Midnight Rites – Tales from the North1st October 2015
Tank – Valley of Tears6th October 2015
Label: Century Media / Release date: 2nd October 2015
Some two years after the settlement that cemented that Todd La Torre fronted version of the band won the right to release albums under the name Queensrÿche, the band is ready with the follow up to the 2013 impressive self-titled release. From now on Tate will not be releasing music under band’s name, but rather under the oddly chosen name Operation: Mindcrime, named after band’s classic 1988 album.
Once you get pass the awful album cover, what waits is the logical follow up to the La Torre debut with the band, which means that the band is still inspired by the band’s early years, but while Queensrÿche was for the most part based on band’s first two releases The Warning and Rage For Order, the new album broadens the horizon some by also looking back on band’s third album, the masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime. This means that the punch of the previous album is now accompanied with bit more of progressive and experimental quality known from Operation: Mindcrime.
And just like the case was the its predecessor Condition Hüman delivers furiously. Once again song-writing is in absolute top and the band’s performance is on fire, nonetheless thanks to La Torre, whose energy and intensity is nothing short of mesmerizing.
Performance on the album is just as electrifying as it was on the previous release, despite the fact that the band from time to time, wanders in more moody and theatrical waters. This is something of an achievement because throughout the album the band maintains, not only, focus and flow, but just as importantly, the high-octane energy. Sure “Just Us” feels bit misplaced and “All That Was” might lack the quality the rest of the album possesses, but they never drag the album’s overall quality to the danger zone.
Production handled by Chris “Zeuss” Harris maintains that primal approach set by Jim Burton on the previous release, but ads it bit more clarity and space to fit the more complex approach of the material.
Queensrÿche was such a display of power and newfound hunger of this band. Condition Hüman maintains the momentum and expands it while maintaining firm grip. Few bands manage to survive such massive disruptions and changes so deep into their career. Queensrÿche not only did that, but they found their second youth, with all the benefits of being experienced band.