Queensryche Vocalist Todd La Torre Talks About His New Solo Album “Rejoice In The Suffering”

Todd La Torre is the lead vocalist for the heavy metal band Queensryche. On February 5th Todd released his debut solo album titled “Rejoice in the Suffering” via Rat Pack Records. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Todd recently about the albums creation, working his friend Craig Blackwell and what it’s been like working on and releasing and album during the pandemic.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the new album “Rejoice in the Suffering”?

Todd La Torre: This is a record I have wanted to do now for many, many years. Due to the rigorous touring schedule I normally have things keep getting moved to the back burner and shelved. Once the pandemic hit and touring was officially shut down I called my friend Craig Blackwell who co-wrote the album with me and who also plays guitar, keys and bass to help me get this done. We wrote and recorded the album in about four months. We wanted to write songs that brought us back to our roots as fans of heavy metal and something we could listen to while cruising around in our cars.

AL: Being this was something you had wanted to do for some time now how much of the album was written prior to getting together with Craig?

TL: We had the title track which was written around 2015. That was the only completed song at the time. Craig had a few other ideas and some riffs but we never really sunk our teeth into everything until March of last year. Other than “Rejoice in the Suffering” and maybe a verse for “Pretenders” that was all we really had to start with. The majority of the record was really crafted from scratch when we first got together last year.

AL: Was your writing process for this record similar to when you are working with Queensryche?

TL: For me it was very different. In Queensryche you have five guys in the band. All the guys will have different things that they have written that they then bring to the group. They may have ideas or songs that are different from what I might do and there are a lot more people involved with the process. With this it was just myself and Craig. We were able to move along pretty quickly being it was just the two of us. A lot of these were written in less than a couple days. For instance “Crossroads to Insanity” Craig gave me the music and I had all the lyrics in about a day and a half. “Vanguards of the Dawn Wall” was another one that was written in two days. A lot of these songs were done in a similar amount of time. Queensryche can take a very long time as it’s a totally different process.

AL: How did you keep yourself from going too far into the creative aspects of the record being there were just two of you working on it?

TL: I wanted things to be groove oriented. Craig is a great player and I was able to build on that and really craft the drums around his playing. He would sit down work out everything for his solos as opposed to just noodeling. No page was left unturned by any means but we defiantly didn’t want to over think things either.  

AL: Given the lack of touring and promotion options right now due to the pandemic what made you decide to go ahead and release the album when you did?

TL: The release of this was never contingent on touring live. This was just an artistic expression with me and my friend writing songs and putting them out there for people to listen to. If I am able to do some shows around the album later on in the future that would be awesome. I don’t earn a living as a solo artist as Queensryche is my priority. The timing of this release had no bearing on when I could tour or support the record like I would with a Queensryche release. By putting the record out early and ahead of others I think it’s going to get a little more hang time and I can enjoy it being out there for a whole year. Another plus of releasing the album now is that generally when you release an album you start touring the next day. You are then playing brand new material that not everyone has heard yet and the response might not be that great because of that. With this having extra time to get out to fans due to both the pandemic and my work with Queensryche I think when/if I get to do a solo show its going to make it that much better as people will have had ample time to absorb the music.

AL: What was the reception like from the other Queensryche guys when you told them you were planning to do a solo record?

TL: They have heard me talking about this for quite a few years now. When the pandemic hit we were all trying to figure out what that meant and what we were going to do. Up until that point we had been working our asses off for 9 years since I joined the band. This was a much needed break for everyone. The guys were very receptive and thought this was a great time to be able to do it. I knew if I didn’t do it now that quickly things would be starting up again with Queensryche. This could not have come at a better time for me. Things are done, the record is out and I can go on and only have to focus Queensryche. The guys were very happy for me to be able to show other sides of myself as a musician.

AL: Do you see yourself doing another solo album when time allows?

TL:  I will do another record. I already have three songs written that are much heavier. I have other riffs and ideas that aren’t yet fully completed but those will most likely be on the second record as well. I am going to let this first one get some legs and traction and then once the new Queensryche album is done and out I will start making plans to get this second one out and then once the dust settles from everything I will release another one.

