TODO alt text

Queensrÿche: Condition Human

Rejigged progressive metal heroes regain some former glories

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.