REVIEW: Queensryche – “Redemption” (2013 single)

QUEENSRYCHE – “Redemption” (2013 single from the forthcoming new album Queensryche)

Ever since I first saw the video for “Queen of the Reich” back in, oh, ’84 or around there, I’ve been a fan of this band.  I’ve followed them through ups (Operation: Mindcrime) but pretty much abandoned them on the downs (Tribe).  As time went on it seemed that former singer Geoff Tate was in command, and his choices of direction or stage show hasn’t always been to my taste, nor that of many fans.

Hiring a new singer this late in the game is very rarely a good move.  But it seems fairly obvious that Tate was poisoning his relationship with the band and fans, and it was with relief to me when they finally fired him and moved on.  Todd La Torre is completely unknown to me, I had never heard his work with Crimson Glory.  The new Queensryche single “Redemption” from their untitled album due in June is the first time I’ve heard any of his original material.

The verdict?  It’s pretty much exactly what I expected.  It sounds like Queensryche circa Warning through to Mindcrime, but with modern touches.  There’s some solid riffing here, but not so much the audio collages of sound that Queensryche tend to do in the studio.  La Torre nails the vintage Tate vibe without adding a whole lot to it, right down to the multitracked backing vocals.  The track doesn’t expand the Queensryche sound, which is the opposite of what they used to do.  In this case I understand the reasons.  After a decade of more or less disappointing albums and wandering directions, now is not the time to experiment musically.  Queensryche had to return to a vintage sound, as demanded by their fans, and do so authentically.  I think they do this authentically by genuinely desiring to play that kind of music right now.

It’s hard to do a simple rating on a song I’ve been waiting for like this.  Am I underwhelmed?  Slightly.  Is that because I got exactly what I expected?  Probably.  Is it good?  Yes.  Am I looking forward to the album?  Big time.

3.5/5 stars

More Queensryche:

Mike Ladano: Exclusive EDDIE JACKSON interview, part I

Mike Ladano: Exclusive EDDIE JACKSON interview, part II

Mike Ladano: Exclusive EDDIE JACKSON interview, part III

Mike Ladano: Exclusive EDDIE JACKSON interview, part IV

35 comments

  1. I’ve always been a passive Queensryche fan. I wasn’t into ’80s metal at the time, so their first few albums didn’t mean anything to me at the time. Like a lot of people, they won me over with “Empire” and I soon went back & discovered their amazing early records. I continued buying their releases probably through “Q2K” but then lost interest, and I’ve kept tabs on the recent nonsense going on between them & Tate with only a slightly bemused level of interest. I didn’t expect to care about anything either version of the band came up with, but I was really impressed with this new song. It’s rare that a band can sound like their former selves with a new lead singer (Journey being a notable exception), but in this case they really do sound like classic Queensryche. It can never be the same (especially without Chris DeGarmo), but I’d rather hear more of this than the crap I’ve heard from them in recent years. Not sure I’ll buy the new album, but if I hear a few more songs like this I might consider it…for the right price.

    Excellent write-up. Thorough & objective, as always.

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      1. Well Rich, “at the time” I noticed your “at the time” but I wasn’t going to say anything at the time.

        You can count on me buying this Queensryche album and talking about it here. From there, perhaps you will choose to add it to your collection, perhaps not. As for the other Ryche’s album I’m on the fence. I will probably just end up skipping it.

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        1. By “the other Ryche’s album” I assume you’re speaking of Tate’s folly, right? I look forward to your review of the new non-Tate Queensryche album, which will help me decide whether I’ll be parting with my hard-earned cash. The first song certainly has me intrigued.

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        2. I call the other one TateRyche, yeah.

          I can tell you that behind the scenes at LeBrain Central, there has been some negative feedback to this track. I sent it to two trusted compadres last night and they did not enjoy. They know who they are and I am sure they will be along to comment!

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  2. The esteemed Heavy Metal OverloRd found this review from Team Tate on the Blabbermouth website. I wonder how long it took them to compose this:

    “Gone is the raw passion of Geoff Tate that enabled listeners to develop strong, decades-long emotional connections to Queensryche’s music. It has been replaced by a contrived sense of expression which resides on a frequency indiscreetly manipulated by technology and hidden under a plethora of vocal effects. What remains is a shell of what used to be. Soulless and hollow. A mass produced template of something that could be so much more. This is not the Queensryche we used to know.

    “The soon to be released Frequency Unknown (April 23) shows that where Geoff Tate is, there also is the true heart and soul of Queensryche. Accept no substitutes.”

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  3. After years of Geoff Tate bringing us lifeless albums with a less than stellar voice, I think this version of Queensryche will bring a breath of fresh air to fans. Are some fans going to disagree? Of course. I think expectations tend to ruin an album for listeners, mine included as in each new Queensryche release. I was okay with them up until ‘Tribe’ and after that they just went downhill and their last release, ‘Dedicated to Chaos’ was a complete disaster and returning to form it was absolutely not. But then again, Tate praises his recent solo release and that was just as disastrous. I only wish he could sing these days instead of talking through the songs. It will be very interesting to hear the rest of this album as well as Tate’s version. Time will tell and the battle of two lead singers with fans will soon begin. Examples: Gabriel / Collins, Roth / Hager, Perry / Pineda, DeYoung / Gowan, etc.

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  4. If anyone wants to check out snippets from Tate’s version of QR head over to Amazon and check them out. I don’t think I’ll be spending my cash on whatever that is. The best part of that album might be the re-recordings of 4 songs from Tate’s better days. But that’s not saying much of the content of the new album then, is it? But yet, titling the album as he did is just a reflection of his glorified ego it seems which is very uncool and pathetic. Fan’s reviews will say it all on both versions of QR.