For more information on Todd La Torre and Craig Blackwell visit:




Queensrÿche Launch “Building the Empire”, a New Album – Pre-order via Pledgemusic

Band Offering Fans Various Unique Experiences In Conjunction With Pre-Order Including An Opportunity For Accredited Investors To Purchase A Stake In Queensrÿche Corporation

Eddie Jackson, Todd LaTorre, Parker Lundgren, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton to Release New Album via Century Media in Spring 2015

(November 4th, 2014 – New York, NY) – A newly revitalized Queensrÿche have partnered with PledgeMusic.com for a new album pre-order campaign entitled Building The Empire. Eddie Jackson, Todd LaTorre, Parker Lundgren, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton will offer fans various unique experiences to bring them closer to the band than ever before. The band is offering everything from limited edition vinyl and merchandise to the actual instruments played on the upcoming album and a chance to hang with the band in their hometown of Seattle. The album pre-order as well as all of these other items and experiences can be found at www.pledgemusic.com/queensryche.

“For the first time in the history of Queensrÿche, we are doing something we have never done before,” states bassist Eddie Jackson. In conjunction with the PledgeMusic.com pre-order, Queensrÿche has created an opportunity for accredited investors to purchase a stake in Queensrÿche Holdings, LLC. This stake will allow select investors that meet certain financial requirements to share in all of the profits the band makes moving forward. This opportunity is being offered on a limited basis; interested parties should go www.queensrycheofficial.com/investment for more information and to begin the investor accreditation process.

Queensrÿche has recently begun writing music for their new album that is slated for release in Spring 2015. This release marks the band’s second album with Century Media as well as the second album with new vocalist Todd LaTorre. This release will be the follow up to their self-titled 2013 release which debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 chart landing at #23 and selling 13,659 copies its first week. That album received critical acclaim including Billboard magazine’s review stating: “From the moment Rockenfield’s drums and Wilton and Parker Lundgren’s guitars go on the attack in “Where Dreams Go to Die,” the traditional Queensrÿche sound is back. The hooks are arresting, and the rhythm section packs unmitigated fire power.” Sites such as Metal Underground proclaimed: “The band has brought back much of the direction that made it one of the most revered in progressive/power metal history,” and BraveWords.com exclaims: “This self-titled slab of faith-restoring metal boasts the return of the almighty riff, twin guitar leads, and brazen in-your-face melodies.”

Queensrÿche first burst onto the music scene in 1982 with the release of their self-titled 4 song EP Queensrÿche. They very quickly gained international recognition and performed to sold out audiences around the world. With the follow up first full-length album “The Warning” in 1984, and the ground breaking 1986 release of “Rage For Order”, Queensrÿche continued to prove their worldwide dominance as one of the most respected and creative bands of the 80’s. In 1988 the band turned out yet another monumental album “Operation: Mindcrime”, which would go on to become one of the TOP 10 best selling concepts records of all time, and set the stage for continued sold out performances around the world. With the release of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful “Empire” in 1991, the band earned multiple Grammy Award nominations and won the MTV “viewer’s choice” award for the #1 chart topping hit “Silent Lucidity”. During the next ten years, the band continued to release albums and tour the world to sold-out audiences. Queensrÿche has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and have continued to break new ground and push their creative process.

Queensrÿche is Todd La Torre (vocals), Michael Wilton (guitars), Parker Lundgren (guitars), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums).





CD Review: Queensrÿche “Queensrÿche”

Century Media
Tracks: 11
Total Running Time:
Release Date:
June 25, 2013 (USA/Canada);
June 24, 2013 (Europe)

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“I don’t know. We don’t really have a plan right now. Honestly, this has been a really long tour and everybody’s just kind of burnt out… It’s probably just time to get home and chill and recharge the batteries. And then we’ll start talking in a couple of months about ‘Oh, do you wanna do something?’ and we’ll see what happens.”
~ Geoff Tate’s response to me on November 12, 2011 after being asked what the near future might hold for Queensrÿche (click here for full interview)

Of course, what did happen soon after my interview with the now-ousted lead singer has now become the stuff of tabloid fodder and rock and roll infamy. The sordid details – including Tate allegedly spitting on, punching, and perhaps even wielding a knife on his former band mates – will be hashed out in a courtroom sometime later this year when Tate and company battle to see who legally has the right to carry on using the band’s moniker. Until then, there are actually two Queensrÿches: in the red corner, there’s the one comprised of Geoff Tate and a seemingly ever-changing backing band comprised of hired heavy metal heavies and, in the blue corner, there’s the one that includes the rest of the Rÿche’s instrumentalists with new front man, Todd La Torre, formerly of Crimson Glory.

