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Queensr˙che - Rage For Order CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.99 | 324 ratings

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5 stars Summer, 1986. Geez, Queensryche sure takes a LONG time to make their albums. It's been almost two long years since they shocked the music world, uh, okay, since they shocked ME with The Warning. The 1984 release was a musical masterpiece that, in my opinion, was going to be hard to top. But man, I sure couldn't wait to hear just what they had in store. Thus it was that at 10:00 AM on a Tuesday in July I was first in the store to pick up Rage For Order.

I found the record in the QR slot (no storefront promotions - no respect!) and had another deja vu. Just like my reaction to The Warning I thought the front cover was way cool but the picture on the back damn near made me puke. Five guys all done up with big poofy hair, ridiculous Hollywood leather outfits and pouty attitudes all around. Left me a creepy feeling that maybe the music-biz bigwigs had gotten ahold of my boys and turned them into something "marketable". They sure LOOKED like MTV foofs.

Never mind, though, these guys are musical geniuses, surely they didn't sell out. I raced home and set up my stereo to record the album but had to run off to school. I returned, recorded side two (without actually listening to it). This was so I could find some nice private time to indulge myself and listen to the entire album from beginning to end, without interruptions from anyone or anything.

Thus I was lying on my bed, headphones on and about halfway through Rage For Order found myself going huh? What HAPPENED to Queensryche....what was this stuff? I found myself waiting for the album to end....deeply disappointed. This was the exact opposite of my initial listening experiences of QR's previous releases. There were some interesting moments but nothing that jumped out at me. This album was all over the place as far the general sound of the disc. Moody songs, machine-like songs, s-l-o-w songs,,,,there was some high energy stuff but this was definitely not standard heavy metal of 1986.

Still, this was Queensryche so I put the disc to tape and kept popping that tape into my car and home stereo. After a while some songs started to stand out. The first was Chemical Youth...this was basically a power rocker with a cool-as-shit mid-song chorus bridge that faded into a psycho guitar solo with effects-driven drum background. The next song that really entranced me was I Dream in Infrared, which has one of the most innovative intros I've ever heard. The song's structure is standard power ballad (you know, mellow opening, goes into harder verse, then sing-along chorus). But this opening was so stopped and started and had a very machine-quality to it, almost industrial. Thus the album started to grow on me.

First one song, then another....I found myself putting it on the player over and over....soon the songs that I didn't like at first were becoming better and the songs I initially liked were getting STILL better. Finally it dawned on me that Queensryche had created a completely unique musical effort that was a complete departure from their previous stuff. They had expanded far beyond what they'd created before and in doing so ventured into unknown musical territory.

Rage For Order is not QR's best album (Operation Mindcrime is still the best) but it is the most ambitious, original, and daring. They easily could have produced Warning II with a handful of radio-ready Take Hold of the Flames, sold millions of records and basically sold their musical soul. Instead they challenged themselves, their fans and the listening public to a musical offering that was ahead of its time. You doubt me? Listen to songs like Infrared, Surgical Strike, Neue Regel and Screaming in Digital...all are far beyond anything called "metal". And Trent Reznor (NIN) and Al Jorgensen could be forgiven if they ripped off the industrial noises emanating from all over this disc. Check out Neue Regel (with one of the greatest intros ever); the guitars sound like machines, the drums sound computerized and Geoff Tate's voice sounds digitally inhuman. This, folks, was industrial music before it had been invented.

To sum it up...I didn't get it at first, was eventually converted and today find Rage For Order has held up very well over time. It sounds very much like a 90's disc but without the false anger and detachment of most 90's hard rock. Totally original, completely honest, innovative, even revolutionary....Rage For Order is an absolute must-have for any Industrial, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock or Progressive Music fan.

MrMan2000 | 5/5 |


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