The problems seem to be on a constant flow in the Queensrÿche camp. Just when the band found the ideal replacement of Geoff Tate, they started looking for their founding drummer in Seattle! By now, it is well-known that Scott Rockenfield is not a part of the new album which leaves really just two original members in the band as we speak. Naturally, the fans may be quite worried and reserved with the outcome of “The Verdict” but the truth is that this the best Queensrÿche record since La Torre took over the microphone. In addition, La Torre was the one who recorded the drum parts on the new record and despite the fact that they are nowhere similar to Rockenfield’s sound they are a perfect match to the overall heavy sound of “The Verdict”.

Queensrÿche has surely evolved since their “restart” back in 2012 but they have also made a step forward compared to “Condition Human” that was released 3 ½ years ago. Wilton and Lundgren are firing on all cylinders with frenzy riffs and solos while La Torre’s vocals are more aggressive than ever. From a compositional standpoint, Queensrÿche has really come up with something really special this time around as almost every single song is characterized by high energy, power and inspiration. Blood Of The Levant”, “Man The Machine”, “Light-Years”, “Dark Reverie” are standout moments that are bound to be embraced by every metal fan out there while the closing track “Portrait” remind us all the great closing songs of the past classic Queensrÿche albums.

This is an album that wins you over almost instantly and it was created against all odds and despite all the seemingly endless problems. So the…verdict is: Go out and buy the record!