Tate’s camp has already released a hastily-produced album’s worth of new material, “Frequency Unknown” – or “F.U.”, for short (subtle, eh?) – that has been lambasted by fans and critics alike for doing nothing but tarnishing the already-damaged Queensrÿche name even further.

The Todd La Torre-led band’s album sets a markedly different tone from the onset. Rather than responding to Tate’s pugnaciously-titled “Frequency Unknown” by calling it “See Tate’s Fallacy Unfold” or some such, they’ve simply emblazoned the LP’s jacket with the band’s iconic “Tri-Ryche” logo and entitled it “Queensrÿche.” It’s a perfect choice because this eponymous release finds the group musically reconnecting with its roots, rebuilding its self-identity, and – ultimately – reclaiming a legacy.

“Queensrÿche” is an amazing return to form that (gasp!) actually sounds like a Queensrÿche album – and producer James “Jimbo” Barton, the man behind the mixing desk of the band’s biggest and best albums, “Operation: Mindcrime”, “Empire”, and “Promised Land”, undoubtedly has a lot to do with that. He knows how to blend all of the amazing musicianship at his disposal into an aural atmosphere that is unique and immediately identifiable as Queensrÿche.

The album opens with the foreboding instrumental “X2”, one that harkens back to the sonic collage that led off 1994’s “Promised Land” LP. From there, the band launches into a percussive and dual-guitar driven array of songs that firmly plant themselves in the sonic splendor of QR classics like “Screaming in Digital” and “Best I Can.” There’s no question that La Torre’s dynamic pipes are a major component behind why the songs work as well as they do. Vocally, his delivery is often similar to Tate’s, ranging from low baritone whispers to blistering highs, but he’s much more than just a sound-alike. He’s often more aggressive than Tate and that seems to have brought the best out of all of the other Tri-Rychers backing him – especially drummer Scott Rockenfield. He hasn’t sounded this pumped since the days of the glorious “Empire.” Indeed, it’s been a long time since we’ve heard the ‘Rÿche fire all thrusters and blast out satisfying crunchers like these.

My only minor complaint is that, after 35 minutes, the disc spins to a halt. Luckily, the album is so good that it’s worth listening to again – something that hasn’t been true of a Queensrÿche release for the better part of a decade. Does the new album have the power or majesty of their 1988 masterpiece “Operation: Mindcrime”? No – but that’s a lot to ask of a band that’s just undergone a major line-up change and is still in the midst of the biggest rock and roll drama since the Roger Waters / David Gilmour “which one’s Pink?” debacle. But it’s damn good and – perhaps more significantly – it’s now once again possible to imagine Queensrÿche making a record as good if not better than that seminal album because, like “Mindcrime’s” protagonist, Nikki, they seem to remember how it started and are no longer dedicated to chaos.


Track list:
1) X2 (1:09)
2) Where Dreams Go to Die (4:26)
3) Spore (3:25)
4) In This Light (3:24)
5) Redemption (4:16)
6) Vindication (3:26)
7) Midnight Lullaby (0:56)
8) A World Without (4:11)
9) Don’t Look Back (3:13)
10) Fallout (2:46)
11) Open Road (3:54)

Eddie Jackson talks about the future of Queensrÿche and their new album

Eddie Jackson is the bassist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Queensrÿche. In the past year, the group parted ways with original singer Geoff Tate and brought in former Crimson Glory front man Todd La Torre to fill the vacant spot. The band sounds better than ever and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Eddie recently about the split and the group’s upcoming album.

Adam Lawton: Can you clear up any misconceptions from the past year about the two different versions of Queensrÿche going around?
Eddie Jackson: There are currently two bands out there. Geoff has his version of the band and Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and I have our own version of the band. We are just focusing on us and moving forward. We want to keep doing what we are doing and that is playing music and performing live. The transition away from Geoff as the lead singer was something that Michael, Scotty and I felt needed to happen.

