For their 16th studio album, and fourth with vocalist Todd La Torre, Queensrÿche build on the winning form of 2019’s Verdict, crafting smart progressive metal that compares favourably with anything in their venerated back catalogue.
Digital Noise Alliance marks their third album in a row with producer Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris, which reinforces a sense of sonic continuity in the post-Tate line-up. Zeuss doesn’t bring a lot of warmth to the mix, but there’s plenty of power, from the punchy drums – marking Casey Grillo’s album debut – to the imposing wall of guitars.
The songwriting is consistently strong, from the shifting moods of Sicdeth to the epic riffage of Out Of The Black, while the twin guitar harmonies of Michael Wilton and Mike Stone evoke the spirit of classic metal. Tormentum recalls the Geoff Tate-era American Soldier album with its critique on the US military’s use of torture and a standout performance from La Torre.
The big surprise is a bonus cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell, an unexpected success given how far it lies outside the band’s wheelhouse. With Digital Noise Alliance Queensrÿche prove that they remain in rude health.