tunes. But lately, she has done her own thing, working with other writers, and CHris is simply producing and playing if needed, not writing.

So I hope Chris surprises us all with a solo offering some day. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, as I am sure it won't be old school metal, but we'll hear the QR musical soul throughout it. Because that's, well, Chris.
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6246 on: July 23, 2023, 05:47:45 AM »
I had forgotten how All I Want went :lol, but I gave it a fresh listen tonight.  Not a great song, but not a terrible song. Definitely better than probably half of the songs that made HITNF.  I know that is not saying much, but I don't see it as that album's bottom feeder.

Same here but I’d probably place it higher. It’s just not a good album, made worse by sounding dull.

Offline Cruithne

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6247 on: July 24, 2023, 02:49:54 AM »
I think HITNF is a fantastic album save the horrendous Chris song that he sang. I can't even name it, I just know I hated it from the word go. Other than that, I really think it is a very solid album.

Lol, I’m beginning to think I might be the only person here (minus, maybe, Chris himself) who likes “All I Want.”

Nah, I love that song and I really like the whole album, too.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6248 on: July 24, 2023, 06:07:47 AM »
I had forgotten how All I Want went :lol, but I gave it a fresh listen tonight.  Not a great song, but not a terrible song. Definitely better than probably half of the songs that made HITNF.  I know that is not saying much, but I don't see it as that album's bottom feeder.

Same here but I’d probably place it higher. It’s just not a good album, made worse by sounding dull.

Yeah, I gave a few of the songs a spin this weekend and not only does the production and mix sound super dull and lifeless, but Tate's voice sounds worn out and tired.  It sounds like he recorded his vocals after the band had just finished four years of non-stop touring (which I know was not the case, but that is what it sounds like).  I know some thought his voice was on the decline on Promised Land, and while it's true that his voice wasn't up in the rafters like it was in the 80s, with those songs and style, his vocals were still excellent.  I can't say the same for Hear in the Now Frontier, although the material not being very good overall sure didn't help his cause either.  Not sure even 80s Tate could have saved some of these songs.

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6249 on: July 24, 2023, 01:52:07 PM »
I saw the video for "Realms" a couple times this past week on a music station that I guess is provided by my Samsung TV. I have the station on as only a "holding" page, as I use streaming services. Anyway, it was the first video I have seen on TV for the band since something from Mindcrime II, I want to say. I hadn't listened to "Realms" since my first two spins of their latest record.

It just struck me and my wife, who sat there both times watching it with me, just how different QR is these days. She and I were in full-on reminiscing mode talking about my Roads to Madness book, and then that video popped on. I'm not using this post to comment on the song itself, but just the direction of QR since TLT joined up.

It's very obvious to me that in some ways, when writing songs, QR has lopped off everything post-Empire, style-wise, and then taken the band in a more...Mindcrime/Empire-era QR meets a No Exit-era FW...with not quite as impactful vocal melodies and hooks. I'm not sure how to make that a more succinct observation. But that's sorta how it sounds to both of (we said it independently, so that was pretty striking). You can hear Todd's heavier influences creeping more and more into the material (as they should, considering he's fronted the group for 11 years), but at the same time, I don't hear the same type of growth (not the right word) evolution from QR these days as you did with the original band.

The original QR morphed from one record to the next. the TLT era of QR's evolutionary needle isn't quite that pronounced. Everything sorta sits in a spot. I rather like the sound I hear on Condition Human through Digital Noise Alliance. (I sort of consider QR13 to be a shot at replicating Empire quickly, stylistically.) But because the TLT records are very...similar...from record to record, It's not quite something I'd listen to regularly, because it just doesn't have the hookiness from song to song, or the sound evolution from album to album that grabs my ear enough. That said, it's not something I turn off when it's on, either.

Not criticism in the slightest overall. What works for one person doesn't always work for another. That's the beauty of music. Just to my ear, they don't grab me necessarily like I thought they would, 11 years on from the singer switch. Whereas one of my co-writer on the QR biography, James Beach, swears by this era of QR by leaps and bounds. Both the records and live. For me personally, the highlight of this era of QR is the emergence of Eddie Jackson as a songwriter. I feel like he has the best melodic sense of the bunch, and gets the moody side of the band. So while change is hard, for me, one of the biggest positives has been Eddie coming to the forefront creatively.