AL: How has the band been received since the change was made?
EJ: Fans have been enjoying it and have really embraced Todd. We have enjoyed welcoming him in to our family. Fans have been very receptive and have enjoyed hearing some of the older material that we are now able to perform. With Todd’s vocal style he is able to sing and perform stuff from albums like “Rage For Order” and “Operation Mind Crime”. Things are going really great. We think it’s been great having fans connect with Todd.

AL: What has it been like revisiting that older material in a live setting?
EJ: It’s interesting. One of Todd’s favorite albums is “The Warning”. Going back and playing some of that stuff has been really fun. It may have taken us a few practices to relearn some of that older material but it’s refreshing. We have been having a lot of fun with everything.

AL:Can you give us an update on the new album?AL: What led to the band signing recently with Century Media Records?
EJ: It was kind of a mutual thing between the band and Century Media. We collectively sat down and we both wanted to create a new relationship. So far they have been a class act and we are very happy to be working with them.

EJ: The new album will be released on June 11th. We are all looking forward to having the fans check it out. Things are pretty much completed but we are still tweaking some things here and there. It has been nice working with James “Jimbo” Barton again. We have a great relationship with him from the past and we wanted to put out an album that captured the style of our previous albums. James was a blast and our first day back together was like no time had passed.

AL: What type of creative process did you take towards the new album?
EJ: We all sort of came in with our own pieces. There may have been a song or two that was already written but for the most part it was a collective effort. Todd is a great musician that not only sings but he plays drums and guitar. We all just threw out ideas and began working on the ones that we thought were the best and fit our style the most. When you can sit down and talk through what you are going to be working on it makes things a lot easier. We haven’t been able to do something like that in quite awhile.

AL: Can you tell us about the first single off the album?
EJ: The song is titled “Redemption” and it was released a few weeks ago. Stylistically this felt like the first song that we should release. This song was the one that we all thought would most identify with what the band is doing now.

AL: What types of tour plans are in the works to support the new album?
EJ: We have some US dates in the works right now. We also will be performing over in Europe and are working to get to a few other countries. We are going to be very busy this year and we are looking forward to it.

King of the ‘Rÿche: An Interview with Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate

While standing outside of the Orlando House of Blues’ green room waiting to interview Geoff Tate of Queensrÿche, three musical things can be discerned: the sound check of the opening band, Geoff doing some pre-concert vocal warm-ups and – very faintly – the calming strains of classical music.   It’s an interesting mix of stimuli to be sure.  When Geoff completes his exercises, he’s ready to talk – which is amazing given that Queensrÿche’s sound check went for an hour more than scheduled and that the band has less than two hours before they have to take the stage and deliver the goods to a packed house.

Tate’s look has changed many times over the course of the 30 years he’s been with the band.  Gone is the coiffed long black hair that appeared in the videos for “Silent Lucidity” and “Jet City Woman” from the band’s hugely successful 1990 release, “Empire”.  These days, Geoff is sporting a bald head and a pencil-thin goatee that cause me to immediately conjure up mental images of Ming the Merciless and Anton LaVey.  But Tate’s demeanor is far from threatening and certainly not in any way demonic.  For a singer known for his ability to carry high-pitched metal wailings, his deep voice is one that is surprisingly soft-spoken.

The green room’s two plush couches upon which he and I sit are rather relaxing – as is the Debussy that continues to softly play from his iPod’s dock’s speakers, something that will remain a constant throughout our conversation.

Well…at least for half of it.

Dave Picton:  So you’re on your 30th anniversary tour.
Geoff Tate:  Yeah.  The end of it.  There’s the show tonight and then we have two shows on the boat and a show in Clearwater. Today is kind of a hectic day because we’re getting ready to go on a ShipRocked Cruise.  Certain equipment goes and certain things stay, you know?  We’re playing “Mindcrime” on the boat, so we’re rehearsing it now because we haven’t played the whole thing in quite a few years.

DP: The band has largely been the same group of guys that you’ve been working with since 1981.
GT:  Yeah.  Four out of five.

