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Queensrÿche - American Soldier
Way back in the eighties Queensrÿche released its first concept album Operation Mindcrime. It was incredibly well received and the Seattle rockers thus entered the major league of metal. Up until 1994’s Promised Land Queensrÿche stayed in the multi-million seller, big arena act world. For reasons unknown they decided to take a u-turn in their musical direction and headed out on the grunge highway. Hear in The Now Frontier came out as a result and was a big disaster. With losing fans and their original guitarist Chris deGarmo their future looked grim. After releasing a handful of mediocre albums, they decided to write a follow up to Operation Mindcrime. It didn’t exactly bring them back, but Mindcrime 2 is one of their better albums. So they decided to release another concept album: American Soldier.

Speaking about the inspiration for the album, Tate said on the Queensrÿche website: We always had incredible support from members of the Armed Services. After every show, I’d end up speaking with a fan that was or had been involved with the military. The more and more I began to hear their accounts and feelings, the more I really felt a conviction to tell their story. Over the last two years, I’ve conducted dozens of one-on-one interviews with veterans of many different American wars. I listened to their amazing and moving recounts and did my best to examine war through their eyes.

I was a bit afraid after reading this that it was going to be a huge patriotic story about how great and wonderful the United States is. It tells war stories from a firsthand perspective, and giving that fact it could easily become a recruiting campaign. And for those fans who aren’t American, is this an interesting subject? Does it overshadow the music? My first impression, yes it does. You hear fragments of interviews with members of US army. All very interesting, but it doesn’t really affect me. Ok, it is not just about the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war in ‘Nam and World War II are also mentioned. It doesn’t send shivers down my spine though.

The songs are nice, in your typical Queensrÿche fashion. The opening song ’Sliver’ is apparently a duet with a rapper, something I actually despise. ‘Unafraid’ and ‘Hundred Mile Stare’ are with the exception of the spoken fragments in the vein of albums like Q2K and Tribe. Nothing really special. The first track that reminds me of how brilliant these Seattle rockers once were is ‘If I Were King’. Geoff Tate’s great voice really comes across in a beautiful melody. Spiced up with a great guitar solo it is an outstanding track. And so is the next track ‘Man Down!’ And this fact has been haunting them since about 1994. A couple of great songs on each album and that’s it. I can hardly believe that I’m writing this, but this album is for the fans only. For anybody who wants to explore Queensrÿche, I strongly recommend Operation Livecrime.
Queensrÿche - American Soldier
75/1001Details Atco Records/Rhino Entertainment
Released on Tuesday Mar 31st, 2009
Heavy metal, progressive metal

Writer @Angel on Monday Apr 27th, 2009

Tags: #Queensrÿche
Tracklisting Sliver
Unafraid
Hundred Mile Stare
At 30,000 Ft
A Dead Man's Words
The Killer
Middle of Hell
If I Were King
Man Down!
Remember Me
Home Again
The Voice
Line up Geoff Tate - Lead/Backing Vocals; Horns
Michael Wilton - Lead/Rhythm/Acoustic Guitars
Eddie Jackson - Bass Guitars
Scott Rockenfield - Drums

With:

Emily Tate - Vocals (Track 11)
Jason Ames - Vocals (1 & 8)
A.J. Fratto - Vocals (1)
Vincent Solano - Vocals (5)
Kelly Grey - Additional Guitars
Damon Johnson - Additional Guitars
Randy Gane - Keyboards