Queensryche - Dedicated To Chaos
Loud N' Proud
Pop/Experimental Garbage
12 songs ()
Release year: 2011
Queensryche
Reviewed by Erik

With the release of a new album from a formerly landmark progressive metal band such as Queensryche, the world of fandom collectively holds their breath to see whether or not they could pull another crown jewel out of their hats. Well ladies and gentlemen, the wait is over, and it was SO worth it!! It's hard to imagine an album as good as Operation: Mindcrime, let alone better still, but Dedicated To Chaos delivers on a mighty scale. Forget everything you've heard from the last decade, this one tops all of them, from the awe-inspiring vocals, to blistering yet melodic guitarwork, to pounding yet technically precise drumming -- Queensryche is back with a vengeance!

If only. The sad fact is that this album is, quite frankly, an embarassment. I distinctly remember watching the Operation: LIVECrime DVD, and what an amazing show they put on. Geoff Tate and the guys were at the pinnacle of their career, and indeed of the progressive metal scene for that time period. Since that time, their decline has been painful to watch but impossible to ignore. What we have here, with their 12th studio album, is nothing short of hitting rock bottom -- I'm hesitant to even include the word "rock". You may have thought Q2k was bad, but you haven't heard anything yet.

In fact, if you can help it, don't even bother listening. Let's start with the track titles. So we've gone from Revolution Calling and Empire to Wot We Do and Big Noize? Seriously, with the juvenile text-speak? Then we get to the music at hand. Of course, with DeGarmo long gone, it would be easy to place part of the blame there, but even so, OM2 and American Soldier were at least kind of tolerable in a dark, modern sort of way. No, crap like this from such a previously monumental band almost takes deliberation to make it this horrible. Perhaps a clue lies with the official release statement, which states that Tate and producer Kelly Gray couldn't care less about what fans want, and that they knowingly made a horrible record just because they're Queensryche and you're not. Read between the lines.

Given Gray's history, this should have been no surprise, really. Still, within the first few seconds, your sense of what the 'Ryche should sound like -- even in a pop metal or radio rock setting -- will be skewed in a way you cannot imagine. The guitar-based melodies of yore have been left so far behind, they are hardly a speck in the rearview mirror. Lyrically, this is an empty wasteland, devoid of any content beyond the scope of today's senseless pop artists. The deep, poetic themes and storylines so many of us grew up memorizing and relishing are banished to the distant past. Is there anything positive to say? Scott Rockenfield's drumming is decent. And . . . that's about it.

I refuse to dignify any individual tracks with specific description, which is saying something. Fans of Tate's solo project from a decade ago will no doubt love DTC, but to any true fan of what these guys used to represent, it's clear that this is nothing more than a delusional middle-aged man acting out some sort of mental breakdown, and the result is a frisbee that everyone involved in producing should be ashamed of. Even pop metal or radio rock can be effective and a lot of fun when done well, but this is far from the case here. There is no defense for this travesty, and this is coming from a big fan.

Queensryche was one of the first prominent progressive metal bands, but their "progression", if you can call it that, has dissolved into regression. A group of musicians with Queensryche's status and capabilities is supposed to move forward rather than collapse in an undignified heap at the bottom of the music chain. What Tate and his ego have accomplished here is severely damaging to the Queensryche stigma, and without doubt he and Gray deserve most, if not all the public criticism and maligning accompanying this farce. It would seem that the album title is more fitting than was probably intended, as their effort here is certainly Dedicated To Chaos.

Killing Songs :
Absolutely none
Erik quoted 31 / 100
Other albums by Queensryche that we have reviewed:
Queensryche - The Verdict reviewed by Joel and quoted 93 / 100
Queensryche - Condition Human reviewed by Joel and quoted 92 / 100
Queensryche - Queensryche Live from Waukesha, Wisconsin USA reviewed by Joel and quoted
Queensryche - Queensrÿche (2013 LP) reviewed by Andy and quoted 89 / 100
Queensryche - American Soldier reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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