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Like U2 and Matchbox 20? Then dig this shit! - 10%

natrix, July 18th, 2012

Don't be fooled, the futuristic artwork does not signify that Queensryche are bringing back any of their sci-fi inspired stuff from the first two albums, nor are they going to do anything even vaguely technical or enigmatic. Nope, it's just the same crap they vomited forth on Hear in the Now Frontier, but a little bit worse.

I really hoped that Chris Degarmo was the one who fucked up Hear in the Now Frontier, but it turns out it was probably his royal highness Geoff Tante, and his dislike of anything vaguely metallic. It's hard to say if newcomer Kelly Gray really brings anything to the table, because once again we have the same dumbed down solos from the previous album, the same weak, simplistic rock "riffs," and absolutely no interesting harmonies/melodies/wankery to mention. And yes, the rhythm section is still solid. But shit, a middle school band could hold down this abortion of an album. A lot of it reminds me of weak Bon Jovi, U2's post Joshua Tree output, and a good dose of modern rock like Matchbox 20 and Nickleback, but without any of their catchy elements.

This album is actually far worse than Hear in the Now Frontier. Whereas that one was merely drivel, this actually has some really embarrassing moments, most evident in the clearly pop oriented vocal patters and silly lyrics penned by Master Tante himself. I can't even try to ignore this album, and it's not bad enough give me something to laugh at. And sadly, the best element of this album is probably Master Tante's vocals, which occasionally do shine with a melody or two.

Once again, we are treated to a moody/gloomy closer, "Right Side of My Mind," which is damn good. Why they couldn't have written just one more song like this blows my would have made the album a hell of a lot better.

This is terrible music by any measure. How Queensryche managed to survive this career suicide attempt is beyond me.