ALBUM REVIEW: (Digital Noise Alliance)

In April 2022, QUEENSRŸCHE finished a five-week North American tour supporting metal gods JUDAS PRIEST. The tour had been not only marked the first time in two years that both bands were able to return to the live stage, but more so for the legendary Bellvue, Washington progressive metal quintet, it had sparked a sudden rejuvenation – the sound of a band locked-in and firing on all cylinders. “The PRIEST tour was a great springboard for us to get back onstage in what’s essentially a new world,” says founding guitarist Michael Wilton. “We had so much momentum going off of our last record [2019’s The Verdict] and then the world, our business, came to a grinding halt. We had to survive, pick ourselves up and get back to being QUEENSRŸCHE.” Indeed, the convalescing period has helped to coalesce into another career milestone for the band with the release of their 16th studio album, Digital Noise Alliance.

With 20 million albums sold worldwide, innumerable accolades and a career that has charted the course of multiple genres, the 40-year career and legacy of QUEENSRŸCHE was always prone to its own fair share of adversity. And much – well, really all – of the overall tone of Digital Noise Alliance(named after a lyric in the song “Sicdeth”) reflects on the isolation, the sense of helplessness and impassiveness which had impacted the tone of the recording and songwriting process. “Being left to your inner abandons brought up a lot of feelings,” Wilton admits. “It was a weird, strange time and not knowing if you were going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It sucked, but it did ignite some of the creative elements for the new record.” Yet on the plus side, with frontman Todd LaTorre having his own home studio in Tampa where the album was ultimately recorded with producer and mixer Zeuss (ROB ZOMBIE, HATEBREED), those same emotions of inner abandonment took shape into lyrics and song ideas when Wilton met up with LaTorre and began assembling the bare-boned riffs for the album. Those same writing sessions continued for a year with tracking on the album commencing in the first week of January 2022. And as for the music on this album, Wilton looked to the past for amplified inspiration. “We ended up using Michael’s collection of old Marshalls,” says Zeuss, “The amp from The Warning and the amp from Rage For Order or Mindcrime or Empire. Each song has different amps and different guitars that reach back to that era. Some of these amps that hadn’t been turned on in years and had markings on them that dated back to those records. We’d turn them on and it would be like, ‘Whoah!’ Like we were awakening this beast. It brought a lot of great vibes to the album.”

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