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Queensryche is, without a shadow of doubt, the most controversial band to walk on the face of progressive music. Some claim they are the fathers of the whole progressive metal genre, others say they were nothing but another heavy metal band with a high-pitched singer. The fact is that Queensryche released metal classics in their early days, and are respected and recognized for that. But ever since "Hear In The Now Frontier", the band has been in a downward spiral that seemed endless. I gladly say, my friends, the abyss is over.
Tribe is not a masterpiece like Operation:Mindcrime or Empire were, but that was not something expected. Chris DeGarmo is back (at least for a little while) and proves once again that his presence is particularly important for the 'ryche guys. His guitar work is good, in spite of the lack virtuose this album has. The songs are more vocal-oriented and radio-friendly, but Wilton and DeGarmo have space to shine every once in a while.
Geoff Tate, oh Geoff Tate, I can't believe this guy smokes!!!! Age and cigarretes couldn't take away his voice, and the proof is here. He doesn't reach the high notes like he did on "Take Hold Of The Flame" or the little piece of perfection "Queen Of The Ryche" but who cares? The man is singing and his voice is still beautiful. The vocal lines are excellent too. For the rhythm section, no extras remarks but also no complaints, Ed Jackson and Scott Rockenfield do their job efficiently.
Tribe marks the beginning of a come-back-to-form era for Queensryche. It's not up to pair with their early classics but showcases a band with energy, writing enjoyable and excellent songs. Definitely a step in the right direction.
Highlights: Open, the amazing title-track, Desert Dance, The Great Divide