ALBUM REVIEW: Metal Forces Magazine (Digital Noise Alliance)

I was never the biggest fan of Queensrÿche but I’m more than appreciative of them as a metal band, and more so since the acquisition of Todd La Torre on vocals who joined the American band in 2012.

As soon as Digital Noise Alliance hits with ‘In Extremis’ these guys start tapping on my soft spot because this is a gloriously polished and forceful heap of melodic metal that just drives in an epic fashion.

People can harp on all they want about the progressive abilities of Queensrÿche but I’ve still come for the metal, which at times over the years has somewhat been sacrificed… but not here. The bass is rollicking, the vocals soar high, the drums are crisp and the axe melodies melt the ears. Yes, there are those streaks of complexity and brooding prog-metal, but there are still those straight-forward and accessible slabs which just literally smoke.

‘Chapters’ is a powerhouse of a track that’s not delivered a world away from a less Gothic or doomy Candlemass, circa Messiah Marcolin, but with flashes of Bruce Dickinson. Meanwhile, ‘Tormentum’ is just gargantuan and Gothic boasting power metal aesthetics but fusing melody with steel in stunning fashion while the fleetingly jarring passages remind one of a Voivod-esque gait before resulting into a steaming, pulsating melodic rock extravaganza.

That’s the great thing about Queensrÿche, they are jam-packed with layers and while some may initially appear as cold and slightly inaccessible, if you visit with the right mindset then you are more than welcome to stay. If anyone ever tells you that Iron Maiden is progressive metal then I suggest you direct them to the ascending melodies offered on this stupendous opus, a record which suggests a comfort within the ranks and, most importantly, a power.

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