Anyway, random thoughts after seeing "Realms" last week on TV. New video for "Tormentum" that was AI generated was strange, but sorta cool!
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Offline Deathless

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6250 on: July 25, 2023, 12:40:46 PM »
I saw the video for "Realms" a couple times this past week on a music station that I guess is provided by my Samsung TV. I have the station on as only a "holding" page, as I use streaming services. Anyway, it was the first video I have seen on TV for the band since something from Mindcrime II, I want to say. I hadn't listened to "Realms" since my first two spins of their latest record.

It just struck me and my wife, who sat there both times watching it with me, just how different QR is these days. She and I were in full-on reminiscing mode talking about my Roads to Madness book, and then that video popped on. I'm not using this post to comment on the song itself, but just the direction of QR since TLT joined up.

It's very obvious to me that in some ways, when writing songs, QR has lopped off everything post-Empire, style-wise, and then taken the band in a more...Mindcrime/Empire-era QR meets a No Exit-era FW...with not quite as impactful vocal melodies and hooks. I'm not sure how to make that a more succinct observation. But that's sorta how it sounds to both of (we said it independently, so that was pretty striking). You can hear Todd's heavier influences creeping more and more into the material (as they should, considering he's fronted the group for 11 years), but at the same time, I don't hear the same type of growth (not the right word) evolution from QR these days as you did with the original band.

The original QR morphed from one record to the next. the TLT era of QR's evolutionary needle isn't quite that pronounced. Everything sorta sits in a spot. I rather like the sound I hear on Condition Human through Digital Noise Alliance. (I sort of consider QR13 to be a shot at replicating Empire quickly, stylistically.) But because the TLT records are very...similar...from record to record, It's not quite something I'd listen to regularly, because it just doesn't have the hookiness from song to song, or the sound evolution from album to album that grabs my ear enough. That said, it's not something I turn off when it's on, either.

Not criticism in the slightest overall. What works for one person doesn't always work for another. That's the beauty of music. Just to my ear, they don't grab me necessarily like I thought they would, 11 years on from the singer switch. Whereas one of my co-writer on the QR biography, James Beach, swears by this era of QR by leaps and bounds. Both the records and live. For me personally, the highlight of this era of QR is the emergence of Eddie Jackson as a songwriter. I feel like he has the best melodic sense of the bunch, and gets the moody side of the band. So while change is hard, for me, one of the biggest positives has been Eddie coming to the forefront creatively.

Anyway, random thoughts after seeing "Realms" last week on TV. New video for "Tormentum" that was AI generated was strange, but sorta cool!

We've talked about this a bit on here, and IMO it's one of the main weaknesses of this version of the band. There are multiple songs across the last few albums where there is an awesome build-up and then the chorus just... dies, or goes nowhere. It's definitely Todd, and I don't blame him because he definitely can write some catchy tunes and choruses.

I know he would never do it but it would be really cool if they could get Chris to come in and co-produce and help arrange their songs. I feel like he could really, really help Todd with songwriting (not that he's weak or terrible, just needs some focus). I don't know what Zeuss' specialty is because as a producer I think the last few QR records have sounded fantastic. But maybe he's more of a knob-turner and not big on impacting writing. IDK.

Offline EPICVIEW

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6251 on: July 25, 2023, 04:04:34 PM »
I saw the video for "Realms" a couple times this past week on a music station that I guess is provided by my Samsung TV. I have the station on as only a "holding" page, as I use streaming services. Anyway, it was the first video I have seen on TV for the band since something from Mindcrime II, I want to say. I hadn't listened to "Realms" since my first two spins of their latest record.

It just struck me and my wife, who sat there both times watching it with me, just how different QR is these days. She and I were in full-on reminiscing mode talking about my Roads to Madness book, and then that video popped on. I'm not using this post to comment on the song itself, but just the direction of QR since TLT joined up.

It's very obvious to me that in some ways, when writing songs, QR has lopped off everything post-Empire, style-wise, and then taken the band in a more...Mindcrime/Empire-era QR meets a No Exit-era FW...with not quite as impactful vocal melodies and hooks. I'm not sure how to make that a more succinct observation. But that's sorta how it sounds to both of (we said it independently, so that was pretty striking). You can hear Todd's heavier influences creeping more and more into the material (as they should, considering he's fronted the group for 11 years), but at the same time, I don't hear the same type of growth (not the right word) evolution from QR these days as you did with the original band.

