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Author Topic: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...  (Read 10457 times)

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Gaguy

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Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« on: June 16, 2012, 02:05:43 PM »

Samsara recommend I start a new thread on Promised Land after another thread where I mentioned being puzzled when a Queensryche fan dislikes Promised Land. The love for the EP-Mindcrime is pretty much universal for hardcore fans as well as casual fans who dropped off at some point after Empire, PL or HITNF.

It really amazes me the amount of people who say Empire was the last QR album they enjoyed. I am not sure that number is that great on this board and I know there is alot of love for Promised Land here. However, I have a friend that is a casual fan. He loves Mindcrime and enjoys Empire. He has Promised Land but doesn't enjoy it. He laughed when I told him it was, in my opinion, the finest recording in the history of popular music. It seems alot of the people that are more casual fans see Promised Land as the point where the band quit being interesting.

This really baffles me. To me everything the band did up to and including Promised Land seemed to be a natural evolution. I know Empire isn't to some as it had a great deal of commercial appeal, nevertheless, I saw that as being a natural progression after reaching the zenith of what you can do with that kind of music with Mindcrime. Promised Land has everything that is great about Queensryche. Geoff's voice, while not reaching for the higher octaves, sounds utterly amazing here. The band reached a new level of maturity and craftsmanship on Promised Land. It was slightly dark and introspective, but also had heavy moments (I am I, Damaged, My Global Mind) that I would think would appeal to the old fans. This album is so diverse with heavier/upbeat tracks mentioned above, ballads, the epic title track, the stunning album closer. The album still sounds modern today. To me, much like Mindcrime, it is note for note perfection. I was only 16 when Promised Land was released, but it immediately resonated with me and it is the benchmark I compare any rock album to.


Sure, it isn't metal in the sense of what the band was in the 80's, but I have a hard time understanding how this isn't at least a top three album in the catalog to any Queensryche fan. I almost feel like it was a situation of the fans not growing with the band. I mean the album went platinum but you can also say it was the beginning of the bands commercial demise.

I know alot of people feel like the time in between Empire and PL was crucial, as well as the Seattle movement changing perception of what was good music. But I am curious, especially from people who don't find it to be a masterpiece, of why sonically they feel the way the do.

I feel similar about Tribe in this sense, although not to the same level.

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fruitloop

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 04:11:39 PM »

I do love PL and I do think it was the last great QR album however, IMO it is a very uneven record in terms of quality of songs and ive always felt it was way too over produced. OM and Empire had the right level of over dubbing and were mixed well but PL had too many layers and the sound was made too clean and rounded so for me it lost the bite and edge of guitars that previous albums had. It has been said that this is why HITNF ended up sounding the way it did, as a reaction to the over produced sound of PL.
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Cerebral Eulogy

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 04:24:20 PM »

Quite simply put, I love Promised Land.

It is THE Queensryche album which resonates more closely with me than any other of their albums. I listen to that record and think, "Did they get into my head when they wrote this record?"

At the time of its release, I was coping with the very issues discussed on this album, everything fro the disillusionment of the American Dream, to having grown up without a father, to personal identity crisis, and even had a friend who had been committed to a mental ward. Every single song spoke to me lyrically and the the emotion behind the music placed an incredible exclamation point on it, validating each and every thing I was thinking and feeling.

I have also said in the past that Promised Land isn't for everyone. It's not a casual record you can just listen to and rock out to. This album is for people who have experienced these very issues in their own lives and takes a specific degree of maturity and life experience to fully appreciate. This record is completely amazing!
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Samsara

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2012, 04:29:15 PM »

I love PL as well, but it marked a dramatic shift to me. At first, I didn't like or get it. I was very disappointed. But one day about a week or two later, just sitting by myself, in my bedroom, reading the lyrics, listening to the record, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I totally got it and was blown away.

The thing is, while I agree with Gaguy that it is a natural evolution for the band's songwriting direction (and I actually think HITNF and the Degarmo-involved Tribe tracks as well), it was a huge shift from where they were. Empire was very well produced, and much more commercial hard rock than metal.

