Queensrÿche - Tribe
Nope!, no new record in the vein of Operation: Mindcrime this time either, more of a Hear In The Now Frontier Pt.II with influences of Promised Land. When it was known that guitarist Chris DeGarmo was back in Queensrÿche it raised some hope for me that the band would once again write some seriously great songs, like back in the days of Operation: Mindcrime (1988) and Empire (1990).
Funny enough it turns out that DeGarmo has only co-written one of the tracks that I likes the most on Tribe, Open that is the first track of the album. So I guess that when he left in 1998 and was replaced by Kelly Gray his departure wasn't a major part of why they lately hasn't been as good as they once used to be. When DeGarmo returned to Queensrÿche the other members had already begun the songwriting for Tribe, so maybe that is the reason why he and their other guitarist besides Michael Wilton, Mike Stone is strangely only listed as guests on the album, and since DeGarmo doesn't want to tour with the band I guess he can be seen as a songwriting studioguitarist while Mike Stone is the touring guitarist?
And one would have thought that Geoff Tate should have got rid of all his bad songwriting ideas with his in my ears not so good and far to calm and slow selftitled soloalbum, but apparently not since the biggest problem with Tribe is that many of the songs are to slow, slow isn't necessarily bad in anyway, but if a song is slow there must be other elements in order for the song to work and to me it feels like those are missing at some points on Tribe.
The album starts with the track Open that is a midtempo song that turned out to be far much better on the album than the live-version they performed at Sweden Rock Festival. Moving on to Losing Myself and Desert Dance that are two of the most progressive tracks on the album, both songs are a little bit harder and more aggressive than the others and are driven by the guitarriffs and could easily be taken from Hear In The Now Frontier (1997).
The Great Divide and Rhythm Of Hope are more like the songs from Promised Land (1994), slow and powerfull with some great emotions making them really interesting to listen to, especially when you close your eyes and just let the tunes carry you away. Best on the album is the drum driven tune called Blood, it floats on by wonderfully with a great rhythm and nicely played melodylines by the guitars, and I wish that there had been more tracks like this on the album, because it's with songs like this you make great albums, but there must be more than one.
Before Tribe fell into place I had to listen to it several times, then it started to grow on me, and I think there is a chance that with time it might grow even stronger. Even if Tribe is the best Queensrÿche album since Promised land it will never, in no way, come near the greatness of Operation: Mindcrime or Empire, and I also finds it hard to call their music progressive anylonger and think that semi-progressive probably suits them better.