When I first listened to this album I was worried about how I would write my first negative review ever of a Queensryche album. I listened to it streaming online and I really did not dig it. However, I've bought ever record they've put out since 1983, so I dutifully purchased American Soldier too.
After listening several more times, the record has grown on me. There is a lot going on these songs. It's a concept album, with Tate looking at war through the eyes of the soldier. He did this by interviewing dozens of Vets, from WWII to Iraq. There stories are the inspiration for the songs on the record. Queensryche also weaves their actual words into the songs, using spoken word voice overs to good effect in several songs. Nothing on this record will jump out on first listen and scream awesome at you. You need to invest a couple of tries for the complexity of these songs to stick with you.
Sonically, it sounds like the Tribe or Q2K records. The tempo on a lot of the songs is sort of slow, which makes sense giving the subject matter., This is not a hoo-rah record at all. As Tate has said in several interviews, the thing that surprised him the most after talking to the Vets is just how anti-war they are.