REVIEW: Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman (2015 vinyl box set version)

As we gear up for this year’s release of the next Queensryche album The Verdict, let’s look back at a different edition of their last album Condition Hüman.  For our original 2015 review of Condition Hüman, click here!

QUEENSRŸCHE – Condition Hüman (2015 Century Media 2 LP, + 7″ single coloured vinyl box set)

It is almost customary now.  When a band comes out with a new album, there has to be a crazy deluxe edition with vinyl and CD.  The best of these editions are the ones that include exclusive music.  In the end, all the posters and booklets in the world add up to only paper.  Exclusive music is the thing of real value.

Queensryche did well with their Condition Hüman deluxe.  It was available in a variety of colours.  This one is yellow, number 659/1000.  There’s a cool turntable mat inside, and a double sided poster.  For music, the album is split onto two coloured 180 gram vinyl records, including the Japanese bonus track “Espiritu Muerto” on Side D.   (The D-side is also etched with the Queensryche logo in the empty space.)  For your convenience, the entire album including Japanese bonus track is duplicated on the CD inside.  Then for the diehards comes the true exclusive:  two more songs on a 7″ single, not on any other version of the album.  This is the real reward for spending the extra money on the deluxe.

“Espiritu Muerto” chugs heavily along, punishing the skulls of unbelievers.   On the 7″ record, the two exclusive songs are fairly non-descript. “46° North” is B-side-ish, like a leftover written for Empire but dropped in favour of something more commercial.  “Mercury Rising” is on the other side, with a vaguely psychedelic metal vibe and science fiction lyrics.

Condition Hüman itself is a strong metallic album, though with hindsight perhaps too “metal” for its own good.  There was a time, not so long ago, when fans would have begged and pleaded with Queensryche to write just one new song in the vein of Condition Hüman.  Now that we have two albums solidly back in the metal genre, it would be nice to hear real diversity in Queensryche again.

That said, Condition Hüman is a damn fine album for what it is.  The Queensryche of today, fronted by Todd La Torre, has been determined to retain trademark elements from Queensryche’s 80s heyday.  That includes strong riffs, dual harmony solos, and screamin’ vocals.  These are all delivered with gravy on top.

The vinyl experience of Condition Hüman is actually superior to that of CD.  It was always a long album, with the standard edition being 53 minutes of pretty relentless stomping.  On vinyl, you’re forced to pause and flip the record three times before even getting to the single.  These brief respites allow you to breath and absorb.  What I’ve absorbed is that Condition Hüman is still a damn fine collection of songs, if a bit too single-minded.  One gets the impression from this album that, though good, Queensryche can still do better.

4/5 stars

LP-A1 Arrow Of Time
LP-A2 Guardian
LP-A3 Hellfire
LP-A4 Toxic Remedy

LP-B1 Selfish Lives
LP-B2 Eye 9
LP-B3 Bulletproof
LP-B4 Hourglass

LP-C1 Just Us
LP-C2 All There Was
LP-C3 The Aftermath
LP-C4 Condition Hüman

LP-D1 Espiritu Muerto

7″-A 46° North
7″-B Mercury Rising

15 comments

    1. Well what can you do I guess? I think one thing that holds this band back is they are not as diverse as they used to be. If you put an oddball track on a B-side because it didn’t fit with the album, those are sometimes the best songs!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like Todd La Torre, but I just can’t get into the new Queensrÿche in the same way that I did before. They’re a top 5 band for me, I fucking love Queensrÿche. The band really pushed me through a lot of rough times, and I love how they changed styles each album without losing their identity (at least before Tate totally took over). That being said, they lost the two most distinctive/important members in DeGarmo and Tate, and now their third most distinctive since Rockenfield is gone. These new La Torre albums are definitely better than anything since Tribe, but I don’t think in a million years that they’ll make an album that captures the magic of everything they did from the EP to Promised Land. Just a killer run of albums, one of the best in rock.

