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Album: American SoldierReleased: 2009
American Soldier is a concept album examining the life of a soldier and the consequences of war. Vocalist Geoff Tate interviewed veterans who fought in conflicts spanning from World War II to Iraq, and some dialogue from these recorded discussions is mixed into several of tracks on the album. The verses of this song feature the voices of Chris Devine, a Vietnam veteran and Sean Lenahan, a veteran of Somalia, recalling their war experiences. Tate observed to Billboard magazine: "I was surprised to learn how little has changed through the generations. I spoke with a Vietnam vet whose experience wasn't all that different from a soldier who fought in Somalia almost 30 years later. But what surprised me the most was how anti-war most soldiers are. To me, that makes their sacrifices even more moving."
Tate (from AnybodyListening. net
): "Musically, it's a pretty adventurous track. We constructed the music around the verses. If you listen, the guitar in the verses is in mono, not stereo, so there is room to hear what is being said. On the chorus, the music changes to stereo again with me singing the lyrics. There are a lot of interesting audio things going on with this record, which is what makes it so effective to listen to with headphones."
The song is much more lyrically straightforward than most of Queensrÿche's songs, written exclusively in the band's later era by frontman Geoff Tate
. Rather than narrativizing or discussing a particular theme, the song functions as a hard-jawed ode to determination. Each line is direct statement about lack of fear, variously stating that he fears nothing, hopes for nothing, is free, and, of course, is unafraid.