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

OPERATION: MINDCRIME

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

4.22 | 760 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bryan
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you've always associated 80s metal with stuff like Poison and Yngwie Malmsteem, and have decided to lump Queensryche in with acts like these, you're making a massive mistake. It's true that they have some definite hair metal qualities about them (their look in particular... easily one of the ugliest bands ever), but the intelligent lyrics and technically stunning instrumentation to be found on Operation: Mindcrime will show that these guys go far, far beyond what you've come to expect from this genre. O:M was their most successful album, and it's easy to hear why. Geoff Tate's vocals are amazing, as his tremendous range is on constant display, his sinister delivery complimenting the lyrics perfectly. Chris DeGarmo is one of the most overlooked metal guitarists ever, and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as anyone in the genre (he's not too shabby a songwriter either).

After a short spoken intro, "Anarchy-X" is an instrumental guitar piece which shows that these guys can play right off the bat. Once the actual songs get going, a headbanger will be in complete paradise. "Revolution Calling" has a ridiculously catchy riff, and while it's hardly the best thing on here, it serves as a great intro to the epic listen that awaits. The title track is where the band's dark, cynical lyrics start to really come alive, but the music doesn't suffer in the least. This may actually be the strongest track on here. "Speak" has a faster pace and an amazing vocal performance, really showing Tate's range at it's fullest. There are very few weak moments from here on, as "Spreading The Disease" is another great rocker, "The Mission" is slower and tremendously powerful, while "Suite Sister Mary" is a dark, brooding 11 minute epic track with haunting lyrics and a frantic feel. "The Needle Lies" is a more straight up and agressive track with some great guitar soloing and Tate reaching a borderline scream with his vocals. From here on in, there are a lot of annoying shorter songs like "Electric Requiem" and "Waiting For 22", but that doesn't keep "Eyes of a Stranger" from being a stunning closer.

There's word now that Queensryche is working on an Operation: Mindcrime 2. With DeGarmo no longer in the lineup, I'm not sure whether this will work out, but what I do know is that this classic first one is an amazing prog metal album, and along with Metallica's ...And Justice For All, shows that 1988 (the year I was born, coincidentally enough) was a great year for the genre. While it's arguable that Rage For Order, Empire and even Promised Land are better records, there's no denying that Operation: Mindcirme was the most successful and influential Queensryche album, as well as probably the best starting point with the band's work. So metalheads who appreciate intelligent, complex music should give it a go, as it's one of those metal albums you have to hear (although not really essencial in the grand scheme of prog).

Bryan | 4/5 |

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