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  #11  
Old 03-11-2010, 08:51 AM
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My thoughts on Queensryche:

They need to stop, badly. I don't know if I've ever seen another band who has disgraced its own legacy so badly, but just continues to flog a long-dead horse, and with each attempt they make, you hear them and other people going "no really guys! This one's really good!" But they never ever. The last arguably great Queensryche record came out in 1994 - sixteen years ago, and they've been active ever since.

Chris DeGarmo's absence is not the problem - as has been said, he's come back and they still sucked. The rest of the guys (primarilly Tate, I think) just want to make shitty alternative rock music, with just slight hints of metal. I think Geoff Tate has massive delusions of grandeur about what they're doing, thinking they're sticking it to the man by not making metal records or something.

In regards to their live shows, I doubt I will ever pay to see them again. The Mindcrime shows are great because they are theatrical and put the emphasis on the story and acting and not the rest of the band. They are boring as fuck when just doing a normal set. Aside from that bore-fest factor, I have one other big issue with their live shows:
With most bands that made really influential metal prior to 1990, when they play the songs live today, they tend to sound better and more powerful - the combination of the live energy of a god live band, and the years-worth of evolving instrument sounds and technology. A band like Saxon's early material sounds much heavier and better these days than it used to. However, this is NOT the case. In fact, Queensryche don't even get up to album standard live. When Queensryche plays songs from "The Warning" or "Rage For Order", they sound... flat. It's like "Diet Queensryche", like some modern rock band is trying to cover metal songs. It's a hard feeling to pinpoint, but it bothers the shit out of me.
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  #12  
Old 03-11-2010, 10:14 AM
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I disagree. I thought that especially on the 2004-2005 tours their older material was sounding really good. For instance, I prefer, to a huge degree, how they play "The Whisper" now. I think the vocals on the album version were just way over the top, and I like how they drop it down half a step, and Tate sings a different melody. It's more sinister. And the live version really downplays the cheesy synths, letting the guitars just cut through everything - heaver imo. And while sometimes it's hit or miss, there's some really good versions of "Screaming in Digital" from that tour that are both really heavy, and sometimes Tate really nails the scream at the end. Or "Walk in the Shadows" which they were mostly playing with the extended intro.

Also I prefer how Mindcrime 1 sounded in 2004/2005 than the original, honestly. The production on Operation: Mindcrime is an 80's cliche 100%. There's no low end. It's just high-pitched drums loaded with reverb, high-pitched vocals, and guitars with no crunch. The 2004/2005 live versions are much heavier imo, if only because you can actually hear the bass ALL THE TIME (and Eddie Jackson is an underrated bassist if there was ever an underrated bassist imo.)

But like I said, Queensryche will NEVER make everybody or even anybody happy. In 2004/2005 they did the metal thing 100%. When they opened for Priest in the summer of 2005 the newest song was "I'm American" (which is heavy, c'mon) and after that Empire's title track. The rest was off their first few albums, which are all fairly heavy.

They did the metal thing and people were still unhappy. Because people will always be unhappy with something that Queensryche is doing.

I also think it's wrong to say they're sticking it to anybody by not being metal. It's common knowledge Geoff didn't come from a metal background and never wanted to be a in metal band prior to Queensryche. If you listen to what Geoff, Scott, and Chris have all done outside of Queensryche, it's not metal. (Wilton's stuff is.) And just because they depart from metal on some of their albums, doesn't mean it's all shitty alt-rock. Tribe is progressive rock. "Art of Life" is a song any band that considers themselves progressive should be happy to have composed. No band should be forced to box themselves into a genre, even if it's just to "be true to the fans."

Honestly, I think if there's a lesson to be learned from the career of Queensryche it's to never let yourself be considered a metal band to begin with, because once you are, if you don't stick to it, your "fans" will fucking eat you alive. I love metal - I do, but I think it's one of the most stifling genres around. Any time a band that's metal tries to operate outside of metal, or even outside of their respective metal sub-genre, it just pisses people off or strikes them as inauthentic. I think it's odd that a genre that basically exists because some people tried to be different than the norm is a genre that has resisted, to an extreme degree, letting the bands within it, evolve, especially if it means evolving outside of something considered "metal." Yes, the genre as a whole changes, or expands into different sub-genres, but just about any band, if they want to keep their fans, or respect of those from the metal community, better stick to the form of metal they offered that got people's attention in the first place.
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  #13  
Old 03-11-2010, 10:19 AM
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American Soldier and HITNF are the only two QR albums I actually dislike(Though Q2K is far from perfect too, but it's definitely listenable). As far as metal goes, I somewhat feel like OM:2 is the best they can do nowadays... so they might be best off trying to make a not-strictly-metal album, as long as they can make it good (looking at you, Promised Land)

