American Soldier (album)

American Soldier is the eleventh studio album by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche; it is a concept album released on March 31, 2009. The album debuted at No. 25 on the Billboard 200 chart.[9] As its title suggests, American Soldier revolves around the lives and experiences of those who serve or have served in the United States armed forces.

American Soldier
Queensryche - American Soldier cover.png
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 31, 2009
RecordedEl Dorado Studios, Burbank, California,
London Bridge Studios, Seattle, Washington,
The Office, North Andover, Massachusetts,
March–December 2008
Queensrÿche chronology
Take Cover
American Soldier
Dedicated to Chaos
Singles from American Soldier
  1. "If I Were King"
    Released: 2009
Audio sample
"If I Were King"
Professional ratings
Review scores
About.com3.5/5 stars[1]
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[2]
antiMusic3.5/5 stars[3]
Consequence of Sound2.5/5 stars[4]
Melodic.net3.5/5 stars[5]
Record Collector4/5 stars[6]
Sea of Tranquility2/5 stars[7]
Sputnikmusic3.5/5 stars[8]

Following the departure of Mike Stone, the album was the first to entirely be recorded by Queensrÿche as a quartet. It is also the first original album by the band where founding guitarist Michael Wilton does not receive a single writing credit.


The lyrical contents to the songs on American Soldier tell the story of war from a firsthand perspective. The album was produced by Jason Slater, who also produced and co-wrote Queensrÿche's 2006 album Operation: Mindcrime II, and was engineered by Kelly Gray, who was Queensrÿche's guitarist and producer from 1998–2001. It was recorded in 2008 over the course of nine months.

The album includes a particularly personal duet between Geoff Tate and his daughter Emily. The song, entitled "Home Again," focuses on a father returning home to his family after having been gone an extended period. This theme reflects both the life of Tate as a touring musician and the life of one who serves in the military.[10]

Tate spent a few years interviewing veterans from all conflicts America has been involved in from World War II to the Iraq War, including his own father[11] and collecting their stories in order to help him write the album.

Speaking about the inspiration for the album, Tate said:


An extensive U.S. spring tour began on April at Snoqualmie Casino in the band’s hometown of Seattle. The shows are presented in three suites, with the band performing sets from American Soldier, Rage for Order, and Empire.

During the American Soldier tour in the fall of 2009, the band featured a 3-song set with Lita Ford performing "Crave", "Patriotic SOB" and "Close My Eyes Forever".[13]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Jason Slater and Geoff Tate except where noted.

1."Sliver" 3:09
2."Unafraid" 4:47
3."Hundred Mile Stare"Kelly Gray, Tate4:31
4."At 30,000 Ft" 5:11
5."A Dead Man's Words" 6:35
6."The Killer" 5:26
7."Middle of Hell"Gray, Damon Johnson, Scott Rockenfield, Tate5:28
8."If I Were King" 5:17
9."Man Down!"Gray, Tate4:57
10."Remember Me" 5:00
11."Home Again"Gray, Johnson, Rockenfield, Tate4:41
12."The Voice" 5:29
Total length:60:31


Band members
Additional performers
  • Emily Tate - vocals on track 11
  • Jason Ames - vocals on tracks 1 & 8
  • A.J. Fratto - vocals on track 1
  • Vincent Solano - vocals on track 5
  • Kelly Gray - rhythm guitar
  • Damon Johnson - rhythm guitar
  • Randy Gane - keyboards
  • Jason Slater - producer
  • Kelly Gray - producer, engineer, mixing
  • Susan Tate, Kenny Nemes - executive producers
  • Hugh Syme - art direction, design and illustrations


Year Chart Position
2009 Billboard 200 (USA)[9] 25
Oricon Japanese Albums Charts[14] 39
German Albums Chart[15] 65
Swiss Albums Chart[16] 71
Dutch Albums Chart[17] 100


  1. ^ Bowar, Chad (8 April 2009). "Queensryche - 'American Soldier'". Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  2. ^ Jurek, Thom. "American Soldier - Queensrÿche". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  3. ^ Ewton, Zane. "Queensryche - American Soldier Review". antiMusic. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  4. ^ Gerber, Justin (April 23, 2009). "Queensrÿche - American Soldier". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Roth, Kaj (2009). "Queensryche - American Soldier". Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  6. ^ Jones, Tim. "Queensrÿche - American Soldier". Record Collector: 93. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  7. ^ Batmaz, Murat (28 March 2009). "Review: 'Queensryche: American Soldier'". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  8. ^ Spencer, Trey (30 March 2009). "Review: Queensryche - American Soldier". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  9. ^ a b "American Soldier Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  10. ^ Scurlock, Kevin (8 March 2009). "Queensryche Salutes Troops w/ American Soldier". Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  11. ^ "Middle of Hell". Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  12. ^ Koulis, Costas (2009). "Interviews: Queensrÿche". Rock Archived from the original on 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  13. ^ Lita Ford Gets Rave Reviews For Queensryche Dates Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine 2009-11-02. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  14. ^ クイーンズライク - クイーンズライクのアルバム売り上げランキング (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  15. ^ "Album – Queensrÿche, American Soldier". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  16. ^ "Queensrÿche – American Soldier". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  17. ^ "Queensrÿche – American Soldier(album)". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-03-14.