From the opening strains of “The Levant”, all of the classic QR attributes are there – although I can’t help but think the second track “Man The Machine” (first single) would have been an even more powerful opener to the album. The song has hallmarks of the brilliantly fast paced “The Needle Lies” (Operation: Mindcrime), delivering an intensity that has been absent for more than just a few albums.

“Light-Years” has a very proggy verse structure that would definitely not be out of place on the Promised Land album. Interestingly, LaTorre was recruited to fill the vocal position for Florida metal band Crimson Glory in 2010. It was a tenure that lasted three years and produced very little by way of recorded material. However, it’s even clearer on this album why he was sought after by CG, given the vocal overtones of “Midnight” (ex Crimson Glory vocalist) that are more evident on this album than ever before. And before anyone makes the predictably boring and blatant comparison of LaTorre to Geoff Tate, let me just say that range aside, they are very different singers in every other respect. Todd has really cemented his place in Queensrÿche folklore with his performance on The Verdict and those who have labelled him as a Tate clone in the past probably need to take a fresh listen.

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