Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren Talk 'The Verdict,' Queensrÿche's Crushing New Album

Queensrÿche guitarists Parker Lundgren [left] and Michael Wilton (Image credit: Grizzlee Martin)

The departure of chief songwriter/co-guitarist/co-founding member Chris DeGarmo following the 1997 release of Hear in the Now Frontier was undoubtedly a major blow to Queensrÿche. Previous to the band’s latest slab of metal, The Verdict, Queensrÿche had continued to release a dozen albums, all of them paling in comparison to any of the DeGarmo-period records. The subsequent albums to Now Frontier are marred, for the most part, by mediocre songwriting and a shortage of memorable melodies and hooks. For more than a decade after DeGarmo left the group, vocalist Geoff Tate was writing a large share of the band’s material, to mostly lackluster results, and the band’s career fell into a slow, downward spiral. In turn, many fans lost interest and ultimately the group fired Tate, who is now fronting a new band, Operation: Mindcrime. 

The two remaining co-founding original members — guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson — have teamed with guitarist Parker Lundgren and powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre, a drummer himself who also plays drums on The Verdict. (The group’s other co-founding member, drummer Scott Rockenfield, is on hiatus.) The third album of this revamped and revitalized lineup of Queensrÿche is a powerful prog-metal juggernaut that stands among their hardest-rocking albums. Tate’s dismissal has evidently resulted in a rebirth of the band.

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