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Queensryche is an interesting band for all intents and purposes. Starting life as America’s answer to Iron Maiden and Helloween to gradually loosing their Metallic skin to become another nameless faceless head in the crowd of over populated pop/rock. In various interviews over the years front man Geoff Tate has openly expressed his disdain for Heavy Metal and cited that his band was never a Heavy Metal band, especially after 'Warning'. While this is debated amongst Metalheads on all sides, on thing remains certain. This album isn't Heavy Metal, its Hard Rock with some Alternative and Grunge influence thrown in.
The production is good for what is presented to us. The guitars are light, almost as if the amp distortion was barely on. There are a few solos and of course a bunch of leads. The guitars are very bluesy and laidback. There are clean, distorted and acoustic moments sprinkled throughout.
The bass does what it has since 'Empire' and that’s play follow the guitars. The drums are also fairly bland as well, lacking the bombast and intrigue of previous efforts. In stead of adding some balls to this album they too, are very melodic.
Another let down would be Geoff's lack of singing on this album. Sadly this is the last Queensryche album to have him hit his higher register. When he does, he does so sparingly and mostly for chorus effect. The lyrics are more upbeat and droll. This is a stark contrast compared to the bleak and damning album that came just before it. Gone are the lyrics of old, of corruption, struggle and fantasy.
This album does have one Metal song on it in the form of 'You'. This coupled with the opening track 'Sign of the Times' were the only hits off this album. Over all, this is actually a very well done piece of somewhat Progressive Rock. All the tracks as well done and well executed. As far as Queensryche albums go, this is the last one you should ever buy, assuming that you have all the albums that came before it anyway. Everything after this is just the band pointlessly pandering to generation X and unwilling to accept that they just don't care. This is for fans only as others will probably be sorely let down.