American Soldier is an ambitious concept album that explores the psyche of the American Soldier during a time of war. Singer Geoff Tate interviewed soldiers from many different conflicts from World War II to Vietnam to Iraq (including his own father, a lifelong military man) to piece together this apocalyptic song cycle where Queensrÿche’s innate guitar drama reflects the ominous, often brutal circumstances the soldiers inevitably find themselves caught in. “At 30,000 Ft” explores the detached emotional core of a pilot ordered to bomb cities as opposed to the intense impact of hand-to-hand land combat that surfaces throughout “The Killer” and “Middle of Hell.” “Man Down!” tells the story of a veteran whose only way to connect with his return to civilian life is to spend six years driving his car across the country, unable to settle in one place. American Soldier is not a political record. It never preaches. Tate takes great pains to ensure it is the soldier’s point of view and their experiences that guide his writing and he uses his band of heavy metal pros to give these songs the dramatic impact they deserve.