Queensrÿche: Queensrÿche

The splintered prog metal band returns with a new singer.

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He was the voice and public face of some of the albums that put prog metal on the musical map, but Geoff Tate seems embattled at the moment. First the messy divorce from Queensrÿche, then some patchy-at-best albums, and now he’s managing an apparent fan backlash to his new album under the Queensrÿche banner with remarkably good grace (see tinyurl.com/lvc4r4t for proof).

As for his former bandmates, here they are with new vocalist, ex-Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. That their first release is self-titled suggests much-needed rebirth/reboot of sorts, and that’s what this is.

From opener X2, the band sound re-energised as they proffer grinding riffs, intelligent lyrics and some catchy songs nearer power than prog metal in parts (the catchy, helium-high riff of Vindication is a highlight). The ominous A World Without calls back to past glories (Mindcrime/Empire engineer James Barton produced), and most importantly La Torre seems to have slotted right in.

His assured turn on this short record (35mins) suggests this new incarnation has the legs to continue. The sentimental among us might wish the same for the other guy.