As global touring came to a sudden and unexpected halt earlier this year, Queensrÿche frontman Todd La Torre has been using his recent pandemic downtime to put the finishing touches on his debut solo album Rejoice In The Suffering. The idea for a solo album was always in the cards for Todd.
With Queensrÿche tour dates postponed indefinitely, the world events offered Todd the opportunity to explore his ideas for Rejoice In The Suffering. Todd teamed up with longtime friend and collaborator Craig Blackwell and alongside producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris created a diverse heavy metal album that draws influence from different styles.
Queensrÿche’s Todd La Torre discusses debut solo album “Rejoice In The Suffering” on Rock Titan Live
These styles will surprise fans who only know La Torre from his previous work with Queensrÿche or Crimson Glory before that. Rejoice In The Suffering is scheduled for release globally on February 5, 2021 via Rat Pak Records.
So what did Rock Titan Live’s Scotty J think of Todd La Torre’s debut effort? Continue scrolling to find out!
Dogmata – Immediately melts your face off. La Torre easy establishes why he’s the voice to carry the Queensrÿche well into the 21st century. If this first track is what we can expect from Todd’s solo band moving forward, metal fans worldwide can rejoice.
Pretenders – It’s not difficult to tell where La Torre’s vocal influences come from. You can’t help but recognize that of Halford, Dickinson, Dio, and Tate. There just aren’t many that can hit those octaves. Todd chose one hell of an awesome guitarist to join him here. Todd’s drumming skills are also top notch.
Hellbound and Down – Hearing Todd venture outside the sound he’s produced with Queensrÿche and Crimson Glory is music on the ears. It’s clear no matter who he’s rocking with, he’s got the chops to stand alone. His guitarist can flat out thrash with best of them.
Todd La Torre (Queensrÿche) “Darkened Majesty” Official Audio
Darkened Majesty – At the immediate offset, you almost think your bracing for a lost Metallica track. But Hetfield is no La Torre. It’s like Dickinson joined Metallica. Todd showcases an octave range and vibrato that should impress all listeners.
Crossroads to Insanity – This features the lower vocal range of La Torre and I love the guitar tone. I can’t play worth a lick, but that flanger pedal makes even me sound like no slouch. When you get someone who can actually play it becomes an awesome listening experience. I remain floored Todd’s vocal prowess went largely unnoticed into his mid 30’s. He was born to do this. Awesome guitar solo on this track too!
Critical Cynic – Dark, melodic, and just metal all the way. Half way through this debut album you have to be impressed. It’s extremely well produced and mastered. Not a bad track so far and I’m motivated to listen until the end.
The Making of Rejoice In The Suffering
Rejoice in The Suffering – So here’s the title track! Apart from the music quality, you’ve got to admire the song writing. The heavy guitar riffs and solo are excellent. Todd must take this act on tour!
Vexed – I dig the acoustic guitar for sure, and it would seem La Torre is going for something lighter. But wait for it… boom! You’re catapulted into the tenor metal magic realm not many can competently occupy.
Vanguards of The Dawn Wall – This song will make you miss the mosh pit, circle, or whatever style of moshing you’re into. This guitarist sure can shred. Todd made a solid choice. You’ve got more chorus growling here which is a nice element featured throughout this album.
Todd La Torre (Queensrÿche) “Vanguards of the Dawn Wall” Official Video
Apology – From the beginning of this song you’re strongly reminded of the man La Torre replaced in Queensrÿche. I say that with the highest level of respect to both musicians. Todd’s vocals are particularly entrancing on this song. I love the string work. Hands down this is one of my favorite tracks.
Fractured – This is listed as a bonus track, but I’m hopeful everyone will get a taste of this. It’s the continuation of a flawless debut album. Full disclosure I’ve listened to few albums the entire way through that held my attention the way “Rejoice in The Suffering” has.
Set it Off – You know what this album sets off? How about a successful solo career for Todd La Torre? As long as there are metal fans, this vocalist will have a passionately loyal audience. I said it before, but there just aren’t many singers that can do what Todd seems to do with ease. To think he wasn’t entirely confident in his vocal skills as a frontman early in his career is mind boggling.
One by One – How appropriate the name of this final track on this album is. It’s kinda wild La Torre reserved his guttural chops for the last song. Just shows he can do it all! For one by one this album is certain to win everyone over in considering this one of the best metal albums for 2021. Yes it’s that good! This guitarist flat out ROCKS! If I had hair it would be on fire! Anyone who doesn’t have whiplash by the end of this needs a lobotomy.