And how the mighty continue to fall. It’s only been some three years since The ‘RYCHE released the excellent ‘’Live Evolution’’ which showcased the good, the bad and ugly of QUEENSRYCHE over the years and if you also throw in 2001’s issue of ‘’Operation Livecrime’’ then questions must be asked about the validity of yet another QUEENSRYCHE live album.
‘’The Art Of Live’’ is culled from last years ‘’Tribe World Tour’’ and it’s either sheer arrogance or bravery that the Chris DeGarmo-less band choose to play a mighty six songs from the ‘’Tribe’’ album.
I’ll hold my hands up and say quite categorically that I’ve no intention of listening to ‘’Tribe’’ although I’ll probably get it for the collection and it will sit along side all the post ‘’Empire’’ studio albums that also never get played.
Sadly the QUEENSRYCHE story of gargantuan success with 1988’s ‘’Operation Mindcrime’’ and then 1990’s ‘’Empire’’ will never be repeated again. I salute their ability to still persevere but ‘’The Art Of Live’’ is nothing but a shadow of past glories. The enigmatic vocals of Geoff Tate struggle to cope for the most part. The first eight songs are only fillers before the familiarity of ‘’The Needle Lies’’ and ‘’Best I Can’’ try to rally support for the cause. And not even an acoustic ‘’Road To Madness’’ lifts the gloom whilst the crowd is practically non-existent. The sound is muddy and soulless and bereft of any emotion. At times Tate seems so distant from the rest of the band that one wonders if he’s sharing the same stage.
Definitely one for die-hard fans only. (Online July 8, 2004)