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Queensr˙che
TRIBE
(Sanctuary)
Stars graphics

The 21st century has been tough on Queensrÿche: they’ve fallen out of favor with rock radio, and they’ve watched both labels and guitarists come and go. But 20 years into their career, the multi-platinum hard-rockers have never lost their credibility. On their eighth studio full-length, the band team up with original guitarist Chris DeGarmo for the first time since 1997, and they continue to modernize without losing their prog edge.

Leadoff track "Open" delves into pounding Zep exoticism and lashes out at reactionary thought: "Open your eyes/You see, yours isn’t the only way." Frontman Geoff Tate doesn’t howl the way he used to, but he remains one of hard rock’s most introspective writers. On "The Great Divide," he worries about the future of America over foreboding guitars and a lumbering groove. The band go into "Silent Lucidity" mode on "Rhythm of Hope," an uplifting ballad with a tasteful orchestral backdrop. Some of their experiments, like the sample-heavy "Desert Dance," sound forced. But despite their recent commercial trials, Queensrÿche still have something to say.

(Queensrÿche appear next Thursday, April 22, at Avalon, 15 Lansdowne Street in Boston; call 617-262-2424.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: April 16 - 22, 2004
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