Queensrÿche: Condition Human

Rejigged progressive metal heroes regain some former glories

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The Seattle veterans’ self-titled 2013 album emerged amid the messy legal fallout from their acrimonious split with frontman Geoff Tate.

The first album to feature ex-Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre, it also followed some less-than-stellar and experimental records. As a result, Queensrÿche sounded like Queensrÿche taking tentative steps while trying to remember how to sound like themselves again. Condition Hüman sees them regain a good deal of mojo and goes some way towards consolidating their old and new identities.

The uptempo Arrow Of Time comes on like early Iron Maiden with its speedily harmonised guitars, opening an album generally more riffy and surefooted than its predecessor. Highlights include the spirited Guardian, the mightily chorused Hellfire and All There Was, which loosely recalls The Needle Lies. While Todd still sounds a lot like Geoff Tate (albeit the Tate of old who spent more time in the higher register), he’s doing a great job, especially on emotive power ballad Bulletproof. We still ain’t talking 1988’s classic Operation: Mindcrime, but it’s a relief to see the ’Rÿche back on firm ground.

Jason Arnopp
Freelance Writer

Jason Arnopp is a veteran metal scribbler, with a passion for thrash metal, horror movies, vinyl and VHS. He's also the author of scary novels like The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (2016) and Ghoster (2019). Runs two YouTube channels, including Possessed By Metal (opens in new tab). Guess what that one's about, eh?