Queensryche
Operation: Mindcrime


5.0
classic

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (87 Reviews)
October 3rd, 2012 | 97 replies | 4,050 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Queensryche at the top of their game. One of the best concept albums ever released.

Let's face it, Queensryche have become a bit of a joke; a sad parody of themselves and a spent force creatively. However, as most metal fans will remember there was once a time when Geoff Tate and the crew were standing tall and proud as one of the masters of their game. On the back of a successful EP, a promising debut in the form of 'Warning' and the superb sophomore album 'Rage For Order' the band had carved out a place as one of the shining lights of the then embryonic prog metal movement.

'Empire' is sometimes regarded as the high point in Queensryche's career but I beg to differ. This is the one. The one when they were at their creative peak. The one where they seemed to be able to effortlessly craft incisive hook-laden songs which had the cutting edge of a scalpel. And the one where the Pink Floyd influences had not yet started to soften their sound too much. The actual concept of the album is well documented but suffice it to say that the words and music tell the tale of a would be revolutionary who reluctantly becomes involved with a political group as an assassin. The story eventually unfolds as a series of episodes and flashbacks relating to the major characters of the piece but our protagonist initially wakes at the start of the story to the sounds of a hospital ward. He utters the words 'I can't remember yesterday, I just remember doing what they told me' and the music takes off with a drum beat of military precision on the short segue piece 'Anarchy-X' before leading in to the classic 'Revolution Calling' with it's angular stabbing riffs, air of controlled chaos and Geoff Tate giving one of his best ever vocal performances.

Concept albums are of course intended to be listened to from start to finish but such is the quality of the individual songs on offer here that the album easily lends itself to a pick and mix exploration. The jabbing ferocity of 'Needle Lies' assaults you like an F-16 on a low strafing run; this is no carpet-bombing attack, it's a precision strike, angling in with cannons blazing, skimming over the treetops at high speed to take you apart. In the mood for a classic melodic metal anthem ? Just flip to 'I Don't Believe In Love' and revel in the sense of controlled energy and incisive riffing bottled up inside one of the best power ballads ever penned. Even better is 'Eyes of a Stranger'; after a short introduction lifted from Pink Floyd's 'Empty Spaces' things get underway proper with a seemingly standard verse/chorus structured song that builds and builds to a glorious anthemic solo and then rides on top of an undulating riff to a triumphant finale. Other highlights include 'Spreading the Disease', a tale of Mary the prostitute turned nun ; 'Twenty-five bucks a ***, and Johns a happy man, she wipes the filth away, and it's back on the streets again' barks Tate as the song conjures up images of squalor and debauchery and explores the more cynical aspects of controlling the masses through sex and religion... 'selling skin, selling god, the numbers look the same on their credit cards'. There is such an endless supply of quality craftmanship on here. The epic 'Suite Sister Mary', the pounding riffs of 'Breaking the Silence' and the anthemic title track. Classic track after classic track. There is no filler on here, no waste. The carcass has been expertly filleted with laser precision and only prime cuts are presented here to be devoured.

This is the high point of Queensryche's discography, consistently excellent from start to finish. There is an air of finely controlled anarchy as they peel off memorable hook after memorable hook, firing on all cylinders like a lean, finely tuned V6. This is no blunt instrument, it's a surgical strike. Essential.



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user ratings (966)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • D. Anthony Kerr (5)
    "What I know for sure is that Queensryche crafted a magnificently ambitious collection of ...

    PsychicChris (5)
    The story might be its biggest talking point but the songwriting and band performances are...

    dannyboy89 (5)
    The essential Queensryche album. If you have not heard this, and you say you're a prog fa...

    Kenneth E. Rathburn (5)
    Narration, poetry, addiction, tragedy and intrigue contribute to create a powerful, everla...

  • Jorn van Scha├»k (5)
    This album is one of the defining concept albums released in 1988, and the accompanying mu...

    Mendigo (3.5)
    This is one of the best known conceptual albums and one of the most important progressive ...

    deflepp0925 (5)
    ...

    Priestmetal (5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy Shit hard pos! I literally was going to review this or iron maiden last night but chose iron maiden what a coincedence. awesome review and agreed one of the best concent albums of all time. definite classic.

KILL
October 3rd 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best prog metal album everer

dude gonna read i jsut gota get sum pepsi and sweet

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012



15907 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"I literally was going to do this album maiden review but chose iron maiden what a coincedence. "
write it anyway dude it deserves as many reviews as possible hehe

Digging: Nemrud - Journey of the Shaman

ThunderNeutral21
October 3rd 2012



3864 Comments


only good release by these faggots

KILL
October 3rd 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fuck you craig ur gay i bet you havent even heard rage for order

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nah you nailed this review so now I don't have to write it lol.

Last paragraph is very clever man.

NightProwler
October 3rd 2012



6337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I DON'T BELIIIEEEVE IN LOOOOOOVE, I NEVER HAVE - I NEVER WILLLLLLLL!!!

KILL
October 3rd 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

its never woooooooorth the pain that you feeeeeeeeel

NightProwler
October 3rd 2012



6337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review also, just had to shout out loud before reading it

KILL
October 3rd 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ugh i should 5 this but

MO
October 3rd 2012



18522 Comments


SPEAK TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
THE PAIN YOU FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012



20450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck yes, great review.

KILL
October 3rd 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fuck it actually one of my fav albums ever fuck you all

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

stfu advice.

KILL
October 3rd 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AND I RAISE MY HEAD AND STAAAAAAAAAAAAARE

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012



19672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Of all your reviews this is the only album I've actually heard other than Led Zeppelin.

NightProwler
October 3rd 2012



6337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

INTO THE EYES OF A STRRRRANGGGGEEEEEEEERRRRRR

KILL
October 3rd 2012



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ive always known that the MIRROR NEVER LIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS

best song ever

NightProwler
October 3rd 2012



6337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Geoff sings so good

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 3rd 2012



15907 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

advices noted mr.advice thanks for constructive advice i will take your advices under advisement



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