But PL...PL did a 90 degree turn into a much more simplistic, acoustic based, mood driven record. It's got its aggressive moments, but its not very...adventurous in terms of pace. The aggressive guitars are dialed back in favor of mood and atmosphere. Cool, but I could see why folks that love guitar-driven aggressive hard rock and metal were turned off...because I was at first.

It eventually hit me, but I can see why those that it didn't hit aren't enthusiastic about it.
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DeliciousSeaBass

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 05:18:29 PM »

I actually thought PL was a return to form after the commercial success of Empire. IMO it was a more mature, more personal, introspective, atmospheric version of RFO. I loved I am I as an opener....it plodded along with no real beat or rhythm (not a musician so maybe my description is lacking). The title track is a masterpiece. I think I played it @ 5 times in a row after I first heard it. Out of Mind and Lady Jane are just plain haunting. Someone Else is an incredible closer.

PL is the only QR album that I have a hard time ranking...it almost stands alone and has no place on the list...in a good way. It's QR at their creative finest.
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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 05:45:07 PM »

Count me in as a fan of Promised Land as well.  I loved it when it first came out - I was anxiously awaiting new Ryche material when it finally was released - and it has aged well over the years.

In fact it is one of 30 discs that I keep in my office at work for regular rotation throughout the work day and week.  I usually mix these 30 up every month or so but PL has remained there for the past 8 months.

It is subdued enough to be played in the office without disturbing coworkers (Empire is there too);  I would never play the EP or the 4 stellar albums that followed in my office.

The tour was a success too through the big arenas of North America.  It could be argued that some of the tour's success was carryover interest in the band from the Empire era.  However, the 4 year gap between releases certainly didn't help the band's popularity at a time when appetite for popular music was changing.  Being from Seattle was the only thing Queensryche had in common with the grunge movement.

PL is definitely worthy of inclusion in the strong legacy that Ryche should be remembered for.
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Cooper DeGreat

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 06:19:11 PM »

Promised Land rank second for me just behind Mindcrime and before RFO. It took me awhile before i came to love this album. The first 8 to 10 listens, i just want to broke the cd. After Empire, that i count for their weakness album from the first 6 (EP to PL), i used to think that my band was already finish.

But one day, after i put the cd in my walkman for a walk to the job, all the songs came to hit me, one after one. The song Promised Land is my best from QR along with Roads To Madness.  :hat

Two of my friends, who were good fans of QR , totally hate this album and count it for the first Queensr├┐che's album that wasn't good.  :-\
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mtgraves

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2012, 08:06:44 PM »

I too love Promised Land, but as others have said it didn't completely hit me at first. I definitely had to spend time with it. For me, I think this album is the most deserving of Queensryche's label as "the thinking man's metal band." With Empire and the band doing arena shows, people were flocking to see them live and rocking out and having a great time. The commercial leanings of Empire helped fuel that big, "fun" arena sound. Not fun like Kiss. But still an arena rock show. Then after a long gap, along comes Promised Land. NOT a fun album. It was a dark, moody introspective album about failing at life, alcoholism, and fatherly abandonment. And I feel that is why so many people disliked the album from the get go. You weren't pumping your fist to Jet City Woman, you were listening to Geoff Tate crying his heart out to a bartender for one more drink, because his life was a failure.

I rank Promised Land over Empire however, because I enjoy and appreciate the darker, moodier sound and lyrics. It is still 4th on my list behind Warning-Mindcrime. But as much as I love the album, I can absolutely understand why some people don't. It was a shift from commercial-metal arena rock to extremely personal writing. I was MUCH more disappointed when I heard HITNF, as to me it was a stripped down Empire, in both sound and songwriting, and severely lacked the heart and emotional wallop that Promised Land had. In fact, I'd go as far to say that HITNF made me go back to PL and love it even more.
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IAMI

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2012, 09:06:39 PM »

I do love PL and I do think it was the last great QR album however, IMO it is a very uneven record in terms of quality of songs and ive always felt it was way too over produced. OM and Empire had the right level of over dubbing and were mixed well but PL had too many layers and the sound was made too clean and rounded so for me it lost the bite and edge of guitars that previous albums had. It has been said that this is why HITNF ended up sounding the way it did, as a reaction to the over produced sound of PL.
Damn, I love your take on PL.... For me it was QR at their best.  It was layered much more than anything we ever heard from QR, but it was art at its best none the less.  It was dark and forced me to think of life and death in a completely new form of thought.  There were some very personal tracks on PL that made that album a reality for myself. 