DP:  As you look back are there good memories?  Not so good memories?
GT:  Oh yeah, there’s both. Lots of both.

DP:  After a bunch of concept albums that you released within the past decade or so, such as “Operation: Mindcrime II” and “American Soldier”,  the latest new album, “Dedicated to Chaos”, finds the band going for straight-forward singles-oriented songs that often have new technology as a central theme.  What’s your take on technology?
GT:  Oh, it’s fascinating.  Very fun.  It can definitely be something that sidetracks you from a lot of things and definitely takes your attention away from a lot of other things while you’re figuring out the latest gadget.  A lot of really good things like studio stuff and recording equipment and all that has gotten really modular and now you can take it anywhere you want and record in rooms like this and airplanes.  We do a lot of work all on computers now   It’s great.  You can really sketch out an idea.  It helps in the studio in terms of composing and coming up with new stuff and making demos.

DP:  When you record demos now, how far are you going with the song?  I know that it used to be that it would be fairly crude like when Buck Dharma of Blue Öyster Cult recorded the “Don’t Fear the Reaper” demo, he was playing drums on cardboard boxes. Now you can have a demo be pretty close to what the final cut is going to sound like.
GT:  Well, sound-wise, you can get really close.  But working with the other guys in the studio is a whole different thing.  Personally, in my opinion, songs turn out better when everybody’s playing together.  There’s a kind of synergy that happens with the musicians and you take an idea a lot further along when you get other people involved.  You can take it on your own and get good sounds but you don’t get the really cool performances and the particular thing that they do.

DP:  “Operation: Mindcrime” has very much become heavy metal’s “Dark Side of the Moon” in terms of how timeless it truly is.  As of late, it’s also become very timely with events that are going on right now.  For example, there are a bunch of videos on YouTube of “Mindcrime” songs that feature photo montages of Occupy Wall Street.  What’s your take on the relevance of those lyrics to this cause?
GT:  Well, the movement is really interesting. Over the last couple of months, every city we’ve gone to, there have been protestors everywhere.  Thousands of them, not just a handful, you know?  The news likes to say that there are a lot of angry people out there – and rightly so.  It’s getting pretty tough to make a living these days in this country.  It’s a massive complex issue and there’s no simple answer to it. But it’s kind of what’s happened because our country is built on business and commerce.  That’s our culture, really.  And those things mean competition which wastes the other guy to get ahead.  If somebody can make more money selling jobs to overseas workers, they’re gonna do it if there’s no law that says they can’t. So that’s what’s happened.  We’ve sold all of our jobs and our manufacturing to other places and what have we got now?  We have a nation full of people that are trained for the service industry which is great but now that people aren’t spending money to go out and eat dinner what are you gonna do then?  Every action has a reaction to it. People think it’s fine to download music.  Well, downloading music has gutted an industry.  Where 10 years ago there were 50,000 or 100,000 people employed by the record industry, now there’s 3,000.  The industry is failing and the money is gone because somebody thought it was OK to steal the product.  You can’t fight that now that we’ve raised a generation of people who don’t see anything wrong with it.  In fact, I think they just passed a law that says file sharing is legal now.  Great.  Thanks.  Now you can steal my work.  Where does that end? It all affects everyone else, you know? So all of those people that are out of work in the industry now don’t have a job where they can go and pay to get their car fixed, so the mechanic is short on work now.  And because he’s short on work, he can’t buy the groceries he normally would buy at the grocery store so now the grocery store is hurting.  It all affects everything.

DP:  A domino effect happens.
GT:  Exactly.  It’s a massive massive problem that nobody has an answer for.  It’s something we really have to look at and study and maybe change the way we think and the way we do things.

DP:  I think fundamentally that’s one of the core things on which the movement is based.
GT:  Yeah. I think that’s probably at the core of what a lot of the protestors are talking about – at least the ones I’ve talked to.  There’s a lot of people who don’t know what they’re protesting against so they don’t know how to define it or verbalize it but there’s a LOT of people that do.  It’s an interesting movement.  There’s a lot of anger and frustration that it’s based around and when people get angry and frustrated, violence happens.  So we could be on the brink of something pretty major here over the next few months I would guess.

