Album: The Verdict
Label: Century Media
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron
The Verdict is Queensryche‘s fifteenth studio album and it’s third to feature Todd La Torre as the vocalist. Over the last six years, the band’s chemistry has only gotten better. And “The Verdict” is the best album so far with this lineup. But, it goes much deeper than that. “The Verdict” is one of the best albums since Queensryche‘s inception. This album officially heralds the second coming of “Queensryche”. A resurrection, if you will, of one of the most original and inspiring bands in the metal genre.
Todd La Torre has been put in one of the most difficult positions as the lead singer who has had to step up and front a band which previously had, arguably one of the best vocalists in modern metal history in Geoff Tate. When Tate and the other band members split in an ugly, and very public fashion, many of the band’s fans felt like children of divorced parents, unsure of which camp they should side with.
Rock bands, throughout history, haven’t been immune to these types of breakups with Black Sabbath and Van Halen being just two examples of bands who successfully changed lead singers and continued on. Just for the record, I’m still a fan of Tate as well, and he continues to do well in his solo career. While the split was a source of friction for many of the fans, I think it was absolutely necessary for both parties to go their separate ways and follow their own unique musical visions.
Todd La Torre has more than proved his loyalty to not only the band but all of the Queensryche fans as well. With their longtime drummer, Scott Rockenfield out on hiatus, La Torre stepped up and provided both lead vocals and the drums for “The Verdict”. If that’s not dedication to the band, I don’t know what is. Vocally, La Torre soars on this album, with some of the best material in years with great standout tracks like “Blood Of The Levant”, Light-Years, “Dark Reverie”, “Bent” and “Launder The Conscience”.
The band is simply on fire this time around, sounding incredibly tight as a band. If you’re a fan of the band’s earlier material like self-titled EP, The Warning, and Rage For Order, this is the album you’ve been waiting for. Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren‘s guitars compliment each other perfectly, with Wilton providing some great solos in an album that is much more on the energetic and heavier side than any of the albums in recent years. The bass by Eddie Jackson, is once again, pounding and solid, providing a great backbone for these outstanding songs. I simply can’t stop listening to this album. It’s really that good. “The Verdict” is officially in… and Queensryche has created one of the greatest albums of their entire career.
01. “Blood of the Levant”
02. “Man the Machine”
04. “Inside Out”
05. “Propaganda Fashion”
06. “Dark Reverie”
08. “Inner Unrest”
09. “Launder the Conscience”
Michael Wilton – lead guitar
Eddie Jackson – bass, backing vocals
Parker Lundgren – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Todd La Torre – lead vocals, drums