QUEENSRŸCHE — Hear In The Now Frontier (review)

QUEENSRŸCHE — Hear In The Now Frontier album cover Album · 1997 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
"Hear in the Now Frontier" is the 6th full-length studio album by US heavy metal/hard rock act Queensrÿche. The album was released through EMI America Records in March 1997. It would be the band´s last album on the label, as the record company went bankrupt while Queensrÿche were touring in support of "Hear in the Now Frontier", leaving the band themselves to finance the remaining part of the tour. "Hear in the Now Frontier" would be the last album to feature the original lineup as guitarist Chris DeGarmo subsequently left to pursue other interests.

While Queensrÿche had changed their sound on every album release before "Hear in the Now Frontier", the band chose a more drastic change in sound on this album, as they opted for a significantly less heavy metal oriented sound, and went with an accessible radio-friendly hard rock style. Although Peter Collins is credited as producer, the editing and mixing of the album were done by Toby Wright, who had recently worked with Alice In Chains on their 1995 eponymously titled third full-length studio album, and the latter´s involvement is clearly heard in the way "Hear in the Now Frontier" is produced. The album features an organic and warm sound production, suited for the hard rock material featured on the album, but also lacking the edge to push the most hard rocking tracks past being pleasant and accessible. In other words the sound production is professional and well sounding, but completely lacks bite.

It very much feels like Queensrÿche were domesticated here, and that they have left their heavy metal roots behind. They were never the most hard edged heavy metal act on the scene, but they had their moments on all preceding releases. "Hear in the Now Frontier" is almost completely void of anything heavy metal oriented (save for a few harder edged riffs), and sounds more like an artist like Stone Temple Pilots than anything Queensrÿche had released in the past. For at hard rock release "Hear in the Now Frontier" is actually a fairly decent album, but not many tracks stand out and featuring 14 tracks, and a full playing time of 57:42, it overstays its welcome by at least 10 minutes and maybe a little more.

So while "Hear in the Now Frontier" is not a bad quality release by any means (professional sound production, skillful execution, and professional songwriting, check..check..check), Queensrÿche´s attempt at creating a more accessible hard rock sound is not exactly a success either. They simply don´t sound convincing, and their hard rock sound is a bit too soft and uninspired, lacking the attitude and power that characterize the best hard rock releases. Too often during the playing time my attention begins to wander, and the album becomes pleasant background music, and as I´m neither on board an elevator or purchasing goods in the supermarket, that´s not really what I want from a hard rock album. Considering the inspired high quality releases which precede "Hear in the Now Frontier", it is a major disappointment that the band chose this path. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

Review Index

Member Zone

Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Nature of the Beast Heavy Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Moonglow Heavy Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Ecliptic Butchery Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Six Must Die Traditional Doom Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

?Empty Yard Experiment (EYE) - GHHR?
Tupan· 18 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online