QUEENSRYCHE – Digital Noise Alliance (2022) HQ

QUEENSRYCHE - Digital Noise Alliance (2022) HQ - full

With over 20 million albums sold worldwide, innumerable accolades and a career that not only spans, but has charted the course of multiple genres, QUEENSRYCHE remains a force in their own right.
Digital Noise Alliance” (DNA), Queensrÿche’s 16th studio album and fourth to be helmed by founding guitarist Michael Wilton, vocalist Todd LaTorre and bassist Eddie Jackson continues the ever-evolving legacy the Bellvue Washington born band began in 1982 when they first took hold of the flame with their hugely received self-titled 4-song EP.
Their recent U.S. tour with Judas Priest proved that the band’s time off the road and in the studio only stoked their ambition and fire. Once again teaming producer Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed), “Digital Noise Alliance” not only refracts Queensrÿche’s past accomplishments but also pushes into the band’s future.

So here it is – Queensryche’s first post pandemic album. Sonically it has all the hallmarks of its predecessors and yet there’s even more nods to the past than you might imagine without exactly replicating that sound. It’s also been a long process – with ‘in the same room’ writing sessions spanning a year and tracking starting in January this year.
The band also sought to capture a vintage vibe by using Michael Wilton collection of old Marshalls: the amp from The Warning and the amp from Rage for Order or Mindcrime or Empire. Each song has different amps and different guitars that reach back to that era.

There’s some new personnel as well. Former Kamelot drummer Casey Grillo had been playing with the band live for quite some time, but it’s only now on “Digital Noise Alliance” that he make his debut on record with Queensrÿche. And he makes a hell of an appearance. Despite his power metal roots, Casey brings a fresh and fiery hard rock performance to the drums that elevates this record.
Also gone is Parker Lundgren, who logged a number of years with the band as the younger, energized foil to founding guitarist Michael “Whip” Wilton. The tandem had re-established the signature dual chorusing guitar tone of the classic lineup, and I was concerned that there would be missing piece on this release.
To be honest, I was even more concerned to read that Mike Stone was serving as Parker’s replacement. Mike’s previous output with Queensrÿche was during their “lost” years prior to Tate’s split from the band, and that was not a place I hoped to revisit.

Fortunately, this record sounds more like classic Queensrÿche than anything since “Promise Land,” and that’s a very good thing. I don’t know how much of the recorded work was supplied by Stone, but the guitar work on this record is vastly superior to the lost years.
Indeed opener ‘In Extremis’ strikes you as ‘Vintage Ryche’, full of drive, energy and dynamics and a dab of Dio and Maiden. Queensryche always had that ability to unite Metal, Rock and Prog fans and I see that prismic appeal here on tracks like the mid-tempo ‘Chapters’, or the wonderful ‘Lost in Sorrow’ that keeps that tempo and brings it on home!

In truth even on first play this is sounding rather strong – The ‘Ryche’ trademark lush melodies, passion and drive are all there and whilst tracks like ‘Sicdeth’ might not blow you away first time, they’re all growers. As you might expect there’s plenty of light and shade here – the ominous and brooding ‘Behind The Walls’ even comes across like spic Lillian Axe which is wonderful. As is the Proggier ‘Out of the Black’.

With its current line up of singer Todd LaTorre, Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson, Stone and Grillo, and recent albums like ‘Queensryche’ (2013), ‘Condition Human’ (2015) and ‘The Verdict’ (2019) there’s definitely a kind of post-Tate resurgence, and this could be the best so far.
Saying that the longer time goes by the more I realize how much I do miss the writing of Chris DeGarmo, and as much as both Queensryche and Geoff Tate manage to capture the feel of ‘Classic Ryche’ albums like Mindcrime and Empire and those that proceeded it on occasions, it makes you realize how much he gave to the band.
That comes most on tracks like ‘The Forest’, which even the press release likens to the DeGarmo-penned ‘Silent Lucidity’. That’s not to criticize anything here because ‘Digital Noise Alliance’ really is well worth your attention.

We close strongly too. ‘Realms’ has a nice gritty hard rock edge, whilst ‘Hold On’ the penultimate track gives LaTorre’s a real shining moment to flex his vocal might. It’s closer ‘Tormentum’ though that underlines that good feeling you got when you hit play – the power and the passion and gunfire riffs are all present and correct and just like we started there’s a wonderful infusion of old school metal flowing in this one. It’s great stuff.

Then there’s the unexpected album closer—a rocked up version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” which is actually more fun than expected and a fantastic rendition of a song that has been covered by many. Todd’s take on Idol’s varied vocals are surprisingly effective, and while it’s somewhat strange to hear so much “poppy” keyboard on a Queensrÿche track, the rendition ends up being way more satisfying that one can expect when seeing it in the track list.

If any fans have wandered away from the Ryche due to all of the confusion and uncertainty that’s been foisted on them over the years… or if someone is still unsure whether they can find a version of Queensrÿche legitimate without Geoff Tate on vocals… or if you simply want to pick up a rocking record that sounds both classic and contemporary…check out Queensrÿche’s “DNA” (“Digital Noise Alliance”) and be pleasantly surprised during the process.
HIGHLY Recommended


01 – In Extremis
02 – Chapters
03 – Lost in Sorrow
04 – Sicdeth
05 – Behind the Walls
06 – Nocturnal Light
07 – Out of the Black
08 – Forest
09 – Realms
10 – Hold On
11 – Tormentum
12 – Rebel Yell

Michael Wilton – guitar, backing vocals
Eddie Jackson – bass, backing vocals
Mike Stone – guitar, backing vocals
Todd La Torre – lead vocals
Casey Grillo – drums


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