Review: Queensrÿche Triumphantly Rise Again with Digital Noise Alliance


Sometimes, low and slow is the best way to go; a little more time and a little more love creates something much deeper and richer for the effort. Queensrÿche are masters of this philosophy – hell, since their rather ugly split with previous vocalist Geoff Tate, the band have taken the time they needed to when they needed to (or were forced to in the last two years) and used it to craft some of their best work. Their 2019 release The Verdict, in particular, created a particularly large pair of shoes for themselves to fill.

Digital Noise Alliance, the fourth album released under the guidance of the band’s current iteration, shines a spotlight on how brilliant Queensrÿche have gotten at preserving the best parts of themselves over the years. By harvesting the seeds of their past success and planting them among new ideas, they reap a bumper hybrid crop, setting clear benchmarks for their evolution without relying too heavily on rose-tinted nostalgia pieces. From the word go, “In Extremis” sets the barometer to “classic with a chance of modern freshness”; Todd LaTorre delivers his wonderful wail over a spotless bit of metal so polished you can see yourself in it. Beyond it you won’t find much of anything that fails the standards test; tracks like the equally squeaky-clean “Chapters” will broodingly click into a slot in your brain that will harbour it for weeks.

Yes, it’s all very Queensrÿche, but that just proves the point I made earlier. They don’t simply do the same things over and over; they try to take the things that already work and infuse new, exciting elements into them. Besides, there’s still plenty of room for surprises here, too; “Forest” is a ballad by way of some intoxicating fever dream, a Pink Floyd-hued piece of psychedelia that works wonderfully at odds with the preceding heavy stomper “Out of the Black”.

If you like your Queensrÿche on that heavier side, don’t fret, there’s plenty to go around. Seven-minute plus closer “Tormentum” wraps things up with a no-holds-barred slamfest that chugs and chants alongside excellent flourishes expertly. The band drop plenty more anvils throughout; the excellent “Sicdeth” wields an almost bluesy synth opener to lull you into an all-out assault of riffs. Meanwhile, the undeniably NWOBHM-esque anthem “Behind the Walls” rolls over everything in its path and leaves a hooky, melodic calling card at the scene.

Digital Noise Alliance is an album that that perfectly blends between being a throwback and pioneering its own trail; smashing together the very best of both that Queensrÿche have to offer, using each to heighten the other. It’s a fantastic follow-up to a revival of a band that has gained enough momentum to be unstoppable. Frankly, it’s difficult to see how they can keep getting better.

Queensrÿche’s Digital Noise Alliance comes out on October 7 and is currently available for preorder via Century Media Records.

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