No. 33

May 01, 2016

Queensryche has been one of my favorite bands since I was a teenager. When their self-titled debut came out and I heard songs such as "Queen of the Reich" and "The Lady Wore Black" I was hooked. There was so much anticipation for their follow-up, then they released The Warning in 1984 with great songs like "N M 156", "Take Hold of the Flame" and "Child of Fire". That album showed a clear progression of the bands talent and I knew they were going to one of the greatest bands. There was even more anticipation for their follow-up Rage For Order released in 1986. The band took to experimentation and new directions in synthesizers and sound effects which some fans did not like, but overall the album still showed a progression in the bands music that grew on me, more and more, with great songs such as "Walk in the Shadows", "Screaming in Digital", "I Dream in Infared", "London" and "The Killing Words". No one would have guessed at their next album Operation Mindcrime, a conceptual rock opera masterpiece released in 1988 with hits such as "Eyes of a Stranger" , Revolution Calling", and "I Don't Believe In Love". That album showed the real extent of the bands growth and maturity, taking a more mainstream approach to their music which was ever prevalent on the following album Empire in 1990. It was after that album that the band moved heavily towards a mainstream goal and some will say they alienated many of their orignal metal fans in the process. Even myself, a diehard Ryche fan from the beginning, began following the band less and less over the years.

Queensryche were from Bellevue Washington and formed in 1982 from a local band called The Mob. Guitarist Michael Wilton started a band called Joker in 1978 and was joined by guitarist Chris De Garmo in 1979. They were joined by drummer Scott Rockenfield in 1980 eventually calling themselves The Mob. In 1981, they pulled together funds to record a demo but were still without a singer, so they enlisted Geoff Tate, snger of the band Myth. to perform the singing duties. Tate remained faithfully to the band Myth and was merely a fill-in for The Mob, until the band later turned its direction from covers to original music and changed their name to Queensryche. Guitarist Chris DeGarmo left Queensr˙che for undisclosed reasons in late 1997 following the band's tour in support of the band's sixth studio album, Hear in the Now Frontier. Many speculate his place in the band caused a strain on his marriage and there were rumors of band members suffering from problems with alcohol. DeGarmo was succeeded in Queensryche by Kelly Gray (1998–2002), Mike Stone (2002–2008), and Parker Lundgren (2008–present). Geoff Tate fronted the band as singer for thirteen studio albums between 1984 and 2013. Following the release of their 12th studio album Dedicated To Chaos, tensions between Tate and the rest of the band openly manifested themselves at a concert on April 14, 2012 in Săo Paulo, Brazil, when Tate, who was irate over the firing of his wife and stepdaughter as the band's manager and fanclub manager, allegedly physically assaulted and spat on drummer Scott Rockenfield and guitarist Michael Wilton. After hoping to reconcile with Tate, the other founding members Rockenfield, Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson decided to fire Tate. Meanwhile, Jackson, Rockenfeld, Wilton and guitarist Parker Lundgren began working with vocalist, Todd La Torre, known as singer for the band Crimson Glory, who became Tate's replacement. La Torre's first album with the band self-titled Queensryche and his 2nd release Human Condition have reiced praise from reviewers. The replacement of Tate has definitively sparked a new fouond energy as the band has returned more to their original progressive sound, fronted by the powerful vocals of La Torre which rival Geoff Tate in his early days. Tate attempted to sue the band for use of the name Queensyche but lost the lawsuit and went on to start his own band which he aptly named Operation Mindcrime. Needless to say Queensryche faired better and have captured the minds of their fans all over again with their latest comeback. The bands latest performance at the M3 Festival was amazing and has re-sparked my interest.


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