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  JONATHAN CHURCHILL: DEFENDING OUR ISLAND
QUEENSRYCHE: DEDICATED TO CHAOS

9th August 2011

jonathan churchill



queensryche dedicated to chaos

"I don't think I have your full attention", sings Geoff Tate on 'Wot We Do', the fifth track from Queensrÿche's new album, 'Dedicated To Chaos'.

This may be the lyrical understatement of the decade so far.

Queensrÿche are a superb band. Hugely under-rated, and responsible for the all-time classic 'Operation: Mindcrime'. They are also responsible for the serious and sublime 'Empire', a truly magnificent album with a scale and grandeur largely unexpected from a band often pigeonholed by confused music critics as 'Progressive Metal'.

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And, to the constant dismay of their fans, Queensrÿche delight in the experimental: previous 'cutting edge' material includes 1997's 'Hear In The Now Frontier', 2007's 'Take Cover' and the currently controversial 'Dedicated To Chaos'.

"Another Crisis Situation", sings Geoff Tate on 'The Lie', the eleventh track on this bizarre album and presumably a reference to the record company's alarm over CD sales and commercial activity! But wait a minute: I may write a classic Metal column and worship bands like Accept and AC/DC, but you can have too much of a good thing.

Accept's 'Blood Of The Nations' is a slice of pure Metal joy, but it's formulaic and we've heard it all before. And for the rock 'n' roll lovers, AC/DC may be one of the all-time greats but they rarely deviate from their standard template or challenge their audience.

"Where was I, oh yeah", sings Geoff Tate on 'Got It Bad', bringing us back to the present: 'Dedicated To Chaos'.

Well the honest answer is that it's genuinely interesting. The opening track, 'Get Started', is classic Queensrÿche. A subtle, slow-burner with a wicked riff and a disguised Metal groove, it's a winner. For me it would sit well on the 'Empire' album and it's an understated, fresh and modern rock song.



'Hot Spot Junkie' and 'Got It Bad' fall into the experimental category. Strange looping beats, weird sounds and lyrical musing. It's hard to work out what the band was thinking and it's quicker to skip to 'Higher', a groove-driven rocker with a more traditional yearning love theme. It works because it's instantly recognisable as Queensrÿche, yet it's definitely all new! The band is brave enough not to tread the same tired ground and re-hash old structures and melodies and for that they're to be commended.

'Around The World' is a deep-thinking power-ballad with an opening chord that calls to mind Linkin Park's 'A Thousand Suns' album and it's classy with a cheesy Beatles/Lennnon-esque lyric, protesting that "All you need is love". It's the sort of track you can picture on American Idol sung by some toothy eighteen year old surrounded by candles and petals. But it's ok - just different. I like it.

There's more musing on the disappointment of modern life with the biting satire on 'Retail Therapy'. "I gotta have it. I need more. I'll just buy any worthless piece of shit. I'm just filling a hole in my soul", rants Tate. Sadly the final track, 'Big Noize', closes the album with a whimper, rather than a bang as it meanders to a dreary finish.

"Is there anybody listening?", sings Geoff Tate hopefully, on the final track of the 20th anniversary edition of 'Empire'. (I got bored and switched albums). I feel this line sums up Queensrÿche in 2011 perfectly. I'm a huge fan of the band - and I particularly like their output post 'Operation:Mindcrime', especially 1994's introspective 'Promised Land' but I don't find myself wanting to play 'Dedicated To Chaos', whatever my mood.

"Read between the lines, criticise the words they're selling..." continues Tate, on 'Empire'. And that's just what we're doing here. I'm trying to find some meaning, melody or depth to 'Dedicated to Chaos', which I don't think exists.

Despite this, I'd argue the band deserve respect for not following trends or repeating past glories. If you enjoy hearing new sounds and want to take a break from listening to the same bands re-hash their classic-era material, this is worth checking out. It's well produced, richly textured and has moments of interest.

For me personally, it's a turkey, and it's going on the shelf alongside Halford's 'Two' project, Def Leppard's 'X' and Megadeth's 'Risk'.

"No chance for contact. There's no raison d'etre. My only hope is one day I'll forget... The pain of knowing what can never be...", sings Nikki, the protagonist from 'Operation: Mindcrime', on the classic single 'I Don't Believe In Love'.

I suspect there are many fans, myself included, who don't quite believe in Queensrÿche at the moment either.

What do you think of the latest offering from Queensrÿche? Check out the MetalTalk.net Facebook page and let us see your comments.

Jonathan Churchill. MetalTalk.net
Follow me on Twitter: MetalTalk_1976




WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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