I wouldn't call myself a diehard Queensryche fan since I usually prefer the prog bands with a harder/heavier edge like Iron Maiden, but I had been meaning to buy at least a few of the remasters. I was really wavering on buying the boxset since it has 7 albums, but I'm being realistic. I don't expect Queensryche will become my most listened to band and 7 discs may actually hurt my view of them since I know a few of those aren't considered very good.
So, I started with this one since I know I already like Empire. I had it on cassette years ago. Also had Promised Land back when it came out, but nothing else by Queensryche. I have talked about sound quality in some of the forum discussions and while I don't consider myself an audiophile nor do I consider sound quality the most important part of any album, let me assure anyone, the sound quality of this remaster is pristine. I'm not playing it with any super high end equipment either, just a set of Bose Companion speakers at the PC, basic Infinity component set in the car. The sound quality is going to keep me listening to this more than I probably would have. There's an excellent balance of highs/lows and a full, rich sound to it. I normally wouldn't focus that much on just the sound quality, but this may be the best sounding cd I've got and I have around 5,000. I originally had fell in love with the sound on Anthrax's new album, but this remaster tops even it. Whoever remastered this should be applauded though I know the original was used as a test source, so it had to be pretty good to begin with.
I knew these songs from having the cassette, but would guess most people are checking it out for Silent Lucidity. I'll probably sound like a Queensryche diehard when I say please don't buy this album just for that song. There really is so much more here than it. Tate's vocals have always been a selling point for me--check out Matt Barlow's vocals with Iced Earth if you also are a Tate fan--and he really raised the bar with this album. When he whispers he whispers and when he soars he seriously soars. There is a short list I would compare to him starting and mostly ending with Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson.
This music is quite empowering. You can even mix it up in a playlist to sync with a workout by moving the slower songs towards the end. After having a chance to revisit this old favorite in its new format, I ended up deciding against the boxset and going with just buying 3 others in the remaster/re-release series, most of you can guess which three. I do want to say I don't know if I like this one any better than Promised Land, but that's a good thing, because they were two of my favorites back in the 90s and look like they're heading right back into my favorites section here in 2012. These remasters should be used as the standard by which all remasters are made. Also really enjoyed the second live disc with this version which the boxset doesn't include. I would be beating a dead horse if I said they are one of the most underrated bands of all-time though I may not be since I'm going to turn a blind eye to their newer albums. Who knows, if the other two impress me as much as Empire and Promised Land have, I might try out some of those newer ones.