There is always something special in the anticipation for every new Queensrӱche record. From the very first releases of the band from Bellevue there was a lingering speculation among the fans as well as the writer, regarding the playing techniques and the general philosophy of each album. Waiting for my first listening session of “Condition Hüman”, my thoughts weren’t different comparing to the ones of previous albums. The truth is what I was expecting was a natural evolution of the previous self-titled Queensrӱche album, two years ago.
Listening to “Condition Hüman” was complete satisfaction for me. This record is another step forward for the band and a literally progress of the sound and the structures on which the musicians of the band write and express their music.
The music of Queensrӱche sounds as aggressive as ever having facilitated the heavy guitars and clever riffs of Wilton and Lundgren. Speed rotates in an ideal way, just check out the powerful introduction of “Arrow of Time” which opens the record without beating around the bush and then harmonically links to the fierce “Guardian”, which complements the darker “Hellfire”. Moving on, “Selfish Lives” embraces the awesome “Bulletproof”- a piece between a ballad and mid tempo heavy- which then connects with “Hourglass”.
There should be a separate reference to “Just Us”, a beautiful mainstream ballad which, I would say, has great airplay potential, something we had not heard by this band.
“Condition Hüman” does not slow down nor causes any hints of indifference at any point at all. It is an album which contains many different elements. There are times when it may sound like old school metal with super modern arrangements and others when it sounds atmospheric, with a touch of progressive alongside with Queensrӱche’s trademark dual solos which cannot be missed in any of the classic Queensrӱche album and eventually make you feel as if you are in the middle of a battlefield. A vital characteristic of “Condition Human” which makes it different is the fact that Todd La Torre, apart from his excellent performance, maintains a personal style in his vocal lines and his melodies. Just like most of Queensrӱche albums, “Condition Hüman” concludes ideally with a very deep and heavy, as far as quality is concerned, piece, the self-titled, “Condition Hüman”, which offers a pandemonium of sounds on its eight minutes duration.
A person who should also get credit is the “large” Chris “Zeuss” Harris. He may be behind the mixing desk, but he definitely has not taken a back seat since he demonstrates his unlimited, by the looks of it, skills producing this superb work.
Finally, special reference should be made upon the cover of the album, which is once again influenced by a different kind of concept. This beautiful artwork just attracts the “lookers” attention, something that happens for the first time for a Queensrӱche cover.
“Condition Hüman” has been released in many different versions. Apart from a plain cd and digipack, you can find it in double vinyl, as well as in two box sets with cds, poster, slipmat7” and double yellow and blue vinyl, the second of which is offered in extremely limited pieces.