"Queensrÿche", I did feel it was a bit short, so I was really hoping that the band would create another album like that one, just longer.
Enter "Condition Hüman", a album that certainly goes in the same tracks as its predecessor, reliving the band's glory days with songs that is reminiscent of the band's earlier works. It is progressive, epic and well crafted, displaying a harmony the band has not shown in ages. I can tell that they have left all of this mumbo jumbo behind them (unlike one certain gentleman said he would).
I am still a little bit uncomfortable with the new singer Todd La Torre. It is not that he sings bad or that he does not contribute in the song writing process (he is a co-writer in all but one song), but the fact that his voice is so similar to the one of Geoff Tate. I can still endure it since it fits so well with the music, but it is pretty damn hard to ignore it all together. You just have to live with it, which I certainly can do as long as the band is pleased with him.
The band seem to have listened to its critics, making "Condition Hüman" 53 minutes long, a perfectly ideal length of an album. However, this does make this album not as tight as "Queensrÿche", fitting some fillers among the twelve songs. It still does hold some good fire power within it, enough to make it a really pleasant experience. Most of this fire power comes in the beginning of the album, setting a high standard instantly with great tracks like the melodic "Arrow of Time", the epic "Hellfire", and a fist pumping "Guardian", in which it sounds like the band wants revolution cola (wonder how much different it is from the regular kind?).
After a strong start, the album loses some momentum, but not enough to lose the listener entirely. While songs like "Hourglass" and "Bulletproof" may not be some of the most thrilling songs the band has ever created, they do help in giving this album a grand and complete feeling of satisfaction. While "Queensrÿche" was mostly dark, "Condition Hüman" is more on the lighter side of the spectrum, displaying some sort of a "light at the end of the tunnel" mood that does fit well. It stands clear that the band knows how to give their albums personalities, and they do it with the honor.
"Condition Hüman" is definitely in the same league as "Queensrÿche", but for different reasons. The albums are almost as polar opposites to each other, one being short and tight, while the other is longer and more loose. It definitely seems like the band is in a state of peace and that they fully enjoying their current situation, and they should, because they are creating some of their best music in ages. Music so good that you almost forget that guy who tried to steal the name of the band.
Songs worthy of recognition: Hellfire, Arrow of Time, Guardian
Rating: 8/10 Hümans