Queensryche is almost to the fullest extent, one of the most underrated hard rock groups of the 80's. Geoff Tate's voice is undeniably one of the greatest voices in rock 'n' roll, starting out originally as an opera singer. With DeGarmo's genuine all around charisma fused with Rockenfield's solid beats, Queensryche was a group that was out to rock, which is exactly what they did. Originally starting out under the name, The Mob, the band made themselves known around local Seattle clubs. When Tate was introduced to the band through a friend, it literally took begging to convince him to sing. When Tate was onboard to sing, they began writing original material. When "Queen of the Reich" was written, the band reached a mutual decision to become Queensryche. Queensryche recorded a self-titled EP in 198 , eventually producing videos and a few fruitful tracks.
Throughout this EP, there are some solid drum beats and fills, and heavy and fast guitar licks. Also, some of the best metal vocals you may ever hear.
Queen of the Reich- This is one of my favorite pre-Mindcrime tracks by Queensryche. The song is overall fast paced and heavy. Geoff Tate does an excellent job on the vocals, and although the lyrics are kind of out there, they are well written. The whole song is really upbeat, which is a high point. The drums are solid and well played. The guitars are very heavy, and a bit technical. The solo is very nicely played, and flows very well with the song, although it is a bit long. This was one of Queensryche's first hits for good reason. A great way to kick off the "album".
Nightrider- A bit of a heavier song than the predecessor, but quite a bit slower at the same time. The intro tends to be a bit drawn out, although featuring some pretty cool drum fills. The verse, however, at about a minute, picks up and keeps the same tone with a different tempo. Sad to say, the vocals aren't as good as "Queen", through the whole song, even though that still means they are good. The song changes off a lot, and is unpredictable, which can work either way. Some people like that, some don't, it's kind of opinion on this one. The guitars are pretty simple for the most part. The bridge, makes a bit of a strange change-off, and the solo goes on for a little while, and goes back into the song. Overall, the song doesn't really flow too well, and it comes out as a pretty average tune.
Blinded- To tell you the truth, I am not very familiar with this track, which I find odd, as this is a pretty good track. It contains some really nice drum fills and some technical beats, with some heavy guitar riffs, which tend to be a bit switchy, which on this track is good. The lyrics are well written and the vocals stand out for me, as some of the best early Queensryche, along with "Lady Wore Black", and some of Rage For Order's tracks. The whole song progresses quite nicely. It is also very catchy and enjoyable, however, it sounds a little too similar to "Queen".
The Lady Wore Black- This is a classic Queensryche tune. Although is has a bit of a drawn out intro, it is a very laid back song and it flows nicely. It starts out with the wind blowing and some other eerie kinds of noises. The guitar is clean for the verses, and the drums come in half way through the first verse. The vocal performance is Tate at his best (which is better than most). The chorus is pretty heavy, with some solid beats, heavy riffs, and a pretty cool bass line. The song pretty much follows this progression until the solo, which is very well played. The lyrical job is very commendable. Not one of my favorites but definitely one of their best. A very simple song, but I've said it before about other songs. The simplicity is what makes it a good track.
Prophecy- This track is a bit like "Nightrider", although I take "Prophecy" over it. The intro is short and sweet, opening the song with the riff which the song's foundations are mainly rooted. The lyrical job is pretty typical Queensryche, however, the vocals in the verses seem to stand out the most in this whole song, along with the guitar. Everything else is pretty simple. The progression is pretty simple, as there is really no change offs, except in the solo, which was nicely written. It is a little hard to distinguish the chorus from the verses, due to the lack of change-offs, however, this is a great way to end the album, and is a great song.
Queensryche did eventually hit the hard-rock fame they desired. Their first official album, "The Warning", reached fair success, as did the follow-up album, Rage for Order. However, it was their late 80's masterpiece concept album, Operation: Mindcrime, which sealed them in metal history forever. This and the next album, Empire, are easily what gave Queensryche their stardom and popularity. Through these last 4 albums came hits as, "The Warning", "Walk In The Shadows", "I Dream In Infra-Red", "Nue Regel", "Revolution Calling", "O:MC", "Suite Sister Mary", "Eyes of A Stranger", "Empire", "Jet City Woman", and by far their most famous song, "Silent Lucidity". After Empire, which was released in the early 90's, 'ryche released a compilation, a couple of live albums, and some otherwise unimpressive original studio albums, lacking hits for a while, aside from "I Am I". In Spring of 2006, Queensryche released a sequel to Mindcrime, entitled Operation: Mindcrime II. Although it gave them a newfound fan base and launched them back to slight fame, it lacked what their earlier masterpieces had, which was everything you could expect from a good metal group.
Queensryche has influenced such bands as Dream Theater, and others in the same general genre, and although it has been many years since their first EP, Queensryche is back on the scene, and on tour, showing no signs of quitting.
Will Queensryche ever be the same. The answer is no. Geoff's voice, naturally, is wearing out, and long-time guitarist Chris DeGarmo was replaced in the late 90's by Mike Stone. The songwriting, or the music itself, was never the same, however, it was still very commendable, as they never really abandoned their true roots. Another question many tend to ask.
Can we ever expect something as good as anything pre-Empire (Empire inclusive)" Probably not, the answer to that expressed through Mindcrime II. However, Queensryche has always endured as a surviving band, even while recording their amateur and low-budget EP, which is now considered a classic. While we may never have back what every fan wants from an 80's band (make another record like Mindcrime, Hysteria, Number of the Beast, etc.), we will be seeing Queensryche for awhile, and Queensryche (the EP) will always be in our CD collections.