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Queensryche - 1994 - "Promised Land" (48 min, USA)


 1. 9:28 a.m.
 2. I am I
 3. Damaged
 4. Out of Mind
 5. Bridge
 6. Promised Land
 7. Disconnected
 8. Lady Jane
 9. My Global Mind
10. One More Time
11. Someone Else?

Songs written mostly by DeGarmo / Tate, or DeGarmo / Tate / Wilton,
except the 1-st written by Rockenfield.

Geoff Tate        - vocals, keyboards, sax
Chris DeGarmo     - guitars
Michael Wilton    - guitars
Scott Rockenfield - drums
Eddie Jackson     - bass

Yet another rare letter. So, what do we have on "Q"? Well, Quintessence... is weak... may be good only for "short reviews"... Quidam... with Polish lyrics... for the present I don't want to describe that kind of prog, sometime later... Queensryche... is not quite an obscure band, but regarding their prog aspect they're O.K.

"Promised Land" is one from the three really worthwhile albums they have, including "Rage for Order", and especially "Operation: Mindcrime" on which I already wrote a short review. So, although "PL" is not as progressive as "OP", this is the most definite album from them, without any influences, recalling the last song from "Operation...". Also, it is their last good work at all, because their latest album( there is indication that their album coming soon is made in the same course) is one of their weakest, a kind of pure grunge album I've ever heard (though, it's just what can be expected of these inhabitants of so grungy Seattle, the brother-city of Tashkent).

The opening track 9:28 a.m. is a short instrumental piece with percussive noises, some keyboard effects (made by Rockenfield himself), and a child's cry, after which immediately starts I am I. This is a proto-prog heavy song, very typical for Queensryche, with excellent Oriental arrangements and Tate's dramatic vocals. The next thing, Damaged (again without pause) is in the same vein quite a heavy song with "Sabbathian" maniacal riffing, some gripping guitar solos in the middle and even more expressive vocals.

One from the four outstanding tracks here is the fourth Out of Mind. It is a captivating prog ballad with fantastically beautiful vocal arrangements, as well as acoustic guitar parts and spacey electric guitar solos. Bass lines supporting the vocals themes sound grief-stricken, too. The fifth song Bridge (without pause) is a more light song with a nice rhythm acoustic guitar and a dramatic solo from DeGarmo. Closer to the end there sound true prog acoustic guitar passages with good vocal harmonies.

The titletrack Promised Land opens side "B" of the LP. It is the best song on the album in terms of progressivity, one with magnificent sax themes from Geoff Tate, diverse dramatic arrangements and again spacey guitar solos from the both guitarists, suppotred by an unusual drumming. Various "human noises", steps, for example, complete the song. Disconnected begins again with noise effects, sea-gulls' cries. This is a somewhat psychodelic, slightly unstructured track with unusual spell-binding sax solos. Lady Jane is undoubtedly the saddest and beatiful song on the album with its outstanding piano arrangements and vocal themes from Tate. All of these tracks play unbroken by pauses, thus building a monolith work.

My Global Mind is a more or less upbeat song, that shows once again Tate's outstanding talent in vocal arrangements, though this is an easily accessible track here. One More Time is another song made with the conservation of the good ballad traditions shown by the band on "Operation...". Fortunatelly, on "PL" there is no room for open commercial notes, those we've heard on their bestseller "Empire". This track contains one of the most interesting guitar solo. Someone Else? completes the album. Not that prog as the ballads like Lady Jane or Out of Mind, sung by Tate accompanied only by his piano, this is a nice song that contains delightful keyboard arrangements.

Summary. "Promised Long" is not a real prog metal album, but it can serve as an introduction into this genre for those who feel that heavy progressive rock is necessary for them. content

VM. 24.11.1998


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