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Queensryche: Digital Noise Alliance
Queensryche - Digital Noise Alliance Album Art

Queensryche: Digital Noise Alliance

Melodic/Prog/Power Metal
4.5/5.0

My last encounter with Queensryche was with 2015's Human Condition which was the second album with replacement, now permanent, vocalist Todd La Torre (from Crimson Glory). Mr La Torre was an excellent choice to replace Geoff Tate whom the band fired ten years ago. Queensryche, once getting out from under Geoff Tate's legal assault, has never looked back. Human Condition was a fine album of more classic melodic heavy power metal, cementing Queensryche fresh start and future.

Queensryche Click For Larger Image

Queensryche

Now the iconic American metal band returns with their latest and sixteenth studio recording, Digital Noise Alliance. It arrives with some personnel changes. Guitarist Mike Stone returns, notable for his contributions to Operation: Mindcrime II and Tribe. Scott Rockenfield, who left a few years back on paternity leave, is out on drums to be replaced by Casey Grillo, who has served time with Kamelot and Almah. Some studio notes for you production nerds: guitarist Michael Wilson used some old Marshall amps from Queensryche's very early years. Perhaps a bit bizarre, or in the realm of trivia, Grillo's drums were recorded in a Florida mansion previously owned by retired pro-wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan. (Whatever happened him?)



As for Queensryche's metal, the band strays little from their new classic melodic metal style with, perhaps, more or less prog nuances. The latter is likely a moot matter depending on your definition of progressive rock or metal. I simply found Digital Noise Alliance to be likable and entertaining metal for specific reasons: great song craftsmanship, extraordinary twin guitar work, perhaps some of the best yet, and their basic reliance of smart and efficient rhythm and groove in each song. This formula is self-evident within Out Of The Black, In Extremis, Hold On, and Chapters. Some things more melancholy and steady arrive with Lost In Sorrow and Forest, an otherwise metal anthem with smooth vocal harmony. If, when you think Queensryche, you think progressive metal, the most proggy tunes are likely Behind The Walls, Nocturnal Light, and most definitely the understated and intriguing mix of the closer, Tormentum. It has some nice fusion nuances in the middle. The song should definitely satisfy the most jaded prog punters out there.

My conclusion is a simple one: with Digital Noise Alliance, Queensryche is in a better and more creative musical space than they have been in years. This is entertaining melodic heavy metal with appropriate and satisfying prog intrigue. Recommended. (And you can forget Geoff Tate.)



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The Take Away

My conclusion is a simple one: with Digital Noise Alliance, Queensryche is in a better and more creative musical space than they have been in years. This is entertaining melodic heavy metal with appropriate and satisfying prog intrigue. Recommended.

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