    I know everyone praises La Torre and says he lives up to Geoff Tate, but I don’t believe it. No one is as good as Geoff Tate in his prime. The Warning is one of the best vocal efforts in any genre, and he kept up being the greatest until they did Empire. He still was amazing then though, and his Empire voice is more or less the one he’s settled into over the years. He just started using the upper register much less, which is understandable. On top of that he wrote some of the best and most thought provoking lyrics in metal. (Or DeGarmo wrote them, either way the lyrics aren’t the same now).

    I’ll admit I stopped following them after HITNF, but I decided to pick up Q2K, Tribe, and Mindcrime II last September. I hadn’t heard them in years, and they didn’t leave much of an impression. I still can’t get over how much I enjoy Q2K though now. Tribe was good, Mindcrime II was crap. Q2K is easily my favorite of their post DeGarmo stuff. “Breakdown” is just a great song, accompanied by many others. I thought that I would hate it because of Kelly “Oven Mitts” Gray, but this is one of the only records he was involved in that I don’t think he ruined. Live Evolution was pretty good too, even if Oven Mitts butchered the DeGarmo parts.

    I’ll probably still buy The Verdict though, I love the band too much not to. Sorry for the rant, my passion for this band took over. In a three and a half decade career, they really only have two or three records I don’t enjoy. Pretty good win-loss ratio.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To clarify, I meant that when I heard those three albums (Q2K, Tribe, OMC II) the first time they didn’t leave an impression. Now that I’ve been listening to them again, I really like Q2K, I enjoy enough of Tribe, but Mindcrime II still seems like a disgrace.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Q2k is, in my opinion, quite great. Mindcrime II is boring as hell. I can’t remember the majority of the songs. Tribe, they lost me on that one and Hear in the Now Frontier. For such a good band, Queensryche made some pretty bad albums.

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        1. A guess a few pretty bad stinkers are the price we pay for them trying something new. It just seems like in the ’80s they were trailblazers with Rage for Order dabbling with an industrial sound really early before it was popular, doing a metal concept album when no one else had the guts to do so, turning totally inward with Promised Land, etc.

          Something changed with Hear in the Now Frontier, they became followers. They went grunge after it was already dying off, and started becoming inspired by the crappy rock around them instead of inspiring other people themselves. They went from being pioneers to treading water, and their music hasn’t been nearly as interesting since then. Todd’s stuff is good, but I don’t really feel like they’re doing anything new like they were from 1982-1994.

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    2. This guy gets it.

      Agreed. I don’t think LaTorre will ever release anything as magical as Rage For Order. Or as unique, or groundbreaking, or brave. As you mentioned, three of the key creative forces are gone. Two of those creative forces were pretty huge ones.

      The best we can hope from Queensryche is good heavy metal music, with a slightly progressive side. But I’ll take it. I miss the old days…picking up Mindcrime or Rage, and at first thinking “what is this?” and then suddenly you get it.

      Of course I too will buy The Verdict but I have to wait and see what the different versions will be first.

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  2. Slick looking Ryche Pack their Mikey!
    I may have to check out some of the post Tater Tots stuff as with some bands I have a hard time getting used to these member changes and silliness between members and x members that it just tunes me out…
    Than again it was just this past 6 months to realize how great of an album The Warning was! That only took me 34 years to wake up to that fact!
    HAHA….
    Great review Dude!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tater Tots! LOL! “Napoleon, gimme some of your tots!”

      Like the Warning, Condition Human takes time and listens. But man the title track is a monster! It’s like Warning meets Mindcrime. It’s great stuff and it’s such a shame that Tate hates heavy metal.

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  3. I kinda gave up on Queensryche somewhere in the late 90’s and I have really listened to nothing with the new singer or Geoff’s Tate’s stuff for that matter. Someday I will explore it, especially it is more old school Queensryche.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Man it was so easy to give up on Queensryche at that time. I did. I hated Tribe and to this day I still don’t own the live album that came after Tribe.

      Now I have heard a few cool Tate solo songs. “Cold” and “Reinventing the Future” are pretty good songs.

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