After the success of "Operation: Mindcrime", Queensryche released "Empire" an album similar to Metallica's self titled release. No longer did the band really experiment with the music like they did in past albums this was a more straight forward shot at a more commercial sounding album. They spawned a few hits off this album to say it was unsuccessful is wrong because it was, even though they may have lost some of their hardcore fans who didn't like the change. But overall, "Empire" should delight the mainstream rock fans and maybe some more.
Geoff Tate (Vocals)
Chris DeGarmo (Guitars)
Michael Wilton (Guitars)
Eddie Jackson (Bass)
Scott Rockenfield (Drums)
1. Best I Can
This track starts out dark but to a suprise a clean guitar riff maintains the rythm. The lyrics are quite catchy on this one especially on the chorus and you'll soon realize that a lot of the songs on this album follow this blueprint. Not too much to say about this track other than it's a fine way to start the album. 4/5
2. The Thin Line
This song starts out a bit slower but ends up rockin' more than "Best I Can". Once again, it's a bit dark and may be hard to really get into and see that it contains some good lyrics and Tate does a good job on the vocals. 4/5
3. Jet City Woman
The first big song of the album and what can anyone say? It has a rockin' riff that is irresistably catchy and the energetic singing really grab your attention. The lyrics are some of the best from Queensryche and really, this is just a song you'll hear and it'll get stuck in your head for a long, long time. 5/5
4. Della Brown
One of the more interesting songs on the album, it really gets old after awhile due to the repeating riff throughout the song that never gets much of a change up through the song. The lyrics are appealing in an interesting sense, i'm not sure what they're actually about but are worth lookin' up. 3/5
5. Another Rainy Night (Without You)
The next hit, starts out dark and quiet and really sounds like it'll end up as a ballad but the song explodes into a rocker with a lot of energy. The lyrics leading into the chorus do a good job of getting your attention then head into the chorus which is the seller for the song. This song may get repetitve after a few listens but it's still a great tune. 5/5
A sweet guitar riff but the almost robotic like voices sung during the chorus is really annoying and stupid. That being said, "Empire" is still a great song and is actually probably the true main song to the album. Their is some good soloing in this song as well and overall is a great track. 4/5
This song kind of comes off as a suprise, its not really catchy and the singing isn't all that appealing but as usual Queensryche pulls off an excellent riff that's sure to make up for the poor singing and weak lyrics. 3/5
8. Silent Lucidity
The big ballad and besides "Jet City Woman", the biggest hit on the album. You'll hear this song a lot on the radio more than likely. Starting out with a quiet acoustic guitar, Tate comes in with some ghostly singing that combined with the haunting riff creates an eeiry feel to it. The solo is actually disappointing really but not a major problem because the lyrics are awesome. The song gets quiet again after the solo and ends with a silent acoustic guitar playing some notes. 5/5
9. Hand on Heart
Another ballad like song that may appeal to you with its catchy chorus or quiet yet rockin' riff. It's not as dark as the other songs on the album either and that helps the appeal of the song as well. Overall, its easily one of the most underated songs on the album. 4/5
10. One and Only
Kind of like "Silent Lucidty" and "Hand on Heart" with a more rockin' feel to it as far as the bass and guitar riffs go. The vocal performance is top notch again but by now the lyrics are getting really repetitive on some of these songs, especially this one. That being said, its still a good song that adds depth to the album. 4/5
11. Anybody Listening?
It's really amazing how they sound so much like Pink Floyd in this song. It would be easy to mistake this for a song off "The Wall" or something because it sure has the sound to it. Once again, it's dark and silent throughout the song but i'm sure if you like Floyd you'll like this song without a doubt. I'm not sure what the lyrics are tryin' to say or what the message is or whatever meaning it has to the album but I know it's a great conclusion to a fine album. 5/5
Although Queensryche really went down after this album, kind of like Metallica after they released their self titled album known as "The Black Album". It boasts some rockin' songs like "Jet City Woman", "Another Rainy Night (Without You)" and "Resistance". It also has some good ballads like "Silent Lucidity" and "Hand on Heart" as well. Queensryche even show a strong influence from Pink Floyd with the song "Anybody Listening?". This is an excellent album and if you're a fan of Queensryche, you should already have it and really, if you like hard rock on the border line of metal, this album is a great choice.
+ "Jet City Woman" and "Silent Lucidity"
+ Great singing by Tate
+ Some catchy riffs on most of the songs
+ Some influences really show on some of the songs (Listen to "Anybody Listening?")
- Some of the songs get really repetitive
- Besides the big hits this album may be a little hard to get into