Released: 2011, Roadrunner Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
The twelfth studio album from Queensryche is entitled DEDICATED TO CHAOS and finds the once progressive metal pioneers in a seemingly odd pairing, coupled in bed with their brand new record label Roadrunner Records.
DEDICATED TO CHAOS is both a fine name and apt description of the new record as these tracks are sure to make longtime fans and supporters of the band livid, nauseous and fit to be tied straight out of the gate with opening track "Get Started" a sunny, feel good summertime romp through Americana commercialism not unlike what you might expect to hear playing in the background of a tampon commercial or worse... A Bret Michaels solo album.
"Hot Spot Junkie" a modern rock radio ode to the YouTube generation follows and further craps right into the listener's ear. Two tracks into DEDICATED TO CHAOS and the band that once gave us classics like "The Warning" "Rage For Order" and "Operation: Mindcrime" now seems wholly unrecognizable. "Got It Bad" is lame pop rock with sappy boy band background vocals that have me reaching for a dull butter knife to slit my wrists. Perhaps the most relevant question amongst current debates of why the Ryche would unleash this turd of a record upon us is "What is Chris DeGarmo's opinion of DEDICATED TO CHAOS?"
If you have made it as far as Geoff Tate's saxophone solo on "Wot We Do" than rest assured the nightmare is halfway over. Before the suffering is put to an end however you'll have to deal with artsy fartsy synth pop tales of over the hill horny lust, lame B movie soundtrack fodder and what is an awful album without megaphone vocal hooks thrown in for good measure?
Now everybody knows that the closer in an album review is the last opportunity to throw out any salvagable qualities, performances or other notable merits after enduring the criticism of jaded reviewer X. So is there anything on tap on DEDICATED TO CHAOS that doesn't reek like a Chinese food dumpster on a hot summer day?
The answer is no. I have a great deal of respect for the classic albums by Queensryche and I hold the vocals of Geoff Tate in high regard. I hold the technical prowess of players like Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield in high regard. Why they would choose to make a record so far removed from anything resembling a metal record, hell even a hard rock record is beyond me. Of course there are metal bands who mellow out to some degree and delve into prog rock or cross over into more of a stripped down hard rock approach, yet still manage to craft well constructed, listenable and enjoyable material in the process. I do not believe that to be the case with this album and as unhappy and disheartening as it is to dish out the lowest rating possible for this disc I'm going to have to stand by it for torturing my ears for an hour when I could have been reviewing a kickass metal release. Sorry guys, better luck next time.