Q (12/94, p.142) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...a slice of progressive rock which seems to transcend time. It's almost shocking to hear the theatricality of it all post-grunge but somehow it gels together extremely well..."
Queensryche: Geoff Tate (vocals); Michael Wilton, Chris DeGarmo, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield.
Producers: Queensryche, James "Jimbo" Barton, Michael Kamen.
Compilation producer: David K. Tedds.
Recorded in 1994. Originally released on EMI (30711). Includes liner notes by Paul Suter.
This part of EMI Records "Queensryche Remastered" series.
Queensryche's music is out on the border of what used to be known as progressive. Although they cut their teeth as a touring band opening for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC and Def Leppard, they're not really a straight-ahead metal band, but rather inhabit a similar space as a band like Rush. Powerful, guitar and drum driven music, fleshed out with immense synthesizer flourishes, tricky rhythm changes, and varied dynamic shifts.
PROMISED LAND sets a don't-look-don't-touch tone with the shamanistic minor cycles of "I Am I" while the Near Eastern Peter Gunnisms of "Damaged" and the acoustic drones of "Out Of Mind" anchor anthems about society's disconnected castaways and abused adolescents. The lack of information about instrumentation and what-not only serves to underscore the group nature of this ensemble...even as the booklet photo of a man with a nail driven through his forehead drives home a sense about just who might follow Queensryche to the PROMISED LAND.
"Bridge" extends the metaphor of alienation to include a father and a son, and the title tune sums up a sense of dashed expectations, as big, angry, ambient waves of electric guitar ring away suggestively over a grinding Pink Floyd pulse and synthesized percussion sounds. PROMISED LAND marks Queensryche's growing maturity, with a rich sonic canvas--a broader collage of sounds, images and musical styles than most of the one-trick metal bands currently fertilizing the fields of pop.