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Promised Land

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(72 Reviews)

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  • I’m not much of a Queensryche fan, at one point I was and quickly bought up all of their albums (save the EP and Hear in the Now Frontier), but quickly got bored with most of their material, yes, even “Operation: Mindcrime” (which seems like a adolecent rebelion album) and their Radio friendly “Empire”, since I’ve never cared much for commercial stuff.The story goes that after their commercial success with “Empire”, Queensryche felt really lost, as if they’d reached their goal only to find that it wasn’t really what they wanted, hence the dark thematic semi-concept album (at about the level you would call the average Rush album, like Counterparts, a concept album) that revolves around themes of incontentment and depression.A friend of mine meantioned Promised Land, which he wasn’t very much into at the time, but in my haste, I picked it up anyway, and I’m glad I did. With a band that offers a totally new sound every album, like ‘Ryche, you’re often left wondering, “Why didn’t they stick with this and develope off of this style?”, to me, at least, this is the album they should have developed their style off of. I keep thinking I’m going to hear other songs on other albums that remind me of this, as most bands don’t just pick up a new style all at once, but aside from some tinges on O:MC and Empire, there is no Promised Land aside from Promised Land.It’s not the sort of album that I find myself putting in the player every other week, I tend to have PL binges when I rediscover it’s incredible energy and extreme depth of sound. I don’t take fault in this, it’s not an album for every mood or time in your life, and rediscovery only hightens it’s amaizment.A few weeks ago, I rediscovered this album after getting really into Pink Floyd, and realized the influence Floyd really have on this album. In many ways, the title track could be a cross between Animals and A Momentary Lapse in Reason (“Just Another Movie” or the “New Machine” trilogy come to mind), if you close your eyes, Tate even sounds a bit like Gilmour, and it’s got wailing sax and everything! Other songs offer similar colors and moods. “Disconnected” reminds me a lot of modern day Tool, but with a uniqueness all it’s own… in fact, this song really comes out of the blue for ‘Ryche, there’s nothing else remotely like it. “I Am I” is probably the one that comes anywhere near sounding like “Disconnected”, and has a lot of great hooks, as well as some infinitely deep production. “Damage” is a highly overlooked track that has one of the heaviest bass riffs I’ve ever heard. Some other great tracks include “One More Time Around” which is probably the most “Empire” sounding track on this album, and “Someone Else?” which has also recently been re-released in a full band version that is very cool, both versions are very good, and are very beautiful. The only track that doesn’t do it for me is “My Global Mind” in which some pretty terrible lyrics just get in the way, which is uncommon for Queensryche.Now, I know that many diehard Queensryche fans don’t hold this album very highly, and if you fit this description, you may or may not be pleased by it. I contest to being a pretty big old school (as well as the new stuff) progressive rock fan, and this album fits right in there. It isn’t progmetal the way Dream Theater or Fates Warning are, it’s much closer to early Marillion (as well as Brave) or, as I said earlier, a heavy metal version of Pink Floyd.If you really like this album, I highly recommend the following, which include some similar qualities:Tool – “Lateralus” or “Ænima”Pain of Salvation – “The Perfect Element part 1″Devin Townsend – “Ocean Machine: Biomech” or “Terria”Pink Floyd – “A Momentary Lapse in Reason”Marillion – “Clutching At Straws” or “Brave”Fates Warning – “A Pleasant Shade of Gray”Behind the Curtain – “‘Till Birth Do Us Part”

    Posted on November 29, 2009