Queensrÿche is an infamous name in the heavy metal community these days, it seems. And it's easy to see why. Ever since Chris DeGarmo left the group after their "Hear in the Now Frontier" album (and after his reunion with the group for their "Tribe" album), Queensrÿche have become synonymous with has-been and washed-up. Without DeGarmo, Queensrÿche released the dismally dull "Q2K," the lifeless "Operation: Mindcrime II," and worst of all, the tedious and tepid "American Soldier," which received a 20% average rating with 11 reviews on The Metal Archives with high-profile reviewer caspian stating that it's "possibly the worst album on the archives."
With their recent track record inspiring something less than confidence, how will the new album, "Dedicated to Chaos," stand up? According to Geoff Tate, vocalist and main songwriter, this new album will be "more focused on rhythm than any of our records have been," and it's "got a lot of very intricate bass/drum work on it that perhaps hasn't been featured on earlier albums." Tate also states that the new album will be a "clash and slash of musical experimentation anchored by the pulse of digital code." Judging by his comments, it seems that a more rhythmic style of heavy metal/hard rock is what we're to expect from "Dedicated to Chaos."
The group has already released a few of their songs ahead of time, including the opening track, Get Started, featured on the VH1 Classic Rock Nights radio show. Based on this, I can safely assure rabid Queensrÿche fans that this will, indeed, be a better album than "American Soldier" was. Beyond that, though, I can't say; it may be better than their absolute worst, but can it rank up there with their legendary classics, "Operation: Mindcrime" and "The Warning," or will it be plagued with middling and directionless filler like "Q2K" and "Operation: Mindcrime II" were?
In any case, I'll be keeping my eyes open for "Dedicated to Chaos," and only time will tell if a return to form is on the menu. However, after the disaster that was "American Soldier," I'm confident that the group has nowhere to go but up.