Queensr˙che – “I Am I’ From 1994’s Promised Land (EMI)
In a lot of ways, Promised Land is a grey area in Queensr˙che’s vast musical repertoire. Perhaps it was because it was such a diverse sounding album (although thematically tied together, the album has no universal core sound), or maybe because it was released just as the grunge movement was taking off. Either way, Promised Land is a criminally overlooked classic from the once mighty ‘thinking man’s metal band’, and the last album from the original line-up that truly sounded inspired. Promised Land was created by a band that was willing to push the envelope and challenge their audience.
And one of the best examples of that enthusiasm to experiment and set a new benchmark in sound is the album’s first single “I Am I” – a track which features a strong groove through a combination of heavy guitar riffs, sitar and cellos (courtesy of DeGarmo), an ever-present tribal-like percussive backbone and a towering performance from vocalist Geoff Tate at his peak. “I Am I” is a powerful and captivating track, and just one of the many Queensr˙che classics on Promised Land. It’s a damn shame that such a great album is overshadowed by the less than impressive output the band delivered from this point on, with or without DeGarmo in their ranks.