The original QR morphed from one record to the next. the TLT era of QR's evolutionary needle isn't quite that pronounced. Everything sorta sits in a spot. I rather like the sound I hear on Condition Human through Digital Noise Alliance. (I sort of consider QR13 to be a shot at replicating Empire quickly, stylistically.) But because the TLT records are very...similar...from record to record, It's not quite something I'd listen to regularly, because it just doesn't have the hookiness from song to song, or the sound evolution from album to album that grabs my ear enough. That said, it's not something I turn off when it's on, either.

Not criticism in the slightest overall. What works for one person doesn't always work for another. That's the beauty of music. Just to my ear, they don't grab me necessarily like I thought they would, 11 years on from the singer switch. Whereas one of my co-writer on the QR biography, James Beach, swears by this era of QR by leaps and bounds. Both the records and live. For me personally, the highlight of this era of QR is the emergence of Eddie Jackson as a songwriter. I feel like he has the best melodic sense of the bunch, and gets the moody side of the band. So while change is hard, for me, one of the biggest positives has been Eddie coming to the forefront creatively.

Anyway, random thoughts after seeing "Realms" last week on TV. New video for "Tormentum" that was AI generated was strange, but sorta cool!

I tend to agree with a lot of that....

Id throw in post Tate to me IMO " the beauty and emotional bond with the song via Tates talents live and in the studio" is long gone now, throw in more "cookie cutter metal and IMO and I REPEAT IMO a far worse voice to my ears and a non connecting frontman presence as far as being an entertainer" and what was QR is just not there at all for me.

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Offline WardySI

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6252 on: July 25, 2023, 04:26:27 PM »
I also appreciate the change and whatnot but am just happy to be getting good music from them regardless. Should they have forged on as Rising West? Maybe, but what we've gotten is FAR better than what we had by then, and saved the Queensryche name having been butchered further...

Look, for me personally, nothing will ever surpass the classic lineup, prime Tate, the material and directions etc, not likely from any band.   But things are going okay IMO and hell, Digital Noise Alliance fucking rules!

So yeah, there's that  :metal
« Last Edit: July 26, 2023, 06:44:34 PM by WardySI »

Offline EPICVIEW

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6253 on: July 26, 2023, 08:44:30 PM »
RE: Hear in the Now Frontier

This album came out when I was 16, and at the very height of my fandom.

Now, given my age and my general disregard for whatever constitutes the popular opinion, I never saw an issue with HITNF. In fact, I agree with virtually everything Samsara had to say on this topic: QR had ALWAYS delivered singular musical statements, and in that regard, HITNF seemed in line with their ethos.

I suppose I also didn't give any regard to the 'grunge' label, because to me, HITNF sounded more like a mix of a '70s garage-rock album mixed with an Indie-rock touch. At that time, I was so into so many different genres of music–everything from Dream Theater to R.E.M. to Portishead–so QR embracing a different sonic approach was music to my ears.

Again, I tend to enjoy when bands ebb and flow from release to release–just read any of my glowing thoughts on Metallica's Load period.

As for the songs: contrary to Promised Land, an album that took a while for me to 'get,' I LOVED HITNF immediately. The opening salvo of "Sign of the Times," "Cuckoo's Nest," "Get a life," and "The Voice Inside," was a massive punch. I also really dug the final stretch from "Reach" to "Spool." Hell, even "Hero" and "Saved" felt like mid-album high-lights.

I think there's something to like about every song, and to this day, when I throw it on, I'm taken aback by the immediacy of the album. Mind you, there's moments where the band flashes their prog-tendancies ("Spool," "Some People Fly"), but the record has a solid momentum from cover to cover.

That all said, I completely get the how and why HITNF threw longtime fans for a loop. Many of the criticisms are valid, even if I don't personally share them.

To me, the saddest part about this era of QR is that it was the original line-up's last act, and it's a shame they went out on what many fans felt was a down note.

FWIW, I saw QR twice on this tour, and Tate definitely sounded like he was struggling. The band seemed shockingly tired compared the PL date I had seen just a few years earlier. It was a pretty shocking difference, and I think I knew trouble was brewing even before De-Garmo announced his departure.

Funny, even after everything that went down, I was still a first-day buyer for Q2K, and, well, nearly every record that followed. My fandom ran so deep that I hung with the band long after they stopped producing albums I truly loved. To me, HITNF is the last 'great' QR album.