Eh. No album since Promised Land has been AWESOME, and after American soldier, not to mention that lame covers album, it's really hard for me not to have given up on them making good music. I'll try to give them the benefit of the doubt once more when the next album comes around, just in case.
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2010, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by EvilCheese View Post
I disagree. I thought that especially on the 2004-2005 tours their older material was sounding really good. For instance, I prefer, to a huge degree, how they play "The Whisper" now. I think the vocals on the album version were just way over the top, and I like how they drop it down half a step, and Tate sings a different melody. It's more sinister. And the live version really downplays the cheesy synths, letting the guitars just cut through everything - heaver imo. And while sometimes it's hit or miss, there's some really good versions of "Screaming in Digital" from that tour that are both really heavy, and sometimes Tate really nails the scream at the end. Or "Walk in the Shadows" which they were mostly playing with the extended intro.

Also I prefer how Mindcrime 1 sounded in 2004/2005 than the original, honestly. The production on Operation: Mindcrime is an 80's cliche 100%. There's no low end. It's just high-pitched drums loaded with reverb, high-pitched vocals, and guitars with no crunch. The 2004/2005 live versions are much heavier imo, if only because you can actually hear the bass ALL THE TIME (and Eddie Jackson is an underrated bassist if there was ever an underrated bassist imo.)

But like I said, Queensryche will NEVER make everybody or even anybody happy. In 2004/2005 they did the metal thing 100%. When they opened for Priest in the summer of 2005 the newest song was "I'm American" (which is heavy, c'mon) and after that Empire's title track. The rest was off their first few albums, which are all fairly heavy.

They did the metal thing and people were still unhappy. Because people will always be unhappy with something that Queensryche is doing.

I also think it's wrong to say they're sticking it to anybody by not being metal. It's common knowledge Geoff didn't come from a metal background and never wanted to be a in metal band prior to Queensryche. If you listen to what Geoff, Scott, and Chris have all done outside of Queensryche, it's not metal. (Wilton's stuff is.) And just because they depart from metal on some of their albums, doesn't mean it's all shitty alt-rock. Tribe is progressive rock. "Art of Life" is a song any band that considers themselves progressive should be happy to have composed. No band should be forced to box themselves into a genre, even if it's just to "be true to the fans."
1) On that Priest tour, Queensryche played two songs off of Tribe. At least when I saw them. If you want to disagree, I'll pull up the setlist. If you just made a mistake, or they just didn't do it if/when you saw it, no bad.

2) I saw them do the "Hits/Mindcrime" stuff in 2005. Meh. The hits, that is. The Mindcrime performances were very good (lol @ your claim that a performance with Mike Stone could be better than the original with DeGarmo), but the hits were just typical Queensryche - standing on-stage, seemingly bored, while boring the audience by playing watered down songs.

3) No, the band will never make everyone, or anybody happy - because the truth is, this band should've broke up after DeGarmo left post-Hear in the Now Frontier. Still wouldn't have been going out on a high note, but at least it wouldn't have been embarrassing. Everyone could just go and do there own thing. The problem with this? There's no money in it. Sadly, just because Queensryche had some hits and sold a good number of albums between 1985 and 1992, people are still paying to see and support them. If the members were doing what they truly wanted to do under the name(s) they should be doing it, this argument wouldn't exist. However, the members would be broke because no one really cares about what they're doing musically, but will still occasionally shell out money to see them.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
1) On that Priest tour, Queensryche played two songs off of Tribe. At least when I saw them. If you want to disagree, I'll pull up the setlist. If you just made a mistake, or they just didn't do it if/when you saw it, no bad.

2) I saw them do the "Hits/Mindcrime" stuff in 2005. Meh. The hits, that is. The Mindcrime performances were very good (lol @ your claim that a performance with Mike Stone could be better than the original with DeGarmo), but the hits were just typical Queensryche - standing on-stage, seemingly bored, while boring the audience by playing watered down songs.

3) No, the band will never make everyone, or anybody happy - because the truth is, this band should've broke up after DeGarmo left post-Hear in the Now Frontier. Still wouldn't have been going out on a high note, but at least it wouldn't have been embarrassing. Everyone could just go and do there own thing. The problem with this? There's no money in it. Sadly, just because Queensryche had some hits and sold a good number of albums between 1985 and 1992, people are still paying to see and support them. If the members were doing what they truly wanted to do under the name(s) they should be doing it, this argument wouldn't exist. However, the members would be broke because no one really cares about what they're doing musically, but will still occasionally shell out money to see them.
1) Oh yeah, I forgot about those two. (Their 04/05 sets kind of blur together for me.) Okay, so two songs out of 12-15. I have quite a few video boots from those tour, and I would say that's not really a fair characterization.

