By Andrew Catania
Queensrÿche is one band that has a storied past. Their earlier albums are classics with Geoff Tate on vocals. Very few vocalists could touch Tate’s vocals from earlier Ryche albums.
Over the years, Queensrÿche has slowly become a hollow shell of its earlier self. Chris Degarmo left the band in 1994, and in this writers opinion the albums released from 1994-2012 weren’t really “Queensryche.” When the big meltdown happened between Tate and the other band members, it was probably the best thing that could’ve happened for the Queensryche brand. It was a toxic marriage that needed to end. Tate was trying to turn a once iconic band into a Broadway musical.
Enter former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd LaTorre. What we’ve learned about Todd over the last 7 years and now three albums under his belt is he was exactly what Queensryche needed, he gave them the kick in the balls so needed to return to their original forum.
The Verdict is an album that shows the band getting better with each release under LaTorres vocals. “Blood of the Levant” opens this album up and it really stays the course of tradition, classic sounding Queensryche. “Light Years” and “Inside Out” add some arena type anthems. Todd also proves he’s one hell of a drummer as he handled the drums on the verdict due to Scott Rockenfields extended abscence from the band.
Bands either hit or miss when replacing the lead singer of a band. In Queensrÿche’s case, they knocked it out of the park with Todd LaTorre. They’ve brought back the old Ryche fans and have sent the Broadway version of Ryche that Tate embraced packing thankfully.
The Verdict is the best Queensrÿche album I’ve heard in 25 years. Todd, Whip and Eddie have a good thing going. To the no Tate, no Ryche people, you can catch his Broadway show anytime. 10/10 Rating