Tuesday, July 19, 2011

REVIEWS: QUEENSRYCHE - DEDICATED TO CHAOS

"Dedicated To Chaos"
Artist: Queenryche
Title: Dedicated To Chaos
Year: 2011
Genre: Rock
Rate: 5

Review: For long time fans of Queensrÿche, this album is likely one to steer clear from. Dedicated to Chaos is hardly metal. In fact, it is on a similar tier with the band’s earlier release, Empire. It has more of an alternative rock feel than anything. Even the progressive element of the band is almost completely unnoticeable. There are highly accessible rock tunes along with the odd ballad (“Broken”). It is a definitive step towards the more popular side of music.

As mentioned earlier, the heaviness level of Dedicated to Chaos is on par with Queensrÿche’s Empire. However, the same unfortunately cannot be said for the quality. The reason is not the mere genre or style of the music. Many, including myself, have much appreciation for the wonderful piece of art that is Empire and are only respectful of its rock persona. With Dedication to Chaos, all of the magic that made the band’s music so special is absent. In fact, much of what was put into the record actually made it worse! The most obviously excruciating aspect is its shallow, shoddy lyrics.

The record opens with “Get Started,” a song that dwells on the typical ‘world is your oyster’ type theme. It itches uncomfortably enough when Iron Maiden does it, but this is just bad. The next track, “Hot Spot Junkie,” comes with blundering chants of ‘youtube’ and boy does it ever sound god-awful. My hope that it these shenanigans were done with at this point was unfulfilled. “Got it Bad” comes with the even more repetitive and cringing chants of ‘sunglasses’. There is no way this is the same band that made the musical masterwork known as Operation: Mindcrime. But honestly, it was wrong to have my expectations at a high when the tracklist included titles such as “Luvnu” and “Big Noize (bonus)” – failure is clearly inevitable.

In Dedicated to Chaos, the music portion itself is also at an all-time low for the band. The effort is consistently poor, though there are disguised elements of intelligence. However, encountering them is comparable to finding Waldo. There is surprisingly a decent amount of diversity with the release, but most of it is written to the bare minimum, following the standardized form of verse-chorus-bridge. And the music itself is never outstanding enough to warrant the amount of time they occupy. Even with the shorter, less-than-four-minutes songs, they tend to drag. The guitar riffs are extremely mundane (especially the rhythm of “Hot Spot Junkie”) and the vocals are only average. But with Queensrÿche, the vocals have formerly been known to decide the difference between a good and bad album; here, the vocals are not good. The drums give some neat rhythms and the basslines are groovy at times, but there is not enough with them to salvage any greatness with Dedicated to Chaos. The piano parts are nice too. But again, this album is much too empty for any enjoyment to be embraced by an audience.

Once again, Queensrÿche has crushed my hopes and faith with a sub par release. Dedicated to Chaos in many ways descends beyond mediocrity. From its lyrics to its musical content, it is just an all-around poor effort. With such masterpieces from their earlier career (most particularly Operation: Mindcrime), many will find it difficult to cease clinging to the band’s glory days. Believe me, I am most certainly one of the many. But the saddest and most heart-breaking of truths is that Dedicated to Chaos should be avoided under all circumstances, fan or not.

Tracklist: 1 Get Starter; 2 Hot Spot Junkie; 3 Got it Bad; 4 Around the World; 5 Higher; 6 Retail Therapy; 7 At the Edge; 8 Broken; 9 Hard Times; 10 Drive; 11 I Believe; 12 Luvnu.


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