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Definitely better than I remember - 82%

Zelkiiro, June 24th, 2009

The first time I breezed through Queensrÿche's discography, this was one of the albums where I skimmed through very quickly and kept none of the tracks (Q2K also met this fate, but a full listen did that one no good). So, when I *ahem* obtained this album once again, I found that I liked it a lot more than I did before. In fact, some of these songs could have been on their 80s albums and no one would notice a difference in quality.

Following the rather-boring Hear in the Now Frontier and the abysmal Q2K, former guitarist Chris DeGarmo decided to temporarily rejoin the ranks, just so he could slap everyone senseless and force them to put out something good again. The difference between Tribe and its 2 predecessors is obvious right from the get-go: energy. Using a tribal-themed musical style (well befitting the album's name), the tracks all have momentum now; it seems as though the group had whatever life sucked out of them restored.

You've got hard poundin' tracks ("Open", "Desert Dance", and "Tribe"), you've got the uplifting ballads ("Losing Myself", "The Great Divide", and "Doin' Fine"), and then you've got your mid-paced power tracks ("Blood" and "The Art of Life"). While only few of the tracks reach the level of This Song's Bitchin' Memorable, I'd have to say none of them are particularly weak, either. More than likely, whichever side of Queensrÿche you like best will reflect which of the songs on this album will speak to you.

Not much to say about the performers themselves. The band plays competently, just as we love to remember them, and Chris DeGarmo's influence is obvious, given the energy level of all the songs (even the slower ones). Unfortunately, Tribe marks the last album in which Geoff Tate's voice retains its 80s brilliance, but all good things come to an end sometime, just as Tribe also marks the last good album in their discography. Such a pity, too. If only Chris DeGarmo made his stay permanent...