While OM was a story supported by mystery and fictional intrigue, PL was an album of reality that broke through barriers introduced via Empire. I was obsessed by OM, intrigued by Empire, and personally touched through Promised Land.........If HITNF was a reaction to PL then it really does belong grouped with those albums post CDG.  It was definitive departure to anything and everything before it, and was the beginning of the end for the QR sound............
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Grappler

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2012, 09:12:37 PM »

I respect the album's more mature and introspective feeling.  But as a metalhead, it just doesn't do it for me at all compared to putting on the earlier albums and just rocking the hell out.  A few of the songs are awesome - I am I, Damaged, My Global Mind.  They're heavier, have great riffs and just kick ass.  Someone Else is amazing as a ballad and has an awesome and catchy piano melody.  But hearing "Lady Jane your eyes are wide today" is a total WTF moment for me coming from a band that wrote some of the most classic metal songs.  Disconnected is just that - some herky-jerky riff that doesn't take the song anywhere.

The only song I really connected with on an emotional level was the title track.  After having struggles at a prior job, I felt like that song was speaking to me.  Beyond that, I just can't get into a song like Lady Jane or Out of Mind.

So I can completely understand why some fans that don't like the record.  It has awesome moments, but it's just not a kickass metal album.
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energythief

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2012, 10:04:41 PM »

Experiencing Promised Land was a strange thing for an average Mindcrime/Empire fan...

The album was very moody and theatrical, and a tremendous departure in terms of sound from the previous albums. Compared to Mindcrime/Empire, it lacked real anthemic songs with choruses you could sing along to in the car. Many of the fans who came on board during the Empire explosion would not have delved deeply into the back catalogue, so concepts like "evolution" and "return to RFO-style experimentation" wouldn't have even crossed the average fan's mind.

The lead video (I Am I) was a spinning, confusing mess, and Geoff had suddenly turned into Ming the Merciless. This was a real jolt for people who had gotten used to the beautiful imagery of the Empire videos (and Geoff's killer hair). The chiming Middle Eastern influence in the song was radically different from what came before and I know it personally turned off a lot of people I knew who were hoping for Empire II.

Follow-up singles like "Bridge" and "Disconnected" did nothing to recapture the fans who were leaving due to the above issues - in fact it likely pushed them further away. The average "mass market" fan of whom we speak was already moving on to either hip-hop or grunge by now.

Luckily I never considered myself an average fan. :)
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Cerebral Eulogy

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 10:36:13 PM »

Promised Land steered away from those metal roots in a big way. I feel as if they wore their Pink Floyd influence right on their sleeve when they created that record.
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erasion

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 01:52:08 AM »

PL is the album that eventually overtook RFO as my favorite QR album and one of my all-time favourite albums.

And, like many people, the word eventually is key.

It seems to me that PL is an album that seems to be an okay/good album when you first hear it, but when you listen to it again and again there comes a point where is suddenly connects with you and becomes more than just a collection of songs. In my case and I suspect for many others, that moment only happens when something happens in your life to cause you to re-evaluate it. Maybe it's hitting a certain age. Maybe it's a death in the family. In my case it was struggling with agoraphobia and depressions that suddenly made the album connect with me. I don't think those that have yet to go through something like this will appreciate PL in the same way as those of us who have.

A final thought: if QR are (were?) a Progressive Metal band, then evolution is a natural part of that. IMHO the 'progressive' fans are the ones who are pro-PL, the 'metal' fans were anti-PL.
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bigunclem

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 03:02:29 AM »

Like a lot of people here I had similar feelings to PL.

As I had done with the 2 previous albums I hardly slept the night before its release and was straight to the shop for opening time. (how did we cope before the digital revolution. ;D )

My first listen I went from shock, horror, disappointment, anger and annoyance. I put the cd away and then felt the first stirrings of "what was that song again?"

After the first few days I played it again and again and it hit me hard: It was an incredible album full of depth and intrigue.

