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Queensr˙che - Operation: LIVEcrime CD (album) cover

OPERATION: LIVECRIME

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

4.51 | 84 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
4 stars LiveCrime - The Best of a Crazy Summer

Some disclaimers: I am a Mindcrime fanatic. I missed this tour.

Ok here's the backstory which all Queensryche fans who were there know. The band started as an Iron Maiden clone with a singer that was probably better than Dickinson and a band that just kicked live, see youtube videos of Queen of the Reich from early in their career. They had become increasingly progressive up to their seminal concept album Operation: Mindcrime which critics completely went hogwild over, including the Guitar mags, which led me to pick up the album. (I already had Queen of the Reich on a compilation album, and loved it, but didn't have Warning or Rage for Order at that point) The band's long touring to support the album, which included opening for Metallica on the Justice tour, added fire to flames as they were gaining in popularity. A few videos were frequently shown on Headbangers ball, but still only the metalheads understood what a piece of musical history was in their hands.

I think that both the band and the record company knew that a perfect storm had developed. Metal bands were making huge money on crossover songs...Extreme made a bundle on the actually worthy More than Words while in the biggest slap in the face of all metal, shredmeisters Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan pull in the bucks on Mr. Big's schlock To Be with You. Queensryche, maybe pressured, jumps aboard, and makes a more radio friendly, but solid album, Empire, which includes the Comfortably Numb rip-off Silent Lucidity. Just like the bands I mentioned, the single explodes and Queensryche makes a gazillion dollars.

Now headliners, Queensryche makes perhaps the best decision of their careers. They announce that Operation: Mindcrime will be performed in its entirety. Everyone and their little sister sees the tour, and this video/CD combo chronicles what was indeed an amazing tour.

In those days, I didn't have the cash to go to multiple big shows in the same summer and I picked the Use Your Illusion tour that year. In accords with my standard practice of seeing bands an album after their perfect tour, I saw Queensryche on the Promised Land tour, and probably 2/3 of Mindcrime was played there. Even then, in slightly smaller venues, the band played flawlessly, Tate was a master showman, his voice unbelievable.

Whoa, lots of backstory for a review, but that's what this set is, a record of my absolutely favorite metal band at their peak, on a tour I missed. The performances are stellar. The incredible tom grooves of Spreading the Disease, the intensity of Suite Sister Mary, and the still all too precise social commentary of Revolution Calling, all of these are what made this band great. When Tate states in the middle of the disc -For those of you who don't know our music, you're probably wondering what the he!! is going on.- I always felt a sense of satisfaction.

At the time, again strapped for cash, I bought this set to have a CD copy of the music rather than replacing the tape that was still functioning at the time. When that medium failed and this CD was the only Mindcrime I had, it left a little to be desired. Tate's substitution of We pay for wars in Saudia Arabia during the first gulf war was pushing the metaphor too far, and frankly I needed the original to fall back on.

I have that now. And so this set serves it purpose. Putting me there that summer, on the tour I missed, the chronicle of what may be metal at its peak. It's not the first place to go for newcomers to this band and especially not for newcomers to metal, but for prog-head and metal-heads, this is what it was all about.

Negoba | 4/5 |

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