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




Progressive Metal

4.24 | 979 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A well planned crime?

Often held up to be Queensryche's "Dark side of the moon" or "Close to the edge", "Operation Mindcrime" does indeed find the band at the peak of their creativity. The "Dark side of the moon" connection continues in terms of the album's concept, although the story here is somewhat darker. (Coincidentally, this is the second album in a row which I have reviewed which deals with disturbing themes, the other being "Island of misfit toys" by Timothy Pure.)

Full credit to Queensryche for the effort they have made in putting together the concept here and for the eloquent way the tracks link together. Having said that though, it is wise not to prod to deeply into the album, as doing so reveals it to be rather ordinary. Most of the tracks here, when heard in isolation, are straight forward metal numbers which could easily be mistaken for those by a plethora of other bands, most notably Iron Maiden. The Iron Maiden similarities, especially on tracks such as "Revolution calling" and "The needle lies", are exacerbated by the vocals on many (but not all) of the songs.

The centrepiece of the album is undoubtedly the 11 minute "Suite Sister Mary" which is far more prog than the majority of the album with operatic vocals, and a rock opera feel. It could however have done with more in the way of instrumental passages, to break up the lengthy vocal sections. For me, the best track is "Breaking the silence", which is more of a ballad, with a different vocal style and some fine guitar. The closing "Eyes of a stranger" builds nicely to some catchy Saxon like choruses but it does sound just a bit too familiar.

In all, an enjoyable album which has clearly been crafted carefully by the band. The performance is superb, if a little safe when it comes to the guitar breaks. Where the album tends to fall is in terms of musical originality.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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