DP:  It seems to be growing.
GT:  It is. We’ll see where it goes.

DP:  Anyways, back to some music questions.  If I snagged your iPod and I hit random, what would I hear?
GT:  Well let’s look. [reaches over to turn off  his iPod and remove it from its stereo speaker dock]  We were just listening to Debussy.  Artists or albums?

DP:  Let’s go with artists.
GT:  I’ll start at the top. [calls up his artist playlist]

DP:  Wow. All over the map.  America. Aerosmith. Beck. Benny Goodman. Black Sabbath. Brian Setzer. Frank Sinatra. Candy Dulfer.  Awesome saxophone player!  There’s actually quite a lot of saxophone on the new Queensrÿche album.
GT: Actually, there’s been saxophone on every album since..uh… “Promised Land” I believe.  Anyway, as you can see, there’s a lot of variance here on my iPod. [laughs]  Do you know of Erykah Badu?

DP:  I do.  I love her song “Next Lifetime”.
GT: She’s one of my favorites.  And we’re just halfway through the list! I’ve got a lot of stuff.

DP:  You’re not kidding! John Lennon & Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band. Miles Davis.  Diana Krall. I’ve noticed there’s quite a lot of jazz.
GT:  There’s a lot of jazz on it.  A majority of the stuff on here is old jazz.

DP:  But certainly not exclusively.  Neil Young.  Moody Blues.  Loreena McKennit.  I’ve seen her live.  Absolutely amazing show.  Pink Floyd.  Sade.  Yes.  I just interviewed Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman a month or so ago. Man…the list goes on and on.  And – but of course – Queensrÿche.  In the near future, what might I see on your Pod in terms of those guys?
GT:  [laughs]  I don’t  know.  We don’t really have a plan right now.  Honestly, this has been a really long tour and everybody’s just kind of burnt out right now.  It’s probably just time to get home and chill and recharge the batteries.  And then we’ll start talking in a couple of months about “Oh, do you wanna do something?” and we’ll see what happens.

Concert Review: Queensryche “30th Anniversary” Tour – Orlando, FL

“30th Anniversary” Tour
House of Blues, Orlando, FL
November 12, 2011

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Over the course of their career since forming in 1981, Queensryche have gone from playing large arenas to support huge-selling albums like “Operation: Mindcrime”, “Empire” and “Promised Land” to playing smaller theatres and clubs to promote a roster of spotty and occasionally downright awful releases since the departure of lyricist and guitarist Chris DeGarmo in 1997. Since then, the band has tried various means to attract crowds including a tour in which the set lists were mostly comprised of covers (to support the “Take Cover” album), a massive theatrical stage show that resembled a Broadway musical (the “Operation: Mindcrime II” tour) and even an adults-only cabaret tour that featured go-go dancers, contortionists, drag queens and a dominatrix.  To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Life is like a Queensryche concert.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”

So, it was with great trepidation that I walked through the doors of the Orlando stop of their “30th Anniversary” tour – one that, in theory, was also embarked upon to support their most recent studio album “Dedicated to Chaos”. Given that “Chaos” is one of their weakest efforts to date, I very much hoped that the show would be retrospective in nature and cover a variety of their finest songs from the past three decades rather than one that would be dominated by the latest misfire. So, as the houselights dimmed, I crossed my fingers and prayed for the best.

From the now darkened room, two video walls on either side of the stage sprang to life and, underscored by a digitized sea of flames, the covers of every studio album the band had released materialized and faded, the hit albums receiving huge amounts of applause; the misses…well…not so much. After the appearance and disappearance of the “Chaos” cover art, Queensryche blasted into action with the appropriately titled “Get Started”, the opening track from that album. While the song caused me to speculate that the concert might indeed be dominated by the new release, “Started” played quite well live and lead vocalist Geoff Tate immediately established a dominating larger-than-life animated stage presence that would keep the audience in his clutches throughout the entire show. But would it remain “Chaotic”?

Luckily, it didn’t.

Only one other song from “Chaos” was played (“At the Edge”) during which Geoff Tate donned a saxophone and added his own instrumentation to mixed results. The rest of the 19-song set featured the classic songs that fans of the band regard as their greatest – and ones that could easily convert newcomers to do the ‘Ryche thing from there on in.

