REVIEW: Queensrÿche – Queensrÿche (2013 Japanese edition with bonus tracks)

QUEENSRŸCHE – Queensrÿche (2013 Avalon Japanese import)

RYCHE2013_0004I purchased and reviewed the domestic “deluxe edition” of Queensryche (2013) in July of this year.  I initially gave it a 3.25/5 stars, but I have since revised that score to 3.5/5.  The album continues to appeal to me greatly months later, which is more than I can say for most Queensryche discs since Promised Land.  At the end of that review, I cryptically added, “Oh, and the live bonus tracks absolutely smoke.”

Since nobody likes a tease, I’ve decided to focus on all four live tracks for this review.  For the very reasonable price of $32 USD plus $3 shipping, I had a sealed copy of Queensryche sent to me from Japan, so I now have all four live tracks.  If you want the short report:  They’re good enough that Queensryche should consider releasing a full live CD/DVD.  I’d buy it based on these four tracks.  But nobody comes to mikeladano.com for the short version.

“Queen of the Reich” is the first song I ever heard from the original  Queensryche, as I suspect is true for most of the band’s fanbase.  Right from the opening scream, I feel that this is the band that represents Queensryche.  Every note is nailed, as is every scream.  On this song Todd La Torre can do no wrong, but not just that.  I would say that his versions are, in general, fresh sounding.  He is reverent to the originals, but I also hear his own voice.  I must also commend Scott Rockenfield.  His drums are heavy as fuck, and his bass drum precisely punctuates every beat.

“En Force” is a welcome surprise.  In 2001, Eddie Jackson told me that it was considered in the running for the Live Evolution album but did not make the cut.  The good news is the guys still know how to play it!  This has never been my absolute favourite track from The Warning, but to hear it live with all the screams intact?  That’s something I never thought would happen again.

“Prophecy” is a difficult song, and although Todd doesn’t sing it album-perfect, I have to ask myself, who else these days can sing these Queensryche songs like this?  Not too many singers.  I just hope Todd doesn’t blow out his voice.  I’m sure this kind of singing takes its toll.

Last is the classic “Eyes of a Stranger”.  This is the only bonus track not from the stone ages of the Ryche, the only representation of Operation: Mindcrime.  It is actually this track, in many respects, that shows off the talents of Todd La Torre.  It is another side of the spectrum, and Todd pulls this off as well.  Look, I know Geoff Tate’s the original, etc. etc.  I get that.  Focused on the here and now, this is how I’d like to hear Queensryche sound.  Heavy, slightly progressive rock music with shredding vocals.  That’s what I like, and Queensryche deliver on these four bonus tracks.

Lastly, a word about Parker Lundgren.  I remember when Kelly Gray joined the band, on Live Evolution he lent a different sound to the band.  It was good, just different.  Parker fits much more seamlessly.   He doesn’t attract attention to himself by playing things differently, he played it the way you remember it.

Yeah, so I bought the album twice.  You knew I was going to.  For the bonus tracks:

5/5 stars

More RYCHE:

14 comments

  1. I want this, but I already bought the CD and the bonus tracks aren’t enuff to make me open my wallet once more. Guess I should have waited…
    It’s great to hear that LaTorre makes these songs justice especially when you consider the fact that Tate re-recorded a bunch of old Queensrÿche songs on his Frequency Unknown debacle and his versions sounded like they were recorded by a coverband.
    I know that Tate has some really great musicians in his band, but what does that matter when they are the wrong ones…?

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    1. Well said Jon. All respect to guys like Simon Wright and Rudy Sarzo, but I have watched and compared enough youtube videos to know which band is the real Queensryche.

      As you know I’m a collector and this kind of thing is really fun for me to get. I know not everyone can justify the money for one more song, but for me it’s not enough the money. If it was I would have found a more profitable hobby!

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  2. At this point, we’d have wondered if you were OK if you HADN’T bought the Japanese version! The completist in you would never have allowed it to happen. :) I’m happy for you that the live tracks were worth it. And now you have two copies for your shelf!

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    1. One is going into the box set section since it’s a deluxe with guitar picks and so on.

      As a completist I’m so proud of myself for not buying Frequency Unknown “just to have it”. I don’t want to spend money on music that I don’t like!

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      1. I didn’t know that “reich” means “country”…but still, the Japanese is wrong. It’s not “Reich of the Queen”!

        “Queen of the Reich (Country)” would be 「国の女王」 in Japanese.

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        1. Yes true, Reich of the Queen is definitely not the same thing! Although perhaps a good song title for the future!

          I wonder how this kind of mistake makes it into print? Bad translation perhaps?

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        2. Usually the Japanese translations of song, album and movie titles is correct. Maybe the translator misunderstood the English (German) meaning.

          Speaking of incorrect Japanese translations…the KISS album “Hotter Than Hell” has Japanese writing all over the album cover that is full of mistakes!
          It seems that it was done for aesthetic purposes only by a person who wasn’t a native Japanese speaker…

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        3. More than likely! I imagine somebody in the art department said, “Let’s throw some Japanese symbols in there,” that they looked up in a book. Interesting though, I did not know that. So all this time as a child, practicing how to write “Ace Frehley” in Japanese from the album cover, I was writing gibberish!

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        4. Did you practice writing Japanese? I’d like to see what you wrote!

          Not actually gibberish…some of the Japanese is correct. And the rest is close…but wrong.

          Ace Frehley is incorrectly written as 「エイス・フゥーリ」 which would be something like “Eh-E-su Fyuh-lee”!

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        5. Well, I practiced a lot of the artwork from albums…including the Japanese writing. But I don’t have it anymore unfortunately.

          Having said that I do have some rock doodles that I did from back in the day, which I will most definitely be posting.

          Liked by 1 person

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