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




Progressive Metal

4.24 | 979 ratings

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2 stars Wow!! A lot of 5 star reviews for this album - not only here, but net-wide, it would seem.

A concept album from the late 1980s - this was getting to be quite fashionable, after Marillion stunned their fans with "Misplaced Childhood" - an incredibly daring move in a world that was so anti-Prog Rock. Then there was THE other concept album, "Master of Puppets" by Metallica.

But this is two years after both of those luminaries. In 1988, Metallica unleashed "...And Justice for All" on the world - the greatest step forward in metal since "Master..."; a double album of songs densley packed with complex rifferama.

In comparison, then, "Operation Mindcrime" sounds very dated - and very similar to Iron Maiden with a large dash of Judas Priest thrown in... hang on... didn't I say that in another review about another album...?

The lyrics don't really drag me in - I find them somewhat bald; Lacking any of the intensity of "Master of Puppets" and any of the raw emotion of "Misplaced Childhood", they seem to have sprung from the likes of Motley Crue or Guns 'N' Roses.

The song writing is completely unspectacular also - average (and even many above average) early 1980s heavy metal riffs in standard rock song structures do nothing to create the feeling of anything progressive.

Where a metal fan might get confused that this might be somehow a Prog album is in the details - the frills around the main body of the song.

These frills include the plethora of additional "noises off", such as the introduction, and playing details; The bass sound is rich, and the bass does not always follow the riffs, the drum sound is big, but with that typically 1980s snare sound - but over-precise, taking almost all of the Rock feel out of the music.

While the earlier two albums felt kind of fresh, despite the Priest/Maiden roots, Operation Mindcrime is somewhat stale, being much more of the same - a humdrum collection of riffs and razor-precision playing that raises a real yawn.

To be fair, there are moments when the riffs come together that jump out from the otherwise wallpaper feel of this album.

It's not the groundbreaking masterpiece that many set it up to be - you only need to hear Queensryche's previous albums to realise that they're doing nothing new; ie not progressing in any way.

Compare them to Metallica, from the same time, and you realise that Metallica were the truly progressive band - each album was markedly different from the last.

Queensryche merely formed a progressive kind of sound on their debut, and stuck rigidly to it.

Operation Mindcrime, while not a bad album in any way, falls so shy of being actually progressive, let alone Prog Rock, that it gets 2 stars - for collectors or fans of this kind of music only - NOT for fans of Prog Rock.

Certif1ed | 2/5 |


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