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Album Review: QUEENSRŸCHE Digital Noise Alliance

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Todd LaTorre has been Queensrÿche’s vocalist for ten years now, and Digital Noise Alliance is his fourth album with the band. There have been some lineup changes for the Seattle veterans since the release of 2019’s The Verdict. Guitarist Mike Stone returned to Queensrÿche last year after an absence of more than a decade. This is the first Queensrÿche album for drummer Casey Grillo (ex-Kamelot). There are two original members left: guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson.

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For the third album in a row, the band worked with producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Rob Zombie, Revocation). Wilton says there’s a trust factor with Zeuss. “He came in as a fan and really understood what Queensrÿche is about,” Wilton reveals. “With Zeuss, there’s a level of trust and understanding that we’ve rarely had with a producer. Everyone’s ideas and energies are on 10 and he knows how to harness that.”

Over the past decade Queensrÿche has tried to stay true to their classic sound while still progressing and remaining contemporary. One of the bridges to the past on Digital Noise Alliance was the use of some vintage equipment. Wilton used some amps that were featured on the band’s early albums such as The Warning and Rage For Order.

Digital Noise Alliance treads a similar to path to previous records during the LaTorre era. There are several focused and relatively short songs. “Sicdeth” has excellent guitar work, while “Out of the Black” is a mid-paced and extremely catchy song that probably would have been a big radio hit in the band’s heyday.

Several tracks are in more of a progressive vein, with plenty of twists and turns that are complex while remaining accessible. Songs like the uptempo opener “In Extremis,” the heavy “Behind The Walls” and seven plus minute closer “Tormentum” are engaging and showcase Queensrÿche’s musicianship and songwriting chops.

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Those are the album’s strongest songs. They also feature LaTorre’s most dynamic and versatile performances. His pipes are strong, certainly sounding similar to Geoff Tate, but bringing a lot of unique qualities and a wide vocal range.

The remaining few songs are what hamper the overall quality of the record. They are well played, but not as compelling. They aren’t generic enough to be characterized as filler, but tracks like “Chapters” and “Forest” are just not as interesting as the majority of Digital Noise Alliance and don’t push any boundaries.

Those who enjoyed Queensryche, Condition Human and The Verdict will find plenty to like with Digital Noise Alliance. There are numerous callbacks to classic Queensrÿche albums along with modern touches. It’s a good balance of past and present and they did a good job with track order, as the record flows very smoothly from front to back.

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