REVIEW: Queensryche – Dedicated to Chaos (2011 special edition)

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QUEENSRYCHE – Dedicated to Chaos (2011 Roadrunner special edition)

Dedicated to Chaos will probably go down in history as the album that broke up Geoff Tate and Queensryche. The ironic thing was that Tate and the band hyped this album as a collaborative effort, with songwriting efforts from the whole band.  It seemed from the early press releases that there was a conscious effort to have the original members contributing as equal members.  Even Scott Rockenfield sounded genuinely psyched:

“It’s huge rock but with a great dance vibe to it, real modern dance. It’s kind of like Rage through a time tunnel, bringing it into the now. There are a lot of electronic elements to it. It’s a big rock thing that is going to have a lot of color to it — it’s good and really intense.”

Hearing that, I was excited. Not for the idea of “modern dance”, but for the Rage For Order vibe through a time tunnel. That could have been good. Unfortunately those are just words. Dedicated to Chaos may have elements from Rage and Promised Land (samples) but it is lightyears away from anything “rock”…certainly not “a big rock thing” as Rockenfield claimed.

Is it progressive rock? Who cares. It’s not good enough for a band of Queensryche’s stature. Tate’s friends Kelly Gray, Randy Gane, and Jason Slater also collaborated, watering down the attempt at re-integrating the band members. The impact of Jackson, Wilton and Rockenfield can barely be felt, even on the songs they co-wrote.

So here we are with Dedicated To Chaos, supposedly a rebirth but actually a funeral. It could have been my favourite album since Promised Land, had they delivered what they promised. The guitar patterns are more drony than riffy. There are electronic effects, as indicated. There is a huge emphasis on rhythm, but not necessarily groove. To its credit, much like Promised Land and Rage, there are unfamiliar sounds coming from everywhere. Some are percussive, others are more musical, but this is another true headphones album from Queensryche. If you actually wanted to hear what they were up to. Which I do not, I’ve given it a chance. I listened intently when it came out, and initially gave the album a rough grade of a 4/5, assuming it would grow on me. It did the opposite, and I liked it less with each listen.

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This layout annoys me to no end.

My biggest complaint with Queensryche was Geoff Tate’s aging voice. It seems to have lost so much range and power over the years to the point where I can’t listen to Take Cover at all. The voice isn’t getting any better. At least it was recorded better than Take Cover. He’s using more of his own voices too. This is done particularly well on “Got It Bad”.

The positives: “Get Started” which sounds almost Empire-lite.  Melodically strong was “Around The World”, which also has a nice positive message. You’ll hear more of Tate’s sax on “Higher” which is a modern sounding song with just a pinch of funk, yet with dual guitar solos. Lyrically, we’re all over the map. “Retail Therapy” is just pissed off at the world. “Around The World” has a kum-bay-a peace and love message. We’ve even got some civil disobedience and the hint of a conspiracy theory in “At the Edge”: “Time to look at what’s behind closed doors, Got gasoline, ammunition, like 911, a controlled demolition.” It also happens to be one of the best and longest songs on the album.

The negatives:  Most of the bulk of the album.  It’s just forgettable.  Go ahead — tell me how “Luvnu” goes.  Can’t remember, can ya?  This piece of crap was written by Tate with his buddies Randy Gane and Kelly Gray.  Surprised?

The “special edition” had three bonus tracks. They are mellow and atmospheric, but worth having only to the fan and collector.

2.5/5 stars

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26 comments

    1. HAHAHAHAHHA! Fart/10 stars…oh man that had me chuckling this morning. That’s classic.

      I might steal that for an upcoming review I’m doing of a suck-ass comedy CD.

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  1. What a bonehead packaging move….I think the biggest bonehead packaging move was when I bought Aerosmiths Done With Mirrors on vinyl and everything was backwards on that.
    I realized they still must be pretty stoned and it might be a good record!

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        1. I’m not pro-coke or anything, but that was kinda clever. I never even though about that.

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  2. I’ve never heard this all the way through. I streamed a few songs and wasn’t impressed, I seen a few in live videos and wasn’t impressed, then I read the reviews and got put off even more.

    Heck, I’m a guy who doesn’t dislike HITNF or Q2K too much and actively loves Tribe and OMII, but even I find it hard to give this a fair chance… I’d give it a fair chance if I could find it for £1-3, but its actually usually rather expensive around here and there’s no way I’m taking such an expensive gamble on something I’m likely to hate.

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    1. I think it’s safely skip-able. I don’t even own all the Queensryche albums myself. I’m missing The Art of Live, and Frequency Unknown.

      So given that, I think you can give this one a miss. If I didn’t have it already, I wouldn’t go back to buy it.

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        1. That’s true. But now that the court case is over, and buying the album isn’t a “vote” for Tateryche, if I find it cheap I will buy it. Because of the OCD collecting thing. You understand I’m sure.

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        2. Kids. Brokeness. Lack of interest. I’m still OCD about order though and keeping things in pristine condition.

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      1. I don’t own any QR records after HITTNF except for OM II and their latest album with Todd.

        I’d give FU a chance if the cover said Geoff Tate instead of QR. It would be cool to do a new review of it as a Tate solo album. Weight Of The World is still an awesome song.

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    2. I just listened to Tribe yesterday and it has some good songs on it, like Open, but most of it is really forgettable. I think American Soldier was way better.

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      1. See, I’m the opposite. I love Tribe, every single song, but American Soldier, I love the concept, the structure and everything, but all the songs are dull to me. I want to like it because of the effort, but the actual songs don’t click with me even when I try hard

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        1. I couldn’t get through American Soldier. The second I heard Geoff Tate croak out the first few bars sounding like a watered down David Bowie or 3rd rate Bono, I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to get through that album.

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      1. Tribe at least had the members plus DeGarmo on it. It was OM:II and onwards where Tate’s buddies really started taking over the albums. Look at all the Jason Slater credits on OM:II.

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