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




Progressive Metal

4.24 | 981 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars Perhaps lovers of traditional, symphonic prog will think this record far too metal for their tastes, and therefore give it a miss. This would be a pity, though, for "Operation: Mindcrime" has much more in common with "real" prog than with out-and-out, mindlessly bludgeoning heavy metal. First of all, it's a concept album, and what a concept: a dark, convoluted, positively dystopian tale out of Orwell's "1984", whose world view is best summed up by the chilling lyrics to "Spreading the Disease".

In 1988, when the album came out, Queensryche were at the top of their game: an extremely tight outfit spearheaded by the immensely talented guitarist and composer Chris De Garmo and the exceptional pipes of Geoff Tate, one of the very few vocalists in the genre to prove himself much more than a simple screamer in the Rob Halford mould. They showed the world they were not afraid of pushing the envelope by creating a record which flew in the face of most heavy metal stereotypes, with lyrics that made you think accompanied by powerful, brilliantly executed music - miles away from the nihilistic violence of many thrash metal outfits or the empty posing of hair- metal bands.

The highlight of the album is also the one track which comes closer to 'traditional' prog, that is, the 11-minute long, hauntingly beautiful "Suite Sister Mary", which also includes a choir and an orchestra (directed by Michael Kamen) performing Verdi's menacing "Dies Irae". The remaining tracks are more aggressive and energetic, but intelligently so, with a special mention for the rousing "Revolution Calling", the above- mentioned "Spreading the Disease" with its disturbing, half-whispered middle section, and the two closing songs, "I Don't Believe in Love" and "Spreading the Disease".

There's been a lot of talk lately about "Operation: Mindcrime 2". This piece of news has been greeted with a mixture of hope and scepticism. Only time will tell, though I don't really think Queensryche (especially without De Garmo) will ever be able to replicate such a perfect album.

Raff | 5/5 |


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