Queensrÿche

Umlaut pioneers bring noisy lucidity

Queensrÿche: Keeping the metal flame burning.
Larry Marano
Queensrÿche: Keeping the metal flame burning.

Calling these guys the thinking man's heavy metal band may be a lopsided compliment, like identifying Nicole Richie as the brainier one on The Simple Life. But in a field of hedonists like Poison and Def Leppard, worldly Geoff Tate and company distinguished themselves with far weightier themes than the sperm explosions in their trousers. Try to imagine Vince Neil even using the words "Silent Lucidity" in normal conversation -- can't be done. In aligning themselves with their British counterparts like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and even Pink Floyd (for Operation: Mindcrime, they used the late Michael Kamen, who also orchestrated The Wall and The Final Cut), the guys in Queensrÿche ensured their fans would not outgrow them as quickly as they might have dispensed with Jackyl. After its post-grunge disappointments, Queensrÿche settled into a nostalgic cycle of rereleases, greatest hits and live DVDs, broken up by the occasional brand-new CD. On The Art of Live (the band's third live DVD in five years), Queensrÿche's live show is captured in scratchy, grainy brown sepia tone, treating the fans to cover versions of "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Comfortably Numb."

 
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