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 LP is scheduled for release globally on February 5, 2021 via Rat Pak Records. The disc's first single, "Darkened Majesty", can be streamed below. The track is a driving metal song complete with furious drumwork from La Torre, dynamic tempo shifts and showcases Todd's vocals in a way most fans have not heard before.
Says Todd: "'Darkened Majesty' was one of the last songs written for this album. After having much of this album written, we wanted a song that immediately started out with a faster tempo. To be perfectly honest, this song was completely written in two days. We felt that for a first song, this showcases some of that vocal and musical diversity that exists on the album.
"Thanks to everyone for all of the amazing interest and valued support of my debut solo album!!"
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 the effort. Todd teamed up with longtime friend and collaborator Craig Blackwell, alongside producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris, to create a diverse heavy metal album that draws influence from different styles. These styles will surprise fans who only know La Torre from his previous work with QUEENSRŸCHE or CRIMSON GLORY.
Says Todd: "'Rejoice In The Suffering' was truly a labor of love. It's a pure metal record that certainly showcases a wide range of my vocal abilities. I feel there is something for any true fan of metal on this album. This album is full of groove, dynamics, power, and substance and I can’t wait for people to hear it."
From the album's opening riffs of "Dogmata" to the vocal acrobatics that drive the album closer "Apology", it is apparent that La Torre has a true love of heavy metal. With Todd playing drums and recording the vocals for the album, songs like "Darkened Majesty" and "Critical Cynic" offer an inside look into his musical mind. Blackwell's guitar playing provides the perfect musical accents to La Torre's vocals. Todd even finds vocal wails not heard from him before as showcased on the title track and the punishing "Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall". The deluxe version of the album features three bonus tracks: "Fractured", "Set It Off" and "One By One". Fans can pre-order the album in various bundle configurations here.
"Rejoice In The Suffering" track listing:
03. Hellbound And Down
04. Darkened Majesty
05. Crossroads To Insanity
06. Critical Cynic
07. Rejoice In The Suffering
09. Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall
Bonus tracks (deluxe version only)
12. Set It Off
13. One By One
La Torre previously talked about his plans to release a solo LP in a 2017 interview with Canada's The Metal Voice. He stated about the direction of the material that will appear on the record: "Musically, it is probably, like, FIGHT meets PANTERA meets BLACK LABEL [SOCIETY]. It's definitely got that kind of southern… You know, PANTERA had that certain power groove — not full-fledged [speed], but has thrash elements. And then vocally, I'm singing probably a lot more chest voice, and then I've got some brutal gutteral vocals on it… That'll be a lot more brutal and more thrash, but the vocals are definitely more a power-metal, operatic kind of a thing — very aggressive…"
La Torre joined his first band BLACKWELL as the drummer, performing in high school talent shows and entering into the club rock music scene in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 2009, Todd was suggested to CRIMSON GLORY guitarist Jon Drenning by a mutual friend to help with some vocal rehearsals in preparation for a CRIMSON GLORY memorial concert. This would pave the way for more collaborations with the band, eventually joining as the band’s new permanent vocalist. La Torre was the lead singer for CRIMSON GLORY from late 2010 until resigned from the band in early 2013. In 2012, Todd became a household name in the metal world when he officially became the new lead vocalist of QUEENSRŸCHE. The band immediately began touring globally and started writing new material for the self-titled 2013 album "Queensrÿche". To date, QUEENSRŸCHE has released three studio albums with La Torre: "Queensrÿche", "Condition Hüman" (2015) and "The Verdict" (2019). Currently the band is writing new material for a fourth release for Century Media Records.