First of all, I have to apologize to Dawn for this being so late. I had it in my head that the record hit the streets on 4/14 - it was really 4/4.
The record, however, is good. A sequel to one of the great concept albums of all time is a daunting task. The story picks up 18 years later, with Nikki out of prison, haunted by the death of Mary, and looking for revenge. The sounds is the killer though. It sounds like it was recorded right after they were done with Operation Mindcrime.
Queensryche has gone back to the 80's, but not in a cheesy way. The amps are way up, the guitars are extra crunchy, and strings and horns fill in the quiet spots. It's classic Queensryche, easily their best record since Empire. The record probably lacks the big hit that would be required to make them a household name again, but if this is their swan song, they can feel good about how they are going out. It's not as good as the original, but I doubt any of us really expected it to be.
Catching them on tour this summer is a no brainer. What better show for Breck's initiation into live metal?