The song PL is in my top 3 songs of all time. (and despite GT saying anyone under 40 wouldn't get it, I had it fully grasped, understood and felt at age 19)

To me, it's one of the few albums that really is full of real emotions, real life and I think most band members ripped their hearts out on this record. "you never built it dad!" - what a line!! and is it possible that the reticinse of Todd and the rest of RW toward playing any of PL is exactly that? That it was just too personal for him to sing?

Great, great album (and great thread!  :metal: )

I'm off to listen to it now. Think this thread just subliminally affected me.  :rollin
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 03:13:39 AM by bigunclem »
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fruitloop

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2012, 03:22:01 AM »

PL was the natural progression from Empire and OM which is why I still love the album as it still sounds like classic QR. I personally think it would be more loved and would of sold better if the production had been slightly less and the electric guitars had been higher in the mix. Plus I think it was the first album (comparing to Rage, OM, Empire) when weaker tracks had found their way onto the final track listing.....so I think it was the first sign of quality control starting to slip within the inner circle.
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Wardy

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2012, 04:32:40 AM »

... I was obsessed by OM, intrigued by Empire, and personally touched through Promised Land.........

Thankyou, correct words often hard to find, my thoughts also and very well said...  And way too many other comments above I would like to quote but only so much time in the day ;)

After Empire and Mindcrime I also struggled with Promised Land when it was released and I too understand the disappointment many felt...  I mean hell, I wanted to like it, but whether it be youth lack of metal riffery my headspace at the time or what, but I confess it took these ears a couple years of listening before I was cool with the entire album.  Much like most of the classic era Queensryche records, with each listen there's something more to be discovered with each listen and as the years go by, and that's more-so with Promised Land than with any of their albums.  Considering it was then some years again that I later truly understood and completely loved Promised Land, it has since surpassed most of the remaining catalog as the must have album.

Promised Land offers depth, new experiences, and new emotions with each and every listen.  And the discovery still continues! :metal:
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 04:36:55 AM by Wardy »
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Tyleete

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2012, 06:50:16 AM »

Age.  That and musical maturity is what it was all about. 
Back when PL first came out, the first time I hear it, I had to listen to it through before I enjoyed it with the same enthusiasm I used to get within the first song or two from previous albums.  Back when this album came out, just like HITNF (which I nearly couldn't stand at first but is now one of my favorites), I was too young and too full of 'whatever' to enjoy and appreciate it. 
   Of course, it's always easier to say such things now looking back.  I can also say looking back, that it seems to be a natural progression with their musical talent.  Of course I suppose when I say 'their', I really mean DeGarmo and Tate.  Some people are happy to stick to one set sound, while others don't seem to want to be hampered by a particular genre, and want to reach out and see where it takes them.  Which I believe, is how they got those two albums. 
That's just my take on it anyhow. 
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fruitloop

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2012, 08:51:57 AM »

just thought id have a listen to PL again and Id still give the album an 8 out of 10 because IMO theres a few weaker tracks:

Strong tracks :metal:

I am I
Damaged
Out of Mind
Bridge
Promised Land
One More Time
Someone Else

Weak Tracks :-\

Disconnected
Lady Jane
My Global Mind

If there had been 3 more guitar driven tracks it would be close behind OM for best QR album
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erasion

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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2012, 09:13:01 AM »

Weak Tracks :-\

Disconnected
Lady Jane
My Global Mind

Disconnected is probably the most divisive track on the album; it's the track you either get or you don't. I happen to feel it to be one of the most effective tracks on the album, but I can very much understand why people don't.

My Global Mind works fine as a song in its own right, but I feel doesn't work within the world of PL (ironically Disconnected works far better on PL than it would on its own).

Can't find them now, but I recall these two tracks received special discussion on these forums for exactly these reasons.
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Re: Promised Land and the Queensryche fanbase...
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2012, 09:20:53 AM »

no doubt its the "you get it or you don't" album in their discography.  Like most it took a while for it to click with me but when it did......wow.

I think a part of the reason I love this album so much is marked a turning point in the music I listen to.  I was in college when this was released and being a Comm major, I hung out with friends at the campus radio station.  Amazing what an eclectic group of musical tastes can do for a person.  I started hearing music in a different way and "Promised Land" was definitely an album you had to listen to in a different way.

life's been like dragging feet through sand......and never finding the promised land :metal:
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