|Review: Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman|
Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2015
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 6, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 3.89/5 (77.78%) (18 Votes)
Being a longtime fan of Queensrÿche and deeply hurt by the musical direction they took between 1997 and 2011, I have to be honest and say I was actually happy to know that Geoff Tate had lost the legal rights to the name, knowing he was the main person responsible for the shipwreck of a band that Queensrÿche had become, and this turned out to be transparent when the remaining members of the same band that released the Chinese torture called American Soldier and the downright awful Dedicated to Chaos years before had come up with a solid work in the 2013 self-titled album, which was not exactly a return to form, but a statement that they were still the same guys who gave us classics like "Screaming in Digital", "Revolution Calling", "Walk in the Shadows" and so much more.
So here we are with Condition Hüman, their 14th studio album and second one with La Torre on vocals. As expected, the album is very much like its predecessor, continuing with the arrangements well received by the fans in their 2013 "comeback". We can easily see the will to please old fans right away with "Arrow of Time", best song on the album, and hope that someday we will see a Queensrÿche like we used to: centered, inspired and true to their roots. "Guardian" comes after that with a cool vibe, offering at times memories from "NM 156" because of the mechanic-like melodies, but stands on its own with a nice solo and a catchy chorus. "Hellfire" and "Eye9" keep up with the good pace, featuring strong melodies and crystal-clear production, especially in the latter. "Toxic Remedy" and "Selfish Lives", though, do work as tools to keep the album with a characteristic Queensrÿche sound, but don't offer too much to the listener and don't stand out from the rest of the songs. Then the album starts to lose itself a bit in "Bulletproof", a rather bland power-ballad that consists of mainly dull verses and doesn't really get anywhere. Also going nowhere is the other ballad on the album, "Just Us", which tries to captivate and thrill the listener, but works as a way to tone down the album to a point where it should rather be putting some energy to it, ultimately turning itself into a filler. Perhaps if allocated to somewhere else in the album the song could have a greater impact. The second half of the album, opened by "Bulletproof" and passing through "Just Us" is far inferior to the first one, with the exception of the title track, which could very easily be on Promised Land, featuring a consistent musical construction and very cool changes of pace, and "All There Was", a very strong display of how mature and committed the band is in returning to form.
After almost falling apart completely because of an egomaniac, Queensrÿche delivers a breath of fresh air compared to what was released by the group in the last 15 years or so. I cannot get past the fact, though, that despite having more pros than cons, this is just a solid release and has many flaws, and it should rest in Queensrÿche's vast discography somewhere between Tribe and Promised Land. Nevertheless, Condition Hüman will more than likely get appraisal from the fans and media alike.
By now I have to say that Queensrÿche was once one of my favorite bands, and I even have the band logo tattooed on my back, so this review is a rather personal one for me. With that being said, fuck you, Geoff Tate, because this consolidates once and for all that you were the rotten apple of the band you tried so hard to implode. Go ruin something else.
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