Queensryche
American Soldier


3.5
great

Review

by PsychicChris USER (66 Reviews)
June 25th, 2013 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There are better war-themed albums out there but this is arguably as good as Geoff Tate and his cronies will ever get.

Having failed to win over disgruntled fans with Tribe and Operation: Mindcrime II, Queensryche went for a different approach for their tenth full-length studio album. The writing is still dominated by outsiders but all the band members seem to be accounted for and while the military theme could be seen as a different type of pandering, it is much more honest due to the insights gained by interviewing actual soldiers and incorporating their sound bites into the songwriting.

Despite the elaborate concept, it is still hard to identify this as a true Queensryche album. The prevailing style is a mix of post grunge and alternative metal, the guitars have a rather conventional chug, the vocals are about the same as they’ve been, and a liberal amount of samples are used to set the atmosphere. There is a bit of prog influence and the saxophone makes its first appearance since Promised Land but the band’s most defining traits are still sadly absent.

With that, the songwriting is also a mixed bag. Things start off rather awkwardly as “Sliver” and “Unafraid” seem to be going for a Saliva vibe while “Hundred Mile Stare” and “At 30,000 Feet” are decent but ultimately don’t live up to their atmospheric promise. Thankfully, it does get better as it goes along with “The Killer” offering some strong percussion, “Man Down!” being a more successful upbeat track, and “If I Were King” and “Remember Me” making for good ballads.

“Home Again” is another noteworthy track though one that is sure to divide people. While its structure is that of a typical acoustic ballad, its defining factor is the duet between Geoff Tate and his daughter Emily. While Emily’s flat tone and the song’s somewhat saccharine nature may turn some listeners off, she puts more emotion into her performance than her father has in years. Hell, it just might be one of the most passionate ballads that Queensryche has ever put together and will get you misty-eyed if you relate to the theme.

Overall, American Soldier is one of the most mixed albums in the Queensryche discography. The outside contributions still grate on the nerves and several ideas don’t quite catch fire, but the second half does make it potentially worth getting if you can deal with a different sound. There are better war-themed albums out there but this is arguably as good as Geoff Tate and his cronies will ever get.

Current Highlights:
“The Killer”
“Man Down!”
“If I Were King”
“Remember Me”
“Home Again”

Originally published at http://psychicshorts.blogspot.com



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user ratings (205)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Trey Spencer STAFF (3.5)
For fans of Empire or Promised Land this is certainly a step in the right direction....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
June 25th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually really enjoy this album.

KILL
June 25th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

dude!

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Titan
June 25th 2013


5918 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoy this album as well and agree with Chris that it's hard to identify this as a true Queensryche album. You don't want to hear an 11 year old girl singing on a QR record, but nonetheless if the song stood by itself, it's a pretty good tune.

Pos'd

KILL
June 25th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

dude!!!!!!

Hoppoman
June 25th 2013


656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dude!!!!!!!

dante1991
June 25th 2013


552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuddddddeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In all seriousness though, besides the new album, this is their best since Promised Land, I just find a few of the songs a little bit stale in parts, and "Sliver" should have been ommited IMO.

TriangularDuck
June 25th 2013


87 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This one is just as bad as Dedicated to Chaos for me. Irredeemable.

Willie
Moderator
June 25th 2013


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I liked this, but it gave me false hope for the band's future (at least with this album's line-up, it turns out).

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

dannyboy89
June 26th 2013


13066 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Album is okay. I agree that the opener
should've been ommited, since it feels
cartoonish. But the main issue here is the
watered-down feel. Still, the best album
without DeGarmo (not counting the
LaTorre release, which I haven't heard).

Pos'd.

:edit: the opener isn't too bad, but the production is meh.

ksoflas
June 26th 2013


459 Comments


Pos'd. Good review man.

TheNotrap
June 26th 2013


8133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This and the last one are my fav post-Promised Land releases.
Nice work, have a pos.

Digging: Funebrarum - The Sleep of Morbid Dreams

Titan
June 26th 2013


5918 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sliver certainly has some good elements to it. Eliminating it is nonsense.

dannyboy89
June 26th 2013


13066 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

^well yes, this is a more consistent listen than O:M2

Titan
June 26th 2013


5918 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agree

sonictheplumber
June 26th 2013


4787 Comments


classic



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