As though it were even possible, Queensryche seem to be an even more formidable force with lead vocalist Todd La Torre at the helm with these anthemic tracks on ‘Condition Human‘ than what was found on the band’s 2013 eponymous rebirth. For those prog metal advocates who themselves remain skeptical of this current incarnation, look no further than the commanding war cries of “Guardian.”
Partnered by a full-fledged music video complete with lighting effects and moderate animations this time around (compared to the roughly edited live compilation on the preceding “Fallout”), Queensryche’s “Guardian” is without question one of the strongest tracks to arrive under the tri-ryche banner in decades. The vocal melodies are brooding, the lead guitar distinctive and the relevance in La Torre’s cries for a social and political uprising only fuels the manic inferno.
The production on “Guardian” and the previously released “Arrow of Time” proudly display the talents of Chris “Zeuss” Harris (Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage) effortlessly surpasses the end result on the still-formidable 2013 release. Allowing each layer of the performance from the multi-faceted and reinvigorated force that is Queensryche is always a readily appreciated feature when it comes to new music.
Attentive and even casual fans likely won’t have any problem with pointing out the reference of “Revolution Calling” from the iconic 1988 studio effort ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ as La Torre belts out “Evolution Calling.” If they’re that big of a diehard listener, the 1990 ‘Evolution Calling’ compilation album might even come to mind.
Now to be fair, everyone from Van Halen to Black Sabbath and AC/DC have referenced their earlier catalog on their latest releases lyrically or otherwise. It isn’t that out of the ordinary for prominent rock and metal groups to commit such acts when formulating new material, and this particular incorporation is just a moment in a monumental four minute, twenty second presentation complete with a “gotcha” ending that starts with a gradual fadeout yet holds it’s ground with raspy siren vocals and manic picking.
“Guardian” is just one of twelve new compositions on Queensryche’s ‘Condition Human’ album, which is due for release on October 2 via Century Media.