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Reviews

QUEENSRŸCHE - LIVE EVOLUTION - SANCTUARY/EMI
It is difficult to justify this double live CD by Queensrÿche. The booklet and double jacket presentation is nice and there is some effort made to segregate the band's different incarnations on the CDs. The sound seems genuine and honest. Still, Queensrÿche has spent the last 10 years distancing itself from metal and finding refuge within the shaky genres of grunge and rock. Thus it is hard to appreciate what seems like a real effort here. There is also the undeniable fact that live albums have passed their usefulness and it is only a matter of a couple of loonies to upgrade to a live video complete with stereo sound and sight. For the fan or potential buyer, the CD features almost 30 tracks of all Queensrÿche eras. - Ali "The Metallian"

QUEENSRŸCHE - SIGN OF THE TIMES: THE BEST OF QUEENSRŸCHE - CAPITOL   
Good band, good songs, good lyrics, so why the mere 'above average' grade? My CD is an advance one-discer that is therefore missing the second disc of the package that is Sign Of The Times. While songs like Queen Of The Reich, Warning, Silent Lucidity and The Lady Wore Black are very good (and make up for the newer songs of the band), it is the second disc of this set that would compel a fan to get this release. That disc that features a new song co-written by former guitarist Chris DeGarmo and called Justified, as well as rare demo songs and tracks by early band Myth is not part of my package. Sigh.
For people who are just now looking into the band or trying to compare the band’s different periods sound-wise Sign Of The Times is a rich audio package. Diehards and current fans should look into the rarities included, although an exact review is not possible here. - Anna Tergel

QUEENSRŸCHE – CONDITION HÜMAN – CENTURY MEDIA  
Condition Hüman is the band’s second album with new vocalist Todd LaTorre, who had spent some time with Crimson Glory before he joined Queensrÿche. In terms of replacing Geoff Tate, there could hardly have been a better choice. LaTorre sounds like the young Geoff Tate and is able to reach heights that Tate has not been able to reach in years. The music has also taken a step back to the band’s earlier days. It is not quite on the level of classics like Rage For Order or Operation: Mindcrime, but fans who liked Empire will immediately feel comfortable with the new material. The great up-tempo opener Arrow Of Time begins with Crimson Glory-like harmonies, but as soon as the main riff sets in, it feels like Queensrÿche. Guardian (not a Fates Warning cover) is very progressive and features multiple layers of vocals. Hellfire is one of the weaker songs with a strangely disharmonic chorus. Toxic Remedy could well have been on Empire – it has that familiar majestic opening and nuanced vocals. Selfish Lives has a touch of recent Symphony X. Eye 9 starts with a bass intro and has a very simple structure. Bulletproof begins with a children’s choir and is probably the second best song on the album – the chorus “ You know the trigger’s right in front of you, so pull it now and make a move – I’m bulletproof” is very catchy. Maybe it’s even a hint at Geoff Tate’s past attacks on his old band. Hourglass sounds a bit too modern in its riffing, but it gets better once an acoustic guitar backing sets in. The ballad Just Us sounds surprisingly like Dream Theater. All There Was is very fast and has a sci-fi atmosphere. The Aftermath is a brief one-minute intro to the title song, at over 7 minutes one of the album’s longest. It is a bit tedious though and could probably have been shortened a bit. Overall, this is a fine album. Fans who were disappointed in the last records with Tate should definitely listen to it, if they have not done so already. The classics are out of reach, but the band is back to what it does best – playing great progressive metal with intelligent lyrics. – Andreas Herzog




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