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    1. I did listen to the Tate samples. Of course it sounds like another solo album, because that’s what it is. They didn’t leave me with a strong impression but the remakes suck. And he didn’t even write Silent Lucidity. And the title is completely unworthy of Queensryche’s catalogue.

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  5. Looks like here in Michigan, at a small-ish outdoor concert shed, a “Warriors Of Rock” tour is scheduled to touch down in late August…Vince Neil, Queensryche, and Slaughter. Judging by the grainy photo, it looks like this is gonna be Queensryche, not TateRyche. Check the egos at the gate…

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  6. I’ve been a fan of Queensryche since the first EP. Queensryche has always been the combination of the musicians and Tate’s voice. The worst part of the last 30 years was the loss of DeGarmo…lesser albums and all. So I’ve been waiting to hear the TWO Queensryches. Sometime the band can live on with a new singer (Journey, Iron Maiden, Van Halen) and sometimes the outgoing voice is just too powerful to replace. LaTorre’s voice is just so over-produced, which is not the Queensryche sound. This song simply sucks as a Queensryche tune. I can find very few Queensryche songs worse than is one. Sorry band…find a singer who can sing next time.

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    1. Can’t say that I agree with you at all, but thanks for sharing.

      (EDIT: I removed the rest of interactions from bedfordstories and myself, as they amounted to personal comments, and I don’t need the grief. I do this for fun.)

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  7. To me, the new single which I am looking to hear again and again, I enjoyed after the first listen. Because, when I saw the listing that Queensryche are releasing Dedicated to Chaos, I thought to myself, ‘kool. New stuff from one of my favorite all-time bands. Then, fell apart in disappointment thinking, what shit this is. Sorry for the ‘pun’ but want to leave an honest bit of feedback. Heard ‘redemption’ and thought it was very good!!!! ‘Cold’ by Tateryche is but is not the best I’ve heard. It definitely could have been better. Would definitely enjoy the new queensryche sound for one of my movies. LOL!!! Hey, even we filmmakers need good music for their movies. And if the new release sounds like ‘redemption’, it will be worth the listen.

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    1. Hey William, thanks for checking in. I reviewed Cold as well, I don’t think it’s a bad song, but it didn’t sound like Queensryche to me. It will be interesting to hear both albums. Obviously with a band like Queensryche, it’s more about albums than songs! I believe Tateryche is out next week.

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  8. Does anyone else read Mike’s “Tateryche” and Tater Itch? Or am I the only one? Well, at least it gives me another name to call that stabby bastard when I get tired of calling him Stabby (as I am getting tired of even hearing about these exploits). I’ll call him the Itchy Potato. The Itchy Potato that’ll stab your ass.

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    1. I have no fucking idea what an Itchy Potato is, but…HAHAHAH!

      I suppose I take guilty pleasure in talking about this guy. I know you like to read everything I post, and that is cool. I won’t be reviewing the new album next week, I have no plans to pay money for it currently. Maybe if somebody puts the whole thing up on youtube, I’ll listen to it. But I can’t morally justify giving him my money, right now. Who knows, that might be a mistake, maybe his album will become a collector’s item in November if the other band wins the name?

      The real Ryche’s album, you can count on hearing about from me, as open-mindedly as I am able.

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      1. I keep seeing “Frequency Unknown” for $9.99 since release date at my local big box retailer, and just like Mike says, I can’t bring myself to give any money to GT to buy it!!! I mean, it has that “car crash” appeal to it, where I can’t help but want to stop and listen and stare, but I just can’t part with the cash…!

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        1. One part of me wants to buy it and then send in for to replacement remixed CD right away, just to “have them all”. But what’s the point if I’ll never listen to it?

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  9. Every time I read that, all I see it as is Tater Itch. Itchy potato stabby train wreck.

    I read all your posts, of course. But the QR and TR posts, I have to admit, I skim read them at best. I’m really pretty tired of the whole thing. And I don’t even care about that band.

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        1. Personally I think you might dig the early albums, particularly since you’ve been into Maiden lately. The Warning would be right up your alley. If you can score a CD or LP in Toronto for $5 or under, I’d consider it.

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  10. I have to agree, Mike, that keeping opinions open and honest is the main theme for as you as a music reviewer, but then again, ‘redemption’ and ‘cold’ are good looking at the reviews you gave them from the get-go. But, all in all, it’s a matter of what one personally likes when you come down to it. And, btw- the whole issue should be laid to rest……NOT the band itself.

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    1. Yeah you’re right — it all comes down to personal taste and preference. What sounds great to one person sounds like crap to another. The proof of that is Nickelback!

      Ultimately the bottom line is we’ll be getting two very different albums. Some people will like one, some people will like the other, some might like both and some might like neither. With this band, albums are key.

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    1. I saw enough of it on youtube. I would have been embarrassed to do that gig. Sometimes Tate’s taste and mine are the opposite.

      I saw his new video today. He is drinking wine, and watching youtube videos of people who hate Frequency Unknown.

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      1. It was embarrassing to watch. We met Tate randomly at a bar before the gig….he is so not the guy from debut EP thru Mindcrime

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        1. I am trying to figure out who “the guy” Tate is/was!?!?! Just such a bizarre metal diva we seem to be dealing with. I gotta admit, he has been shameless in keeping himself in the public eye. Without this weirdness we have been witnessing the last several months, he would be TOTALLY a forgotten signpost on the pomp-metal highway!

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        2. Yeah I agree to a certain degree. I don’t think he’d be as obscure a a band like, say, Fates Warning, but nobody would be talking about him. Maybe this public meltdown is by design.

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