Queensryche's new album finds them trudging where they once soared

Art-metal veterans Queensryche dial it in on album number 16, Digital Noise Alliance

Queensryche: Digital Noise Alliance cover art
(Image: © Century Media / Sony Music)

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Queensrÿche are a long way from metal’s cutting edge in 2022. This fourth album since the acrimonious departure of original singer Geoff Tate is solidly dramatic and inarguably proficient, but the inspiration and imagination that fuelled 1986’s Rage For Order and 1988’s state-of-the-art Operation: Mindcrime are long gone. 

Digital Noise Alliance’s title is only marginally clunkier than the tracks on it. Mid-paced plodders Lost In Sorrow and Nocturnal Light find the band trudging where they once soared. 

Vocalist Todd La Torre hits the big notes, but he lacks the range and control of the mercurial Tate. The stately Forest is a high point, largely because it sounds like it’s been beamed in from 1990. But unfortunately any good work is undone by a grisly, dads-at-the-wedding-reception-style cover of Billy Idol‘s Rebel Yell

Maybe it’s unfair to compare Digital Noise Alliance to albums that are more than 30 years old, but they’re the benchmark to which Queensrÿche will forever be held. Almost inevitably, they’ve fallen way short here.

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.