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Queensr˙che - Queensr˙che CD (album) cover

QUEENSRYCHE

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

3.32 | 108 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

MrMan2000
4 stars Spring, 1984. I'm an 18-year old rivethead scanning the LPs at the local Sound Warehouse, trolling for new talent. My eyes fall upon a mostly black album cover with the band's name written in Old-English script. "Hmmph, pretty cool" I thought, so I checked it out. A 4-song EP..interesting song names..young guys with a dark, slightly disturbing look..only $4.99..what the heck I thought.

I arrive at my brother David's condo.no one's home. I immediately go to his powerful and LOUD stereo, place the record on the turntable, and start the record spinning. I'm immediately bludgeoned with a sonic sledgehammer like I've never known before; a deep, penetrating, brain-bending, soul-changing grip that, to this day, has failed to relinquish it's hold on me.

Now, I'm a HUGE music fan. But it's rare, DAMN RARE, when I completely stop what I'm doing, STOP, sit and listen, REALLY listen to music. But that's exactly what I did.I can recall the scene vividly. Sitting and listening to the skilled, powerful and melodic duel guitars.churning rhythms behind soaring solos, driving bass lines and beautiful drum fills.stuff that made you tap your foot, bang your head and groove joyously as the music took you away from here, to that wonderful place that only music can. Never before and never since have I ever been as overwhelmed by a first listen of a band as that fateful Spring day in 1984 when I discovered my all-time favorite band, Queensryche.

While it was the overall zeitgeist of the music that so moved me, most impressive and the thing that REALLY grabbed my attention was THAT VOICE! Geoff Tate introduced himself to music listeners with a high-pitched, kamikaze wail that shook your windows and rattled your teeth. He belted out fierce songs about Nightriders and Queens then majestically, captivatingly told the tale of the Lady in Black. All sung in perfect key, with a 4-octave range that would be at home in a World Class opera. Now, others have mixed operatic voices with metal but usually with less-than-satisfying results. Mostly because professionally trained singers often don't have natural delivery skills and the lyrics being sung weren't worth listening to anyway.

I listened to that EP so much throughout the Spring/Summer of '84 I damn near wore it out. I just couldn't get enough of the imaginative, original and unique sound QR brought. This was definitely heavy metal, but more melodic, and energetic than usual. It wasn't just a frenzy of guitar notes, but well-thought out solo patterns and guitar rhythms with an urgency and clarity that was absent from most metal. The solo break in "Nightrider" is the best example.the shared solo/rhythm guitar trade-off between Michael Wilton and Geoff DeGarmo is spellbinding.fucking brilliant! So too is the great guitar into to "Blinded". Finally the EP's closer, "The Lady Wore Black" displayed the potential heights this band would eventually scale. A beautiful, acoustic-tinged "power ballad" (god I hate that term) that sounds fairly conventional nowadays and wasn't exactly revolutionary back in 1984. It's done about as well as can be done, however, and clearly showed QR knew how to do more than rip off fast, powerful metal songs. It was this element they brought to the metal world that eventually elevated them to greatness.

The EP was originally a 4-song item but since compact discs took over the music world the record-biz powers-that-be decided to add a fifth song, "Prophecy". Frankly it's a throw-in in my opinion, one of QR's lesser efforts. Worse, they placed the song AFTER "The Lady Wore Black", which is a perfect closing song. I recommend you program your player to play Prophecy 3rd, so as to enjoy the full effect of the EP properly.

MrMan2000 | 4/5 |

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