Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman

Queensrÿche Condition Hüman cover
Condition Hüman
Century Media
With the battle for the Tri-ryche and the name over and the dust settled the only Queensryche that remained takes a further step into the future after a second eponymous EP that in retrospect wasn’t bad but seemed to be too “short” to be considered a proper full length. There the band tried to define the future by taking a few cues from the past and presenting an amalgam of ideas that gave some promise for the future. Their newly minted vocalist, Todd Latorre, who’s been woo-ing people live, did seem like a sufficient replacement vocally for Tate and even if he did not present the same level of involvement as the former frontman, he seems to be making the best out of a pretty awkward position, in deed.
The live performances were the band delved into its back catalogue and delivered “a best of” setlist did seem to help reconnect the band with a large percent of their fanbase, who had turned their backs largely on them because of the string of 90s and 00s albums that did little to keep the name of the band in the spotlight and probably were even somewhat damaging for the legacy of the once Seattle heroes...
Given ample time since the previous effort and turning to their fans for support, the band presented a couple of tunes, “Arrow of Time” and “Guardian” as singles that did have certain Ryche trademarks but lacked in delivering memorable choruses and in the case of “Guardian” even had to rip off a page from “Operation: Mindcrime” to try and sound relevant, more reminiscent of Balance of Power (with Koutselinis) on a bad day than Queensryche... those songs are not the best by any means and unfortunately there are hardly any big choruses and memorable melodies on the album as a whole... a factor that is a bit of a make or break... in enjoying music “the Hooks” are sorely missing here.
The band is back into a “heavy” mode with some more prog moments, the guitars of Whip and Parker are pretty energetic and there are even some twin solos but inspiration is “rare”... but thankfully not entirely absent.
“Hellfire”, “Bulletproof” and “Selfish Lives” (nice wordplay) are among the better moments, while the “singles” are not bad, but are a far cry from being considered classics. The production is generally good but I’m guessing I could do with some more organic sounding drums and a bit less compression in places overall although, it’s not the production that drags the album down, it mostly the compositions, which are not that great. Even the cover seems like a bad Hugh Symes (I’m not sure if it’s him that did it) when they could have done something simple but clever with that title, ie a tri-ryche, on a heart monitor or something and no one would have questioned that…
While the band is able and has a new-found chemistry and the previous release almost cast its future in a bright light, it’s really a pity that here, they simply fail to deliver but the fact that two of its main songwriters are not in the ranks anymore, might have something to do with it and the change of stimuli. I’d still give the band a few more chances and they can still do some tours, based on the strength of their “classic” material, but in the meantime they should better kick into high gear soon if they don’t simply want to ride on the wave of nostalgia like so many others and prove that they are a viable musical unit.