It’s a shame another reviewer has already used the line “Operation: Earcrime”.
Not that the entire new release by veteran Seattle prog metallers Queensrÿche is completely unlistenable. But one song, “Big Noize”, is truly abhorrent. It’s one of the most discordant, tuneless, unmusical things ever released under the misleading label of “music”. If you’ve even a passing interest in Queensrÿche, you’ll already be aware that Dedicated to Chaos has been panned. Mostly, this is thoroughly deserved.
“Get Started” is actually a deceptively positive opener, although thematically it reminds the reviewer of Cinderella’s “Still Climbing” in that it proclaims a band (personalised as ‘I’) with its best years behind it actually has its best ahead. Cinderella have not released anything new since Still Climbing. Some listeners will wish a similar fate upon Queensrÿche.
“Hot Spot Junkie” is about free wifi and our obsession with technology but seems technology-obsessed itself, with its rhythm driven sound and bland chorus completely forgettable. Does anyone want to hear Queensrÿche, at this late juncture, sing about sex? Particularly since Geoff Tate has made it clear in the first song that he only has sex with his wife, anyway? “Got It Bad”, “Higher” and “Wot We Do” give us this dubious honour, whether we want it or not. For a band that became successful and respected by disposing of its early metal hokey-ness and adopting a cerebral outlook with politics, drug cartels and disability among the weighty themes, this is a rather disturbing state of affairs. When Queensrÿche try to address the same clichés every other band is obsessed with, while adding dance-oriented arrangements, you know the results aren’t going to be pretty.
“Around The World” occupies roughly the same chunk of cheese as John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice” while “Drive” and “At The Edge” possesses the only memorable riffs on the entire album. It would be convenient to say Queensrÿche have not been the same since guitarist Chris De Garmo departed in 1997. But they released some pretty forgettable stuff before he went off to become a Lear jet pilot, too.
At least Tate and Co. should be congratulated for not trying to imitate extreme metal, nor put out Mindcrime III. They’ve attempt to be fresh, innovative and entertaining. And they’ve failed.
1. Get Started
2. Hot Spot Junkie
4. Wot We Do
5. Around the World
7. At the Edge
8. I Take You
9. Retail Therapy
10. The Lie
11. Big Noize