To say the musical landscape had not changed in 1994 would be the understatement of well, the ’90s.
Queensryche released Promised Land in 1994 and it wasn’t until 2019 I finally heard it for the first time.
How about some Backstory on why it took me over 2 Decades around to getting this on vinyl.
Queensryche was a band whose stuff I always bought in the 80s on cassette tape. The Ryche never made the same album twice as I can attest to that and once 1990 rolled around I purchased the latest release from these guys Empire on CD.
Empire of course sold tons and was a good hard rock album.
But then something funny happened. 1994 rolls around and Promised Land showed up in the records shops and I ignored it. Why? I have no idea. You think with me liking Empire I would have pounced on the latest works from the Seattle boys.
Nope. I passed.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2019.
I was in a local record shop that had all used stuff but they had some stuff still sealed from a previous owner and two records that I noticed that had sat there for a while was Promised Land with a $28 tag and KISS Animalize with a $25 tag.
I talked to the owner if he would be willing to come down on the price and if so I would walk out with both. He said name your price. I told him I would give him $40 cash for both. He said sure and that was that.
A few months earlier I bought a used copy of The Warning the 1983 album by Queensryche and that was a great rediscovery for me as a listener.
So seeing that Promised Land needed a good shelf to reside on (lol) I took the plunge.
What are my findings at listening to this after I snubbed it for years?
A pretty damn fine album that is out there lyrically and sonically. Basically, if you were to dump Pink Floyd and Queensryche into a blender. Promised Land is what would come out.
A pretty trippy album actually and that’s perhaps the best thing I can say about this album. Lead Singer Geoff Tate sings for his supper on this album but gone are the days of Queen of the Reich where the double bass drums and Tate were in a race for the over the top award in speed metal. That stuff was from 83. 11 years on the band has evolved.
Chris Degarmo has a huge presence on this album. Basically writing or co-writing all of the tracks that make up Promised Land. Degarmo a few years later quit and was never heard from again.
The flow of the album from track to track is neat as some tracks are linked together and as well Tate blasts around some sax on a couple of tracks which believe or not you wouldn’t think it would work in the context of a Ryche Tune but it does.
Anyone up for some Queensax?
The title track which clocks in over 8 minutes is wicked, somewhat heavy but tunes like Lady Jane are the counterbalance as it features piano but has some catchy guitar work courtesy of Degramo and Micheal Wilton.
I have to add that drummer Scott Rockenfield plays all kinds of styles on this. Almost 80s Peart like in spots. Percussion is huge on this recording.
Course all things are not soft on this album. Damaged and I Am I are the heavy ones so if you think its a soft hard rock album it isn’t as Promised Land picks its spots between Ryche Heavy and Ryche Mellow (not too mellow mind you)
Promised Land sold well back in 94. Platinum in the U.S and Gold In Canada considering it was Grunger time on the charts.
This is not your over the top Metal Record. It’s a very diverse album and come to think of it this may be a headphones kind of album with everything going on sonically.
I’m really glad I finally came around on this album umm 26 years later!