Queensryche
Hear in the Now Frontier


2.0
poor

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 11th, 2008 | 31 replies | 12,411 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Queensryche try their hand at alternative rock and fail miserably.

There was a time when Queensryche was my favorite band of all time. When I stumbled across Empire as a kid I was blown away. I had never heard vocals so powerful or anything similar to the dual guitar harmonies that the guitar players pulled off so skillfully, and it was amazing to me that even the bass player seemed to play an active roll in the music. I had to have more and slowly worked my way backwards. I remember getting chills half way through my first listen to Operation: Mindcrime or the eerie feeling that the moody, goth-tinged Rage for Order elicited in me, and then I moved forward and found Promised Land which seemed like a great combination of Rage and Mindcrime. In my mind this band could do no wrong and I eagerly waited for the first album of theirs that I would be able to buy on the day it was released; that album turned out to be Hear in the Now Frontier.

If the rest of this review was to be as self-indulgent as the first paragraph I would spend its entirety complaining about everything this album isn’t and recount how disappointed I was in the band and especially in Chris Degarmo who’s name is plastered all over the songwriting credits on this album, but I am going to attempt some civility. I will get out of the way that there aren’t any soaring vocals from Geoff Tate or excellent harmonies from the great guitar duo or emotional ballads or metal influence or just about anything else that made the previous albums the high quality outputs they were, but that’s the last you’ll hear about what isn’t present on this album.

In case it wasn’t clear enough in the last paragraph, this album was a departure in style for the band and a change that garnered more negative attention then positive not so much because they altered their style but because they failed miserably with the change. To put this album into a context of time, this was released when alternative was huge and Nirvana was the juggernaut of Mtv and radio. Apparently, the band wanted to get in on that action and made an attempt at their interpretation of alternative rock, which turned out to be terrible. The riffs on this album are very basic and don’t add anything to the music other then to be a vessel for the lyrics of vocalist Geoff Tate. There is absolutely nothing memorable about them and they also lack any kind of energy or the raw edge that gives alternative rock a lot of its power. The melodies are also overly simplified and seem to be focused so much on easy consumption that they often sound almost cheesy, especially with the equally bad vocal melodies over the top of them.

Really, that is one of the major problems with this album; every song seems to follow a blatant formula aimed at creating an easily consumable product and because of that they lack any energy, drive or excitement. It’s almost as if the band attempted to copy what they heard on Mtv without understanding the elements of what they were copying. A song such as “Get a Life” comes the closest to meeting their goal with an edgy riff during some of the verses, but the simple and redundant chorus ruins what could have been a passable song; which brings me to another issue that brought this album down; the vocals and lyrics. I won’t waste an entire paragraph on it, but suffice it to say that Geoff toned his vocals down considerably and the band also simplified the lyrics to the point that most choruses are simply repeated one-liners to the point of redundancy. The total lack of energy and the blatantly obvious attempts at mass appeal are the ultimate undoing of this album. It is possible that if the band had left any of their own influence in tact and combined it with their attempt at mass appeal-oriented alternative that they may have succeeded, but as things stand this album never had a chance.

If this had been some band’s debut album it wouldn’t have even registered on anyone’s radar since there were much better bands playing the same style of music including Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains (both of whose influence can be found here). Instead, since this was a band with gold and platinum albums in its past it not only was noticed but also sold relatively well before people realized what a huge turd they had just purchased. This was an album of uninspired, lifeless riffs with words sung by a vocalist who sounded bored by the abundant amount of redundant choruses and simple verses all in attempt to cash in on a movement they had no idea how to do right. As time has overwhelmingly proved, this is neither an album for Queensryche fans nor fans of alternative rock as there isn’t enough for either group to truly enjoy it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
July 11th 2008



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I feel the need to add the disclaimer that this is the last of four reviews (this one plus my last three) that I've had mostly written for awhile and that it has nothing to do with any competition and isn't even going to be entered.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

HorrorBusiness78
July 11th 2008



102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Queensryche have never recovered from this album, everything since it has been bad as well. Promised Land is the last great record by the band. It's too bad such a talented band had to go to waste just to attempt to cash in on a fad instead of sticking to their roots. Good review.

Willie
Moderator
July 11th 2008



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's true. I think they could have recovered but Chris Degarmo was their main songwriter and he jumped ship. Since then they've mostly relied on replacement guitarists to help write the bulk of the material and none of them have been up to it. Combine that with the vocalist's decision that he doesn't want to do metal anymore and this band is just about a lost cause.

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 11th 2008



1063 Comments


Band annoys the hell outta me but nice rev

moltenlava
July 11th 2008



312 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haven't heard this one in years. I think I liked 'Spool' and maybe one other from this collection. They were selling out big-time to the Grunge/Alt scene on this one, a la their old touring mates, Metallica. Some People Fly was a quality tune.

This Message Edited On 07.11.08

Djnx
July 11th 2008



85 Comments


What competition? Enter where? I'm lost.

Willie
Moderator
July 11th 2008



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Haven't heard this one in years. I think I liked 'Spool' and maybe one other from this collection. They were selling out big-time to the Grunge/Alt scene on this one, a la their old touring mates, Metallica. Some People Fly was a quality tune.
That's nicer of a description then most people give this album.
What competition? Enter where? I'm lost.
Check the sputnik forums.

Willie
Moderator
July 28th 2008



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

2 reviews away from 100 and I finally get negged. Thanks sba4life, you could have at least left a half-assed comment to go with it.

SHOOTME
July 28th 2008



2393 Comments


but he needs to save his half-assedness for his reviews!

Willie
Moderator
July 28th 2008



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Does he even give that much to them?

SHOOTME
July 28th 2008



2393 Comments


he probably pulls a half-tribestros: that is, the review is written in 10 minutes, no edits, ect.

scissorlocked
October 2nd 2010



3483 Comments


Why they had to cut down Chasing blue sky?
It was a sweet song,better than many on this album



Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

Maidensryche
July 13th 2011



3 Comments


i cant stop listening to "you"

Willie
Moderator
July 13th 2011



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I stopped listening to this whole album a long time ago.

Parallels
July 13th 2011



6640 Comments


OH SHIT! SOMEONE COMMENTED ON A QUEENSRYCHE REVIEW! GO WILLIE GO RIDE YOUR WHITE HORSE TO COMMENT

: )

On a more serious note, what queensryche album should I try after mindcrime? I didn't like it. Should I try Empire?

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2011



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Actually, based on your love of all things prog (and Fates Warning), I would suggest Rage for Order and then Promised Land.

Parallels
July 14th 2011



6640 Comments


hmmm alrighty then thank you based robocop

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2011



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Don't forget about the unicorn... nature's most perfect animal: a horse with a seat on its head ;)

Parallels
July 14th 2011



6640 Comments


lol quit flirting with my avatar willie

Willie
Moderator
July 14th 2011



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

She's hot. I googled her as soon as you told me who she was.



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