How does the sequel compare to the original? Just like most sequels, this one is not as good as the original. The dual guitars of Michael Wilton and Mike Stone don’t quite meet up to the great sound of the former dynamic duo of Wilton and Chris DeGarmo. They do sound very good, but maybe not quite as powerful or melodic as the original guitar tandem.
Once upon a time, Geoff Tate’s voice could reach notes that most rock singers could only dream about imitating. Watch the video below; if you aren’t blown away by his amazing vocals, you are probably reading the wrong website:
In 2006, and beyond Geoff Tate can still sing well, but those amazing high notes has moved out of his vocal ability. With that being said, the last few Queensryche releases have been mostly disappointing to me, so my approach to Mindcrime II was timid at best.
Amazingly, I would consider Mindcrime II is the best disc that the band put out since 1994’s Promised Land. Mindcrime II continues on with the story of Nikki, and the infamous Dr. X. It may take you a couple of times to absorb the story from the music, but I am betting you will want to listen to this a few times anyway.
Some of the highlights of this disc are I’m American.
One Foot in Hell is a very cool, heavy progressive number. Hostage is a dark and heavy track that seems to grow on me more with each listen. The Hands is one of those tracks that you will need to listen to over and over a few times. The guitar work is superb, and sounds pretty close to classic Queensryche.
The Chase, featuring the combined vocals of Geoff Tate and (Dr. X) Ronnie James Dio is one of the better Queensryche tracks I have heard in a while. Tate’s and Dio’s voices sound great together.
Fear City Slide has a killer bass groove, and is a very good listen.
Every time I listen to this disc, I hear something different, and tend to like the songs a little more each time. The first time I listened to this disc, I was disappointed, but my opinion has changed with time. This is one of those sleeper discs that needs to grow on you.
This may not be the stellar effort that Operation Mindcrime is, or the hit cranking machine of Empire, but is a solid listen, and certainly essential to every Queensryche fan.
Rating: Out of 10
- Freiheit Over
- I’m American
- One Foot in Hell
- The Hands
- Speed of Light
- Signs Say Go
- Re-Arrange You
- The Chase
- If I Could Change It All
- An Intentional Confrontation
- A Junkie’s Blues
- Fear City Slide
- All the Promises
Slave to the System is one of the better CD’s released in 2006.
This group consists of Damon Johnson, and Roman Glick from Brother Cane, and Scott Rockenfeld and Kelly Gray of Queensryche.
I have always liked both bands, but I must admit that I haven’t been very fond of the Kelly Gray, Queensryche years.
After hearing this CD, I wonder how much Geoff Tate has been holding back Kelly, as he kicks ass on this CD. Damon Johnson and the rest of the guys are great as well. Some songs lean towards more album oriented radio friendly rock, others are a little harder. The slower tracks took two or three listens to digest, and have really grown on me. The CD does a good job of mixing the two up.
As a whole, this is a killer CD with no filler tracks. This is straight up hard rock all the way through. If you like either of the two bands, I mentioned above, you are going to like this. It may take you a couple of listens to get into this, but if you give this a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.
This CD is one of my top picks in 2006.
For more information on Slave to the System, check out their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Ruby Wednesday
- Slave to the System*
- Live this Life
- Cruze out of Control*
- Gone Today*
- Will You Be There
- Walk the Line
Slave to the System is:
Damon Johnson – Vocals and Guitar
Roman Glick – Bass
Kelly Gray – Guitar
Scott Rockenfeld – Drums