2) Fuck it. That's my opinion and it's no more right or wrong than yours. I think Mike Stone plays Operation: Mindcrime's solo better than Chris DeGarmo and I don't give a fuck if I'm the only person that thinks so.

3) That's a matter of opinion... look, I'm just going to be pull the Iron Maiden card here. First of all, how many people thought they should break up with Blaze, or after? I mean, shit, I think you could make a really good argument that Bruce's solo career is better than some of Iron Maiden's output, so maybe they should've split so he could do that. Or maybe they should can Janick, because why the hell do they need three guitarists?

But that's the problem. Bands should basically never do what fans want. If a band wants to stay together and release music nobody gives a shit about because it's what they want to do, then they should. In Iron Maiden's case, plenty of people like the Blaze albums or new-era Bruce albums. And there's people like that post-Promised Land Queensryche too. You're just re-enforcing the idea that metal is best left to the wisdom of the crowds, and in a financial sense, that's certainly true. But in an artistic sense, I'd rather see a band release a Q2K than a 10th greatest hits album.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by EvilCheese View Post
3) That's a matter of opinion... look, I'm just going to be pull the Iron Maiden card here. First of all, how many people thought they should break up with Blaze, or after? I mean, shit, I think you could make a really good argument that Bruce's solo career is better than some of Iron Maiden's output, so maybe they should've split so he could do that. Or maybe they should can Janick, because why the hell do they need three guitarists?

But that's the problem. Bands should basically never do what fans want. If a band wants to stay together and release music nobody gives a shit about because it's what they want to do, then they should. In Iron Maiden's case, plenty of people like the Blaze albums or new-era Bruce albums. And there's people like that post-Promised Land Queensryche too. You're just re-enforcing the idea that metal is best left to the wisdom of the crowds, and in a financial sense, that's certainly true. But in an artistic sense, I'd rather see a band release a Q2K than a 10th greatest hits album.
I think all of this is especially valid. Just because most of us here (myself proudly included) have our heads so far up Iron Maiden's butt that we're glad they made every damn album they made, there's people who wish they quit after '88. That sounds ridiculous to us, but that's about as ridiculous as saying QR should have broken up after '94 sounds to people who like the stuff they're doing. I quite like Tribe and think the rest of the post-Promised Land material is mediocre at best, but other people have every right to like it.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:45 AM
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1) Oh yeah, I forgot about those two. (Their 04/05 sets kind of blur together for me.) Okay, so two songs out of 12-15. I have quite a few video boots from those tour, and I would say that's not really a fair characterization.

2) Fuck it. That's my opinion and it's no more right or wrong than yours. I think Mike Stone plays Operation: Mindcrime's solo better than Chris DeGarmo and I don't give a fuck if I'm the only person that thinks so.

3) That's a matter of opinion... look, I'm just going to be pull the Iron Maiden card here. First of all, how many people thought they should break up with Blaze, or after? I mean, shit, I think you could make a really good argument that Bruce's solo career is better than some of Iron Maiden's output, so maybe they should've split so he could do that. Or maybe they should can Janick, because why the hell do they need three guitarists?

But that's the problem. Bands should basically never do what fans want. If a band wants to stay together and release music nobody gives a shit about because it's what they want to do, then they should. In Iron Maiden's case, plenty of people like the Blaze albums or new-era Bruce albums. And there's people like that post-Promised Land Queensryche too. You're just re-enforcing the idea that metal is best left to the wisdom of the crowds, and in a financial sense, that's certainly true. But in an artistic sense, I'd rather see a band release a Q2K than a 10th greatest hits album.
1) Saw the tour, though it was okay. Better than the hits sets with Mindcrime, but still, my thoughts stand.

2) You are right, you are entitled to your own opinion, but this very thought makes my brain take a crap.

