Queensryche Released Their New Record “The Verdict” on March 1st, 2019.
My Queensryche History Lesson
Before I begin the review of The Verdict by Queensryche, I will offer a bit of a history lesson. I was a young guy in Germany in the mid-80s. In 1984 one of my Army buddies, from Oregon, called me to his barracks to listen to a band from Washington. “Wow!” I said, “This dude’s vocals are ridiculous!” It was off a small record called “Queensryche.” I was hooked.
I went on to buy The Warning and Rage for Order. Then in 1988 my music relationship with Queensryche changed with the release of Operation: Mindcrime. I played it so much the cassette lost its life. At the time I was stationed on Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. I caught wind that they were going to be in Chattanooga with Def Leppard. A couple of friends and I made the trip to UTC Arena and saw one of the best shows I had seen up to that time in my life.
Fast forward to March 1st, 2019, Queensryche released The Verdict. I listened to the record three times before I realized that I was supposed to review it. To be honest, this is their best record since Empire. It is also the first time I listened to a record since Todd La Torre became vocalist. When I saw the band in December 2016 and then again in June 2017, I felt that Todd’s voice was just a strong, if not stronger, than Geoff Tate (not bagging on Geoff, he is a great vocalist in his own right). This record though, felt like vintage Queensryche.
The Verdict is also a great testament to the talent and skills of Michael “Whip” Wilton (Guitars), Parker Lundgren (Guitars), and Eddie Jackson (Bass). Drummer, Scott Rockenfield, has been absent from the lineup for several years, but if you didn’t know before someone told you, Todd La Torre pulled double duty by playing drums as well. Will he play drums on this tour? Most likely not as they have former Kamelot drummer, Casey Grillo who has been touring with them in Scott’s absence.
The Verdict on The Verdict
Queensryche has filled the void that I missed from their early 80’s records. The Verdict hearkens back to the grand, anthem-like, progressive heavy metal that defined them in the beginning of their career. This record has been a testament to a band that has been around for over 35 years, has come back (in my opinion) from a laundry list of marginal records since Empire, and are stronger than ever with this release. The build-up to the release had me gnawing at the bit. Man! It was worth it when it hit my desk!
For those who think that Queensryche is not the same without Geoff, you are right. They are better. Go out, like I did, and buy this record. If you are a long-time fan, it will restore your faith in their abilities. If you just heard of them, go and buy some earlier releases and listen to what I mean about The Verdict.
Grab a copy of The Verdict here!
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