Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Month: March 2009

  • Queensryche – Tribe (2003)

    In the sports world, there’s a concept called “a rebuilding year”. It’s when your team has fallen apart: the star talent has been traded elsewhere, the new kids from the minors are still learning the ropes, the coaches have all been fired and replaced by third and fourth-tier managers, and the seasoned players are all…

  • DC Slater – Altitude (2007)

    One of the downsides of doing a lot of album reviews for a zine is that you have to listen to a lot of crap that takes a lot of effort to get through once, let alone enough times to write a thousand words about it. And that job is even harder when it’s crap…

  • Queensryche – Operation: Mindcrime (1988)

    Who killed Mary? That’s the takeaway on probably the finest concept album ever created by a prog-metal band. Before Queensryche’s third album, the band already had an impressive collection of unique metal material, but Operation: Mindcrime not only progressed their sound and voice, but added the element of a timely and complex plot that tied…

  • Queensryche – Empire (1990)

    How do you follow up one of the best prog metal concept albums of all time? That was the monumental task in front of Queensryche when they finished touring in support of Operation:Mindcrime and started recording their fourth full release, Empire, in the spring of 1990. Would it be a sequel to the concept album?…

  • Metallica – Garage Inc. (1998)

    So the Garage Days Re-Revisited EP is long out of print, and is going for a bajillion dollars a bootlegged copy on eBay ten years later. The band decided it would be a good idea to re-issue the record, but add some new stuff to force both new and old fans to buy the album…

  • ARZ – Solomon’s Key (2008)

    When I hear that a group of musicians first got together in a Yes tribute band, the last thing I expect is anything heavy. ¬†The first ten seconds of the new ARZ album, Solomon’s Key, completely changed that opinion for me. ¬†Forget any preconceived notions that a couple of guys imitating London’s premier prog giants…

  • Queensryche – Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensryche (2007)

    My first thought when I heard Queensryche was releasing another compilation album was “christ, didn’t they just do this fifteen minutes ago?” Okay, it was more like four years earlier, but the Capitol Records 12-track Classic Masters contained no new material, and was essentially useless; the 2000 compilation Greatest Hits was barely passable, with two…