3) First of all, some of Bruce's solo material is better than a lot of what Maiden has done. I will take Accident of Birth and The Chemical Wedding over all Maiden records but 4 or so. But I think that's kind of irrelevant.
Despite how much Maiden may have started to suck in the 90's, I don't think they completely abandoned what they were "about", but that's debatable I guess. But my primary point is that Queensryche have been faltering for 15 years now. Even if you hate every 90's Maiden record, they managed to give us Brave New World 12 years after their last renown album, and have arguably kept delivering solid releases since. I can kind of see where you're coming from with this comparison, but I gotta whole-heartedly disagree. If Queensryche managed to pop out one album actually on par with their debut-through Empire/Promised land output, I would be more than willing to eat my words, but as it stands, I think anyone who is still hanging onto this band is wasting their time.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:46 AM
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I think all of this is especially valid. Just because most of us here (myself proudly included) have our heads so far up Iron Maiden's butt that we're glad they made every damn album they made, there's people who wish they quit after '88. That sounds ridiculous to us, but that's about as ridiculous as saying QR should have broken up after '94 sounds to people who like the stuff they're doing. I quite like Tribe and think the rest of the post-Promised Land material is mediocre at best, but other people have every right to like it.


Exactly. How is the 1 guy that thinks Q2K a masterpiece anymore wrong than somebody that says A Matter of Life or Death is Iron Maiden's best album? It might fly in the face of what 99.99% of fans of a band, or just about any casual observer a band would say, but it's not wrong.

We're all great at being armchair band managers, but at the end of the day I think bands just need to do what they have to do. I mean, I can't help but think if Queensryche put out a press-release saying they've tried to re-capture the sound of their EP or The Warning in a new album we'd all think they're just being disingenuous and trying to cash in on the legacy of their early albums. But if they released something that wasn't metal, we'd all have shit to say about that too.

And to me this is just one of the problems with genres: Once a band finds success in a genre, they're basically stuck. If they move out of that genre, they lose the base that supported them in the first place.

Like I said earlier (by editing my post) I think metal is honestly a stifling genre with exceptionally hard to please fans. And I'm not trying to win people over to my way of thinking on Queensryche. I don't really care what people think, and I hope Queensryche doesn't either. Because even though it'd be great if they listened, and stopped this horror show of a tour, for the most part, listening to fans is just going to keep you stuck in the same place you started.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:47 AM
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I think all of this is especially valid. Just because most of us here (myself proudly included) have our heads so far up Iron Maiden's butt that we're glad they made every damn album they made, there's people who wish they quit after '88. That sounds ridiculous to us, but that's about as ridiculous as saying QR should have broken up after '94 sounds to people who like the stuff they're doing. I quite like Tribe and think the rest of the post-Promised Land material is mediocre at best, but other people have every right to like it.
When you show me one person who genuinely likes/loves the majority of Queensryche's post-Promised land output, we'll talk. To date I have not met one. I don't think I've ever seen another band who is so universally disliked after a certain point in their career.

I'm not saying anyone's opinion is "wrong", but in the real world, majority rules, and you can't act like anything I'm saying is a ridiculous notion.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:52 AM
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But my primary point is that Queensryche have been faltering for 15 years now. Even if you hate every 90's Maiden record, they managed to give us Brave New World 12 years after their last renown album, and have arguably kept delivering solid releases since. I can kind of see where you're coming from with this comparison, but I gotta whole-heartedly disagree. If Queensryche managed to pop out one album actually on par with their debut-through Empire/Promised land output, I would be more than willing to eat my words, but as it stands, I think anyone who is still hanging onto this band is wasting their time.
But that's my point: They're faltering based on your standards.

For me, HITNF, Q2K, and Tribe have some of my favorite driving music, so I've had a pretty lengthy relationship with those albums. I'd say I ignore at least half of HITFN and Q2K, but I still like them. If those albums were trying to stay closer to the sound that Queensryche was known for, I can't say I'd like them better beacuse of it.

I could easily make the same argument you're making about Queensryche about Iron Maiden: That anybody that's hanging on them now is wasting their time. No new Iron Maiden album holds a candle to their classics, and I think a good number of their fans would agree with that.

The difference is that Iron Maiden has hardly evolved since Number of the Beast, and has a lot of fans. It's easy to pick on Queensryche, because your opinion is basically the popular one to have.

But at the end of the day... if Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death can't compete with Powerslave and 7th Son and HITFN and Q2K can't compete with Empire or Operation: Mindcrime, why should one band pull the plug and the other keep going?

I'll answer that, because Iron Maiden didn't change, so even if the quality isn't as good, it's still the same sound Iron Maiden fans fell in love with to begin with. In other words, what I'm saying is you're allowing nostalgia and brand loyalty rather than artistic integrity guide your opinions on Iron Maiden. But because Queensryche studio albums rarely (O:M 2 being an exception, although not sonically) appeal to nostalgia, and Queensryche doesn't have the cheering squad a band like Iron Maiden has, it's easier to be critical of their artistic output.

Am I wrong? Maybe. And I'm not trying to single you out here either Jeff, I'm speaking pretty generally about people that listen to Iron Maiden and Queensryche.
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