I also like this post very much ^
"its so relieving to know that your leaving as soon as you get paid, Its so relaxing to know that your asking now that you got your way"

Offline EPICVIEW

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6254 on: August 07, 2023, 11:21:58 AM »
I spent the last 2 weekends in the sun with one of my convertibles at the beach and I have had in HITNF in the CD player and I must say I find this CD so relevant and timeless, my GF also was shocked how current on subject and humanity it remains. 
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6255 on: August 07, 2023, 12:41:02 PM »
I spent the last 2 weekends in the sun with one of my convertibles at the beach and I have had in HITNF in the CD player and I must say I find this CD so relevant and timeless, my GF also was shocked how current on subject and humanity it remains.

Good stuff. Yeah, the social commentary in it is still, sadly, on-point.

Tate and Adrian Vandenberg announced a co-headline tour for early 2024. Sounds cool. I may go check that out if they do a second leg out west. Hoping Tate puts a couple HITNF songs in the set. Be nice to hear spOOL and Reach again live. Tate has played spOOL with his solo bands (I saw him do it at the Catwalk in Seattle back in 2001). I think he did it in 2014 too.
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Offline EPICVIEW

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6256 on: August 07, 2023, 12:46:42 PM »
I spent the last 2 weekends in the sun with one of my convertibles at the beach and I have had in HITNF in the CD player and I must say I find this CD so relevant and timeless, my GF also was shocked how current on subject and humanity it remains.

Good stuff. Yeah, the social commentary in it is still, sadly, on-point.

Tate and Adrian Vandenberg announced a co-headline tour for early 2024. Sounds cool. I may go check that out if they do a second leg out west. Hoping Tate puts a couple HITNF songs in the set. Be nice to hear spOOL and Reach again live. Tate has played spOOL with his solo bands (I saw him do it at the Catwalk in Seattle back in 2001). I think he did it in 2014 too.

agreed    to think that was 1997 and its all so sadly true

I remember them coming out at sundown at one of the shows and opening with The Voice Inside and the place just in trance and the song just was so perfect,  as I talked a bit about it was  bitter sweet shows knowing Chris had told the inner circle, close media type that he was leaving, I felt so upset when they did Someone Else at the end of the show. It was a show unlike any other QR show but I guess they all were
« Last Edit: August 07, 2023, 12:54:27 PM by EPICVIEW »
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6257 on: August 07, 2023, 03:45:52 PM »

agreed    to think that was 1997 and its all so sadly true

I remember them coming out at sundown at one of the shows and opening with The Voice Inside and the place just in trance and the song just was so perfect,  as I talked a bit about it was  bitter sweet shows knowing Chris had told the inner circle, close media type that he was leaving, I felt so upset when they did Someone Else at the end of the show. It was a show unlike any other QR show but I guess they all were

I don't want to ruin your memory, but they only played "The Voice Inside" on the Hear in the Now Frontier tour...and they didn't close with "Someone Else?" on that tour. They only closed with that on the PL tour, and it was not played at all on the HITNF tour. So you may be mixing two different show experiences together. :)

Not sure where you are, but I was at both the NY (LI) HITNF shows and the NY (LI) PL show. They were all in July, so most likely started as the sun was just about gone, yeah. Great memories. Part of what my new book is all about - sharing those concert memories with everyone.
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Offline EPICVIEW

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6258 on: August 07, 2023, 04:08:53 PM »

agreed    to think that was 1997 and its all so sadly true

I remember them coming out at sundown at one of the shows and opening with The Voice Inside and the place just in trance and the song just was so perfect,  as I talked a bit about it was  bitter sweet shows knowing Chris had told the inner circle, close media type that he was leaving, I felt so upset when they did Someone Else at the end of the show. It was a show unlike any other QR show but I guess they all were

I don't want to ruin your memory, but they only played "The Voice Inside" on the Hear in the Now Frontier tour...and they didn't close with "Someone Else?" on that tour. They only closed with that on the PL tour, and it was not played at all on the HITNF tour. So you may be mixing two different show experiences together. :)

Not sure where you are, but I was at both the NY (LI) HITNF shows and the NY (LI) PL show. They were all in July, so most likely started as the sun was just about gone, yeah. Great memories. Part of what my new book is all about - sharing those concert memories with everyone.


