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Queensryche - 'Dedicated To Chaos' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/5a/8e/ad/1419_queensrychededicatedtochaos_1310156668.jpg Hot

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More diverse and adventurous than ever before.

Nobody could have ever blamed Queensryche for standing still and releasing 'Operation Mindcrime Parts 2, 3, 4 and 5' after the original concept album became such a critical and commercial success. However, they refused to rest on their laurels and followed it up with the more commercial sounding 'Empire' album, which would split fans and critics alike, but would take the band to the peak of their popularity, selling over three million copies and producing a string of hit singles and MTV friendly videos, with 'Silent Lucidity' making it into the Top Ten. Since then, Queensryche have pushed the boundaries of their music, with each ensuing album showing varying signs of experimentation, some have been accepted by the press, some dismissed, but the fans have always remained loyal.

Queensryche are now celebrating their 30th Anniversary with the release of a new album 'Dedicated To Chaos', and their first for Roadrunner records. It's an apt title, as this album is even more diverse and adventurous than ever before. It leans towards the 'Hear In The Now Frontier' and 'Tribe' albums in style, but still remains very original. Once again it has a stripped back experimental sound, but the band have made a conscious effort to design the music to make it interesting to listen through headphones, as the album is awash with multi-layered textures, sound effects and spoken interludes, with many tracks revealing something new with each airing.

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Some of the tracks, such as 'Get Started', 'I Take You', the riff-heavy 'Retail Therapy' and the internet referencing 'Hot Spot Junkie' have a straight-ahead rock style, but all are very unique to each other, while there's a strong funk element to the likes of 'Higher', 'Wot We Do' and 'Got It Bad', with the latter having a sitar vying for space with the guitars. 'Around The World' is probably the most commercial sounding song contained within, with a melodic chorus, acoustic undercurrent and subtle string textures, and guitar sound that hints at U2, it wouldn't have sounded out of place on the 'Empire' album and is the most accessible song here. It's probably the second half of the album that pushes the envelope with regard to the experimental side of the band, such as 'Drive' with its tribal rhythm and sometimes un-nerving multi-tracked vocal, the psychedelic tinged 'The Lie', 'At The Edge' with its blend of mournful piano passages, sound effects, heavy riffs and complex drum patterns, and the bluesy yet progressive album closer 'Big Noize'

It's probably one for the purists, as long-standing Queensryche fans will give it the time and attention it requires and deserves. Anybody else should approach with caution.

Ant Heeks

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