Sunday, April 13, 2014

Episode 10: Queensryche


I was two months shy of my fourteenth birthday when Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime album exploded on the mainstream metal scene and made them a household name. And like a lot of metal fans, I went digging into their back catalog to find out more about this well-oiled amchine of a abnd band with a singer who could shatter glass. What I found was a band that was truly unique, who defied being put into any one label, be it hard rock, prog, or straight up metal.

From their 1983 demo EP up through their fourth full studio album Empire (which sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone), it seemed almost impossible for Queensryche to put our a bad song. But while some of their subsequent albums were successful (some extremely so), in my mind the quality of their music steadily declined after Empire, and Queesnryche fell of my radar. Until 2012, that is.


When I read in 2012 that Queensryche and singer Geoff Tate had split, and the bulk of the old band was continuing with a new singer, I was at least interested enough to investigate further. Like everyone else, I just assumed Queensryche would be nothing without Geoff Tate, and no vocalist would ever be able to fill his shoes. And like everyone else, I was dead wrong.

New frontman Todd La Torre is not only an adequate replacement for Tate, at this stage of his career he may even be a better vocalist. This new version of Queensryche released a self-titled album in 2013 that proved a return to The Warning and Rage for Order era sound, and hit #23 on the Billboard 200 chart. Despite the messy legal situation that currently sees two versions of Queensryche fighting over the band's name, the future for the La Torre-fronted version seems very bright.

Tonight, we look back at some of the best songs off of Queensryche's debut EP and first four albums.

Queen of the Reich


Take Hold of the flams (Live)


Walk in the Shadows (Live)


Revolution Calling


Speak


Empire



BONUS #1: For those who have yet to hear Todd La Torre and don't think he can hit the notes from the early Queensryche songs, I give you a 2012 video of La Torre singing "Queen of the Reich."



BONUS #2: And here is a song off of the 2013 self-titled album that the Todd La Torre-fronted version of Queensryche put out.




Tune in next Sunday night at 8PM EST on Twitter (twitter.com/seebrianwrite) for another episode of Sunday Night Videos, and right here on the blog for the episode notes, which will go up shortly after 9PM EST. You can tweet me recommendations or get in on the discussion every Sunday night by using the hashtag #SundayNightVideos. Rock on!

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