THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO...QUEENSRŸCHE Digital Noise Alliance (Century Media)THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO...QUEENSRŸCHE Digital Noise Alliance (Century Media)

Famous for releasing four truly great albums on the bounce in their early years and, latterly, for being the subject of seemingly endless spats and hissy-fits from former members, Queensrÿche are back in the shops with their sixteenth album, and their fourth to feature the voice of Todd La Torre, ‘Digital Noise Alliance’. And although guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson are the only remaining members of the line-up which captivated the metal world with the quartet of albums which ran from their debut ‘The Warning’ in 1984 to 1990’s ‘Empire’, on this latest release the band (completed by guitarist Mike Stone and drummer Casey Grillo) appear to have kept as close as possible to the sound that made them what they were when they burst on the scene back in the early Eighties.


From the off, opener ‘In Extremis’ ably demonstrates that ‘Digital Noise Alliance’ certainly shares, well, DNA with Queensrÿche’s extensive early catalogue, but the twist is that the band’s identity has developed so much in recent years that although the roots are obvious, the direction is very much forward-looking. The result is an album which not just complements the band’s back catalogue but which is a worthy addition to it. La Torre in particular is a great asset, his voice a versatile instrument in an outfit whose musical credentials are beyond question. The plaintive ‘Lost In Sorrow’, the labyrinthine ‘Nocturnal Light’ and the de facto title track ‘Sicdeth’ are all examples of the work of a band whose passion and hunger is yet to be quenched, and aside from their cover-by-numbers version of ‘Rebel Yell’ (which should have been tucked away as a fun but pointless B-side, or better still, not recorded at all) this is a great collection of exciting, contemporary progressive metal material.

Video clips: ‘In Extremis’ -

‘Forest’ -

‘Behind The Walls’ –

© John Tucker October 2022