Heavy Metal With a Social Conscience

Jesse Christen

Jesse Christen

Platinum selling progressive metal group Queensryche, will be performing at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 pm.

The band has released ten albums and one EP in their twenty plus year existence. They were one of the top selling hard rock groups of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Their single, “Silent Lucidity,” received non-stop play on MTV a little over a decade ago.

Rather than singing about partying and girls, like the hair bands of the late ’80s, or death and destruction, like their thrash metal peers, Queensryche combined heavy guitar riffs with melody and socially conscious lyrics.

“Queensryche is about political and personal growth,” says lead singer Geoff Tate.

This past July, Queensryche released the album Tribe. Rather than rehashing their old familiar sound, the band has put forth their most melodic release yet. And there is still plenty of heavy head banging guitar crunch for all the die hard metal heads.

The group is functioning with an almost original line-up. Guitarist Chris DeGarmo left the group in 1998 to become a pilot, a rather un-rock-star move. Although he isn’t touring with the group he still contributes in the studio.

The group has been touring the U.S. for the last month. Geoff Tate was reached by phone while they were in Austin, Texas last Thursday.

When asked if being a band from Seattle has created a negative stereotype since the grunge fad of the mid ’90s, Tate says that the city has a long musical history that he is proud to be part of. He feels today’s media focuses on repetition of one idea, and the negative consequences have spilled over into the world of music.