This is really a very weird moment in my life. To be honest, I never thought I would be in place to write about a Queensrÿche album. And I’m telling you this, because back in the day, when we all came to encounter them one day, we were treating them with a lot of respect, not so much for their undeniable speciality and the way they were approaching their music, but mostly because what they were presenting as a whole was the picture of a band that did what needed when it was needed, not caring much about press response and fan reactions. And even the tremendous success of the ”Empire” album two decades ago didn’t change their optics, since they released their most personal album after that, the marvellous ”Promised Land” of 1994.

And here is where controversy might start, since all this magic that the band had inherent, seemed to be getting lost as years were passing by. The tower of Queensrÿche was attacked from inside its quarters and the battle started going out of control for them. Since then, it’s been seventeen long years where the fans are still wondering what happened to their once beloved band, the band for which the term ”intelligent metal” was created. The departure of Chris DeGarmo in 1997 after the failed experiment of ”Hear In The Now Frontier” seems to have left an unreachable gap inside the hearts of the rest members and for sure the chemistry is lost. Also, the fact that the only truly good album they released since then, ”Tribe” in 2003, had the aura of DeGarmo’s presence who participated in the recordings but left soon, leaving the dream unfulfilled.

And here we come, the year is 2011 and Queensrÿche are celebrating three decades since their creation. In a time where even the most die hard of their fans abandoned ship with the release of their previous album ”American Soldier” in 2009, they release their twelveth full length album with the dark confusing title ”Dedicated To Chaos”. And I say confusing because it comes in great opposition with the album’s music. It is one of the most straight forward albums the Seattle based quintet has ever released and it will once again cause a great subject for discussion, mainly filled with negative comments, by fans who still try to realize what happened to the ongoing inspiration of the ’83-’94 era and why the band only reminds a ghost of its old existence.

Well, guess what folks! The album ain’t that bad as I expected. Of course, the forum discussions cry already a code red situation, with fans frustrated and this is why I must make clear why I liked it. First of all, I have to give them credit for trying something completely different, even dangerous, regarding all mentioned above. The album may last 70 minutes, which would be a pure devastation, but it flows rather quick and with some very good tracks on it like the initial ”Get Started” or the first single ”Around The World”. It is the most rocking album they have done and it feels like they are travelling back to the past a bit, with touches of ”Hear In The Now Frontier” and ”Tribe” on it, while others could mention a ”Promised Land” aesthetics (but only this, the result is not that super).

Geoff Tate doesn’t try to change the world with his performance but remains low tuned and physical in the age of 52 (oh yes). There is not any tremendous guitar work you’d fall in love with, and the rhythm section that once gave us chills doesn’t do anything but keep the level of the album steady. Still it’s an album that could become a grower with each new listening, despite what could be an initial disappointment. I have come to listen to it many times and it’s very pleasant, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to witness any new glory days as it seems. The new face of Queensrÿche sounds interesting but not revolutionary as it always has been. There seems to be a little spark of life in the once believed carcass of the band’s inspiration. That doesn’t mean we must not be strict to them though. But it’s a nice way to expect a better album in about two years, at least they are still alive (or just breathing).

Track List Line Up
01. Get Started
02. Hot Spot Junkie
03. Got It Bad
04. Around The World
05. Higher
06. Retail Therapy
07. At The Edge
08. Broken
09. Hard Times
10. Drive
11. I Believe
12. Luvnu
13. Wot We Do
14. I Take You
15. The Lie
16. Big Noize
Geoff Tate – Vocals
Michael Wilton – Guitars
Eddie Jackson – Bass
Scott Rockenfield – Drums