Label: Rhino Release date: Out Now! Website: Queensryche's latest album, American Soldier is a concept album exploring the theme of what it means to go to war. Throughout this collection of tracks, clips of interviews with soldiers describing their war experience are played over the music. The soldier voices are captivating because of the way they contrast with the melodic, trademark Queensryche sound. Unfortunately, the soldiers are the most interesting part of this album and it's not easy to make out what they're saying. Thus, they are interesting purely as a sound effect, and for how different their tone is from whatever track is playing behind them. The music on the whole displays the sound you've come to know and love (if you like Queensryche that is). It's well played and well sung but seems disjointed, almost as though someone cut apart great Queensryche numbers and remixed them at random. Perhaps this is some kind of message about how chaotic war and the life of a soldier can be, but it doesn't quite work. You will find yourself trying to determine what the soldiers are saying, or work out the lyrics while simultaneously trying to make sense of the sound. It's well done, but it's no Empire. Rating: 5/10