ah  thank you   I just go from blown away memory today , thank you for the clarity, It was a wild time for me and many tours for many bands seemed merged and getting foggier lol.

what was the closer on the HITNF tour? I guess that closer of someone else was just so powerful it made me feel how I felt at the end of the HITNF tour  amazing that was 27 years ago? feeling old lol

The PL tour was so mind altering but in some ways I like HITNF as an album more than PL  ( today, could change mind LOL ),  It was an odd tour
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6259 on: August 08, 2023, 09:05:38 AM »
QR closed with "Some People Fly" on the HITNF tour.
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Offline EPICVIEW

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6260 on: August 08, 2023, 09:52:41 AM »
QR closed with "Some People Fly" on the HITNF tour.

ah    no wonder I ( we ) felt the same emotions at the end of the shows knowing it was the end of Chris..I guess I got those two powerful closers mixed in my mind

thank you   have a great day
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6261 on: August 08, 2023, 11:30:45 AM »
Well, none of us knew Chris was leaving, so that's sorta a retrospective feeling, ya know? Chris didn't even tell the band he was leaving until fall 1997. So in June/July 1997, while I am sure the future was on all their minds, we didn't know Chris was going to jump ship. We all felt something was...off...with the band's performance, but at least in my case, at the time, I chalked it up to Tate recovering from his cold.
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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6262 on: August 08, 2023, 11:44:40 AM »
Well, none of us knew Chris was leaving, so that's sorta a retrospective feeling, ya know? Chris didn't even tell the band he was leaving until fall 1997. So in June/July 1997, while I am sure the future was on all their minds, we didn't know Chris was going to jump ship. We all felt something was...off...with the band's performance, but at least in my case, at the time, I chalked it up to Tate recovering from his cold.

I'll second this. At the time, I was very aware that something felt/seemed 'off,' but it was only in retrospect that I was able to put it all together.

Honestly, as a massive DeGarmo fan, he was my focus for much of the shows I saw. If I hadn't been so zeroed in on him, I might not have ever noticed anything.

Also, I only saw two dates on that tour (and one set was like 3 songs), so for all I knew at the time, I simply caught the band during an 'off' stretch.

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Re: Roads to Madness: The Touring History of Queensr˙che (1981-1997)
« Reply #6263 on: August 23, 2023, 10:01:40 AM »
Hey everyone. Thanks to all of you who have reached out to me about the Roads to Madness book. I appreciate the interest and support. The book heads into production in about six weeks, so I'm in the midst of gathering the final bits and pieces for it.

On that note, I wanted to extend an invitation to those of you who have seen Queensryche's original lineup live, to submit some memories of shows and if you have them, photos you took of the band live during that early era of 1981-1997. For the "attendee comments" as I saw them, for example, this is one I wrote for the Jones Beach '97 show:

Quote
Attendee comment: “As soon as the band started to play ‘Get a Life,’ I had a feeling they’d likely be back playing the full setlist from earlier in the tour. The crowd at Jones Beach was noticeably smaller than two years earlier, but I remember being excited because Geoff Tate went for the note in the beginning of ‘Take Hold of the Flame.’ He couldn't quite hold it, and his voice was still a bit nasally from a summer cold he was battling, but it was a fun show.” – Brian Heaton

I'd love to put in as many memories as I can from folks. It can be a paragraph like that, or a couple of paragraphs. It just helps bring the story to life more. Same with photos (they have to be ones you took personally). If you have ticket stubs, backstage passes, show flyers from gigs you went to -- all of that, I can, and will be happy to include, space permitting.

If you have anything to share, please email me at roadstomadnessbook@gmail.com, and include your name as you'd like to see credited in the book. (Most folks use their full name, some go first name, last initial, etc. Just no nicknames please.) My process is basically to take the comments, do a light edit (if needed) and then send back to you for approval. Once approved, I list it like what you see above, under the gig it pertains to.

So excited to get this in production.
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Offline Grappler

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Re: Official Queensryche thread: Kickstart the next album
« Reply #6264 on: August 23, 2023, 10:09:03 AM »
"So drummer Scott Rockenfield described the tour as wonderful, since he got to stare at his wife's butt each night, leaving fans to admire her other attributes.  Lead singer Geoff Tate casually strolled around the stage in a smoking jacket, occasionally sitting on a couch shaped like lips as he sang the chorus to Sacred Ground to his wife, Susan."

Oh wait, wrong tour.   :biggrin: