• 6.5/10
    QUEENSRŸCHE - Take Cover - 6.5/10


Release date: November 13, 2007

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If a band has been around for a long time, it’s inevitable that they’ll eventually do a cover album, usually to bridge the gap between new material and give the fans something to listen to while they wait for the next disc to come out. Metal veterans Queensrÿche prove this theory correct once again, with the release of Take Cover, which offers up their take on 11 songs all originally recorded by other musical acts. Not content to just cover Metal classics, the band tackles Progressive Rock, a Show Tune, some decades-old Vintage Rock, and even Opera. For good measure, a Black Sabbath tune gets the cover treatment too. The track listing on Take Cover is fairly inspired and certainly varied, if nothing else.

Take Cover starts off with Queensrÿche’s version of “Welcome to The Machine” by Pink Floyd, a band Queensrÿche has certain similarities to for sure. This version sounds a bit “colder” than the original, but is still done fairly well, although it sticks pretty close to Floyd’s version. It’s decent.

The Show Tune is up next: “Heaven On Their Minds” from the popular musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Not surprisingly, this is rather heavy and fast. It’s a good take on this tune, and it sounds like the band had some fun recording it.

Tracks Three and Four are a couple of Flower-Power anthems: David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair” and “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. These hew fairly close to the originals, although the Buffalo Springfield song is considerably heavier than the source material. The Crosby tune doesn’t really register, but “For What It’s Worth” comes across pretty well.

Up next is Queensrÿche’s cover of “For The Love Of Money” by The Bulletb … errr, The O’Jays. Nothing mind-blowing here, but this song is all right, being fairly catchy.

Queen’s classic “Innuendo” gets the cover treatment in the Number Six slot. Covering Queen is a daunting task for even the greatest of bands, and Queensrÿche acquit themselves nicely here with a slightly-stripped down take on this Pomp Metal staple, although fans of obscure German Metal bands might find themselves preferring the 1997 version done by Scanner (off of Ball Of The Damned if you’re keeping score at home).

Ready for some good ol’ Metal? Queensrÿche finally appeals to headbangers everywhere with a pretty good cover of Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights.” Like most of the songs on Take Cover, this one offers no surprises, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad; quite the contrary, it’s actually very good. Queensrÿche nailed this song, and certainly did justice to it.

With Sabbath out of the way, “Synchronicity II” by The Police and “Red Rain” by Peter Gabriel occupy Take Cover‘s eighth and ninth slots. These are probably two of the weaker tunes on the album: The Police song seems kind of sloppy compared to the precise original, and “Red Rain” lacks the emotional heft of Gabriel’s version, although taken on its own terms it’s not bad.

“Odissea” is the true oddity of Take Cover: it’s an Operatic aira – sung in Italian – with orchestral backing. According to the album’s liner notes, Geoff Tate doesn’t speak Italian, but he does a good job here nonetheless, giving the song some theatrical flair. A curious cover, but still worthy of a listen.

A live track closes out Take Cover: “Bullet The Blue Sky” by U2 gets treatment from Queensrÿche. At over 10 minutes, this song meanders too much, although Geoff Tate’s stage banter, consisting of social commentary and a few curse words, tries to keep things interesting. Most listeners will probably get bored of this song before it ends.

Like most non-”Various Artists” tribute albums, Take Cover will appeal primarily to the band’s core fanbase. Queensrÿche fans may get a kick out of this disc and its novel collection of cover tunes, but for everyone else it’s mostly a curiosity.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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