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Condition Hüman

Company: Century Media
Release: 2015
Genre: progressive
Reviewer: Frank Hill

  • One of the better releases of their catalog

  • There are echoes running throughout Condition Hüman that any Queensr˙che connoisseur will pick up on--guitar tones, drum patterns, vocal intonations, etc. They are recognizable and comforting. All of that is somewhat expected since three of the five originals are current members, but for about a decade now, Queensr˙che hasn't felt like Queensr˙che. What many of us have pined for was the older band from the 80s to about Promised Land (some of us even pre-Empire) and we've felt that went astray with the tepid new millennium releases.

    Then came the drama--out went one singer and in came another similar one. Court cases were held. Temporary band names were created and abandoned. If you're still not over the separation of vocalists, then you may as well move on because the evolution has been calling and Todd La Torre fits the 'R˙che sound.

    For those unfamiliar, the band is a mix of heavy metal with some progressive elements and quirky moments. We did get a few sparks from the old circuitry with the self-titled Queensr˙che ('13), but Condition Hüman has real electricity powering the guitar riffs of openers "Arrow of Time" and "Guardian". "Just Us" has the sleepy reminiscence of "Silent Lucidity" and the title track is a breathable almost-eight minutes. Is there a hinted lyrical connection to Nikki and Mary within the stand-out power ballad "Bulletproof"?

    Condition Hüman isn't as heavy as Operation: Mindcrime, nor is it as obtuse as The Warning ('84) and Rage for Order ('86), but it does have a fair amount of memorable choruses and hooks. All-in-all, Condition Hüman fits comfortably as one of the better releases of their catalog.

    Drummer Scott Rockenfield has said: "Our fans love metal, and we've been pretty good at doing metal in our past, so [we thought], 'Let's have fun with some of that again. Let's do it and see what it means for us.'"

    Some of that metal return may have come from producer, Chris Harris, aka Zeuss, who is rumored to be a big fan of the first six albums. It's similar to the resurgence of Accept that came from having Andy Sneap at their helm. They should hire Chris for the next release as well because THAT'S what we've been wanting. That umlaut "U" in the title could be a smiley face from the band or even a reflection of our own returned pleasure.

    The future is but past forgotten.

    About this Writer:
    Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Queensryche:
    Condition HümanQueensryche
    Frank Hill11/6/2015
    EP (remaster)Queensryche
    Greg Watson8/28/2003
    Live Evolution DVDQueensryche
    Frank Hill9/30/2003
    Greg Watson6/29/2013
    Rage For OrderQueensryche
    Frank Hill4/14/2003
    Rage for Order (remaster)Queensryche
    Greg Watson8/28/2003
    The Art of LiveQueensryche
    Frank Hill6/25/2004

    All interviews for Queensryche:

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