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




Progressive Metal

4.24 | 981 ratings

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4 stars "Waiting for days longer. Till sister comes to wash my sins away. She is the lady that can ease my sorrow. My love for her. Will help me find my way" . [nice and melodic segment] ."They'll say my mission saved the world ." - The Mission

This album was my first introduction to the band sometime in nineties, I think. It happened accidentally, actually, because I intended to read a review (on the net) of Marillion's concept album "Misplaced Childhood" and found this album was also reviewed adjacent to the Marillion review. That's about right because the two were founded around the same period even though their music is completely different. Queensr˙che was formed in Seattle in 1981 when Geoff Tate (vocal) met Chris De Garmo (guitar), Michael Wilton (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) who were in a band called The Mob. Their first recorded material was a self named four track EP, released on their own 206 label in 1983 (the same time with marillion's full debut album "Script for A Jester's Tear"). One track titled Queen of the Reich inspired the band with its name and is still a live favourite until today. The band signed the deal with EMI in late 1983.

"Operation: mindcrime" was released in spring of 1988 and it was the band's great success as it received gold in the US. This concept album was recorded during the spring and summer of 1987 and it took place in various studios in the US, Canada and Holland. The album has been considered as brilliant concept album of all time, musically as well as lyrically among such legendary albums as Genesis "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", Marillion "Misplaced Childhood", or Pink Floyd "The Wall".

The album revolves around a story - that's why it's called a concept album - about corruption in government. It's all about a young man named Nikki who is disgusted with the corruption in government and organized religion plaguing America. He joins an underground revolution called "Operation: Mindcrime" which is led and organized by the mysterious Dr. X (sounds similar with some detective story in silver screen?). The order originally meant well, but it turned out into the grasp of organized crime, with Nikki in the eye of everything. I have to admit that the band has successfully brought together many complex issues in this album. It's a short of socio-political issues. It addresses complex psychological issues such as personal identity, care, love, relationship, abuse, obsessions, roles, and greed. Well, I'm not gonna tell all the story song by song as my colleague collaborator semismart has put it nicely here.

Musically, the album comprises fifteen separate tracks which is best enjoyed in its entirety instead of playing track number such and such. Yes, I recommend you to enjoy the music from beginning setups, i.e. two tracks namely "I Remember Now" (1:17) and "Anarchy-X" (1:27) , that basically set the ambient of the concept album. The true musical story really starts with third track "Revolution Calling" (4:42) through the blast of orchestral arrangement, guitar riffs and drumwork followed with full blown music in hard driving rhythm style and energetic mood. Geoff Tate voice is so powerful combining high and low points excellently. He is one of the best rock singers I have ever found. And this track serves like a raising a flag about the first socio-political issue mentioning the appearance of Dr. X. The music of this track is really rewarding and most importantly: it rocks man! Yeah!!!!! The following track "Operation: Mindcrime" (4:43) continues the stream of beautiful music in similar vein with the previous one - this time with more musical accentuation. I think the band makes their effort to describe the event when Nikki joins the underground revolution. You can hear inventive bass lines combined with stunning guitar solo and powerful voice line here. The music flows wonderfully to another excellent track "Speak" (3:42) and "Spreading The Disease" (4:07) .

A true adrenalin exploder (for me personally) is when the track reaches track 7: "The Mission" (5:46). This track is musically perfect as it blends the elements of melancholic melody, great and simple orchestration and heavy metal music. You know why this track is an adrenalin exploder? Get your CD (oh, you haven't owned the CD yet? Come on .get out and find it from your local CD store - because it's an excellent record, I tell you. Satisfaction guaranteed.) and play this CD with me, observe when this track 7 reaches minutes 2:52 (approx) . Yes! That's what I mean man! That simple orchestral arrangement that happens shortly is the place that triggers an adrenalin explosion. That part is repeated again at minute 4:44. Nice, isn't it? Of course, this must be enjoyed with the song in its entirety. "Suite Sister Mary" (10:41) is another great track with relatively long duration and it's the most theatrical or operatic in nature especially combining a dialogue between Nikki and Mary (whom to be killed). This track is really great. Especially after I watched the DVD live set of this album. So stunning. "The Needle Lies" (3:08) is performed in full rock music style in relatively fast tempo. "Electric Requiem" (1:22) provides musical break with a simple arrangement. "Breaking The Silence" (4:34) brings the music back into rocking/ metal atmosphere. "I Don't Believe In Love" (4:23) is a nice track with solid bass lines and high register voice notes. The album concludes with the final track "Eyes Of A Stranger" (6:39) with a medium tempo rock music. The end of the track Nikki says again like in the opening track "I remember now ..".


It's a brilliant concept album with adventurous story combined with excellent flow of rock / metal music with changing tempo. It should be enjoyed in its entirety to get the full soul and nuance of the album. It's a recommended record. I even imagine that this album can be expanded into a movie and I think it's gonna be a great movie. What do you think?

Progressively yours, GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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