Queensrÿche - Frequency Unknown

Queensrÿche - Frequency Unknown

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(CD, Deadline Music, 2013)

To a certain extent I understand all this tag of war regarding the use of the brand name QUEENSRŸCHE since there is money involved and the band members’ prosperity/fame. What I don’t understand is the over the top reaction from the fans who seem to know everything and have burning opinions of how a band should or shouldn’t sound. Well, the breaking news is that going to concerts and buying albums do not grand the right to verbally attack anyone. I am sorry to burst your bubble on this, but music is also business, so if you do not like something, stop buying it; yeah, it’s that simple. Of course, I don’t like talking about such things when the subject of these lines is the new album by Geoff Tate under the QUEENSRŸCHE brand, entitled “Frequency Unknown”.

In my mind, the album’s title tells the story about this version of QUEENSRŸCHE whose lineup has already undergone many changes. This means that no one could predict what Geoff would do musicwise and I think I speak on behalf of all the healthy-thinkers out there who were not expecting a new “Operation Mindcrime”... No, Geoff has lifted all the boundaries in music creation and does what he pleases him regardless if it is not too Metal for our ears. On the other hand, having the QUEENSRŸCHE logo in the album cover artwork, the expectations for something from the past are inevitably born. So, let’s get this out of our system and clarify that “Frequency Unknown” can be considered as the continuation of the “Hear In The Now Frontier” era. So, there are a lot of Grunge elements and less Metal than the average metalhead would expect from this band name. However, I think “Frequency Unknown” is better than the aforementioned album and especially in songs like “Cold” (love the chorus lines here) or “In The Hands Of God” I tracked down some of the moody atmosphere of “Promised Land”. Geoff sounds great in his wide singing range. Despite the lineup mentioned below, every song in this album has guest appearances and some of them are worth to be mentioned like in “Running Backwards” where there is the name of KK Downing behind the guitar solo (that sounds great, by the way). I also like “Everything” with the heavy rhythm section, the nice guitar leads, Paul Bostaph’s finishing touch behind the drum-kit and the addictive vocal melodies that, no matter if you like it or not, come from Geoff. “The Weight Of The World” stands from the rest of the tracklist with amazing singing and a lurking dark atmosphere that I think is closest to the second era of QUEENSRŸCHE (again, I am thinking of the “Promised Land” masterpiece). Following this train of thought, I think I miss some saxophone melodies that would fit this one like hand in glove.

As you know this album comes with some bonus tracks that are re-recorded QUEENSRŸCHE oldies but I don’t think there is a lot to comment, since the changes are minimal. I guess these recordings were made in the context of rehearsal for the US tour, so they added them here to give a taste to the fans how this version of QUEENSRŸCHE will sound onstage. No matter your QUEENSRŸCHE affiliation, I’d say check this out and decide for yourself if you like “Frequency Unknown” leaving aside the interview­-wars or the pompous statements about who is more QUEENSRŸCHE or Metal. After all, music is what we love and not brand-names, musicians or whatever...

7/10 


Links:

www.Queensryche.Com
www.FaceBook.Com/Queensryche


Tracklist:

01. Cold
02. Dare
03. Give It To You
04. Slave
05. In The Hands Of God
06. Running Backwards
07. Life Without You
08. Everything
09. Fallen
10. The Weight Of The World
11. Silent Lucidity
12. Empire
13. Jet City Woman
14. I Don't Believe In Love


Lineup:

Geoff Tate - Vocals
Rudy Sarzo - Bass
Simon Wright - Drums
Robert Sarzo - Guitar
Kelly Gray - Guitar
Randy Gane - Keyboards