Title: Promised Land
9:28 a.m. -- (Rockenfield)
Key Tracks: Damaged, Promised Land, Bridge
B-sides: Real World (released as a standalone single in 1993), Dirty Lil Secret, Someone Else (full band)
Promised Land Era Singles:
Notes: Released over four years after Empire, Promised Land went the exact opposite direction most fans expected from Queensryche. Instead of building on the previous record's warmer, melodic hard rock sound, Promised Land took a more acoustic and simplistic approach instrumentally. Cuts such as "Bridge," "Out of Mind," and "Someone Else?" provide a moody atmosphere, while rocking tracks like the first single, "I Am I," "Damaged," and "My Global Mind" balance the record out.
Lyrically, Promised Land is a dark, introspective look into the psyches of DeGarmo and Tate. The former's lyrics take a look at issues such as loss and mental instability, while the latter concentrated on self-doubt and the disappointments in the wake of reaching the pinnacle of success. For example, in a live solo acoustic show in March 2017, Tate revealed the genesis of "Out of Mind," explaining to the audience that his mother worked in a mental hospital when Tate was a child, and often took him to work with her (she was a single parent at the time). As a result, Tate observed a lot of interesting behavior from the patients. During the Promised Land sessions in 1993-1994, Tate told the story to DeGarmo, who according to Tate, was so inspired by the story, he came back the next night with "Out of Mind" completely written.
While Promised Land sold over one million copies in the U.S., and is considered by fans to be one of Queensryche's landmark albums, it was a commercial flop for EMI Records. Videos were shot for "I Am I," "Bridge" and "Dis-con-nec-ted," but the songs were rarely played on MTV, as the network turned its focused to grunge-era bands from Seattle, such as Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Interesting facts: During the recording of "Promised Land" (the title track), Tate couldn't quite capture the emotion in the song Jimbo Barton was looking for. The two went out drinking, Tate got hammered, came back to the studio, and nailed the vocal in one take. In a conversation with a friend of mine years ago, he also warned to never listen to the song while in a depressed state, alluding to the dangers of suicide.
The tri-ryche totem pole depicted on the cover of Promised Land was created by Harold Alfred, an artist from Victoria, B.C., Canada.
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