Fans yearning for Queensr˙che to return to its glory years – or at least to go back to playing metal – may want to check out Mercury Tide. This new project from former Angel Dust singer and guitarist Dirk Thurisch could be considered sort of a poor-man's Queensr˙che. With a lineup that includes Thurisch's blood relative Dennis Riehle on keyboards, Tiamat's Anders Iwers on bass, Flowing Tears drummer Stefan Gemballa and (on select tracks) former Angel Dust guitarist Bernd Aufermann, Mercury Tide is bound to sound dark. That it does. But it's also more immediate than Angel Dust or any of the other bands these musicians represent — mainly because Why? is full of the melodies, riffs and introspective lyrics that once made Queensr˙che so appealing.
Evocative aural imagery set against a propulsive wall of sound characterize many of these songs, which are as bleak as Why?'s sepia-toned album cover. Thurisch questions, among others, God ("Lost and Torn") and himself ("Alone"). But the rich tender and tough instrumentation belies some of that moroseness.
Why? is one of Century Media's most accessible releases of 2003, aimed at a broad spectrum of the metal audience – especially those who like to think while they listen.