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Queensryche - American Soldier (CD)

Queensryche
American Soldier
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 08 April 2009, 10:02 AM

First of all let me give you some info on this one; this is a concept album about the American soldier's perspective from World War II to the recent Middle East incidents. Actually, Geoff Tate has done several interviews with soldiers who have experienced war in order to get into to the exact 'mood.' Ok, so far so good. Even though many of us totally disagree with the US interferance in almost anything in the planet we should not be affected when it comes to our favorite music genre. But enough with the preamble; let's talk about music.
I think we all know that QUEENSRYCHE have moved from the pure Heavy Metal forms into an unidentified territory that sometimes lays hands on the Rock sound (see Hear In The Now Frontier for example). Personally, I do respect this new perspective but I had some hard time to digest the Operation Mindcrime sequel or the unbearable Take Cover release. With all these in mind I had serious second thoughts about writing this review in case I would be prejudiced with the Seattle long time Rockers.
Nevertheless, I will state from the beginning that I generally liked this album, although it has nothing to do with the band's prime and more Metal days. The main element that made me like this album was the underlying The Promised Land dark atmosphere that really shines during the saxophone sound and Tate's most expressional vocals. QUEENSRYCHE know exactly how to manipulate the feelings described in the lyrics and turn them into musical phrases. So, this album 'plays' with all the dark emotions born inside the soldier's mind that is 'forced' to fight foreign battles for unknown to him reasons. Remember, their leaders are to blame, not their 'instruments.'
So, you will get shivers down your spine during the mid tempo A Dead Man's Words that additionally comprises some very good guitar leads. Generally, the mid-to-mild tempos dominate American Soldier with two exceptions found in the groovy guitar driven Silver and Man Down!. On other hand, I found the intros and the spoken parts kind of tiring but I think this was mandatory in order to enhance the concept and really 'live' feeling.
The album breathes through the band's experience and high musicianship skills that, sadly for us, have little to do with QUEENSRYCHE prime days. We have to eventually convince ourselves that QUEENSRYCHE have moved towards something different and definitely strange to all the metalheads. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy their music; on the contrary you can find many things to sink your teeth and -why not- consider looking some matters through the soldiers' point of view.
P.S.: Of course, no rate is to be found here.

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Tracklist:
Sliver
Unafraid
Hundred Mile Stare
At 30,000 Ft.
A Dead Man's Words
The Killer
Middle Of Hell
If I Were King
Man Down!
Remember Me
Home Again
The Voice
Lineup:
Geoff Tate - Vocals
Michael Wilton - Guitar
Eddie Jackson - Bass
Scott Rockenfield - Drums
Record Label: Rhino Records
     


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