Queensrÿche - Digital Noise Alliance

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 15 in year-2022

If the term 'balkanization' can be applied to any entity within the rock industry, then the band Queensrÿche must surely be it.

Queensrÿche - Digital Noise Alliance
ARTIST: Queensrÿche
ALBUM: Digital Noise Alliance
LABEL: Century Media
SERIAL: 19658737032
YEAR: 2022

LINEUP: Todd LaTorre - vocals * Michael Wilton, Mike Stone - guitars * Eddie Jackson - bass * Casey Grillo - drums

Additional Musicians: Zuess - keyboards, programming * John Zahner - keyboards (#12)

TRACK LISTING: 01 In Extremis * 02 Chapters *03 Lost In Sorrow * 04 Sicdeth * 05 Behind The Walls * 06 Nocturnal Light * 07 Out Of The Black * 08 Forest * 09 Realms * 10 Hold On * 11 Tormentum * 12 Rebel Yell (bonus)

RATING: Score of 95%


If the term 'balkanization' can be applied to any entity within the rock music industry, then the band Queensrÿche must surely be it. But then again, true fans may be blind to this and just thank the lucky stars that there are two versions of the band in existence as at late 2022. In the past we've reviewed the Geoff Tate lineup plus this lineup: the Wilton/Jackson version. I would have added the name of Scott Rockenfield but he is no longer in the band, we'll discuss that shortly.

I had to wind back the clock to 2015 to recall that fork in the road when the two versions of the original Queensrÿche spliced off, though the split happened earlier in time. This version retaining the legacy sound while Tate's Operation Mindcrime went full native prog with contrasting results. That band also have a new album coming soon according to reports on Twitter.

Queensrÿche 2.0 have a new drummer in former Kamelot basher Casey Grillo. Its not his first time in the studio, he did contribute parts to the last album, 2019's 'The Verdict' though Todd LaTorre did all the drum work in lieu of Scott Rockenfield who was sensationally fired from the band the year prior for supposedly being absent. Very unfair if you're aware of the circumstances. Also rejoining the band is Mike Stone, taking over from Parker Lundgren.

Queensryche Band pic 2022
[L-R] Eddie Jackson, Michael Wilton, Todd La Torre, Casey Grillo, Mike Stone

The Songs

Anyway, let's push on with 'Digital Noise Alliance' (aka DNA in this review). So what of the songs? It's razor sharp and stainless steel throughout, clean and precise. A vast improvement from many prior efforts. In recent times, with LaTorre upfront, Queensrÿche v2.0 have gone to a new level, and now with Casey behind the kit, the band lose nothing with Scott's departure, even if I'm sad he's no longer there.

The album jets off with the first highlight: 'In Extremis'. This one has a bit everything that is so appealing about the band, and it's only the first track! 'Chapters' has a hint of a commercial sound, if you can say that about a metal band, but it still revs along at a good clip. 'Lost In Sorrow' sees Queensrÿche divert to their stock and trade melodic metal sound with good results.

I'm not quite sure what the title 'Sicdeth' means, I'm guessing it's a snapshot of the current state of the world, but whatever, Casey Grillo lifts the tempo immeasurably for this one. Big keyboards announce 'Behind The Walls', there are some thumping bass lines from Eddie Jackson, the whole song an intense affair and how about that chorus?

'Nocturnal Light' has a darker vibe in the vein of Pagan's Mind which is right up my alley. Listen out for the God/overlord spoken narrative. 'Celestial Entrance' anyone? 'Out Of The Black' is a reminder of how this band used to be back in the 80's, what a treat to listen to. 'Forest' is the obvious ballad, it's OK but not really my bag.

Check out those glorious vocals and twin guitar work on 'Realms'. Double thumbs up for this one. 'Hold On' is also a winner for me, the perfect blend of restraint, latent power and melody. 'Tormentum' is the longest track here at 7 and a half mins, it's kinda brutal and epic all rolled up in one. Rebel Yell' as a bonus track is a super way to end the album, one of the better covers of this iconic 80's track.

In Summary

'Digital Noise Alliance' has been getting great press from what I've seen out on the Net, and as at the time of writing: Nov 2022, Queensrÿche are out on tour in tandem with the Metal Gods Judas Priest on their North American leg in support of the album. I've enjoyed the last two albums from these guys ('Condition Human' 2015, 'The Verdict' 2019), so DNA makes for a solid trifecta. Listening to this reminds me of the past greatness of this band. Glad to hear them over-achieving once more. Check it out.


In Extremis

Behind The Walls

Hold On

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    gdazegodgdazegod Antipodes

    Again, videos are only viewable on YouTube. Is this a new thing?

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    edited November 17

    Clips sound ok, but I think I'm over this band - too much bad blood be it Tate or Rockenfield -lawsuits here and there. It just tarnished them for me and this is from me being into them since QRyche E.P. on 206, even buying a ticket to see Dio only because they were support on the Warning tour. I bought the first album with Todd and was pretty unimpressed and just couldn't get excited enough to even bother getting successive albums, again the tarnished image being a factor. I quite like some of the latter day Tate albums that get bad press but then all the bad blood became public after those. On top of that the Tate solo stuff leaves me cold too including the "QRyche" - Frequency Unknown. I'll stick with the Tate era proper QRyche stuff but after that I'm done. I think DeGarmo is the only one who has come out of this situation with any integrity.

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    gdazegodgdazegod Antipodes

    Nonsense goes on with all these top bands. Megadeth, Journey, Survivor, Priest, Manowar, Virgin Steele.. off the top of my head..

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    Speaking of Journey, there aren't enough words in my vocabulary to describe just how appalling that new album of theirs is. I listened to it one afternoon and wished I owned a physical copy so I could smash it in half.

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    edited November 18

    hahaha- I have to agree - Freedom...should have named it Boredom. 73 minutes too long 77 minutes too long if you get the Japanese version with the completely unremarkable track "Hard to Let It Go" - I always thought bonus tracks for Japan were supposed to be a plus - but this seems like a curse, better buy it without it . The whole album is like pulling teeth - it's like a funeral dirge throughout - "All Day and All Night" tries to rock it - but just comes across unfocussed noodling BS. Where's the equivalent to the feel good punch the air of "Be Good to Yourself", "Edge of the Blade", "Escape", "Wheel in the Sky", where's the truly emotive parallel of "Mother, Father", "Open Arms" "Too Late" e.t.c.? What a miserable downer of an album.

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    gdazegodgdazegod Antipodes

    I'll have a Journey review up in a few days. I won't be as hyper critical as you guys, but you can save it for that article.

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