The show was probably the tightest that I’ve seen the band play since the “Hear in the Now Frontier” tour in 1997, the last that DeGarmo would participate in. Tate’s voice is still in peak form and the core rhythm section since the group’s inception, bassist Eddie Jackson and powerhouse drummer Scott Rockenfield, remains one of the best in the heavy metal genre. Guitarist Michael Wilton has also been a constant, but the post-DeGarmo years have seen him trade licks with three other axemen. The most current, Parker Lundgren, is undeniably the best of the batch and the synergy between the two guitarists rivals that of the band’s banner years.

Because of this, this iteration of the group was able to infuse new life into their staple songs. As could be expected, tracks from “Operation: Mindcrime” and the hugely successful “Empire” dominated the set list. Their 9 other studio albums were represented as well and included classics from early in the band’s career such as “NM 156”, “Screaming in Digital” and even “The Lady Wore Black” and “Queen of the Ryche” from their 1982 self-titled debut EP. The band truly seemed to enjoy this trip down memory lane and their assembled legion of followers reacted with huge enthusiasm as the group dished out mutual favorites.

One can only hope that Queensryche can maintain the level of lucidity and intensity they so readily exhibited at the House of Blues. At their peak, the band brought a level of sophistication and intelligence to heavy metal that hadn’t been seen before and, in so doing, raised the bar so high for the genre that the group itself frequently couldn’t clear it. As Queensryche enters into their fourth decade, the future could be a very bright one for them – as long as they continue to remember how it started.

Blu-ray Review “Queensrÿche: Mindcrime at the Moore”

Starring: Queensrÿche
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Recorded: October 13, 14, & 15, 2006 – Seattle, WA
Running Time: 179 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have seen Queensrÿche live twice and they sure can put on a pretty intense show. These guys are known for pretty much ruling the progressive metal for almost 30 years. In fact I will be seeing them again in November 2011 for their 30th anniversary tour. I came into this band later in their game but I think I am still able to appreciate their music. This concert showcases one of their well known albums “Operation Mindcrime Part I” and its 2006 follow up “Operation Mindcrime Part II”. Both which are great albums for sure.

One problem I have with this release is…why 1080i??? I have no idea why most concert films are released in 1080i. If we can get kids shows like “Thomas The Tank” on Blu-ray in 1080p, why not concerts. Despite my complaining the video looks amazing though and is really a fantastic production. The sound is the best part of this release and total rocks its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The music does not overpower Geoff Tate’s singing, as it is very crisp and clear. I was just at a Bush concert and I had a bitch of time hearing the words beyond the over-amped guitars. This release manages to get that perfectly right!

The extras on the disc are not amazing and only in standard definition. The first feature is tour documentary which includes footage with fans of Queensryche, behind the scenes at the concerts and additional footage with Ronnie James Dio, bassist Rudi Sarzo, the Seahawks’ Drum Line. There is an extra song “The Chase” performed with the late Ronnie James Dio. Lastly there is “Rock & Ride Charity Motorcycle Ride” which includes raw foot from the NYC event from September 20, 2006. Honestly though event though the special features of light, don’t forget this disc includes an amazing 3 hour concert which is worth the price of the set alone!

Operation Mindcrime Part I
1. I Remember Now
2. Anarchy-X
3. Revolution Calling
4. Operation: Mindcrime
5. Speak
6. Spreading The Disease
7. The Mission
8. Suite Sister Mary
9. The Needle Lies
10. Electric Requiem
11. Breaking The Silence
12. I Don’t Believe In Love
13. Waiting For 22
14. My Empty Room
15. Eyes Of A Stranger

Operation Mindcrime Part II
16. Freiheit Ouverture
17. Convict
18. I’m American
19. One Foot In Hell
20. Hostage
21. The Hands
22. Speed Of Light
23. Signs Say Go
24. Re-Arrange You
25. The Chase
26. Murderer?
27. Circles
28. If I Could Change It All
29. An Intentional Confrontation
30. A Junkie’s Blues
31. Fear City Slide
32. All The Promises

33. Walk In The Shadows
34. Jet City Woman