Review

QUEENSRŸCHE Promised Land

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Modrigue
Best 90's Queensrÿche album

After their disastrous MTV attempt "Empire", QUEENSRŸCHE decided to go back to a progressive approach on "Promised Land". However, in 1994, traditional heavy metal from the 80's was agonizing, whereas grunge, alternative rock and electronic music were greatly developing. Therefore, instead of reproducing the complex elaborated structures of "Operation: Mindcrime", the band decided to try something new by incorporating different musical styles. Still influenced by PINK FLOYD, but also by recent grunge bands such as PEARL JAM and even Eastern music, the compositions are more modern and innovative, resembling no other at the time.

Elegant and refined as always, this adventurous opus is well rooted in the 90's and not totally metal. It alternates atmospheric, gloomy, somber, melancholic, spacey, tortured and even slightly electronic passages. The range of addressed themes is also quite wide: reincarnation, isolation, alienation, madness, consumer society...

The ambient opener "9:28 A.M." is a short concrete music piece composed by drummer Scott Rockenfield. Quite surprising, the dark "I Am I" contains heavy riffing guitars and middle-eastern sonorities, installing an oppressive ambiance. Magic! The powerful "Damage Case" is great and sinister too. On the contrary, the enjoyable floydian piece "Out Of Mind" is acoustic and calm. "Bridge" narrates the relation between Chris de Garmo and his father, who died during the album recording sessions. A song also driven by the acoustic guitar, but a little boring tune. The proggiest song of the record is undoubtedly the title track, tortured and depressive. It features original elements such as discrete futuristic sonorities and especially - and for the first time - Geoff Tate playing saxophone! His solo is just mesmerizing! It's certainly not every day that you hear this jazz instrument on a metal disc.

Also pretty uncommon, "Disconnected" deals with American consumerist society and features Tate on saxophone again, supported by groovy riffing and electronic sound effects. Driven by DeGarmo's piano, "Lady Jane" is a touching power ballad about the influence of commercials. Then comes the heavy alternative rock "My Global Mind", efficient and catchy. The last two songs are unfortunately not the best part of the record. The rock ballad "One More Time" is average and a bit repetitive, whereas the acoustic closer "Someone Else?" sounds rather cheesy.

Anyway, "Promised Land" still remains adventurous and pleasant. I would like to hear this mixture of various styles more often. QUEENSRŸCHE has definitely emancipated from their primary IRON MAIDEN influences here. Although uneven and containing less memorable melodies, the music is quite unique and refreshing. A genuine trip into the depths of your mind and the illnesses of modernity. Truly progressive stuff, but not by the common approach of most prog metal bands.

If you're looking for long complex metal compositions such as DREAM THEATER, this is not the one to pick. Nonetheless, if you want something original and depressive, this album is what you need. Recommended to metal or even to alternative hard rock fans!
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
1 year ago
Damage Case?

UMUR wrote:
1 year ago
Well...it´s definitely one of their better and most progressive releases. I can recommend a purchase.
1 year ago
I have all the Queensryche albums up to The Hear and Now Frontier except this one. I liked some songs on Empire and a couple off Hear and Now so I never felt the need to buy Promised Land. But reviews are changing my mind. I'll get it. Not right away but I'll get it.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
1 year ago
This one really grew on me over the years. It's now one of my faves
UMUR wrote:
1 year ago
I´m sure Queensrÿche didn´t think of "Empire" as a disaster. It´s arguably their most commercially successful album. If you see it through progressive metal fan eyes, I understand why some people wouldn´t find it so appealing, but personally I think it´s a great album. Not as great as it´s predecessor, but still pretty good.

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Traditional heavy metal
RAINBOW
Buy this album from our partners
Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER
Buy this album from our partners
Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Dawn of Aquarius Power Metal
ARRAYAN PATH
Buy this album from MMA partners
Descent Into hell Death Metal
DEATH YELL
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Spiritualist Deathcore
THE BEAUTY IN HER EYES
Buy this album from MMA partners
Hreilia Death-Doom Metal
TONGUES
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Metal MP3 download/stream

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online