Queensryche - Condition Human
Century Media
Progressive Metal
12 songs (54:00)
Release year: 2015
Queensryche, Century Media
Reviewed by Joel
Album of the month
So after an amazing return to form two years ago, Queensryche has returned with Condition Human. Knowing my review came a little bit late, I apologize, as I did not receive the promo from the label, I went out and bought this, at my local music store(not Best Buy). Queensryche is one of the first bands to ever speak to me musically, and I have been following them all my listening music life. I have heard Empire countless times, thanks to my older sister. Songs like Best I Can, Silent Lucidity, and Empire were heard over and over again, from the age of twelve and up(and to this day). With Condition Human, the band has found a way to combine the earlier influences of albums like Rage For Order/The Warning with everything right up to Promised Land(still underrated for what the album is in my opinion). With their self titled return, Queensryche has moved on, but is it everything a fan has hoped for?

Just based on Arrow Of Time, the first track, then answer is a resounding YES! A twin harmony guitar lead opens the song off, before the signature Scott Rockenfield drums and Eddie Jackson basslines come in. Then there is Todd La Torre, seen in the beginning to some as a Geoff Tate clone, who on this album sounds like Todd La Torre, instead of a now has-been singer who has no idea how to sing or write a song anymore. A solid opener that sets the stage for what is to come. Guardian is the next song, and has some a melodic guitar lead in the beginning, that I really love the guitar tone. Guardian is a mix of heavy groove riffs, La Torre's amazing falsetto in parts, and of course amazing musicianship that you can watch HERE.
The straight ahead Hellfire is a groove infested head banging good time, while Toxic Remedy is one of my favorite songs on the entire disc. It is a difficult song to describe with one hell of a chorus. Selfish Lives could have been a Promised Land era song, but with La Torre's solid vocals and ability to command his range, makes that a mute point. This song allows La Torre to shine brighter especially with the more subdued nature of the music behind him(albeit one hell of a guitar solo later in the song!). Eddie Jackson can be heard starting off the standout song Eye9. Standout because it does not sound musically like the other songs on the rest of the disc. From the vocals, to the music itself, and the overall feel this song could have been a mess for a band not as talented. Multifaceted yet simple(oxymoron anyone?) and every bit moving and melodic as well(Guitar solos again, really grab my attention here).

The next three songs are all of the slower variety, yet are different from each other. The haunting and melancholic Bulletproof is a traditional arena power ballad. La Torre really shines here, the open guitar chords used sparingly against the vocal backdrop. The chorus is simple, lyrics sung from the heart, the full band joining in, and emotion running high. The guitar work as per usual is fantastic. Hourglass is another song that could have fit into the Promised Land and before era. The chorus is definitely a highlight to a very solid song. The uniqueness of La Torre's vocals shines through at the beginning of Just Us. Sounding different then anything else we have ever heard from him at anytime or anywhere. Somber and heartfelt vocals and lyrics, over strummed acoustic guitars, yet 100% Queensryche, with some nice harmony vocals to boot. All There Was speeds things up after a trio of more melodic and slower songs. I would have loved to hear two or three more songs like this, but that is just nitpicking and I am really NOT complaining at all. Not much else can be said that has not already been typed, or described, just consistent as everything that came before it. The twin lead guitar work on this song is downright amazing and technical, and I am sure will be fun to see the band pull off live. The final song is also the title track. In the former tradition of the last song being epic(Road to Madness or even Eyes Of A Stranger anyone?) this song is definitely that. One for you to go listen too, versus reading what I have to say about it.

Not much else can be said, but I really love the longer songs, the guitar work(Parker Lundgren and Michael Wilton do an amazing job!), the rhythm work of Jackson and Rockenfield as well. Speaking of the original three, Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson and Michael Wilton, definitely have something here to be proud of, a success in every sense of the word, and definitely one of my personal top ten albums of the year.
Killing Songs :
Joel quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Queensryche that we have reviewed:
Queensryche - The Verdict reviewed by Joel and quoted 93 / 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 - Dedicated To Chaos reviewed by Erik and quoted 31 / 100
Queensryche - American Soldier reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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