|Review: Queensrÿche - The Verdict|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2019
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 5, 2019
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
If you've been missing the memos, I'm glad to be the one bearing the news that Queensrÿche is good again. The Verdict is the third album since Geoff Tate left the house and, guess what? He was the fucking problem. Opener "Blood of the Levant" showcases the consolidation of a newly born band bringing some of the Seattle natives' classic twin guitars, a properly cadenced and proggy kitchen and thunderous vocals by La Torre. The chorus changes pace marvelously and the whole track is a welcome mat.
Songs like "Light-years" and "Inside Out" borrow from the more prog-oriented side of the group and will please the Promised Land-era fans. Both have a good amount of quality between them, but it's not until their choruses that they truly shine. Antagonizing those is "Propaganda Fashion," which starts strong but loses steam in the bridge and chorus. The lyrics are acid and full of criticism, but the overall package is just not strong enough here.
The middle portion of the album holds the more emotional and epic tunes, making for a pretty well-balanced experience. "Dark Reverie", for instance, could be portrayed as a semi-ballad, but saying that could deceive the true nature of the song, which is very somber and ... well, dark; this features the best solo in the effort and is also one of the few times that they make use of keyboards. This is a really good song.
These old dudes are packing quite a punch since they exorcised the egocentric bald ghost haunting them. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the band's heydays with Tate, but something had to be done since they started playing shitty music in 1997. Gladly, this is the new Queensrÿche, a band that once again is playing from the heart and writing organic, pleasant music and with a true powerhouse behind the mic in Todd LaTorre. So, all in all, what's "The Verdict" here?
Well, The Verdict is further proof that Queensrÿche is pretty much alive and kickin', with some really strong, memorable moments. Like the other two efforts before, though, it has a few flaws here and there, which is completely normal for a band trying to regain prestige and confidence after almost 15 years of stumbling onto themselves. This is quite similar to their self-titled album (2013) and Condition Hüman (2015), but slightly superior quality-wise. Safe to say, then, that The Verdict is their best album in 25 years.
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