A bumper rarities 'n' all collection for fans and newcomers alike...
Paul Sullivan 2007
Known for their progressive take on the heavy metal idiom, Seattle crew Queensryche have been doing the business for 25 years – and counting.
True, the post-grunge years were turbulent for the band – as they were for most 80s rockers – but the band prevailed and have even enjoyed something of a resurgence of late.
Despite downpoints like ‘97's decidedly mediocre Hear In The Now Frontier (which failed to maintain the key strengths of the band and prompted the departure of founding guitarist Chris DeGarmo), Queensryche have bounced back in the last few years with 2004’s equable Tribe; 2006’s Operation Mindcrime II (the long awaited sequel to their 1998 breakthrough opus), and a recent live album: Mindcrime At The Moore.
Sign Of The Times is the first ‘Best Of…’ project since 2000’s Greatest Hits, and though it does contain much of the same material - "Silent Lucidity," "Jet City Woman," "Eyes of a Stranger," and "Another Rainy Night" - there are several newer songs, such as “All The Promises” (from O:M II) and bonus tracks like “Real World,” their contribution to Arnie’s Last Action Hero.
Most of the real gems appear on the second ‘rarities’ set, though, which should make even seasoned Queensryche fans take notice. The 15 extra tracks on this CD include demo recordings of “Take Hold Of The Flame,” “Walk In The Shadows” and “Before The Storm” by Myth (lead vocalist Geoff Tate's band prior to Queensryche), as well as early versions of “Waiting For The Kill” and “Prophecy".
Of particular interest are the tracks that follow these: an acoustic remix of “I Dream In Infrared”; “Last Time In Paris,” (from The Adventure Of Lord Fairlane); their unlikely but somehow visceral take on “Scarborough Fair”; an unreleased version of “Della Brown” from MTV Unplugged; and a live version of their hit “Silent Lucidity,” recorded at The Astoria in 1994.
The double disc set is rounded off with a brand new track, “Justified,” - a slow, melodic number that can only bode well for Queensryche’s future.