Queensrÿche's The Verdict has all their hallmarks of their early classics

Heavy and progressive, it’s business as usual for Queensrÿche on The Verdict

Queensryche - The Verdict

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Queensryche - The Verdict

Queensryche - The Verdict

1. Blood Of The Levant
2. Man The Machine
3. Light-years
4. Inside Out
5. Propaganda Fashion
6. Dark Reverie
7. Bent
8. Inner Unrest
9. Launder The Conscience
10. Portrait

The split between Queensrÿche and original singer Geoff Tate was a messy affair, as bitter as any divorce. But in the five years since Tate lost the right to use the band’s name they’ve been doing just fine without him. 

The Verdict is their third album with singer Todd La Torre, a Tate sound-alike formerly of ’Rÿche sound-alikes Crimson Glory. 

And while Tate’s band Operation: Mindcrime, named after Queensrÿche’s 80s masterpiece, has now been wound up after three tortuously overwrought concept albums, The Verdict has the modern ’Rÿche in commanding form. 

An improvement on their 2015 album Condition Hüman, it has all of the hallmarks of the band’s early classics – the heavy metal power and prog rock finesse, the majestic twin-guitar harmonies and glass-shattering vocals. 

Blood Of The Levant is a model of controlled aggression, but there is beauty, too, in the melodic pull of Light-Years and the subtle shifts in Dark Reverie. 

For Queensrÿche, the battle is won.

Paul Elliott

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”